Friday, August 31, 2007
What follows is not a real blog post. Had this been an actual blogpost, you would be inclined to comment and say good stuff. This is just random stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else:
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Let's cover the whole continent with them!
C'mon, you KNOW you want one... (and be sure to check out the coupon savings deals in the sidebar at the store - the more you shop, the more you save! What's not to love about that, eh?)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Over the years however, I’ve met a lot of people online that have been and continue to be a tremendous blessing to me. One of those people is Pastor Eddie Exposito of Slidell, LA. I first met him several years ago in #prosapologian, the chat channel of James White.
Eddie and his wife and children live right in the heart of where hurricane Katrina made landfall, just two short years ago. I remember it so well. I remember us watching the news constantly, hoping and praying that Eddie and his family and church family would be spared. I remember thinking of the other people I know from the internet who live either right in that same area or very close to it – and then adding them to my prayers as well. I remember it feeling like what it might be like to watch a train wreck happen while holding my breath... and not able to do anything but simply trust the Lord.
One Sunday after the devastating storm, my son Samuel and I both stayed home from church with one form of cold or another. After breakfast that morning and after everyone else left, Samuel and I decided it would be a good time for the two of us to go through some of our family’s clothes and set aside a box of clothes and other supplies to send down to the Slidell church family. Samuel took it upon himself to go through his best clothes and tell me that there were little boys in Slidell that no longer had “good church clothes” so he wanted them to have his. A pretty noble gesture from a little boy who’s never known what it’s like to be in such a situation, and who had just turned 5 at the beginning of September. So we packed a huge box (and I do mean huge) and got it all ready to ship down to the church. Unfortunately once we found out what the cost of Canadian shipping was going to be for this gigantic, heavy box of clothes and personal supplies, we were unable to ship it. I still wish the Canadian government would have made an exception for ALL large packages going to any zip code in the greater New Orleans area, but they didn’t and we didn’t have the money for shipping. So, we had to find other ways to contribute along with our church family. Yep, I remember all that like it was just last week.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall south of New Orleans at 6:10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2005, as a strong Category 3 hurricane that flooded 80 percent of the city and killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
It’s hard to believe it’s been two years already. It’s even harder to imagine what it must have been like during and immediately after the storm. I’ve followed the updates from Eddie and his church over the last 2 years, I’ve seen the pictures, and I’ve listened and read the testimonies of the people most directly affected. It’s been heart-wrenching to say the least.
I’m sharing all this with you today not just to go down memory lane, but to let you know that the work in Slidell is ongoing. People are still without homes of their own, lives are still torn apart, and the work of the gospel is still being done. Katrina absolutely changed the lives of everyone directly affected, and in many cases did so with a newfound passion for missions and evangelism. That’s exactly what Eddie and his church family are still doing to this very day – putting feet on the gospel (and sheetrock and bags of groceries and whatever else is needed) and making a difference in their community. I spoke with Eddie a few days ago and he asked if I’d be willing to share the needs of his church and community, and I’d said I’d be more than happy to do that. Here’s a message directly from him:
Two years ago today, the largest and most costly natural disaster to strike the USA ravaged our town. And if you're tired of hearing about New Orleans and the impact of Hurricane Katrina, just imagine how difficult it is for us living here to endure the seemingly non-stop silliness and negative press.
The reality, however, is that God sovereignly ordained this tragedy for His glory and purpose, and part of that intention is that His gospel be proclaimed and lived out before men.
It is to that task that we set our minds and plows.
With your help, we seized this unprecedented opportunity to plant an outpost for truth in a very dark region that revels in sin and open abandon.Together, we took up the call and established an anchoring. Now, as we press on amidst the rebuilding and related hands-on ministry with a handful of long-term volunteers, we ask for your renewed help.
Our main needs are:
• Prayer for wisdom, perseverance and God's continued provision.
• Skilled workers (carpenters, drywallers, painters, plumbers, tilers, etc.) to help put people back in their homes.
• Skilled finishers to help put our relief operation into its new building.
• Financial support for long-term volunteers, fuel, supplies and materials.
For further details, see our Sovereign Grace Homeland Missions news blog.
By His grace and for His glory,
Charles Busby and Eddie Exposito
Elders, Sovereign Grace Fellowship
Won’t you take some time today with your family (and church family) and seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him if there’s something you can do for the church family in Slidell?
Person: wow, did you read about such-and-such at so-and-so’s website today?
Person: did you see this link, this is amazing!
Person: oh I can NOT believe this, such-and-so is sponsoring/advocating/endorsing/promoting this (insert heretical trend du jour) insanity, did you read this?
Me: nope, I have no idea what you’re talking about
In a nutshell, I am more or less out of the loop more often than I am in it. What's more, is that it's on purpose. The thing is, I’ve been intentionally “downgrading” for the last several years. One day out of nowhere the Lord impressed on my heart that my plate was too full and my priorities were all out of whack and things HAD to change. What I mean by downgrading is simply letting go of or getting rid of things that aren’t needful to my spiritual growth, or to the benefit and blessing of my family. This hasn’t been an easy thing for me to do, because I’m a creative & inquisitve person and I’m happiest when I’m doing something with my hands to create, or researching something or learning something. The problem with that had been, the things I’d been busy spending my creativity and research on. To be sure there were benefits in what I was doing but in the overall picture the time they demanded of me took time away from the more important things, and that’s the issue.
Part of this downgrade was closing my chat room that I’d invested years into. It was just time to let it go. Along with that, closing the forum I once ran that had over 700 members. It was a huge blessing for a time but it also needed to come to an end. I also had to step down as forum moderator/manager for several other forums over the last few years as well. Something else that simply had to go, was Emergent No. I learned a monumental amount of information running that blog (if you’re going to refute modern nonsense trends, you better be willing to do the legwork required and the prayer work required to be sure you know what you’re talking about), and I know it blessed and educated a lot of people, but in the end it took a huge toll on my physical health (this stuff is stressful!) and had taken too much time away from other things. Besides, it was just time to let it go.
Letting things go also means I am so pathetically out of the loop on the latest evangelical controversy or blog hoo-haa, that I wouldn’t be able to follow the whole thing if I tried. I just don’t have the time to do that. Honestly, I really don’t have the desire either. It’s a lot easier to catch the Reader’s Digest version when it’s all over and ask someone to explain it in a brief summary.
So what are these other things that are more important? I’m so glad you asked! First and foremost they are my family. After them comes running my home and persuing my goal of making my home a place of good memories for my kids. That is no easy trick, since I’m a high-strung person with standards often too high for any normal person to attain, but the Lord’s working on me in that area as well. Sewing and quilting, homeschooling, around the house cleaning & repair projects – just having busy hands around my house. I’ve been known to lament the fact that I am a Felix Unger in a world of Oscar Madisons (and if you never watched The Odd Couple, that means Felix was a near-nuerotic, neat freak and Oscar was a happy-go-lucky slob), so lately my big project is to train my little Sloppy Oscars how to be Orderly Felixes. They’re even learning how beneficial it really is to be a Felix in that when things are being cleaned up & cleaned out, you find all kinds of stuff you thought you lost! Then, the added bonus to keeping things neat and orderly is that you always know where your treasures are located.
We’ve been quite diligent on the daily chore charts, and the daily 2 room plan. At first the kids all rolled their eyes like I told them we were going to have to eat cat food for dinner or something (yeah, like I've never said that before, pfft), but after day 1 and working together we had all the bedrooms, loft, upstairs bathroom & hallway, stairway, living room and dining room DONE in less than 1 hour, they were pretty excited to see the results AND to see how fast it got done. I must say, I was also quite impressed. Then, the cat pooped on the freshly vaccuumed living room carpet and I was no longer as impressed, as you can imagine. Just a small setback, but a truly disgusting one, at that.
I’ll freely admit that part of the reason I’m doing this is because I just can’t function in a messy house. It just drives me batty to not know where things are, to see messes in every room and watch the kids walk right past something on the floor & not pick it up. If spontaneous human combustion were ever going to happen to me, that’s the trigger right there. Some day, one of the kids is going to walk right past a sock or a scrap of paper on the floor, and just keep going... then FLOOOMFFF, mom will be a pile of ashes on the floor, 4 feet away. If you ever read about it in the papers, know this ahead of time - it was because of that sock, or scrap of paper that went neglected.
The other reason I’m doing this is purely for them. More than just about anything (other than to see them all persuing holiness and living for the Lord) I want them to know a solid work ethic, and what it means to be responsible, and to help out even if it’s not your own personal responsibility. I can’t tell you all how many conversations I’ve had with my 8 yr old genius who constantly reminds me that SHE didn’t make such and such mess, when I ask her to help clean it up. Well, says mom, I don’t wear your clothes so I don’t think I’ll sort, wash, dry & fold them anymore either. For that matter, (mom continues) I don’t eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I don’t think I’ll be cooking for you. I also don’t read your books, play with your toys or wear your clothes, so I can’t see any logical reason for me to continue to buy those. I always get the same look when I say this. It’s the look that says “I know you’re right, and I don’t want you to be right but there’s not much I can do about it”. I have to remind her that if I took the same attitude she takes about helping out when it’s not benefitting you in any way (or you didn’t make the mess!), that there’d be some pretty miserable kids roaming around this house in clothes too small and dirty, with old books and broken toys... looking for someone to feed them (or snacking on cat food). Of course it’s my parental responsibility to provide for my kids (and in all honesty I’m stunned she hasn’t called me yet on my lousy analogy) but she gets the point. She just has to be reminded of it, consistantly.
In a house with this many kids, and a house this size (it’s a big ole farmhouse with enough room to get lost in, without even trying too hard. Kevin lost me tonight and I wasn't even trying to hide, go figure), it’s a lot of work to keep it orderly & clean. It’s a lot of work because I have 4.5 kids still at home who have issues with putting things back when they’re done with them, helping to clean up even if it’s not their mess, and who until now, have never really had it impressed upon them DAILY to do their own chores. Oh sure we tell them to clean their rooms & make their beds & all that, but 10 minutes later something else is happening and then I'm doing laundry and that sort of thing and I just forget to check and/or stay on them about getting thngs done. That’s my own fault for not being consistant until now. I say 4.5 kids because our 17 yr old is pretty good about this stuff about half the time. She’s 17, it’s a whole different talk show/therapy session there, and one I don’t have enough Advil to get into just now.
So with school starting in less than a week and knowing full well I turn into a scatterbrained banshee at the sight of a messy house, I really wanted to get us all into gear and get started on the new routine of keeping the place kept up. So far, it’s working quite well and I’m convinced once we get it down to memory without having to look at the charts on the corkboard (yes, I printed them out and put them on the board!), I think by then we’ll have it down to a fine art.
Once we get there, then it’ll be time for me to have the extra time in the day to get back to my quilt (yes mom, I’m still working on it!) and my sewing projects that have piled up on my sewing table to such a height that if you breath on it too hard, it will fall over and it’ll take you an hour to clean it all up. I made 2 pairs of comfy fleece pajama pants for the kids last winter and they were such a hit, they all want LOTS more. They’re really easy to make but they’re just one more project piled in the pile, since I haven’t been able to really get it together around here.
I’m hoping that’s a thing of the past & this is something that will continue to work well for us (I know, it’s up to me to be consistant, which has never been a strongsuit of mine, except for when it comes to homeschooling and making to DIE for fudge, those things I can consistantly do and consistantly do in my sleep, if I have to), and that in the process it turns my little Oscars into Felixes. Well, without the nuerotic aspect, and as long as they don’t start ironing their pajamas, and get so obsessive they start cleaning MY closest. On second thought, hmmm. Okay yes, they can clean my closet.
Monday, August 27, 2007
"Well, umm, Carla, PROVE IT. You did a great job of standing up for Sola Scriptura. You, or anyone else reading this post, shouldn't have any issues with showing me that contemplative prayer isn't scriptural. But all I read in that post is a lot of bluster and no bite. Which is why most blogs aren't worth crap, by the way, and why most bloggers, although they fancy themselves as the "new generation" of journalists and theologians, are nothing of the kind."
Contemplate Jesus. Intentionally place yourself in the presence of God. Become quiet. Express to God your intention to rest in his love. Use your imagination: you may want to picture yourself leaning on Jesus’ breast as John did or sitting at Jesus’ feet as Mary did or kneeling before Jesus as other desperate people before you have. Be with Jesus. (When thoughts and distractions interrupt, gently return to Jesus. Begin again and again.) What is it like to receive God’s gift of new beginnings? Palms down, palms up. Sit comfortably with both feet on the floor and your hands on your lap. Breathe deeply and relax. Intentionally place yourself in the presence of Jesus. Turn your palms down and begin to drop your cares, worries, agendas and expectations into Jesus’ hands. Let go of all that is heavy or burdensome. Relax. Breathe deeply. When you have given your cares to Jesus, turn your palms up on your knees. Open your hands to receive God’s presence, word and love. Listen. When you feel prompted to end, tell the Lord what it is like for you to simply be with him. - source: Adele Ahlberg Calhoun - Spiritual Disciplines Handbook - Practices That Transform Us
"The process of linking oneself with the Supreme is called yoga. It may be compared to a ladder for attaining the topmost spiritual realization. This ladder begins from the lowest material condition of the living entity and rises up to perfect self-realization in pure spiritual life. According to various elevations, different parts of the ladder are known by different names. But all in all, the complete ladder is called yoga and may be divided into three parts, namely jnana-yoga, dhyänayoga and bhakti-yoga. The beginning of the ladder is called the yogärurukñu stage, and the highest rung is called yogärüòha." (source)
"This is William Johnston's summary of the message of The Cloud of Unknowing. Nobody knows who wrote the book, or exactly where he lived, or whether he was a member of a religious order, or even, really, whether he was part of any church at all. The text first appeared in Middle English in the 14th century, and it has inspired generations of mystical searchers (from St. John of the Cross to Teilhard de Chardin). The mysterious conditions of its composition, however, focus the reader's attention squarely on the book's message--an almost Zen rendering of Christianity, which has a great deal to teach our querulous, doctrine-obsessed churches: "And so I urge you," the author writes, "go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest." --Michael Joseph Gross
• Contrite - Psalm 51:17• Whole heartedness - Jeremiah 29:13• In faith - Mark 11:24• In righteousness - James 5:16• In obedience - 1John 3:22
Connecting to God or SamadhiThis is the last stage when all external and internal matters slip into oblivion. It is a stage envisaging the destruction of all mental activity. According to Ayurveda, sense organs confer their subjects to the mind, which turns to the soul. In the stage of Samadhi, the relation between the soul and the mind is destroyed and the soul connects with God. Thus the highest stage of concentration is reached, which is the ultimate goal of Yoga. In this stage, self-awareness disappears. During Dharana, there is very little mental distraction. During Dhyana, the frequency of self-awareness decreases, and in the final stage of Samadhi, the soul is weaned away from all types of distraction and self-awareness. The Atma (soul) combines or connects with the Paramatma (Supersoul or God). It is at this stage that manacquires psychic abilities and attains supreme knowledge. The Yogi or the person develops various supernatural powers known as siddhi. Thus the eight steps of Yoga culminate in the state of samadhi." (source)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Out of common courtesy to those who suffer from arachnaphobia (among whom is my mommy, and if she sees this picture she might fly out here and slug me, or disown me, or both) I'm going to STRONGLY WARN you, to not scroll down and view this picture.
And whatever you do, do NOT click on it ZOOM IN to see the detail of the hairy legs & eyes. No, do not do that.
Spidey made his grand entrance on my living room wall, while I was folding laundry & swatting away at the flies.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD. Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
- or -
Did that get your attention? I hope so, because apparently more parents NEED to be paying attention.
Despondent, depressed, hopeless, dejected, discouraged, gloomy, disheartened, downhearted, melancholy, blue, unhappy, heartsick, miserable.
Now hold on just a minute while I play the role of old fuddy-duddy. Since when exactly, did little kids need these things to be a balanced, healthy child? Shouldn't that 8 yr old boy be outside somewhere building a tree fort or a jump ramp for his bike or skateboard? While I'm at it, why does that 10 yr old girl have an iPod or cd player growing out of her head? Shouldn't she be playing and using her imagination, rather than having who-knows-what-kind of music pumped into her brain via the electronic toy she's wearing? And while I'm on this train, let me just ponder outloud that maybe the reason for the expression on her face, is due to the trash being pumped into her ears, eh? Garbage in - garbage out? (oh you parents of teens know exactly what I'm talking about here)
Oh yes, it gets worse. If you've got a sale paper in front you, turn now to the juniors and young mens pages for a minute while you hold your finger on the ads for the kids. Are you there now? Okay take a look at the way the older teens and young ladies are dressed and now flip back to the kids. You don't see the difference either, do you!? Someone please tell my WHY it's become the norm to dress our CHILDREN like adults. Hmmm? That 10 yr old girl and that 8 yr old boy are dressed almost identical to the late teens or early 20-something models. The little boys are sporting that trendy, layered/skater boy look (oh please, like they care!) and the little girls are wearing the same Jezebel inspired miniskirts and flashy tops. Hello? Have we all gone insane?
In a word, yes we have. We're such suckers for marketing and sadly our kids don't know better. When our kids see those kids in those ads, that's who/what/how they want. That's what is being advertised and that's what they are told (by implication) is acceptable or normal. It's normal ("but mom, everyone else dresses like this!") to them because the local WalMart, Target or Zellers (Canadian) fliers says it's normal and plasters these kids all over their ads. They see the attitude in the facial expressions and body language (why is it so common for a 6 yr old boy to be posed in an aggressive pose and look at the camera like he wants to slug you in the face?), they see the low cut and WAY too short hemlines on the girls (or the skin tight outfits) and think that is who and what they should look like. Now here's the thing mom and dad, and pay close attention to this because the Ad world doesn't WANT you to pick up on this:
This marketing strategy works, works very well, and YOU and I are the ignorant consumers with our heads in the sand that they're cashing in on - at the cost of dressing your little boy like a punk gang banger and dressing your little girl like a common hooker. What's more - the Ad world DOESN'T CARE, because they are only concerned with the almighty buck. And we (the people with the paychecks) just keep right on buying this stuff. Hmmm.
As for me? I don't buy it. I learned how to sew & where to shop to find cute stuff. It was more effort to be sure, but they deserve it.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I'd like to cull your wisdom on this topic, from both sides. I'd like to know where you stand, why you stand there, and how/if your position on courtship and/or dating has worked in your family, for you and/or your kids.
I'd like resources too, preferrably stuff I can read online, but books as well and/or audio sermons or messages. Whatever you have to say on the matter is important, so please do leave a comment.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I'll take a shot at Joshua Harris' survey questions:
1. How many times a day do you check your Facebook account?
A day? Maybe more like 3-4 times a week, if that. If someone tags me in a note or sends some sort of nifty message, I might log on more than that.
2. What do you do when someone you don't know wants to be your friend? This hasn't happened to me yet but it might, and I was homeschooled so I'm not sure what I'll do.
I ignored them and they went away. I see no reason whatsoever to feel obligated to accept such a request from strangers, other than to make myself look impressive to those who are impressed by such dippy things as seeing 452 friends in the sidebar. Currently, I have 31 friends. Six of those are family, eleven I have actually met or know in person, and the rest are folks I've known online for several years, or through blogging & chat.
3. What's the most useful thing about Facebook?
The answer to that will vary depending on why you have one. I get visitors to my store and this blog from there, and I stay in touch with friends & family there that feel more comfortable communicating there, than in email or blogging.
4. Are there any really cool add-ons that I should know about?
There are so many applications you can add on, I've never seen them all. A lot of people really like the Verse of the Day applications. You can also add a book list, sermon list, videos and pretty much anything else you can think of - and/or had never thought of. Plus, for .75 (facebook foodfight money, it doesn't really cost anything) you can hurl a tomato at Tim Challies. Need I say more?
5. Does your church use Facebook to build "community" online? Give examples. I found out my church already has a group. I'm curious what other churches are doing.
My church doesn't have one but I know of some that do. Because you can keep your group private (somewhat, there's always the occaisional riff raff that tends to show up, somehow) it's a nice way to connect online with your church family for things that will only pertain to your own local church.
6. Is it true that some people have dumped email and mostly use Facebook to communicate?
I wouldn't be surprised, but those are probably the same people that get up at 3 am to use the washroom and have to stop and "just check my email" and go on Facebook for 3 hours. I can't see why anyone else would dump email for Facebook.
7. How do respond when someone posts on your wall? Do you post on their wall, on your own? I'm not clear on this.
I was informed early on that writing on your own wall makes you a doofus. You click wall-to-wall or send a private message if you want to respond. I don't spend a lot of wall time anyway.
8. I joined a group for Humble Orthodoxy and New Attitude. I also considered joining a group called "Josh Harris Ruined My Dating Life" but I was afraid I would spoil the fun they were having. But, boy, could I give them scoop on what a jerk I am. Any other groups I should think about joining?
Again, that all depends on your common interests. If you're into knitting socks for one eyed lemurs with a limp and a skin rash, I'm sure there's a Facebook group for it. You just have to browse the lists to see what's there.
9. A more serious question: Are there any unique spiritual pitfalls or temptations that you've encountered on Facebook? How have you responded?
Like with any online service (forums, chats, groups, etc.) there are potential spiritual pitfalls. I simply avoid the trash & questionable things - I have no time for it or use for it.
10. What does it mean to "poke" someone. How does that work?
It means exactly what it says. It's like poking someone with your poke finger, except doing it electronically. I poke my kids on there quite often, and they poke back. Completely useless but fun. I poke them in real life too.
11. Why do so many girls use a picture of themselves that includes three other friends? Is this like visiting the ladies room in herds? Is this something I'll never understand as a man?
I'm going to assume Adam was asking his sons this question and they were also asking their brothers and sons. I have no idea why girls do this, or why they go to the washroom in teams, or do each other's make up. I never got that part of girlhood, and I still don't. Rest assured there are many other women out here that also do not understand this mentality.
I hope that helps.
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Well, it would appear I need to see more of the south. I've always wanted to see Georgia and eat some real-live peach cobbler while I'm there. I ever came into a barge-load of cash, I'd take my mommy and fly to Nashville so she could go to the Grand Ole Opry. I'm not big on country music, but she is and it would be very cool to be able to do something like that. Then I'd go to Florida so I could see an alligator. That would be very cool, and then I'd run and scream like a girl. Maybe DC after that so I could see all the historic buildings and ooohh and ahhh at the fantastic architechture & historic significance of just being there. As for architechture, I'd certainly have to go to the oldest part of New Orleans, LA and have my camera loaded with fresh batteries.
The rest of the states that I haven't been to? I suppose there are neat things there that I'd love to see once I saw them, but I just haven't had the opportunity to go there. I have a travel bug, but he's got no legs, so for now I just have to settle for pictures other people take of extremely cool things in extremely cool places I've never been yet.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
"It was a great week as 54 children from ages 5-11 and over 20 adults and teens learned through the life of David to live for God day in and day out. Camp Iwillgoway encouraged all of us to trust God in any situation and to always go God's way no matter what - Our week was filled with action songs, interactive Bible stories, meaningful Bible verses, practical talks during each small group time, fun crafts and great games.What a great team God assembled for the week. I can't begin to tell you just how wonderful everyone was who took part throughout the week from Faithway. Special thanks to the Youth Leadership Team - Thanks for serving Christ and the children He loves so much, so well!" - Blessings, Pastor Ken
Friday, August 17, 2007
Night before last I hit the road, ran away from home, packed up my troubles in my old kit bag & bailed. Okay fine, what I really did was I grabbed my camera and walked to the end of the laneway with the dog, but it's as close to running away as a mom can get.
It's a rough time for me right now. Lots of heavy duty personal stuff going on, and going on all at once. Talking to a friend the other night, who is also going through their own share of personal stuff, the word "despair" came up. Its sure easy at times to slip into that arena, but it's a very dangerous place to go. While considering current circumstances it occured to me how often I've gone quiet lately. I mean how often I've simply not responded verbally when I could have. When extremely stressed I tend to go quiet, and that's what I've been doing more of lately. I was never like that when I was younger, that started about 12 years ago.
Something I've sort of trained myself to do when things get heavy and deep, is to sneak away where it's quiet, where I'm alone, and where I can truly observe God's utterly amazing creation. If I lived near a beach, I'd be far, far down the beach where no one else was. If I lived near woods, I'd be deep in the forest sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of non-human life. If I were in the mountains I'd be upstream, and you'd never know I was there. I live in the country, so country roads lined with 100 year old trees is where I go.
As I stood there and watched the sun splash the sky with these colors, it reminded me that our God is so good, His grace and mercy is so amazing, and in light of eternity with Christ, there is absolutely nothing in this world that can get so bad, it will have any impact on that. Except of course, to make it more desirable. Things happen in this world and this life that can shatter our hearts, cause us to despair and lose hope (even if just for a second) and feel completely conquered by our own failures - either real or imagined. All of that we have to deal with of course, and it's not always so easy to do. But the one thing no one or nothing can take away, is our faith, and our hope in the life to come, because of what Christ did on the cross, in our place. This world is not our home, and as comfy as we tend to get here when things are going well, it's when things are falling apart all around us that seem to cause us to remember Who it is that controls all these life events.
For me, when things fall apart I just have to get away - even if just for 5 minutes - and intentionally dwell on a higher perspective. In light of my problems, how astounding is it that God lifts the sun everyday to give us light? How incredible is it that certain flowers He designed to bloom only toward the sun or bloom with a most amazing display of color and texture just for a few short days and then be gone again for another year? What a completely staggering thought it is, that He fills the sky with the colors He does, to close the day with a stormy sunset. He does that on purpose, and He does it everyday all around the world, and it's just a little different from one place to another.
Indeed, it's real easy to dwell on painful things when we don't take a minute to look UP. To put our lives and our existance into the perspective of eternity, of God's sustaining grace, and His very creation all around us, puts our hearts and minds onto a much better perspective and is such a refreshing thing to do.
Yep, this is a "this is where I am right now" post. It's rough, but it's where He has me.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Because it is such a vivid memory to me it seems so weird that it was 30 years ago. What's even more weird, is that for a 12 year old, Elvis was "old" when he died. Ahem.