Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too Much

I don't think I can blog today. We had a really difficult night last night because of the heat and hardly got any sleep at all. We barely dipped below 70 degrees for a low and it made for miserable sleeping conditions. It's supposed to cool down a little next week and I'm certainly ready!! Yesterday's high was 114.4 and that's too hot in anyone's mind. I get so tired when it's hot day after day and more than just a little bit grumpy too. I thought we were going to be able to avoid the severe heat this year when we slipped through July with relatively moderate temps. I wasn't prepared for this. I'm not even sure you can prepare for this type of heat. I doubt the A/C would have helped yesterday it was so hot. But who can afford A/C to give it a try?? Certainly not us. Our neighbor told us they had a $400 PG&E bill this month because of running their air conditioner. That's beyond our means. It probably would have made a better sleeping temp if I'd turned it on last night though. Oh well, we're grateful for our cooler. Michael turned it on almost as soon as we got up this morning. Trying anything to get a jump on the heat in hopes that maybe it won't be so bad this afternoon in the house. It was close to 90 in the house yesterday and that's exhausting.

Tomorrow we will go do our shopping and so I won't be able to blog. That makes this a short week for me. I'm just hoping our car won't overheat coming up out of the canyon again. What we should do is consider doing our shopping at night but I'm sure Michael wouldn't like that idea so I won't even mention it to him. But it would make it easier all the way around.

Well, I apologize for not blogging today and hope you have a great weekend. Do whatever's necessary to make it through the heat of the next few days. It's supposed to cool down next week so there's hope in the forecast. I think I'll go drink a gallon of iced tea and see if that will make me feel a little better. Actually I think I need to round up something to eat. When it's hot I don't eat like I should and I end up getting light headed. It's just that nothing tastes good. See you all Monday unless I decide to post on Saturday after washing my car. Take care...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Resurrection, the Promise

In today's health marketplace people can buy certain "spare parts" made of plastic and metal. If you spend enough money you can get new knees, new hips, and assorted other joints and anatomical items. Human beings can now be kept alive by machines almost indefinitely and some people even have their bodies preserved in the hopes of being reanimated at some point in the future. All of this tinkering might make us feel better for awhile but it can't do the one thing that people want more than anything else ... to keep from dying. Humankind is absolutely powerless in the face of death. Death is the one sure thing about life in general.

The fact that death can't be avoided is frightening for many people. But for most believers, the end of physical life has an element of great anticipation and maybe even some excitement, because they know they are about to see the Lord. Jesus' victory over the grave ... His resurrection ... took away the sting of death for believers. Through Him we are made righteous and holy and the Lord God looks upon our cleansed souls and welcomes us into heaven to be with Him. The very thing that gives many people fear and uncertainty has become an unlocked door to eternity with God for the believer. (2Co 5:6-8)

Christ's resurrection assures believers that their place in heaven is secure. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke these words about His Father's house to His disciples: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (Jn 14:2-3) As believers, we need have no fear of death. The Lord has numbered our days on earth, and when our time comes, we will shed our flesh and join Him in that place He has prepared for us. We will share in Christ's victory over the grave just as He has promised. He does not and cannot and will not lie. The promise of the resurrection is the one thing believers can cling to in the face of death, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus has blazed the way. Heaven is a sure thing.

Well, I'm sure you found my devotional to be a little lighter and a lot shorter this morning. I hadn't meant for yesterday's blog to be so long. It's just that one word led to another then led to another and so on and so on and before I realized what was happening I had this huge blog written and published. I know a long and "deep" devotional can be tiresome so I will try to do better in the future. I want my blog to be as much fun for you as it is for me.

My meeting at church ran late last night and I didn't get home until after dark so we didn't get the deck worked on. We have rescheduled our plans for tonight. I'm so hoping it won't get as hot today and it will cool off earlier than last night did. It was still too warm for me at midnight last night! Michael had hoped we could get up early this morning and get it done but we slept late and it was already hot by the time we got up.

I have some errands to run this afternoon but other than that and the deck I really haven't thought too much about what I want to do today. I'm upset that I missed the lunar eclipse. I honestly hadn't heard anything about it or I would have set my alarm and gotten up to watch it. That'll teach me to not turn on the TV. I checked every day for my news and I didn't see anything about an eclipse. Rats! I feel let down.

Well, I think I'm going to make this really short today and get some housework done around here. It's time to do the baths again. Funny how they don't stay clean when you clean them, huh? Anyway have a great day and happy blogging to you! Let me know if you like the shorter blog. Everyone's so busy these days sometimes it's hard to find the time to commit to reading a lengthy one. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Personal Holiness

Ask anyone on the street if he or she's going to heaven and chances are that person will say yes because they believe that the good things they've done in their life will earn them a one-way ticket to heaven. Unbelievers and, sadly, even many church goers can't understand why their works are inadequate for redemption purposes. In fact, many people don't recognize a need for redemption at all.

The average man on the street believes as long as he doesn't cheat on his wife, steal from his boss, and is a good father to his children, he's good enough for heaven. I mean, after all, there are so many men out there who do cheat on their wives, steal from their bosses and are horrible fathers. He doesn't recognize the fact that his sin has separated him from God. He thinks he can earn a way to heaven by his own human efforts. Such is the fallacy of legalism. Good works. Conduct. Legalism totally misses the fact that we are sinners by nature first, and then, as a result of that, we sin by our actions. The trap of legalism is that I think as long as I do all the right things I don't have a problem and heaven is my destiny. That's why it's so critical to understand that our nature ... not our conduct ... is the very foundation of our problem. Oh but legalism sounds so good and makes us feel even better. We can make ourselves look so righteous in our own eyes. We can let ourselves be fooled into thinking we can make ourselves holy by our conduct. I'm a good person. I keep the Ten Commandments. Yes, as well I should but that doesn't change my nature and my nature is the problem! The deceit of legalism is thinking of ourselves as "good enough" by our conduct. It is imperative that we understand that our conduct can never make us good enough. Absolutely nothing we can possibly ever do can make us holy and holiness is a requirement. We aren't told to try to be holy. No, God says we must, "be holy, because I am holy." (1Pe 1:16, italics, mine) Legalism, our conduct, can never make us holy because God is talking about our nature and nothing we do by our own efforts can affect our nature. That's why Christ's sacrifice was so important. Christ is the only holy person to be born since the Fall and He passes His holiness on to us when we accept Him as our Lord. That is what makes us holy. That is the only thing that makes us holy. Romans 11:16 says: "... if the root is holy so are the branches." Christ is our root and His holiness is given to us, the branches, when we accept him as our Savior. That is the only way we can be holy. We, of ourselves, our conduct, all our rules and regulations designed to make us holy ... legalism ... only fools us into thinking we can be holy by our good works. We are mistakenly lulled into thinking we can do it ourselves.

The trap for unbelievers (and, sadly, some who believe as well) is that they fail to realize the Lord is the only One who is holy and can do something about our estranged state of sin that keeps us separated from true fellowship with our Creator. Think about it, most of us look pretty good in our own eyes because, using others as the standard for comparison, we can always find someone who will make us look and feel better. But the truth of the matter is that when measured against God's perfect holiness, all of humankind stands deficient. Everyone is lacking. Everyone is separated from holy God and needs redemption. There are no exceptions and there is nothing that we can do to make ourselves acceptable to the Father. Outside of Christ, humankind is totally and eternally lost. Outside of the blood of Christ, is total failure and condemnation. Outside of Christ, we are alienated and utterly empty of all holiness. But, take heart, we are not without hope in the world!

The Savior died for all humankind's sin and rose to life again so that we, the unholy, could be made holy just as God is holy. The disciple John explained how sin is washed away from the true believer by Christ's death at Golgotha: "...the blood of Jesus [God's] Son cleanses us all from sin." (1Jn 1:7) Good works mean absolutely nothing unless they are the direct result of the Holy Spirit's work within us. We can have personal holiness only by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ's gift of salvation that He makes readily available to everyone. Once we come to the point of saying that all our efforts and works are but dirty rags we are in the position to accept Christ's holiness as our own. Once we realize that we are nothing in and of ourselves, and never will be, we can receive the righteousness of Christ and can be made holy in God's sight. We must come to that realization before we will recognize our great need for Christ's sacrifice. For as long as we think we can do it ourselves, the blood of Christ will remain beyond our reach and it's only the blood of Christ that can make us holy. Once we accept His sacrifice for ourselves, then, and only then, can we stand before the Father, holy and righteous in His sight. From start to finish, it is all of Christ.

Looks like it's going to be a scorcher again today. Oh, I'm so tired of this heat. It's oppressive and uncomfortable day after day. I could definitely use a break. A rain would be so nice right about now. Seems like I complain about the heat every day, doesn't it? Sorry I'll try not to do that again. I get into habits without realizing it and can become a drag. At least I can go outside without having to bundle up first. (See, I'm trying! There is an upside to most everything.)

My son installed a new hard drive in my computer yesterday and it's so incredibly fast now. Takes no time at all to boot up or change programs or search the web. The difference is wonderful. But I also found out from him that I won't be able to do the things Rita had asked me to do for the 40 Days of Purpose campaign. My computer (and my computer illiteracy) won't let me do all that has to be done so I'm going to have to tell her when she gets back from her vacation that I won't be able to help out in that area. I was afraid from the very beginning that it was beyond me and it is. For some reason he was unable to solve, my computer won't cut documents from the cd rom and paste them into my Words program. He said he could probably manage to do it but it would be way beyond my ability to do. He's a computer whiz, builds them and overhauls them, and when I saw him having problems I knew I was in trouble. But I did get a new hard drive out of the deal. Yea!! He said my old drive was just about ready to crash anyway so it was a good thing I had him come over to check things out for the campaign. He was able to prevent that from happening. Prevented me from losing everything I have on my computer.

Skatemama's MRI showed some inflammation of her brain and now she has to see a specialist, so please keep praying for her. You can read all about it on her blog: She has a really fun blog. I just write, she includes wonderful pictures of her children and always has so much to talk about. And on top of everything else she does, she homeschools her three children.

I think I'll try to finish the book I've been reading this afternoon. It isn't written very well and I don't know why I've stuck to it except just that it's something I started and part of my new, more disciplined self, is trying to finish the things I start. It's probably the worst written book I've ever read but the story line has caught me up in it a bit. Although I think it's going to be so far-fetched as to be unrealistic when all is said and done. Oh well, I'm 3/4 the way through it so I've devoted enough time to the point where I feel it's worth the effort to just keep reading until I finish it. The thing is, this woman has written a whole series of books with her childish writing and I'm jealous, can you tell? It's awful to be a frustrated writer. My problem has always been that I lacked the discipline to actually write a book. The ideas came easily, it was the hard work and discipline required to physically write the book that always tripped me up.

I just stopped and helped Michael gather up all the trash. Our trash pick-up day changes tomorrow and it's going to be difficult for us to learn a new day. It's always been Fridays since moving here and that was always like the conclusion of our week. Now it falls right in the middle. I know we'll forget a few times but with it just being the two of us now it really won't matter much. We could go two weeks between pick-ups and still not fill the barrel most of the time. I just hate change, that's all. Habits get so deeply ingrained in me that it's hard to change them.

I'm looking forward to our shopping day on Friday. I'm dreading the heat but looking forward to getting out of the house and actually going somewhere for a change and doing something besides hang out around the house. I should go to the Post Office today and pick up the mail but I think I'll put it off until tomorrow. I mean, after all, why do something today that you can put off until tomorrow? LOL. Oops, I'm slipping back into the old me again. Better be careful.

Michael and I have plans to clean off our deck this evening after the sun sets and it cools down. We've needed to do that for years. It's just been pure laziness on our part. It's so much easier to put things off. But we really want to get it cleaned off before his kids come up later in September. We have all those tubs out there now and planters with dead plants and just clutter scattered around. It's not exactly what you could call inviting. So we thought we could clear everything off and bring a couple chairs up onto the deck, put a small table between them and make a nice seating area out there. John and Cathie love to sit out in the evenings when they're up so we'll try to make it a little nicer for them. Besides that, we're tired of looking at our deck the way it is.

Well, I'm late publishing this post so I guess I'll let this be it for today. Hope to see all of you here again tomorrow at godlover and I hope you enjoyed my blog. I wish I had more interesting things to write about and include. Skatamama's blog is so much more fun than mine is to read! I'm jealous. I think I'm almost ready (but not quite) to incorporate pictures into my blog and I think that will help. We just don't go places or do interesting things. We're old. LOL But I really do have fun blogging. Take care and see you tomorrow!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Message of Christ's Blood

The heart of Scripture is communicated in the third chapter of Romans. That is that no one can be declared righteous ... a child of God ... separate from the blood of Christ, His cross and His atoning death. We cannot earn the Lord's favor by rule-keeping and doctrinated lifestyles. Neither can we by right living or the practice of good works. And not because every person inevitably sins, inevitably breaks a rule designed to make them holy. The simple, hard fact remains that a sinner cannot enter into the presence of the holy God. And rule-keeping and right living can't change us from being a sinner. That's where legalism always fails. We aren't sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Being a sinner is much like being pregnant. I can get pregnant because I am a woman, not a woman because I can get pregnant. Do you see the difference? It's absolutely essential that we understand this crucial point because as long as we think our conduct can influence whether or not we're a sinner, whether or not we can stand before holy God, we aren't in a right relationship. It is by my nature that I am a sinner and I can no more change my nature than I can change being a human being. It is by my nature that I am a sinner and because I'm a sinner, I sometimes sin. (Eph 2:3) Do you see what I'm saying? In and of myself I can no more change my nature than I can change being a woman and that is why Scripture so emphasizes sacrifice ... because the shedding of Christ's blood on behalf of the entire world made it possible for those who trust in Him to be cleansed of sin and experience a right relationship with their Creator. My conduct or rule-keeping doesn't even enter into the equation. The only thing that matters is that Christ's blood was shed for me and I believe in the finished work of the Son of God. The only thing that matters is that I accept what He did at Calvary and trust in His redeeming grace. Any effort I put out myself to make myself acceptable to holy God is pure waste. There is nothing I can do to make myself acceptable. No amount of rule-keeping will change this fact. I am a sinner in need of a sacrifice.

So does that mean my conduct has no value? Of course not. But the root of my conduct is such that I act the way I do because I want to. Not because I want to earn salvation for myself. I recognize the fact that I cannot earn my own salvation by my conduct or by any other means. Only Christ could earn it for me by the shedding of His own blood on my behalf. I have nothing to offer God but my love and obedience and faith and trust. Therefore I subject myself to His holiness and cling to the value of Christ's sacrifice and atoning death. Because it is only by means of His death that I can gain a right relationship to holy God and stand before Him accepted and holy. It is only by means of His death that I can enter into the Father's presence.

God must remain true to His own principles if He is to be fair and just. His holiness dictated that "the soul who sins [must] die." (Ezekiel 18:4) The penalty for sin had to be paid in such a way that God would accept the payment. Through Moses, God explained why a sacrifice was demanded: "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." (Lev 17:11) A life must be given for a life to be spared.

On that basis, our heavenly Father prepared a perfectly sinless sacrifice for all humankind. The only way God's justice could be satisfied and at the same time uphold His holiness was for Jesus Christ to take our guilt and sin upon Himself and die in our place. There's only one way to the Father, and that is that a person must believe Christ died as a perfect sacrifice in their place. To trust anything else is to ignore God's holiness and become entrapped in error. To trust anything else is to miss the point of Christ's sacrifice. Our righteousness is Christ's righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own. We can stand before holy God, accepted, approved, and eternally loved because of what Christ did on the cross and for no other reason.

Well another weekend came and went. I hope yours went as well as mine did. I thought about blogging on Saturday because I couldn't blog on Friday due to the fact that our internet server was down but I just couldn't quite get myself to do it. I had some intestinal problems on Saturday and just decided it would be best to skip my blog. So I had a restful weekend. I was a good girl and washed my car Saturday morning regardless of the fact that I wasn't quite 100%. And it was so nice to drive a clean car to church Sunday morning. The dust from the construction work at the end of the cul-de-sac really kicks up and settles on everything on the entire block. I don't have any idea how much longer the grading phase of the project will continue but I'll be glad when it's over. I can't help but wonder how our little street is going to handle the increased traffic for those 14 planned duplexes. And we're a bit concerned about the runoff we could be forced to endure what with them having taken out all the trees on that hill. The project supervisor assured Michael a couple weeks ago that it would all be vectored off away from the cul-de-sac but you know how plans sometimes don't work out as planned. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that everything works out the way they intend for them to.

Our weather has been hot and I am so ready for Fall to be here. About another month and things should start changing. If I can just make it through September. If we could get a little rain it wouldn't be so bad. A good rain would wash all this dust off all the trees and things around here and would be greatly appreciated in my books. I don't think we've had any rain all summer long this year and it's hot and dry and dusty. Maybe we'll get a little this coming month. I'm trying to remember if we usually get some rain during the summer and it seems like we usually do but I just can't remember for sure.

I have no plans for the day other than that my son will be coming over in a couple hours to download a program into my computer so I can do the computer things I need to do for the 40 Days of Purpose campaign our church is going to conduct. The campaign itself is just 7 weeks long but the preparation for that event adds another 8 weeks to the mix. Dan talked a little about the campaign during his sermon on Sunday. It's such a huge endeavor for us to undertake, especially considering we're really a small church but I have faith that the Lord will bless our efforts. I have a lay pastors meeting tonight at 6:30 and another planning meeting for the campaign tomorrow night at 7:00 so I do have some activity this week. If I didn't have church related events I think I'd probably just become a hermit. At least I don't have to plan on making dinner for the week. Michael grilled enough meat yesterday to take us through the rest of the week. It looks like Friday will be another missed day on my blog. (I'm giving you plenty of notice.) It's shaping up to be our big monthly shopping day so I probably won't be blogging on Friday. But I might blog on Saturday so be sure to check my blogsite so you don't miss out.

I think this is going to be it for this Monday morning. I hope you enjoyed my blog and that something I wrote touched your heart. Take care of yourselves and I'll see you tomorrow morning right here at godlover.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What Happened to Friday?

I guess you've noticed that Friday didn't happen. Our internet was down all day and all night so I couldn't blog. If I have time and feel up to it I may blog this afternoon, but it looks pretty iffy right now. I'm having some problems with my tummy so don't know how the day's going to go. I still have my chores to do and I need to wash my car yet so I'll just have to see how I hold up today. I may talk to you later or it may be Monday before you hear from me again. Hope you enjoyed your day off yesterday. LOL. (Truthfully, I hope you missed my blog!) Later!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Resurrection Message

Their dreams had been shattered, lying in odd-shaped pieces all around them. The man they had loved and followed for three years ... the long awaited Messiah, the Son of the Living God ... was dead as were all their built up hopes and dreams. They had watched it all with their very own eyes, otherwise they would never have believed it. Jesus was dead. And their hearts were broken. But then the two women, both named Mary, broke through the fog of their despair with incredible news. "He's alive!" The tomb was empty. Christ had risen from the dead, just as he had promised them He would.

Those of us who are believers can certainly imagine the electrifying excitement the disciples must have felt, because for them (as well as for us), the message of the resurrection is one of hope and encouragement. Everything Jesus had told them was validated by His empty tomb. In Matthew 17:22-23, the Lord Jesus had told His disciples, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." If Jesus could make this impossible claim and then carry it to completion, just as He had said, then surely He was clearly adequate to keep every single promise He had made to them. And one of those promises was that Christ would not condemn the world, but that He would come to save all those who believe in Him and put their faith in His words. (Mark 16:16; John 3:17; Romans 8:1) Jesus bought our salvation through His death on the cross. The empty tomb is our proof that we are eternally secure in what He has done. And we can know the Father accepted His payment on our behalf because of the simple truth that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God.

Jesus' death purchased our freedom from sin and has ensured us a place with Him in heaven. He promised, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places... I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2) In faith we cling to His promise and await its fulfillment. In faith we live our lives with the sure hope of eternity with the Father. In faith we finish our life here, knowing this life is just the beginning. In faith we glorify the Lord while we wait for everything to be accomplished, just as Jesus said.

So today I live my life in the hope of the resurrection, knowing that I will shed my flesh some day in the future but I will never die. Just as Jesus rose from the grave, I too will conquer death. No, I will be more than a conqueror. (Ro 8:37) I will come out of death with more than I went in with. I went in perishable and will come out imperishable. I can face my day with resolve and confidence that everything is as it should be. I am on the sure and steady path to receive all that Jesus has promised. But I will be patient, glorifying God in my life and allowing Him to live His life through me as I await the hope to which I have been called. Which is "Christ in me, the hope of glory!" (Co 1:27) I can face my struggles with confidence and with courage I can accomplish miracles right here, right now. I willingly surrender my life to His orchestration, knowing that He has everything under control and His will will be accomplished in and through me. I am at His bidding and I relish in His glory. Nothing is too mundane a task for me to accomplish and no task is too big for me to take on. I go through each day in a delightful expectation of being used for His glory, even if it's just the simple and seemingly meaningless chore of making a bed or mopping a floor. Everything I do, I do unto Him. Because of the resurrection I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life has meaning and purpose. It matters not if I think the task before me is too trivial or too inconsequential, too lowly or too insignificant. It is the Lord living through me. I am His hands and His feet, His mouth, and His eyes. I see the pain and despair in other people's eyes and long to shower them with Jesus. If they but knew of His love and His promises! I tell the world what I know, one thing at a time, one person at a time and God is glorified. Step by step I'm blessed with the goal of touching the lives of others and Christ is magnified in my efforts. There is no longer room in me for petty hostilities or doubts. I believe the message of the resurrection and through that belief I go forth, totally surrendered to do His will while I'm still here on this earth. Some day I will be with Him and I will see Him just as He is, but until that day arrives I have the responsibility of being solely for His use. I do His bidding and accomplish His objectives. I no longer have control of my own life, I have surrendered that control to Him. I go where He leads. It's not that I live my life and then find the time to do His will. No, I do His will in everything I do. It's an act of submission, a willingness to be used up for His glory. There is so much more to the message of the resurrection than just that I will rise again. Understand what it means in it's entirety and go forth.

Yesterday's blog took hours to publish. It just never showed up at my blogsite. I sat down and wrote a couple short things about the situation and eventually everything posted. They post in the order they are received. That means when I do something like that you have to scroll down to find the day's blog. You have to get past the second or third "update" until you get to the real blog. Just keep that in mind for future reference.

I had a troubling conversation on msn last night and didn't go to sleep until after 2:00 am. Life was never intended to be so problematic for us. It seems like we're just rolling a huge boulder up a hill most of the time. We get exhausted but know we can't let go of the boulder or it will roll right over us on it's way back down the hill. I am trusting that things are not as bad as they seemed last night. I've made it a matter of great prayer. That is the absolute best I can do for the situation. I just pray that everything straightens out and everyone gets a better outlook on things. It's times like this that I am especially glad I don't have a lot of personal possessions. I'm happy at being poor. There's so much less to worry and fret about. The more you have the greater your burden. I kinda like not having to deal with all that. Everything will work itself out and tomorrow will be another day. In the meantime people are in pain.

We got up to 109 again yesterday but for some reason it didn't seem as hot. I mean it was definitely hot enough but it just didn't feel as hot as the day before even though it was the same temp both days. I've got the water wetting the pads in the cooler right now and will be turning it on any minute. It does seem to stay cooler if we start the cooler before the house gets too warm inside. I'm hoping it won't get as hot today. I didn't listen to the news last night to know what it's supposed to be today. Oh well, they're usually wrong anyway. I think I'm ready for summer to be over. I'm looking forward to fall. Isn't it great to have the four seasons? Just as you get tired of one season it will change into another. It takes the tedious boredom out of life by having the same thing all the time. Change is good.

Well, I think this is going to be it for my blog today. I hoped you enjoyed reading my little devotional. I put it first today just to make things different. Usually I do my "diary" type stuff first and then do the devotional. I think I like it this way and I may keep it this way for awhile. I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already. The weeks just seem to whiz by, barely stopping for me to catch my breath. The dust from the bulldozers really settled on my car this week and I'm sure it will enjoy its washing on Saturday. It will certainly look better. I'll run errands tomorrow and I'm hoping it will be cooler. I don't want to get over heated like I did the other day. I was really miserable. Oh, skatemama had her MRI and is just waiting to see what the doctor has to say if you haven't read her blog. She's still having problems but seemed to be a little better yesterday when she posted. I keep her in my prayers and hope you do too. Take care today and stay cool.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Try

Just one more try to see if my blogger is working yet. I DID blog today and my blogger said I had successfully published but it hasn't come up on my blogsite. Neither did my first explanation as to what's going on with today's blog. I don't know if it's going to actually post my blog today or not. This is just to see if something will post. I hope I didn't lose my blog. It wasn't very interesting today but I did devote all that time and effort into blogging. I'd sure like to see if post.

Where is It?

Well I wrote my blog and posted it and it says that I successfully posted it but where is it? It's not where it's supposed to be. Hope I didn't somehow lose all that. Not that I considered it a good blog today. Well, I'm going to see if it posts this and if it does then I will assumer that my blogger lost my blog. It could be that it's just slow. I know there have been times when I wrote a comment on skatemama and the comment sometimes took a while to show up on the original blogsite. Maybe that's what this is doing. I just hope I didn't lose it.

Where is It?

Mid-Week Blahs

I have no idea where I'm going to go with my blog today. I kind of woke up with the blahs as my title states. I've got all my chores done and I've got the dishes washing right now. I'll need to go open the door to let them air dry in a minute or so. I'm going to make pork fried rice for dinner tonight. We both like it a lot and I have all the ingredients. Last night's pancakes and sausage hit the spot. Funny, they tasted just like waffles only without the grid. Michael popped the left overs into the microwave this morning and ate them for breakfast. I guess you can reheat pancakes but not waffles. Ever tried to reheat a waffle? They get hard and tough, don't they? Not so the pancakes, he said.

I refilled the hummingbird feeder this morning. I noticed the other day it was getting low so I made up the nectar and already had it on hand. For some reason we don't have as many hummingbirds as we used to have. I don't have the slightest idea where they went or what happened to them. At one time we could almost always see one feeding when you looked out there. Now there are so many times that I look out there and not see one feeding. But two came up and lit in the tree branches and watched me hang the feeder and bleed the air lock out of it so I know they're still out there. I just hope the outside cats haven't been having them for lunch. I find Moody with a bird occasionally but they've always been the little green house finches. Poor things.

I noticed how bad our entryway there on the deck looks this morning. I wish I could do something with it. I've tried but I just don't take care of it the way I should. It's so hot and dusty and dirty out there. I should stop right now and go out there and clean it up as best I can. But I won't. I'll finish my blog and then by that time it will be too hot out there and I'll wish I had gone out now. See how I am? I never let myself win, one way or the other. I really need to get rid of my negativity, it isn't healthy.

I just taught myself some things on the computer! Can you believe that? I happened to notice that there are things written on the front side of some of the keys. Things like cut, paste, copy, bold, italics, etc., and if I hold down the control key and hit strike those keys it will do what it says. I didn't know that before. I don't think I'd ever paid attention to what it says on the keys. Now I know something I didn't know before. Someday I may actually learn how to use my computer for something besides emails and blogs. Ya think?

Speaking of emails. I had my meeting with Rita (and Pastor Dan was there for a little while too) yesterday afternoon and I will be emailing out weekly updates to people in the church for the next 15 weeks. Talk about commitment!!! I will also be responsible for a couple other things but I'm not sure exactly when I will do them. If I sat down and read my Action Plan I would probably know. Tam is coming over late this afternoon to see if she can help me on some of my computer tasks I have to do. I'm going to have to schedule some time to just sit and read through all the paperwork I picked up yesterday. Lots of paperwork! This 40 Days of Purpose Campaign is really a b-i-g deal. I hadn't realized just how big an event it will be. I don't actually start doing things until Sept. 2nd. That's 8 weeks before the campaign itself actually starts. Rita is going on a week's vacation, leaving today, and when she gets back we'll meet again with the Rapettis and decide on exactly what plans we're going to do and which one of us will do the groundwork for them. It's hard for me to explain the scope of this campaign, just trust me when I say it's B-I-G. We're talking in numbers of 400 people???? Wouldn't it just be incredible if my little church grew to that size? I keep telling myself that nothing is impossible with God.

Boy! it was hot yesterday. I went out to meet with Rita and ran some errands while I was out in the car and I just about died! I was so hot that sweat was running down my face and neck and dripping from my hair. My face was beet red and I peeled off my clothes as I came in the door. I put on my skimpy shorts and tank top and kicked off my shoes and stood right in front of the cooler and still I was over-heated. I looked at the thermometer and it read 109.9. No wonder I was so hot!! It took me hours to get all that heat that I'd internalized out of my system. Michael went out and sprayed the cooler pads with the hose and that helped some. Mostly we just had to wait for the sun to go down so the cooler could make up lost ground. This cooler we have is really too small for a house this size but it's all we've got. And I give up the use of my glass sliding door to have it too! Trust me, that's a small price to pay. It's probably going to be at least that hot today so Michael started the cooler going early this morning in the hopes of getting a jump on things.

Today's Bible verses are 2Ti 3:16-17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." This tells me that all Scripture is inspired or God-breathed and not just some of it; all of it. God inspired the ancient writers to pen these truths. He didn't dictate Scripture to them but He did inspire them to write what He wanted written.

I believe Scripture because God says so and for no other reason. God says it, I believe it. I don't believe it because I can prove it. I believe it because He says so. I believe in creation as opposed to evolution, not because I can prove creation, but simply because God says it's so. I believe in the immaculate conception not because I can prove it, but because God says it's so. I know the Bible is absolute truth simply because God says it is. If I can prove what God says by other (scientific) means, that's great. But I believe Scripture for no other reason than that God says it's so. Think back to when people believed the world was flat. In Isaiah 40 the Bible calls the earth a "circle" (sphere). The Bible was accurate when "science" was wrong. So why do I believe what the Bible says? Simply because God says it's so and for no other reason. I believe Scripture was "God-breathed." It's the Word of God given to me so that I might come to know Him and find truth and hope. Without Scripture what hope would I have? Hope in science? Hope in the political world? Only God's Word gives me hope to cling to when things aren't going well for me. Only God's Word keeps my feet on the right path. Only God's Word introduces me to the Love of my life.

Well, I can't seem to get any creative juices flowing this morning. I think I have too much on my mind what with this 40-Day campaign (that's really 15 weeks) running around in my head. I've got to get a grasp around it somehow so I think I'll spend the rest of the day going over all my paperwork to see if I can get the full picture. I have a meeting to go to on the 28th and maybe I'll be able to get more information at that time. It's just that I had no idea the campaign is so large. It's just a huge endeavor we're undertaking. And I have responsibilities now and I want to know what I'm doing and I want to see the way it fits into the entire picture and understand what everyone else is doing. So I think I'll post this now and start reading. I hope you have a terrific day and that God's face shines on you and you come to feel His presence in your life. May He be a part of everything you do today. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Reason for His Sacrifice

I believe the earthquake I mentioned in yesterday's blog was over 10 years ago. It feels like it was just a few years ago but after writing yesterday I got to thinking about it and it was quite some time back. Also, the Bible verse I gave yesterday was really Saturday's verse. Just wanted to keep things accurate here. Don't want to confuse anyone.

I have a 2:00 meeting today at church regarding the Prayer Team for our 40 Days of Purpose Campaign. Rita gave me a packet of copied pages to read last Sunday and I guess now we'll discuss what and how we're going to conduct the prayer part of the campaign. There was an entire section in those pages about fasting. I don't know how I feel about fasting. I know it was a given that people would fast and pray because Scripture says, "When you fast..." (Mt 6:16) but I've always thought of it as, well, silly. I'm showing my ignorance, I'm sure, but I'm just being truthful. Regardless of how I feel, I've decided that I will fast and pray during this campaign. I can't see that I have much choice. It really is a discipline that was carried over into the first century church so no matter what it may "feel" like, it has a place in worship. And it wouldn't hurt me a bit to go a day without eating! Maybe I'll ask Rita if she's ever fasted. Maybe she'll have some insight into it. I am determined and hesitant at the same time. But I will fast when we have the day of fasting. And if it goes well, who knows, I may fast on my own throughout the campaign. It might even become a discipline I end up incorporating into my regular prayer life. I will do it because I think I should and not because I'm expecting to get anything out of it. I won't expect a mountain-top experience. I will simply be submissive about this discipline.

As long as I'm going out today I'll go by the Post Office and Kelly's. There should be a few refills for me to pick up and I need to mail off an invoice. I need to buy stamps too because we're completely out and it won't be long before the bills start coming in and I'll need some. I have disciplined myself to pay our bills as soon as they come in, which is a good thing because otherwise I'm sure I'd probably forget all about them and end up running late on some. We have so few it's just easier to get them taken care of immediately and get them out of the way. That way I can file away our portion of the statement and not have it lying around adding clutter to things. I like this more disciplined person I am becoming. I actually have routines and systems for doing things. I don't think we were meant to live without discipline in our lives. I can't help but think of all the disciplines they had in Old Testament times. Of course their disciplines pertained mostly to their worship but their worship was their way of life and I think it shows that we need structure in our lives. At least that's what I'm discovering in my own life. I function much better now that I've got a few routines down. I wasn't happy with myself without structure. I needed discipline in my life.

You know the Jews were actively and eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Messiah but they weren't looking for Jesus. Their problem was that they were expecting someone who would alleviate the burdensome weight of Roman rule. God, however, was not interested in temporary relief from an oppressive government; He wanted to offer the entire world freedom from the tyranny of bondage to sin.

The Messiah's role on earth was understood by John the Baptist who, when he saw Jesus approaching, called out, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes aways the sin of the world." (Jn 1:29) The title John gave for the Savior described the way in which the Lord would carry out God's plan of redemption.

Sacrifice was an integral part of God's plan in the Old Testament. In Genesis chapter 4, blood was shed for the individual as Abel offered God an animal sacrifice on his own behalf. Exodus 12 describes blood shed for the family: Moses told every household to sprinkle lamb's blood on the doorposts of their homes in Egypt to protect that family from the plague of misery and death. The Mosaic Law later would institute an annual Day of Atonement, when the high priest would offer a blood sacrifice for the entire nation. (Lev 16)

In the New Testament, God made Jesus Christ ... the Lamb of God ... a blood sacrifice for the whole world. The sacrificial lamb had to be perfect, spotless, and without blemish. Therefore the One who would redeem the world was required to be perfect and sinless. Only Jesus, who was divinity draped in humanity, could free humankind from the oppression of sin. Take time to think about this. God stepped down into humanity to redeem us. We were lost. Totally, completely, and forever lost. We, of ourselves, could not provide the sacrifice needed to reestablish the relationship between God and Man that was lost in Eden. We had a God-sized problem that only God could satisfy. Only God himself could make us acceptable to holy God.

That's why Jesus made His sacrifice. To redeem us all from the burden of sin. A burden that we had no way of alleviating on our own. We were broken, battered, and bruised by sin and it's terrible consequences and only a pure blood sacrifice could ease the stress on humanity. We had no way to take care of the offense ourselves so God stepped in and provided us with everything we needed to be set right with Himself. God required a perfect sacrifice and only Jesus could supply it. We were steeped in sin and absolutely useless. But Christ, being perfect, could lay down His life and free us from sin's horrible grasp. Being perfect, He satisfied all the requirements for us to be able to come to the Father and be lovingly accepted. Jesus died in our place; He died so that we wouldn't have to. And now, because of His sacrifice, we can approach the Father knowing that He's already taken care of everything. He reconciled the world to Himself (2Cor 5:18) by providing the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He did it. He did it all.

And so, understanding the reason why Jesus had to be the sacrificial Lamb, what is required of me? What am I to do? Say Thank You. It's that simple. Recognize that Jesus paid the price for my sins and say Thank You, come and live Your life through me. I will be Your hands, and Your feet, come and live through me. Glorify Yourself in and through me. I am humbled at the thought that I can be of any use to the Lord. Humbled at the thought that the sacrifice has been paid. Humbled that He has done it all and that all that's required of me is to say "Thank You, come and live through me." You see, it's a kind of "active" thanking. It's not that I take the value of the sacrifice, say Thank You, and walk away untouched. No, it's that I say Thank You, now live Your life through me. I am forever different, forever changed. In that instant that I accept His offer and say Thank You I become a totally new creation (2Co 5:17). I am forever different, forever changed. It is "Christ in [me] the hope of glory (Co 1:27). It is surrendering myself to His complete control. His will becomes my will and a new longing is created in me. A longing that only He can satisfy. It's recognizing that I am incomplete without Him and that only in Him can I now live my life. He becomes my all in all. I am no longer free to live my life the way I want to live it. No, it's now, saying Thank You, that I allow Him to live through me. My hands, my feet, my mouth, my mind become totally His (1Co 6:15). And it's not that I dedicate my life to Him, but that He uses my life for His purposes and I merely say, Thank You (Ph 2:13). It is Christ doing everything through me and not me doing things for Christ. It's not my efforts. No, it's my complete surrender unto His efforts. It's that I no longer live, but that Christ lives through me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday's 2nd Blog

Just had to write a second blog and scream about Michael Vick getting a plea. Why in the world was anyone even offering him a plea in the first place. They've got 3 people willing to testify against him and they offer him a plea? I mean, it's not like they were afraid they didn't have enough evidence to convince a jury. My stomach is just in knots. He'll probably get a year and will serve 30 days. A slap on the wrist. He KILLED dogs for sport!!! And he didn't just kill them, he tortured them. He doesn't deserve a plea deal. He deserves to go to prison for several years, maybe longer. No wonder people commit crimes when they can see criminals get off easy like this. This was a horrible crime. A despicable crime. And it deserved a serious sentence. He'll probably serve a month and then get out and go back to football like nothing even happened. He deserves to be punished. He deserves for his life to forever be different. Whatever happened to punishment? Well I just had to get that off my chest. I sure wouldn't have let him off easy. I just hope the prosecutors had good reason to offer him a plea because he doesn't deserve on in my books. I just want to go hide somewhere and cry!

After the Weekend

We've gone through another weekend. I hope yours was as relaxing and refreshing as mine was. I didn't do anything special I just kinda went with the flow. Speaking of flow, the flooding back east is heartbreaking. And then there's Dean to worry about. Right now it's poised for a direct hit to Mexico. It could veer north and hit Texas but I think it will probably make landfall in Mexico. But you never can tell with these huge storms. Even if it hits Mexico, Texas will still have to feel some of the lesser affects of it because it's such a big storm. My niece lives in Oklahoma and she really got the rain and runoff into her pond yesterday but she's okay. As I watched the news and saw the helicopter making its attempts to pluck someone out of the flood waters there in OK, I said a little prayer that it wouldn't be her. I love storms. I don't love their damage and destruction but riding out a storm is fun to me. (Of course I've never had to weather a really bad storm. I might feel differently if I had to go through one.) We had one storm, though, that was pretty intense last year or year before. (Time goes by so quickly I'm not sure when it was.) I've never seen it rain any harder. It was a monsoon for about 15 or 20 minutes. Water just poured off the roof like a waterfall. The gutters were doing all they could to vector off the rain but they just couldn't keep up with that volume of water. It rained so hard it washed away our sod lawn. But we don't get a lot of wind with our storms here like they do back east. And I guess I'm grateful for that. We had some roofing tiles blow off about 3 years ago but that was the last big wind we've had. And if I remember right, it wasn't even raining during that wind storm. But I do like storms. I like earthquakes too. Don't know what that says about me but I thought I'd be honest. I can remember when we had the last big quake we felt several years back. We were living with my son and daughter-in-law and she's terrified of earthquakes. We were in bed and all of a sudden this wild woman came screaming into our bedroom and jumped right in the middle of the bed with us, hair flying in all different directions. I thought it was really funny but I felt bad for her because she was obviously distressed to put it mildly. I think the reason I like earthquakes so much is that I don't live where the earthquakes are really our earthquakes. We don't have an active fault right under us so what we feel is really someone else's earthquake. The damage happens elsewhere. So I can enjoy them.

Yesterday's weather wasn't too bad at all. It didn't get nearly as hot as it has been but according to the news last night it's supposed to be heating back up today and tomorrow. I washed and dried our sheets and got our bedding changed yesterday. That's always nice. I love fresh, clean bedding. When we first moved to the Bay Area, I changed our bedding every other day just so I could experience crisp, fresh sheets more often. I hate to admit it but it's now a weekly chore for me; that's how lazy I've gotten. I love to take a shower and then slip between clean sheets. It's just the greatest feeling in the world to me.

I made it to church yesterday. I didn't play hooky again. Before services I was out mingling with my friends and one of them came up to me and said, "You got your hair cut." "Yep, I got it all cut off," I replied. "Oh well, it'll grow out," she said. And I was left with not really knowing what she meant by that. I laughed. I couldn't help but laugh. I like my hair even if everybody else dislikes it for whatever reason. But I thought her comment was funny and thought I'd share that with you.

Michael made me some business cards yesterday afternoon. They aren't really business cards but I don't know what else to call them. They just have my name, address, phone number, email address, and blogsite listed on them. He put three crosses on them in a grouping just to have some art on them. They look really nice. I'd asked him to make me some because people are always asking for my phone number or address. And I'm always giving out my email address because it's so much easier for me to read email than talk on the phone. So now I have nice cards to hand out when someone asks for my information. I had been using some old business cards from when I used to sell Avon and just crossing out the Avon part, because they had my phone number and email address printed on them and I had just handwritten in my blogsite. But this is so much nicer. He thought me using my old business cards was tacky. I thought I was being thrifty. I think he made them for me more because he was embarrassed that I was using old cards. He's so funny. He spent so many years as a businessman that he thinks everything has to be very business and official like. I have cards that are for my lay pastoring but they just have my name and phone number on them, no other information. But it's good now knowing that if I want to ask someone to contact me by email rather than phone, I have a nice card to hand out with all my information on them instead of having to scribble out the information on a piece of paper or something.

Skatemama must be busy lately because she hasn't written a new blog in over a week. Hope she's not sick or something. But I would just imagine that with her little family she may occasionally have difficulty finding the time to blog. Once she starts homeschooling again for the year she'll probably find it even harder. But she's a lot of fun to read and I just love all the pictures she puts in her blog. Her children are so adorable. Maria will be having a birthday before too awfully long. Another month.

Well we grilled a bunch of burger patties on Friday night and then just ate burgers for the entire weekend. I thawed out some big pork steaks for dinner tonight. They're so big that I'm just going to cut one into two pieces for us for tonight and then I'll use the other one for pork fried rice tomorrow night. I thought since I'll have so much meat, I'll try to make a double batch of rice. Michael likes my fried rice better than the rice we can get at a restaurant. And I have to admit it is pretty good. But if I make a double batch of rice we'll be able to get more than one meal out of it. I'm kinda thinking about making pancakes to go with the pork tonight. Usually I make mashed potatoes and gravy but pancakes and pork steak sounds good to me this morning. I've never done that before but why not?

Dan's sermon yesterday was, believe it or not, on rejoicing or being thankful in our sufferings. It's that an amazing coincidence? Here I spent a couple days blogging about being thankful in our problems and then I get to hear a sermon on the same thing. But like Dan said, the rejoicing or thankfulness comes in the suffering not after it's gone. It's amazing how the Lord works with us. He gave me the verses to write about and then gave me a sermon to listen to. When things all come together like that I can really feel the Spirit in my life. Feeling the Holy Spirit is something I never did as a JW and wouldn't have understood if anyone had tried to talk to me about feeling the Spirit work in my life. But it really happens and once you feel Him, you can't deny Him. It's like Paul wrote to one of the early churches and said essentially, When did you have (feel) the Holy Spirit in your lives. Was it while you were so self-righteously keeping all the rules, regulations, and commandments? Or was it after you came to know and accept the Lord by faith? And now that you've experienced the Spirit apart from the Law, are you going to go back to all those empty rules? Once I experience the Holy Spirit in my life, I can no longer deny Him. I may be at a loss for words to explain Him but I can no longer go any other way. And I promise you this, once you feel and see the Holy Spirit in your life you'll never want to go back to whatever it was you had before that "claimed" to be the only true religion.

I talked to my cousin Betty last night from New York on msn. And she said the missions trip is going smoothly and they were going to get a lot of things done. Today they were supposed to paint a woman's house and maybe work a little getting her yard into shape a bit. Then tomorrow they are planning on going to Niagara Falls and Canada. She and a friend will fly home on Friday. I guess the others are staying a little longer. Either that or they just decided that they didn't want to ride in a van for another two days to get home. She just went on a missions trip to Russia in June. She's such an inspiration for me. She may be taking a contract job up in Canada for awhile, teaching people how to use a phone system or how to answer the phone for I believe she said an insurance or a healthcare provider. My memory is really getting bad. I'm just half guessing on everything I'm writing here. But now we know she can use her laptop so we'll still get to talk to each other everyday and she'll be able to keep up with her email and my blog while she's away.

Today's Bible verse is Psalms 11:4-5 and it says, "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. ..." That's a comforting Scripture to me. That no matter what's going on in my life, regardless of what trials or problems I'm having to deal with, the Lord is still on His throne. He's steadfast like a Rock. God is faithful even when I am not. He has promised me that He won't let me go through anything alone. He'll always go before me, stand beside me, and bring up the rear behind me. That's so encouraging to me. "The Lord is on His heavenly throne." Everything else may fall apart or disappoint me, but He is forever on His throne! No matter what happens in my life, God is on His throne and, by His grace, I am in His kingdom. I can rejoice in my struggles because God is on His throne. Nothing happens apart from Him. He is, indeed, on His heavenly throne.

I don't seem to be creative today (just newsy) so I think I'll let this be it for Monday. I have no plans for today except to get some dusting done. (I know. I said I was going to do that the other day but I let time get away from me!) Hope you have a great day today and I'll meet you here tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 17, 2007

At Just the Right Time

Good morning, afternoon or evening, whichever it is. We had some excitement yesterday afternoon. We had a vegetation fire (in the Bay Area we called them wildland fires.). It started just a mile or so away (as the embers fly). We heard the spotter plane go over and then a little later we started hearing sirens. And then a helicopter went over. Then more sirens and more sirens and more sirens. They dispatched engines from every area around us. After a while the air tankers showed up along with two more helicopters. They worked on that fire all afternoon and evening. The choppers used the water from the quarry that's just over the hill from my son's house to dump on the fire. (I could see my son's house from my deck if trees weren't in the way.) They actually came up out of the quarry and flew directly over my son's driveway. The tankers would make their drops and then head back to Tuolumne to reload and after a few minutes they'd be back to dump again. It's fascinating to watch the air attack work fires. It's really a science the way they do it. They had it pretty well knocked down by dark when the air support had to leave because of darkness. They kept units on the scene all night. Shortly after dark the wind picked up and blew the smoke into our area. We had to turn off the cooler and our window fans and still we stuffed up so badly we could barely breathe. But by midnight when we went to bed, it had pretty much lifted and I was able to turn on the bedroom fans again to get that nice cool air in our bedroom.

I don't have any plans for the day except to go to the drug store and fill a prescription. Just had to go call some in for refills. I've had them on the counter by the phone needing to be called in all week and I totally forgot until now. And this is Friday which means if the doctor doesn't okay them today (which he doesn't usually do on Fridays) I will have to go through the weekend without them. I saw them sitting there several times during the week and was going to call and then got busy and didn't call them in. I wish I wouldn't do that. Maybe I'll have to make it a routine to call them in as soon as I empty them rather than just putting them up there to call on later. I've done so well on my routines lately and I'm so proud of myself. You'd have to know what a procrastinator I had become for so long before you'd understand the extent to which my routines have changed me. I didn't bother to turn over a new leaf; I just turned over the entire tree!!! They get me up and going, doing things I'd normally put off doing (like calling in my meds, but imagine that attitude toward just about every thing in my life and you can kind of get a picture of what I was like). It's a lot like losing 30 pounds; you're different and proud of it!! And there's nothing wrong with have a healthy pride in something you've accomplished. God was proud at the close of each creation day. He had sat back at the close of each and surveyed His work and breathed, "And there was evening and there was morning [another] day," brimming with satisfaction and pride in His work. (Genesis 1&2)

You know, I'm thankful we have trees we can park under to shade my car during the hottest parts of the day but I sure wish they were different trees. These drip a kind of sap all over my car. It's not a sap like pine sap, that sticky, gooey, tarry stuff that's next to impossible to get off. This is just little tiny specks all over the windshield that obscures my vision if I drive into the sun or into the lights of an oncoming vehicle. It's like trying to see through a sand pitted windshield, if you've ever had that experience. They wash right off with the hose but now that I'm washing my car every Saturday I don't want to have to go out on Wednesday and spray it off. I don't want to water spot it halfway through the week. Using Windex and paper towels work, of course, but that's a lot more work than just spraying off the car. Oh well, what else do I have to do??? I never cease to amaze myself of the number of things I can find to complain about. Well I'm not the only one who does that. (As if that somehow makes it okay?) But it's still a bad habit that needs to be changed.

The mine tragedy has increased and they've suspended the rescue efforts after another cave-in killed 3 miners and injured another 6. Add that toll to the number that was originally trapped in the first cave in and it becomes very tragic and it's a lose/lose situation. If they keep digging to rescue the trapped miners they run the risk of losing more miners and if they don't keep digging then they'll just have to write off those who were trapped in the original cave in. It's a difficult situation no matter what they decide to do. I just ask the Lord to comfort all those involved. He doesn't protect us from pain in this life, but He does promise to go through our pain and struggles with us. We don't have to go it alone.

Today's Bible verse is Romans 5:6-8 where it says: "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly ... While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." I love those Scriptures. The world and it's people had to be just right, it had to be just the right time for Jesus to come as Savior. Any sooner and the world wouldn't have been ready to accept Him. Any later and the world would have totally ignored Him. But it was just the right time. The people were desperate for a Messiah and the world was at a climax of Roman intolerance.

But notice the words when we were still powerless. All recorded history shows that people had been, from the very beginning, (Genesis 3) struggling to save themselves. They recognized they were fallen, broken, and fatally wounded. They needed a savior desperately! So when the time was right, Jesus entered the world. But notice who he entered the world for. Sinners. It doesn't say He came to save the righteous, no, He came to save us while we were still sinners. And if Christ, in His great love for us, would come and die while we were still sinners, think how much more He will do for us once we establish a personal relationship with Him!

I use the term 'personal relationship' in my blog quite a bit. What do I mean when I say 'personal relationship?' I mean it's a heart kind of knowing, not a head knowledge. It's the difference between knowing all about someone and knowing them personally. I could read all about Brad Pitt in the Hollywood gossip publications. I could learn when he gets up and what he eats for breakfast. What he likes to do for relaxation and his favorite author. I could learn which soap he prefers in the shower and his favorite dessert. I could even meet him in a coffee shop, but I still wouldn't know him. A personal relationship means that while I may learn all about the Lord, it's a knowing of Him intimately, in my heart that becomes my immediate concern. Something happens inside of me. My heart swells to take Him in, He meets me in my heart, and I find that I am in love with Him. I don't just know things about Him. I know Him personally. He's no longer just the Savior; He's my Friend. He's no longer just my Lord; He's my Brother. He's no longer just God; He's my God. My God. My Friend. My Lord. My Messiah. My Brother. My Shepherd. He's no longer an abstract concept; He's my reality. It happens in my heart, not my head. I find myself suddenly in love with Him and think about Him constantly and have an overwhelming desire to spend time with Him. Just sitting quietly under a tree somewhere, loving Him. Waiting in line at the grocery store, loving Him. Mopping my floors, cooking, doing laundry ... loving Him. He's the first One I think of when I wake up each morning and He's the last one to whom I whisper goodnight. It's desiring to spend time with Him instead of watching a movie. And it's that conviction in my heart that He's "Christ in [me], the hope of glory..." (Col. 1:27). My heart longs for His companionship and is satisfied only by His presence. It is that vital, immediate, vibrant aspect of knowing Him personally.

Did you know that in the Greek (in which the New Testament was originally mostly written) there is no word for "truth." It's true. The word the Greeks used when they penned Scripture was "reality."
Things aren't the truth; they are reality. God isn't truth; He is Reality. My love for Him isn't true, it's my reality. It's what's real in my life. I just thought I'd share that with you. They say the same thing but it just gives a different flavor to Scripture when you know that the Bible isn't truth, it's the Reality.

This is Friday and it brings another week of blogging to a close. I hope you've enjoyed reading them. I rarely know what I'm going to write about until I sit down at the computer. I suppose I could run out of things to write about sometime but it hasn't happened yet. I just try to meet you here each morning and go with the flow. I really hope you get something out of my blogs. They are so much fun to write. So until Monday take care and stay close to the Lord.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dreams, Dreams & More Dreams

I've gotten some nice feedback on my blogs via email lately. That's really nice. I like that. I know people don't leave comments on my blogsite because they make you establish a google account to leave a comment. (Really a dumb way to run things, I'd say!) But I love the feedback, so keep it coming via email, msn, personal contact, or at the blogsite! I would probably continue to blog even if I knew no one was reading it because it's a great outlet for me but it makes it so much more fun when I hear that someone really liked something I wrote or they have a criticism (constructive or destructive, it doesn't matter). I got some this morning and it was great. I have fun writing my blogs and if anyone gets any thing out of them, then I was successful. If not, well, I got to talk anyway. So please, continue your feedback. I really appreciate it.

My baby is 41 today! I can't believe it! You know what that makes me, don'tcha? Old, is what it makes me. How could this have happened? Where did all the years go? He's probably wondering the same thing. Last year was the big 4-0 for him but I think 41 hit me harder than 40 did. I just laughed off 40. [I don't laugh them off anymore.] I think it's 38 for her??? He has to work today so I'll go over this evening and wish both of them a happy birthday. Happy Birthday, You Two!!! I couldn't resist!

Yesterday afternoon I spent cleaning. Yea!! I did my laundry while I was at it. So now our clothes are clean and our house is presentable (but barely). I need to dust really righteously in here. But I keep putting it off because it's just going to get dusty again. (That's no excuse I know but it's the only one I can think of right now. LOL) Maybe I'll tackle that this afternoon. But I even mopped all my floors yesterday. All of them! As well as scouring the baths and vacuuming the carpets. I just worked my little heart out. And I got so hot and sweat so profusely I thought I was going to die. But I didn't. I do need to dust though and get rid of some of the long standing clutter I've collected around the house. Last time I did that Michael was gone and when he got home he said, "Am I in the right house?" I felt like slugging him but said thank you instead. At least he noticed. And who says nagging doesn't work? I've complained about him getting his toothpaste spattered all over the bathroom for years and when I cleaned his bath yesterday there was no toothpaste spatter. I couldn't believe it; my nagging finally paid off. I thanked him profusely for not getting toothpaste all over everything and he came back with, "Yeah, I just don't wash 'em anymore." LOL

I dreamt about Richie last night for the first time in years and years. He was still 22. And he hadn't changed. I don't remember what the dream was about, I just remember he was in it.

Well, Mario has now jumped up on my desk. He's sitting by my keyboard, staring at me with his face about 6 inches from my face. He probably wants canned food but I'm not going to give him any. If he had his way he'd be eating canned food all day long and would weigh 75 pounds. He already eats about twice as much as all the other cats put together. But he doesn't particularly like dry food. He's a very "sturdy" cat. He's solid. You pick him up and you know you've picked up something so he's not being neglected. He's just a glutton. Yeah, he's definitely wanting canned cat food ... or my chair. He's acting more like he thinks I'm sitting in his place right now. If I got up for any reason he'd be in this chair in a heartbeat, believe me!

We got up to 104.4 yesterday on the deck. But we're supposed to be going into a cooling trend. Sacramento has already cooled down but we're still cooking. Although I just checked and it's only 80 degrees right now so that's pretty good. Maybe we won't get as hot today after all. I probably should have saved my housecleaning for today to take advantage of the cooler temps. Oh well, there's still plenty to do. It'll be time to change my bedding again in a day or two. [Mario just left. Thank goodness. I was really beginning to feel like my space had been infringed upon.]

I have the cutest picture of my cousin's children on my desk. I have it positioned on the left and every time I look over there I see these two precious angels standing with their backs to me, "wearing" their mama's jeans. The waistbands are up around their shoulders. Just a really, really cute picture. Wish I did pictures in my blog. I'd go ahead and try to post it, but I'm not ready to take that step yet. I'm going to stay "text only" for awhile yet. Don't know why, it's just the way I feel.

I washed my hair this morning, gooped it up, finger styled it and let it dry. Then I combed it out and it looks really good. I'm so glad I had her cut it this short. It's a little boyish so I'll blow dry it come Sundays to give it a little more of a feminine flair. But during the week, this is fine for me. And I don't even have to put hairspray on it. Yea!! I can let it blow in the breeze and then comb it back in place with my fingers. I love it. I love it . I love it!!

Today's Bible verse is Matthew 10:29-30: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." I've read these verses so many times and something new jumped out at me this morning when I read them. [Isn't it amazing the way Scripture comes to life sometimes, taking a whole new direction?!!] What jumped out was the fact that I'd always taken it to mean that God even cares when a sparrow "falls" so obviously He's going to care when one of His children falls. Is that how you've always understood this to be? Wow! I've always thought of it as how much the Father cares for us and that's true, He does care. But this verse says something new to me this morning. It says that a sparrow doesn't fall apart from the Father's will. It's the Father's will that the sparrow falls. Then to make this applicable to me, I'd have to say that I don't fall apart (except) for when the Father wills it. Does that mean the Father wills me to fall sometimes? I think so. I think that's why we're told to praise God and give Him thanks even when bad things happen to us. But if that's true then why would a loving God will bad things for His children? Why would God will for me to get ill or hurt or go through difficult and trying times? That doesn't make sense to my way of thinking. Or does it?

Remember the story of Joseph? How his brothers sold him into slavery and he spent all those years as a slave. Then when things were going a little better for him and He was put in charge of the household, Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him and he ended up being thrown in prison under Pharaoh's house where he languished for years? Then he translated Pharaoh's dream and was made ruler (subject only to Pharaoh) of Egypt and the signet ring was put on Joseph's finger? At the end of the story, what does Joseph say? What does he tell his brothers who had sold him into slavery all those years before? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." (Gen. 50:20)

God "intended it for good." God intended for Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery? God intended for Potiphar's wife to lie about Joseph? God intended all those years in prison? God intended this? Yes, God intended it. That's a hard truth to swallow. So now we have to ask, Why would God intend all this hardship on Joseph? Why does God intend or "will" for us, hardships and trials? Because we are agents of free will and God will never violate our free will. He would not make Joseph into the man he became through all his trials. God had the power to immediately change Joseph into the kind of man He wanted him to be, but He chose instead to not violate Joseph's free will and allowed Joseph to grow into the kind of man God could use in a mighty way.

Something happens when we go through tough times. It changes us. I don't know how to explain it but we become better people when we go through difficulties. We gain insight and patience and endurance. We become solid. Built up. Long suffering. We become Christlike in times of trials and tribulations in a way that we never would if we didn't go through them. Somehow we become better people in suffering. When we suffer or go through tough times we enter into Christ's suffering and become more like Him. We grow in a way that we can only grow through suffering. But how does our suffering enter us into Christ's suffering? I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with our willingness to go through it with Him. Look at it this way. Say your sister is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has to go through chemotherapy and her hair falls out. So to show her how much you care you shave your head to enter into her situation, to go through it with her. This is a poor way to explain what happens but it's the best I can do at the moment. [I am not really a writer. I find words fail me sometimes when I most need them.] But I think that's why we're supposed to be thankful when we go through trials. Because we somehow grow more Christlike in the process. We're sharing His pain the way we'd be sharing our sister's pain if we were to shave our heads for her.

I'm so sorry I can't explain this any better. I want to but the words just won't come. But it's why I believe we go through suffering, because we grow in ways that we could never grow otherwise and because we enter into Christ's suffering. It's not that it's through faith that I can endure suffering. It's that in my suffering my faith endures and I grow more Christlike. That's why I can be thankful in my suffering. I hope I haven't completely confused you, that was not my purpose. And I hope in some small way something may have clicked and you may have gained a little insight into why God would will you to fall. Why God wills suffering and why we're told to be thankful during difficult times. It's discipline. Discipline means merely to teach someone. When we discipline our children we are teaching them correct behavior. Why? To make them better people. They grow in ways that they can only grow when disciplined. And I think that's why God wills suffering for us, for the same reason, so we will grow in ways we can't otherwise.

I hadn't intended on writing this until I read my daily Bible verse and the fact that God wills us to fall jumped out at me the way it did. I hope I've helped if this is something that you've always struggled with. And I sincerely hope I haven't confused you. If I have, just mull it over in your heart and mind for a few days and let the Spirit teach you if He chooses to. If you get nothing out of this then you weren't meant to. The Spirit is our teacher. Until tomorrow ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seek the Lord

It's Wednesday and I'm trying to think what I can write about and I'm coming up empty. I guess I talked too much in yesterday's blog. I noticed how long it was. Sorry about that. Last week I said I was going to start making them shorter and then I go and type the longest one yet. (I don't think I'll have that problem today. LOL) I'm going to have to get some housework done today. I've put it off for about as long as I can. Funny how there's always something needing to be cleaned. My baths are a mess. The kitchen too. And my floors can always use vacuuming. I have to bite the bullet every once in awhile and clean.

Those miners are still trapped. I can't help but think they're probably dead. But I continue to hold out hope for them because if they aren't dead they're probably in pretty bad shape by this time. [Mario just chased Pretty across the living room. Don't know what his problem is.] But I feel bad for the miners' families too. It seems like this rescue effort has taken longer than I've ever seen it take to free miners trapped underground. Maybe I just don't remember it correctly but it sure seems like it doesn't usually take this long. [Mario is now sitting up here on my desk by my keyboard looking all innocent like.]

My cats are being very active this morning. Chasing each other around the house and jumping from one thing to another. Cats are funny creatures. They have all these different moods they get into. I love dogs and have always had at least one, but cats are my favorites because they're so independent and moody. You don't tell a cat to sit and stay. If you do they'll just look at you like you just said the world's most ridiculous statement. They do as they please and you have to accept them just the way they are. Mario has developed (or is in the process of developing) the habit of jumping up on the table while we're trying to eat dinner. He doesn't beg for a hand out and won't eat one if you try to give him one. He just wants to sit on the end of the table and watch us eat. He became such a pest last night that I had to get up and carry him to his boxes. Rotten cat! All my animals have bad manners but I know I'm not the only one who spoils her cats rotten. I have a deaf friend whose cats are every bit as bad as mine. Mario is now over on my nail desk watching out the glass sliding doors at the hummingbirds visiting the feeder. My nectar is sure going down slowly this time. Guess I shouldn't complain. My sisters are run ragged keeping their feeders full! They have so many hummers over there. I don't know why they have them in such abundance as they do but when we stopped by a couple weeks ago there must have been close to a dozen feeding (or trying to feed) all at the same time on my sister's feeders.

My church is going to do the Purpose Driven Church campaign for 40 days. I've done the Purpose Driven Life for the individual but this will be my first time to go through the program with the entire church. I volunteered to be on the prayer committee (I don't know if it's called a committee, I'm just using that word because it's all I can think of at this time) and I just had to stop and take a phone call from Evelyn, who is also on the committee. There are some copies at the church I need to pick up the next time I go out. I hadn't planned on going out today but I'll make a trip to the Post Office since it's Wednesday and swing by the church on my way home. I have a deacons' meeting tomorrow night and I guess I could pick them up then. But I hate to do that because the office secretary wouldn't be there and I'd have to go snooping around on her desk to find them so I'll make the effort to go out today. Our phone bill should be in the mail today anyway and I can get that paid and out of the way too.

My Daily Bible Verses for today were from Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 about remembering the Lord in the days of our youth because we're eventually going to grow old and die. It reminds me of that other verse that says, "seek the Lord while He may be found." (Isaiah 55:6) It would be an interesting short study to research all the times 'seek the Lord' is used in the Bible. There are quite a few of them. I may just do that later today after I get my housework done. But how do we seek the Lord? We're told in Matthew 7:7 to "keep on seeking." So how do we seek the Lord?

We seek the Lord by being ever aware of Him, in everything we do, every where we go, we are aware that God exists. We seek Him by seeing Him in the beauty around us and hearing Him in the sound of a breeze rustling the leaves around us. We see Him in others when they do and live rightly. We see Him in fairness and justice. We seek the Lord by keeping Him in our minds at all times. When you see something beautiful, do you whisper, "Thank You, Lord?" When someone allows you to make a left turn in front of them, do you say, "Thank You, Lord?" And when someone loves you, do you say, "Thank You, Lord?" We seek the Lord by seeing Him in everything we do, everything we see, everyone we meet. We seek Him in every experience we go through. Simply stated, we seek Him by seeing Him. By our constant awareness of His reality. By a certain sensitivity to His Spirit. We can also seek the Lord by reading the Bible where He reveals Himself to us through Scripture. But I think these verses I'm talking about, talk about a different kind of seeking. It's a more vital, a more immediate, and a more intimate sense of seeking. It's living our lives in His immediate presence with a constant awareness of Him. That's the kind of seeking I think these verses talk about. It isn't a head knowledge that we are to seek and to keep on seeking. It's a heart knowledge. It's a sense of knowing Him in our deepest emotions. It's doing everything we do for Him and because of Him. So "seek the Lord in the days of your youth" and you will be well prepared to live out the remainder of your life in His presence. Be aware. Be ever aware. That's what I think these verses say.

So as I go about my day today cleaning the house and running errands I will be ever aware of Him. I will clean my house unto the Lord and I will run my errands unto Him. Do you see the difference? It's not that I will clean and then seek Him. No, it's that I will seek Him in my cleaning. I will seek Him in my errands. He has given me a certain responsibility: to seek Him every minute of my day in everything I do and everywhere I go. This is a difficult concept to write about because it deals with the heart and not the head and I hope I haven't completely confused you. If I have, mull it over in your head and heart for a few days and ask the Lord to open your eyes to see what He desires you to take away from this blog. Remember the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He teaches each of us differently. He, and He alone, knows what and when He wants to teach you.

Well I just noticed my blogger slipped back to the default typeface. Sorry about that but I'm not going to go back and retype it all in the correct typeface. My blog will just have to look funny for today. It's almost noon now and I've made up my mind that I'm going to post this blog on time today! So this will be it until tomorrow. Seek the Lord in everything you do today. Bask in His glory and His presence.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I know this is going to be late but once again it's not my problem. Comcast (my server) is up and down this morning. I've caught it on an up cycle and just hope I'll be able to publish this when I'm ready. I don't know what's up with our server but lately we've had really rotten service. It's up one minute and down the next. It's already 11:30 and that means this blog is going to be really, really late. I always shoot for noon but I never seem to quite make it. But most of the time it's only a little late. This one will be very late. Sorry.

I noticed About Me was back up on my blog yesterday. Don't know where it went there for a couple days but I'm glad it's back. Like Skatemama, the blogger doesn't always make sense to me. So I just do my best and go along with the flow and hope it all holds together.

Michael has gone to the library and the house is quiet. Nice. Sometimes the quiet can be quite soothing. Michael goes through so many books. He averages a book or two a week. I used to do a lot of reading too but anymore it's like if I have time to read, I want to spend it reading the Bible or something else uplifting and upbuilding. And I've always had trouble falling asleep. I spent that time reading but I know the experts say that if you have trouble falling asleep you shouldn't read. You should make bedtime be your bedtime, let it signal to the brain that sleep is now desired, not reading. So I've been trying that for the past 6 months or so. If I don't fall asleep within a short period of time, I'll get back up and do something but I won't lie in bed and read. (Well I still do sometimes. But for the most part, I go to bed and turn out the light and go to sleep.) The thing is, when I read before going to sleep I found that I'd just forget what I read anyway. The next night when I wanted to pick up where I left off, I'd find that I'd have to go back a page or so just to remember where I was in my head. But I am in the mood to read a good book so maybe I'll read one of the ones he picks up today. The problem I have reading during the day is that once I start reading I don't want to stop. And I get frustrated when I keep having to put the book aside and do something else. Aw, the trials and tribulations of just making it through my day! LOL.

My granddaughter contacted me on msn last night and informed me that she's going to school full time and working full time. I thought she was only taking a couple classes a week but I was wrong. She carried a full load of 15 units last semester. She should have her AS by the end of this semester. If I'm going to talk about my grandkids, the least I can do is give out accurate information. She's taking chemistry this semester. I hope she does well in it. I know it can be a tough class to take. Hopefully she'll have a good teacher who can make it a lot of fun to learn. I think she said she'll be carrying 12 units this semester and 12 is considered full-time.

We started to watch the Giants vs. Bronco's football game last night but we didn't like the coverage. They weren't showing that much of the game. They were too busy horsing around in the announcer's booth and doing sideline interviews while the game was going on. It was almost like what was going on with the game was just an aside. We found it very frustrating so we didn't watch it very long. Well, let's see what else can I complain about? LOL!

We had a nice dinner last night. I make cottage cheese and peaches salads. They were so yummy. And they were filling and refreshing. Tonight we're going to have a salad again but it's going to be a Caesar salad with grilled chicken pieces and hard-boiled eggs (and anything else I can think to throw in). I've got ranch mixed up so really we'll use whichever we want on our salads. Michael likes to mix ranch and Caesar dressings on his salad. I like one or the other but not both at the same time the way he does. There were two breasts in the chicken we grilled the other night and I'm just going to cut them up and add them on top of the salad. Wish I had some fresh Parmesan to grate over the top of that. I don't like Parmesan cheese out of the bottle but I sure like it fresh.

My daughter-in-law sent me an email, letting me know that she and my grandson drove up to the lookout the other night and watched the meteorite shower. They got to see some big ones (or at least one big one, anyway) and she said she even heard one. On the channel 3 news the other night they talked about a bright light over Tuolumne County being a meteorite but they didn't say anything about being able to hear them. I don't know if I've ever heard of anyone hearing a meteorite before. That's interesting. I should have stayed out longer and watched for them. I don't know how long the shower is supposed to last. Maybe I'll go back out tonight and look for some again. If memory serves me right, the showers usually last for a few days. Can't hurt to go out and look. They said on the news to point your toes toward the NE to see them but I don't know where NE is here. Our road kinda twists around, it's very deceiving. For years I thought our deck faced absolute west but it doesn't look that way on a map. Isn't it amazing that something as small as a grain of sand can light up the night sky the way it does?

My hair was good to go when I washed and styled it. It doesn't look as nice as it looked when my hairdresser had cut and styled it, but it still looks pretty good. It is really short and I would do better with a smaller round brush but I managed. I was really afraid I wouldn't be able to do anything with it. I started cosmetology school back in 1988 (has it been THAT long!!!!) but fell and cracked my leg and had to stay off it for a couple weeks and then was on crutches for several more weeks so I ended up dropping out of the class. I've always enjoyed working with hair and I think I would have made a good hairstylist but I never did go back.

Mario has taken to sleeping on his boxes again. I have a couple Avon boxes stacked up on a table by the hall that he likes to sleep on. The boxes are empty now. I only keep them there for him to lie on. No! me spoil my animals? Never! Anyway when he's sleeping up there and he gets up to change positions, the boxes will creak and squeak. He changes his position quite often so we get to listen to the noise. I kinda like the sound in a weird way but Michael doesn't. What made me think of this is that he just got up and moved around and the boxes started creaking. I know you're bound to find this fascinating! LOL

Yesterday was hotter than I had expected it to be. 104 on the deck. The heat really fooled us last night too. We turned off the cooler about when we usually do and it got hotter inside the house than outside so we ended up turning the cooler back on for a couple hours. We're actually supposed to be in a cooling trend for the rest of this week. Then it will warm up again for a few days. I can take the daytime heat as long as it cools off at night so I can sleep. But personally I think 104 is pretty hot for a cooling trend! Of course, Sacramento, where our news originates, is a different climate from us. They get the delta breeze in to cool things off and we rarely get that breeze. Sometimes we will but it takes longer for it to get to us and it doesn't seem to last as long as it did for Sacramento. But usually it doesn't even factor into our weather. It's like the national news using San Francisco temperatures as THE temp reading for California. San Francisco is in a weather world of its own, and has absolutely no business being considered the temp for California. People back east have no idea how hot it can get out here.

My cousin in Georgia leaves Friday morning for upstate New York on a missions trip. Her church had helped plant a church in New York and they are doing some followup work with the new church. (Hopefully I have that information okay. If I'm wrong, forgive me.) I think she said she would be gone a week. They will make it a point to see Niagara Falls while back there. Sounds like fun. She goes on missions fairly often. I'd love to go but as long as I have animals, I have to stay home and take care of them. One of these days I won't have any, but for now my animals are my babies and I can't just go off and leave them. When Michael was younger it wasn't so hard because he could take care of them. But he's older now and things are a little harder for him to take care of. Hopefully, Betty will have a good trip, get lots of work done and have fun in the process.

Today's Bible verse is Isaiah 33:15-16 and it's a good Scripture to use to show that we reap what we sow. If we live rightly, life will be good for us. If we don't well, then, things don't go so well for us. But even the righteous have difficult lives full of all kinds of trouble and strife sometimes so I think this verse is speaking more of our internal, mental aspects. If we live rightly, we benefit by the way we feel inside, when our spirit relies on the Holy Spirit there is peace and blessings for our soul. Living rightly can bring us material, tangible blessings, too, but it's that inner peace and lack of conflict that we seek to reap for ourselves.

I think that's about it from me for Tuesday. I couldn't think of a title for today (as you could probably tell) so I just stuck Untitled up there. My creative juices aren't flowing today. Every day is different. That's what makes life so much fun!