Category Archives: God
You know where I was most of the past week…building an erupting volcano, carving the Grand Canyon, moving the Matterhorn and Great Barrier Reef into the large gathering room with the Northern Lights flowing silently overhead. Oh…and let’s not forget the over-sized and complex Victoria Falls in my classroom and the two story staircase in the gym lobby. All of this construction was in preparation for Vacation Bible School this week…“Build It and They Will Come” and come they did!
Today was the first day and I had a large class with 27 4th Grade boys and girls. I am now in my chair with my feet up…after dancing to the action songs connected with the theme of Amazing Wonders then picking up two children to bring home for a little time with my youngest after feeding them. I really want more coffee…if I can keep my eyes open! I may be late each day because of Vacation Bible School and just wanted you to know.
I need yo complete my planning! I hope all is well!
Have a great day!
What?…No Way!…“You’ve Got To Be Kidding!” I am going to start ignoring American Idol.. This season only had, in my opinion, three good singers make the cuts from Hollywood Week. I have been voting for two the last couple of weeks. The so-called “tremendous talent” I just don’t see it. I see growlers and screamers…jazzy mumbles all who can sing…but tremendous talent…No Way! Last nights elimination of Colton Dixon, one of my favorites, was not a surprise. The Judges have their favorites…the gushing sentiments and standing ovations for these performers leave me shaking my head. “Did they hear the same performance I did?” “You’ve Got To Be Kidding!”
For those of you who may be shaking your heads at my ignorance…let me explain my background.
I was raised in a musical home. We all sing…and lead in our music ministries. My father was trained and performed in many venues just like my youngest sister and myself. My brother is an incredibly talented singer and instrumentalist. My other sister is involved with the music program at her church. My family have never been just choir singers, not that there is anything wrong with being a singer in a choir, we are used in other ways musically. I know there is more to this American Idol business than singing…but these judges did not pick the best and brightest this season at all, with the exception of three of them, out of the original singers that made it to Hollywood.
Maybe I have gotten old…”No..that can’t be…based on the type of music I listen to!” I was raised with a love for good music…no matter the type. I enjoy many different types of music…even instrumental classical. I feel sorry for the American Idol show and realize that this will probably be the last year, or season, that I will watch. My husband gets a kick out of me every week! I hold my phone in my hand with finger ready to dial and vote, like a mad dog, for my favorites. I have chosen the winner, early on, every season! One of my favorites is still in the mix…I will not mention her name…but, she has a spunky personality and incredibly big voice.
My husband, who does not have a musical bone in his body but thinks he does, cannot understand the judges either. My husband will spin and look at me, with that eyebrow raised, and say…”Eeww did you hear that?” “What did you think about that performance?” If my husband hears bad notes and questions the judges favorites there’s a problem. Maybe the melodious dragging of fingernails on a chalkboard is responsible for the “goosies” the judges experience. Most of the hopeful’s performances leave my eyes glazed over like a “deer in the headlights” with my mouth open wide as I think “You’ve Got To Be Kidding!”
Sorry for the rambling on…back to Colton! Kudos on the graceful exit! Colton has touched many with his belief based performances. Last night’s performance was an uplifting experience as he fell to his knees and sang from his heart. He knew! He was at peace! I cried as I watched this young man, full of spirit, sing the last note. “I will buy his CD!” My son, who does the audio/visual for a band, agreed! He could not believe Colton Dixon was eliminated. We will miss this young man and his creative versatility. The music business is not finished with him!
I know I may sound a bit picky…but we all have our likes and dislikes. I like melody…not note seeking growls. What do you like? Let me know! Have a great day!
And in particular we are looking for a liberal church. This is a 180 degree change for me. In all my Navy moves, I have looked for the conservative church. My friend and I met at a Bible study which began in an Anglican church (read – very conservative). She’s a fine Christian woman who after her horrible marriage was over found herself in a homosexual relationship. I’m not defining her by who she loves. I’m defining her as a Christian. Anyway her special someone lives in the D.C. area, so she needs a friend here. This is where you put your faith to your feet. We have been visiting churches, especially liberal churches. And I have to ask myself if I care if people wonder if I am gay. Unfortunately, I do. I’m working on that. (I’m not, by the way. It bothers me that I feel the need to say that.)
Anyway the Anglican church in America (a congregation of which is where we met) was begun as a response to the Episcopal church’s ordination of homosexuals. Ergo, she feels uncomfortable there now, even though we still affiliate with a Bible study. At the same time, I am missing singing in a choir (as the Anglican church only has a praise team, and I don’t care for praise songs very much). So it makes sense that I visit churches with her.
We went to a downtown church today where we learned about Jonah (and the people of Nineva, who God loved, too). We sang this old, old song, and I wondered, considering the poem I intend to teach on Wednesday, how many people heard the very words they were singing. Also, when if the last time you openly, loudly proclaimed your sin to the world in song (with a magnificent pipe organ, I might add)?
by Charles Welsey
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed Name,
Put Him to an open shame.
Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.
There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.
by Mark Jarman
After the praying, after the hymn-singing,
After the sermon’s trenchant commentary
On the world’s ills, which make ours secondary,
After the communion, after the hand-wringing,
And after peace descends upon us, bringing
Our eyes up to regard the sanctuary
And how the light swords through it, and how, scary
In their sheer numbers, motes of dust ride, clinging–
There is, as doctors say about some pain,
Discomfort knowing that despite your prayers,
Your listening and rejoicing, your small part
In this communal stab at coming clean,
There is one stubborn remnant of your cares
Intact. There is still murder in your heart
This has been a very busy weekend and I have survived. The weekend started with a Prayer Conference, a planned activity I signed up for, at my church. It started Friday evening and then again on Saturday morning. On Sunday we had a special emphasis for the New Family Life Center Dedication with lots of music and Guest Speaker. Everything was fine and falling into place! Then the proverbial “Curve Ball” hit the fan. Let’s just say I have run the gambit of emotions this weekend. I am in a state of calm shakiness feeling peacefully distraught. I know you may think I am one of the craziest people you have ever known. “I would have to agree with you right now!”
I wish I could go into details! “Maybe another time.”
All I can say about this “Curve Ball” is that it is probably the best thing that could happen. Inconvenient and tragic but, all in all, a “silver lining”.
“Curve Balls“, when thrown at you, can put your life is such disarray. One moment the crowd is cheering and banners and signs are flying high and the next is a collective and silenced hush. You have two options..you can hold your head high with an “everything will turn out okay” spirit or you can throw your bat down and storm off crying. Let me just speak from experience for a moment and say that the latter of the two choices is sometimes the easier of the two options. We have to face the circumstances thrown at us on a daily basis and learn to make that darn lemonade. We have to listen to the inner commanding officer barking orders on the battlefield. “Get up soldier!” “But I have been shot sir!” “Where?” “My leg sir!” “Walk it off soldier..That’s and order!” “Yes sir!” We get up and start walking, as the pain increases our resolve increases, and we continue on with the path before us.
I had the special yesterday and it was a tough one…or was it? It was almost word for word Psalm 121. “I love singing the Psalms.” I was fearful, to say the least, about being able to sing this song on this very important day. Five people knew the situation that had occurred the day before and after the song was over the looks on their faces reflected the radiating warmth I had flowing through my body. I was told later it was incredible and outstanding…I can’t believe you could get through that song….I was praying for you! I think the look I got from the pastor said it all. He simply looked up and smiled before I started and bowed his head. As the song reached the huge, voice filled, end…the entire church was in a clapping frenzy and the pastor looked up again and caught my eye, and with the broadest and whitest grin, nodded. I don’t remember walking back to the choir after the song. The other special was just as powerful and held my heart in that one two…but I was with the Ensemble and there is strength in numbers. The congregation rose to new heights by the end of this song and the Guest Speaker rose to take his place.
Knowing where my help and strength come allows me to hold my head up and courageously walk off the field. I know that when the next “Curve Ball” is thrown I will face it with determination and strength. I may actually swing and connect with the ball causing a reverberating crack to echo throughout the stadium. I may also be the only one who knows I hit that “Curve Ball” out of the park…and that’s okay!
How will you react when you get throw a “Curve Ball”?
In the drawing to the left, the excess pressure goes to flare. It burns off, kind of like we do when we exercise, or watch TV, or knit, or write a blog. This drawing also has a handy dandy pressure control valve that can activate if pressure gets too high, letting the excess off neatly, kind of like when we yell and scream, or go for a really long run that we will regret later, or even when we drink or eat too much.
The valve I learned about today has a diaphragm feature made of breakable material. If the piping to the flare gets to be too much, an automatic valve switches the flow to the this valve (actually I don’t think it’s a valve – bear with me if you are an engineer). The material breaks and the excess pressure is released into the atmosphere.
This is not ideal because the stuff is not good for the environment, but it is better than an explosion withing the huge red vessel. Ideally, this safety feature wouldn’t be used. I think sometimes it’s necessary to break, though, as people. I have had a very hard week. Today, I just cried in the car when I got home. Didn’t even come in. Just cried. That’s God’s pressure control valve.
I’ve seen the explosion that happens if the valve isn’t working. It’s ugly. No one wants that. But even if all the equipment is reduced to nothingness, God can redeem the explosion.
My valve broke today, but it’s currently being repaired. I’m going to work on getting more pressure to the flare where it can burn off and hurt no one, not even me. Heck, it could even heat something and be productive. Hopefully it will heat the fat off of my blooming arse! (Which btw is down 2.5 pounds.)
I am going to use God’s controls. Both of them. I will not reject tears as negative. They are God’s design. I will now sleep. I think that is a good way to relieve pressure. As my boss would say, “Am I right, or am I right?”
I’m nervous. There were parts of today where I felt like I was trusting my body. Trusting that God made it just right to send me the right signals, but now there is going to be Chinese. Ooooey, gooey mounds of gleaming meat doing the backstroke in mysterious sauces.
I know it’s fattening. So fattening.
But I’m supposed to trust my body. Don’t worry about what I know to be true. My body will let me know what it wants to eat. It will let me know when it is full.
Yet, my body has betrayed me time and again.
Like I said, I did well today. Well, I did well MOST of today. After work I went to Costco to get some contacts. While there, I got hungry. Just a little bit hungry, though. Just a tad. But I am afraid of hunger – that it will lead me to destruction. I realized that I was two hours from getting that Chinese. Could I make it two hours without making myself actually BECOME the Mongolian Beef later? In the car, I opened the banana from my lunch (which I forwent earlier). In my defense I only ate half.
Then I got home, let the dog out, and became obsessed with the thought of the grits and greens casserole I made yesterday. Mmmmm. My first try at grits and greens. It’s a keeper of a recipe. So yummy. I glanced at the clock. Easily an hour and a half before dinner. Would a bit hurt?
Come on, now!!! Nothing in Weigh Down says to eat casseroles cold out of the fridge with no ceremony!! Nothing says eat those bites quickly before my roomie gets home and catches me! What does that even matter? God knows. I know. I ate three bites (large bites), and then sort of came to my senses.
On the way upstairs to write this, I ate a square of Ghiradelli chocolate – the last one. I was not hungry. I did not need it. Now, guess what? Food will probably arrive on my table in one hour, and I am not hungry. I will (HOPEFULLY) contain myself and split the check with two ladies who will actually eat. My loss financially.
Then I will come home and try to get through the night without messing up more. I think I will once again pray for forgiveness and for strength, asking God to redeem the stuff I break, even if this time the only think I broke was my own resolve.
I said I would never diet again. Not after the weight fell off with no effort. No starving. No over-doing anything. All I did was leave crazy house, and the weight fell off. Look at Funny Girl: she left crazy house (to go to school) and instead of finding the freshman 15, she lost it. No, I said I would never diet again.
Then comes the weight. Where did it come from? I have analyzed and analyzed. I’ve read and researched ways to go about doing this again. But my heart isn’t in it. Deep down, I don’t believe it is a math problem like I did before (which of course it is: calories in – calories out = weight). But in my heart, I believe it is bigger than that.
I think about half the weight came from changing jobs. Seems like teaching uses more calories than you would think. But where it came from doesn’t matter.
I need a heart overhaul, and right now I believe more than anything that God is getting my attention through my body. Long time ago, I did the Weigh Down Workshop. It was beautiful. I felt that I was on the brink of something much bigger than weight loss, but then my husband came home from sea, and I needed to dwell on the earth rather than in the heavens. I’m not sure why that derailed the adventure – no, that’s not true, I do know. He had a tendency to think I was a religious kook every time I said anything too spiritual.
Anyway, I was nearly in HIS hands. The body was there, but the heart had almost followed. That’s what I want.
I bought a couple of related prayer books and watched some old videos. I want to trust God with this. I am afraid of hunger, but I want to trust HIM with that pain just as I trusted the chiropractor with my neck. Relax, he says right before I know he is going to cause me some fear and pain. But then I feel better. Am I willing to trust God as much as I trust a man? I hope so.
Pensive Girl has a new-ish car. She totaled her new Civic about six months ago and used the money to buy an Audi TT with nearly 200,000 miles on it. The train of logic ran something like this: we’ll save the difference in the insurance pay-out and use it for repairs.
Let’s just say that the money is gone and Pensive Girl’s boyfriend now has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Audi TTs.
On the up side, the car has brand new insides. I want to know how to get that. How do I get a brain that resolves to do things (like lose weight) with the strength mentioned in the chiropractor’s sign?
My brain has knocks – the kind cars used to get back in the day. Only my brain grumbles. About the size of the closet, the cabinets, the table, the rooms. About the amount of gas my car uses (realize that my car was a gift – talk about looking a gift horse in the tank). I need to get rid of the knocks.
I need more than a weight-loss resolution this year. I need a brain overhaul.
I have thought for about a year that the answer is a church with a choir. I visited one for a while, but I never joined the choir because it conflicted with my Bible study. Still, though, I think that is really more of a new paint job, when what I really need is a new engine.