Monday, March 31, 2008

winter haven

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson is to be released in a couple of weeks.  I was able to read an advance copy and I loved it.  As soon as possible, pick up a copy and spend some time on the rugged island of Winter Haven.

This contemporary novel was masterfully written with a wonderfully gothic feel.  I snuggled under a blanket.  

The writing is clean and vivid.  I feel as if I've actually been to this place off the coast of Maine.  The imagery in Dickson's novels is always wonderful, but flows naturally from the story itself.

Vera leaves Dallas for a tiny island in Maine so that she can recover the body of her brother who has been missing for thirteen years.  Siggy washed ashore all these miles from home, yet how did he get there?  And stranger still, he looks exactly as he did when he disappeared at the age of fifteen.

A massive, brooding house sitting atop a cliff.  The dangerous Atlantic pounding the shore.  A mysterious man, ghosts  and a witch.  Ominous warnings and threats.  Dead bodies, unsolved mysteries and tragedy.  Frightening sounds and unexplained events.  Grief, madness, and grudges.  What is real?  Who can she trust?  She can’t even trust her own mind, or God who is sitting on high waiting to punish her for wayward thoughts or actions. 

Will she be able to unravel the events that brought her brother to this remote place full of evil foreboding?  Will she give in to insanity and the memories that overwhelm her?  There are far more questions than answers as you turn these pages, but as with other Dickson books I’ve read, the ending is satisfying and complete.  All your questions will be answered in full.  You'll find the pieces come together, the ends tied off, and you've had great ride.

Nicole at Into the Fire has posted a review today, too.  So go check that out.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

my why

One church that we went to I loved attending and had to do with relationships.  I always had someone I wanted to see, say "hi" to, or hug.  It was all about the people.

Another church we went to, I had no relationships.  It was all about God and me.  I loved going and hated to miss because every week I saw something new about God, or heard something from Him.  The sermons often stayed in my mind all week.  The presence of the Spirit was very real there and it was just a wonderful time with the Lord.

See, I can listen to sermons at home.  I can read the Bible for myself and learn and be convicted, repent and change.  I can get together with believers anywhere, any place and any time.  I can sing to the Lord.  I can pray alone or in a prayer group.  I can "do" all of the things that we "do" at church without going to church.  What if we have a small group that meets at home?  We have accountability there and corporate worship.  Is the pastor the only thing that makes church different?

Just asking here.  I think it's important we know these things.  

Anyway, I love church.  I can't imagine not going.  Whatever the reason is that I go.  

I know that I love being with other believers, in all kinds of settings.  I love corporate worship.  I love seeing God work in others' lives.  I love the fellowship.

I know that God has a way of relating to us as individuals and He also has a way of relating to us corporately.  That is demonstrated in His relationship with Israel throughout the Old Testament.  I think He gives a special blessing for us gathering together as representatives of His body.  He blesses that act of unity.  Perhaps the reason I go is for that.  Maybe that's what we all find there.  If we look past the "because I should" and "it's how I was raised" reasons, I think we'll find we just love having God smile on us, His son's Bride-to-be.

tell me why

We went to church last night ( Saturday).  We went to a large church that has services on Sunday morning and Saturday night.  So today we didn't go.  And I feel a little guilty about it. So I've been questioning that.  Why should I feel guilty?  
Because I am an over-thinker, I have started asking myself "why do I go to church at all?"  Not in the sense that I shouldn't go, but simply wanting to know why...
Is it because it's what I've been trained to do?  Because it's what Good Christians do?  Because if I don't I'll be "backslidden"?  
I know the Bible says not to forsake gathering together -- which by the way doesn't mean we can't skip services now and then.  If I go to a retreat and spend a couple of days from my husband it certainly doesn't mean I've forsaken him.  But anyway, in obedience to that verse, we should gather together.  But what is my personal motivation?  Does it go beyond simple obedience?
I am going to think more about this and post about it later.  For now, I would like to hear your answers.  But please, don't immediately answer with the first thing that comes to mind.  Chances are, that will be the pat answer that you've been taught all your life.  I don't want to know why we should go to church.  I would like to know why you personally go.  Please, take some time to think about it.  Leave my blog and come back and answer later if you need to.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

no autographs please

When I was a teenager my mother, sister, friend and I were extras in a movie. We saw the ad in the paper, so we went out to a place outside of town along with a hundred or so other people.

We waited around in the hot sun for what seemed like a very long time.
The movie was so low budget that the leading lady borrowed my friend's Cover Girl compact for a touch up.

We finally got to do our part. We'd all been brain fried by the planets aligning or something like that, so we had to just walk along, zombie like in a big crowd. And whatever we did, we were NOT to look at the camera. He made that very clear. Numerous times.

Maybe you've heard of it... The Spirits of Jupiter? No? Wow. I'm so surprised.

We even went to the premier in our little theater in our little town. It was funny because the stars were acting as if it were a real premier, smiling for the one photographer that was there. Primping and posing.

We kept watching for ourselves in the film of course. There we were. Finally. Literally. We were the crowd of people marching along as the end credits rolled by. I did see myself because I had on a red shirt. So keep in mind if you ever get the chance to be an extra to wear red.

Friday, March 28, 2008

two things

I got another award!  Jan at Bold and Free and Mel at Monday through Sunday both gave me this award!

All of you who read my blog are my friends and I appreciate you.  Please, come and get this award and put it on your own blog!  That's it, right there on the right.

Now, another topic.  I love names and thinking about the meaning of names.  I have done some study on the names of God and it is very interesting and insightful into the nature of God.
But This, I did not know.  This is worth all of you reading over at What Athol Wrote.  Really, it will give you goosebumps and maybe bring a tear of wonder to your eye.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

just thinking

Having the right intentions isn't the same as doing the right thing.

I'm not directing this at anyone, I was just thinking about something.  I've defended people before on the basis that I'm sure their heart was in the right place.  I'm sure they had the best intentions.  But neither of those things make the wounds any less painful.
Caring about someone and meaning well does not excuse poor behavior.  And the behavior may not be obviously bad.  It might be good behavior, but inappropriate for the situation or the timing.

Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions are, the best action is to simply keep our mouths shut.  Sometimes it may be the opposite.  We may desire to keep quite out of respect, but perhaps the silence would come across as unconcern.  Sometimes it may be the exact thing that comes to mind, another time it might be something we wouldn't have thought of on our own.

How can we ever know the right thing to do?  We have to constantly be receptive to the Spirit's guidance and be in prayer when dealing with one another.  Particularly in delicate situations.

I'm sure that I have, with good intentions, hurt people before.  We tend to think we know the best thing to say and honestly, we don't.  Without God's wisdom we know nothing.

Stepping down from my soapbox now.

the real me

I've mentioned before, way back on my blog, that I have a history of being a lot like Lucy from Charlie Brown.  If it weren't for the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life I would be a regular old crabby, grumpy, irritable, brat.  Every now and then some of that comes through.  It is still is a part of my flesh.
I have pictures to prove it.  Apparently, if you were to just call my name and I turned to look at you, this is the expression I would have on my face.  As you can see - it has been true over the years.  The first photos is from when I was 16 and the last is only a year old, or so.

There.  You've seen the worst of me.  I have nothing more to hide.  Really.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meme of Fives

    I was tagged by Jen (Inner Voices) and Toia for the Meme of Fives

    1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
    2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
    3. At the end of the post the player than tags 5 people and posts their names, than goes to their blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they done got tagged and to ask them to play and read your blog.

    What was I doing 10 years ago? 1998

    1. I was expecting a baby - my son
    2. I was just coming into the light after two years of depression
    3. I was settling into a new house we liked after leaving a house we really disliked
    4. I was settling into a new church 
    5. I was mothering a 2 1/2 year old girl
    5 things on my to-do list today ~
    1. Go to Moms in Touch prayer group
    2. Go to Bold and Free's prayer meeting
    3. Write
    4. Go for a walk
    5. Go to a Writers' group meeting
    Snacks I enjoy ~
    1. Natural Ruffles potato chips
    2. Cape Cod potato chips
    3. Kettle potato chips
    4. Ice cream
    5. Cheese
    Things I would do if I were a billionaire ~
    1. Give my parents and sister a million bucks.  
    2. Buy a house
    3. Get a car with more room
    4. Support missions and outreach agencies here and around the world
    5. Travel the world

    Five of my bad habits ~
    1. Rubbing my nose - I was looking through old pictures and there are dozens of me rubbing my nose.
    2. Letting laundry pile up
    3. Letting dirty dishes pile up
    4. Hitting the snooze button
    5. Reading when I should be doing laundry - or dishes

    Five places I have lived ~
    1. Canon City, CO
    2. Pueblo, CO
    3. Westcliffe, CO
    4. Kansas City, KS
    5. Lynchburg, VA - for college, don't know if that counts
    6. Colorado Springs, CO

    Five jobs I've had ~ 
    1. McDonalds cook, order taker person, birthday party person
    2. Worked in the cafeteria in college
    3. Waitress at Buckskin Joe Old Western Town
    4. Home health nurse 
    5. county health nurse

    I Tag ~
    2. Bet
    4. Jen (Joyful Notes)
    5. Amy

Monday, March 24, 2008

searching for spice

My friend Megan's book is now in bookstores!  Or you can order a copy from Amazon.
Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria.  (You say Meegan Dee Maria.)  (I swiped the photo from her site.)
You may have heard me mention that I'm not real fond of romance novels anymore.  I'll tell you why.  I find them to be formulaic, more often than not.  I'm really not that interested in twenty-somethings finding the love of their life -- been there, done that.  And I think they are unrealistic.  Sure, initial attraction is all butterflies and rainbows, but real love isn't.
But this book is a romance unlike any other I've read.  It's real.  The main characters are not the typical romance pair. They are a couple who have been married twenty-five years.  The wife, Linda, realizes that her marriage is lacking something.  She decides to spice things up.  She's hoping to bring back some of that initial sizzle and passion.  But like real life, things don't always go the way she'd hoped.  Life throws us all curve balls and that's how it goes in this book.  Our husbands don't always "get it".  Our kids don't always cooperate.  Life happens.
Because I know Megan, have had lunch with her.  Listened to her tell stories and had conversations with her.  I know that this book is also real in the sense that it is her voice.  Strong and true.  There are no affectations or imitations.  This is Megan telling a wonderful story.
Her writing is snappy and doesn't lull for a minute.  I found myself carried away by the book.  She does an excellent job of keeping you engrossed.  Every chapter has one of those endings that begs for you to read just one more.
This story is about love on all levels.  Real love.  The kind that doesn't always feel what it should.  
It is humorous and light. An easy read.  But you may shed a tear or two along the way.  Because it's about life and life isn't always easy.
I highly recommend that you find a copy right away.  I am sure that you will enjoy it, too.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is risen!

There is so much to say about the resurrection.  But I am always touched by the story of Mary Magdalene as she went to the tomb before sunrise.  
Mary had spent the Sabbath sitting still and grieving.  We all know it helps to be able to do something.  Now the Sabbath was over and as soon as possible she took a couple of friends to the market to get spices for burial.  Weighed down with pounds of spice and ointment, sorrow and pain, they went to the tomb.

The events that transpired took her on a roller coaster of confusion, terror, deeper pain and then unimaginable joy.

My favorite part, the part that always brings a tear to my eye, is when she asked the man, whom she thought was the gardener, where they had taken the body.  She wanted to retrieve it.  The man had asked her why she was crying and who she was looking for.  The sound of His voice didn't trigger anything.  But then, after her request, He said, "Mary."  She fell upon Him, knowing then, without a doubt who she was speaking with. 

The sound of her name on His lips.  

I read once a child's definition of love.  "When your name is safe in someone's mouth."  Never has a name been safer.

From deep desperation to ecstatic elation in a matter of seconds.   There is untold power in the name of Jesus.  But there is also power in your name being spoken by Jesus.  Have you heard it?

When I was in college, Sandy Patty and Larnelle Harris were all the rage.  I heard this song countless times, but never tired of it.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


This is the same idea that I posted on last year, you can go back and read that one, too, if you want to.

There have been times in my life when I had great expectations and ideas of how things would turn out.  Wonderful dreams and plans.  But in an unexpected instant those dreams, hopes and plans were dashed.  It was as if I felt the globe turn and suddenly North was South and down was up.  

Ever been there?  

I think that's how it was for Jesus' disciples.  Even those who recognized that He was the long awaited Messiah, didn't really understand what that meant, I think.  We are earthly minded beings and I think they all expected an earthly revolution.

But now, on this day, He lay dead in a borrowed tomb.  Some of them had seen Him die.  Some of them had helped carry the body and wrap it in cloth.  He was dead.  His skin was ashen, His nails and lips blue, His limbs stiffened.  No hope.  Gone.

So I picture them sitting in the empty room just staring.  No one knows what to say.  They had a plan and a purpose and... now what?  So much excitement and emotional build up - - for this?

"This isn't what I expected.  This isn't what I had in mind.  I never planned for this.  What do I do now?"

All they could see was yesterday and today.  No matter how strong their faith, I don't think any of them imagined tomorrow.  They saw dashed hopes and empty dreams.  They saw lost and confused faces gazing at one another.  They saw fear and pain.  They had all lost one they loved dearly.  They had all been betrayed by a trusted friend.

They had no idea that the revolution going on was for their souls.  No idea that the spiritual realm was undergoing a vast restructuring.  What had belonged to the devil was taken away.  Paid for, Redeemed.  What had been his most powerful weapon -- death-- was losing its power.  
Sometimes when we lose what we long for, it's because something unimagined is being given in its place.  Don't lose hope.  Look to tomorrow!

Friday, March 21, 2008

the pain

Jesus didn't want to experience the pain of this day.  Who can blame Him?  I know that His humanity dreaded the physical suffering to be endured.  
But His Deity dreaded taking my place.  He wanted to, don't get me wrong.  He did it willingly out of love we can never comprehend.  But He was perfect.  Sinless.  Spotless and pure.  And in order to take my place He had to bear my sin.  
All of the filth of everything I've ever done or even thought of doing.  Every bit of evil that came to me through my lineage of sin.  And the shame.  Shame that drives people to desperation at times.  He wore it.  He hung there on the cross, naked and exposed, arms spread wide.  No way to cover Himself.  No way to hide.  And it wasn't His skin that shamed Him.  It was my sin.  He hung there wearing it and all the shame and God looked at Him and was so disgusted He had to turn away.  Jesus was forsaken for me.  Forsaken by His own nature, even...for me.  
God cannot abide sin.  Can't tolerate it.  That's the whole point.  So Jesus was forsaken so that I could be embraced.  Because Jesus wore my garment of filth, I now wear His garment of Righteousness.  When God looks at the cross, He sees me.  When God looks at me, He sees Jesus!  
I don't think we will ever fully understand the sacrifice.  It wasn't just about beatings and thorns and nails.  Thousands of men have been crucified.  Thousands of men have died unjustly. But what made this sacrifice so great was the pain of Purity and Absolute Holiness dripping with the slime and sludge of sins He never committed.  The shame.
And you know what?  When we cling to that shame, when we just can't let ourselves off the hook for something, we are calling His sacrifice worthless.   We are saying that it wasn't enough.  Christ have mercy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

thursday thirteen

Thirteen things Jesus did today.  Read Matthew 26 or John 13 for more.
1. He procured a place for their meal
2. He washed His disciples feet as a lesson in true servanthood
3. He celebrated the Passover meal - making connections between it, Himself, and the New Covenant
4. He predicted his betrayal by Judas and his denial by Peter
5. He promised the Holy Spirit
6.He foretold His death and resurrection
7. He prayed for His disciples, and for us
8. He gave His disciples instructions and comfort for the future
9.. He prayed earnestly for there to be another way, but surrendered to the Father's will.
10. He was betrayed by Judas
11.  He was arrested and tried unfairly
12. He was betrayed by all the disciples who ran away
13. He was betrayed by Peter who denied Him three times

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jesus' name

The Bible says that what ever we ask for in Jesus' name we will receive.  So we all tend to end our prayers with "in Jesus' name we pray" or something like that.  We ask for a new car and then add the magic words and expect God to give us a new car because after all, we prayed it in Jesus' name.
I don't think that's quite what He meant.  I see it as asking for the same thing Jesus would ask for.   We are here, before the throne of God because of what Christ did for us.  Only by His work and in His name can we come.  You know how people will say, "tell them I sent you" to get you an "in" someplace.  That's what Jesus did.  We are before the Father because of Him and representing Him.

If someone goes to Blockbuster and says, "I'm here on behalf of Kay Day and I want the worst porno horror flick you *&**&^))), *&^%$(* have in this *&%%$#$ store and I want it &&^^%$^&** now!"  Then I'd say they've represented me falsely.  You could say they've taken my name in vain.  Which leads me off track a bit, but that's what I personally think the command against taking the LORD's name in vain is referring to.  I think the Crusaders and Inquisitioners were guilty of this sin.  I think any time we falsely represent Christ we are guilty of this sin.
Ok, back on the prayer track...  So if asking in Jesus name means asking for the thing we think He would ask for, how do we know what He would ask for? 
The Bible also says that whatever we pray for according to His will He will give us, so I think the two things are basically the same.  
The way we know is first of all to be familiar with Jesus.  Know His heart and learn what things He did pray for while on earth.
Know the Word of God.  We know that we can pray for unity of all believers because Jesus prayed for that.  We know that we can pray for marriages to be restored because God says He hates divorce and the Word says that men should love their wives and women should respect and submit to their husbands.
We can pray for people to be saved because the Bible says "it is His will that none should perish but that all should have eternal life."
We can pray for things He's promised and know that He will answer.
Does that make sense?
When it comes to things like healing - we have examples both ways in the Bible.  God sometimes heals and sometimes doesn't (David's infant son and Paul' thorn, for example).  So when I hear of someone who needs healing I always pray for them to be healed unless God directs me otherwise.
This is the other way we can know how to pray according to His will.  Be tuned in to the Holy Spirit.  I personally believe that all prayer is initiated by God.  He first reveals to us what He wants us to pray for - what He has already determined to do, then we pray for that and then He accomplishes it.  
Why bother, some may ask.  If God is just going to do what He wants, why bother?  Because it's all about relationship.  It's all about God including us in His work.  He doesn't need us --- He's God for goodness sake.  But He blesses us with letting us have a part in what He is doing.  And He wants the connection that pray provides.  He speaks to us, we speak to Him, He answers, we thank Him, He blesses us, He speaks to us again, etc.
Once a friend of mine learned that her son-in-law was diagnosed with a type of ALS.  I knew this man and his wife and I was very sorry to hear that.  I prayed for them and I wanted more than anything for him to be healed.  But every time I started to pray for his healing I felt a strong restraining, I guess I could call it, of the Holy Spirit, and I felt strongly led to pray instead for their strength and comfort and surrender instead.  So I did.  And God answered those prayers.
The same friend herself had cancer and I prayed for her healing and God answered that prayer.  Right now I am praying for a blog friend to be healed of cancer, but it's looking as if God is going to heal her by taking her home instead.  My faith will not be dashed.  I trust Him to do what is right.  Sometimes I feel that the Holy Spirit is directing me to pray a certain way, but it doesn't come to pass that way.  That's ok.  I am obedient in what I know and I trust God with what I don't know.
I'm sorry this post is so long... I'll try to keep tomorrow's post brief!
Love you all and I hope none of you are being flooded today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


When I was ten years old, my grandma had to go to the hospital to have surgery for brain cancer.  I prayed that she would be well and I believed she would be.  That's what prayer is for, right?  
She never came home from the hospital.  The swelling from the surgery killed her and they were unable to remove all of the cancer anyway.
That was my first experience with death, other than a pet.  And my first experience with God answering my prayers differently than I had expected.
I continued to pray throughout my life.  But I wonder why?  I had a very strong belief that God answered prayer, but a very strong doubt that He would answer mine.
When I was pushing forty, I went to a Bible Study called Believing God by Beth Moore.  It changed my view of God and faith and prayer in so many ways.   I would have to do a whole post about that to do it justice.  
But there was one section on not being offended by God.  
Remember when John the Baptist was in prison and he was soon to be beheaded?  
There is a wonderful book called The Prisoner in the Third Cell that talks about all this.  I recommend the book.  
Anyway, he's in prison and he's heard all these stories of the wonderful things that Jesus is doing.  Jesus, his cousin.  Jesus, the Lamb of God.  While still in the womb, John had recognized who Jesus was.  He spent his entire life preparing the way of the Lord.  Making the path straight.  Clearing the way.  He was a spiritual bushwhacker for Jesus (that sounds like an old fashioned sermon).  Now here HE was in jail.  So he asked his followers, "Is Jesus really the Messiah?"  Was he thinking "if He were really the Messiah, I wouldn't be here"?  "How can he be who I thought he was and let me stay locked up here?"  His followers went back to Jesus and asked the question for John.  Jesus gave them an answer for him.  They were to tell him of all the miracles they had seen Jesus perform and of the lives that had been changed and then they were to say to him, "Blessed is he who is not offended by me."
I had spent thirty years offended that God had said no to my prayer.  Thirty years holding it against Him, basically.  What an eye-opener.
The thing that God had been teaching me, that came to a clear point at this time, was that if I put my faith in my request then I will be disappointed.  
If I pray for something with complete confidence that God is going to give that thing, I may be disappointed.  Because I don't always know the right thing to pray for.  My faith is in the one who answers, not in the one making the request.  My faith says "I am going to ask for this thing, but I trust God to answer the best way and I will accept His answer with thanksgiving."  I have complete faith that God CAN heal brain cancer.  He CAN do anything.  And sometimes, because it is the best thing, He does do the miraculous.  Other times, because it is the best thing, He does not.
I'm going to post more on prayer tomorrow.  

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's blessings

I had trouble formatting my post the way I wanted, so I decided to put my prayer and blessing in it's own post.
 This Prayer is taken from St. Patrick's breastplate:
Christ be with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ where I lie
Christ where I sit
Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man
who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man
who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me
Salvation is of the Lord.
And I like this little blessing.  I pray it for you.
"May the smile of God light you to glory."
It's kind of hard to find Irish blessing and prayers that don't center around beer! LOL, but I found a nice little page full of them.  Take a look if you like.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I hope you are wearing green!  Consider yourself pinched if you aren't.

St. Paddy's Day

I have a bit of Irish in me.  Doesn't every one?  So it seems.  Especially on St. Patrick's Day.  I wanted to share this beautiful tribute to the Emerald Isle.
Luck 'O the Irish be With Ye, Today!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

emotional day

Today is a day we associate with rejoicing and celebration and rightly so.  But so much more was going on.

Yesterday Jesus celebrated the last Sabbath on this earth in his human body.  (He would celebrate more after His resurrection, but He wasn't the same then.  I don't know if his humanity was still a part of that risen body.)  I wonder what He was thinking.  I wonder how He felt.  This whole 100% God/100% man thing makes it hard to imagine.  He knew the purpose, the plan and the outcome.  He had the eternal perspective that every other human lacks.  Yet, surely His humanity felt some sorrow.  Surely He relived some of the good times He'd had with His family, friends and followers.  I imagine He felt sad about the pain He knew they would all soon be experiencing.  Yet, we know that whatever thoughts and feelings He had, they were without sin.  No pity parties.  No moping or worrying.

Today, surrounded by praise and adoration, He entered His favorite city.  "Save Now!  Save Now!"  "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna!  Hosanna!"  Palm branches were waved and thrown on the ground beneath the feet of the young donkey he rode.
"Shut them up!" The arrogant, fearful pharisees said.  This behavior could be dangerous under Caesar's watch.  Not to mention the symbolism of the palm branches.  Palms are found throughout scripture in reference to God's dwelling place and to man dwelling with God.  I had also heard that they were considered a political banner - much like a flag - associated with the Maccabees - serious rebels in Israel's history.
"These thing must be said.  If these people do not praise me, the very rocks will cry out."  I feel like that's saying, "It is what it is." Great statement from "I Am That I Am".

While still outside the gate, Jesus paused to look out over the city of God's heart.  "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if only I could gather you as a hen gathers her chicks."  Jesus wept.  This was not a pretty cry.  The greek word is that for a sobbing, big ol' snotty cry.  He wept.  He knew that within the lifetime of some of these people Jerusalem was going to be left without one stone upon another.  Sacked.  Destroyed and her people carried off into slavery throughout the world.  The implication is there that if only they had believed and accepted Him for who He really is, they would be spared that fate.  But they did not.  They rejected Him, the Corner Stone, without which no structure can stand.
He wept.
What a day it must have been.  A real roller coaster of emotion.  

Last year we were attending an Anglican church.  They celebrated Palm Sunday in tangible way.  It was the focus of the entire service, not just an honorable mention.  They had a service on Thursday to commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus washing his disciples' feet.  They had a service on Good Friday to remember His death.  I heard, (or read) somewhere that celebrating Easter without observing the other events of the week was like walking into the happy ending of a movie without seeing the rest.  You can't experience the excitement and joy if you haven't seen the struggle that took place to get there.  
Let's keep our minds on Him this week, maybe a little more than usual.  Let's try to walk with Him where He walked during these final days.  Let's "go there" with Him so that the joy and celebration of the Resurrection will be that much more meaningful.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

talking funny

I love to use words inappropriately.  Use a word to mean something that it doesn't mean, but sounds like it should mean.  I also like to mispronounce words to make them funnier.  My daddy taught me that one.  The thing is that people usually don't think I'm funny when I do these things.  They usually think I'm stupid.   I get corrected a lot.  Then I look at them like they are stupid because they don't know funny when they hear it.

I also have a favorite, all-purpose Spanish phrase.  Como se llama (Como-as in Perry, say yahma).  I KNOW that it means "What's your name."  But it's no fun in that context.  Instead, say my kid is upset and crying.  I hold my arms out to him, lovingly bidding him to me, while gently saying "como se llama?"
Or perhaps dinner is ready and they are outside.  I open the window and shout "como se llama!"
Hit myself in the thumb with a hammer...strong emphasis on llama.
It's all in the inflection.  Try it.  You could even pick a different Spanish phrase.  I think most of them would work.  Or try a different language.  Make sure you know what it really means.  You don't want to call your children bad names.  Also, don't do it in front of people who speak that language.  They will probably think you are stupid.

fun and games and prizes!

My friend Jan is hosting a scavenger hunt!  Simply go to Bold and Free and read all about how to play.
My blog is part of this wild and crazy event.
Here's a look at some of the prizes:

Friday, March 14, 2008


Why are the grumpies and the mopeys more contagious than the smileys?  How can I practice joy when I am surrounded by unhappy people?  How do I rise above and help pull them up instead of letting them pull me down?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

thursday thirteen

*Mel of Monday Through Sunday and her family arrived safely in FL yesterday - I imagine she will be online soon.*

Thirteen of my favorite words:
1 ubiquitous 
2 effervescent
3 anomaly -this is one of hubby's least favorite words, so I try not to use it around the house
4 quintessential
5 infinitesimal
6 asinine
7 preposterous
8 iridescent
9 Guadalajara - I don't get to use that one much.  
10 applicable
11 hullabaloo
12 languid
13 serendipity

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I'm supposed to blog every day and I just don't have time to do a good post today.  I have been gone all day and I still have stuff to do tonight.
I'm right now IMing with a lawbreaker.  Which leads me to ask the question:
Do you go the speed limit?  Do you figure 5 MPH give or take?  Or do you consider the speed limit a suggestion for those who are not as experienced as you?  Or do you want to ask "What does she mean when she says 'speed limit?'"
I generally try to stay within 5 MPH of the posted limit.
Ok, be honest.  Fess up.  Comment as anonymous if that helps.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

the heart of God

I have prayed for God to let me know His heart and there have been two times where He showed me just a glimpse of it and it was very intense each time.
One time I when I was at a ministry meeting we were all taking turns praying.  When it reached my turn, I couldn't even speak.  I was overwhelmed by all of the pain in the world.  I felt as if God had revealed to me all of the sorrow and suffering and I couldn't bear it.  I just started sobbing and eventually found enough breath to sputter out a clumsy, but heartfelt prayer.  I've never at any other time experienced anything like that.
Another time while in church, I just stopped singing and listened instead to everyone else.  It was a church where people were very open in their worship.  One lady used sign language, with big gestures, to accompany her singing.  People swayed, raised their hands, knelt at their seats, cried, etc.  Some sang very off key, but so full of praise that it didn't matter.  Suddenly I felt God's heart of joy and love for all of these broken, wounded, healed, redeemed people pouring their worship out to Him.  I can't even remember it without tears, it was such a powerful experience.  
How God loves our worship.  How He adores us.  We are His precious children and no matter how imperfectly we do what we do, He treasures it. 
And He knows our pain.  If we knew even one millionth of a percent of the suffering in this world, we would die under it.  But God knows it.  He sees it.  And Jesus died under it for us.  

Monday, March 10, 2008

messenger of magnolia street

I just finished reading The Messenger of Magnolia Street.  I have read it before.  It's a book that should be re-read.
It's a lovely novel by River Jordan. 
It is different than any other book I've read.  It has some Peretti like supernatural elements.  In fact the whole book is about spiritual warfare.
A small southern town has been sleeping; forgetting to remember.  Without remembering who they are and what there purpose is, without remembering that time keeps on going whether we do or not, without being alert, everything dries up right under their noses.
An angel and God ride up to Washington DC, (in the back of a pickup) to fetch a young man back home.  His name is Nehemiah.  His job is to make something right, but what, he has to figure out along the way.
This story is written from the omniscient narrator POV of the angel.  The story bounces from past, preset, and future, but in a way you can easily follow.
Jordan's writing is very literary.  She uses words like an artist uses paint.  It's a beautiful book with a beautiful theme.
Though published on the general market, it is full of Spiritual truths.  Some so deep I'm not sure I even get them.
Here's one of my favorite lines, "I don't bother stifling a laugh, which no one but you and God can hear.  Sometimes, in the midst of the darkest situations, something funny is still funny."
I would love for some of you to read it and tell me what you think.  I wonder if anyone else will like it?

this just in

My hubby called me from Panera to let me know the havoc people are reporting that has been caused by the Daylight Saving time change.

Apparently, one person is concerned about their grass being dried out by the extra sunlight.
Another one noticed that their hens haven't been laying.

I just don't know what to say, folks.  I knew this was a bad thing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

sisterly love

1985, or so.  
Every picture I found of us she had that same expression on her face.  Could it be because I was only nice to her when a camera was around?

Here we are, both too young for grimacing, back in 1968.  Although she was no monkey.
I have a memory of my dad telling me that we were going to pick up a monkey.  I was terribly disappointed when it ended up being nothing but a baby.

some stuff for sunday

Pray for my friend Mel from Monday through Sunday. She and her family are in the middle of moving from CO to FL. Their phone is disconnected and I left a message on her cell, so I will let you know when I hear from her.

Also, if you haven't checked her blog, please do. Especially if you have been left by someone you love. She would like to hear your story. If you know someone with a story like that to share, send them her way, would you?

My friend Jan gave me this award! Thank you so much, Jan! Nothing better than being considered a friend.

I have made a lot of friends through blogging and I would like to present this to some of you that
I met in blogland. Thank you for being my friends!
And Robin

Saturday, March 8, 2008

my pony

She was a little Welch pony named Creampuff. She loved watermelon, rootbeer, Tootsie Pops, and apples. But not so much tomatoes.

I loved cleaning her feet and licking her salt block. I liked feeding her hay for about a week, then I didn't like it so much. I loved brushing her in the summer but not so much in the spring. We used to have to be vacuumed off before we could come in the house when she was shedding her winter coat.

She was a gentle thing. We could crawl under her belly and jump up on her rump like the cowboys do in the movies. I stood on her back. I sat on her sideways. I did all kinds of crazy things and she was very careful.

She was an ornery thing. She would try to scrape us off her back as we rode through the gate, by going to close to the post. She wouldn't go any faster than she darn well pleased - which wasn't very. She bucked a few times. If she didn't want to jump, you couldn't make her. And when she was ready to be done, she took her own bridle off and you were left without any brakes. And the story of her rolling over my sister you already know.

I busted up my arm when I fell off her, but it wasn't her fault that time, she simply tripped and I landed wrong somehow I guess. I have a five inch scar on my shoulder and a dot on the top where a temporary pin was during healing. But I couldn't wait to get back on and ride!

Having that pony was the best thing ever!

desperately looking for funny

My family people have been posting funny childhood stories on their blogs and so I thought I would, too. But then ... I can't think of any. I am coming to think that I must have been a pretty serious minded child. I do remember laughing and being goofy, but life seemed pretty important, too.

I know there were funny things. If my mom or sister tells a funny story, I can remember it, but they don't seem to come to mind otherwise.

What does come to mind is:

My friend's brother stepping on a nail. That terrified me for some reason.

The house up the street being struck by lightening.

A man showing up at our front door, (no one ever used the front door) with our dead dog in his arms. He had run over him because he, the dog, chased cars.

Our pony's foal dying.

Me busting my shoulder up.

Some vicious creature killing my rabbit.

A girl down the street being hit by a car.

Once trying to take my pony over a little jump, about a foot high, she decided at the very last minute to go to the left, while I kept going straight. Well, that's kinda funny, actually.

Once my cousin, Queen, was holding her son and talking to him about our pony. She was pointing at the pony while looking at her son. Fingers might look like carrots to a pony. She latched right onto my cousin's finger. That was funny.

The pony deciding to take a good roll in the dirt -- with my sister on her back. Ha. That one's funny too. I especially remember how stomping mad Julie was.

The truth is, whatever funny thing I do eventually remember will probably involve someone somewhere getting hurt. I am beginning to think that maybe I used to be a little bit mean.

Maybe that is enough reminiscing for now. I'll get back to you when I remember the funny stuff.

Friday, March 7, 2008

a couple of quizzes

You Are a Crossword Puzzle

You are well read, and you have a good head for remembering facts.

You are a wordsmith. You have a way with words, and you're very literate.

You are a mysterious person who enjoys dropping little clues every now and then.

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

What do you think? Sound like me? What puzzle and color green are you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

thursday thirteen

I know the formatting on this this is all wonky, but I'm going insane. I can't work with it any longer. Here are thirteen things I love about Colorado (and other Rocky Mountain States)

Ok, so I got a bit carried away...

  1. Wearing a jacket in August because you are 11,000 feet above sea level, (and you'll see patches of snow in the shade, too)
  2. Prairie Dogs
  3. Pronghorn
  4. Buttercups

  5. Indian Paintbrushes

  6. These little bitty wild daisy things

  7. Real cowboys

  8. Pikes Peak (click for a live view of the peak)

  9. The smell of the air

  10. Cold rain to cool off a hot day

  11. Cacti

  12. Ice cold streams in July

  13. Views that go on forever (click for views from cameras atop Pike's Peak)

  14. Seeing the curvature of the earth
  15. 15. Incredible blue skies, (I've been other places. The sky is not the same.)

    16. Aspen trees

    17. Timberline

    18. Red rocks

  16. Big Horn Sheep

And I will share a fabulous poem I wrote several years ago about my favorite spot on the top of the Continental Divide. It's the first poem I've written since school made me.

Continental Divide

This is where the waters are born

here in the home of clouds

I stand upon this solid ground

and watch

as birds take wing beneath me

The sun's warmth is stifled here

by air so thin it burns

It seems I should extend my arm

to reach

and touch the fire that shuns me

Freedom is the word that spins

weaving throughout my mind

To leave behind the cares of life

and stand

where earth reaches to meet me

Heaven seems much nearer here

on the top of the world

God who whispered this into place

looks down

and takes the moment to greet me


lingering touch

There are people who hold a small warm place in my heart and some of them are people I don't even know. All of them are there, in a small warm place, because of some small act of kindness.

My dad's aunt gave my sister and I each a really cool, quilted leather bag with fringe on it in 1970-something. I still have mine. It's still cool. I can't remember what she looked like, but I will never forget her.

My dad's uncle Max and his wife Wilma have a warm place in my heart. I only remember being around them three times, although I'm sure it was more. The first time I was quite young and she had made haystacks with chow mien noodles and either chocolate and butterscotch. I remember thinking they were very weird, not so good candy, but the were candy, so I ate them. I don't know if those haystacks are what got them the small warm place or if it was something else. But there they are.

A man my mom took us to visit when I was about five or so, (I think he was one of her favorite teachers), taught me how to play Dominoes.

One day when I worked at McDonalds a customer ripped me up because the coffee pot wasn't working right. It was all I could do to not run away sobbing. The next man in line was very kind and said something reassuring and supportive. I don't remember the words, or his face, but I remember him.

When I was in Kindergarten the First grade teacher winked at me one day at recess. She later became one of my favorite teachers, but she would have a small warm place anyway, just because of that wink.

The man across the street let me be there when he cut up a coconut. He sang the Lime and the Coconut song while he did it. It was one of the most fascinating things I'd ever seen. (I was younger than six)

Another man across another street offered me some wisdom and comfort over the fact that I didn't have a saddle for my pony and I desperately wanted one. He said, "Indians (it was ok to say that in those days) were the best riders there ever were and they always rode bareback."

Fleeting, seemingly insignificant moments. Yet they have remained with me.

Let us live our lives so that our brief encounters leave tender fingerprints that last.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Jen has a couple of great posts on her blog that got me thinking about all this. Go look at her posts, too.
You will not see me post on politics very often. I can't stand politics. But it is the way our government runs and this side of the Millennium, we are just going to have to put up with flawed government.

Personally, I believe Jesus wasn't concerned with politics. He lived in a land that was under occupation by an invading army. The Romans were heartless to their subjects. But in spite of the people's expectations, Jesus never addressed the political system, other than telling them to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's." So, it makes me wonder how involved his people should be in these things. Certainly not to the exclusion of His Kingdom's concerns.
On the other hand, people argue, politics is the avenue to change and we, as Christians must be deeply involved, influencing our culture through our vote. (I did go to Jerry Falwell's school after all) I personally believe our influence should be on a different level, but that's for another time.

Now, about current politics:
I am a Huckabee fan, but it looks like he's out of the running, barring a miracle. Well, I guess fan isn't the right word. I'm not a fan of any politician, but he is the one I dislike the least.
Honestly I think about politics as little as possible. But because people that I know and respect have differing opinions, it has caused me to step back and look at politics in a new way.
I used to think "Republican all the way - it's the Christian thing to do."But now I know some godly people who think that dying in Iraq or Darfur is dying just the same as dying in the womb. That dying because you have no health insurance is still dying.
Pro-life is my main issue and always will be. And while I've always been aware of how the abortion climate spreads to infanticide, euthanasia, child abuse, etc, I am now seeing that pro-life extends even beyond that to some of the issues that the Democrats are more likely to address.
And that's only one issue. What about illegal immigrants? What about war? What about the Patriot Act? Our freedom vs our safety? It's such a complex world.
I take my comfort in knowing that it is God who establishes kings and brings them down. Whoever comes to power, it will be by God's hand.

a few of my favorite things

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ~ God's Word ~ My son ~ Snow ~ My sister ~ UK stuff ~ Wind blowing through pine trees ~ My daughter ~ Laughing until it hurts ~ Crying until it hurts ~ Red ~ Indian food ~ Fireplaces ~ Reading ~ Drawing ~ Horses ~ Hubby ~ The top of Cottonwood pass ~ Color ~ Lilacs ~ Kissing ~ My parents ~ Autumn ~ Dancing, (at home alone) ~ Magpies ~ A good pratfall ~ Discussing God's Word ~ My friends ~ Fog ~ Nostalgia ~ Thanksgiving ~ Foxes ~ History ~ Farmlands ~ Getting real mail ~ Sheep ~ Church ~ Visiting with women over a cup of tea, or lunch, or chocolate, or whatever ~ Christmas ~ A babbling brook ~ Accents ~ Slipping into clean sheets after a bath ~ My hometown ~ Rain ~ Owls ~ Teasing, (or being a smarty pants, whichever) ~ Kitty cats ~ Mountains ~ Fishing ~ Homemade ice cream ~ Music ~ My dog ~ Elephants ~ Coloring ~ Pineapple upside-down cake ~ Bracelets ~ Peaches ~ Doves ~ Summer evenings ~ The sky ~ Tests and quizzes ~ Comments on my blog

Monday, March 3, 2008

dst rant

Can anyone give me the reasoning behind Daylight Savings Time? Maybe it wouldn't irritate me so much if I could understand a logical reason for it.

And why oh why do they keep moving it up earlier in the year?
If the sun comes up at six and goes down at eight, that's 14 hours of daylight. If the sun comes up at seven and goes down at nine, that's 14 hours of daylight. How in the world does it make any difference? Maybe, (just maybe mind you) I'm dense or something, but I honestly don't get it. People have tried to explain, but their explanations don't make any sense either.

I tell you I dislike it intensely and admit to a really bad stinky attitude about it. When hubby told me that it starts this Sunday, I threw a regular little hissy and declared that I just wasn't going to do it! I could send my kids to school an hour late every day... that would show 'em... Whoever 'em are. And I could be an hour late to my meetings and Bible Study.

It's just unfair to dictate loss of sleep like that. And getting up in the dark is so much harder.

Ok, enough whining. At least publicly...

What do you think? Are you one of those who actually likes it? And please, someone, give me some intelligent rationale!!
Click here to read last years milder rant.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Since this month is Passover and Easter and Spring, my mind naturally went to sheep.

I love sheep. God loves sheep. They are symbolic of we, His people and also of Him, the Lamb of God. Any time I see sheep I find myself quoting some of the following scriptures to them. I love it when I get to be near some sheep. They are goofy. Completely helpless on their own. Not the brightest, they tend to get themselves in trouble when left to their own devices. But they, in many parts of the world, are very valuable. Just like us.

"But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert" Psalm 78:52

"Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise." Psalm 79:13

"Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3

"I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands." Psalm 119:176

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6

"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7

"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them as a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. " Ezekiel 34:11, 12

"I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD." Ezekiel 34:15

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20, 21

weather report

Is the first day of March all that counts toward the "In like a lamb" thing? Because it was totally lambish yesterday. In the 60's, no wind, gorgeous, gorgeous day. But today is definitely lionish.
This is the Colorado I love. Flip flops one day, snow boots the next!