Thursday, July 31, 2008

thursday thirteen

Thirteen cool places I have been or things I have seen!

1. The Fisherman's Memorial in Gloucester, Maine.








2. The Citadelle Laferriere in Haiti.  Haiti has a fascinating history.  Well worth looking into.  This fort was built to ensure their freedom from the French, but the ruler who built it used his countrymen as slaves to get the job done.  When the slaves would die, their blood was mixed into the mortar between the stones.


















3. Teotihuacan in Mexico.  

4. The Liberty Bell

5. Labadee. They call it a private island, but what the tourists don't know is that it is actually Haiti.  I didn't go on a cruise ship, we drove and had the entire beach to ourselves when I was there on a college mission trip.

















7. Old Ironsides - The USS Constitution.  I love history.  We only were able to go on the deck and not below, but it was really neat.  I loved everything about Boston.

8. National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  I've been here a few times.  I loved Washington DC and would love to go back with the kids sometime.  Of course, I saw a lot of things there, but chose this because I love art and its where I went on my first trip to DC.


10. Appomattox Courthouse.  Where General Lee signed the surrender to General Grant ending the Civil War.  On my birthday.  But several years earlier.

11. Statue of Liberty.  We only saw this from a ferry, but it was still really cool to see.

12. Arlington National Cemetery.  I enjoy exploring cemeteries.  This is one big cemetery with many interesting things to see.

13. The top of Pikes Peak.  

 


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

slow...

It is sure slow in blogdom lately.  There aren't many posts.  There aren't many comments.  
I'm feeling pretty slow myself.

Tomorrow is Thursday.  What should I thirteen about?  I don't really have any ideas right now?
What you got?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

me? quirky?


Jan at Bold and Free and Melanie at Monday through Sunday both tagged me for this meme.
Six quirky things about me.  Lots of people tell me I'm quirky, but it is sure hard to think of specific examples!

1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself. 
4) Tag six other blogger´s by linking to them.
 
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.


1. Frequently phrases or words will remind me of song lyrics, so I just bust right out into song.  My girl told me this is one of the things she loves about me.  She doesn't like it in public, though.  Not at all.

2. I cannot be still when there is music playing.  Not in the house, not in the car, not in the store, not anywhere I are.

3. I like to make up goofy rhymes at the drop of a hat.  I also make up my own song lyrics to get a point across.

4. I can stay in the house for days and not care one bit.  And most of the time it will be quiet - you know, if the kids aren't here.

5. When I concentrate I poke my tongue out.  Sometimes it flickers about making me look like a lizard.

6. I see dead people.


Ok, ok.  I don't really see dead people.  But that was quirky of me to say so, wasn't it?


Now, I am to tag 6 people.

1. Michelle - she seems pretty quirky to me.

2. Mom - I know she's quirky.

3. Susan - who probably won't do it because she doesn't do memes much.  She's quirky that way.

4. Lauri - she's got twin quirks.

5. Kathy - I'd like to know her quirks.

6. Bet - because she hasn't posted in too long.



Monday, July 28, 2008

in my world today


I petted a horse today!  It was in the school parking lot.  Just hanging out.  It was in a trailer, so it didn't have much choice.  I will call it a her, since it sounds better than it and I couldn't really tell because of the trailer and all.  
Anyway, she was a very pretty dapply gray color.  A color you see often in Arabians, but she wasn't an Arabian.  I don't know what she was - but pretty.
Also, quite aloof.  She really didn't care about me at all.  She deigned to look at me once from her lofty height, but only long enough to determine that I was a lowly peon.  She allowed me to pet and pat and scratch her, but I'm sure the pleasure was all mine.  Her highness can treat me anyway she likes, though.  Because I don't care.  

In other news:
Third Day is having a free concert here somewhere.  Like I want to drive to probably the other side of Denver and wait in line for hours in the heat just to have the place fill up right as I get to the door?  I don't think so.  I wish they'd just charge $30 and assure me a seat.  Anyway, its cool for other people who like to do that kind of thing.  I saw them once and it is an awesome concert!  I would go again, you know, if they charged and stuff.

Weather - hot, but breezy.  I love the breezy part!  Would love some rain. We do indeed need rain.  High of 95 today.

Tell me what's up in your world today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

repentance?

Another devotional by Elisabeth Elliot.  I found this one very convicting and thought provoking.  It is from A Lamp for my Feet.

A Devious Repentance

Recently I committed a sin of what seemed to me unpardonable thoughtlessness. For days I wanted to kick myself around the block. What is the matter with me? I thought. How could I have acted so? "Fret not thyself because of evildoers" came to mind. In this case the evildoer was myself, and I was fretting. My fretting, I discovered, was a subtle kind of pride. "I'm really not that sort of person," I was saying. I did not want to be thought of as that sort of person. I was very sorry for what I had done, not primarily because I had failed someone I loved, but because my reputation would be smudged. When my reputation becomes my chief concern, my repentance has a hollow ring. No wonder Satan is called the deceiver. He has a thousand tricks, and we fall for them.

Lord, I confess my sin of thoughtlessness and my sin of pride. I pray for a more loving and a purer heart, for Jesus' sake.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

dance with me

Megan had this on her blog.  I cry every time I watch it.  It's a happy kind of cry.
Two thoughts:
1. Would there be less hatred if there were more dancing?
2. This is what Heaven will be like.  Every tribe, every nation praising God and dancing for joy.  
If you want to see it in better definition, go here and click "watch in high quality" below the screen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

discouraged


I read a Dean Koontz novel for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  I had hesitated.  I know a lot of people who love his stuff.  But I'm not really into suspense.  I don't go for scary stuff or supernatural stuff.  Not because it scares me.  I just don't go there.

Anyway, my sister, Julie, who's internet is down, by the way, kept saying, "You have to read Odd Thomas."  She said it a lot.  And so I looked at the cover and thought, "He sees dead people?  Sounds familiar."  And I put it down.  But then my MOM read it.  And I thought, "If mom read it, then I can read it."  So I did.

It is an excellent book.  Yes, it does have ghosts wandering around, including a crying Elvis.  And it has these creepy black spirit things.  But the scariest part of the book is the people.  People with evil intentions.

The main character Odd, is very odd, and yet lovable.  I laughed a lot while reading the book.  I also sobbed.  

Anyway, here's the thing.  In the writing world there are all these "rules".  Show - don't tell.  Be active - passive is bad.  Don't say anything that does not contribute to the plot.  Stuff like that.

Dean Koontz doesn't follow the rules.  I mentioned that to people and they said, "Yeh, but he's Dean Koontz."  Like that gives him allowance to break the rules.  My thought is, he wasn't always "the" Dean Koontz.  He used to be Dean, a guy trying to sell a book.

I wonder if he is Bestseller Dean Koontz because he breaks the rules?  I wonder which came first?  And at the very least it tells us that readers don't care about the rules.  They just want to read a great story that is well written. 

I keep thinking that a really good writer can use the word "was" all they want and get away with it.

So my goal is to be a really good writer, rather than worry about all the rules.  Because to tell the truth, they are just sucking the life right out of me.  I am at the brink of throwing in the towel as I speak.  I think I need to write with the story in mind and not even think about publication.  Writing with the idea that I need to please certain people just doesn't work for me.  So, if I write - because right now, I don't want to - it will be simply to tell the story the best I can.  

I'll still learn and read and take courses, etc.  But I am not going to write with "what they want" in mind.  Doesn't work.  For me.  Never does.  In any part of my life.  I'm not a "figure out what they want and offer it" person.  I'm a "here's what I'm offering, take it or leave it" person.  The same is true for cooking, leading a Bible Study or starting a ministry, or whatever.  

Ok, now.  I'm not saying I'm above the rules.  Don't go telling me if I want to get published I have to follow the rules.  I'm not writing with publication in mind remember?  I just need to get the book finished.

Once it's finished, I may change my focus. Then the rules may factor in.  I may decide to edit with publication in mind.  We'll see.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

thursday thirteen

Here are 13 favorite moody songs from my youth.  These were some of my "blues".  They were great to listen to when I was in a moody teen angsty state.

Whos Gonna Drive You Home - The Cars

Against All Odds - Phil Collins

At This Moment - Billy Vera

Time After Time - Cindy Lauper

Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics

Teacher - George Michael

Vincent (Starry Starry Night) - Don Mclean

Rise - Herb Alpert

Take it to the Limit - The Eagles

She's Like the Wind -  Patrick Swayze

The Best of Times - Styx

Separate Ways - Journey

The Winner Takes it All - ABBA

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

my desk!

This is what I've been using.  It's a little wooden table that my dad painted and used when he cleaned his guns or something.  Then he gave it to me.  It worked.  It was rather wobbly and small and short.  But it worked.  It is now back in the front entry where I used to have it.

This is my new desk!  Big. With drawers for all my stuff.  Pretty.  Shiny.  

Notice the pretty glass knobs.  Thats what got me.  I love glass knobs!
Ok, so it was in the children's section?  So its supposed to be in a little girl's room?  So?  I love it!  Now, when I get my writing tiara, just look at how pretty and sparkly I'll be with my pretty, sparkly desk!
My name is Kay.  I am a girl.  I run and throw like one, too.

not whining

I feel so much like whining -- about writing.  But I won't.

I have a new housekeeping plan.  Keep it clean.  That's the plan.  Its worked for a week!

If you want to see some more pictures from the Broadmoor yesterday you can go to my sidebar and visit Bold and Free and A Prisoner of Hope.

I'm getting a new desk today!  I am going to put a picture up when it gets here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

write away - in style



Right now I am at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs.  A group of us from the Words for the Journey writing group came here to... write.  So I'm blogging.  But I have to tell you what I'm up to.  Its my duty.  

Please pray for Milton Dykes.  You may have read the Christian Love Stories blog, which is linked on my side bar.  His wife Kristy passed away.  She had brain cancer.  


Sunday, July 20, 2008

church frustrations


As of July 1st, we've lived here one year.  One year and we are still trying to find a church.
One friend told me that if you find a church that has a strong outreach, strong Biblical teaching, etc, etc, then you just go there.  I don't really disagree with that.  But I also think that God has a specific place for people.  I believe that when we seek Him, He will put us in the house, in the neighborhood, in the school, church, job, etc that is the very best for us.  Best for us to learn grow, and minister.  
So, anyway.  We have been to some good churches.  Churches with good stuff.  But somehow in none of them do we really feel like we belong.  

The one we've been going, to my husband loves.  And that is a huge thing.  Do you know how hard it is for men to go to church?  For some reason, it is very tough.  My dad usually doesn't go to church.  My uncle doesn't go. I don't think my other uncle went (did he, Queen?).  My husband has gone through phases of not attending, as well.  And in almost 15 years of marriage, we have only been to two churches that he actually likes.  I'm not sure what the problem or the solution is for men and churc, but to find one that my man likes likes is a wonderful thing.

My son likes, it too, and that's unusual.  But... my daughter can't stand it, although she does need to give it another chance after the new Youth Pastor starts.  And me?  I'm indifferent.  I have felt indifferent about almost all of the churches we've tried.  There have been a couple that I liked, but the other three didn't.  So...

For now, we will keep going to the one we have been.  But in the meantime we do want to visit another that we haven't tried.  I have been so looking forward to it, and of course I get my hopes up that this will be the one we all love.  The one where we fit.  But today there was sickness in the family so we didn't even go.  

So, as my cousin said.  Not all blogs have to be exciting.  Sometimes I just need to write about the mundane.  It did help to talk to you guys about it, though.  Thanks!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

holiness

Some things to think about from A Lamp for my Feet by Elisabeth Elliot.

The Hope of Holiness

The "openness" that is often praised among Christians as a sign of true humility may sometimes be an oblique effort to prove that there is no such thing as a saint after all, and that those who believe that it is possible in the twentieth century to live a holy life are only deceiving themselves. When we enjoy listening to some Christian confess his weaknesses and failures, we may be eager only to convince ourselves that we are not so bad after all. We sit on the edge of our chairs waiting to grasp at an excuse for continuing to do what we have made up our minds long ago to do anyway. The Lord is ready to forgive sin at any moment and to make strong servants out of the worst of us. But we must believe it; we must come to Him in faith for forgiveness and deliverance and then go out to do the work He has given us to do.

"Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity" (1 Cor 13:6 AV). Let us be willing to call iniquity what is really iniquity, rather than to call it weakness, temperament, failure, hangups, or to fall back on the tired excuse, "It's just the way I am."

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me. (Ps 51:10 AV)

Friday, July 18, 2008

a feast of feasts


I haven't done a Friday's Feast in a long time.  And since there isn't one up for today, I'm just going to do a bunch of them.  Because I figure you guys like nothing more than to hear all about me.  *"Let's talk about me.  Let's talk about my.  Let's talk about me - oh my oh my."  Or something like that.


Appetizer

When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?  Five weeks ago

Soup

Name one thing you miss about being a child.  Irresponsibility

Salad

Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.  Butter

Main Course

If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why? Spanish because it would be the most useful.

Dessert

Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…a 47 year old mother of teenagers with some best selling books on the market and to be much healthier and wiser.



Next feast:
Appetizer

What is the weather like today where you live? It is around 86 degrees with a mild breeze and low humidity.  Well, there is some humidity or smoke or something because I can't see Denver or the mountains.  It is very lovely today.

Soup

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?  2

Salad

What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.?  Curtains.  We don't have any blinds at all.  A couple of windows are bare.

Main Course

Name something that instantly cheers you up. A prat fall.  Something funny.  A hug.

Dessert

How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning? 3

Next feast:

Appetizer

If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose? Easy!  The UK.  Is that a continent?  Well, thats my answer anyway!

Soup

Which browser do you use to surf the Internet? Safari

Salad

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country?  7 - how do I know because I don't know what I don't know...

Main Course

Finish this sentence:  Love is…a many splendored thing

Dessert

Have you ever been in or near a tornado? No, I have not.   But I have been through recent damage by one.

Next feast:

Appetizer

Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist? Optimist.  Oh, I can see the dark side, but I choose to believe the bright side.

Soup

What is your favorite color of ink to write with? Red

Salad

How often do you get a manicure or pedicure?  Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them? every few months or so.  A salon.

Main Course

Have you ever won anything online?  If so, what was it? Yes, books.

Dessert

In which room in your house do you keep your home computer? It is supposed to be the dining room, but we don't have a table in here.  We have the kids' computer and mine in here.

Last feast:


Appetizer

When you drink soda/pop/coke, do you prefer to drink it from the bottle, a can, or after pouring it into a cup?  I love it in a glass full of ice.  Not a nasty paper or plastic cup.  A glass.  And then the water condenses on the outside.  That's awesome.

Soup

What television show are you willing to stay up late to watch? Well, I like to stay up late, so any show that I like, I guess.  Monk being my favorite.

Salad

Name one person, place, or thing you think of as brilliant.  I had some salad the other day and the plastic container it came in was made out of corn.  So then it wasn't plastic I guess, was it?  What was it? It was brilliant.  It didn't taste like corn.

Main Course

Would you be willing to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days in order to save gas?  I don't know if I'd do it to save gas.  I'd do it to have an extra day off.  I used to work 3 twelve hour shifts.  That's too much though.  Didn't like it at all.

Dessert

If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself?  Supergoof.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

thursday thirteen


Thirteen of my least favorite things.  Well, maybe not my least, least.  Its hard to do that without getting gross and I'm not going to get gross.

1. Least favorite color - Putty or Gray.
2. Least favorite smell - Asphalt.
3. Least favorite sound - Teeth scraping on a fork.
4. Least favorite movie (that I've seen) - New version of The Longest Yard.
5. Least favorite TV show (that I've seen)- The Bachelor
6. Least favorite indoor chore - Cleaning Toilets.
7. Least favorite outdoor chore - Weeding.
8. Least favorite song - Achy Breaky Heart
9. Least favorite food - Liver
10. Least favorite drink - Beer
11. Least favorite tactile feeling - Pinch
12. Least favorite emotion - Irritable
13. Least favorite place - In a cellar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

i don't want to be perfect


I keep telling myself that. But it is not the truth. I really, really would like to be perfect. It seriously distresses me that there are imperfections in me. Seriously.

But here's the thing... Have you ever been around someone who seems perfect? Perfectly dressed, not a hair out of place, not a misspoken word. Just perfect. Beautiful, thin, all that.
Did you feel totally relaxed and comfortable in her presence? When you visit someone's home, do you feel more comfortable if it is spotless and perfect or if there are a couple of dirty dishes in the sink, a stack of mail on the table, and other signs that people live there?

Once I knew a lady who seemed that way at first. Just too put together. I felt very intimidated. Then one day, I noticed that her shirt was missing a button. Oh, how I rejoiced in that missing button! She is just human after all! She is not perfect. She is just like me. She is just a woman like me, doing the best she can! Turns out she is a beautiful woman inside as well as out and if I had let my intimidation keep me from relating to her, I would have missed that. I would have missed so much!

It occurred to me that maybe in my attempts to look perfect, I was doing the same thing. When I work so hard on what I'm wearing and how I look and act, am I making myself seem unapproachable? Too perfect? (Stop laughing!!) My goal should always be to look friendly and welcoming.

So, here are the lessons:
- Nobody is perfect. We are all flawed and some of us try very hard to seem perfect, even to be perfect, but we never succeed.
- How much of what we do is about impressing others? And is it worth it? Do we try too hard and come across as intimidating and unapproachable instead?
- Don't let yourself be intimidated by others. They are just flawed people doing the best they can. Most would be mortified if they knew they intimidated you. Others get a power surge from being intimidating. Those aren't the people I'm talking about. I have no idea what to do with them.

What I'm not saying:
- I'm not saying there is anything wrong with wearing nice clothes, makeup, being fashionable and all that. I guess it is about our motives for how we look. Dress to Impress is a book, I think, but I'm not sure its the right mindset for our day to day lives.
- I'm not saying that everyone who looks nearly perfect has the wrong mindset. I don't know that the lady I mentioned is trying to be perfect. Maybe she just wants to look gorgeous. A lot of this has to do with my own insecurities and how I view other people.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

a few quizzes

You Are Barbeque Sauce
You are a social person. You enjoy cooking for other people.
You are both skillful and competitive. You enjoy mastering hard tasks.
You appreciate complexity more than simplicity.

Your taste in food tends to lean toward interesting flavors.
You appreciate exotic spice combinations. You tend to like cutting edge, fusion cuisine.
You get along with all personalities from a distance. Except salsa personalities, who always seem to annoy you.







You Are 60% Yankee, 40% Dixie



You're a pretty even split of Yankee and Dixie. You've probably traveled around a lot in your life.







Your Personality at 35,000 Says...



Deep down, you prefer spending time alone to spending time with others. You enjoy thinking more than talking.



You are not too sure what your place in the world is yet. You often feel invisible in a crowd.



Your gift is having a way with words. You know how to express yourself well.



You are inspired by what is possible. Real life is often too ordinary for you.



You are happy as long as you are given some personal space. It's important for you to have your own private life.



These actually sound pretty right to me.  What answers do you get?

Monday, July 14, 2008

wall-e


We saw WALL-E  yesterday.
It is a very cute movie.  Not a lot of dialogue, you know, since he can't really talk much.
It's a love story, and above all a story of hope.

I was afraid I was going to be disappointed.  I love PIXAR movies and the trailers for this just didn't look very interesting to me.  But it lived up to their standards and to mine!

Wall-e is sweet and outmoded.  He falls in love with a more sophisticated girl and it is really fun.

I love a part in the film where it portrays "I once was blind, but now I see."  When you watch it, you will know what I'm talking about.

So, grab the kids go see it.  Hey, the theater is air conditioned, too!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

words of wisdom



Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Don't try to know what will be of no service to you. Avoid the digest type of mind. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Pray for a single eye. Read less, but more of what is important to your inner life. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration.
--A. W. Tozer.

"Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be who you are without regard to what others think."
Excellent advice. I would love to get a good handle on this.

"Reduce your interests to a few."
Why? I read a book once in which the author advised the reader to find four areas in which to be expert. To keep files on those things. I would have a hard time choosing just four areas of interest. So instead I am interested in a lot of things, but expert in none. I guess that is his point.

"Avoid the digest type of mind."
That follows along the same lines, I guess.

"Learn to pray inwardly every moment."
Godly, scriptural advice. I do better at this some days than others.

"Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility."
Maybe not the childlike honesty that blurts out "Your breath smells like socks." LOL But overall, wouldn't it be nice if we all practiced these things?

"Pray for a single eye."
This is a strange sentence to me. But I guess he's talking about focus. I have been feeling the need for focus lately.

"Read less, but more of what is important to your inner life."
He lost me with the first two words. I do try to read things, whether fiction or not, that are edifying to me.

"Call home your roving thoughts."
That would require round- the- clock diligence. While I do keep a strong watch over where my thoughts wander, I let them wander. I come across some interesting ideas that way.

"Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul."
What a lovely line. That just makes my spirit sigh. Ahhh, yes.

"Practice spiritual concentration."
Interesting thought. To practice. To be intentional about it.

Can you sum up his quote in one line?
Do you have any comments on his thoughts?
Which line spoke to, or challenged you, the most?

Friday, July 11, 2008

love in action



May as well finish out the week on theme, right?

I recently finished a book called Touch - Pressing Against the Wounds of a Broken World by Pastor Rudy Rasmus.

This book is full of God changing lives.  Wonderful testimonies.  Pastor Rudy himself was owner of a "borderline bordello" when he came to know Christ.

His church in Houston is a beautiful picture of what love should look like.  All are welcome.  All kinds of people attend.  Well- to- do, dressed up people and homeless, smelly people sit side by side.  Gay couples, drug addicts and prostitutes are welcome, loved, hugged, and fed.  The love take a tangible form.  And people are allowed to come as they are and hear the gospel.  Pastor Rudy loves them to Jesus.

This church is very different from what I am used to.  And I admit, I had to deal a little bit with my tendency to be judgmental.  "Beyonce?  Oh, its that kind of church..."  God forgive me.   But once I got that straight I was truly blessed.  We all say we want to live like Jesus, but tend to hesitate when it comes to befriending prostitutes, cross-dressers and the homeless.  This guy walks the walk.

This church truly reaches out to "the least of these."  While I was reading, I considered the fact that I don't believe God is calling me to move to the inner city in order to minister with the down and out.  But God showed me that right here in my sphere there are women who are abused.  Children who are abused.  People trapped in addictions.  Women struggling with depression.  On and on the list goes of needs that can be found in any suburban neighborhood.  So while they may not need me to meet physical needs, they still need the love of Jesus to meet their deeper needs.  My eyes are open.  My heart is listening to see what God wants me to do right where I am to love Him by loving others.

I highly recommend this book.  If you want to learn more about how to love like Jesus, read it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

thursday thirteen

Thirteen things you are likely to see on the forty minute drive from here to Colorado Springs.

















Wednesday, July 9, 2008

love is all we need


Perspective.  If we can ask God to help us see people the way He does, we will love them better.
I know that this is a huge factor for me.
Here is a post I wrote awhile back about people.  About how I naturally feel about them.

A few weeks ago the pastor shared an illustration that I would like to share with you.  I am changing the dollar amount because I won't be giving it away at the end like he did and I think a higher amount has more impact.

Ok, so, its me talking to you.

Me: What is this in my hand?
You: Why, that is a hundred dollar bill, Kay.
Me: How much is this worth?
You: It is worth one hundred dollars.
Me: Why?
You: Because it is equal to one hundred dollars.
Me: Yes, but who said so?
You: The government.
Me: So, a higher authority designated the value of this bill?
You: Yes.
Me: Can I change that value?  
You: No
I throw the money on the ground, (we're outside) and grind it into the dirt.  Then I pick it up and show you again.
Me: How much is it worth now?
You: One hundred dollars.
I take it inside, put it in the toilet, take it back out and spit on it.
Me: How much is it worth now?
You: One hundred dollars.

Get the point?  So the Bible says that God loved the whole world so much that He gave His one and only precious son so that they can have eternal life, if they choose.

Your value has been designated by a higher authority.  You are worth everything to God.  You are worth more than anything.  You can't change that.  No matter where you've been, what you've done or what has been done to you.  You are valuable.  

For me that illustration changed how I see other people. When I'm out and about I will consciously say to myself, "That man is worth everything to God."  No matter what he looks like, no matter how he acts, no matter what he's done.  Some of us aren't five dollar bills while others are ones and others are hundreds.  We are valued the same.  Hitler had this same inherent value.  That's hard for us to grasp.  God so loved the world.  No exclusions.  No conditions.  

If we can start seeing people the way God does, maybe we can begin to love them the way we should.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

reading meme

I swiped this meme from Mocha With Linda because it is right up my alley.  It floats my boat, or as I accidentally typed the first time - floats my goat.

1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
No.  I don't.  I have memories of reading as far back as I have memories.  A Big book with Puss N Boots and Aladdin and the Lamp in it is one of my first book memories.  Although I didn't like the Aladdin story; it didn't have a cat in it.  Also a book called Never Tease a Weasel and a book about The Cookie Tree.  I know I was no older than first grade because of where we lived.

2. What are some of the books you read as a child?
When I was older I read a lot of horse books.  I especially liked King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry.  I also liked spooky stories, magical stories and stories about any kind of animal.  Of course there were the I Can Read books that included Dr. Seuss and P. D. Eastman. And the Little Golden books. 

3. What is your favorite genre?
When I was a young unmarried lady I loved gothic romance the best.  I still like the originals by the Brontes.  I'm not such a fan of romance in general anymore, though.  I like probably historic and Biblical fiction the best.  I also like fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary.  I like really about anything except I'm not into supernatural thriller type of stuff or horror.  Suspense and Crime type I only read occasionally, although I love mysteries.

4. Do you have a favorite novel.
No.   That would be impossible.  I have many favorites, too many to list.

5. Where do you usually read?
On the couch.  Or outside.

6. When do you usually read?
When I'm awake.  When I should be cleaning.  When I should be writing.  

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
Yes.  I always have a novel going and I usually have at least one non-fiction going at the same time.  Lately I have a Christian non-fiction and a writing craft book going.

8. Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Yes.  I read non-fiction much more slowly.  I also tend to mark the books up with highlighter or pen.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
I used to use the library pretty much exclusively, except for non-fiction.  But now that I realize that these authors want to SELL books, I buy a lot more of them.  I'd say it's about 50-50 now.  I could never afford to support my habit if I bought them all.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?  If not, what do you do with them?
I keep any book that I will want to read again.  Otherwise, I usually give them away.  

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?  Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
My kids have not liked the books I liked as a child.  But some of our favorites have been Barnyard Dance, Owl Babies, Geronimo Stilton books, Junie B. Jones books, City of Ember, and they both like the Animal Ark books.

12. What are you reading now?
I am reading my first Dean Koontz book, Odd Thomas.  I am also reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, and a writing book called Description by Monica Wood.

13. Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list? 
No.  I just have books that need to be read.  I choose based on my mood at the moment.  I also have a list of authors that I've heard of that I'd like to try.

14. What's next?
Living with Fred by Brad Whittington and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, probably.

15. What books would you like to re-read?
The Ragamuffin Gospel.  I frequently re-read books.  I would like to re-read The Dragon Keeper Series sometime and The Mark of the Lion series.

16. Who are your favorite authors?
Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue, Athol Dickson, Lisa Samson, Francine Rivers to name a few.  I will get a book based on the fact one of these people wrote it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New posts on Books and Starbucks!

what is love, anyway?


One of the things I've learned about love is that it is an action, not a feeling.  Oh sure, sometimes we feel it.   Sometimes it almost hurts because we feel it so strongly.  But those feelings are very inconsistent.  Fleeting.  

Love doesn't mean we go down to the homeless shelter and feel our hearts swell and our eyes well up at the sight of these people we love so much.  That might happen, in time.  But love is being at the shelter in Jesus' name to care for people as He would if He still wore flesh.

Love is washing your husband's underwear and socks even though you are tired of hunting them out like easter eggs.

Love is hugging your kids even though they've just shredded your last nerve.

Love is babysitting for your neighbor when she is too sick to stand up.  Even though she is abrasive and nosey.

Love is bending down to pick up something that someone dropped at the grocery store.  Even if she just criticized your parenting the minute before.

When my mom goes to the nursing home every week - that is love.  

Motives and attitudes are important.  We need to do these love-actions out of a heart that wants to honor God.  The Bible says when we do something kind to someone, we are doing it to Jesus.  We can't do the love-actions and have a hate-attitude.  But we can do the love- actions with a love-attitude and have an "I don't like you" feeling.  Because our actions and our attitudes are what we have control over.

So, we don't have to like the people we love.  We don't have to feel good about them.  We just love them.  

I also think love is a perspective.  It's how we view people.  I'll write about that on Wednesday.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

i love you


The Bible says people will know we are Christians by our love.  Not by what we do, or don't do.  Not because we go to church every week.  Not because we don't drink or because we don't use bad language.  Not because we teach Sunday School.

The world will recognize us as Christian if we love one another.  And beyond that, if we love people who aren't Christians, too.

It isn't uncommon for us to walk right, dress right and avoid all the wrong places but criticize and condemn our brothers and sisters.  We can lead a Bible study but turn our noses up at our neighbor who has a couple of tattoos and yells at her kids.  

God has been teaching me a lot lately about love.  And I feel like its just a drop in the bucket.  Love is HUGE.  His love for us is incomprehensible and the love He demands from us is beyond our ability.  

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Then -- only then-- will people recognize you as a Christian.  All the rest is posing unless it is fueled by love.

Read 1 Corinthians 13 again.  I'm going to.  Also read The Mark of a Christian by Francis Schaeffer.