Wednesday, February 25, 2009

what a revelation!

The kids and I are still studying the book of Revelation. It's not exactly a book that you can go through quickly. We are on chapter 14 right now. It's a very exciting chapter to me in that it reminds me of God's mercy and long suffering. Revelation 14:6-7 says, "And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgement has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.'" We read a cross reference in Matthew 24:14 which says, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." The quote in the kids' book says, "Do you see how loving and merciful God is? Even with all His judgements on earth, He sends an angel with the eternal gospel. God does not wish for anyone to perish. He is giving mankind another chance to hear the good news of Jesus Christ before it is too late!"

AMEN! Have you made your choice?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

frustrating dreams

I had another dream, but nothing like the one from the other night. This one was a dream brought on, I believe, by the recent news of home invasions in near-by cities, one of which was a friend of ours. Anyway, in my dream my front door had been left unlocked and just as I was realizing this, a man barged in on me. I had time to go get a gun, but when I shot at him the gun was empty (I've had this dream SOOOO many times). I toss the gun and go to the kitchen to get a knife (actually I get several). When I throw one of the knives at the man, he catches it and smiles wickedly. By now there are several men inside the home. That's really the extent of my dream since my alarm clock woke me up. As I mentioned, I have had dreams like this before where I was trying to defend myself but my gun would be empty or something similar. I wonder if this is because subconsciously I don't really want to kill anyone. Have you ever dreamt similar things? What do you make of it? In case you haven't noticed, I consider dreams to be important. Of course I know that sometimes I dream crazy dreams because I had too much spicey food right before bed, or because I'm feverish, but otherwise I like to think about my dreams and try and figure them out; at least try and figure out WHY I had the dream, not necessarily it's meaning.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

visibly shaken

Last night I awoke at around 12:40 a.m. (I guess I should say "this morning" instead). I had had a nightmare. This nightmare was so bad that at first I couldn't even remember what it was about, yet I was extremely afraid. I awakened my husband but I didn't want to talk about the dream. Actually the memory of it was just starting to trickle back into my brain, and I could not yet verbalize it. I felt physically ill from this nightmare! I was shaking, and extremely disturbed and distressed. I wanted to come and write out the dream and share it here, but instead went to my closet and wrote it down in my paper journal. Afterwards I was disturbed even more and I just sat there and cried. What made me so frightened? Well, after having remembered the dream, I started to doubt if I am as close to God as I have been thinking, and if something I felt strongly about having heard from Him was actually Him and not the enemy. Doubts plagued me. I decided that I needed the Word, and felt compelled to read Jeremiah 29:11-13, so that's what I did. I read the words and couldn't help but cry even more. I was too upset to go back to sleep -actually I was afraid to go back to sleep! I didn't want to keep my husband up, so I went to the kitchen where we keep the computer and logged on. I searched the Living Proof ministries website and found a link that would allow me to listen to some of Beth Moore's lectures. The first one was from 1 Peter 1:1-9, proving us genuine. These verses helped to calm me. It was a 30 minute lesson, and one I needed to hear at the time. Another lecture I listened to was from Ephesians 3. It was 47 minutes long and again, what I needed to hear. The Word quieted my spirit and reminded me that I had indeed heard God's voice and not the enemy's. The nightmare was from the enemy. I remembered that God does not give us a spirit of fear and that He gives sleep to those He loves. I was able to go back to bed and eventually back to sleep.
I praise God, my Father, for His Word! I praise Him for His promise to complete the work He has started in me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lie to Me

Have you seen Fox's "Lie to Me"? So far this show is one of my new favorite TV shows. The concept is a bit unique and I really like the cast. It also makes me think. For instance, I can't help but wonder if there are really people who specialize in this type of science - body language. I think there are. I've seen a lady on Bill O'Reilly who gives her take on celebrities and politicians and such. But what I wonder is how they can really enjoy life if they can tell what everyone else is really thinking and/or feeling. I think it would start to drive me crazy after a while. It would be distracting and probably a bit frustrating to try and talk to someone, watch their facial twitches and body shrugs and think "you are such a liar, but I'm going to stand here and pretend I don't know that". Maybe it would be fun, but I don't think so. At least from watching this fictional man, I feel sorry for him and his partners. The main character has a teen aged daughter who lies to him and of course he knows it, but he lets it slide for the most part because he doesn't want to push her away. The lady main character's husband is cheating on her (at least it's insinuated) and she acts like she doesn't know, but come on, you know she does. And then the other female character is overly cautious about becoming involved with someone because she doesn't want to deal with it on a personal level. Then there's the comical relief character who is a guy and is bluntly honest because he knows everyone he works with is a specialist and would know if he was lying or not! He really does say what is on his mind! So far the show has been relatively smut free, but I'm not going to hold my breath and expect it to stay on that course. It seems like a show will be like that for about four to six weeks and then they start getting bad and then to worse. That's why I stopped watching CSI and ER a long time ago. But I'll enjoy this one while it lasts. (warning: the "a" word is in this video)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guess what I'm doing?

Nope, that's not it. You'll never guess, so I might as well just tell you. I'm going to be in a musical (remember, this is one of things on my "want to do list", or bucket list)! This past weekend I auditioned for a part in Fiddler on the Roof. A cousin of mine told me about the auditions on Monday or Tuesday. I auditioned Saturday (it was a BLAST), had a call back for Sunday and I've been cast for the role of Golde - the wife of the main character Tevye. How cool is that? I'm terribly excited and extremely terrified! I've never done anything major like this before. I've been in several church production musicals, but nothing like this. Rehearsals start soon and I'll be rehearsing two to three times a week until the actual production, which is in May. That's a pretty good chunk of time, huh? I know some of you might think this is crazy, but the reason I tried out in the first place is because I think God wanted me to. For some reason, He wants me to be a part of this experience. I have no idea why, but I'm willing to go along with it, have fun, and seek His will for the outcome. If you're not familiar with Fiddler on the Roof, I encourage you to watch it. (Brenda, I know you don't like musicals, but maybe you can at least try this one.) It's a great story and I'm thrilled to be a part of telling it (or singing it). There will be many challenges ahead of me - memorization, time management, not neglecting my family, and probably some I haven't even thought of yet. I feel a little silly asking this, but prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Enjoy the clip!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

approved for all audiences

My husband and I went out last night for our anniversary. We went to Red Robin for dinner (Macaroni Grill had a 2-hour wait) and then we went to a movie. Dwight wanted to see "Taken" because he had heard people say it was good, so that was the movie we went to see. The movie was pretty good, but what bothered me were the previews. Supposedly these previews are "approved for all audiences", but it really bothers me how someone could think that showing teenagers making out and blatently talking about and pursuing losing their purity is suitable for all audiences! Not only that but there were scenes of girls kissing girls and men kissing men! I turned to my husband and I said, "This is too much! I feel like I'm in Sodom and Gomorrha!" It's a been a long time since we've been to the movie theater. We usually just rent what we want to see on DVD. After last night, I don't think I'll ever want to go to the movie theater again. I wonder how many parents let their teenagers go to the movies alone each week. I wonder how many parents know what's being displayed on the big screen before their children's eyes. I wonder if we're all just too calloused to this wickedness that it doesn't even bother us any more. I wonder why the Lord hasn't come back yet! I've heard people say that Jesus hasn't come back yet because the world isn't as evil as it was when the Flood happened or when Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed. If the world isn't that evil again yet - I dread to see it when it is!

Friday, February 13, 2009

17th Wedding Anniversary

This Valentine's Day marks my 17th wedding anniversary! I find it hard to believe it's been that long. I met my husband where the two of us worked. It really has been a great 17 years. I find that every day I love him more and more. I look up to him in so many ways, and not just because he's 6'4"! He is such an awesome person. I don't know of anyone else who is more giving of his time and talents to anyone who is need. He never ceases to amaze me in how great a father he is, and he is such a wonderful provider. Not only does he work three jobs, he can repair practically anything, so we rarely have to fork out money we don't have to pay someone else or buy new things. He is Godly, loving, kind, gentle and wise. He would be the first to tell you that if we were to try and count ALL of his good qualities, we'd be here a while! Yep, he has a great sense of humor too (just ask him). ;0)

Well, I guess that's enough bragging for now, but I really do mean everything I said.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are You "Testy"?

I wanted to share some thoughts that I had from the Beth Moore sessions I participated in at the womens retreat this past weekend. As I previously mentioned, the title or theme of the weekend was "Loving Well". Beth went over four categories of people that we interact with during our lifetime, and how we respond in love - or not. Here are the four categories:

  • Joy - people who are a joy for us to love (Phil. 4:1)
  • Testy - people who really test us and we struggle to love (Phil. 4:2)
  • Foe - people who we don't love at all, but actually hate, Beth says, "you hate with all your being"
  • Far - people who are strangers (Mt. 25:34-40)

We were instructed to picture faces for each category of people. Beth told us to really search our hearts and be brutally honest about this. I found myself thinking of more "joy" people than anything, which made me feel really good. There are a few "testies", but for the most part, I think that I am testy! Foe - I really can't think of any (at least not any new ones - I've forgiven several people in my day). However, I did recall how recently I considered God my foe. Scary, huh? After the death of my mom and grandmother, I was so angry with God that I must have considered Him my foe. I shared this with the ladies at the retreat. I told them how God allowed me to stomp my feet, shake my fists, scream and cry and yell - you know, pitch a major fit. All the time I was doing that and telling God how mad I was at Him for taking my mother - He still loved me. That blows my mind! When I recall how ugly I was, how ungrateful and selfish I was, yet God never stopped loving me! It truly is amazing, people!

Beth also pointed out in her message that just as I am a woman and nothing could ever change that, God IS LOVE. He can't help but love us because HE IS LOVE. It's His nature. Awesome! There were several 'sound bites' I call them that Beth said that really struck a chord with me:

  • God measures maturity by how we love.
  • We need to ask God to minster to us before we can minister to others.
  • God won't do through us what we don't let Him do to us.
  • We won't love well until we feel well loved.
  • Let's start loving because we are already loved, not so we will be loved. (I John 4:19)

And finally the strangers in our lives. Beth shared how we need to "stop, pause and minister" to the strangers we meet. Isaiah 58:6-12 says that when we reach out to those who are in need, then we will find healing. Isn't it amazing how God shows us that when we give of ourselves WE receive even more? Isn't that crazy? The world would have us believe that we have to take, take, take in order to be happy. But God says that we won't be happy and fulfilled until we learn to give and to love.

I have to admit that my brain can't comprehend the magnitude of this message. I'm not sure I'll completely understand it all this side of heaven, you know? There are so many days that I don't feel lovable or loving, and seperating feelings from fact doesn't come easily to me. It's the battle of the mind taking place on a regular basis.

Well, there's my love message (from Beth) - or I should say GOD's love message. Timely in that this weekend is Valentine's Day, don't you think? ;0 )

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Retreats are nice - but tiring

Yesterday and today I was privileged to join my singing sisters in leading the praise and worship at a women's retreat. Remember Abounding Grace? I wrote about us not long ago. Well, we had a wonderful time. God was definitely present and it was awesome. After the music, we viewed Beth Moore videos on "Loving Well". God never disappoints me in how He uses Beth to give me new insights to His word.
The place we stayed in was absolutely wonderful and the food was delicious. Overall, it was a great mini-retreat. However, I am typing this with half-closed eyelids. Just think of having around 50-60 women together in one place with nothing to do but talk! Yeah - sleep doesn't happen for long. Hopefully I'll manage to catch up tonight. As soon as I'm finished posting this, I'm off to bed!
I will tell you something funny that happened to me. After I arrived home, I began to unpack my suitcase. Well, I noticed that my clothes were wet. I had taken a steamer to use on my clothes in case there weren't any irons at the Lodge, so I assumed I had failed to drain it completely and it leaked. That wasn't what it was. I had packed my hairspray bottle so that the nozzle got pressed and the ENTIRE bottle of hairspray had squirted out and saturated my stuff! It was Paul Mitchell hairspray, too! Do you know how much that stuff is? *sigh* I don't know what's worse - having wet, sticky clothes, or going to church tomorrow with flat hair! That's almost enough to make a woman want to stay home. I think Beth Moore could appreciate my dilemma. I guess that's another thing that can happen when I'm sleep deprived.
Well, I'd better go catch some zzzz's before I make any more mistakes. Good night!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

unrelated stuff

I haven't written in the last few days. I've been distracted, but for the most part I just haven't had anything good to write about. I need some blogspiration, you know?

Well, it seems lately that all I hear is bad news and more bad news. When this happens I tend to go into shut-down mode after a point. It's like my mind just can't take in any more sadness or wickedness, you know? How do you respond when this happens? Some people rise above it all. Others, like myself, withdraw and take a breather from life; I think I'm about there once again. This means that I won't be "taking in" the e-mails I receive (I'll just quickly scan them) or going online to check the headlines, or watching the news. At least for a while. Of course this makes me feel selfish. I really wish I was one of the those who can rise above it all.

On a different note, I think I'm almost to the point of actually saving money with the coupons I've collected. Yes, I have decided to be "one of those" people who go (or is it "who goes"?) into the stores with a handful of coupons and walk (or is it "walks"? my mind isn't working tonight) out of the place with $100 bucks worth of stuff having paid only $15 for it all. I have a friend who is a pro at this. Holly devotes her blog to the bargains she obtains. She is my inspiration. ;0)