Monday, March 30, 2009

Copper scrolls

Yesterday in Sunday School, I heard about the Copper Scrolls for the first time. Fascinating stuff, really. There's a man, Jim Barfield (he's a former fire fighter!), who believes that he has, through God's help, discovered where the items are that are listed on the Copper Scrolls. Evidently the scrolls are a treasure map of sorts that disclose the locations of the Tabernacle items, unimaginable amounts of gold and silver coins, gems and possibly even the Ark of the Covenant! It's things like these that make me wish I had pursued archeology. When I was in the fifth grade I wanted to be an archeologist. I was sorely disappointed, however, when I realized that King Tut's tomb had already been discovered, so I put that idea out of my head! LOL! (BTW, King Tut's stuff is on display in Atlanta, GA. I desperately want to go see it) Of course I really hate being sweaty and dirty, so I wouldn't make a good archeologist anyway. If you click on the links above they will take you to the websites with videos where I found out more information. If you're into history and biblical archeology I'm sure you'll find it as interesting as I did. Here's another site with pictures.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Saying no to church"

I was reading my local newspaper this evening and this article caught my eye. I tried to find an online version to share with you, but it wasn't available, so I'll just type it here for you:


For five decades and in growing numbers, American Christians have been saying no to Sunday church. I think it is time we listened.

We have labeled them "unchurched", "nonbelievers", "former Christians", "happy pagans", "lost", and a "mission field" that's "ripe for harvest". These negative terms imply that the absent have a flaw that needs to be addressed.

New congregations have harvested some of these former mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churchgoers. But even their numbers rise and fall - especially when the founding pastor slips up or retires, and the overall trend in church participation remains down. In some Western states, Sunday churchgoing has fallen below 10 percent of the population.

When this slide commenced in 1964 as baby boomers began graduating from high school, many church leaders didn't even acknowledge it. For years, they kept counting the absent as present. Then, when the losses couldn't be ignored, they blamed them on whatever hot-button issues were roiling the religious establishment, as if new liturgies, women in the leadership, and liberals (or conservatives, take your pick) had driven people away.

We need to see that these "formers" aren't saying not o God, or to their Christian identity, or to their yearning for faith. Many are simply saying no to Sunday church.

They are expressing a preference for something other than getting up early on Sunday, driving across town, sitting in a pew for an hour or more, making small talk with people they don't really know, and driving home again.

They are saying no to Sunday, the only day they can get a slow start in this everyone-works-hard era.

They are saying no to being an audience in an age of participation and self-determination.

They are saying no to institutional preaching, repetitive liturgies, and assemblies controlled by small cadres usually older than themselves.

They are saying no to being told what to believe.

They are saying no to having their questions ignored.

Instead, they find spiritual enrichment on the Internet and on television. They read faith-related books. They pray on their own. They find their own networks of faithful friends.

The problem isn't their faith. The problem is Christianity's delivery system. We are stuck in trying to lure people to physical locations at a time of our choosing, to do what we think they ought to do, and to be loyal in paying for it. It is time we looked beyond the paradigm of Sunday church.

I think the future lies in "multichanneling": a combination of on-site, online, workplace and at-home offerings that create networks of self-determining constituents, many of whom might never attend Sunday church.

The first challenge, however, is to recognize how deeply wedded we are to Sunday on-site participation as the only true expression and measure of faithfulness. Almost everything about our institutions - facilities, ordination training, staffing, budgeting - aims to draw people to a central location on Sunday.

We need to see that what works for some doesn't work for others. Not because the others are flawed, nor because our culture has collapsed and turned against God, but because things change. Just as Jesus took his ministry out of the synagogue and radically rethought the meaning of Sabbath, so God is drawing us away from "former things", even ones we treasure and consider our duty.

Article in The Huntsville Times, Friday March 27th, 2009 edition.

Author: Tom Ehrich is an Episcopal priest based in New York. His web-site is

This article saddens me so because the majority of people, it seems, think that church is only a one day a week event that has to take place in a building. We are called to live, to be the church - not go to it. This is something that has burdened not only myself, but several people close to me. We all are praying about how to actually "Be the Church" on a daily basis. I don't think there is anything wrong with a weekly meeting or assembling of believers. That is biblical. However, the place, the size of the place, the quality of accommodations isn't what is important. We are to get together to worship, to pray, to encourage one another. I don't think that it's limited to one day a week to do that (see verses below). I don't think that it's limited to one place. In fact, I think the more often we can get together for that purpose, the better! If we are consistently gathering together to worship our Creator, pray for one another and encourage one another with the Scripture, then I think we are more likely to be the living church that God wants us to be. I agree with the author of the above article in that many people are disillusioned with church. It's because the church is not functioning properly. So what do we need to do to change it? Again, that's what I'm praying about and I know several others are as well. Join me in that prayer, would you? Also, if you would like, share your insights with me.

Let me encourage you with these verses: Acts 2:42-47

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

Home Again

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've been camping this week. We didn't go far, though, since I still had to be back for Fiddler on the Roof rehearsals. It was still nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of regular life, though. We usually choose to take our school breaks a different week than the school systems around here. That's so we can have more choices of accomodations and such. We weren't disappointed. We were able to get a spot right beside the river and a little stream. It was quite lovely. Camping isn't for everyone, I know, but it suits our family very well. I like it so much because I feel like a queen! My husband does all of the set-up, most (not all) of the cooking AND the cleaning! Plus he usually takes the kids fishing and I get the place to myself and catch up on my reading. It's very relaxing. The weather was perfect until the last night, when it started raining, so all in all it was a great break. I did miss not having my PC with me. WiFi would be nice, but I don't think I'd use it enough to justify the additional cost.
I played with my camera while we were there. There are still so many features on my camera that I don't know how to use yet. I think I need to watch the tutorial again. I still had pictures from other activities on my camera, so when I downloaded them yesterday I had nearly 300 pictures! I'll probably delete several of them. Since the digital cameras have come along, I rarely ever have pictures printed. So now instead of having boxes and boxes of photos lying around the house, they are all on the computer. This is good in that I don't feel bad for not putting them into photo albums, but then again, I do. Know what I mean?
Enjoy some camping pics.
View from our camper.

Me playing with the camera. Pretty, huh?

Kids posing for me.

Cool shot of bee. I didn't even know the bee was in the picture until I downloaded it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Excuse me

Yesterday I had to drag my kids to go shopping. They both were in need of clothes but neither of them wanted to go with me. We finally got to the store and I spotted a really cute outfit that I wanted my daughter to try. When I pointed it out to her, she actually liked it so I really wanted her to try it on, especially since it was a skirt (she does not like wearing dresses or skirts). The thing is, the outfit was up on the higher display, out of my reach. The kids and I both searched for the hook thingie that is used to get those higher up things, but we couldn't find one. Well, I really, really wanted to get this down because if there's any chance of my daughter wearing a skirt, I'm going to take it. I look around for a sales associate - not one to be found - of course! Then I look for someone tall. Finally, a couple is walking down the main aisle and the man looks plenty tall enough to help me out, so I approach them. I say "Excuse me, but could you please help me get something that's out of my reach?" They both looked a bit stunned at first, like I was playing a joke on them or something. I point over to the wall and ask again. The man finally realizes I'm serious and says "Yes m'aam". Then the woman with him looks at me with this cold hard stare like I'm asking her man for his phone number or something! I'm thinking, "Sheesh! I just need a little help here! What's the big deal?" So I walk the man over to the outfit and he gets it down for me. I thank him and he walks away. It was really weird, though. So my daughter tries it on, it looks really cute, but of course she hates it. Unfortunately the couple is still in the same area and we keep bumping into them. The vibe from that woman was not good. I finally find something my daughter agrees to, so we go to the check out. There they are again. So I finally just say to the man, "Thank you again for your help. It's not easy being short", and then I deliberately smile at the woman. COLD - HARD - STARE again! You know, the "if looks could kill" glare. What's up with people? Are we not supposed to ask for help anymore? Not even the slightest bit of help? It's not like I was asking for his kidney or anything like that! I guess you had to be there to appreciate the full scale of awkwardness and tension that was in the air. It was difficult for me to be gracious because down inside I really wanted to say to the woman, "WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?!", but that wouldn't have been very Christ-like, so I refrained. Have you ever asked for help from a stranger and regretted it? I might think twice before I do it again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I tried using my 1st St. Patrick's Day post but for some reason it wouldn't work. I don't have much time today, but I wanted to acknowledge the holiday because it's one of my favorites. I don't know why exactly, except that I've always considered myself mostly Irish. I still don't know if that is true or not since I haven't devoted as much time to my family tree research as I would like. Anyway, St. Patrick was a really great guy from what I've read. Supposedly it's not true about him driving out snakes, but even if he didn't he was still cool (again from what I've read). Also, I like the color green and shamrocks are pretty. Another thing I like about the Irish are the blessings:

Christ be with me, Christ be within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the smiling stars to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Also, the music...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please, don't - touch - me!

Well, I'm in a bit of pain now. This morning I started the garden. I planted lettuce, carrots, and strawberries. I forgot how much work it is moving dirt around, digging holes and such. It was quite breezy today and I have a bit of the wind burn look, quite lovely, I'm sure. I was going to plant the rosemary too, but I thought I would wait and put it in a planter. Good thing I decided to do that. Another blogging friend of mine showed a picture of her rosemary bush - yeah, BUSH! Those things get HUGE! So, if I had put it along with my garden, it would probably be a big bush bully and take over the place (like the watermelon did last year). So now my back hurts and my shoulders hurt. I know, I know. I can hear you say, "Quit your whining!" Well, I didn't stop with the gardening. I also groomed my dog today. She's been needing a bath and a haircut for some time now, but since she decided to roll around in the horse doodie that was in the garden, I figured today was as good a day as any to clean her up. NOW, I'm really in a world of hurt. I don't want to move, or breathe, either for that matter. Forget supper tonight! The family will just have to fend for themselves. It won't be the first time they've eaten cereal for dinner, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Well, gotta go and lie on the heating pad - ouch!

Friday, March 6, 2009

myspace blog

The following is a copy of the myspace blog I told you about before. This discussion took place in January of 2008.

I was sharing w/ my buddies today how God has really been challenging me lately through His word and through the lives of other Christians. My complacency has really begun to disturb me. I don't really even know how to fully express what is going through my mind right now. I am frustrated not only w/ myself but w/ Christians in general. We just are not being what God has intended for us to be. I say 'we' b/c I know I'm not the only one. Looking at the condition of the world and the CHURCH - sadly I can tell that I'm not the only one! So what's to be done? Boy! I've got to GET REAL. What does that mean 'GET REAL'? It means that I have got to start viewing sin as sin in my own life, confess it and repent of it. Then I am to go OUT INTO THE WORLD and tell others about sin, the consequences of sin and the HOPE that's in JESUS! We have become so TOLERANT it's sickening! Jesus did not tell us to be TOLERANT of sin. He told us to love others as ourselves, yes, but He NEVER ONCE SAID TO TOLERATE SIN! If I'm wrong, show me in the Word where Jesus says to put up with sin in someone's life. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him He did not condemn HER but He did tell her to "go and leave your life of sin" Jn 3:8-11. Why do we twist the love of Christ into acceptance of sin? If that's what He wanted us to do then there was no reason whatsoever for Him to come to this earth and die on a cross. He could have just continued to speak through prophets and told us to "tolerate" each other, accept the faults of others, live and let live, so on and so on. We have taken God's grace and morphed it into our free pass to sin. I don't know what else to say. I have been challenged, convicted, whatever you wish to call it. I have prayed that God will forgive me - and He has- and use me today and every day. I have asked Him to help me not to worry about what I will say but to give me the words when He wants me to talk to someone about Him. I don't want to go through this day-to-day life minding my own business anymore. People are dying and going to hell and I can't just sit by and tolerate that any more! If you are offended by what I've said I'll take that as a good thing. Maybe, just maybe, God is challenging you too.

myspace blog comments: names changed to protect the innocent (or something like that)

Belle said: Hi Christy,Sounds like you have renewed sense of your faith and purpose, and that's always great. What areas specifically do you think Christians have become to tolerant in? How do you think Christians should show Christ's love to people (christians and non Christians) with whom they disagree?I definitely think the subject of tolerance in church is a very important subject among Christians. I admire you for bringing it out.

I replied: What I'm trying to get across is that we are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as we can. We cannot assume that others know about the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf and why He chose to do it. When we tell people about sin and the consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ - an eternity in hell, we cannot force them to agree and accept. That's not our responsibility. Our responsibility is only to share the message and to live what we are sharing. My complaint w/ Christians and tolerance of sin is that those of us who know the Truth are not living it ourselves when we - I - continue to sin on a daily basis. My habitual speeding is not OK – it’s breaking the law. God says I should obey and respect those in authority over me. My not sharing the good news of Christ is wrong b/c Christ specifically commanded me to do that. My ‘white lies’, stretching the truth or not telling the whole truth is sin b/c God told me not to lie – period! If I tolerate these, what we would call ‘little sins’, then I am leaving room open for ‘bigger sins’ to be acceptable to me. SIN is SIN – period. We are the ones who tend to categorize sin; God doesn't do that. To Him it is all the same. Lying is just as wrong as murder, cheating on a test is just as wrong as cheating on a spouse, being lazy is just as bad as stealing, gluttony, using God's name in vain, not forgiving each other, putting ourselves before others, the list goes on and on. SIN is SIN in the eyes of God and it should be in ours as well. If someone disagrees with me I should still love them but I shouldn't excuse their choice to live a life w/o Christ. And really, if they reject the gospel of Christ, it's not me they're disagreeing with, it's God. We cannot water down the gospel just so people feel better about themselves. We ALL fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23. My sin put Jesus on the cross. Your sin put Jesus on the cross. We may have not done the exact same things, but the details don't matter. I hope my answer has made sense.

Cinderella said: I agree wholeheartedly! We have become entirely too tolerant of sin and just plain LAZY about not doing the work of the Lord like we should be! After watching Rick Burgess speak at his son's funeral, several things he said stuck out in my mind that I have thought or felt about (name removed by me), but I obviously didn't radically change after seeing and thinking those things myself. I let Satan creep in and steal my joy, discourage me, becoming more apathetic, PATHETIC and not carrying out my duty in the great commission. I, too, have confessed that to our Lord and it is going to be a daily battle, I know, to fight this battle against Satan- especially since we are proclaiming it instead of sitting on our butts doing nothing about it. I will pray along with you for us, our churches, and Christians as a whole to break through this mundane living, lazy acting, double standards, apathetic but yet "Christian life" we supposedly live. I love you and am standing in the gap beside you!!

Gaston said: One glaring problem in this area with Christ-followers and those who say they're Christ-followers is that they are tolerant of their own sin and very intolerant of the sin of others, both outside and inside the body of Christ. I don't say this to point at anyone; rather, I have unfortunately seen this in myself far too often. So for me, this is not necessarily about disagreeing with the actions of other people inside or outside of the church, but being tolerant of the sin in my own life. That's a really bad thing! We focus on the "big" sins (like drug abuse, fornication/adultery, etc.) and totally forget the "little things" that Christianity is built upon. On American Idol the other night (I promise, I watch this show because my *family* likes it -- not me!) a waitress auditioned. A waitress with a bad attitude. Her audition was worse than her attitude, matter of fact. The thing that really got to me, and it's been a pet peeve of mine with the church crowd for a long time, was that when Simon (I think) asked her what she liked least about her job, without a moment's hesitation she said something like this:"The Sunday crowd. We have an all-you-can-eat thing. Not a buffet, but one plate at a time. They'll come in and get their plates piled high over and over and they have us running all over the place past each other, and then they tip us ONE DOLLAR!"What a wonderful example of how we Christians are better and more sinless than the rest of the world, eh?It's THAT kind of tolerance of sin that really gets to me. The tolerance of our own -- my own -- sin.

I replied: Thanks, Gaston. You made my point better than I did myself! My complaint is with the Christians, not the world. The world doesn't know any better and won't until we share the Gospel of Christ with them. We 'Christians' claim to know the truth but our lives don't reflect it.

Belle replied: I think that you have done a grat job, Christy, of explaining yourself...and your friend, Gaston, as well."Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Matthew 7:13 I have fallen off of many high horses in life, and I have a difficult time passing judgement on anyone. I think (my own opinion here, to each his own of course) that the world we live in doesn't need Christians to tell them that they are wrong, sinning, doing bad things, etc. What I think the world needs to is to be shown Christ's perfect love through us. That was what was so great about Jesus...he showed love. So, even as we struggle with the logs in our life, we can do it openly and still share Christ's love. I think as Christians, when we are brave enough to show the world we are not perfect, but we can accept out imperfections (and theirs) with Christ's love...we do so much more good.

Gaston said: Although it may not quite sound like it, I believe we all agree here in most respects: Belle said, “I have fallen off of many high horses in life, and I have a difficult time passing judgement on anyone.” Me, too. An embarrassingly silly number of them. The nice thing is that I can tell people about these horses from which I’ve fallen – falls and recoveries that God has used later to teach me about various things; mostly about being truly, honestly thankful. Belle also said, "...when we are brave enough to show the world we are not perfect, but we can accept our imperfections... we do so much more good."A couple of thoughts on that: My acceptance of my own imperfection is simply not a good thing. My learning what it means to be more like Christ and get rid of those imperfections along the way IS a good thing. I don’t want to walk around hanging onto all the old muck from which I've supposedly been cleansed. A dog going back to his vomit and all, you know…At the same time, I don't think for a moment that I should be hypocritical and try to hide my imperfections from people. But saying, "Hey, I'm not perfect, so why should you bother, either?" is not what I’d want to communicate in a million years. (I'm not thinking that's exactly what you meant, though.)Banging people over the head with religious rules and telling them they’re sinners is not what I’d want to do in a million years, either. Jesus never did that. He wasn’t down on “sinners” – rather, He was down on the religious leaders who tried to bang people over the head and tell them they were sinners. :)BUT… the key thing is what Christy noted earlier. Jesus’ message was (and this is in a major, major nutshell and I don’t intend to put words in Jesus’ mouth – I’m just summarizing His message in as few words as I can): "I understand where you’ve been. You can’t change that, and I’m not condemning you for it. But you CAN change the future if you follow Me. Go about your life but stop sinning ('Go and sin no more'). Matter of fact, in some cases you may need to make restitution for the wrong things you’ve done."The fact is, the life of a Christ-follower IS supposed to be different from that of someone who doesn't know Christ, isn't it?

Belle replied: Everyone comes from a different space, and we each address things in our lives as we are directed. For me, accepting my imperfections is a good thing. It doesn't mean that I become comfortable with them, but rather they are a part of who I am, and more importantly, who I am becoming. Like a snake continually shedding its skin. "Owning" my faults, for me, helps me begin the process of disowning them. I see that isn't the way for everyone, though.I believe the things that often separate Christians from non Christians (and often each other) is each persons beliefs about what is and is not sin. The ability to be tolerant of a person's journey when it is completely opposite of your journey is a testament of possessing the ability to show Christ love. It certainly is something, as humans, we all struggle with. I do agree that one who follows Christ should definitely live a life that reflects that.

Jasmine said: I'm going to take my comment in a pretty different direction, since everything that's been said (in Christy's original blog and in the comments) I agree with and don't have much to add on those subjects. But since witnessing has been mentioned, I thought I'd give my two cents on that topic...I get witnessed to on a very regular basis, because I guess I look like I need it or something. Who knows. Anyway, almost every experience I've had with someone witnessing to me has been uncomfortable and negative. The person often seems confrontational, judgemental or ingenuine, but usually all of the above. I get the impression that they have absolutely no interest in me other than they feel obligated to give me a tract so they've fulfilled an obligation. Telemarketers set me more at ease than the people who witness to me, honestly. The thing is, these people aren't saying or doing anything especially strange. They're following the evangelism script that I've heard explained as an effective witnessing tool. But having to hear it from "the other side of the fence" made me really question if a one-size-fits-all sales pitch is a healthy mentality for Christians to have. I guess what I'm saying is I feel like witnessing has become a formulaic agenda with little consideration for the individual we may be witnessing to. And I feel like we often excuse our methods with the attitude that if they don't accept well, then we tried and it's their loss. But I mean, shouldn't we be more sensitive to the individual and tailor our conversation around them, seeing as how we're giving them the most important information they'll ever receive? In my opinion, the best way to go about it is to befriend a person, get to know their personality, and then when you share your salvation experience with them, it will come totally natural because you're not looking at them as a potential convert, but as a friend with whom you want to share experience and knowledge that has been instrumental in your life. And also because you've had time to gauge how they may respond and pray for them specifically in advance. There's no pressure on either person and no one feels uncomfortable or singled out, and your friend (even if they don't accept) will easily be able to see that you're sharing out of love and not out of obligation, and they'll be able to understand the message more deeply. I'm sure many Christians disagree with me on this, probably due to the sense of urgency the feel when they consider how many lost people may be out there. They may see my approach as inefficient or even spineless or lazy. And I do agree that there are times and situations where it would be best to witness "up front" without getting to know the person. And I didn't mean to imply that people that use that style of witnessing are any less sincere than people that use the slower-paced style that I prefer, as I have no reason to believe their motives are less than honorable...I'm just going by how I feel when people witness to me, and thinking in terms of how I'd like to be treated. Also, my impression of Jesus's ministry is one where prayer, preparation and quiet reflection took priority over doing as many good deeds as physically possible. I think maybe sometimes we think that being constantly "at work" is always God's will for our lives, when perhaps putting all that pressure on ourselves to make things happen can cause us to miss things that are happening at a different pace than ours.

Gaston replied: A friend of mine blogged the other day, "I'm trying to avoid praying for things like 'help them see their current path may not fit your plan' or 'Help him/her understand your message'. What if they already understand His message? What if it's ME that doesn't understand?"Bada-boom! Right on.I think I may have miscommunicated my point in my last novel up there -- sorry about that, Cinderella. I'm not as closed-minded as I apparently sound. My "open-mindedness" is probably something many churchy people see as a fault of mine.
Or maybe I didn't sound closed-minded... I just noticed the little smiley face thingy and the "I agree 100%" note. D'oh (note from me: smiley face lost in translation)

Finally I close by saying: OH my goodness, Jasmine! This is exactly what I was praying about last night! I really want to be used by God to share the good news, but I don't want to go through a class or a program in order to learn a script or 'method' or whatever you would call it. I want to be real and personable to every person that God has me talk to. I'm not trying to be critical of those who feel the need to memorize a method or use acronyms, it's just not the way I want to go. I've actually tried one of those ways in the past (a LONG time ago) and all it did was make me flustered b/c I couldn't remember exactly what I was supposed to say. That made me gun shy for quite a while! Your point about befriending people is valid and I agree with that. It is far from spineless and lazy. I think befriending people takes a great deal of courage, time and effort. However, there are many people that I will come into contact with on any given day that I will never see again. If God tells me to share w/ someone at a moment's notice, then I need to act on that and be obedient. So here's where I am on the issue: I am willing to be used by God whenever and where ever He wants me to share the gospel. He promises us that He will give us the words to say and I trust Him to do just that. Thanks for your input, it was right on! ;)

Well, I hope you all stayed with me through all of the conversation, and I hope you found it as interesting as I did. Also, I hope that changing the original names to names of Disney characters didn't cheapen the discussion for you. The reason I wanted to share ALL of this with you is because some of the others sayed what I wanted to say, only better, and I wanted you to get it all. So, for those of you have hung in there and read it all, what do you think?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

so much to change

I don't know about you, but I'm the type that is easily overwhelmed. I've probably told you that before, many times, and you're sick of hearing it. It sounds like a lame excuse, doesn't it? I suppose it IS a lame excuse. What am I easily overwhelmed about, you ask? Well there are so many things in my personal life and in the body of Christ that I see and feel should be changed or at least improved on, yet being the one to initiate that change or improvement - that would be where the overwhelment comes in. Is overwhelment a word? Hold on while I check... OK, the says it's not, sorry about that. What do I feel needs to be changed or improved, you ask? You are so good at humoring me with your questions! I'll try to list them:

Personally speaking (not necesarily in order of importance):
  • Budgeting - staying on budget. I can do it on paper, but following through with it's another thing. Using the cash envelope system helps, but more often than not I'll rob one envelope because I've spent all of the cash out of another (eating out is my weakness).
  • Exercising - need I say more? Yeah, I didn't think so.
  • Being faithful with my quiet time.
  • Homeschooling my kids - I worry that I'm not doing enough and that they'll grow up educationally crippled.
  • Reaching out to my neighbors. I'm such a hermit and don't like getting outside for any extended length of time unless I'm camping.

Body of Christ (again, not necesarily in order of importance, although they're probably equal):

  • Men - where are you? I don't see many Godly men taking a stand and leading. (In all fairness, this isn't something that I can change, anyway. Being a woman in the church - that's a whole other subject. If ALL who professed to know Christ acted on that, LIVED that - well, it would be noticeably different, I think.)
  • Concern/urgency to witness (still waiting permission to share comments on that - post coming soon).
  • TRUTH - God's word in context. I see and hear God's word used out of context so much it's maddening. We need to stop picking and choosing verses here and there to fit our theme of the day!
  • Programs, programs, programs.
  • Sincerity in worship - I want desperately to see the Body of Christ delirious for Him! You know, like so many of us are for our favorite college football team - that kind of insanity, only for Christ! I'm not saying we should paint our bodies with "G", "O", "D", but we should be throwing up our hands, bouncing up and down and shouting at the top of our lungs "He is RISEN!", "I am REDEEMED!", "Christ LIVES in ME!", "THANK YOU, JESUS!"
  • Mentorship. I very much desire for an older woman to mentor me. Since that hasn't happened, I wonder, should I go and ask for a lady to do so or should I start being the mentor to a younger girl now? There's just not much of this going on, that I can see, in the local churches.

So these are things that overwhelm me when I stop and think about them and actually doing something about them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

while in rehearsal

Tuesday night I went to rehearsal for Fiddler on the Roof (FOTR). It went well as far as I could tell, anyway. Some of us were given a break at one point, while others were working on choreography. As I sat and waited and watched, I thought to myself, "I'm just sitting here doing nothing. I thought God wanted to use me here", and then I began looking around at the others who were just hanging around. I started wondering, "Who am I supposed to minister to?" and such. Then I realized that I was trying too hard to make this witnessing thing happen. I then decided that I need to be in a continual mindset of prayer and just wait for the Holy Spirit to prompt me to action. If I try to manipulate things, I will just make a mess. I am eager and excited to be used by God and to share the reason for the joy that is within me, but if I try too hard I might come off the wrong way to people.

I was reading some of my blog posts that I had shared on myspace back before I had this site. One of the blogs touched on witnessing and the urgency I've been feeling to be a better witness. There were some very interesting comments made. I've debated on whether or not to copy and paste all of the correspondences, but I wonder if those people would be offended by my sharing their thoughts in a different forum. I'm waiting for their permission before I share that conversation here. Of course, I could always change the names to protect the innocent - that sounds pretty cool! I think I'll do that, so hold your breath until my next post. Of course now it'll be a let down since I've made such a big deal out of it.

*Little side note here: Should I bother with the label posts? Does anyone ever really click on them?

Monday, March 2, 2009

nothing in particular

I have absolutely nothing in particular to write about. I guess I could write about the musical, but there's nothing new to add about that, really. I could write about the recent Bible study I'm doing, but my brain is too tired to remember anything of significance at the moment. I could write about how our school days are going, but that would be a drag. I could write about how the coupon/budget thing is working out for me, but that's not very exciting, either. You see? Nothing! *sigh* I suppose the good thing about having nothing to say is that nothing bad is happening in my life. I am having a bit of trouble with the right side of my jaw - it keeps locking up on me. However, that is just about as exciting as watching butter melt. I really need to keep a small note pad and pen with me all the time, because it seems like I can think of things to blog about at the strangest times. Remembering them when I actually have the time to sit down and write about - different story. I have a friend who writes notes on her hands so she'll remember. Maybe I need to start doing that. My concern with that idea is that I have a bad habit of leaning my head on my hands and the ink could rub off onto my face. Now that would be something to write about, huh?