Monday, April 27, 2009

No more failing grades?

I worry about my kids not learning what they need to under my guidance. Well, at least I know they ARE learning something and that their grades are well earned, whatever they might be. Apparently these days some public schools are no longer giving out an "F" for failing; or at least their not calling an "F" an "F". Now it's an "H" for "held". So, if your a kid in one of these public schools, and you don't turn in your homework or pass your tests - NO PROBLEM! We'll (the school) just give you an "H" and call your grade "held" to give you ANOTHER opportunity to try. I'm sorry, but everyone has the same opportunity, and if you don't take it the first time around, you shouldn't get a second chance. I mean, come on! Here's the link to the article. I promise, I'm not making this up. I just don't get it. Are we so afraid to hurt someone's feelings, that now giving someone who doesn't pass the grade the "F" they deserve is considered wrong, or politically incorrect? It's beyond ridiculous! I just don't get it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Do We (I) Doubt?

This morning I was reading in the book of Acts chapter 3. The headliner for this chapter is "Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar". Please read it:

Acts 3

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers
11While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. 12When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (bold and italics mine)

These verses really struck a chord with me. So many of us wonder (I assume I'm not the only one) why there aren't as many miracles witnessed these days. If that's true, then it has to be a lack of faith - right? Why do we (I) doubt that God can and WILL do miracles for us today? I know that I'm guilty of praying for someone's healing but in the not-so-far-back of my mind I doubt that they will be healed. So sometimes we (I) pray, "Please heal him/her, but if not, Your will be done" like that's some sort of disclaimer or something. Am I making sense? Is it because we haven't physically witnessed with our eyes the miraculous healings that the apostles did? Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". This was referring to salvation, but does it also refer to miracles? I wonder what it will take for my faith to increase to the point that I would have the boldness and confidence of Peter to approach a crippled person and say, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." WOW! What faith! I so want that!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bargain Bust and Dental Distress

Yesterday I spent probably 1 1/2-2 hours going through sales papers, cutting coupons and printing coupons off the Internet, then matching coupons to local sales. Today after my dentist appointment (I won't even go there because it's a dark and tormenting place), I began my bargain shopping. Target was my first stop. I was very excited because I had seen several bargains named on a blog that I frequently check; these deals would've gotten me products for free after my stacked coupons. However, when I get to Target I quickly see that every single item I was after was out-of-stock! Grrrr! This is only Tuesday, how could they already be out of EVERY SINGLE ITEM?! Well, at least I was able to get a white chocolate mocha at Starbucks while I was there. The next stop was Rite-Aid - same thing happened. Then CVS - SAME THING HAPPENED! It's like all the coupon queen bees had sent their scouts before me and swiped up the deals - *sigh*. Well, I still had one more stop, so I dragged myself to the grocery store for the essentials. At least it wasn't crowded and it was actually a bit relaxing since I was by myself. After all that running around I rushed home to unload the groceries and then hit the road headed for rehearsals for Fiddler on the Roof. My mouth was still a bit numb from the dentist and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to sing very well. I was also hungry, but not able to take a big bite of anything. Have I told you before how much I utterly detest, loathe, despise and hate going to the dentist? OK, so I'll tell you about the visit to the dentist. Tell the children to leave the room, because it ain't pretty! Today's visit was Part I of a crowning. TWO HOURS I'm in the chair with my mouth wide open, four hands and cold, hard instruments jammed inside! This particular dentist I've never met before. She is a lovely woman, but she has the voice of Snow White for crying out loud! I fully expected her to glide over to the window, pull up the pane and yodel for birds and squirrels to come help her with the drilling! I'm sorry, but I don't want Snow White drilling on my tooth - I want Dr. Twenty Years of Experience with a Nice Baritone, Fully Confident and Knowledgeable Voice working on my not-so-pearly whites! Whenever she asked the assistant for something, the assitant said, "Hmmm?" and she had to repeat herself. Not only that, but she (Dr. Snow White) was humming with the radio, which was blaring above the sound of the drill and the suction tube thingie. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I'd rather give birth then go to the dentist! Unfortunately I have to return in two weeks for Part II. Dr. Snow White assured me that the next visit shouldn't take quite as long. I SHOULD HOPE NOT! I really want to ask for Mr. Nose, but I'm pretty sure insurance doesn't cover it for people over ten years of age. So all in all, today was a bust. I guess I'll try and be like Annie and sing about the sun coming out tomorrow. Hey- maybe Dr. Snow White and I can sing a duet!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stop It!

I can't help myself. This is one of my favorite video clips ever. I've shared it on myspace and facebook, but for those of you who don't use either, here you go...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mourning into gladness

Not all anniversaries are happy ones. Today is the 2nd anniversary of the death of my mother and grandmother. Let me tell you that I can't believe it's been two years; it just doesn't seem possible. However, I'm not here to bring you down. Hopefully I will be an encouragement to you today. You see, even though the death of my loved ones took me to the pit of despair, my Savior lifted me up out of that pit and rescued me, healed me, comforted me, delivered me and yes - He has turned my mourning into gladness! Who else but Jesus can do such a thing? If you don't know Jesus, man, I don't know what to say. I literally would not still be here on this earth if it weren't for my Jesus! I urge you to seek salvation through Jesus Christ. He promises that if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of those sins and to cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness! AMAZING!

Psalm 18 was seemingly written for me and everything I felt. Especially verses 4-6

"The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."

There is a song that our worship leader, Dean Lusk, introduced to us recently. It is my new favorite worship and praise song - "Savior". This song could not be any closer to what I feel/believe about my Lord. I mean, this song describes every way that Jesus revealed Himself to me - AWESOME!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fruit Salad

There have been two incidences this past week where I have utterly failed at demonstrating the love of Christ to my fellow man. I will put it this way - I was butt ugly (sorry if that offends, but that's the best way to describe it). Unfortunately one of the outbursts was toward my children. Both times I was past my hunger point, which makes me extremely irritable, but that's no excuse is it? I also later realized that I'm on the "P" in the "MS" cycle (sorry, guys) but again, that's no excuse. So instead of exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, I have consistenly chewed up the fruits and spit them out as if they were part of a spoiled fruit salad. This breaks my heart when I realize the way I have hurt the name of Christ. When will I ever be able to walk as those who have gone on before me? I'm currently reading about Daniel and how he maintained his composure and his testimony before the most vile of men in the most uncomfortable (to say the least) circumstances - being taken captive and removed from your home, placed into the most ungodly of cities, surrounded by pagan worship, etc. Yet there is no record of him blowing up and losing his cool like I have of late. Yes, God forgives and gives me chance after chance, and for that I'm grateful. I am still grieved, however, that I have not yet "arrived". It just goes to show that living in Christ is not easy and if I'm not daily putting on my armor, it's impossible. Man, I wonder when I'll finally get it through this thick head of mine that I can NOT go a day without spending time with my Lord! To be truthful, I've been convicted about this blogging thing. I don't write posts everyday, but I do read MANY others and it has sucked so much time out of my days. Time I should be spending with my Lord, with my family, with my other responsibilities. There has to be a change. I can't continue to feed my flesh and expect to grow in the Spirit. I know some of you have had this same struggle. What began out of a desire to share our faith with as many people as possible via the Internet has turned into a time trap that robs us of our 'quiet time'. Well, you might have already worked through your struggle and found a proper balance. I'm just beginning to realize the need for balance. I do enjoy sharing in the walk of others, being challenged by your thoughts. Those are good things. We can encourage each other, pray for each other, point fingers and laugh out loud at each other! :0) Those are good things. But, like anything, if it takes the place of our God, not so good - not good at all. I am seeking balance. I want to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit - but not in a yucky fruit salad way.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My poor brother!

My brother, Matt, burned his foot while at work several days ago. He manages a Cracker Barrell and accidentally (of course) spilled 200+ degree water onto his foot. The water went down into his shoe and well, you see the result. This picture was taken last night, I believe, after his room-mates dog jumped on his foot. I peeled some of the skin back. Unfortunately it became infected and he had to have the skin peeled off today. I was supposed to take him to the burn unit to have this done, but my daughter came down with a fever, so my dad took him instead. He called me to let me know he had made it back home. He didn't sound very well at all. I'm sure it must have been excruciating to have that procedure done. Even after all he has been through with the kidney transplant, this still has to be up there on the higher end scale of pain (I thought I had written about his kidney transplant before, but I can't seem to find the post). I hate to see my brother hurting. Well, technically I haven't seen him, only through pictures like this. I've asked him time and time again what I can do to help him. He is so self-sufficient, though, and he always says "nothing". If Mom were here, she would be over there waiting on him and pampering him. I would, too, but I have my kids to take care of. I don't like this feeling of helplessness. Speaking of Mom - next week will be the 2nd anniversary of her passing and Granny's passing. I think that realization has brought on a bit of a blue funk on some of us. My brother, Daniel, is currently in boot camp with the Army. He has been gone for several weeks. I think his graduation is May 8th. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend due to the Fiddler on the Roof. I didn't realize the conflict in dates until after I obligated myself. Actually, I don't think we had the date of his graduation until after I signed up for the musical. If the part of Golde had been double cast, I could probably go, but that's not the case. I'm the only one who was cast to play Golde. I realized earlier today when my daughter became ill that having only one person cast for a major role is quite the leap of faith! What if something else happens, God forbid, that would keep me from being in the musical?

Well, please remember to pray for Matt and his quick recovery as well as Daniel's safety in the Army. Thanks, I know you will. ;0)