Tuesday, September 30, 2008
In her honor, my blog will go silent for 3 days to signify her death, burial, and resurrection. To a wonderful woman of God-you are where you've longed to be. I can't imagine how happy you are right this moment. We'll see you soon.
NO-I don't think Obama is the anti-christ. I just think he could lead us into bad trouble on the prophecy front or good trouble. . . depends on how you look at it.
YES I think McCain still has a chance. We just need to pray that the Lord would be in these elections and in the decisions our government is making even today.
YES I believe prayer makes a difference. Good heavens I hope so. We are told in scripture to pray at all times and I personally know I need to communicate more with the Lord throughout the day.
Have a good day-
Monday, September 29, 2008
At that time I was really amazed at myself that I felt nothing. Really nothing. The last time I ever saw my father was Christmas 2001. I was visiting Pennsylvania from college and had stopped by my aunt's house where everyone on that side of the family was. I took my cousin Julie along from my mom's side of the family as my personal buffer/body guard! My dad was playing cards with some people at the table. When I walked in he said, "what's up?" and went back to his card game. He never got up and never even looked my direction. And I found it really amazing that I was with the man who created me and felt invisible. A few minutes later he said, "how are things at the university of Tennessee?" Right dad. At that point I had been at Asbury College in Kentucky for over 3 years. And I decided right then and there that I was done. I was done trying to maintain a relationship with this man, I was done caring, and although I would always forgive him and respect him for the position he held in my life, he would no longer be a part of my day to day thinking. And somewhere in my spirit that day - I moved on. I had to.
So, it caught me off guard this morning when I found a picture of him I was using as a bookmark. It literally took my breath away. I have no idea why and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. He missed so much. He missed the opportunity to be in relationship wtih 3 children who adored him and 2 wives that would have. My dad was the funniest, greatest guy-he just couldn't commit to anything especially relationships. If you needed something-he'd give you anything, but if it was a relationship you needed forget it. He was the epitome of a fair weathered friend. That's not an insult-that's just who he was. He would have been the best bachelor you ever met-he just had no business committing.
And I suppose somewhere in my heart I held onto the idea that one day he would call, or write, or find someway to restore a very broken relationship. I suppose to some degree you have to hold onto hope to survive. But now it's too late. I don't know why almost 2 years later today it feels final-like he's really gone. And it's weird where you notice it. I was filling out some forms today and it asked about family history. Father deceased? Yes or no. It was weird to circle yes. I don't know why. And then the Dr. said when reviewing it, "I'm sorry for your loss." I thanked him but it seems like I lost him a long time ago.
I don't know. It's strange how the soul adjusts at different times. When he passed away, it was a crazy time for a few months in my life with a bunch of little things and I think if I had taken the time to really grieve at that time I may have lost it. But now I'm at a point where I can process the loss and move on. Whether I think so or not, it does affect me and to some degree it always will.
In a fiction happily ever after world I wish he would have called a few years ago and we could have had that time to mend and restore and renew our relationship. I even wish he would have called when he was first diagnosed with lung cancer or then a year later when it had spread. I wish while he was in his right mind we would have connected. I think it was selfish of him not to do that. I'm not angry or bitter or upset at this point because I believe that's the only way he could cope was to avoid it, but I still wish he had. It might not have made a difference, but then again it might have.
His obituary described him as the best friend anyone could ask for. It didn't say anything about him as a father. I find that interesting.
Okay, that's enough Dr. Phil for today!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
So many friends are on my heart today:
My friend Jenny is celebrating/mourning the loss of her sweet Catie this weekend. Catie died 2 years ago at age 4 from a brain tumor and Friday would have been her 6th birthday. Since then Jenny has given birth to perfectly healthy Izzy and is pregnent with baby number 3. The baby is due the very day Catie died. Life is sweet and painful at times simultaneously.
Another friend, her mom is dying of cancer. She's not saved as far as we know. The hope that she will see her again is not there which is making grieving so difficult. There are no words to help her and we just have to pray that time will comfort her spirit. Life isn't always full of hope.
Another friend who was told exactly 12 months ago that she would never conceive gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl. Sometimes life is unexpectedly wonderful.
And my friend Glenda was given 5 months to live almost 3 years ago but continues to struggle with the lasting effects of having her stomach removed from cancer. Sometimes life is excruciating.
I'm praying for you guys today that God would meet you right where you are and bring to you just what you need when you need it. I'm here if you need me.
Feel free to disagree with me, but I truly believe that God is removing his hand of protection on America and that whoever is chosen as the next president will be ordained by God for that position and it COULD be for the purpose of advancing prophecy to end times status. America is not in scripture as part of the end times and there are lots of suggestions for why that is, but it is possible that it's because we won't be here. Now, the human side of me prefers that Jesus comes and gets us before this raft we're living on falls into the sea, but you know what? that's not up to us.
I know people have been looking for Jesus to come back since he left. And we've been waiting for him ever since. But Scripture is clear that there will be signs and you can basically watch CNN with the book of Revelation in your lap and know what they're going to say next. Scary. And exciting. You may have heard Kay Arthur a few weeks ago speak on the great famine that is coming to America. I believe it. So much of the world is literally starving to death and we are not exempt just because we are Americans.
And we've done this to ourselves. I look at the book of Genesis before the flood when God was so disappointed with his creation. How must he feel now? When Jesus said Let the little children come to me He didn't mean kill them off by abortion and abuse so they'd get to heaven faster! We're a nation in turmoil by our own hands. We've done this to ourselves. And we will pay the consequences for our actions. Now maybe you and I haven't personally aborted anybody or murdered anyone, but you know what? those dying children in Sudan didn't do anything either but because of where they live they are suffering and dying every day. We will pay for the actions of others by the extension that we are part of this country.
So am I saying don't vote and just let America go to Hell in a handbasket? NO NO NO! I'm saying if there's ever been a time to wake up - it is NOW. We need to be on our faces for this country asking God to SPARE US. Pleading on behalf of this great nation that we love that there would not be corruption in the offices both locally or nationally. That we would all get right with Him, that people living in sin (all of us to some degree) would turn from our wicked ways and FIND HIM. That we would beg of him as in scripture, "Lord if you find 100 people who love you will you spare us? 50? 30? 10? 1?"
Friends, we love HIM. I don't know of anyone who regularly reads my blog who doesn't. So let's commit today, these very few days before the election to get on our faces before the Lord and surrender ourselves and our nation to Him. To decide anew to trust him with all things and to repent of our own sins and the sins of this country.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus - Amen
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Being an adult and being reponsible is not always that much fun. So, in case you were wondering, I entertained the dream for a few minutes, but eventually got up got ready went to Starbucks and went to work. I always get up, I always go to work and usually I don't mind. But last night I really did mind. It wasn't a bad night at work. It's not a bad day at work. I just don't feel like it today. So there :)
Friday, September 26, 2008
All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
The Economy-Lose Lose Lose situation. If the government bails out these idiot banks for the stupid mistakes they've made and in turn pay their CEO's millions of dollars, they'll be cruising the Caribbien with our tax paying dollars while putting our money at SERIOUS risk. If they don't bail them out, Wal-Street will continue to fall and no one, and I mean no one will be able to borrow any money. And if they wait and keep waiting, all of our representatives are about to recess and we wouldn't want them to miss their cushy vacations because there's a HORRIBLE MESS to sort out. Okay, the last part was a little mean, but really, what's more important? Frustrating.
The Debates - It seems to me that inviting McCain and Obama to help sort this out was a MISTAKE. They have no clue what's been going on in the Senate because they've been on the campaign trail for the last 100 years (or so it seems). They brought confusion and chaos to the table and in my opionion should have stayed out of it. And for the debates scheduled tonight? Is this not a good time to hear what the candidates have to say? I personally can't think of a better one. And if McCain lets Obama show up and have his free for all "town meeting" - God help us. Just in case Sarah Palin reads my blog (haha) - TELL HIM TO GO PLEASE!! The economy can collapse with or without his help and an hour isn't going to make any difference. So there. :)
And now onto more important things - like my life. I am so happy inventory is done for another 51 weeks. It was a headache of a process and except for some minor subtracting and reworking Monday evening - it's over. I'm really glad. It has taken over my life this week and I don't like it! I got ALL my errands taken care of last night (it was a lot), and my little trip included my shampoo being on sale at Victoria Secret - YEAH! So even if the economy collapeses. . . .I'll have clean shiny hair for at least a month :) And I got new pajamas. I'm guessing in a week or so my grandmother MIGHT regret that we share a Belk's credit card. I'm going to have to remind her about unconditional love before she gets the bill :)
So that's all I've got for today. My brain is tired and my head hurts even after my 3 shot Latte. I have miles of work to do today that I've been putting off to get the inventory done that now has to be addressed. Ugh. And I could keep going, but I'll spare you the whining.....for now :)brenda
Thursday, September 25, 2008
1.to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
2.to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
Sanctification is H A R D for me. "Holiness unto the Lord" is etched into my huge mirror in my bathroom, but unfortunately that doesn't make me holy. I'd say I'm a good person. I don't murder or steal. I help those I can. But I really don't think that has anything to do with sanctification. To me, quite simply, sanctification is getting rid of the parts of me that look NOTHING like Him. And I know I always use animal examples but this one is too good to not include. . . . . .
The other night I agreed to help one of my friends bathe her cat (don't ask me how people talk me into this stuff). Now I bathe my own cat, but I've been putting him in water once a week since he was born and he could care less. He'll tolerate it and run on. My friend has a persian cat with GOBS of fur. . . oh my word. And the poor cat was COVERED in knots and tangles and other unmentionable stuff. Now I picked up the cat and it purred and rubbed it's head on me and rolled over like it couldn't be happier. And it acted this way right up until I put her in the water. Heaven knows that cat went balistic. Hissing scratching biting and my friend who was so willing to help when the cat was sweet starts crying because her cat is upset. I said (as nice as I could), "Elizabeth seriously help me hold her!" She said, "I can't I don't like it that she's not happy." Honestly, I'd have been the same way if it was my animals, but it wasn't and I was ready to kill the cat and her! Finally she gets it together enough to hold a foot (thanks a million Liz!) and "we" manage to get the cat bathed. Soaking wet and covered in scratches, laughing, we collapse on the floor and here comes the crazy cat purring and loving like nothing ever happened. . . . . . .
And God said to me plain as day, Look Familiar? OUCH!!!!!!!! Oh, but He's so right. I'll kneel by my bed at night and say, "Make me like you Lord. Whatever it takes I want to be just like you. Mold me into your image. Create in me a clean heart. Remove everything from me that doesn't look like you." BUT, BUT, BUT when the time comes to actually do anything about the parts of me that don't look like him, I pitch a holy fit. "I'm willing, tie me to the alter," but once the fire comes you can hear my soul scream ,"I don't like it. It hurts. HELP ME!!!"
And I have no biblical basis for this, but in my own little world I like to think that when the Father sends the fire to make me more like Him, Jesus has a tear in his eye. And the Father tells the Son, "Help me hold her down-this is for her own good." And he can't. He looks up at his Abba Father and says, "I can't. I don't like it when she's not happy."
Thank you Jesus for walking where we walk. You faced betrayal, fear, anxiety, stress and death. You didn't like it, but when the cup was not passed from you and you had to drink from it, you accepted the will of your Father who sent you. Jesus, you know in my heart, at the very core of who I am, more than anything in the whole world I want to be like You. I know where I'd be without you and I'll never forget what you've done for me. I love you more than I'll ever know how to say. Amen
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Ok, I admit, I'm a brand girl - at least on some things. Canned green beans - don't care. Hairspray - as long as it has volume in the title I'll use it. Pens - as long as they let me write fast at work I'll use them. But as I was putting gas in my car last night I noticed there was a little tag in my gas tank that said "I prefer premium fuel." Well who doesn't?? That doesn't mean my car is getting premium fuel. I pay big bucks for the extended warrenty so if the "regular" gas does something bad to the turbo engine - they'll fix it for "free". Somehow in my head that makes sense.
But I realized about myself today that I'm kind of a brand-y girl. There are some things I will NOT budge on.
Coffee - don't get me started. My annual budget for coffee is well over $1000. Seriously, I can't believe I just told you all that. AT LEAST $100 a month. And if you think you'll ever see me with a cup of Folgers in my hand - we're not as close as I thought :) It has to be Starbucks, it has to be really strong, and I ONLY let people with a clue about coffee make it for me - otherwise I'll make it myself thanks. Last year for Christmas I got $300 in Starbucks gift cards and I almost cried when they ran out......really.....almost. I only drink milk in coffee so if I stopped my bones would break - see I have to keep drinking it :)
Bath Products - Have to be Philosophy. It's so me it's scary. Every bottle of body wash, every little container of face cream has a QUOTE on it. Hello. I love quotes and if I can find some inspiration in my face wash called "hope in a bottle" hey - even better.
Cleaning - I only clean floors with Pinesol I suppose because my mom does. I only clean everything else with environmentally friendly products like Method or Second Generation. I suppose I'm a little concerned with my "carbon footprint" or whatever Al Gore calls it. But then again I throw away plastic bags - every single one of them. I have way cuter bags that Walmart to carry my stuff around in. Sorry Al.
Water - I love water. But, I only drink Smart Water or water from my water purifier at home in a stainless steel KleenKanteen bottle. Tap water creeps me out for some reason and I'm afraid to get Alzheimer's from Aluminum.
Food - I have weird food issues, but as of late I have cut out almost all sugar and flour from my diet. So I'm SUPER picky about what I eat and where it comes from. I DON'T eat pasta, bread, processed foods, very much meat, sugar in any form or packaged foods. I pretty much only eat MorningStar veggie burgers, Kraft Cheese, Horizon Organic yogurt (sugar free), grapes, apples, salad stuff, mixed nuts and mexican food with no tortillas. And I only drink Green lemonade (juiced myself), juiced carrotts and apples, 100% fruit juice, water or coffee. And really infrequently I drink Diet Dr. Pepper. I love it. Sorry kidneys.
Pajamas - I love pj's. I'd live in them if I could. AND they have to be HUE pajamas. I have so many. They all hang on one side of my closet matched together on hangers and it usually takes me more time to decide which set to wear to bed then what clothes to wear in the morning.
Gym - I only work out at Anytime Fitness because you can go. . .well, anytime! I like to work out at about 11 pm because no one is on my tread climber and there's enough body builders in there to protect me if someone tries to bother me! I love New Balance tennis shoes and Hue workout clothes and my new red IPOD stuffed with music.
Bibles - I really prefer the NASB or the ESV and when I'm really needing a big hug from the Lord - the message. My favorite Bible is the NASB/Message Parallel edition in Black leather that smells like coffee up close - no clue how that happened :)
And that's it. I love all these things, but I could live without them if I had to I suppose. I think it's important to remember what people like and I try to do that in my friendships. My friend Jessica is the absolute best at this - it's amazing. She never forgets. One of our friends loves Oatmeal Cream Pies and one year for her birthday Jessica bought her 24 boxes (she turned 24). I can never find hairbands for the gym so one year she gave me 365 of them so even if I lost one a day I'd always have enough! See if you can find ways to remember the little things in the lives of the people you're close to today. Find a way to remember that they like Junior Mints or love lifesavers or purple is their favorite color. It definitely doesn't cost much to bless someone and they'll be so glad you remembered. And after you do - tell me all about it. Maybe they'll go on to bless others and so on and so on. Jessica loves grape kool-aid. I'm going to go buy her a packet and stick it in a card today.
Have a great Sunday,
Friday, September 19, 2008
"This is what I believe: We were with God in the beginning. I do not understand that exactly-what we looked like, what we did all day, how we got along, any of it. Then we were sent here. And I am not sure that I understand taht very well, either. And I believe that we are going home to God someday, and what that will be like is as much a mystery to me as any of the rest of it.
But, I believe that those things are true and that what we have here on earth in between is a longing - for the God that we have known and the God that we are going home to.
Hazelyn McComas-Between the dreaming and the coming true
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This week you have met me in ways both sacred and ordinary. You have encouraged me in the place where I am and believed with me in where I want to be. I owe you everything and more. To Him who is able to keep me from falling - I worship you today. Remind me with every breath that you are near. To those who are hurting today, be comfort. Be peace that passes understanding. Be Alpha and Omega of every heartache and situation. Thank you that as I've sought you even this week, according to your promise I have found you. Remind me to seek you with ALL my heart. I love you for always.
Oh the power of accountability. Lord, thank you for one hour this morning, just 1/24th of a day to spend in prayer with another. The purifying cleansing power of the gathering of two believers where you are in the midst of them. In the presence of one of your own set free, I stand amazed at You Lord. Thank you for freedom. It was never your intention that we walk in bondage but that we be transformed by your power. Even today I stand in awe of You. Amen
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Oh my word. It's going to be a long day :-)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
BUT this book is not just about the daily office. It is about living in constant prayer, about the ancient practices of prayer and about returning to reverence when it comes to prayer. I am so guilty of entering into his presence haphazardly, spouting off a few things, and going on about my day. And although I cherish being close to the Lord, I am not his buddy. I have just entered into the holiness, the majesty, the very door that if Jesus wasn't there to interceed for me - I'd be poof! gone. I'm so thankful to have the honor of being His, but most of the time I find the need to be much more respectful.
We are not on the same level. He is Creator. I am creation. He is Alpha and Omega. I am mortal. He breathed life into Adam and all who came after. I have yet to be breathing for 3 decades. He calls me friend. I call Him Savior. He started my heart beating and when He wants it to stop there won't be a cariologist alive that can start it again. He is the Judge. I will stand judgement. He is the Shepherd. I am a sheep. He loves me. I love him too. Maybe that's just enough for us to have in common.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I have never really had trouble sleeping, but shutting my brain down enough to truly rest is more of a challenge to me. Somehow taking the last 12 minutes (or so) of the day to say "evening prayers" has made an enormous difference in the quality of sleep I get. Instead of just rambling on about my day and those on my heart (which nothing wrong with that) I find a written focused prayer to be very calming and mind clearing at the end of a hectic day. I fall asleep with His peace and presense instead of the worries of the day. I find saying pre-written prayers not to be unnatural and informal with the Lord as I'd feared, but rather deepening to my prayer life, to tell Him things I didn't even know were in my heart, and to connect with Him in a new way.
And God is so good. As if on que this is the article in Christianity today out this week on what? The Daily Office of Prayer! I love it. Thank you Lord for meeting me where I am and moving me forward!
The daily office is not easy and it will not solve all problems. As Brother Emile says, "No matter how beautiful a prayer is, there's always going to be a need for perseverance, for commitment, for being faithful. There will be times when we don't feel the beauty. Then we pray the question rather than what we feel."
But even and especially then, Emile notes, we need to pray together: "People are not going to be able to persevere alone in personal prayer. In regular common prayer, you join together and take your part. Discouragement is too easy today. But in common prayer you support one another. We are never all at the same place. … This week I support you and next week I need your support."
The point is not a new works righteousness or meaningless formality. Rather, this practice can provide a way of prayer that will help some—perhaps many—pray. St. Benedict wrote of singing Psalms "in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices." The daily office can integrate life and prayer in just this way.
Or, to paraphrase a great old hymn, this might just be the way for God to "take our moments and our days; [and to] let them flow in ceaseless praise."
Arthur Paul Boers
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
But I find within myself a dichotomy. In so much as I am drawn to the loud, free Sunday morning worship, I am also often times drawn to the sacred, the holy, the solomn worship which is why occasionally you may find me in the chapel at the local catholic church where I live. There's something about the ancient stained glass windows and the very high celinings that invites my heart to worship. It is where the spirit of God can bring me to tears of repentence and a great sense of his abiding presense in my life. And I used to be against ritualistic prayer, but it's starting to grow on me.
I definitely believe we can talk to God anytime, anywhere about anything. The shower, the car - all can be equally holy as an alter for sure. But my crazy self which can't focus on a single thing for very long, is drawn to the idea of a specific time to stop in the morning, afternoon, and evening. A prayer to start the day, a time to pause and reflect in the middle of the day, and an evening prayer of repentence and expectation for the next day-it makes sense to me. I am putting these prayers on my mirror in the bathroom, in my purse to find mid-day at work, and by my bed for nighttime prayers. I still plan to pray throughout the day, but this ensures that if any given day gets away from me, I'm sure to meet with him at least 3 times a day.
Jesus, I'm so glad you're not Baptist, or Catholic, or Methodist. We may label ourselves, but we are your body. help me even today to appreciate the worship of others and not to judge those who do not act the way I do. Thank you for salvation. With Hell no longer my destiny, keep my eyes on heaven and you and eternal life of happiness and joy with you. I certainly do not deserve it, but am thankful that even still you found me. I love you for always, Amen.
Friday, September 12, 2008
It's been a week politically too and that will not end anytime soon. I am less impressed than ever with Obama and am excited about McCain and Palin. I think Palin was a fabulous choice. I believe in strong women, and I believe she is one. And yet, ultimately I believe God is soverign. That's not an excuse not to take political responsibility, but I trust Him with the now and the not yet. He already knows who will be sworn in on that day - let's just pray they get sworn in with a Bible and not the Koran - DUH! :-)
And it's a week of hurricaines. I marveled today at the panic over gas and supplies here in Georgia where we aren't supposed to get any effects from the storm. And I'm thankful. Texas is in mine and should be in all of our prayers. I marvel at the power of the Lord and his power over the creation. I'm praying we get our act together as Americans before we have another Old Testament sized wipe out. We are a priveledged nation, but we are not exempt from paying for our actions. For every aborted fetus today, for every murdered loved one, for every drunk driving accident, neglected child, abused elderly and the "little" sins we committ every day. Lord, forgive us -we know what we do.
Those who know me well know I'm in love with the author Robert Benson (author of Between the Dreaming and the Coming True) and am so enjoying his latest offering In Constant Prayer. It's a book on prayer and worship and how to pray without ceasing with the life we are given. I am committing today in a whole new way to pray without ceasing. Less because I have more to say and more because He has more to say to me and through me and with this vessell. I so want to be at the point that when I pray "Thy will be done" I mean it. That whatever that will is, I will accept it.
Father, in these times of uncertainty, of wars and rumors of wars, of famine, of our own personal hells where there seems no escape and no answers, would you be kind enough to meet us here? Would you help us to seek your face in a busy world that vies for our attention? Would you help me to pray without ceasing, to trust you with things big and small, to give you my heart for keeps and not keep taking back pieces of it for my own benefit? Lord, without you where would I be? The thought is one I do not dwell on and in turn give to you a heart of gratitude that you love me just the way I am and that every day you are molding me more and more into your image. Homesick to see you someday and desperate to know you more today, I surrender to you.
In your name,
There's no use knocking on the door of Heaven for earthly comfort - it's not the kind they supply there.
P.S. A lot of entries on the blog are missing - they have been pulled to make room for new ones!