Monday, March 31, 2008

Bloggy Goodness on the Interweb

There are two blogs I want to send you (notice I didn't say "y'all" this time). Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has a thought provoking post about what anniversary is today, and it is so very worth reading and pondering.

Then, to lift your spirits and revel in all things girly, head on over to Min-So-Fab for a Fabulicious giveaway. Take some time there and find out about Amy-Beth's super awesome girl's ministry, her Imaginary Boyfriend and her mad cooking skillz. This girl should win a give-away herself not only for her fab ministry, but her crazy sense of humor. Way too much fun!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Y'all.

So I was at the hospital today getting my last (hopefully) MRI following up for the "medical incident" of last fall. Because I have had this bubonic plague cough that lasts forever and a daysix weeks, it was difficult to hold my head and neck motionless while concentrating on NOT COUGHING. Sadly, they needed to pause the MRI while I had my bout of coughing a few times. Finally, it was over and they were unstrapping me from the contraption. As they took the I.V. out and I sat up, I said,
"Y'all.That trying not to cough in there was killing me."

What?

"Y'all?"

Am I from Alabama, all of a sudden, or Georgia maybe?
No, I am not.
I am from Wisconsin and now live in Oregon and have never been within peach pit throwing distance of any of the Southern states.

The only answer I can come up with is that I am deeply religious about reading Boomama and BigMama. Every. Single.Day.
Apparently, their accents are contagious. Through their blogs. Or, maybe it is their podcast, I'm really not sure. Who knew?

On the other hand, it might just be me.
Earlier, in the waiting room, I was, well waiting, along with a nice couple. The wife was American, but her cap-wearing husband seemed to have a nice Irish accent.
When she was taken back for her MRI, her husband and I had a little chat about the lack of proper reading material (seriously, Golf Digest?) and the other patients in the waiting room that we were concerned about. We were both avid people watchers and liked to try to figure out why they were there. That is good and entertaining fun. Until I heard a lilting, Irish brogue as I asked him a question.
It was just a wee bit.
But it was enough for me to clamp my mouth shut, pick up the Golf Digest and scan the pages blindly, hoping he hadn't noticed my picking up the sing-song cadence of the Emerald Isle. And also hoping I didn't inadvertently begin crooning "Danny Boy." Or suddenly explode into a furious rendition of "Feet of Flames; Lord of the Dance" on my way to the restroom.

Faith and begora, but I was humiliated.

Am I that much of a chameleon, even changing the way I speak, when I am around someone for more than a minute? Hopefully I don't take on the color of furniture I sit on, or I would have taken on unattractive teal Naugahyde hue. Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

It made me think on the long drive home about being in the world, not of it. That is a balancing act, my friends. But it can be done.
It also made me think of how we become very much like what we spend the most time with, and how I should be filling my mind and heart with things that make me more like Christ.
God says this in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 about how we should be treasuring His laws: "Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
I want to be a Christ-chameleon,spending time with him and his word so it is as though it were tied to my hand and worn on my forehead.
I don't know about you but there is room for improvement in my life.


Right now, if I were to become what I spend the majority of my time with, I should either become America's Next Top Model, or the 2008 American Idol.
It is a toss-up, y'all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Christian Medi-Share(Works for Me Wednesday)


Yes I know, it's not all glam like a new outfit, or tasty like a spicy new recipe. But, hey. It works for me. Click here to go back and see all the wonderful links for Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer. Good stuff.

Christian Care Medi-Share is based on Galatians 6:2

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

So about 50,000 Christians help pay each others medical bills each month. How awesome is that?

Because Rod and I are self employed and do not receive health insurance, Medi-Share is a God-send for us. And, let me tell you, when we had a slight medical emergency last fall, Medi-Share has been there through it all. Not only paying the bills, but having their doctors call me to check on me and PRAY with me. That's right people. Pray with me. And we received encouragment cards in the mail from other believers.

I can't say enough about this organization. You know how you can get bitter and resentful when that insurance premium comes out of your bank account? When our monthly amount is debited from our bank account now, we are thankful and can pray for those whom the premiums go to help.

So, if you are a Christian who would like more information on how we can help each other out with medical expenses, click on the Medi-Share link up above. Hope this helps someone else like it has for us!
Disclaimer: No we do not work for Medi-Share, just are happy that it works so well for us. :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Joy. It knows no bounds.

So. What can make me so happy, you ask?

Is it the snow that is falling and turning everything white again, even though it is SPRING and flowers should be blooming and I should be BBQing, not cooking navy bean soup with ham in an attempt to warm us up?
(This, my friends, is a fine example of a run on sentence.And I think I'll leave it be. I'm just that happy.)
No, it is not the snow.

Could it be because Lila is taking a doggy nap on the love seat, the same love seat that she is FORBIDDEN from ever sleeping, resting or snoozing on, let alone getting up on AT ALL? And she climbed up there when I went to go get the mail as if I wouldn't notice when I came back in. She is cat-like in her utter lack of guilt.




No, that is not why I am joyful, although taking the picture and showing Rod her complete lack of concern for punishment will be fun.





Wait...could it be? Could I be so happy because THE SANDALS HAVE ARRIVED? (Yes, I WAS shouting there.) It is like when you meet certain celebrities in real life you say, oh my goodness,they are better looking in person than they are on America's Next Top Model CNN.


This phenomenon is true of THE SANDALS. Exquisite. Even with my winter white feet and slightly hairy big toes. And the wart on my baby toe? It must go away before THE SANDALS can be worn. Don't my feet sound frightening? And yet THE SANDALS can overcome all the sins of the foot. They are that good.




But no, that is not the reason for my joy, although it does boost my happiness levels to near record highs.


Before you ask, it is not the full cup of Starbucks Sulawesi in my favorite mug. But it does seem to warm my very soul.




No, these are all good things and contribute to my total happiness. But they are not the source.
I picked up my prayer journal this afternoon and read these words written yesterday concerning a tough situation I am battling at the jail. The words I used were, "bad, hopeless, and useless."
Today, I discovered that God had a plan the entire time. What Satan had no doubt meant for destruction and discouragement, God has used for good and for His glory.
I got to watch. The timing was perfection. The orchestration was flawless. It is absolutely astonishing to see how He cares for us.
Now I have more uphill battles at the jail to face, as we all do in our everyday lives.
But I know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I just forget sometimes.
God is good all the time. All the time, God is good. Yeah.
(if you are praying, please pray for Jail time Wedneday night and Thursday night bible study at the prison. Your prayers are SO appreciated by everyone involved.)


Friday, March 21, 2008

Fluffy post/serious post..two posts in one!

I really do want to write a shallow, funny post, but serious subjects keep floating to the top instead. I guess that's just how it goes for now. But I'm sure I'll be back with things that are amusing soon.

Like how Rod, in planning a little camping trip to the lake yesterday, invited everyone.....to a cabin that sleeps 10. I believe he invited about two dozen too many.

Whoops.

Somebody let their enthusiasm for family get-to-gethers interfere with their basic math skills. Gotta love him. That's what I keep telling myself, over and over, as I make the obligatory phone calls with the proper conciliatory tone.


Actually, 99.9% of the time, it is no struggle to love Rod at all. He is just a big bundle of goofy goodness.


I, however, am a different story entirely. I'm positive that half of all Rod's prayer time must be spent in begging God to help him figure out HOW HE CAN LOVE SOMEONE WHO JUST SPENT $85.00 ON SANDALS. (Okay, to be honest, he doesn't know quite yet that I spent $85.00 on sandals, but he will eventually.When I tell him....at just the right time. Hopefully, he'll be awake. I'll keep you updated. In case you need to search for my body in our new garden area. I'm just saying.)


Okaaaaay. Switching gears. (Don't you like how I warn you, rather than just change subjects all willy-nilly , like I do in real-life conversation?)


Last night I went into prison and brought the DVD, Mel Gibson's "The Passion" in for the ladies. I did notice that over 100 women signed up to come in and watch, rather than the normal 30 or so that usually attend Prison Fellowship with us.(You'll be relieved to know that I was able to "woman up" and swallow my bitterness and envy that they don't all fight to get in the room when I am leading a lesson.....This is about JESUS, after all. And I hope you know I am so kidding. No envy. No bitterness. Amen)


Wow. Can I just say WOW. I am sitting here with my fingers poised over the keyboard wondering how I am going to communicate the total awesomeness of being there and sharing this story together.


Some of us prayed before hand. A couple ladies, not staying for the film came in when they saw the crowd and asked me to just pray with them. I was privileged.


We cried as Jesus was betrayed by his friend. We cried when Peter denied knowing him. We flinched and wept as Jesus was beat so unmercifully. The gal sitting next to me, weeping until her eyes were red and swollen, just rocked back and forth in her chair and whispered, "Thank-you, Jesus," each time he was struck.


All of the scenes when Jesus was with his mother were particularly difficult for these women who have little, if any contact with their own children.


When he was crucified, the entire roomful of prisoners, some believers, some not yet, were in tears.


The fact that he died for us, while were yet sinners, was not lost on this crowd. How obvious it was to all of us that he chose to die, that he loved us and forgave us, even as he was being tortured and killed.


It was a truly remarkable time, and although we were "cried out" and emotionally drained afterwards, we were also thoughtful and grateful.


Basically, we had us some church in the prison last night!
Have yourselves a wonderful Easter, everyone!!




"Behold,I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.


I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Rev.22:12-13

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Birthday Prayer

This day comes around once a year.(Like most days, I guess) Usually I remember what the day signifies, say a prayer, and slowly return to my daily routine. This time, though, I went to the files and got out the medical records.

Well, one really grainy copy of my stay at the hospital. It records the time I arrived (5:45 AM), some notes I can't read, the date (3/18/81) and the time of my baby's birth. (6:55 PM)

It doesn't record that I gave him up for adoption that day.
It doesn't tell me what his parent's named him, or where they live.
It doesn't mention if he has any other siblings, or how he is doing now.
It doesn't tell me if he is following Christ .

I can't help but wonder about him today as I look at this paper. At the time, all I wanted to do was get out of that hospital and get on with my own life.What a mistake. I didn't get that that WAS a part of my own life and that someday I would be crying over this single sheet of paper,the only thing I have from that day,and praying for him.

I am so grateful for the life that God has blessed me with, for my family, friends and church. (Josiah just called AGAIN to check in; no son calls their parents that much! It reminded me how really blessed I am)

So, on your birthday, son that I never knew, I pray for your life. I pray that you are healthy and safe, that your family is good to you and that you know our Lord.I pray that the Lord will someday allow you and your brother and sister(Josiah and Amy) to meet. They would like that so much. I almost feel as if I can't ask that for myself, although I dream of it. I ask the Lord to bless you and to help you grow towards Him daily. I'm more sorry than I can say that I didn't appreciate how precious you were , and a gift from God, until years later. I do love you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Into His Wonderful Light


Thank you to those who had time to pray last week. What a total blessing it was! Opening up God's word with women who are so hungry to learn is such a privilege. The responsibility weighs heavy on me each week and I don't take it lightly, so if you ever feel led to pray for us on Wednesday and/or Thursday nights, that would be tremendous.

We have a variety of women prisoners show up. Some have been coming each week for a long time, some are new, some show up just to see what is going on. Last week we had a lady, very visibly pregnant come for the first time. One woman comes in a wheel chair each week.

I don't know what crimes anyone committed to get them in this prison. But I know that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is not just rhetoric that we can quote and shrug and go on with our day.

It is truth. All of us deserve punishment from a righteous God. These women's sins happened to be illegal in our society and so their consequence is prison time.

Last week, one of the questions I asked the group in the process of our study was, " What are the sinful desires that wage war in your soul?"

In a bible study on the "outside", I probably would have heard answers such as, "Gossiping. Anger. Coveting." etc. Good, tried and true suburban answers.

These are the actual answers that were called out this evening on the inside, "Lust. Murder. Addiction. Rage. Orgies. Alcoholism. Adultery. Lying. Incest.

It breaks my heart to think of what they must have lived through in their lives to have those answers ready to shout out.

Then we discussed 1st Peter 2:2-12, and how God has called us out of that darkness and into His wonderful light, and how we can live such good lives that even our non-believing cellies (roommates) may notice and give glory to God.

Good times. Really good times.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hey people!


Can you spare some time? Just a couple moments to say a prayer?
I'm heading back into prison tonight to lead the women in a bible study on the early church. I'm in over my head, but I just love being there anyway. I cannot stop coughing loudly and that pretty much messes up my speaking ability.
Will you prayer for this group of 30 women tonight? Some know the Lord and some are just getting introduced.

The women there pretty much KNOW they need Jesus. Rather refreshing.

Worshipping with this group is an experience you can only get with a group of ladies who are broken sinners and prisoners. Singing "Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone" and "I Will Wait Upon the Lord" take on new dimensions behind bars.They have lost everything and cling to Jesus.

Did I mention I love being there?

If you are looking for Jesus, by the way, you might try prison sometime.
Thank you for praying.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where have all the flowers gone....

Long time passing....are you singing along? Good. I enjoy a good sing-a-long.
I can't believe how much time has passed since I posted. My word. Did you think I died? No?
But the bubonic plague came back for round two because knocking me out once just wasn't enough fun.
Then, while I was coughing and hacking, hacking and coughing, I pulled some unknown tendon or muscle in my neck that is used for turning your head, and I don't know...breathing.
I have screamed curses dailydealt bravely with this neck pain since Friday, sleeping on a bag of frozen Brussel sprouts at night to either take the swelling away or give me hypothermia, whichever comes first. (Rod now refuses to eat these Brussel sprouts, so don't tell him that we'll be having them tomorrow night. He'll probably notice me watching him though, as he lifts his fork towards his mouth....Oh, I slay myself!)
Anyway, meds are on the way, so who knows how I'll post tomorrow. That should be interesting.
 
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