Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bruised and Smoldering...........

Isaiah 42
The Servant of the Lord 1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."

The last few days have been very hard. One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Dan Fogelberg died last week of prostate cancer at the young age of 56. My 94 year old father-in law is in an assisted living facility, suffering significant back pain from a compress fracture he sustained in a fall, and can not use the phone we gave him. I missed spending Christmas with my elderly mother and family because my husband and I came down with a virus, a "gift" we decided it was best to not to share with them. My sister is taking accupuncture because the stress of taking care of our mother who has Alzheimer's is taking its toll...and Sis and I haven't gotten along too well lately. A friend of mine has been keeping cyber-company with people whom I consider to be arrogant and totally lacking in compassion and I don't know how to approach him about it without getting my head bitten off. I just read that the rival priests who serve in the Church of the Nativity started whacking at each other with brooms over the placement of a ladder....and shamefully it was caught on video tape. Today a woman I greatly admired and hoped would bring the chance of peace to her country was assassinated by terrorists. And I am pretty well convinced by the research I've done and the symptoms list that I have geneticly linked Panic Disorder. Yeah, I'm feeling emotionally bruised and like the last bit of light is about to go out. I don't know what the future will bring next and that scares me. Yet because of the promises of Isaiah 42 I have a bit of hope.......and that hope sustains the bruised reed and smoldering wick I am now. Nothing terribly profound today, I'm afraid, just holding onto hope.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Life verse

1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (New International Version)

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.

I have not been around much because I am battling a moderately severe bout of depression and it's been difficult to put even a single cohesive paragraph together. I am also accepting defeat and acknowledging I need help to deal with it, whether it comes in the form of a pill, talk therapy, or something else. I posted the above verses because they truly have become a lifeline to me, a way to remind myself that no matter what I go through in this life, God chose me to be His daughter, His servant, long before I was born and He can use even my weaknesses, including this depression, for His glory. I am not particularly wise or influential and whatever bloodline link I might have to European nobility/royalty has been "watered down" to nothing. I make mistakes that cause pain to myself and the people I love and I get angry when things don't go the way I think they ought. But God shows me time after time that regardless of how the world feels about this middle-aged homemaker who limps through life, He loves me and He can make something meaningful out of my life. And dear hearts, if He's willing to do that for me, imagine what He can do in your lives too.

God bless you, every one of you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

LifeHouse Everything Skit..........

Friend Wert was kind enough to share this with me. Powerful stuff!

Do Not Love The World.

1 John 2:15-16

“[Do Not Love the World] Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

John 15:17-19 (The Gospel of John)

17This is my command: Love each other.

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Let us not imitate the world by engaging in hatred and condemnation towards one another.

Romans 8
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Acts of God?

I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of natural disasters being attributed to an Act of God. Hundreds of tornadoes touch down in the United States every year and unfailingly The Weather Channel documents at least one trailer home park having been destroyed during their rampages. Does this mean God hates trailer homes? Or say an ice storm cripples an area for days or weeks, toppling trees and breaking branches that take down power lines and turn roads into pathways of icy terror. Is that really God's angry judgement falling upon an entire state, province, or city, faithful and evil alike? Or could it possibly be attibuted as an act of an entirely different entity?

Are We Living in the First Days?

I found this an interesting treatise from a different point of view. So many of the Godblog blogs/ websites are about the doom and gloom of "the last days", it's good to remember that the Christian life is still very much about joy, thanksgiving, and living the Good News.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do to popular demand, we now have DSL!

Or is it popular tantrum? Anyway, after years of being hounded by our families because dialup blocked their phone calls, tonight we have DSL. Now we can be annoyed by "anonymous" callers whether we're online or not. However now we can also download you tube videos faster than they play. Is faster better? So far, so good.

We also have a new cell phone, thoughtfully provided by our cell phone company with the help of a lovely young lady in India with not the best grasp of English. Hopefully with this one, we can phone people from within the house instead of being forced to make our calls while standing outside on the driveway. It's a tiny thing, I could hide it in the palm of my hand. Trouble is, I really do not like tiny phones. I want a cool Dick Tracy watch phone or a Star Trek TNG-like communicator, not this weird and dinky thing that makes me feel like I'm talking to myself. The Star Trek thingie would make me feel like I'm talking to myself too, but I wouldn't mind because it would double as a nice piece of jewelry. But then again, I want a lot of things. No, not a lot of things, just really cool things I need a man around to program for me. I knew there was a reason I've been married to an engineer for 29 years last Sunday. But no Blue Tooth please. I prefer my teeth the shade they are now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hell hath no fury like................

Sometimes there are no worse enemies than one's own family, except the in laws. No, I don't want advice or sympathy, I'm writing to blow off steam or else I'm going to explode. I am tired of being expected to genuflect before the wants of a family that mostly ignores us unless FIL is sick and then expects us to drop everything and come on a moment's notice. I'm sick of people who complain that they can't get ahold of us when they don't even have our correct phone number. I'm sick of people who become hostile/feel threatened over things they don't understand and apparently don't want to understand. I'm sick of being told nothing and being expected to understand everything. I am sick of melodramas, personal agendas, and people who get ragged off if you don't dance to their pied piper tunes. I am sick of people period. Now I understand better than ever why Jesus had to get away from people from time to time. All that recycled baloney is enough to drive even the Son of God away.

Except for those of you who want nothing more from us than genuine friendship, conversation, and to share some laughter and the occasional bout of tears.................. you, I love you more than I can express and I'm sorry if I haven't shown it lately. You are the dear people that help us not need the guys who speak gently and come bearing strait jackets and thorazine. A wise person once said, "Friends are the family you get to choose for yourself". Amen to that!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yeehaw! We have phone service again!

Believe it or not, our land line went out last Thursday and we just had service restored today. In a bizarre swist of fate, our cell phone company decided to update their service from analog to digital last week, forcing us to sit on the deck or in the driveway if we need to make a call with a now obsolete phone. Believe it or not, I really didn't miss being online all that much, although I thought of you, my friends, a great deal. (Yes, we still have dialup.......gasp.) I actually got back into reading a bit, which should spark some better blogging in time. However we did worry a bit about receiving timely news from our family should something go awry.

I do have good news to share concerning my 94 year old father-in law. Dad's doing much better than anyone expected, truly a miracle in the light he'd fallen and lay on the floor for 12 hours before he was found and taken to the hospital. It may be possible that he'll actually be able to go home and resume his life, although the family would rather he go into some sort of assisted living or at the very least get a Life Alert to wear. We'll see how it goes, but apparently Heaven's declared Dad's got some living left to do, however long or short that time might be.

To life! :D

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's been a heck of a week and a half.

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I spent last week taking care of my mother while my sister and brother-in law took a short vacation. Mother is 89 and suffering from vascular dementia and various physical disabilities. Vascular dementia looks a lot like Alzheimer's, but is caused by arterioscorosis in the arteries and veins in the brain. Mom's been living with my sister since 2002 and unfortunately in the past two years has mentally regressed to the mental level of a three year old. My sister and I have opinions as to how and why that's happened, but that's a topic for another blog entry.

Frankly, I don't know how my sister deals with our mother's mental and physical condition on a daily basis unless it's through a mountain's worth of grace from the Lord. After a mere week, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and trying to keep track of everything. Without my husband's help and copious amounts of vitamin B-12, I could not have done anywhere as well as I did.

Unfortunately when we got home on Monday after being on the road over 8 hours, we received word that my husband's 94 year old father had suffered a heart attack and a stroke and was in the hospital. He has since regained some strength and is able to get around with a walker, but it's slow going. His speech is still slurred, he has weakness on his left side, and it's uncertain how long he'll remain in the hospital. At least Dad's' stable enough to have been moved from intensive care to a regular room and we are grateful for that much improvement.

Where am I going with this, you might ask? I really don't know. I just know the mental and emotional roller coaster has been something else. I also know I need to evaluate my health and try to take some steps to improve my odds of not closely following in my parents' footprints of physical decline. Sometimes I think I got the worse of both genetic profiles. (My dad died 20 years ago from stroke/heart disease.) I hope prayer and medical knowledge will make the difference. If not, I pray for the grace to withstand what I do not understand.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A musing on the state of the world............

From the beginning, Satan has had two agendas, domination and/or genocide. Now look at our world, A.C. Ancient Rome's goal was to dominate or destroy. Militant Islam's goal is to either dominate or destroy. Nazism's goal is to either dominate or destroy. Communism's goal is to either dominate or destroy. Saddam Hussein's goal was to dominate or destroy. The goal of the Apostate church of the second Millennia was to dominate or destroy. The anti-Christ will seek to dominate and/or destroy.

Rome fell.
The Apostate Church fell.
Nazisim fell.
Communism in Eastern Europe fell.
Saddam Hussein fell.
Militant Islam will fall.
The anti-Christ will fall.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Please be patient. God isn't finished with me yet.

Is anyone reading this blog? Hard to say. I'm still getting the hang of blogging and figuring out how everything works.

I am enjoying discovering new blogs through links from blogs where I already read/post and my list of blogs on favorites seems to be increasing every day. I enjoy being challenged to think and examine what I truly believe, although coming up with a thoughtful reply can mean some near sleepless nights. And sometimes what I intend to post and what I end up posting can be two different things. What I've discovered is blogging is an invitation to interact with others on varying levels. This might end up as a grand adventure or one heckofa mess.........I reckon time will tell.

In the meanwhile, if you're out there, I hope I haven't bored you to tears.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Much ado about stuff and such..........

Maybe that's what this blog is really all about after all. Meandering here and there through cyber-space and taking in the sights. I've kept written journals in the past, but I've never felt terribly comfortable with spilling my guts for the entire world to see. But maybe, just maybe that's about to change. I'm reading historical books and becoming profoundly disturbed about the trends I'm seeing in American and world politics. I'm even more disturbed about the trends I'm seeing in the Church. I'm not entirely sold on "old time religion", but post-modern "Christianity" gives me the willies more and more. It would be nice if I could just go buy an island and let all this nonsense pass me by, but unfortunately there's not much I can do about being stuck on this planet.

BTW, have you ever wondered why God insisted upon humanity spreading out across the entire planet instead of staying in a huge metropolitian cluster? Could it be because He understands human nature far better than we do, including our desires to meddle where we don't belong and lord it over each other? Think about it........forcing humanity to spread out effectively limits the amount of power any earthy king/tyrant has to enslave a population and start wars, at least before the advent of aircraft carriers and H-bombs. Even the mighty Roman Empire fell when it overextended its reach and could no longer physically or financially support its military and infustructure. Ever wondered what our world would be like now if Archemedes's prototype of an early computer hadn't ended up at the bottom of the Aegan Sea 2000+ years ago? Start imagining Shakespeare's plays and sonnets having been written on a laptop instead of a quill and ink and let your mind go from there.

But that's just me..........thinking on such things that I dare not examine too closely 'less I scare myself half to death. :(

Friday, August 24, 2007

Driving with Dead People........

For those of you whom are scratching their heads over this title, let me assure you it's a book title, not my latest hobby. "Driving With Dead People" is a book written by Monica Holloway, a woman about 10 years younger than me who grew up in the same towns I did. Names of people, major roads, and places have been thinly disguised, but remain quite recognizable to those familiar with the locale.

In all seriousness, I have to confess I read part of the book at our local Borders, but didn't buy it. Not that it's not good, but because I'm going to have to wrap my head around the idea of buying and finishing it. Not because the book doesn't have a happy ending, because it does, just not the kind of ending you necessarily think of as being happy. Yet if any book that drags into the hot blazing sun that which thrives best in the dark can have a happy ending, this one does. To put it bluntly, this is a book about dirty little family secrets in a small Mid-Western town known for being mean.........where a high school basketball coach once received death threats because he couldn't make a winning team out of farm boys with a lot of heart, but little natural talent. And its about putting the title of child rapist and the words depraved indifference on the faces of people I might well have sat beside in church thirty years ago. And it's about adding yet another name to "the list". It's about a demonic sickness/evil I do not understand and thank God I didn't have to endure. It's about healing that some eventually find, but illudes others. I know I'll buy and read it eventually. I'll probably pass it along to my sister too. But not yet.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

25% of Americans read no books last year?

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 21, 1:58 PM ET (As posted on Yahoo! News)

WASHINGTON - There it sits on your night stand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open. Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing — you are not alone.

One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year — half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.
"I just get sleepy when I read," said Richard Bustos of Dallas, a habit with which millions of Americans can doubtless identify. Bustos, a 34-year-old project manager for a telecommunications company, said he had not read any books in the last year and would rather spend time in his backyard pool.

That choice by Bustos and others is reflected in book sales, which have been flat in recent years and are expected to stay that way indefinitely. Analysts attribute the listlessness to competition from the Internet and other media, the unsteady economy and a well-established industry with limited opportunities for expansion.

When the Gallup poll asked in 2005 how many books people had at least started — a similar but not directly comparable question — the typical answer was five. That was down from 10 in 1999, but close to the 1990 response of six.

In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled "Reading at Risk" found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.

Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn't read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.
At the same time, book enthusiasts abound. Many in the survey reported reading dozens of books and said they couldn't do without them.

"I go into another world when I read," said Charlotte Fuller, 64, a retired nurse from Seminole, Fla., who said she read 70 books in the last year. "I read so many sometimes I get the stories mixed up."

Among those who said they had read books, the median figure — with half reading more, half fewer — was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.

Pollyann Baird, 84, a retired school librarian in Loveland, Colo., says J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter fantasy series is her favorite. But she has forced herself to not read the latest and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," because she has yet to file her income taxes this year due to an illness and worries that once she started the book, "I know I'd have to finish it."

People from the South read a bit more than those from other regions, mostly religious books and romance novels. Whites read more than blacks and Hispanics, and those who said they never attend religious services read nearly twice as many as those who attend frequently.
There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.

The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories. Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels. Every other genre — including politics, poetry and classical literature — were named by fewer than five percent of readers.

More women than men read every major category of books except for history and biography. Industry experts said that confirms their observation that men tend to prefer nonfiction.
"Fiction just doesn't interest me," said Bob Ryan, 41, who works for a construction company in Guntersville, Ala. "If I'm going to get a story, I'll get a movie."

Those likeliest to read religious books included older and married women, lower earners, minorities, lesser educated people, Southerners, rural residents, Republicans and conservatives.
The publishing business totaled $35.7 billion in global sales last year, 3 percent more than the previous year, according to the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association. About 3.1 billion books were sold, an increase of less than 1 percent.

The AP-Ipsos poll was conducted from August 6 to 8 and involved telephone interviews with 1,003 adults. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

CR's commentary: I read a few months ago that a huge percentage of Americans didn't own a single book, not even a Bible. I would guess that having the internet at one's fingertips means people are no longer having to "hit the books" for imformation or amusement.

revised for corrections..........

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Musical musings.............

Lately the Mr. and I have been getting into Celtic music. I think this is in part in response to the sameness of current popular music and partly because we are simply partial to music that doesn't blast our eardrums and consists of more than someone playing three chords on a guitar and a screeching vocalist. It doesn't hurt that I have a few drops of Irish blood floating around in my veins too. ;)

Some of our current favorites:

The Poozies
Cherish The Ladies
The Corrs
Gaelic Storm
Finvarra's Wren

Gaelic Storm may be the most popular Irish Pop band you've never heard. If the name does sound vaguely familiar, it could be because the group had a role in the movie Titanic. They've had various personnel changes in the eight years of the band's existence, but hearing the CDs from previous years and recent ones, performances haven't suffered much from one incarnation to the next. Trust me, these guys and the gal fiddle player have groupies! I never expected bagpipes (Peter Purvis) to sound so ethereal, never having heard them played in anything but funeral processions or the classic "Amazing Grace". Jesse Burns is also one of the most amazing fiddle players you will ever hear. Gaelic Storm has a concert DVD out and you can do far, far worse for a evening's entertainment. However be forewarned that this is secular music and some of the songs and humor are a bit off color.

Finvarra's Wren is composed of a family (and friends) of very talented musician/singers. Allison Perkins is yet another outstanding fiddle player and her 17 year old brother Asher is no slouch on the button accordian and concertina. Both have won Celtic music competitions here in the U.S. and have performed well in European competitions as well. Siobhan McKinney who occasionally accompanies the group on the harp is also a competition winner. Jim Perkins and his wife Cheryl are the main singers for the group and their voices blend beautifully. Terrance McKinney is also very accomplished on uillean pipes, a close cousin of the bagpipes. Again this is a secular band and some of the songs are a bit baudy in nature, but fairly typical of a somewhat more traditional Irish band. Jim and Cheryl are also very personable off stage as well as on. Cheryl generously spent a good bit of time talking "mountain dulcimer" with my husband after the recent concert, as they share a common passion for the unique instrument

I'll be adding more to this entry later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feeling tired.............

“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”- Romans 14:8

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Howling at the blue moon...............

I've been visiting various blogs in recent weeks and I've finally figured something out. People enjoy reading blogs when the bloggers don't take themselves seriously and the blogs are FUN to read. That doesn't mean they don't cover serious topics or constantly play the goofball, (Trust me, that gets really annoying after a while.), but that they can laugh at themselves and the sheer absurdities of life. I mean, how can you not love someone who is willing to show a photo of themselves looking like a scraggly accordian player who's been booted off the turnip truck? Who knows, maybe I'll go hunt up and post that 29 year old pic of me that my husband has dubbed "The Flying Nut", taken on our wedding day no less. A lot of people seem bent on living in misery (and making others miserable as well) when there's no need for it.......and I'm not going to be one of them. So I've decided I'm going to post here wherever I feel like posting, even if the joke's on me! As a wise man once said, "Life's too short to not have any fun!"

BTW, in my seven years online, I've used a lot of post names. Not for purposes of trolling, mind you, but for fun and to keep freaks from following me from messageboard to messageboard throughout cyber-space. Sometimes I play at "the royal connection", sometimes I go serious, and sometimes just plain goofy. I've enjoyed the royal goofy names the best. Sometimes I fancy myself as the decendant of knights and kings, but then apparently many, many Americans are distantly related to European royals. When someone did the late president Ronald Reagan's geneology, it turned out he was a very distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. But although I may play at royalty in cyberspace and get a kick out of being called Your Majesty and Your Grace, I can't think of a single legit reason why I've ever wish to trade being a regular ole' American for a royal title. For one thing, castles are too hard and expensive to keep up and people tend to get mad if you tax them too much. Plus no matter how good or bad you are as a ruler, there's always people with greedy fingers and delusions of grandeur are wanting to knock you off and take your place.....and they breed.

Anywho, that's all the insanity I'm going to inflict on you today. Have a simply awesome, splendiferous day! :))

Monday, July 16, 2007

What is life's meaning anyway?

It is difficult enough to accept my mother's mental deterioration, to try to deal with what can only be described as short curcuits in her ability to think and put a few short sentences together. It can only be worse for my sister as she cares for my mother and tries to balance medications, so Mother can think a while longer and not have potentially dangerous physical side effects from the medications. Why is it that some people live life with zest even until their late 90s and others are doomed to simply exist?

I was just on the phone with my sister when she told me a friend of our mother's had been living more or less as a vegetable in a nursing home for more than 15 years. Tell me, what purpose does God have for allowing someone live essentially without a functioning brain....for FIFTEEN years? Obviously the woman is getting good care, but would anyone ever choose to not live, EXIST this way? Have our medical advances only served to doom us to mere existence? No one seems to bat an eye when it comes to not going to heroic measures to "save" babies who are born with nothing but a brain stem. Why do we insist on prolonging the lives of people who no longer have anything resembling normal brain function?

I'm not interested in reopening debate about the Terri Shievo case, so please do NOT go there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This is a test.

Had this been anything other than a test, I would have given myself more instructions.