Monday, March 30, 2009

Mish Mash Mondays

Yesterday, I was able to be at all three church services, and it was a great day. I always come home from church with notes written all over my bulletin. Now, you might think all the notes are inspiration I receive from the messages that Dave shares (and many of them are), but so many of the notes are about people that I met, people that I want to write a note to, people and things that I want to pray for, people I see serving so willingly and cheerfully, or questions that people have asked me that I need to find answers to. In fact, I usually come home with such extensive lists that there is no way I could realistically contact and take care of all the things I write down. So, I thought I might start the week with a mish mash of notes and ideas from my Sunday bulletin notes, hence the name, Mish Mash Mondays.
  • At all three services yesterday, my friend, Robin, shared about her new non-profit ministry called The Power of Seven. If you missed it, please click on the link to learn more. Their mission is to assist those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless with essential needs: housing (rental) costs, transportation expenses, and daily necessities (food, clothing, and the like) so that these individuals may get on their feet as they move toward independence. What a great idea and organization! Please consider signing up to be a monthly donor. Come on; you have $7.00 dollars a month to help out, don't you?
  • I LOVE the new set design and thank God for Pastor Jon's artistic talents that he so willingly shares with us all. Aren't we blessed?
  • I just love Frank and Chris who are leading the FPU (Financial Peace University) class from 3:00 - 5:00 in the afternoon. They are absolutely so excited to see what is happening in people's finances as they learn to operate in accordance to God's principles.
  • I appreciated Dave's strong words to students and parents. Yes, we all need to "wake up!" God is already at work and longing to work in even greater ways through us when we are willing to rouse ourselves from our slumber. You can go HERE to listen to the message.
  • No, the cut on Dave's head is NOT from me! :-) That happened in a much more mundane manner than being hit by a hockey puck; he had been outside, bending over to pick up bush trimmings, and he came up under the end of a railing and scratched out a big hunk of skin from his head. "That's the reason you should wear a hat," I told him. Am I the sympathetic wife or what? :-)
Okay, that's it for the first ever Mish Mash Mondays, but I'll probably be sharing more on consequent Mondays, so come on back to see my take on Sundays.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hey, you all need to go to the Servolution website and sign up to work alongside of us on May 9, 2009. Seriously, it's not just hype; you won't be sorry you signed up. God is on the move and you don't want to miss it, do you?




Now, on to the reason for this post. I joined Kimba at A Soft Place to Land and will be "unplugged" tomorrow. That doesn't seem like such a big deal, does it? Believe it or not, however, my anxiety level is starting to rise in anticipation of not being able to be on the computer tomorrow. Isn't that the biggest sign that I need to take a break?

I find myself hurrying tonight to take care of some of my business items, to respond to my emails, and to respond to those who've posted on my Facebook profile. I mean, what if someone emails me and doesn't get an immediate reply? What if someone asks to be my "friend" on facebook and I don't "accept" them? Will they think I don't want to accept them? And what if I there is a problem with a business order and I'm not online to get the message?

I think I need to realize that the world will go on just fine if I am not checking on it through the portal of my computer screen. The order that I wanted to get finished before unplugging will have to wait until Saturday to be completed. The emails will wait until I log on this weekend. Facebook DOES NOT need me! The one bright side is that I post so infrequently on this blog that there will be no problem not getting on here tomorrow.

You know what's funny? There are many days that I just don't get to the computer until late in the day if at all, and yet I don't feel the same anxiety that I find myself feeling this evening. I think just knowing that I CAN'T get on the computer is causing my anxious feelings.

This is ridiculous! I am taking a stand! So, goodbye until next time, whenever that may be.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Really Need to Do This!

Okay, I'm keeping it real here. I've got a problem; I really do. I am on the computer - A LOT! I don't even consider myself a tech person, but with two side businesses and emails (business and personal), I am on the computer more often than I'd like. And don't even mention the wonderful(?) world of Facebook! Sometimes I start getting anxious as I'm on the computer because I know it's time to get off, but there's always one more person to respond to, one more order to enter, one more client to contact, one more person to reach out to through an email. And I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier and more relaxing! Well, if that's the case, then I've missed the boat!

So, when I read Kimba's challenge, I decided I should jump on board. It seems that I'm not the only person with this problem, and I think Kimba's idea is a great start for putting all things technology in their proper place. I should control the technology in my life, not having technology take control of me. Right? Right!

So, you can see the challenge for yourself by clicking the button below. Let me know if you would like to join us. Perhaps I need to declare a one day sabbath from technology each week. Lord knows that would give me some rest! :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bloggie Awards

I knew I was in on something.  Really.  I've been reading The Pioneer Woman's blog,  Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, for a couple of years now, and it seems that this particular blog has been a favorite of many others, as well.  In fact, this blog just won the coveted WEBLOG OF THE YEAR award, and she was in a category with of some of the biggest names in the bloggy world!  Good for her!

But, Ree Drummond didn't just win the granddaddy of all the Bloggie awards, she also won the award for best photography with her Pioneer Woman Photography blog.  If you are in to taking pictures, you need to check her blog out because it's so informative and educational.  

And, on top of all that, The Pioneer Woman won the award for best design!  All in all, I'd say she had a very successful night, but she took it all in true pioneer spirit with humor and humility (well, the pioneers probably didn't find their life too amusing for the most part so perhaps the humor thing doesn't quite fit, but I digress). 

One of my favorite parts of the Pioneer Woman's web page is  The Pioneer Woman Cooks!  She shares great recipes and step by step pictures and instructions, so you should check it out during all the free time that you have.  (I know; I know; I don't have much free time either, but Ree's blog is one that I make time for; in fact, it is sent to my inbox everyday so that I am sure never to miss an entry.)

I just wanted to share my happiness in Ree's success. :-)  But if you'd like a list of all blogs nominated, go HERE.  Some of them are really great, so you might want to check them out.  (Amazingly, my blog didn't make it on to any list!  How can that be?)

For an article on all last night's winners, including some information on Ree, go HERE.  

Happy Blog-Hunting!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sometimes You've Just Got to Laugh!

I have permission from Dave's sister and brother-in-law to share this hilarious video of my nephew, Hugo, observing his mom's great juggling skills. Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Are Your Kids Up To?

I'd like to say that I'm always aware of what my kids are doing, seeing, and hearing, but truth be told, that's an impossibility in this day and age. With the continual advancement in technology, it is getting harder and harder for parents to oversee who their children are talking, texting, emailing, facebooking, myspacing, and instant messaging to. As if parenting weren't already the most difficult job, we parents now have to find time to check our child's My Space, their phones, their ipods, their email, their web history, and so on. I'm sure I'm missing things even in that list, but what is a parent to do?  There simply are not enough hours in the day for us to keep on top of all those avenues. 

I have read Vicki Courtney's Logged on and Tuned Out book, and it was a wonderful resource that I highly recommend, but even if I could keep up with all of these technologies and what my child is doing with them, I cannot patrol each of their friends phones and computers.  What is downloaded onto ipods and shown during break and lunch at junior highs and high schools would appall most people if they knew about it.  What once could only be obtained through sneaky store expeditions and dark alleys is now being poured right into our home and lives.  

Even if I keep an eye on where my children are physically (which I do), they are at risk of being in danger because of the technology today that is present even in my own home.  I can install filters, I can monitor computer use, I can check phone records and texts, and I can log onto their myspace page using their passwords, and I could still miss what's really going on.  Face it, our kids can hide just about anything from us if they want to and they are intelligent enough to just create other profiles, email accounts, etc.... if they want to keep things from us.  I know that, but I still ask and check.  

I find this extremely disturbing, and I am genuinely concerned for my children.  In truth, I wonder how any child today can remain pure in thought and deed.  Most of our children will know more about pornography, sexual acts and fantasies, illicit drug use, and gambling by the time they graduate from school than most of us probably know right now.  

I don't intend to be all doom and gloom, but my heart is aching over what is infiltrating our children's minds, hearts, and lives.   The video below is worth taking the time to watch if you have children, and it is probably something you should have your older children watch with you.  Children and teenagers often don't have the mental reasoning skills to understand how some of the choices they make today may have long lasting impacts on their lives.  The photos they posted on their myspace could keep them from getting a job someday.  That provocative photo sent to a friend as a joke could be sent to every student's phone by lunch break.  

A huge problem right now is cyber-bullying.  This was a heartbreaking issue for some friends of ours, and we saw first hand the damage it can do.  If you thought kids could be ruthless with their words in person, you should read what they are able to come up with and perpetuate via technology.   Absolute lies are spread around (and you can bet they are not little, nice white lies either), and photos that may not even by your child can be photo-shopped to look like your child engaged in various positions and acts.  How very sad is that?  This is a very real problem, and if you don't think so, just start asking some students about it.

Below is a video worth taking the time to watch.  Something that seemed so little, so inconsequential, and so private ended up becoming very public and costing a beautiful young girl her life.  I am heartbroken, and I hope you will continually lift our young people up before the Lord in prayer.  If possible, befriend our youth and take an interest in them.  Recognize their value and speak that to them.  Provide a safe place for them to turn to in time of crisis or fear.  Our young people need us to stand in the gap for them, to protect them, and to fight for their right to be raised without fear and filth.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time Out


I don't usually talk much about Dave's sermons because that seems a little self-indulgent and prideful, but I have to recommend that you listen to THIS MESSAGE.  One of the things about having a pastor as a husband is that I often think that my husband takes everything he'd like to say to me and turns it into a sermon, just for me!  See, on Sundays, Dave isn't speaking with you in mind, you just get to benefit from what I need to be learning in life!  ;-)  This isn't true, of course, but God does speak to me through what Dave teaches, and I need that.

Anyway, I was gone last weekend at the women's retreat (which was fabulous - thank you retreat team!), so I missed his sermon, but I knew it was one that I HAD to listen to.  I think it is sad that so many of us women missed this particular message because it's a good one!  Please take a few minutes to listen to THIS (titled "Time Out"), and take Dave's challenge to try this concept out for the next four weeks to see what happens.   

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Speechless

I still have no words after our women's retreat.  God spoke so greatly to my heart (in ways that I didn't even expect) and although it's been two days since we arrived home, I still haven't totally processed all that happened in and through all of us who were there.  All I know is that God is on the move, and we've only just begun to see the freedom and victory that is in store as we step out from fear to faith!  

And the unexpected and absolutely overwhelming gift and cards from all of the women there and in our church also leaves me speechless.  I was so confused and then so utterly swallowed in your love that I will never forget that moment.  As I went back to my seat to sit down, I was enveloped in the hugs of the two women sitting on either side of me, and all I can say is that, "Something broke" in me and God said some very specific words to my heart.   I don't feel free to share those thoughts on this blog yet, but let's just say, a message from God broke through all of my barriers in that moment!  There were tears. The good kind.

Upon arriving home, I spent hours reading the cards and then had to take some time to journal the feelings and thoughts swirling in my head and heart.   I am still feeling the love, ladies!  :-)  I have always said how blessed we are to be called to serve at New Life.  Yep!  I still feel that way.

YOU are all blessings to me and I can only pray that I will be a blessing to you, also.  That's what Traveling Together is all about.