New Background

Can You Hear Me Now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Girls

On Days when people overwhelm me...
these are the ones that show me what REAL love is
Let me introduce (from left to right): Bubba and Mimi

Monday, August 27, 2007

Heart Pains

My heart is heavy.

I'm in a pretty major disagreement with my folks about a family issue.

I obviously can't share much, except to say sometimes it's hard to be the fall-guy.

Some days I don't want to be the 'bigger' one.

Some days I want to be immature and not care who I hurt.

Some days I want to be the one that doesn't just walk away, but actually speaks her mind.

Today is not that day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crazy Beans

Out among the vast and testosterone driven masses, lies a small...almost non-existent fantasy football league. And among these manly men, carrying their masculinity in their lists and a genteel, fairer one...who has decided to arm herself with a team for the 'girls'.

I have a friend who is a SPORTS FANATIC...and I am not using that term loosely. She knows more about Basketball, Baseball, and Football then almost any man I've met (except my 10-y.o. nephew). She decided to play along in this league and asked me to represent at the draft as she is busy, busy, busy with work!

I went. I picked...and I believe I conquered! I withstood some criticism for my selections. I read some disparaging (but not horribly so) remarks that questioned my ability to choose this team. It is done. I brought home the pigskin and fried it up in my mind!

The thing that struck me is I made my picks almost entirely based on my...come closer so the guys don't hear intuition.

Don't repeat that anywhere it would kill them, because you see, I'm fairly certain my picks were just about as good as theirs. In all fairness I did look at the top performers based on the league stats, but was my heart that sold me. My co-owner was pleased. We may have to make a couple of free-agent drafts because of early injuries...but we'll see where it all winds up at seasons end.

Yeah, there was question about our 'name' but that's a name we're also saving for a local coffee shop where we'll serve 'manic mocha's' and 'edgy espresso' one day in the not so far away future. I'm going to be a baker in the little shop (and co-owner hopefully) and we'll just visit with the locals and enjoy our free evenings...ah but I'm getting ahead of myself.

For now, it's FFB and the Crazy Beans are representin'!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hurricane Sans Beach?

What the heck! I don't get the beach front, but I get the hurricane. What's that about.

We've had some weird weather in Oklahoma in all my combined years of residence here...but the hurricane conditions we had Sunday early a.m. where absolutely remarkable. We got about 7-8 inches of rain in about 2-3 hours and there was one point when I looked into the backyard and couldn't see the grass beneath of the water and rain.

In other news...there is this product I've been meaning to share that we've been trying since Mid-May and I just haven't done it. My apologies...cause it's a good product and one people should know about.

You'll think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

It's the Foot Flush, and it looks a little something like this:

Amazing isn't it! I'll even give you a snapshot of it in use...

The best thing about it, aside from amusement and showing all our friends and it really is good for someone with back pain, or someone who can't bend over or a smaller child that can't always reach the handle. I still think the company should have a toilet lid closer attached and then it would be almost hands free for everything!

As silly as it sounds, this is one of the better products I've seen advertised and I think some people who have tried it at our home are considering purchasing one for themselves.

Well, clearly not much going on here. I did pick up some great finds this weekend at the garage sales including some cd's for twenty-five cents apiece (Christian music mostly) and one of Rob Lacey, The Word of God and he actually goes through the entire Bible in 70 minutes in 65 tracks. I've listened to it and it's pretty good. Obviously VERY condensed, but it hits the heavy points and is insightful in some areas.

I hope you're having a pleasant, hurricane free week! I guess I should count my blessings I wasn't in the eye of the storm on an island somewhere.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Full Moon?

This morning as I was leaving my home for work, our next door neighbor (the one who hasn't spoken since we moved in...after the 'fence' incident) stopped mowing and WAVED at me. I mean a big "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!" wave.

I almost wrecked. Thankfully I didn't because I would have run him over and that would NOT be good.

I waved back and immediately asked God... "What is going on Lord! This man hasn't even glanced our way in 4 1/2 years and today he makes it very clear he is WAVING to me!" It almost scared me. It definitely unnerved me.

I began to reflect on my recent frustration and angst and how I was just on the verge...and apparently God heard my cry and wants to remind me that He is still the sovereign, loving God I remember. He is the God of miracles; big and small. He is the God that desires us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In my defense, I haven't been 'loving myself' too well lately the neighbors shouldn't expect much.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hump Day Hilarity

It's been hot-hot-hot here in our fine city. I'm not complaining...just setting a mood.

When I go home at lunch my car thermometer reads between 104-109 degrees daily. When I go home for the day it's still well into the triple digits.

It's HOT! It's the kind of hot that you literally feel on your skin as you spend more than 5 minutes outdoors. It's the kind of hot that makes the steering wheel almost too hot to touch (even with a cover). It's the kind of hot that could burn exposed legs on leather or pleather (neither of which I have to deal with). It's the kind of hot that could cook an egg on the sidewalk...or something a bit more desirable...

A group of us at work were talking about a possible experiment for these dog days of summer. I decided to go forward with the hypothesis testing. This morning I cooked chocolate chip cookies in the 'hatch back' in the rear of my car.

I just put foil on one of my 8 x 8 pans and put 6 individual cookie dough pieces on the pan. I put them in the 'auto-oven' this a.m. and just left them in there. They traveled to work... home for lunch...back to work and then come afternoon break (which ran late due to a last minute crisis-averting meeting) I went outside (sans potholder) to get them.

That pan was HOT...I had to use a plastic bag I had in my auto-oven to carry them inside. I served them to the other group participants and surprisingly they were cooked through. They were a bit chewier than oven-baked perhaps, but they were cooked! I'm thinking I could have a side business at work.

I'll include a picture...

That's the only one left. It's mine. Nope I haven't even tried it yet, because I had to get the photo. As you can see there's hardly a crumb left.

So, in day afternoons = chocolate chip cookie breaks!

How's the weather in your parts?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Kind of Acts

Hosted by Sting My Heart

"Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name..."
~ Matt Redman ~
Lyrics from "Blessed be Your Name"

I have always been an actor. I can put on faces for any occasion. I can act. Acting is a wonderful and entertaining ability. Acting is not conducive to the lifestyle of transparency to which Christ has called me. I struggle sometimes to separate the two.

I have sung this Matt Redman song on more occasions than I can count on toes and fingers and many all honesty...I was acting. I see the words. I hear the words. I even sing the words. But there have been so many times when I heard myself singing these same lyrics and one of the masks would appear on my face. The mask of praise and worship. This mask hid the misunderstanding beneath. This mask hid the lack of wisdom. This mask began to fade and expose the truth.

The truth is there are days when I find it very, very difficult to sing these same lyrics. There are some days when I want nothing to do with these words. There are some days when frankly...I want nothing to do with Christianity.

These days, when I wake up to say: "Forget it God...I'm not playing this game today!" God doesn't come down and kick me out of bed. God doesn't 'guilt' me into worship. God doesn't say a thing. God waits.

God waits for me to come to Him. He waits for me to bring praise and worship...not just in words, but in attitude. THIS is the God that I gladly...even joyfully bring praise and worship to. This God that waits...quietly, assuredly, knowing my heart...He waits!

Blessed be HIS name!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Get Behind Me Satan!

No sooner were the words...We're committing to this church...out of my mouth then Satan reared his UGLY head.

I got an email on Friday a.m. from the women's pastor (AKA: New Pastor's wife) just saying 'thank you' to all the women who attended a recent gathering to blast-off the new women's ministry that would have small groups for women with similarities to help them 'connect' to other women in the church. The email went on to say they had made a decision to forgo this new endeavor as it seems to be quite a bit larger than they anticipated...perhaps? I don't really know the reasoning behind the withdrawal.

I do know I am horribly 'bummed' about it.

Yes, they will still have Bible studies (2-3 per Fall/Spring) and yes they will still have social gatherings quarterly or semi-annually, but no small groups specifically for women. They do have small groups that meet monthly for families, but trust me when I say there is a HUGE benefit to having women's small groups! Not just a benefit but almost life-sustaining for women, who are inherently relational.

My heart knows I need to trust God on this...I'm just struggling on the heels of this news, especially after sitting through the huge gathering of women and getting pumped about it. There were probably (in 2 meetings) well over 150 women ready to get started.

I'm praying God gives me some peace about the whole thing and the Bible study is enough to help me 'connect'. I'm also praying the small group we 'land in' is the best fit for us.

On the heels of this news and my own Sunday angst, I was a little less than enthused at church today. It was a good message about fears and some of it really hit me on the head/heart...and being the third David and Goliath message in 4 months, I'm wondering if God is trying to tell ME something specifically or if the "Book of Sermons" for the summer is inundated with David and Goliath material.

Lord help me maintain a positive attitude and put my WHOLE heart forward drawing on the positives from the past and ignoring the nagging voices within trying to self-defeat before we even get it started.

A De-churched Wanderer...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

30 Days Later

I'm here, I'm here!

Things are much the same. I'm working tons. I only have access to the computer at night and with the hubs and I actually getting time together...well, understandably the writing has taken a back seat.

We've been staying busy. We see at least a movie a week. None of them have been overly impressive...though I'm looking forward to the Bourne Ultimatum movie we're seeing this weekend. No Reservations was a bit of a disappointment. Live Free, Die Hard was good. Ratatouille was good...and Fantastic 4, The Silver Surfer was also surprisingly entertaining. Nothing award winning, just okay...and enough to beat the dog day afternoons of summer.

I've also been working on some stained glass I'm going to sell in a friend's shop she opened this summer. I'll include some of the pics.

I've shown the 'fruit of the spirit' piece here before...but it's one of my favorites.

The blue "Hand of God" is actually my hand.

I'm working on another sign language "I love You" and another really large piece to go above a door in her shop as a 'gift' to her for allowing me to show pieces there.

I'm also hoping to show other art work there, but we'll start with this and see how it fairs.

At homes projects are taking a back seat until fall when it's cool enough to undertake the painting and outdoor work I would like to do.

I've had to shave the dog twice in less than a month because of the ever rising temps. I guess the solid rain through early summer really spoiled us with regards to temperatures. The evening walking may be relegated to video tapes if it doesn't get any better.

Work is in flux with personnel issues and position changes...I won't bore you with the details.

And church...well after trying out several churches of different denominations we've really narrowed it down to 2 churches. Both of them are large, though one considerably larger than the other, with over 10,000 members. We decided to just focus on the very first church we visited some months ago.

We're going to North Church and trying both men's and women's functions as well as Sunday service and small groups that meet monthly. This is the church where we know a few of the families that attend. It's a good church. It's got 'good bones'. I think there are some wonderful people here..and any trepidation I'm feeling could just be from my inner-man rebelling from lack of discipline and regular Bible study.

I confess I almost reached apathy with regards to religion as whole. I never have, and I pray I never WILL lose hope in God...I just feel so challenged with CHURCH and this never-ending pulse that tells me in the words of Brian McLaren...We ARE missing the point.

And so I'll plug in and give my all (or whatever is left) and continue to pray and seek the very meaning of church and Church and CHURCH!