Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fail

I guess if I'm going to use the NaBloPoMo theme of the month, my word of the day is FAIL.

As I had suspected would happen, I got busy and didn't blog every day in March. Last week, in particular, was fast and furious because we had a missions conference at our church. march11

I totally blew NaBlo.... But that's okay with me. I blogged more this month than I have in the last several months, and that's what I had hoped to accomplish.

I wonder what April will bring?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (Mar. 30)

www_wednesdays44

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading?

The Daughter's Walk is a book for me to review, and it's pretty interesting. It's based on true historical events.

King's Cross is something I'm going slowly through. Keller teaches from the book of Mark.

The Daughter's Walk: A Novel King's Cross


• What did you recently finish reading?

No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot was an interesting novel about a missionary going to the Quichua Indians of Ecuador. I liked it.

No Graven Image


• What do you think you’ll read next?

Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington is most likely my next read. It's part of my TBR Challenge 2011 and my Spring Reading Thing Challenge. The only thing that will keep me from it is if my next two books arrive in the mail that I need to review.

Thicker than Blood

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge (Mar. 23)

I'm linking up with From This Side of the Pond today.

1. Sunday was the first day of spring. So they say. Ahem. What is your favorite outdoor springtime activity?

I like to walk at the park for exercise. It's about the only form of exercise that I can stay motivated with. Once spring arrives I can tolerate the temperatures.

2. Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?

It wouldn't be anybody famous. But my sweet friend, Judy, is a terrific cook. If she cooked dinner in my kitchen, it would probably be the one time we had a really good meal because I'm more of a sloppy joes, frozen pizza, and frozen meal kit kind of cook. Judy's homemade pizzeria style pizza is to die for.

3. When was the last time you flew a kite?

I can't remember, it was so long ago. I'm sure I had to have been 10 years old or younger. Would you even believe it if I told you that flying kites scared me? I think I was either afraid they would get tangled up in a tree or hit electrical lines.

4. What topic puts you to sleep faster than anything?

Anything having to do with math

5. What flowers do you associate with specific people, places, or events?

Sterling silverphoto © 2009 anam_uk | more info (via: Wylio)

 

 

 

 

My parents gave me Sterling Roses for my high school graduation because my school colors were purple and white. I had never seen purple roses before, and they were beautiful.

6. What significant historical events took place during your elementary school years?

President Reagan was shot when I was in the 6th grade. I remember getting home from school and watching the footage over and over and over again on the news.

7. Do you swear? Do you pseudo-swear? (you know- crap, shoot, friggin' ?)

I do not swear, but I have been known to say crap when I'm really annoyed and all worked up over some issue. Not that I'm proud of it. I don't want to be a poor testimony for the Lord.

8. Insert your own random thought here-

I saw this last week, and it's really cute, especially if you're a dog lover.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Reading Thing 2011

I'll be linking up with the Spring Reading Thing Challenge of 2011 hosted by Callapidder Days. That means I'm challenging myself to read these books between March 20 and June 20. I'm already in a year-long challenge, and a few of these will be filling double duty for me on this challenge.

Let's see how well I do this spring. I definitely need something to kick-start my reading since I'm sort of stalling out. I have been reading at a snail's pace these days.

So here are the books I'm either in the middle of or plan to begin:

 

Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer (for review)

The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke (currently reading)

Promises to Keep  by Ann Tatlock (for review)

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick (for review)

Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot (required for Word of Life Club)

King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller (currently reading)

You can check out my Goodreads profile to see what I've already read and my ratings and/or reviews. I don't review every book on my blog, so you can get my complete list over there.

Friday, March 18, 2011

When All Else Fails... Share a Link

Do you know what happened yesterday? Well, how could you because I DIDN'T WRITE A POST. I realized it only after I had shut down my laptop for the night and was heading to bed. It's a wonder I could even fall asleep knowing I had skipped a day of my NaBloPoMo.

Anyways... I'm reading AmyBeth's post at Ministry So Fabulous this morning, and it's stories she shares like this that keep me coming back for more. She is hilarious! Since I can't manage to entertain quite like her, you must go read her post today.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trouble

I'm choosing trouble as the word of the day. It sums it up for me. Granted, there weren't any terrific tragedies, but events of the day weren't quite how I would've planned them.

I had some frustrating struggles at the office this morning. Between the copy machine not operating correctly for no apparent reason, having to deal with an office supply return over the phone and explaining to the very nice man that I don't like their remanufactured products so don't send me an exact replacement, and also finding an item in my work tray that should've been taken care of last week... it just didn't make for a good morning.

In fact, forgetting things has become my greatest irritation lately. I'm growing weary of not remembering whether or not I've taken care of something, and if I did take care of it, I have to remember where the proof is that I did take care of it.

The afternoon didn't bring relief from trouble, either. It just followed me home. Rich discovered in short order that our debit card was hijacked just this afternoon. He ran to the bank and was able to get those false transactions stopped before more damage was done. The banker said we were lucky. I'd say God was taking good care of us.

I'm hoping that today's trouble is behind me and tomorrow will look different. Yeah, different would be really good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Perfectionism

I'm sorry that the perfectionist in me will not let me be settled without writing something for Tuesday. As I participate in the NaBloPoMo challenge during March, I've really been trying to keep up with posting every single day because my little blog really needs a boost. Here it is past 9 PM, though, and I've written not a thing. I tried to just let it go, but I keep thinking about how this is day 15, and I can't miss now. I'm at the halfway mark.

So please forgive me for blogging tonight about blogging. I'll try to do better in the next 16 days.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Allergy

I guess allergy is going to be the word of the day. At least, I think what I am experiencing is an allergy.

*post-nasal drip

*scratchy throat

*sneezing

*sniffles

It all started on Saturday morning when I woke up to an irritated throat. Today my voice is a bit deep.

It's a good thing that I didn't have the deep throat yesterday, or I wouldn't have been able to sing special music at church last night. It was very necessary for me to hit one particular high note, even though the rest of the song was a lower range for me.

Would you believe I can't remember if I normally experience these symptoms at this time of year or not? I'm thinking maybe I have. I've heard that this year allergies are going to be the worst they've been in a decade because of the kind of winter we've had.

It's not that bad, though. I'll just have to sip on a little Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea to keep me going.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Open Bible with pen Antique Grayscalephoto © 2010 Ryk Neethling | more info (via: Wylio)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

~Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

DST: Let's Try This One More Time

I've had a non-stop Saturday, and it started with oversleeping. Would you even believe that after my Friday experience with my clock changing to DST two days early and my alarm getting me up an hour too early? At least it was only 25 minutes of oversleeping.

After my husband had fussed with the clock yesterday to get the time corrected, he had inadvertently turned the volume down for the radio. My eyes popped open at 6:12 AM today, not 5:45 as I had desired, and I realized that it was all wrong again.

So tonight I'm going to bed with the semi-confidence that my clock is going to function properly and spring forward an hour. This time I will have my husband's clock within view, so I can do a double-check before leaping out of bed in the morning.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daylight Savings Time. Twice.

119: Daylight Savings Timephoto © 2009 Denise Mattox | more info (via: Wylio)

I've mentioned previously about how much I love Daylight Savings Time. I've just been itching for it to arrive on Sunday. I'm sorry for those who don't enjoy it like I do. I love those late evenings of daylight.

But I've got to draw the line of love somewhere. You see, I get to experience that lost hour not once, but twice this week. My atomic clock must have a defect because it switched TODAY. Um, hello?!? This is Friday. Not Sunday!

Of course, I wasn't aware of it until after I had arisen and taken a shower. My husband popped his head into the bathroom and said, You're up an hour early. I knew right away that my clock had changed because it did exactly the same thing in the fall. Only that day I was up an hour later and was 45 minutes late for work. It's a good thing I have an understanding boss.

Aaah, there's nothing like waking up at 4:45 AM for no reason. I think that alarm clock is going in the trash.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ministry

I cannot believe what God lets me do. Every Sunday and Wednesday I get to meet with a handful of kids and teach them about having a personal relationship with our loving God and Savior Jesus Christ. I figure that's about 100 opportunities in one year that I can make an impact on a child's life. What a blessing and responsibility. I don't take it lightly.

Last night He brought me an opportunity I hadn't been anticipating, but He just handed it right to me. During discipleship time at Olympians I had a new girl in my group, and she had some very intelligent questions about the Bible and the gospel. So as the other girls were leaving to play games, she remained behind to talk with me one-on-one. I got to share the gospel!

Someone else had already planted the seed, but I got to water it. I would love to see the fruit, but I'll have to wait and see. And if all I get to do is water, it's okay. I'm still thankful for the part God gave me in the process.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge (Mar. 9)

I'm joining in with the Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond today...

 

1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this year...do you participate and if so, in what way?

I've been a Baptist all my life, and Lent isn't something that we've observed.

2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year) So....butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? Ewwww, no thanks!! What's your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?

I haven't heard of Shrove Tuesday before, so I didn't know about the pancake eating. I love pancakes, but I don't eat them very often. I do enjoy a standard pancake with butter and syrup.

3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What's your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? That's two questions I know but they're lightweights.

Hyacinthphoto © 2006 Dan Huntington | more info (via: Wylio)

In spring I enjoy Hyacinths the most. They have a sweet smell. I don't suffer with springtime allergies.

4. "Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves." Author unknown. Agree or disagree? Why?

Okay, this is kind of a deep question for me at this time of the morning. I'm going with my first thought, which is pretty superficial. I do base my opinions of people based on what I see in them. Yet there are times I will look at people's failures and see my own. I should do it more because it would cause me to extend more mercy to others.

5. Since it's "March" and also the season of Mardi Gras...have you ever been in a parade? What's the best parade you've ever seen?

The only parade I was in was when I was just a young girl. We lived in a suburban neighborhood that had a bike parade to celebrate the 4th of July. I believe I participated only one year. My friend and I decorated our bikes with streamers. I also remember that we wanted the bikes to make noise as we rode. We cut small squares of cardboard and taped them to the spokes of our bicycle tires. As we rode there was a wonderful tapping rhythm, and even weeks after the parade was over, we kept the cardboard on because we enjoyed the noise.

6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you_________?

our debt is paid in full. (Lord willing, that will happen within the year.)

 7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?

My van is a bit dirty on the outside. The inside could probably use a vacuum, and I have a couple bags of clothes that need to be dropped off at the donation box I pass almost every day. Otherwise, I just don't keep junk in my vehicle.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I had a nightmare that I ran into Judy's newly refurbished Islander Jeep in her driveway and scratched the paint. She wasn't there at the time, but it was a horror to me. I couldn't bear to tell her.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (Mar. 8)

teasertuesdays2 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, #1)

My Teaser:

"A storm blew out of a clear sky when he breathed his last upon the cross." The squad leader quickly made the sign against the evil eye.

The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke

Kindle edition: Location 253-63

Monday, March 07, 2011

Book Review: Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll

Screen Play: A NovelScreen Play: A Novel by Chris Coppernoll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have had this book on my to-read list for quite some time because I so enjoyed his first book Providence a few years ago. This book did not disappoint either.

I am fascinated with theater and drama, so I was sucked into the pages pretty quickly. I loved all the behind-the-scenes drama with the actors and preparation for the play's opening night.

Chris has a way with words that's not flowery yet puts me right into the story. I love that.

I would've enjoyed getting a little more backstory on Harper's previous relationship. I felt like I didn't know enough about it to really feel her loss. I also found the story's end to be surprisingly abrupt. It wasn't what I was expecting.

No matter. I enjoy Chris' writing and look forward to more of his books.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Reach For The Skyphoto © 2008 Ally Aubry | more info (via: Wylio)

God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being....

Acts 17:24-28a (NKJV)

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Book Review: Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodCrazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't have any intention of reading this book. I don't think I had read a single review on it. I typically steer clear of authors that I am unfamiliar with, especially if everyone "jumps on the bandwagon". I figure if a book is popular with the masses, then there must be something theologically wrong with it.

So I guess I finally broke down and downloaded it to my Kindle because it was cheap, and I wanted to know what all the hype was about. I also noticed some of my Goodreads friends with similar reading tastes to mine had given it high ratings, so I figured I must be missing something.

Now I know that I've definitely been missing something. I had no idea what Francis Chan's theology is, but I like him. He is narrow, and that's a good thing in my consideration.

What a challenge! He's making me think. He's making me question myself. What is my life about? Do I love God rightly? Do I love my neighbor the way God has told me to? So much to evaluate, and I have so much to change.

My conclusion is that I will be paying more attention to Francis Chan in the future. I guess you could say I've become a fan.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 04, 2011

Just Roll With It

I decided to simply share a sprinkling of the highlights of my week today. I realize it's just now Friday morning, which means the week isn't technically completed, but this is what came to me. So I'm rollin' with it.

First I have to say that I'm surprised I've blogged five days in a row. Yay, me!

I have been enjoying this engaging novel by Chris Coppernoll titled Screen Play. It's about an actress who catches a break when she's hired as an understudy for a Broadway play. I am fascinated with the theater and drama, so I've been downright giddy for much of the story. I read Coppernoll's first novel Providence several years ago, and he had me pondering for months. Somehow that man knows how to touch tender places in my heart. You should read him if you haven't yet.

Hey, did you hear that Keith and Kristyn Getty had a baby girl on Wednesday? They named her Eliza Joy Getty. I must say I'm a bit partial to her name, as we share the first five letters of my name.

I'm not personal friends of the Gettys or anything like that, but somehow it seems a bit personal to me. We sing their music often at church. I was privileged to see them at a True Woman Conference last September when they told us Kristyn was expecting. I suppose with Facebook, Twitter, and emails updating us on all their goings-on, it just feels like somehow I'm a part of all of it in some very minute way. So I feel excited for them.

The Lord has done some interesting things for me this week, like helping me overcome sin, encouraging me with words from friends, and teaching me through His Word.

Overall I'd say it's been a pretty good week... even if it isn't technically over yet.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sin

Last night I taught the lesson at Olympians club, and it was about the shame of sin and its consequences. We need to deal with sin right away, or it will pile up and get way out of hand if we don't repent. It will hurt us, and it will hurt other people.

I was sharing with my group of girls during discipleship time about how I have struggled with sinful thoughts in the last month that God has been dealing with me about, and that I believe I finally surrendered to Him this morning and repented. One of the girls gasped and said, I can't picture you ever sinning. Well, I wish that were the case, but unfortunately I was born with a sin nature along with the rest of mankind. I assured her I do sin. A lot.

On the one hand, I am thankful that my students don't seem to see glaring sin when they watch me. I desire to live as an example for them. Oh, but I know my heart, and it's full of wickedness. The Lord keeps showing me just how wicked. I think if they were to follow me around for just one day, it wouldn't take very long for them to see my ugly.

You see, I'm selfish. I gossip and slander. I love to put myself first. I snap at people. I'm lazy. I love to judge and point out other people's sin. Shall I keep going? I'm a pretty pitiful and hopeless mess, yeah? You too?

Aren't we thankful for Jesus, though? His perfect life, His perfect deeds are now mine. When I took Him as my Savior, He became my substitute both in life and death. He took my sin, and He gave me His righteousness.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.... - Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  - 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  - 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

We should let that truth sink in for a bit and praise Him for His wonderful grace.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Yearning

Although our northern Indiana kicked off with cold, crisp air on Tuesday, by late afternoon we were at 40 degrees with lovely sunshine. I didn't have to wear gloves, and my winter coat was unzipped.

It's the first day I've felt a true yearning for the spring. I'm ready to go for regular walks at the park to breathe in the fresh air and get some exercise. I'm tired of being cooped up indoors looking at nothing but snow on the ground.

I also took notice of the time of the sunset. We still had daylight at 7:45 p.m., and you don't know how giddy that makes my heart. Daylight Savings Time arrives in just over a week, and I can't wait. I know there are mixed opinions over DST among folks in our area, but I'll admit I'm a die hard fan.

Is there something you are yearning for? Is it spring or something else?

 

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Discovery

The word for today is... discovery.

When I was asked in 2009 to teach the Junior Sunday School class at church, I didn't jump at the opportunity. I have taught children and youth classes over the years in the past, but I was glad to put those ministries behind me. They were good experiences for me, but I have never seen myself as a children's ministry gal.

Rather than giving a flat-out "no" to the question, I chose to pray for God's will in the matter. After a few weeks of praying, I believed there wasn't any good and clear reason to say "no". As much as it was not my desire or first choice to teach children, I did start to see the increased number of opportunities I would have as both a Word of Life Olympians coach and as a Sunday School teacher to encourage the kids in their daily walk with the Lord. So I agreed to teach the class.

The first months as teacher were grueling, to be very honest. Behavior problems with a few would often send me to tears after dismissing the class. I walked out of church discouraged on more Sundays than not. I had no idea what I had committed to.

I never knew what a week would bring, and I had to keep calling upon the Lord for renewed will to keep going. I remember one Sunday as I talked to Judy about it, I told her I could only commit to one more Sunday. I just kept doing that "one more Sunday" week after week.

Those hard months were only for a season, though. The class dynamic shifted, and then there were different issues. Still I continued to plod along, always praying that my students would be saved or if already saved, then growing and changing.

This new season that began in the fall of 2010 has been the most rewarding. I have students who ask lots of questions and are eager to learn. They're learning fundamental doctrines of the faith, and slowly but surely we are adding more truth to the foundation they already have. It gets me excited when the light bulb goes on over their head, so to speak. Two of the girls are talking about baptism now.

Looking back at where I started compared to where I am now, I feel so filled by the blessing God chose to pour out on me for making a choice that wouldn't have been my first pick. As I pray for these kids and see them come alive, you can't help but feel joy.

It's the ah-ha moment in the DISCOVERY that this is what God wanted to give me. He does give good gifts, but sometimes He makes us wait. Sometimes we even find that the very thing we wanted was found in someplace altogether different than where we thought we'd find it.

Think twice before saying "no" because you never know what wonderful things God has waiting for you around the bend.

Have you made any new discoveries lately? Were they blessings in disguise?