Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Hurry Up!"

Is there another definition to "hurry up" that I'm just not privy to??!! Why is it that when you tell your kids to "hurry up" with an obvious urgent, borderline panic in your voice several times, they still just saunter along and stare at you blankly like you're the one with the problem?? Ahhh, the joy of having no concept of time!! Maybe I'm the one with the problem after all! Hmmm...thinking on that one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mind vs.Soul

The mind worries. the soul is at rest. The mind complains, the soul looks for the presence of God. The noise of the garbage truck in our brain keeps us from even being aware of the soul. Some people live and die, and exist only in the realm of the brain. The heart of God is in the soul. The spark of the divine, the image of God, is imprinted on our souls. Our souls magnify the Lord.

Hmmm...I wonder what tomorrow would look like if I chose instead to live from my soul instead of from my brain? Probably a whole lot more peaceful for starters. Something definitely worth striving toward...

Monday, April 28, 2008

A better place....

Every day, we have a chance to make the world a better place. To leave it a little better than we found it. It's hard to do that when we are only thinking about ourselves, but it is very easy to do if you just open your eyes, look for opportunities, and see the need. Pick up some litter. Help a neighbor unload something heavy. Weed someone's yard. Send a note of thanks. Send a note of encouragement. Wave at someone when you are driving. Serve at church. Let someone borrow your stuff. Overtip the waitress/waiter. Take someone to lunch that is hurting. Spend some time with someone who thinks they don't matter. Play catch. Hug a neck. Smile. : )

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This will blow your socks off!!!

Or more fittingly, will blow your 'hoofs' off!! lol You'll be incredibly amazed!! : )

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A word with an image problem...

I ran across this over on The Loft Church site and wanted to share it with you all. I wouldn't have done "the word" justice like this piece does. Good stuff to ponder and mull over....

Humility. Talk about a word that has an image problem…the word humility is not exactly a buzz word for those plotting their success. Nope, unfortunately, humility conjures up the picture of some sniveling weak minded person who apologizes for breathing the oxygen out of the air; a doormat who just lies down inviting the next person who comes along to step all over them. But I think that is all a big stinkin lie.

In our competitive culture, someone describing us as meek or mild is enough to freak us out. If we dare not market our strengths, we are haunted by visions of being left behind while everyone else is scaling the success ladder. If we don’t toot our own horn, who will? There is too much at stake not to take our reputations, our image into our own hands. And so…we fall into the way of the world and believe the lies: that image is everything and power and ambition equate success.
No wonder Paul challenges the Philippians to be humble as Christ was humble. God emptying himself of His exalted status to become a bondservant; to give up his life for every person ever created. It is crazy when I think that it is only by Jesus’ humility that I have any kind of hope. It is even crazier to think that I rationalize my pride and by doing so, dilute the power of his sacrifice.

This virtue with the image problem is really one of the most powerful virtues that a person can have. Because when one has true humility, you don’t piddle around trying to impress people so that your image will be enhanced or your self esteem increased a notch. Your authenticity leaves all those concerns by the wayside. You can get down to your real life purpose. The purpose of bringing God’s to a desperate world.

You see, Paul is reminding them about this job; the purpose for the Philippians is to be a light to the unbelievers in Philippi. He is also is speaking to believers today; our purpose is to stoke the curiosity of all those who are clueless about Jesus. But when we are all wrapped up in our ambition, quite impressed with ourselves, guess what? Any kind of light to the world is washed out with a flood of self. Power for the kingdom, effectiveness for Jesus can only come when we learn to have the kind of humility that he did.

Paul doesn’t mince any words and he certainly isn’t one to be concerned with any image issues. Maybe we shouldn’t be either.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Becoming Jane

Yes folks, as you can tell I am a weee bit behind on seeing movies. I finally sat down and watched "Becoming Jane" the other night (and then watched it again last night), one that I've wanted to see ever since it was released in theaters back in August 2007. Well...better late than never I suppose!

I have to say the movie was fantastic, albeit somewhat sad! Like Jane Austen's novels, this movie was undeniably a love story. Romance and passion abounded, but the love went deeper than that. Like her heroines, the Jane that was portrayed in this film did experience a whirlwind affair, but what made her special was that Jane, just like her heroines, refused to settle and listen to the dictates of society about marriage. She loved a man, yes. But she also loved herself. She knew her potential, she knew her worth, she had her feet firmly planted in reality and she refused to let anyone make her choices for her.

Anne Hathaway played Jane, the young and spunky aspiring writer who refused to marry solely for money and convenience, and instead fell deeply in love with a poor (but very handsome) Irishman. True research on Jane's life has revealed that her relationship with Tom Lefroy was more of a flirtation than a full-blown love affair, but the romanticized version of their affection portrayed in the movie was much more in line with the experiences she gave the characters in her books. There was anticipation, passion, heartbreak, and tragedy; a roller-coaster of emotions that gave the viewer some insight into the mind of this great author, and where she drew the inspiration for some of her most famous characters. It has been suggested that Lefroy himself was the real-life spark that caught fire in Jane's mind, giving birth to the infamous Mr. Darcy.

As for the acting, James McAvory (oh, that accent...just makes my heart melt!) embodies Tom Lefroy wonderfully and his chemistry with Anne Hathaway (Jane) was amazing and smoldering. It was a very beautiful film with stunning visuals and greatly executed costumes and props, not to mention an outstanding soundtrack!! This definitely is a movie well-worth seeing especially if you're a Jane Austen fan (like myself). It did her justice and made me realize more than ever why Jane Austen and her books are timeless....she understood people and what made them tick. And I believe 100 years from now, she and her books will still continue to be relevant. Hmm....I may just need to watch it again!

Returning to the Ten Commandments

Ran across this commentary from "Men of Integrity" which had some good points and I thought important to share...
Remember the press uproar back in 2003 when workers dragged the Ten Commandments out of an Alabama courthouse? World Pulse editor Jim Reapsome reminds us that "their removal culminated a legal battle between civil libertarians and the judge who erected the two-and-a-half ton monument to the Decalogue.""Just one more indication that America has lost its spiritual moorings? Perhaps. But if the U.S. does crash, it won't be because Judge Roy Moore lost his fight. It will be because many churches and Christians have abandoned the Ten Commandments as an effective teaching tool. Polls repeatedly show that relatively few know, let alone keep, them. Are these commands taught to our children? Are they memorized and discussed? If there's no standard against which to measure our corporate and individual behavior, anything goes.""Neglect the Ten Commandments and we diminish the Holy Spirit's role of convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The apostle Paul said that God's law is our schoolteacher, leading us to faith in Christ. Only when we understand that we haven't kept God's laws—and therefore are rightly judged by them—will we be inclined to listen to offers of divine forgiveness and salvation."This week is about returning the Ten Commandments to our families, churches, and workplaces. "That is our best shot at teaching moral values," maintains Reapsome, "and seeing the Holy Spirit's dynamic power at work."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

There's hope for me, there's hope for you

No matter where you are at this moment, if you haven't found God's plan/purpose for your life, don't give up, keep seeking it. There's nothing in your past or your present that He can't use. We've all veered off course from time to time, but reading the stories of God's people shows that "blowing it" isn't unusual. It's actually part of the learning curve.

When we come into this world kicking and screaming, none of us know exactly what we're suppose to be or do with our lives. I often have wondered, "am I ever going to get to where He wants me to be?" But Jeremiah 29:11-14 (The Message) gives me great hope especially when I don't have a clue what He wants me to do for Him...God spoke to his people who'd spent their last 70 years in Babylonian slavery as a result of having done things the wrong way. "I know hwat I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be diappointed...I'll turn things around for you." If that's not hope to hold onto, than I don't know what is!

It's 3AM!

I’ve always wanted to be a morning person (I guess considering it's 3AM, I could well qualify for being a very early morning person, huh?! lol) Being a morning person for some reason just seems so much more respectable. Early to bed, early to rise as the saying goes. But even if I go to bed early, I can never fall asleep before midnight. My mind just can’t settle down. My best thoughts come during those nighttime hours, when everything is dark and quiet and so still. The daytime stress has been put to bed and I can finally breathe. Ahhhh! I love being alone at night, reading, writing, or just purely pondering the day. Time seems to slow down for me then and I don't want it to end because once I finally do arise to start the next day time speeds back up! Sigh...guten abend / guten morgan....

What would it be?

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be?-The Book of Questions, pg 24
This is a fun question. For me, I think it would be (all super-human abilities aside) the ability to sing beautifully in front of people. I love to sing, I always have, and music has such an amazing ability to move me. Beautiful music can bring me to tears in an instant. When I hear a really good singer or musician, it fills something up inside me, it can bring me such peace and joy. I would love to be able to contribute my voice in that way. I’ve performed with choirs in the past, but there’s no risk to that. It’s very safe. The thought of standing out on stage with nothing but me and the microphone just paralyzes me with fear. A good singer has to make themselves vulnerable to allow their emotion to fill up the music. Sometimes I watch someone sing, and I have to look away because the look on their face is so passionate and raw it feels like a private moment that I shouldn’t intrude upon. I am terrified to open myself up in that way. It would mean so much to be able to let go of that fear and communicate my heart and soul to an audience through music. Praying one day I’ll face my fear so I can literally and figuratively find this voice of mine.

So back to the question....what would yours be?