30 November 2007

Every word of God proves true.

I have no idea what's going on in your world today. Lots, I imagine. I know there's lots in mine and probably yours too...big stuff, little stuff, work stuff, family stuff, relationship stuff, dream stuff, disappointment stuff, good stuff, bad stuff, easy stuff and hard stuff. If your brain, body, spirit, and soul are tired and overflowing or empty today... if you're on the verge...if you need encouragement today...if you need a bit of hope, a corrected perspective, a paradigm shift, a reminder that He really is enough and good and trustworthy...if you just have plain need today, then take a moment, take a really deep breath (the kind that takes more than 2 seconds, the kind where your shoulders actually go up and down) and read this. You need it. I did.

Psalm 145

A Song of Praise. Of David.

1I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

4One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

[The LORD is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.]
14The LORD upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20The LORD preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

21 November 2007

Singing in the Rain

Let me just confess that so many times I am stunned by how sweet God is to me. I don't know why I am always surprised, don't understand why I'm so cynical about Him much of the time. Yesterday I was just kind of sad - not really sure why, just different stuff on my mind, random stuff. Not even all bad stuff, but just things I wanted to process. Stuff like thinking about what God did on the high school retreat, but realizing how many students are still in so much turmoil and can't seem to connect Jesus with their real lives and real stuff. And wondering why God doesn't seem to help them. Or rather, why it doesn't always look like God is doing anything. And then just thinking about what to do for Thanksgiving and why I don't really feel like I fit in anywhere this year. I decided not to go see my folks since I'm going up there for Christmas. I shouldn't complain because I am thankful I'll get to be with my bro and sis and their fams, but tagging along at their dad and stepmom's house just didn't seem to thrill me, ya know. It's not that I'm not always welcome there, it's just that I'm not expected or needed to be there. Nobody would be mad if I didn't come. So weird that I was having a pity party about this; I know tons of people wish they could get out of their family gatherings! :) And then I was just feeling lonely in the office - not sure why sometimes that bothers me. It never bothers me on Fridays when I'm alone, but the Tuesday afternoon just did. Guess I was just missing my peeps and it just didn't feel right for Tuesday. And for some reason I was reminded again yesterday of the issue of human trafficking and just the thoughts of how I need to care about that which I do, but I need to care enough to do something about it. But I don't know what to do and I honestly don't even want to think about such evil because my brain and heart and theology don't even know what to do with it all. But anywho, I sucked it up and decided to do something. Not really a something worth even talking about, but for me it was a little bitty act of obedience to just confess that I've been calloused and decide to care and think about it and be willing to learn about it. If you want to care you can check out www.love146.org.

Anywho, all that to say I was feeling funky. But then right in the middle of it, my sister called me just for something random and she hardly ever calls me during the day. I guess just having her care was a help. And before I even got off the phone with her my mom called. We talk probably once a week or so, but it just is a warm fuzzy to hear the sympathy in your mom's voice. Made me cry a little actually - what is it about moms? And then after work I went to walk/talk/pray with my friend Annetta and it was just really good. We love to walk and talk together but even though I told her I was all prayed out and just have it in me, just listening to her pray was such an encouragement to me. And then went inside to hang out for a couple hours with one of my most favorite families. For some reason I always feel so relaxed when I'm at their house. They were busy in the kitchen preparing for their Thanksgiving day feasting, but even in their busyness there is just a peace being with them. So good for my soul. And by the time I left and came home I just wasn't in a funk at all. I guess I'm just grateful that God set up all those things for me on a day when I needed the encouragement. I know that sometimes He makes us wait and sit in it for a while, and sometimes a long while, but yesterday He didn't. He pulled me up and out of the puddle right away and I'm thankful.

And might I add, today was a fantastic day as well! Work was less than exciting, but I did get some good cleaning out accomplished and even put up a few Christmas decorations - yipppeee! And then I went to lunch with some stellar Winchell sisters to CPK and had a great time catching up. And then I peeled out of there about 2:30 which was amazing and headed home and took a good long nap. So love naps. When I woke up I checked on my sister who had some major dental work today and I cooked us up some pumpkin tortellini that she bought and we enjoyed a lovely dinner and watched Singing in the Rain on TV. "I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling, I'm haaaaaapy again..." "
Love love love that movie! And now I'm just chillin and bloggin - what a great day. I think sometimes I get in a funk when I've been around people too much. Not that I don't love being around people cuz I really and truly do. It's just that with a shortage of down time spent at home or just by myself, it starts to wear me out. So yeah, I'm all good and even looking forward to the good food and good company of tomorrow. And looking forward to Friday - no clue what I'm gonna do except that I don't have to work. Awesome. Oh, and I almost forgot that I got to talk to my best friend tonight which just makes me feel like all is right with the world. She's the best at listening to me ramble. Thanks Little Bit. :)

Okay, speaking of listening to me ramble, if you're still reading, thanks to you too. And just in case you need to do a little Thanksgiving venting of your own, go right ahead and leave a comment, even a real long one if you need to...

20 November 2007

I promise

to write something tomorrow, but for now here's a few more Far Side comics. I was in a teeny weensy bit of a funk for a bit this afternoon so it's probably a good thing I didn't write anything - who knows what I might have said! :) I'd much rather give you something funny than be a downer anyday of the week...speaking of funny, I did have a swell lunch with 3 men today...no, no, no don't get all excited - they were all married. Oh, the joys of church work. :) Seriously, Tuesday Lunch Bunch was a tad sparse but completely superb today as we enjoyed our Panera (especially our double freebie breadbowl soupage) and discussed new stem cell research, random reality shows, my upcoming advent appearance, the fancy water label on the drink machine, the writers strike and the plausibility of a Twood "executive assistant" strike, and well let's not forget the brief pancreas mention. So today I'm thankful for all the cool guys God puts in my life, even the married ones. ;)

I hope you laugh out loud at these. You know you want to.

09 November 2007

The little things

Okay, so here's the deal. I have a lot I want to write about - really and truly. And even more music I'm in love with right now and happy things I'd like to share. But alas, lots o'work to do today and for the next week so it's gonna have to wait...I'm sure the suspense is really gonna kill you. And so I've attached a picture to show just how cluttered and crazy my little cubicle is these days which in my life translates to lots to do - not the "summer craziness" lots to do just the "high school retreat is one week away and lots of other things are piling up too" lots to do. So yeah, I've attached a pic and I better shut up before I waste more time doing this which is really not that essential to the grand scheme of life I'm thinking. OH, and I've attached a pic of why it is that I don't mind doing all this stuff...it's cuz sometimes my boss brings me fun gifts from office depot. I'm sure it's not what most folks get excited about, but for me gold paper clips are everything. They are just so much nicer than the run o the mill silver. You laugh, but it's true. I get really excited about those - Jerome knows it. He knows the way to get me to work like a dog is through bribery. He smiled real big when I got all excited about those gold paper clips. The silver key labels are pretty fun too, don't get me wrong, but they don't hold a candle to the gold finish clips - a 100 of them. Yep, I'm pretty high maintenance this way.

05 November 2007

Beautiful, Scandalous Night

Just wanted to share my new favorite song. As a matter of fact, it’s on one of my new favorite CD’s, Robbie Seay's Give Yourself Away. I loved practically every song on it the first time I heard it. (The song isn’t original to Robbie Seay so you may have heard it somewhere else too.)

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior's side

Written by Steve Hindalong and Derald Daugherty © 1992 New Spring / Never Say Never Songs (ASCAP)

Click here to listen to a sample

02 November 2007

I'm one hot burrito!

How often do I say this, but well, it's Friday afternoon and I've pretty much finished everything I need to accomplish in the office...lucky for you, that means blogtime! :) Let's see, what's new with me...

you know I'm hot.

Most newsworthy I suppose is the fact that I dressed up as a Freebird Burrito not once, but twice, last week. The first occasion was the Tallowood "junior staff" Hallo-Wii-n party where we had sooooooo much fun learning how to play Wii bowling, tennis, and baseball - not quite sure I'm ready to fork out the big bucks for my own Wii, but playing in a big group was uberfun. One of my favorite moments of the night was when I retorted to Will for who knows what "bite me!" Classic, oh man, do crack myself up.

check out the expressions of everyone watching - my bowling ball just missed the last pin!

Then, the very next night I redressed and rewrapped myself up as a burrito for the junior high game night at church. The favorite part of that night was that one of the kids on my team was a cookie - it was a touching moment there in the ladies restroom when she walked out of her stall and I was happy to discover another food item. We embraced and teared up and the rest is history...we did in fact name our team the "Killer Cookies" in her honor. She even had a milk moustache. BTW, the kids first suggested "Cute Cookies", but come on I said, cute cookies aren't tough, we need a more fitting name for the pure fighting machine that we were.

Killer Cookies in action - this would be the mummy wrap!

On a lighter note, I've been keeping my room clean. Trust me, that's newsworthy.

What else...well, I have been learning to wait on God. Tons of fun. Actually, it has been really good just learning how to wait on Him instead of just waiting for something from Him or waiting for Him to tell you something...not that I would ever do that personally, but some people might, ya know. I've discovered that when waiting on an event or thing or answer, you might grow weary, but when just waiting on Him, He really does renew your strength as it says in Isaiah 40.

Also, I was just reading through my journal the other day and remembering how incredibly faithful our God is. Of course, there have been times when it hasn't felt like it, but when you think back to how He's worked over the course of time, in the journey of your life, that He has been faithful to accomplish His purpose all along the way. As we just studied Noah in SS, we were talking about how Man cannot (even when he is evil) compromise God's plan for creation to bring glory to Himself. God's purpose cannot be thwarted - ever. And yet for some crazy reason I think that if I hear Him wrong or misinterpret what He's telling me or if I somehow don't make the "right" decision, that I'm going to mess up His plan for my life or just His plan period. What kind of foolishness is that? He is just reminding me that He really is in control, He really does have all authority, He really does have all power, He alone can accomplish what He wants to accomplish in all of time and history, not to mention my silly little life. So, don't forget that, my friend, it's not up to you to figure it all out and make it happen. It's not. It's really not. So, take a big sigh of relief. Sighhhhhhh. We are called to trust Him, and trust his heart when we can't see Him working, and we are called to obey. Obedience is our job, but God is the One who fulfills His purpose in us because of his covenant love toward us. Psalm 138:8 "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." Here's an interesting tidbit...did you know that every time you see the phrase "lovingkindness" in the NAS or "steadfast love" in ESV that it is a reference to God's covenant love for us? Trust me, it's everywhere! And do you get that a covenant is eternally binding, God cannot and will not break it. In fact lots of blood has been shed for it - it's that serious. In SS I like to cut a cute teddy bear in half for dramatic effect! (We've been studying Covenant all semester so the two-piece bear returns quite often - my girls love it - they act like they don't, but I know they do!) So, next time you start thinking God really doesn't care about you or see you or that He really isn't working for your good, stop it. He does care, He does see, He is working for your good. How do I know? His Word says it and I've seen it over and over and over again. And here's a one of the cool new verses I just discovered, Proverbs 30:5, "Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him." Every word. True. Believe it.

Whew, that was long! Once I get going sometimes it's just hard to stop. But alas, I will. Oh, just for kicks, check out my new Facebook profile pic. When I grow up, I'm gonna be a donerci...perhaps even the most popular donerci in all of Istanbul. :)