Thursday, September 29, 2005

90 Years

Grandpa and Me

Today, my grandpa is 90 years old….

90…

Wow!

We share something very special that no one else in our families shares – blue eyes. I have his glass-blue eyes. Every time I look in the mirror, I feel so special. I am the only one with his eyes.

He was born in 1915! I have been thinking about all that has happened in his 90 years…

In 1915, Tzar Nicholas was still in power in Russia, Raggedy Anne was invented and the Red Sox won their first World Series. Woodrow Wilson was president and television had not been invented (1926). Albert Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity (published in 1920).

Grandpa has seen the average price of a loaf of bread go from 7 cents to over $2, a car go from around $500 to over $20,000 and the average home price go from just under $5000 to well over $200,000. Stamps have gone from 2 cents to 39 cents and the DOW average has gone from 99 to over 10,000.

In his lifetime, my grandpa has seen the automobile go from a steam powered land vehicle that only the wealthiest could afford to an electric/gasoline hybrid of which most families could afford two.

He has seen the birth of space flight, the landing of men on the moon and the use research probes on other planets that send live data back to Earth. Speaking of planets, my grandpa was already 15 when Pluto was discovered in 1930.

He has lived through invention of movies with sound – the first commercially available movie with sound was released in 1923. Color movies became commercially available until the 1930’s. He’s also seen the advent of the VCR and videos and now the DVD player and fully digital media (like TEVO).

The first radios with tuners to find multiple stations were invented in 1916. NBC and CBS were both founded in 1926. The “Golden Age of Radio” is considered to begin in 1930. The long playing record and transistors were not invented until 1948! Up to that point, radio was done live and you could visit the radio halls to watch the broadcast!

The first television broadcast was in 1930 and also had to be done live. The technology to tape and edit television shows using magnetic recorders was not invented until 1938. Scheduled TV broadcasts didn’t begin until 1939. He has also witnessed the first nationwide broadcast of a television show in 1976.

During his lifetime, American soldiers have fought in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Iran-Contra, Operation Desert Storm, and currently the “war on terrorism” in the Gulf.

The Chrysler Building (1930), the Empire State Building (1931), Hoover Dam (1938), the Space Needle (1962), and the World Trade Center twin towers(1969) have all been built in his lifetime.

He lived through the Great Depression (1929 to 1940) and was around before a social security system was even invented (1933).

The first computer was not commercially available until 1951. The first home computer became available in 1976. In fact, the modern computer was completely invented and grew up from a punch-card processing mega machine into our digitialy linked, portable laptops and smart phone versions during Grandpa’s life!

He has seen the birth of zip codes (1963) by the US Postal Service and the beginnings of the LACK of use of the US Postal Service due to the internet. And just in case you are wondering, the internet was not released for public use by the government until 1994, so anyone over 11 has witnessed the advent of THAT!

Telephones have come a long way too! They have gone from party lines using operators, to individual lines using rotary dialing, to push button phones, to car phones, to cell phones.

Speaking of which – we are giving him a cell phone for his birthday. I guess Grandpa is keeping up with the world!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDPA!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cup Adventures

Today marked a momentous occasion in the life of my cup...it went inside and sat in a cubby all day.

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Ode to my cup…

When I was in Arizona with Teri, we painted some ceramics.

I made a cup….

It was to be fired and picked up by Wednesday, September 7, 2005 and mailed to me. Today is September 27, 2005. My cup has not arrived…

It is being held for a ransom, though no formal ransom request has been received. I fear I will have to make a special trip to Arizona on a rescue mission.

Currently, my cup is joy riding around the greater Phoenix area in the front seat of one blue Dodge Durango, safely strapped in and enjoying its shotgun position. It doesn’t mind that it has to sleep in the car and has yet to be washed…stinky cup! It must be a BOY cup!!!

Teri says it still does not understand why the Jesus fish says IXOYE, though she has explained it many times. It likes her music. I think my cup just prefers the arid Arizona landscape and Baby Einstein DVD’s to the boring existence it would have here holding coffee or lattes or something else.

I wish I had a picture of my cup riding around in the front seat of Teri’s car…it won’t hold coffee, but at least I would have something to remember it by…

Oh, cup!!! Wherefore art thou, cup?????

Monday, September 26, 2005

Divine Alchemy...

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart... you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.
- Frodo Baggins -

Watched Return of the King yesterday…I just so absolutely love that movie…well, I really love them all. I remark every time that I wish there were a world as beautiful as those built by the Elves.

This time, the words above lodged themselves firmly in my heart…

I’ve been reflecting upon them since yesterday afternoon…Sort of wondering where all the people are that were once in my life…marveling at the people that are still here and those that have come back again.

There is little of my life that I cannot smile at now…Praise God….While a few years ago, I might have traded certain moments…would have called for a “do over!” Now, I know that each of these moments led me right here. I marvel at how God’s perfect ordering of my steps has led me here to this place. It’s a wonder to me – how He uses my every mis-step to be a guiding post for my own future…and the futures of others.

But this feeling Frodo has, this feeling that you cannot simply pick up and move on with the same old life when something momentous has happened. How does that song go? Something about how every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…

I do long to be able to go back and say some things…not that it would make a difference in the outcome. I’m certain it would not. Sometimes we are held prisoner by what we do not say, what we do not do, what we do not attempt. I would say “I’m sorry,” and “Forgive me” and “I love you” more often. I would have reached to understand rather than to be understood. I would not have relied on somebody else for my happiness. I would have taken responsibility for my own decisions.

I’m convinced that there are some hurts that never heal, that go too deep, that are never really over. I’m equally convinced that, while God CAN heal anything, there are some things that He WON’T. It is our job to acknowledge the hurt, to face it, to address it, to understand it, and to live and trust despite its consistent existence. Some things are left there, inside of us, to remind us – DON’T GO HERE AGAIN!!!

So…while “going back” may be appealing, its not advisable. And God leaves some of our hurts there as sign posts to warn us that what lies behind us should stay behind us. Our FUTURE is infinite, unfathomable, full of options and choices and possibilities, but there is only one path backwards. You cannot chose a different path behind you – it will forever be the same path, the same steps ordered the same way.

But the future…here is where the realm of possibility exists, where we can make new choices for a new life full of hope and joy. How amazing that God can take the lead of your past and turn it to the gold of your future…Its still heavy, my friends…but not nearly so worthless… Divine Alchemy! Fabulous…

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Forum Negativity…

Ok…so…

I’m bothered.

And normally, I wouldn’t spew this on anyone…but I’ve had about enough.

Oh, and before anyone gets all righteous on me, I know I’ve done this myself. After the things I’ve read lately, consider me reformed.

I read a lot of forums and I also read and re-direct my readers to a few blogs (see links on the right).

I always feel privileged to be able to comment on blogs or give praise to somebody’s work or to be part of a forum where my opinions can be freely expressed. I try always to remain helpful, uplifting, edifying, NICE.

While I understand that by posting, people open themselves up for comments, I have grown weary of reading the acidic blithering idiocy some people consistently put on display in chat forums and blogs. There seems to be a cancerous thought that the internet makes you not a real person saying real things. Its as though its ok to say whatever you please in whatever way you please to whomever you please without a single thought given to decorum, because you don’t have to witness the tears you cause being nasty.

Here’s a clue for you…a little hint…. NOBODY wants to know you THAT well…some things really are better off left inside your head! (Probably this is one such entry…however since its MY OWN BLOG and not comments on somebody else’s blog or forum thread, I feel somewhat ok about posting it.)

Here is my deal…if somebody requests constructive criticism, feel free to criticize CONSTRUCTIVELY. If they don’t ask for it, don’t put in your 2 cents…its 2 cents too much. When your comments become destructive venomous bile, you might want to learn to EDIT YOURSELF!

It is most certainly possible to comment on boards and blogs in a way that gets your point across without you being a nasty little hag….

Now, before anyone gets all excited, I’ve not received any negative nastiness myself. Although, that might change when I post this…

However, I have noticed something about the places I frequently read…

Firstly, a very highly respected artist was bashed recently on her own blog. Hey, Basher, don’t you realized that it is a PRIVILEDGE to be able to comment on a blog?

I’ve grown enormously impatient at the thought that this basher couldn’t step away from the computer before hitting that “enter” button and give themselves a time-out.

Don’t people READ what they are going to post before doing so? Even if you read it through ONCE to check SPELLING, you might notice how polluted your response is.

Here’s a thought, you don’t live inside somebody else’s head. You only know what they wrote at that moment in that space. TAKE IT LITERALLY!!! It’s a small piece, an infinitely small piece! You DO NOT have the whole picture!

And if you MUST add yourself to the mix, chose to say something edifying…how about this, “I was disappointed that your comments about such and such were limited to…. Do you have any more thoughts?” Instead of “HOW DARE YOU SAY…” Please don’t assume that you understand completely what someone is thinking and make a whole lot of assumptions. How can you get offended at what somebody DOESN’T write?

Secondly, you do not have permission to be the forum bully…

and YES you are a bully…

and making FUN of the fact that somebody called you a bully to your virtual face only makes you MORE of a bully.

Being the brunt of many a bully’s joke, I know the first bully line of defense is to laugh off the fact that somebody has identified you as a big horse’s patooty!

It’s not funny that somebody thinks you are a bully.

Chances are very strong that your behavior warrants some review…you should take a closer look instead of just laughing it off and making a joke of it. If they feel you are a bully, you HURT somebody. HELLO!?!?!?!

Thirdly, nobody cares what your opinion is if you cannot be civilized enough to state it in a manner befitting an adult.

We can’t get past the fact that you are a BUTT HEAD long enough to understand you!

The level of venom in the general posting area of one of my most frequented boards is so high that I am actually getting anxiety about posting there. I’ve gotten to the place where I don’t even want to peek at this site…one of the most popular out there…because the “ladies” who frequently post are a complete nightmare!

How completely pathetic is that? I don’t even want to venture onto the board in a positive way because it will be twisted about and argued over and in the end I’ll end up wanting to send poop-o-gram to somebody!

Oh, God forbid one of these nightmares unleashes themselves on my blog…I would have to move to another country.

So, from here atop my soap box, let me just tell you - The entire world does not want to know how vicious, unhappy and ridiculously deceived you really are!

I plead with you….just like momma says….

If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all…the world will be a much happier place…

…and you won’t look so stupid.

When you feel that urge to break out your best double-edged sword remember:

None of US want your verbal abuse!

Try something else:

Pray for the person you want to comment on.

Clean the bathroom.

Call your therapist.

Bake a cake.

Run around the darn block, for all I care.

If you MUST work out that aggression, duct tape your lips closed and your fingers inside a pair of boxing gloves and get a punching bag.

Silence is very powerful. You should try it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What if...


What if God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him today?


What if God couldn't take the time to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank Him yesterday?


What if we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when God sent the Rain?


What if God didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?


What if God took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?


What if God took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?


What if God didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for sin?

What if the door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?


What if God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?


What if God would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him?


What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?


What if God met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

I'm glad my God doesn't treat me the way I treat Him....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One of those "AHA" moments...

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. – Matthew 5:18 -

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. – Matthew 5:22 –

Both of these scriptures are on my heart today…as they were yesterday. I’m in the habit of listening to the Bible in my car in the mornings on the way to work. Its soothing at that entirely too early hour and it fills me up for the day. Lately, I’ve been stuck in Matthew 4-6. I just keep skipping back to the beginning of Matthew 4 and listen until I get to the end of 6…then I go back again. For the last two days, these two scriptures have been tumbling around in my head.

WHY?

Hmmm….well…the first one is most certainly about disobedience. The second about attitude…and I am spiritually suffering for both of these things at the moment.

The smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished…this is so powerful. It reiterates that the Law of Moses was not abolished with the coming of Jesus, but fulfilled. It says that there are still “legal” aspects of the old testament that we need to follow until ALL of the prophesy has been fulfilled. Interesting to think just exactly what is in the Mosaic Law…things like this:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honour thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
.

We all know the 10 Commandments in some form or another. We all know the controversy…but have you READ them? Have you committed them to memory?

Ok, Ok, Ok…I won’t steal. But I cannot covet anything? Do you know what “covet” is? The definition is “to wish for longingly.” Did you ever want a new car? A better body? A pair of shoes? Your neighbors beautiful home or yard? That one is HARDER!!!

How about this “bear false witness?” That, plain and simple is LYING. DON’T EVER LIE!!! Did you ever tell the lady at the DMV that you weighed 10 pounds less than you really do? SEE?!?!?!?!?

The Scriptures also contain things like this:

No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

From what you have, take an offering for the LORD.

Do not make cast idols.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work

Let love and faithfulness never leave you

Do not be wise in your own eyes

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked


Ok…here is where things start to get interesting for me… I cannot appear before the Lord empty-handed. Now, don’t think for once second that I believe that I always have to bring MONEY to the Lord. This is about sacrifice and offering…how many times have I shown up at church all flustered because I don’t have time for this…but I know I have to be there for something or other, and I go, even though my heart is no prepared, even though my mind will wander the entire time I'm listening to the sermon. That, my friends is showing up empty handed. I don’t even come with a willing heart under those circumstances!

Labor six days? Whoah! (Moms, you probably already do, but I do NOT!)

Let love never leave you? Wow…NEVER?

Do not fear sudden disaster – this I found particularly difficult to digest in light of the recent events in our world.

I have a new hunger to get into my Bible and see what is in there, see what I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed be expending my energy, to see what insight and understanding God has for my life. God is truly working on my heart…I’m not getting something that I’m supposed to be getting…and He really wants me to GET IT!

And then there is Matthew 5:22…

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. – Matthew 5:22 –

There is another translation of this scripture that says, “if you call some one an idiot…” instead of “you fool.” THIS is the translation that got to me…do you know why? I don’t know HOW many times a day I label somebody an idiot. When they cut me off in traffic, when they do something stupid and an entire computer system comes crashing down about my ears. When they don’t listen and I end up repeating myself 20 times. When they do something I just don’t like and cannot agree with. When they hurt me, curse me, treat me badly…

But each time I do that, I’m in danger of the fire of hell…woah…each time I get angry with my brother I am subject to judgement…

The fire of hell and subject to judgement and all the pen strokes of the law remain until their purpose has been fulfilled…

All this time, I’ve been operating under the delusion that if I just didn’t use curse words when I got cut off in traffic, I was ok to be angry. If I work really really hard for my five days, the sixth and seventh are take-it-easy days. That if I just go to church, no matter how I feel, I’ll be just fine. NOT THE CASE!

We are called to live our lives in the moments, from second to second and hour to hour in a way that follows these scriptures. I have to be more aware, to guard my tongue, my heart, my thoughts more carefully against these subtle things, these tiny things. As I grow in my understanding, I realize the depth to which living a just and upright life takes us. It requires of us that we manage every cell of our beings in a way that is glorifying to God. And each time I make a choice of any kind, I have to weigh it against God’s word. This is why I have to know His word, and have it sealed in my heart, that is why we are to have that constant conversation and to be tuned in to hear His direction. It is also why He has come into my heart…because without him, its IMPOSSIBLE for me to manage every cell of my being!

Love and peace!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Confessions….

Alas, I did not get to even ONE garage sale…we couldn’t FIND any!

We were going to try to find some thrift stores, but then, bailed out on the idea when we couldn’t find a large enough list to keep us very busy.

SO!!!

We DID do some other things:

Ceramic painting at: As You Wish Pottery …I made a cup with a crown that said “What part of PRINCESS don’t you understand?” (I’ll post pics later! Its still being glazed and fired.)

Browsing at Barnes and Noble – TWICE! We sat for a very long time reading THIS BOOK. I’ve discovered I’m not very good at the whole fashion thing, though I used to be. I’m trying to remember what happened.

Make-up shopping at ULTA. Purchased some yummy Bare Minerals.

Browsed in Target until my feet hurt…and they have a SUPER Target there….so I was overwhelmed at the size. I got these for fun: face cloths

Got TOTALLY LOST in The Great Indoors. Holy cow, this is an amazing store! I could LITERALY live in this store!

Had a turkey burger from Fat Burger…nothing more yummy!

Had Einstein Brothers bagels and coffee TWO days in a row!

Found a new Mexican restaurant with yummy salsa!

Took naps and watched a movie.

NO traffic going there or coming back!

It was a GREAT weekend!

Friday, September 02, 2005

MmmmmmmHmmmmmmThatsRight!

yard sale

Gonna yard sale….in Phoenix….this weekend…with Teri….

Just checked the newspaper there are 35 new ads for yard sales this weekend. I’m not sure if we will actually find anything cool or not, but its always fun to go through other people’s junk.

I had a realization yesterday – this will be the first trip I’ve every taken where only one pair of shoes is required – flip flops! Where could I possibly go in Arizona with Teri that flip flops would not be acceptable attire? NOWHERE! WOO HOO!!

It’s the little things, you know?

I created a birthday card for Pastor Dave. I cannot be at his party this weekend, but I wanted to contribute. I was SO excited when Sareta asked me to make a card! This was so much fun! We had to have a BIG card so everyone from the music ministry could sign it. I ended up doing a 12 x 12 card...so cool!:

12 x 12 card

Alright – I may or may not post over the weekend…depends upon how many garage sales and cups of great coffee and yummy treats and Momo walks and swimming excursions and scrapbook-store-hopping I get myself into!

Have a FAB weekend, ya’ll!!! Spend some time in meaningful conversation with somebody you care about!

Peace!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Personal photographer...

All the destruction, all the loss...it has me thinking about what would be missing from my scrapbooks, from my journals, from my life-left-behind if I disappeared tomorrow.

I spend so much time trying to document the everyday life and special events of other people. Despite the repeated warnings and articles and all that stuff, I'm not in many of my pictures. I just got back from vacation...did you know there is not one picture of me in all the pictures we have from those two special weeks of our lives?

I got to thinking - sometimes I wish there was a personal photographer following me around to get shots of things that happen in MY every day life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get some shots of yourself just living your life for the record books? Here are some things about my life I wish were documented with photos:

The just-turned-off-the-alarm-and-I’m-headed-to-the-kitchen-to-get-my-day-started morning look.

My face when I’m singing at the top of my lungs along with the radio in traffic on the way to work.

Working on some scrap project in my office.

A family-on-the-couch picture - me, Scott and Hunny, just talking.

Cooking with Mom and Dad sitting around the kitchen - ok, this isn't an everyday occurance. But I don't see them enough and it would be nice to have more pictures of us together!

Hanging out with my sister in her living room. Ditto the don't see enough from above.

Surrounded by my scrap friends at a crop.

The face that results when I am trying to solve an issue and I’m staring hard at my computer screen hoping that if I stare hard enough, the resolution will just jump out at me.

My “poker” face. Translation: The totally open incredulous look I have when somebody surprises me.

The smile I reserve only for Scott.

Sleeping on the chase on a Friday night with the dog curled up by my side, also sound asleep.

Me and my girlfriends out to dinner, just chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Singing in the choir and also on the mic for praise and worship.

Holding my god-daughter, Miss H, on my lap and listening to her chatter.

Exercising – this would be a horrible picture, but its part of my life!

Drinking coffee and eating scones and reading the paper at Stell’s.

Shopping. Wandering the aisles at Target and Michaels and JoAnns and Kohls and the Tyler Galleria.

Working at my little cubby desk...just working.

Cleaning or doing yard work or surrounded by mounds of laundry on the living room floor as I fold and stack.

Getting my hair done - that would be a comical shot!

Sitting quietly, journaling and praying and reading my bible.

Dancing around my living room like I do when I need to burn off steam and I’m all alone.

Chatting on the phone with somebody I enjoy talking with.

Watching Stargate and Atlantis and Battlestar...now I know there would be good shots in those...I fairly jump out of my skin with some of those plots!

I’m sure I could go on and on and on…I’m trying to think of a way I could get these pictures using my self-timer on my camera…alas, I hope NEVER try to take my own picture while driving to work or walking through the mall!

Still it would be nice...