Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rest In Peace

Our church just heard of a great loss. One of our community members passed away in the night. He'd been battling cancer for such a long time.

Let me take a moment to tell you about this man. I was so fortunate to know him and to be able to call him a friend! My 70-something friend! The spice of life.

I first met him when Dad and I started working on the Nature Center at church. We had all these grand notions of trails, ponds, gardens, Stations of the Cross, prayer cabins, a prayer chapel...two visionaries with little muscle or know-how. ;) Duane found out about our ideas and came to help...with his 4-wheeler and tractor!! It was a match made in heaven! We literally spent years out there!

Not only did he faithfully serve, he had a quirky sense of humor! He always had a joke. It was always a delight to be playing in the dirt. :)

What I also loved about Duane was that he was my Dad's friend. When you work in ministry, it can be difficult to find people who will let a pastor be a person too. Far too many can get so petty and immature. (Don't get me started!) Not Duane. My Dad, who loves to build, found a friend who loved to play in the mud. They would regularly "go out and play". They were each other's sidekicks.

Some months ago Duane mailed me a letter...even though we saw each other cute. He told me about what God was sharing with him at that time and the peace he was finding. He followed that with some great encouragements for me. He was a darling. A gift. I'm better because of his friendship.

I'm going to miss him SO MUCH!!

Sweet dreams, Duane! See you in a twinkle!

Monday, December 19, 2011

When Disappointment Strikes

Ugh. Facing some disappointment. You know...those situations where you wish or hope and then nothing happens, you lose someone or something special, someone doesn't come goes on and on and on.

Trying to remember two things:
1. Don't sacrifice hope to bitterness. Have to remind myself of that a lot.
2. Pray "shalom". It's the word for peace in the Bible...but God's peace is so much bigger than our sense of harmony. It actually means "wholeness, completeness"...that's mind, body, heart agreement with the realities of heaven. I'll take some of that!!!

Man, Woman, Wild

I started watching this show on Netflix called "Man, Woman, Wild". It's about a couple that gets dropped off in terrible conditions to figure out how to survive for 4 days. The hubby is a former Special Ops guy. The wife is...a normal person. Oh my gosh...I have to laugh out loud sometimes because I'd be exactly like her!!

"Drink your pee??? I'm not drinking that!!"

So funny!

Interesting too!...I'm learning a ton! Considering my propensity to get into ridiculous situations, it's probably a good investment of my time. ;)

One Day More

Yep, more Les Mis!!!

Loving Church

I'm telling you...I really love church! I never thought I'd say such a thing, but it's true!! It's only been in the past few years that I've become convinced how critical community fellowship is to growth/maturing/becoming. Critical and now a total delight.

And I know that God is moving in the "church" all over the place, so this isn't to elevate the church I go to above others. That said...let me go on and on and on about it... ;)

1. I love that my church releases people into their particular giftings. Every human has a "magic" and a "message" that has to be released for the benefit of all. The individual needs the body, and the body needs the individual. 2. I love that there is a balance of love's grace and love's challenge too. Inspiration and accountability. 3. Community Education!! church invests in all ages! My favorite is the adult program (just 'cause I like to get away from the kiddos when I can...hehe), and in those smaller group settings people are growing in heart/mind as well as relationships! So valuable! 4. I love that my church doesn't exist to serve itself!!! Loving beyond borders...bringing love all over the place! Whether that's mission work, community service or just plain being a good human to's nice to be encouraged to live bigger.

So, I love it. I look forward to it all week and miss it as soon as it's done.

If you don't have a home community, come on over! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Black Talk

It is seriously SO WEIRD how some "white" people talk about "black" people. So bizarre. I don't get a sense that it's a prejudice/racist thing. There's definitely an assumed value. Maybe it's more of a small town or limited exposure thing??? They talk about "them" like the color of their skin makes them an entirely different kind of human. Enough of a novelty that you'd think they'd want someone on display. Oh, they say such stupid things. I shudder to think how someone with that beautiful skin would feel being the spectacle of the moment. Not too good, I'm thinking.

Break In Sight

I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for Christmas vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!! The month or so before is one of the times I am SUPER aware of the fact that I work an over-time position at my job. With that comes an added awareness of the things that drive me crazy.

Constant "deep breaths" to keep myself from going off like a rock star....Siggggghhhhhhhh ;) these last days...

* Here's to hoping teachers are professional and don't shirk duties and commitments so that I have to do last-minute bailouts.

* Here's to parents not blaming EVERYONE ELSE for their child's struggles and actually holding them accountable so they can mature and grow.

* Here's to teenagers keeping the "crazy" restrained until their final ride home on the last day of school. NO DRAMA!!!! (Ya, that might be asking a bit too much...)

* Here's to NOT TOO MANY gifts of sweets to the Staff Lounge for which it is totally impossible to refrain from consumption.

But mostly...

**** Here's to a week-and-a-half of rest, family, food and fellowship...AND...remembering what the little baby grew up to do for all of mankind!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Great Man!

I just have to post about this man. I absolutely love anything he writes!! Turns out he also has a blog!

Bob Goff's Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Proper Communication

One of the greatest "helps" a person can provide in any cooperative setting is upholding appropriate chains of communication. People don't realize how much they contribute to conflict or miscommunication by not requiring people to talk to the person responsible for or directly involved in the situation. I'm sure they think they are "helping" by stepping in themselves (although, boy, some are just trying to be the "savior"), but I'd say that it solves nothing and, in fact, increases the drama about 90% of the time.

What a waste of time!

It's one of my biggest pet peeves actually. Can you tell? Hehe. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Immigration Thinkings

It's not new news that I'm conservative-leaning when it comes to politics. A registered Repub actually...haha! Of course, I have some differing opinions than many of my "kind", and I know that's true within any group. Some differences, though, have me really thinking. Feeling a bit sad actually. I can't get past how some of the communication of opinion seems so absent of heart.

Lately, I've been thinking about illegal immigration.

No, I'm not saying we should fling the doors wide open. That's not appropriate. The slamming of all doors seems wrong too, though...and I wonder where the balance is. Americans have a ton of rights, but I don't think those should exclude the human right to compassion. Mercy and generosity have been American values too...but we forget that so quickly...

My sadness is that I hear some people talk about Mexicans (and other Central/South Americans) with such disdain...blaming them for all kinds of problems for which the average "real" American is equally responsible. The more I hear their particular "arguments", the more I hear things that seem almost prejudiced. (I wish some knew how they sounded.) I shudder at the fear-laced hatred for the expression of other traditions and cultures. It's not a far leap from the "woe" of the Mexican parade to the breeding of disrespect for people like my nephews and nieces who have beautiful brown skin and actually celebrate their varied cultural backgrounds. AND I CELEBRATE THEM TOO!

Some can argue wonderfully their particular anti-illegal stance with great respect and intelligence. Some...just absolutely can't.

I think I'm somewhere in the middle on the subject...but I'm no where near any position that resembles coldness...nope...not gonna happen.



Someone keeps giving my cell number to my students...who think they can text me at any hour whenever they have a homework question. What the???


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Member of the Board

Yep...I've joined my first Board. :) It's for a newly formed non-profit organization that is seeking to house homeless upper teens and young adults in the East Central area. In addition to shelter, they'll offer life skill training and career guidance...oh, and food!! They are in their infancy organizationally (maybe pre-birth), but exciting things are on the horizon!!!

And here's where I appreciate my experiences with other Boards...I'm going to be a Board member that respects vision over other things. Not an owner of the mission...a servant. No appearance-orientation for this chica. No money-drive for decision-making. I'm going to be a lady that means what she dishonesty, no two-facing. I'm going to listen. And...I'm going to understand personally what the in's and out's are really like. Yep...that's the plan!!

Here's to "Brighter Future For Youth"!!! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Favorite Carol Ever

...and sung by a fantastic voice. :)

Man In The Mirror

Hands down...Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" remains one of my favorite life songs. good.

The Question of Conviction

I've been thinking about conviction again. It seems to be born out of different things. First thought elicits two points of origin.

* Inspiration

* Reaction

I guess I'm feeling a bit driven to make sure that my beliefs about things come from the former instead of the latter.

Reaction, if not measured against inspiration, can birth dangerous convictions. Not dangerous in terms of being edgy or new...but dangerous in terms of being misleading or distracting. Reaction-born conviction sways past the point of balance to the extremes that the pendulum can swing. It limits itself the moment it is birthed. And, I'm realizing, it just trades one tight fist for another...

Inspiration is another thing entirely...and it's what I'm considering...


Worldwide Version - How Great Is Our God

What a great song! I love when artists blend's a great picture of all of God's children. Not just Americans as it turns out... ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. The issue is close to my heart, so I want to take the opportunity to mention that humanity of all shapes and sizes is immensely precious. The suffering that this disease inflicts on the untreated is beyond tragic...and the people that are left behind are often forgotten. Don't be one of those who shuns or forgets. Be a world changer. :)