Friday, February 27, 2004

Bits and pieces

Just wanted to post a few thoughts about a few things.

I didn't get the job at Old Navy. In fact, they never called me for a second interview. I'm sure it is a God thing. Fortunately, I have some other opportunities opening up: babysitting jobs (although a little thin right now) always seem to come up at the right time and now I'm embarking on computer tutoring. I have one couple that have me on retainer, so to speak. :) The husband upgraded his iMac and bought his wife an iBook, so I'll be helping him learn shortcuts and tricks with his software and her to learn how to get around on the internet and check her email. This could lead to other jobs as they attend a really large church and are among a circle of people who would own computers and need some home tutoring. I'm excited! God always makes a way. He is truly awesome!

Speaking of babysitting, I had a job tonight that turned bad. The mother of this little girl we (my roommates and I) keep regularly called this afternoon to see if I could keep her. I told her no problem, I was going to my brother's to help with some computer stuff but that it was ok for her girl to go with me. (My brother has 3 kids her age, so I knew they would play.) Anyway, the mother was supposed to come at 9pm to get her daughter. At around 10pm, I called the number she had given me earlier (which turned out to be a wrong number). At 11pm, I called this woman's boyfriend (who lives with her). Unfortunately, he was at work but said he would either find the woman or come and get the child himself. Well, at midnight, the mother screeches into the driveway. She was probably 10 sheets to the wind. I could smell her when I opened the door.

So, she comes in and begins to ask me why I called her boyfriend. So I told her - she was supposed to be there at 9pm, it was now midnight and I had to work in the morning. She was all bowed up, like she was mad (probably because her butt got chewed by her boyfriend) and told me she would not be calling us again. "Y'all are just.....something," she says. Anyway, she goes to pick her daughter up and I tried to grab her, telling her I didn't think it was a good idea for her to be driving. She told me not to tell her what to do, and I didn't put up a fight. I now wish I had. I could have punched that woman! How can people be so careless!!!! I know the answer to that.....she needs Jesus. I would have loved to "lay hands" on that woman. As I said, I wish I had put up a fight, but what do you do? Who wants to be a troublemaker and divide a family? Knowing what I do about this family, they are already screwed up and they really do need Jesus. I keep thinking that maybe we can impact their lives in some way. Who knows?

I called her house to see if they had made it home safely. I guess I didn't allow enough time, because she didn't answer. That, or she just wasn't answering the phone. I do care about these people. After I got over being really mad and worried, I pondered what Jesus thought when He reached out to people in need. I'm not Him, but I sure want to be like Him. Maybe kindness will keep the door open to ministering to this family. Only God really knows.

So that's what was on my mind at the moment. Still lots of thinking going on about "The Passion of The Christ". I was talking to a friend tonight who saw it twice yesterday!!! It was neat to talk with him about the movie. We both came away with similar thoughts about it. I want to go see it again, to see if there was anything I missed. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, that is the most thought provoking film I've ever seen. I like those kinds of movies.

I'm off to bed. One more day in this work week and we'll be able to file it in the "history" box. :) Later!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

How can I say this...

It has been just over three hours since I saw "The Passion of The Christ" and I am still trying to process what I saw. The only word I can think of to describe it is "powerful."

It didn't affect me the way I thought it would. I thought I would be more emotional....crying at the drop of a hat and that sort of thing. But I'm not. I mean, I do get teary eyed when I think of Christ's suffering, but more than that, I am deeply reflective. It's a rather strange feeling.

Although the images of His torture, as depicted in this movie, will forever be with me, it is the quiet flashbacks of His life that had the most impact on me. Through the marriage of the horrific scenes of Him being beaten and the calm, quiet flashback scenes that show where He connected with people personally, Mel Gibson has created the most thought provoking film I can ever remember seeing. It's almost hard to put into words all the thoughts and emotions that are swirling around in me.

The one thing I wasn't expecting to take away from this movie is a new realization of Christ's human-ness. He was one of us AND at the same time He was God. I never have really understood that, I guess.


Here is an example: in the movie, we see Jesus has been beaten by the temple guards as He's being dragged before the Sanhedrin. As He is waiting for them to assemble, he focuses in on a carpenter who is working on something in the courtyard. We then are taken back to a point in Jesus' life where He is working as a carpenter, evidently before His earthly ministry began. He is building a table and you hear his mother call him. "Yashua.....Yashua" (Jesus - or more correctly Joshua, in Aramaic) She comes out to where He is working and we see Him crouched down, examining His handiwork. She asks Him if He is hungry and He says "yes". As they begin to walk back into the house, she tells him to take of His dirty apron and wash his hands, so He dips His hands in the water, splashes her and then kisses her on the head before running into the house. We are then taken back to the trial scene.

There is a bit more to that scene, so I didn't tell all of it, but I wanted to share that little bit. It showed a totally human Jesus, who loved people. There's an old song that says "when He was on the cross, we were on His mind." I'm sure throughout the entire ordeal, He was thinking of those He loved in His circle of family and friends, and perhaps those of us who were yet to be born. I think this scene really embodied that aspect of who Christ is. As I said before, it was a really thought-provoking film.


In addition to a new realization of Christ as God in the flesh, I came away with a new sense of just how bad our sin is. You know, in this day and age, we tend to sanitize our sin. Especially our "pet" sins - those things we know are wrong but haven't quite given up. We don't see them as totally bad. Oh, we're quick to speak of the evils of homosexuality, drinking, drug abuse or any other sin we categorize as "bad", but those sins are no worse than the times I gossip or am dishonest or think about things I shouldn't. Those sins that no one knows about are just as evil as the "bad" sins and they all are costly. The price of sin was high - blood had to be shed - and we could never pay that price. The sacrifice had to be perfect and Christ was the only One who qualified.

Christ endured unimaginable pain and suffering, and worse than that, He was separated from His Father so that I wouldn't have to pay the price for sin. I tell you, I don't know that I'll look at sin the same way. At least I hope I won't.

I want to give my everything to the One who gave His everything for me. It's not about earning my salvation. I don't have to do that. It is a free gift because of Christ's sacrifice. I want to be like the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. I have been forgiven much and want to show Him my love by knowing Him and serving Him with my life.

As I left the movie, there was a struggle within my emotions - a part of me wanted to really be sad. Sad and sorrowful for all of the suffering Christ chose to endure for me. Yet, at the same time, I felt so blessed and so totally and completely loved. Joyousness isn't the word to express the emotion, but a deep, deep sense of peace and awe. Like I said, it's hard to express just what I'm feeling even now.

All I know is this: everyone should see this movie. One cannot help but be impacted in some way. Mel Gibson and his cast and crew have created a masterpiece and I do truly believe he was inspired by God to create this film. I can't wait to see what happens in the lives of millions as a result of this movie. Only time will tell. I just know that I am not the same and I think I will be bolder in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Better luck next time

Ok, so I didn't go see the movie tonight. There were more bodies than seats, so I gave my seat up.

I won't lie....I'm upset. I had geared myself to see this movie and now I'm just really disappointed. Whatever...I'll work through it and get over it. :)

Here's something to think about, though - my roommate had come and was helping me make sure the reserved seats went to the right people, so we had commandeered two seats for ourselves. As the crowd kept growing and seats began to run out, there was this Indian couple (from East India) that had come to see the film. Without a second thought, I gave them our seats.

Perhaps those two people needed to see that film tonight.

You see, after the film, there will be an opportunity for people to give their lives to Christ. If those people don't know Christ but have been wondering about Him, maybe seeing this film will impact their lives and lead them to the foot of the cross. I certainly hope so.

Nevertheless, I will eventually see the film. I may try to see if I can leave work early tomorrow or just wait for a time when my roommate and I can go see it. I'll just have to wait and see. But, when I do, you can be sure I'll write about it!

The Passion of the Christ

Well, folks, I'm about to go and see this film. I must say, I'm nervous. There is that part of me that wants to know what Christ went through for me, but on the other hand, I don't want to know.

I feel like this is going to be one of those times in my life I'll look back on and recognize as a "mile-marker" in my walk of faith. There will be a reckoning for what I know. How will I be able to walk away from this visual interpretation (one, I believe, that will be the most accurate we could ever see without ever having been there in person) of Christ's Passion and not be changed? That, perhaps, is what scares me the most.

Each time I want to do things my own way, will I see, in my mind's eye, a vision of Christ being beaten for me? I hope so. I want to always keep Him first in my heart and mind. As I said in my post yesterday, I never want to treat Christ's sacrifice carelessly again.

If I am able, I will post something later on about the film. Pray for us - FCA is hosting a preview of the film for a lot of high school and college athletes. Satan has already tried to create havoc, so I know miraculous things will take place as a result of this film. Pray for those people who will give their lives to the One who gave His life for them.

More, later....

Monday, February 23, 2004


With all of the hype centered around The Passion of the Christ, I've been thinking about Jesus a lot lately. I'll be honest, I think about Jesus all the time, however, those thoughts are usually centered around what I need from Him (those "911" prayers) or short moments of praise when I feel guilty about not having spent more time with Him.

But here lately, I've realized I don't really KNOW Him as friends should know one another. He's been like a really good acquaintance that I see often and know generally what His character is like and know that He is dependable and trustworthy and a really good guy.....but I haven't known Him like I want to know Him now.

I've been reading a book by Michael Card titled "Violent Grace". It's about Jesus and what He suffered for us. One of the things he writes about is that Christ was betrayed so I might know His faithfulness. He compares Judas and Peter and their response to Grace. They both were close friends of Jesus. They lived with Him and knew everything about Him, yet they both made different choices. Both men denied Christ, albeit in different fashions, but it was their next choice that made all the difference in the world. Judas failed Christ, but had he recognized the Grace that was offered to him and chosen to seek forgiveness, the ending to his story would be totally different. Peter, on the other hand, denied Christ three times yet he was one of the first to rush to Christ's tomb on Easter morning. He received Grace and continued to live his live to please Christ.

Last night, I was reading Luke 22:54-62 - one of the passages that tells the story of Peter's denial of Christ. In verses 61-62 it says, "At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, 'Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.' And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly." As I read that and was reflecting on what Michael Card had written and I was trying to imagine what Peter was thinking at that moment, I was suddenly there myself, looking across the courtyard into the eyes of Jesus. I was overwhelmed with a sense of disappointment and love: disappointment that I had failed Christ and yet a strong sense of His love for me. Suddenly, all that I've read about Christ's suffering flooded my memory. I realized that although Christ knew knew the torture He would endure to pay the price for my sins and even though He knew that I would have moments where by my actions I would deny Him, He still did it. He still went through with it. I began to weep as it really began to click in my mind all that He has done for me.

I'm ashamed that I've taken His sacrifice for granted. I want to know this Man like I've never known Him before. I never again want to treat His Grace so carelessly. It's funny...I used to sing a song for church titled, "Does He Still Feel The Nails". Everytime I have sang that song, I heard the words in my head and would even get worked up a bit about the meaning, but today they have new meaning. Here are the words to the chorus:

Does He still feel the nails
everytime I fail?
Does He hear the crowd cry "Crucify!", again?
Am I causing Him pain?
Then I know I've got to change.
I just can't bear the thought
of hurting Him.

I never want to bring pain to my Savior. I know I will, as we all are bound to do. I just want to know Him in such a way that when I do fail Him I won't hesitate to go to Him.

There's still more I want to say, but I don't know how to put it into words yet. There's just a lot of raw emotion churning in me right now. I'm not sure this entry makes any sense, but I just had to share.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

What a night!

I have just had the most exciting night! I heard Anne Graham Lotz share from God's word and Michael Card ministered to us in song. It was a fabulous evening! God really spoke to me through both of them and I am just awed by His Spirit.

This weekend, I am in Kansas City celebrating the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' 50th Anniversary. To say the least, it has been an outstanding time of reflection, inspiration and motivation. It is so exciting to see how God has grown this ministry in 50 years and to know that the best is yet to come. I am so blessed to be a part of FCA and to have a small part in bringing the message of Christ to young people in our state. Man! I'm pumped!

Anyway, just wanted to share a bit of my weekend. I'm sure there will be more to come out of my time in Kansas City. Tomorrow will be a long travel day. As much as I have enjoyed my time here, I will be glad to get home in my own bed.

Until next time! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Will it ever end?

No, I have not died. But I did think about running away once or twice.

This has been the craziest week I can remember.

It started out with having to re-format the hard drive on my office computer. I did that on Sunday afternoon. Then, as it usually happens, re-installing software and getting my computer back to some semblance of it's prior self has taken three days. Most of the software installed without a hitch, but we have a new version of some software and it has had me running in circles since yesterday. I finally got it worked out with the help of our MIS department. Whew!

On top of that, yesterday when I was going home for lunch, as soon as I got on the interstate, I ran over something on the road (couldn't swerve because I had cars on both sides of me). My engine lights came on and I lost the ability to accelerate. So I moved to the side of the road, called a ride and a tow truck to haul my car to the shop. Turns out, all that had to be done was to reset the fuel inertia switch. Go figure. Good news: no serious damage to my car. Bad news: $160 expense I had not planned on. :( Anyway, God is good. He is taking care of me and I am grateful!

So I have one more day in this work week. (I'm going out of town this weekend.) I hope tomorrow goes well. I'm praying tomorrow goes well. I've got a lot to get done before we leave. My boss and I and eight other people will be going out of town. At least it will be a good weekend! I hope so, anyway!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Single Awareness Day

A very good friend of mine (hope your surgery goes well Tiffany!) corrected me in a conversation we were having the other day. I was asking her what her plans for Valentine's Day were and she promptly said..."Well, for Single Awareness Day, I'll be recovering from sinus surgery..."

It took me a moment to realize what she had said, but as soon as it registered, I began to laugh.

In spite of the humor, I understood her "pain". Valentine's Day does tend to leave us Blessed Singles out. Advertisements everywhere remind all the gentlemen to load up on gifts, flowers and chocolates for their "special someone". Christmas is barely over before you see the pink and red hearts of Valentine's displays.

To me it is truly just another day. I won't say I've never been jealous of others and what the day represents, but it really is just another day. In fact, I've told friends that even if I was married, I don't think I'd want to celebrate the day. My thinking is this - if my sweetheart doesn't show his love for me throughout the year (and not just by getting me "stuff") then he certainly doesn't need to bother for Valentine's Day. Heck - he gets a three month reminder! Anyone can remember to give a gift on Valentine's Day! I want him to do special things for me when I least expect it! Is that asking too much?

Anyway, for this Valentine's Day, I get the privilege of playing the piano for my cousin's wedding. You have to admit it is kind of sweet to be getting married on the day that celebrates love. Side note: this isn't my first Valentine wedding to play for - I had a roommate get married on Valentine's Day about (oh my gosh can it be?) 9 years ago.

It will be a simple wedding and I know it will be pretty. I hope she is happy. More importantly, I hope I don't screw it up for her by messing up while playing!!! I always get nervous! I can play all day for church or a prayer service, but you put me in front of a crowd and ask me to play wedding's a whole different ball game!

Well, time to hit the hay. For those of you who read this blog and have a significant other - I hope you take time to tell that person how much they are loved. For the rest of you - my fellow Blessed Singles - have a great weekend and know that there is Someone who loves you more than you can know or imagine!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Expanding my knowledge

I was over at Jax Place reading her list of books she has read and plans on reading. I realized how little I've read! I was challenged to get on the ball!

Currently, we do not have cable at our house, but we've been contemplating getting the basic, basic cable - (you know, about 15 channels that includes all the local stations!). I don't know if I even want to do that. I find myself watching too much tv even now! Our biggest tv night is Monday. Me and one of my roommates have been sucked into the whole Fear Factor / Vegas / Average Joe line-up. Imagine how many chapters I could read in those three hours!

In addition to reading, I've wanted to expand my knowledge with some software that I have and I could even commit to learning that during those three hours. (Not to mention that I have some Online Staff Training I have to get done in the next few months!) What a waste! I can't believe I've given my time to that much tv!

Every day I get out of bed, I see my bookshelves - which are packed with books I've haven't gotten around to reading (as well as books I have read!) I could really save some money entertaining myself!

I'm going to make a concerted effort to not spend money on renting a movie, getting cable, or buying any new books and instead, start reading the books I've already paid for! I could be busy for a while! :)

Sunday, February 08, 2004

A cool surprise

The neatest thing happened to me this old friend, with whom I lost contact almost five years ago, found me and emailed me! He was someone I met through AOL and we were "long distance" friends - he lives in California and I in Mississippi. We lost touch when each of our lives, for various reasons, became hectic. Of course, I moved a couple of times and gave up my regular phone for a cell phone, so it was hard for him to find me. I had also changed emails a couple of times, too.

He is the coolest guy. After we first "met", we talked many times on the phone or via emails. I remember having fun chatting with him, encouraging him in his walk with Christ and just being an ear to listen when he was having a bad day. And he would do the same for me. He is a big sports fan, so we also had fun picking on each other about our favorite teams.

So anyway, I emailed him back, letting him know I was the same person he had known all those years ago. He called me tonight and we caught up on what has happened in each other's lives. He is happily married to a wonderful woman (he had just started seeing her when we last talked with one another) and has a son. I was so excited to talk with him. I truly considered him to be a friend (and still do.)

The bond that is created between people because of their relationship with Christ is always amazing to me. This friend is truly a brother in Christ and in spite of the fact it has been almost five years since we last spoke, our conversation picked up as if we had just spoken yesterday. That is so cool! Also, I'm glad there wasn't anything from our "past" that would have created an awkward situation in the present. His wife was in the room with him while we were talking, and even remembers me from way back. I think I may have even spoken to her at one point before he and I lost contact. (I'm not sure.)

Anyway.....this was just the coolest thing from my weekend. I love it when stuff like this happens! There are a couple of people from years gone by that I would love to find and have a conversation with. I really hate that I wasn't better about staying in touch with them.

In other roommates are all better. Our weekend was a bit slower than last weekend, so I got some rest. I can tell I'm getting older....I can't stay up until 2 am and have a decent day! That stinks! :)

Speaking of's way past mine already! Good night!

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Illness strikes!

Well, it's just tons of fun around our house right now. Meagan went to the doctor today and was diagnosed with tonsillitis and mono. Yuck! She works in a daycare, so there's no telling where that came from!

Tonight we were all home and Dee Dee said she was beginning to feel bad. Her throat is sore and very red, and the tonsil on the right side of her throat was looking a bit nasty. We found out yesterday that a co-worker of hers (who is also a friend) was out sick yesterday and today with a high fever and vomiting, so she could have been exposed to that, too.

I'm just praying that I don't get anything. However, as I sit here typing this, my throat is a bit scratchy and my eyes feel a bit sandy.....if you get my drift. I had a couple of sneezes earlier tonight, which usually doesn't bode well.


We can't complain, though.....none of us has been ill since we moved into this house. Thank God! I guess illness was bound to strike, since Dee Dee and Meagan both work with kids.

Pray for us!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Reality check

I was minding my own business, on my way to Office Max to get some stuff for our board meeting tonight, when all of a sudden, I had this thought...."you really are a weenie."

Yeah, that's right, I'm a weenie.

I was talking with someone the other day who is considering working on a cruise ship for a couple of months during the summer. My first reaction to that was "how cool!" And then I thought, "but man, I sure would miss my family, friends and church!" So today as I was driving along, I was thinking about my friend's opportunity and wishing I didn't have student loans to pay off so I could do it too. And then, I thought "if I was away from all that is familiar, would I be as strong of a Christian as I or my friends think I am?" The answer to that is "I don't know." I don't know that I could withstand all the temptations that are out there "in the world." Let's face it, I still live a somewhat sheltered life. All of my close friends and family are believers, I work for a Christian organization and most nights, I stay at home.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and be real honest: I don't know that I have enough discipline in my spiritual life to carry me out into the "real world." I don't get into the Word enough - although I'm trying to rectify that. I don't spend a lot of time really talking to God - or more importantly, listening to God. I've been coasting along on "reserve". You know - all the Bible knowledge I have at this moment (which is probably only the tip of the Bible-knowledge iceberg), the strength I gain from my friends and the work I do. I mean, it has only been in the last few years that I've begun to really understand the difference between knowing God and having a relationship with Him.

As I was facing the reality of my own spirituality, I wondered if, perhaps, God has wanted to use me for something but didn't open the opportunity because He knew I wasn't strong enough or disciplined enough to handle it. That was a sobering thought.

I can't spend time worrying about all the "what if's" now. I just know I've got to put Christ front and center in my life. Oh, don't get me wrong, He has been the majority of my "life", but I'm beginning to examine whether or not He has been my Life. I want that to change. It's so much easier to just go along with things as they've always been, but it's time for a change.

My pastor made the comment the other day that we've become too formal in our services. Maybe a better way to explain it is distant. I've become too distant in my own walk, satisfied to maintain the status quo. I'm sure that has contributed to the type of services we've had a church. I want to be to do whatever God asks of me.

I'm not sure how to change me, except that I need to get into God's Word and let His Word get into me. It has the power to change and so that is where I will begin. I know God has been telling me to dig into His Word. I don't understand why I've had such a hard time "doing" just that, but I have. I know that some incredible things are in store for me....but I won't see them happen (whatever they are) until I do this part first.

"Lord, I need your help to overcome myself. I've been my own worst enemy when it comes to knowing You more. Keep shining the Light of your Truth in my life and help me to face those dark corners only you know about so that I may live in true abandon, unfettered by the fear caused by those dark places, to worship You."


Part-time job

Ok, I said I'd update you about the part-time job at Old Navy. Well, here's what I know....last week I went for a job interview - which went very well. The guy who interviewed me was very friendly and helped me to feel right at ease. If you can believe this, he was impressed that I was not only on time for the interview, but I was early by about 10 minutes. What is the world coming to that employers would be impressed that potential employees can be on time. If that's the only requirement for this job, I know I got it!

Anyway, I'll be going back for another interview probably next week. The general manager is on vacation and will be back then. I think I would enjoy working this part-time job. The manger who interviewed me seemed to be willing to work me a bunch, so if I do get the job, I may not have much spare time. *sigh* Oh well, the more I work, the faster I can pay off some bills! I'm trying not to let the short-term struggles obstruct my view of the long-term victories.

We'll see. I'll be sure to let you know what happens!

Monday, February 02, 2004

God is awesome

I just wanted to share that this morning. :)

I'm so awed by His grace, mercy and love. Everything around me tells of His wonderous works and I know that He is with me. I'm so thankful that even when things seem to be a bit off - He is still in control. I read something this morning that was really encouraging. It said:
Don't tell God how big your storm is,
tell the storm how big your God is!
As I said, God is awesome!