Monday, May 31, 2004

I forgot to mention....

Well, I didn't actually forget, I just didn't want to write about it.

I am no longer in the motorcycle ministry. There are several reasons why, but the most important reason I got out was because I do not have a motorcycle. One day, I really would like to have one, but it won't be soon. So, I didn't feel it was in keeping with a "motorcycle" ministry to be the secretary/treasurer and not have a bike. There weren't any hard feelings on anyone's part - they appreciated my service and understood my position - so I'm glad for that.

However, I sorely miss the fellowship. I really feel like something is missing in my life - and it is, to some extent. I will not be spending time with those people (whom I dearly love) like I once did. Oh sure, we are all still friends, but there is something about spending time with people on a consistent basis that makes life interesting. My life is now a little more's changed. I thought I was at a place in my life where change wasn't hard to deal with. I've had a lot of change in my life, so I thought I had a grasp on dealing with it - but, alas, I was wrong.

I think that's part of the reason for my funk over the past few weeks. I just didn't want to be around people. But things are getting better. I see God opening a new door in my life: becoming friends with my neighbors. Right now, I'm having to shake off the dust and sharpen my spiritual skills. I've always understood that you learn more about God and grow spiritually when you pour into the lives of others. I had sort of gotten out of that, but, once again - that's changing! God has allowed my path to cross with several people who need a true friend and more importantly, they need Him. I think He's placed me where I am for a reason. Now I'm seeking Him so that I can hear His voice when He speaks and respond with a willing heart. It's a little scary, but I am excited.

That's the other side of change - once you get past the hurt and sadness over what was, you can then look forward to what is and what will be. Time to roll up my sleeves and jump in with both feet!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Dreams and Drama

A couple of weeks ago, I finally found a DVD version of a couple of my favorite movies: "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel". I absolutely love the books, and the producers of these films have done a fabulous job of bringing the book to film. I first saw these films on PBS when I was about 10 or 12. I then started reading the books - the film was cut into 30 minute segments, so I didn't get to see the "end of the story"! After reading the books, I wanted my life to be like that.

I think what I like best about the story is the innocence and simplicity of life. Oh, how I wish life was really like that. My other favorite part of the story is the romance between Anne and Gilbert. *sigh* What a great love story! Anyway, since Saturday, I've watched both movies (a total of 7+ hours!) There is another movie, "Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story", which I don't have yet. I hope to get it soon!

So, last night, I finish watching the second movie and go outside to hang out with my roommate, Meagan, on the porch. Soon Dee Dee comes home and we're all hanging out when a huge disturbance breaks out at our neighbors house. Here is the story at it's most basic level: a girl, her boyfriend and another guy were living in the house next door. Girl and boyfriend break up last week - he comes back this week and first steals the dog, crashes into a fence down the street (tore up his truck!) and nearly runs into someone driving down the road (that all happened on Sunday night); last night he comes back to get more of his stuff (his dad brought him) he trashes the house, and gets into fight with ex-girlfriend and her brother. Well about the time the brawl is taking place on their front lawn, these guys in a car stop to watch and then flag down a cop car that was driving by. The cop turns around and acts like he's going to arrest the ex-boyfriend and girl's brother....but of course, the paperwork would be too much trouble so he lets them go. Evidently, the girl is going to press charges against ex-boyfriend (who happens to be on probation for something else) and he will go to jail anyway.

Needless to say, it was an interesting night and our neighbors are most assuredly interesting! I foresee many entertaining nights in the neighborhood this summer. We're supposed to be having a block party sometime in June. I can't wait! For all of our neighbor's quirks, they really are nice people and we (our neighborhood) are forming a bond that is very cool. Many of them don't know God or care about knowing least for now. :) I hope that the love of Christ will shine through me and touch them.

I truly believe this will be a summer like none I've ever had!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

New Look

Thanks to for the new capabilities! I decided to take advantage of the new features they are providing and therein lies the reason for the new look. I really like it. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to dive into web design and CSS (cascading style sheets) like I really want to do. I want to be able to design my own day. :)

I hope to have my picture back up again soon. There is a problem with the blogger system (that hasn't been fixed yet, but they are working on it) that won't allow me to link to my picture on the ftp server.

Hope everyone has had a good week so far. My week started out rough, but today something happened that reminded me of just how much God cares for each of us.

As I was driving home this evening, a rain shower - a very heavy rain shower - set in. So, I'm driving along, talking on the phone to my mom when I notice this woman on the side of the road, standing under a flimsy umbrella trying not to get totally soaked by the rain. It wasn't working. I mean, it was pouring rain. Evidently, she was waiting for the city bus. It about broke my heart to see her like that, so the thought went through my head to turn around and offer her a ride home. Mind you, all of this is happening in mere seconds. Now, I'm on a four-lane road, one of the busiest in town, and I thought "there is no way I can get turned around...the traffic is too heavy." Just as the thought is finishing in my head, I look up and there is absolutely no traffic coming. Again...all within seconds. I turn my car around and pull into the parking lot where she was standing. By the time I've gotten to her, there is a man standing there with her too. What else could I do but offer the both of them a ride home? They hurriedly accepted my offer and jumped into the car. Both of them were drenched! I asked them where they lived and tell them I would be glad to take them home. They both lived on the other side of town!!!

As any of you who know me personally will tell, I don't usually meet a stranger. :) I began asking them questions about where they work, their family and if they attended church anywhere. It was a neat conversation. The woman, Cynthia, does attend church and she kept thanking God for his blessings. She's a really neat lady. The guy, Clifton, talked about how he wants to attend church and that he's visited around some, but he hasn't been in church for a while. He has some issues in his life, so I encouraged him to get involved in a good body of believers. We definitely need to be in fellowship with other believers so that we can learn from them and be encouraged in the faith.

Anyway, it was just an awesome experience. All of the things that happened for me to even notice Cynthia standing in the rain could only have happened because of God's hand. Through the whole experience, I was reminded of just how much God knows about each of our lives and how much He cares about what happens to us. Some people might consider this experience to be a coincidence, but I don't believe that for one second. I believe in Divine appointments and this was definitely one of those! How cool is that?

I can't wait to see what God has in store for me next!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Making Changes

As you can see, I've made some changes. To all my friends on my blogroll....I hope to have that back up soon. Just working through some kinks.

Please excuse the mess, but I hope to have it set right before too muich longer!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Breaking through

I always hate when I let this happen. God starts opening doors in various ways, and I sort of shut down. I don't understand myself at times.

It has been a somewhat weird week (or two). I haven't been in God's Word like I should. That is a guaranteed way to start things at a disadvantage. The crazy thing is I know how much I need to be in God's Word right now. There are some new people in my life - neighbors where I live - who desperately need to know Jesus. They are really neat people and I like them a lot, but their lives are empty and they are searching for Someone to fill it (even though they don't know it). I know God has put me where I am for a purpose, and I want to fulfill that purpose. I also know that when God is moving, so is the enemy. Therefore - I need to be prepared. But have I been doing that? Oh no. Not me. I've just been coasting along. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

But...I can see the Light. I know I have to get up and shake the dust off and get busy. People's lives could depend on my preparedness. That is a scary thought. Perhaps that is what put me in neutral. The overwhelming realization that God wants to use me to impact people's lives. I'm only getting what I asked for.

You see, I work for a ministry and most, if not all, of my close friends are Christians. Up until last summer, I had been praying that God would put me in places where I could meet people who need to know Him. Well, He did! He moved me smack in the middle of a bunch of them! Now that He wants to get the ball rolling, I practically shut down. Arrgggh! I get so frustrated with myself!

I'm just so glad God is patient with me. I hope I will reflect His patience when dealing with people who need to experience it for themselves.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Home alone

It would seem that I've come to a place in my life that I don't necessarily like being alone. :) Both of my roommates went home to Illinois for Mother's Day, and I'm bored! You get used to having people around....even if they're not physically present, you still know they'll be coming home sometime that day. I'll be glad when they get home on Monday.

Fortunately, I am not really alone. My family lives close by, and in fact, I spent the night with my sister-in-law and the kids. My niece, Hannah, wanted me to spend the night, so after I finished babysitting for this couple, I packed up and went to my brother's house. (He works night shift, so it was just his wife and the four kids at home.) Anyway, I get there around 10:45 and by 11:15, my two nieces, who stayed up waiting for me, were fast asleep! It was still fun!

I'm excited about tomorrow. I've invited my family over for lunch tomorrow (since I have the house to myself!) We're celebrating Mother's Day. Let me tell you what we did for my mom - it was fun pulling it off!

A couple of years ago, I got my mom a cell phone on my account. At the time I got her an account, I bought a new phone so she just used my old one (that way she didn't have to buy a new phone.) Well, anyway, she's been using that phone ever since and it is old! A few months ago, I got a new phone and gave her my other one. It needed a battery, so she's not been able to use it (those durn batteries are expensive!)

Thursday, my youngest brother came by my office and asked me about her phone - he wanted to get her a battery for Mother's Day. It got me to thinking about what I was going to get my mother as a gift, so I came up with the thought of getting her a brand new phone - and letting all of us pitch in to get it. Since she is on my phone account, I can make changes and do all that stuff, so it was easy to do. I told him to come back after he got through working and we'd go to the store and hook her up. I thought more about it and after checking the balance on her account, decided it might be good to not only get her a new phone, but also pay what she owed for her current bill. Turns out, she's been going over her minutes and her bill has been high the last few not only did we pay her balance, and get her a new phone, I put her on a new plan that would save her money. We were so excited! Of course, before I did all of this, I made the requisite phone calls to the other family members (my brother and his wife and my dad). They were all on board for doing it and so off we went!

The fun part was the time they activated the new phone, her old one would no longer work. I was hoping she wasn't on an important phone call when we switched it over. I called her before we did it to see what she was up to. She was headed home, so I knew she wasn't going to be needing her phone for the next hour or so. We had the sales person activate the phone and then all of us kids (and the grandkids) converged on my parent's house to present her with her gift.

She was totally surprised! I was a bit disappointed that she hadn't tried to use her old phone. She didn't even know it wasn't working!!!! I wanted there to be a little more drama. :)

I love being sneaky when it comes to surprising people. I used to surprise my mom when I was away at college my freshman year. A couple of times, I just showed up at home when she thought I was having to stay at school. That was fun.

I hope all of you will do something special for and with your mom. For those of you whose mothers have passed on - I'm so sorry for your pain, but I hope you can celebrate with a glad heart the time you had with your mother and the impact she had on your life. I've watched my mom deal with her mother's death for the past 22 years, so I know the pain doesn't go away, you just learn to deal with it and remember with great fondness the special times that you shared with her.

Blessings to you all and Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 03, 2004

The things we take for granted...

It is amazing how much we take for granted. For instance....eyesight. Now, I thank God for a lot of things, but I believe I'll be adding my eyesight as one of the mentionables.

Today I had an eye exam. My eyes have been bugging me for a while and it had been a year since my last exam, so I went to see the doctor. Turns out the diopter strength of my left eye, which also has an astigmatism, had changed by +2! My right eye just changed by +.75. No wonder I was having trouble seeing!

So, of course, I had to get my eyes dilated to make sure there wasn't something else wrong. When I left the opthalmologist's office, I was having a hard time seeing! Everything was blurry! I was so glad it was a bright, sunshiny day, otherwise I would have never made it back to the office! I don't know why I went back to work....I couldn't see to do anything. I had to squint my eyes and get real close to the monitor to even read email. It was crazy!

On top of that, here it is almost seven hours later, and my vision is still blurred. My eyes make me look like I've smoked pot - they are still quite dilated! I hope everything will be back to "normal" tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the doctor had to order the contact for my left eye, so it won't be here until probably the first of next week. That means the vision in my left eye will be a bit off. I've lived with it for a few weeks, I guess another few days won't matter. That also means that my contacts will now cost me a good deal more. I'll be getting my glasses prescription filled! I guess I'll be wearing them much more frequently. Hey....another accessory for my new look! :)

So I said all that to say this: I miss seeing clearly and promise to not take my sight for granted again! It's a shame you have to lose something (or lose the use of that thing) in order to appreciate the benefits of having it. I'm sure I'd feel the same way if I lost my hearing or sense of touch, etc., etc. It makes me wonder what other things are in my life that I take for granted. I know I assume my friends and family will be around - even though in the back of my mind there's the knowledge that people don't live forever.

I wonder if there are things I take for granted in my relationship with Christ? One thing that comes to mind is His grace. I know I so take that for granted - we all do. I haven't thought too long on it, but perhaps I should. I don't want to take my Savior for granted. As I write this, I'm reminded of images from "The Passion of the Christ." I don't ever want Christ's suffering to be cheapened because I didn't take time to be thankful for what He's done for me.

So as I remember to be thankful for my eyesight, I will try to remember to be thankful for other things I tend to overlook and forget.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Thank God! He's coming home!

Some good news out of Iraq today:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - American hostage Thomas Hamill, kidnapped three weeks ago in an insurgent attack on his convoy, was found by U.S. forces Sunday south of Tikrit after he apparently escaped from his captors, the U.S. military said. An official said he was in good health.

Hamill, 43, of Macon, Miss., was discovered when he approached a U.S. patrol from the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, part of the New York National Guard, in the town of Balad, 35 miles south of Tikrit, a spokesman for U.S. troops in Tikrit said. More...
I'm so glad that this man is going to be coming home. My heart breaks whenever I hear of the men and women who give their lives so that others might experience a taste of what we enjoy here in America, but having someone from your neck of the woods involved in this type of situation makes the whole thing a bit more real. I do not know this man or his family, but have been praying that he would come home alive.

Continue to pray for the safety of our men and women serving in the armed forces. They are truly special people and deserve the utmost honor and respect. God bless them!

I survived!

It has been an interesting few weeks leading up to our banquet, and now I'm glad we're through it! I was exhausted on Friday! So exhausted, that I came home and went to sleep at 6:30 pm Friday evening and only woke up once at 1 am when my dog started barking because my roommate had come home from babysitting. I needed the sleep since I had to be at my babysitting job on Saturday morning at 7:30 am. I'm still tired, though, and will probably retire early tonight. :)

The banquet was fantastic! We had almost 800 people in attendance and I personally escorted our Governor and his Chief of Staff to their seats. Gov. Haley Barbour is really nice and I was so excited to have the privilege of escorting him. How cool is that? I wanted to work on his campaign last year when he was running for office, but I never was able to work that out. I really hate that I didn't make a greater effort to be involved. I hope to get more involved in local politics, since we have a mayoral race coming up soon. We desperately need some change!

Anyway, back to my original topic - God really blessed our banquet and hopefully allowed us to raise enough money to fund our budget a little more comfortably this year. One thing that is easy for people to forget is that doing "ministry" does cost - and we are so grateful for those people who support us as we try to impact the lives of athletes, coaches and all whom they influence. I am truly blessed to be a part of the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Now, we have to go through the process of closing out the event and getting things ready for next year's event. We will sure be busy and then it's time to get ready for Camp!!! Never a dull moment in FCA, that's for sure!

Well, I guess I'll close for now. I might just go ahead and take a nap. I need to clean my part of the house (the living room & dining room) but I just don't want to. :) I'll just wait and do it tomorrow - after all....tomorrow is another day!