Friday, February 13, 2015

I Keep Hearing "Fifty Shades of Grey"

This movie has been mentioned time and again, recently, causing me to take notice. I know nothing about it. I just found out it is based on a series of "erotic novels exploring sexual domination and even violence". Thankfully, there is an article to clarify matters for me before I look into it any further. Marshall Segal of the "Desiring God" website has posted "Fifty Shades of Nay: Sin Is a Needle, Not a Toy". I have decided to share this with you incase you, like me, need more information regarding the movie (and books). Click here to read the article.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friendship Over Distance: One Will Lift Up His Fellow

Load after load was thrust into my car. I just wanted to get it done! Piles of clothes, the kids’ toys, photographs, trinkets, all of it was just tossed willy-nilly in my 1992 Eagle Talon turbo. It took multiple trips to get everything. The furniture was loaded up in a rack truck and then sat in the rain. There had been some sort of mistake. We could not proceed forward for an hour or so. It was a disaster!

The second time was a tad better, but not much. The furniture was loaded onto a trailer and towed 31 miles. Old boxes and bins that had been in storage in the attic were stuffed into my 2005 Expedition and hubs’ 2011 Dodge Ram. Tons of stuff was given away or thrown out. Whatever was not in bins or boxes was shoved into the vehicles. It took numerous trips back and forth but we eventually got it all.

This time, will be different. We only get one shot at it and it has to be done right. Everything will be packed up appropriately and clearly labeled. This time we rent a proper moving truck. The process has already started…because it takes us a good long time to get it done (judging from past experience). And, we do not want to be stressed. Hubs will be heading out to pick a house, fill out all the paperwork, and put down a deposit. I will be tying up loose ends here. Hubs’ best friend from Texas will be coming to help us get stuff loaded up into the truck and be one of the drivers if needed.

It is all coming together nicely. The financing of the move, the timing, etc. God has given it green lights, thus far! He has gone before and paved the way like always. Further, He will continue to guide us and hopefully place a hedge of protection around us as we make our way halfway across the United States. To say I am excited is a gross understatement. I love a good adventure!

Most of the ladies from my former ladies bible study (and their families) who moved before me headed north. I (and my family) are going southeast so, sadly, I will only get to (hopefully) catch up with one of them along the way. I wish I could take my friends from California with me, physically. I will be taking them in my heart and social networks make communication easier than in past decades so I am confident we will stay in touch! Also, I will be happy to reunite with friends of mine from Florida who have since moved to Texas! It has been a LONG time!

For the most part, I love how God orchestrates things and moves us around for His glory. Sometimes (like when my former ladies bible study was spread out after years of being together) it is sad and hard to understand. But, ultimately we are to go out and “make disciples”. Not to mention, we are a family, the body of Christ, and we get to spend an eternity together…which is beyond thrilling!

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. (C.S. Lewis)

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. ESV.)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When I Look at Your Heavens, The Moon and the Stars, Which You Have Set in Place

Transit of Venus across the sun in 2004.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
File:20040608_Venus_Transit.JPG
The first real progress came in accurately measuring the size of the planet we live on. Eratosthenes did this with a dramatic application of geometric reasoning around 200 B.C. He was a researcher and librarian at the great library in Alexandria, Egypt, where books containing much of the knowledge of the ancient world were stored (http://www.teachastronomy.com/astropedia/article.aspx?qid=418)
My mind is drawn to “200 B.C.” More specifically the “B.C.” B.C. – Before Christ. And, A.D. – Anno Domini: Year of Our Lord, also enters my mind. These are used globally…in various fields. My reading, right now, is in Astronomy, and the terms are there.

Does that ever get you thinking? I am a follower of Christ, so I am honored to say, “Before Christ” or “Year of Our Lord”. How interesting it is to me these systems of measuring time have been used for so long and continue, still today, when other things like “One nation under God” and “In God we trust” have been questioned and individuals fight to remove them from our Pledge of Allegiance and money. We use Christ Jesus to measure time. He must be very important, then, right?
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1. ESV.)

When did God create space? Does space take up all the emptiness that existed before the creation of the earth and heavens…
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
(Genesis 1:1-5. ESV.)
… or is it just a “buffer” or “chasm” between us and God?
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ (Luke 16:25-26. ESV.)

Growing up in the 80’s, one of my absolute favorite movies was “Space Camp”! I just bought a used copy of it online for my kiddos. I think the Little Chef will LOVE it. Like me, when I was a child, the Little Chef really wants to attend “Space Camp”. I do not even know if it still exists but I would like to look into it…though I am sure it would be crazy expensive!

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
(Psalm 8:3-6. ESV.)

Monday, February 09, 2015

"Come As You Are" by Crowder

I hope we (the praise team) sing this in church! The words to this song are beautiful. The only thing I would change is instead of the line "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal", I would say "Earth has no sorrow that JESUS can't heal".

Friday, February 06, 2015

Sing to the LORD, All the Earth: 50 Things I Am Going to Miss About California (#33 & #32)

In celebration of our move from California to Texas, I am listing 50 things I am going to miss about this state. So far, I covered:
50. Earthquakes
49. Traffic

48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living

46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports

43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo

41. San Diego, CA
40. Los Angeles, CA
39. Long Beach, CA

38. The Redwood Trees
37. The Beautiful Drive Along Highway 1
36. Big Sur/ Carmel

35. Boating on the Sacramento River, Lake Berryessa, and Folsom Lake
34. Wine Country


Which brings me to the next TWO:

33. Big Bear Mountain
Big Bear is actually one of my absolute favorite places in California. I looked forward to each time I got to go when we lived in Long Beach. I do not think I still have pictures of it. I wish I did, though. It is truly beautiful. It is one of the few “cold” places I enjoy in the winter time…if you can believe that! The town is so quaint and the people are friendly. The lake is peaceful, tranquil, and therapeutic in nature. Even if one day I forget what it looked like, I pray I never forget how it made me feel being there. It felt like a comforting hug from someone I dearly love. Or warm, cozy clothes and blanket on a cold morning. Or chicken noodle soup when I am under the weather. It was soothing, warm, and welcoming.

I first had the pleasure of going to Big Bear when hubs was a portable power and HVAC technician and did a job at the ski resort. He was running power for something, though I cannot remember what, exactly. I think we stayed at the Robin Hood hotel during our short visit. I could mosey around the main stretch I used to walk alone--- I am trying to remember the name of it--- all day. There were shops along the way, to and from the lake. Maybe it was “Pine Knot Avenue”. It is hard to remember, it seems so long ago. Just reminiscing makes me what to go there, tomorrow, for the weekend! Reno is a lot closer but does not have any of Big Bear’s charm. Arnold might come closer, in comparison. Maybe even Tahoe but I have not been there enough to really say. Anyway, if this was a list of the top places to check out in California, I would place Big Bear at number one.

32. Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle is located right off of the scenic highway 1. I stopped by, once, on my way to Los Angeles circa 2009. Admittedly, we did not get tickets and visit the castle however we did view it from afar. During a road trip in 2003, hubs and most of our kiddos (I was not allowed to travel because I was expecting our youngest) stopped there for a visit. The Army Kid took some beautiful pictures (as photography was the Army Kid’s interest at the time). I searched for digital copies but was unable to find them. Most of our stuff is packed up, so I cannot even get the hard copies. But, if you are interested in planning a trip to see Hearst Castle, you can find out more information on their website: http://hearstcastle.org/ . It is quite a sight.

1 Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
(Psalm 96:1-6. ESV.)

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The LORD Redeems the Life of His Servants

I sat with my instructor and listened carefully as she remarked about the composition paper I had turned in to her. If you ask me her name, today, I could not tell you. I cannot even recall the exact words that spilled from her lips. What I can remember clearly with great accuracy is the way I felt as she picked my writing apart. Most specifically the section where I wrote woman is from the rib of Adam. She sounded furious with me. “You can’t write that!” she exclaimed. I was young and naïve. I believed her, at first. I left her classroom feeling “icky”. I was greatly bothered and in deep thought. Why didn’t I argue with her? Yes! I can put that in my work! It is MY belief and that was my piece.

Fast forward about 20 years and here I am again, at college. I was unable to successfully complete it the first time around but this time, failure is not an option. After I stopped auditioning for dance positions (with Disney and cruise ships), I worked jobs like: “temp” work, a hostess or server in restaurants, an administrative assistant in office settings, a cashier at a retail store, a cashier at a grocery store, and I even tried to own my own business. None of it worked out well but I am making changes. Even when I was homeschooling my children and when they were very young did I work…sometimes full time, other seasons part time. Before my kiddos were born I had two jobs (back to back…I was a clerk in a real estate office from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then when home, quickly changed, and headed to a restaurant as a hostess, sometimes until closing). I had to work…it was not a to work or not to work, that is the question type deal. My resume is riddled with various jobs as I tried to figure out what would realistically fit my life.

All this to say, university is quite the challenge but having an education is worth the frustration. I love it when I have amazing, encouraging, supportive instructors/professors. Yet, I just keep my head low and muscle through the classes when I do not. It will all be worth it! I look forward to what I will be able to do for my family once I am finished and have a higher paying job! I will be able to give them and others all I wanted to for so long. Aside from God and Christ Jesus, my family and loved ones are the most important in my life! Truly, I am blessed to have them!

1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
(Psalm 34. ESV.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Let the Earth Bring Forth Living Creatures According to Their Kinds

I read (or heard) something this past weekend, and now I am trying to find it again but cannot. The verses have to do with Jesus being the “lamb” of God and innocent like animals. In the Old Testament days, “innocent animals” were sacrificed for the sins of man. Then, of course, Christ Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice to reconcile us to God.

All of that I have known for as long as I can remember. What stuck out to me was the animals being described as “innocent”. I never thought about that before. I know they are incapable of sin but I did not think much passed that. Until yesterday morning. As I was driving home I noticed a deer on the side of the road. Whenever I see a dead animal it makes me feel a bit of sadness yet, I never wondered why. As I rolled everything around in my mind, yesterday, it made sense it is because animals do not do anything wrong. They live by their instincts (to survive) but they are not malicious, deceitful, etc. They are pure. God created them for man:
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:24-31. ESV.)

So, it seems to me the plants were for food and the animals were for man to enjoy. Which, I do, personally. I have a “zoo” at my house (3 dogs and 4 lizards). The first death did not occur until after Adam and Eve sinned. So, I assume God made everything and intended there to be no death. Maybe that is why I feel sadness when an animal dies.

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
(Hebrews 9:11-15. ESV.)

Do not forget to tell me your story!

Monday, February 02, 2015

If in Christ We Have Hope in This Life Only, We Are of All People Most to be Pitied

Have you ever been in a situation where it is you and one other person and it is your word against theirs? Further, you stuck by the truth and the other person was such a good deceiver that perhaps they were more convincing? Yet, you knew the truth and wholly felt it (and what is right) should prevail?

I do not know about you but I have found myself in such a situation a few times. I feel the same can be said for God and His word. He gave us the truth. It is beautifully written, in clear words, and yet a great deceiver challenges it and gets our attention.

When I am in such a circumstance, I think about God. He put it all out there for us. He gave us His Son to minister to us, to make sure we understood God’s commandments and the law, and then died (an innocent man) for the crimes (sin) we commit against God.

Did you ever feel no matter what you said, the other deceitful party would have an answer, a thought out manipulative rebuttal to discredit your words or cause any hearer to doubt them? Perhaps he/she is very charming and uses it to cover his/her lies and deceit.

Is it fair to say satan does the same? He uses lust and pride to win us over and distract us from the truth. Dishonesty and deception are poison. They destroy people’s lives and souls.

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
(1 Corinthians 15:12-34. ESV.)

Don't forget to tell me your story!

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dealing with Anxiety: For People Will be Heartless

Don't forget to tell me your story!

I have mentioned dealing with anxiety a few times on this blog. Some, is probably the norm. An anxiousness about flying, or performing infront of people (i.e. singing, dancing, acting), etc. Other forms of it, I believe develop over time and are not as common. For example, a “friend” of mine used to argue and scream at me in the car almost every time we rode somewhere together. It was so horrible and stressful for me and there was no escape…I was trapped there. Over time, I became distressed anytime I got into a vehicle…any automobile with anyone.

I sometimes say, “It is amazing how much damage one person can cause.” On a grand scale we can look at individuals like Hitler and other tyrant dictators. On a smaller scale, unhealthy relationships can cause all kinds of issues close to home. Last Sunday, I spent most of the day trying to figure out why I have been waking up between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Some nights I felt like I had severe heartburn. Other times it felt like a panic attack. And, the most recent felt like pressure on the left side of my chest. An EKG was ordered just to rule out any heart matters. A friend suggested being tested for any thyroid conditions, etc. The doctor chalked it up to anxiety and heartburn brought on by stress. I have to agree and know EXACTLY from where it comes. It is NOT school or moving to Texas related. It is because of the “toxic relationships” (for lack of a better description) in my life I am working so hard to remove.

I do not feel my words are adequate enough so I will quote scripture:
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5. ESV.)

I look to David who fled when it came to his attention Saul meant him harm. I look to God’s word for an answer. Lord, what should I do regarding the individuals in my life who mean me harm?
Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. (2 Timothy 3:1-8. ESV.)

I CANNOT wait to get to Texas! I would go tomorrow if I could! I am sad I am going to also be leaving some AMAZING people but I know our relationships will withstand time and distance! I honestly wish I could take them with me! But, I understand God has placed them here and this is where they are growing and thriving. My heart rejoices in that I got to meet them and know them! And, the best part is, we will share eternity together!
24A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24. ESV.)

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reggie's Story

This is Reggie. His story was done by "The Film House" and was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. Each of us has a story. What is yours? I want to hear it! Please leave a comment or email me at Matt5verse6 at yahoo dot com. Thank you SO much if you have already shared with me! I am thankful to hear from you.

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