Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Things

Some Random Things About Me:

One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal with raisins, but I only eat it about once a month.

I have at least fifty collapsed Priority Mail Boxes in my garage –just in case I need to send a Priority Mail Package. (Actually, it’s fallout from my Ebay powerseller days.)

Oh…I was once an Ebay Powerseller.

Stamps. I love them. I buy them by the dozens –and always a large variety.

I talk to myself –all the time.

I enjoy watching dust float around when the sun shines through a window. Then I think about how we breathe in all that dust and pretty much get grossed out.

One thing I want to do before I die is ride in a hot air balloon.

I hate weeding flower beds and prefer to let things grow wild. Every weed is a wildflower waiting to bloom.

I am not a sports fan, however, if I must, I will RUSH through worship practice so that our sound guy can RUSH home in time for the Steelers’ kickoff. (Have I told you recently how much I appreciate you Dave?!)

My favorite fruit is a nectarine.

I am allergic to cats.

Books. I own hundreds. Enough to start my own library, I think. But I still keep buying them and borrowing them from the library and from friends. It’s a disease.

Wow Wow Wubbzy is Olivia’s new favorite show. Oh wait, that’s a random thought about her, not me. Strike that from the record.

Art – my passion – followed closely by singing, my second passion.

I once painted “Damas” and “Caballeros” on the bathroom doors of a small school in the Dominican Republic.

I love all food –with the exception of liver and onions.

I love to cut the grass –as long as I can use the zero-turn riding mower.

The zero-turn riding mower is currently stuck in the mud –no grass cutting today.

I don’t do diet pop or diet anything. If Im going to all the trouble of eating it –it’s going to be REAL.

I enjoy blogging as a creative outlet.

I trade Artist Trading Cards with artists from all over the world.

I regret that I didn’t take piano lessons longer when I was a child and I plan on allowing my daughter to learn piano (if she wants to) so that I can “live vicariously” through her playing.

My first piano recital piece was The Happy Sailor –I can still hum the tune.

One of the meanest things I’ve ever done was once putting chocolate ex-lax in my college roommate’s chocolate jello dessert. I feel badly about it to this day.

I use the term “loser” way too often, especially in reference to my pastor –who is NOT a loser (most of the time!) (Pastor Bill –luv ya man!)

I don’t have a favorite color ---it all depends upon my mood at the time.

I do have a favorite number. It is the number 4.

My favorite punchline to my favorite joke is: “only when pancakes grow on doghouses in July.”

I love my husband –with all my heart.
Are You Ready?

A friend sent me this video. I think it's one of the most powerful videos produced regarding the rapture of the church --the time when the Lord returns to take to Heaven all of those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. If you're not sure you're ready for this event, if you think you may be one of the ones left behind, I encourage you to pray and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life. You may click here to read more.

Please --don't put this off. It is the most important decision you will EVER make in your life!

Another of Olivia's Antics

Literally 40 minutes before we had to be out the door to go to church, Olivia came running up the stairs after playing in Daddy's office...Laughing...."MOMMY! MOMMY! LOOK! This is WAY funny, isn't it?! I turned my arm blue!!"

Yes, Olivia...waayyyyy funny....

By the way...there is no soap on this planet that will remove Sharpie Permanent Marker from the arm of a four-year old!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

School Days

I thought it might be fun during this "back to school" season, to enjoy some school humor. Following are actual sentences from essays written by our nation's high school students. Geniuses --every one??


1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse, without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work .

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One Word

It’s interesting how one word can make all the difference in the world. I read a testimony today about someone’s weight loss journey. It was worded this way: “She has released over thirty pounds and has a goal of releasing an additional twenty to thirty pounds.”

Most of us, when we want to shed pounds, talk in terms of “losing” weight. I began to think about the term “release” in relation to weight. Here are my thoughts: The dictionary definition of “lose” is “to come to be without (something in one's possession or care).” If we think about something that we’ve lost –an object or some money or a favorite item –we usually spend a considerable amount of time and energy searching to find it again.

The dictionary definition of “release” is “to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go. Liberation from anything that restrains or fastens.” Aha! I think I’m going to choose to RELEASE weight rather than lose it! Releasing it means that I’m FREE from the bondage and pain which I carry with me when I carry the extra weight! There’s a whole new set of emotions that go with “releasing” weight!

Something to think about huh?

Monday, August 28, 2006

His Plans

Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse from the Bible. It is emblazoned on refrigerator magnets and wallhangings. It's often printed on the front of church bulletins. I have it sewn into a throw which sits on the back of our sofa. Because of that, I read it several times a day. This morning, in my Bible study, this verse came up. My study said to read the verse and replace "you" with my name and then pray for a new revelation as to what God may be saying to me. So I did.

The Amplified Bible says this: (I've inserted my name where appropriate)

For I know the thoughts and plans
that I have for you, Deb, says the Lord,
thoughts and plans for welfare and peace
and not for evil to give you, Deb,
hope in your final outcome.
- Jeremiah 29:11

As I prayed, the Lord so clearly spoke to me... As a parent, I have so many thoughts and plans for Olivia. Obviously, I want what is best for her. I have a lot of grandiose ideas of what she may grow up to be and how she will be successful as she grows. However, I'm not the one who is going to be making the choices for my daughter. Olivia will make her own choices about her life. Certainly, I pray that she looks to the Lord and to her father and I for guidance - but she will make the ultimate decisions when she is old enough to do so. My desire is for her to make the BEST choices so that she will prosper in all areas of her life.

That is no different than my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Just as my Heavenly Father has thoughts and plans for me, I will not prosper, and in fact, may do harm to myself physically, emotionally, or spiritually based on the choices that I make each day. I need to make the right choices. The right choices in my thinking, my speaking and my actions.

The right choices in my eating. As I struggle with my weight, I will never win this battle if I don't choose carefully. Choosing to eat only when I'm physically hungry - and then choosing healthy foods.

Father, I thank You for this new revelation regarding Your Word today and ask for Your help in making right choices. May every morsel of food that I ingest today be to sustain my life and not to feed my fleshly desire to eat for the sake of eating because the food is good - or it's my favorite snack - or I'm bored - or sad - or happy - or celebrating - or whatever other excuse I come up with for eating when I'm not physically hungry. I trust You for Your help as today I choose to die to self in the area of food. Thank You for trusting me to make right choices -- and providing the guidance I need to do so. I pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New BLOG Alert!

Everyone! Please welcome my friend Dawna to Blogland! Go visit her
blog and tell her that I sent you! She more than likely has read your blog --she's been "lurking" for months!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

For Janet

In Loving Memory of my friend, Janet
who went Home to be with Jesus earlier today,
August 25, 2006

She suffers no longer
She's dancing with Jesus

Janet, we will miss you
But look forward to the day
When we meet again
In that Glorious Place
Worshipping our Savior together
For all of eternity!

A Song for Janet

Chocolate --the New Health Food

Okay –here’s what I know.
I love chocolate.
Since I love chocolate, I’m assuming that God created me to love chocolate.
Therefore, chocolate must be good for me.
Sounds reasonable to me...

A study at the University of California has found eating chocolate increases levels of several classes of flavanoid which are thought to protect blood vessels. Matched molecule for molecule, chocolate flavanoids are more powerful than vitamins such as ascorbic acid in limiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (that's the BAD cholesterol). Arteriosclerosis studies have suggested that oxidation of these lipoproteins is an essential step in the creation of artery-clogging plaque and therefore (here's the best part) chocolate can prevent arteries clogging up!

Cocoa also contains a wealth of phytochemicals and polyphenols which have significant antioxidant properties and may help to reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

In fact, tests have shown that cocoa powder has equivalent or greater antioxidant activities than many fruit and vegetables and even red wine. A 40-gram serving of dark chocolate typically contains around 800 milligrams of antioxidants, about twice the quantity in a glass of red wine.

If you love me and want to help me maintain a healthy heart....send me bags of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses!

Bring on the Chocolate!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Today's Theme: WORDS

There is a recurring theme on the blogs today --WORDS.

I just read a friend’s blog where she took some time to state that she is going to be a "motivational speaker" --and speak positive things.

I say BRAVO!

This morning, I received a telephone call from our church prayer chain asking me to pray for a woman who was said to be "going downhill fast". I prayed --and I called others on the chain to pray. I listened to others pray "whatever happens, let God's will be done", there's nothing wrong with praying in alignment with God's will. In fact, that's exactly how God instructs us to pray. The problem came about when everyone sort of had this attitude of 'oh well, she's doing badly so we might as well give up and give in'. I say HOGWASH! This woman had expressed to me several weeks ago that she wants to get better so that she can be busy doing God's work. Well, guess what? Satan doesn't want her doing God's work. He is going to do all he can to prevent that from happening --including causing her to "go downhill fast".

I believe as Christians that we have the RIGHT to pray with AUTHORITY! To speak LIFE - to speak POSITIVELY. To command the enemy to leave!! To bind up any negative thoughts and speech --to take them captive. God's Word tells us that Jesus paid the price for our healing. Okay! Let's grab ahold of that and pray accordingly!

Now, I also realize that there are times when we have all the faith in the world and we pray and the outcome is different from what we expect. I don't have the answers. I don't know why young people die from injuries in ATV accidents. I don't know why children suffer with cancer. But I do know that as a Christian, it is my duty and responsibility to speak positively and continue to trust that God knows best because He sees the big picture.

Hebrews, chapter 11 speaks of faith --in faith, by faith, through faith - Abraham, Moses, faith, by faith, through faith...and then at the end of the chapter it says, what more can I say? In other words, are you 'getting it'?! By Faith. The Bible says: The just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4) The Lord has given us all a measure of faith --His Word says that He has done that. Pray that your faith will increase!

My friend says that she has a lot of power --power to SPEAK life - to speak words of encouragement --to speak positively. We have the power of life and death in our tongues. (Proverbs 18:21). Let's SPEAK LIFE!!

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. --James 5:15

And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. --Exodus 23:25

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Beyond the Veil - The Holy of Holies

Many of you have requested to see more of my art. Recently, I read someone's blog post regarding The Holy of Holies. It prompted me to take a photograph of this painting which I did as the cover art for a worship CD entitled, Beyond the Veil.

We are so privileged as Christians. God's Word tells us that the moment Jesus died at Calvary, the veil of the temple was torn in two. The temple veil was a large, very thick (8 inches thick, I believe) fabric which separated the place where the common people were allowed to be and the place where only once a year the priest went into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice to God for the atonement of the peoples' sin.

When Jesus died, the torn veil was a sign from the Lord that now anyone could approach His throne --not just the priest. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. No other sacrifice is necessary. Because of the great price He paid with His life, we all, as Christians, have the privilege, honor and authority to come to the Lord with our offerings of praise and thanksgiving and our petitions and requests. God hears us all --no matter our social or economic status --no matter our position in the church --no matter our age or our race. He looks beyond our background and our 'baggage'. He hears us. When we come to Him with a humble heart of repentence and offer Him our hearts, He hears us. When we ask Him to be the Lord of our life, he saves us from a life of devastation and lifts us to a place of honor. In His eyes we are considered a "royal priesthood". We are washed clean before Him. He doesn't see our sin. He doesn't see our mistakes. He doesn't see our failure. He sees us with pure hearts --white as snow --clean. Just as if we had never sinned.

God is awesome, isn't He?

Why not spend a few moments today in His presence--In the Holy of Holies? Thank Him for all He has done. Give Him praise for all the countless blessings He gives. Honor Him with your presence. He desires more than anything that you spend time with Him. Don't miss out on something that will be life-changing...because every time we spend time in His presence, we are changed for eternity!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Prayers for Rebekah

Attention all Christians!

Rebekah needs our prayer!

You may read all the details on her blog

As Christians, we are called to be overcomers. We don't need to allow Satan, or the circumstances of life to keep us from God's amazing promises. In His Word, God says that Jesus paid the price for our healing. Won't you stand in agreement with me today, on behalf of Rebekah - believing for a miracle --praying with authority --knowing that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think?!!! Several weeks ago, Rebekah's scans were "clear". I believe that it is the Lord's intention that they remain CLEAR! Pray Warriors Pray!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Random Thoughts --and Art

Since my blog is titled: "Deb's Random Thoughts...and ART!", I thought I'd blog some of my random thoughts (and Art!). (whacko blogger problems won't allow me to post more than one photo---so check back for edits later!)

Random thought #1: This morning in church a gentleman sang a song about eternity - and how he was going to be sitting at the feet of Jesus....the lyrics said not to look for him by the walls of jasper or on the streets of gold, but to look for him at Jesus' feet. Here's what I'm thinking... Jesus must have some pretty big feet! I mean, think about it, every Christian that I know wants to sit at Jesus' feet when they get to heaven. How is that going to happen? What if everyone wants a turn at the same time? There are going to be MILLIONS of Christians in heaven. Will we have to take a number like we do at the Stuff-Mart Deli? I hope not, because today, after church, we stopped at Stuff-Mart and went to the deli, and took a number. Guess what?! The deli worker lady skipped my number?! What is up with that? We had to wait until the next deli worker lady called the next number and tell her that we had a number that should have been called two numbers ago.... When I get to heaven, I don't want to wait to sit at Jesus' feet. And I'm thinking that since His Word says that He will give us the desires of our heart...He must be gonna have some big feet --enough for LOTS and LOTS of people to sit around!

Random Thought #2: Today at Stuff-Mart, I bought some ORANGE Cauliflower. On the plastic surrounding this odd-looking vegetable, are the words, "Contains 25% more Vitamin A than regular Cauliflower - same great taste!". So, how do they make it orange? Is Vitamin A orange...and they just water the plants with vast amounts of liquid vitamin A? You remember how when you were a kid and you put food coloring in some water and then stuck a stalk of celery in the water and it turned red or blue or whatever color you had put in the water? White Carnations will do the same thing. that how they get Orange Cauliflower?

Random Thought #3: If I capture bugs and take them outside my house and release them (instead of killing them), does that make me a monk? Someone asked me this morning if I was a monk because I trap bugs and take them outside and release them. I said, "no, I just don't want squished bug guts all over my walls."

Random Thought #4: On a more serious note... I am grateful for Christian friends. Those who will pray with you and lift you before the throne of grace --when you don't have the energy or the will to pray for yourself. God is good. And I am blessed --with friends who love and care about me.

Random Thought (and Art) #5: Do you think this woman SHOULD be wearing a two-piece bathing suit to the beach? And what is up with that bathing cap?!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

God's Word

The Bible.

God's Word.

His love letter to us.

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

Have you opened it today?

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." --2 Tim. 2:15

Friday, August 18, 2006

Feeling the Pressure

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Tonight is Life Group.

I have no Bible Study prepared. I have been praying as to what direction the Lord wants us to go this evening and I'm hearing - nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
I am not typically a spontaneous person - especially when it comes to leading a Bible study. I expect to have everything planned and rehearsed, with three pages of accompanying notes and revelations. When it doesn't happen. I panic.

And besides the pressure of not knowing what will happen at Life Group, I have several blog buddies who have indicated that they expect something creative on my blog on a daily basis. No drivel. Talk about pressure! Others are writing creative posts about their relationships (with the pizza guy). Another is tackling crime (I think donut stealing might be a felony). Another is lecturing about the privilege and blessing we have in this country to work and collect a paycheck (she's just way too serious today). There have been comments made that it's just not good blog etiquette to post that I went to Krogers and purchased carrots. Good thing we don't have a Krogers in my home town - or BOY would I be in trouble! I did however send my husband out to pick up a couple of two liter bottles of Pepsi for tonight's Life Group. (never Coke!)

AND top it all off ---the photo that I've chosen for this post (because it is the PERFECT photo) has that goofy copyright watermark thingy running right through the center.) I'm sure I'm breaking some kind of law by using it in this blog. ...that would be a case for the donut police.

Sorry. That's all I got.

Blog on!


Today I will:

spend time with my Lord

hug my daughter

laugh when she laughs


eat one chocolate chip cookie (who am I kidding? no one can stop at one... well, I can't.) at LEAST one chocolate chip cookie

talk with Mom on the telephone

visit with some friends

kiss my husband

pet my dog

email my friends

what are you doing today?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Play

Raggedy Ann, originally uploaded by beyondhope.

....getting back into the art thing for a moment....this has been posted before, but I thought it was appropriate for this week's Illustration Friday theme: Play

Pencil Drawing - size 2.5"x3.5" Artist Trading Card

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

To Do List

I was making a mental "to do" list in my head this morning. The very concept is funny, because I make a mental list and literally two minutes later I've forgotten what is on the list. "Why don't you write it down?", you ask. Ha. Been There. Done That. Lost the list. -every time. So, I've pretty much given up on lists. My day is spent by wandering around my house and seeing what needs done and then doing it. (some of the time.) Or perhaps I wander around and think about doing something and then am distracted by something or someone else (usually my daughter) and I never do get back to doing what it was I set out to do.

At one point this morning, I set out to clean off the surface of my coffee table. It is ALWAYS cluttered with stuff. As quickly as I clean it off, I quickly set more things down. My laptop was on the coffee table - so of course, I had to check my email and read a few of my favorite blogs. As bloggers blog typically leads to another and another and it can be very easy to use up a lot of time reading blogs. Blogging can be a great thing --especially when you come across great posts!

I found this entry this morning and I've hereby dubbed it my favorite post of the day! Forget about your "to do" list --and spend some time at the Lord's feet. Put it at the TOP of your list. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Soapbox of the Day

Why are we Christians (and I include myself in this) so eager to "brush aside" premarital sex? God says no. Yet we (and I include myself in this too) are so eager to point fingers at who may be going on vacation in Vegas or who may be smoking, or who may be chewing gum in the sanctuary?! What is up with us that we so easily dismiss premarital sex but will judge someone who is wearing jeans to church?

Is that "piece of paper" - the Marriage License important? --or is it just important that we have "made vows before God"? ---what about the legal system? As Christians, are we supposed to excuse that? We are supposed to obey the laws of the land, no? ---I'm just trying to understand why we so easily dismiss this whole issue. Is is because in our society we are so inundated with the message of sex --it's everywhere we look --television, radio, movies. Premarital sex is the "norm" rather than the "exception". We have become "numb" and don't hardly notice or think twice when we hear that people are living together outside of marriage, or having babies out of wedlock.

So, see ---I am a prude ---by the world's standards for sure -by the Lord's?...I'm not so sure. But admitedly, I don't often share this opinion because there are so many Christians who would accuse me of being "holier than thou". aargh.

All of us have sin in our lives. And I am in NO way judging those who make the choice to engage in premarital sex --because the Lord knows that I have PLENTY of areas in my life which need to change. The bottom line is that we are such imperfect people ---trudging through ---trying to do the right thing---and screwing up royally ---and God keeps on loving us --UNCONDITIONALLY. He is amazing. We take Him for granted.

Thoughts anyone?

Friday, August 11, 2006


SIXTY-FIVE --the magic number.

The total amount of weight that I need to lose to be considered "normal" weight for my height - determined by using a body mass calculator.

I have lost over 100 still 65 to go and some days it seems like 6500 lbs and is way out of reach.

Like just now --it's 1am and my husband offered me a dish of Breyer's Snicker's Ice Cream. Was I hungry? no. Did I need to eat the ice cream? no. So much for losing a pound this week....especially considering 30 minutes before the ice cream I ate the last three Chips Ahoy cookies that I found while cleaning the pantry today. Did I blow it? yep. Big time.

I am of the "school" that I can eat whatever I want to eat --as long as I'm PHYSICALLY hungry. That method worked for me to help me lose 135 pounds....Then I got married and had a baby and promptly gained back 35 of those pounds because I was eating all the time --when I WASN'T hungry.

Now I'm finding that I'm "stuffing" again --don't know why --but for the past four days I can't eat enough to satisfy me. ugh.

I need help --from the only One who can help me get through and beyond this --Jesus.
So ---my prayer today is that I'll be able to stop eating when I'm satisfied and not overeat. May I turn to the Lord for my comfort --instead of the FOOD!

All you Bible-believing, prayin' Christians reading this --I covet your prayers!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Urgent Prayer for Rebekah

Attention all Prayer Warriors!

Rebekah needs our prayers!

You may read Scott and Frances' post here: Rebekah's Page

For those of you who are new to my blog --we have been praying for this precious child for over a year. We have seen the Lord do some marvelous things during this time and we're trusting that "He who has begun a good work will be faithful to complete it!" We rejoiced at the news several months ago that all Rebekah's scans came back negative and she was cancer-free! Ewing's Sarcoma - the type of cancer she had has a high incidence of recurrance and in the past few days they have seen "something" on her scan. They have scheduled more definitive testing and we are going to stand our ground and lift Rebekah up in prayer! We choose to not believe the report of the doctors --but believe the report of our Savior who says that by His stripes we are healed!!

Please continue to pray for Rebekah and her family and check her blog often for updates. You may also leave encouraging comments for the family.

Thanks for your prayers and God bless you all!

Just for Fun

Today tastes like boot polish and linty socks. The weather is a cool damp sheet hanging on the line. When you can’t think of anything to say, but know you should say something --surf the web for inspiration.

So you’ll just have to imagine the posts I was gonna write about... the walk around the pond where I talk about the hordes of colorful dragonflies flitting and fluttering and buzzing about...or the green agae which is taking over one section of the pond (we've got to do something about that!) or the brightly colored fields of wildflowers --Russian Thistle blooming mellow pallid violet among the grey-green leaves or the fireworks of blue Asters, red Poppies and yellow Black-eyed Susans popping color from the green in the bright sunshine! But --since I don't feel inspired today --I'm going to do a meme theme here. (but you have to admit that "Russian Thistle blooming mellow pallid violet among the grey-green leaves" is good writing! --too bad I plagiarized!)) Here's the Meme Theme. (Meme? Look it up on

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name)
Scottie Riley (and no, I'm not Scottish)

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on mother's side first name, favorite sweet)
Amelia Chocolate

3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your last name)
Ders (hmm, I guess that's better than Duhs!)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite animal, name of high school mascot)
Elephant Hurricane (ah yes ---very stable in high winds!)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Louise Indiana (no relation to Indiana Jones...and yes, Indiana is a town in PA --not just a state!)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name)
Ersl'lacha (ok, I just had to put a glottal stop in the middle of that mess. Wow.)

7. JEDI NAME: (middle name spelled backwards, your mom's maiden name spelled backwards)
Esiuol Allevrac (yes...I'm a Jedi Warrior!)

8. TELEVISION STAR NAME: (middle name, street you lived on)
Louise Riley

9. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The", your favorite color, last product advertised that you remember on TV (or favorite)
The Burgundy Cleveland Clinic (oh, yeah. that's a superhero name if I ever heard one!) (??)

10. AUTHOR PEN NAME: (First name will be the last three letters of your last name with the first three letters of your first born child's name - if you don't have a child --use the first three letters of your city. The last name is your father's middle name.)
Ineoli Alan (watch for my new book!)

So...what are your new names??
That's all --Have a FUN day!!


I have the wonderful privilege to be a part of our church worship team. Each Sunday, I am able to stand and sing and lead our congregation in worship. There's only one problem....we're leading....the people aren't following. Our team as been frustrated with the sea of stone faces we see each week. People looking out the window, chatting with their friends, kids standing on the backs of the pews while adults encourage them to do so, expressionless, emotionless, heartless.... It's all so very sad and all so very frustrating.

God has SO MUCH for us! If only we would realize that --the power that we could tap into! Another team member said so eloquently earlier this evening...we're so quick to be in the first row at the circus or the ball game --yet take a back seat in church ---not at all eager to worship or hear what the Lord has laid on the Pastor's heart. Why is this? Why are we so apathetic to worship? Where's the zeal? Where's the excitement? If Jesus were there (and He is) ..but you know what I mean...if we were PHYSICALLY ABLE to SEE Him in the flesh --standing in the aisle of the church --or sitting amongst would our worship change?!

I challenge every Christian who is reading this post ---worship the Lord with your WHOLE heart. He requires that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. Let's do it.

We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory --by Dennis Jernigan

We will worship the Lamb of glory
We will worship the King of kings
We will worship the Lamb of glory
We will worship the King

And with our hands lifted high,
We come before You and sing
With our hands lifted high,
We come before You rejoicing.
With our hands lifted high
To the sky
And the world wonders why

We'll just tell them we're loving the King...Oh
We'll just tell them we're loving the King

Friday, August 04, 2006

my shadow

the shadow on the wall
looks so small
in the dim light

the darkness that surrounds
my soul this night
cannot be lit

or can it?

the Love breaks through
through all the dark
through all the pain
through all the heartache
through all that remains

His love
can change all
can make the shadow tall
can make the shadow not a shadow
but a reflection
of the Love
that shines
from the Light

so when people see
they don't see me
they don't see my shadow
they instead see Him
as my shadow becomes His

Ready for Battle

Here's what I know: Satan loves to mess with our thoughts. He has no problem placing a thought in our brains and enjoying watching us take that thought and blow it all out of proportion and twist it and turn it and turn it from a molehill to a mountain. At that point --it becomes a stronghold. He has an "in". And we've allowed him to do it.

Here's what else I know: God is more powerful than Satan. When we are Christians, we can be victorious over the enemy. Victory is ours for the taking. It's a choice. We have all we need to fight and win the battle. We're told to "put on" and "take up" the whole armor of God:

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...." Ephesians 6:10-18

We can choose to not put on God's armor. That would mean we are ill-prepared to fight the battles that we encounter each day. If we're not prepared for battle --all we can do is run....and if you read the above passage again, you will see that the Lord affords no protection for our backs....running away isn't an option if we want to be victorious Christians.

Today --I choose to fight. I choose to stand. Every thought which the enemy plants in my brain, I will take captive. He loses. I choose to win!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Using my gifts

Several years ago, I had the awesome opportunity to go on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic. The purpose of the trip was to rebuild churches which had been lost to a hurricane.

At the time, weighing over 100 pounds more than I do today - and living with Multiple team thought it best to put me on the "paint crew". So, instead of pouring cement and framing walls, I was put to work painting roof trusses (before they were hoisted skyward!).

The paint crew consisted of six members -- all there for a reason. Either we were overweight, old, frail or uncoordinated. Either way ---we were deemed unable to swing a hammer. Initially, I was a little bit disappointed. After all, I went there to WORK --I wanted to BUILD churches. I failed to see how slopping a coat of weatherproofing paint on a roof truss was doing much for the Kingdom.

We were stationed in a yard outside a small Christian school which was run by one of the Assemblia de Dios churches (translation: Assembly of God) Every day, I had the pleasure of watching all the little children come to school. Dressed in their navy blue polyester that consistently over 100 degree heat...they ran joyfully each morning to the school yard --eager to learn.

Over time, we got to know the children and when we ran out of trusses to paint, the school director asked us if we would mind painting the walls of the school rooms. They desperately needed painting. Of course, we agreed. And we spent the remaining days painting walls. After discovering that I was an artist, one of the teachers asked if I could paint "Damas" and "Caballeros" on the bathroom doors. (Translation: "Girls" and "Boys"). Of course --I'd be happy to do so. The only problem was that I had only one brush to work with ---three inches wide with bristles all sticking out every which way. Not exactly the tool of an artist who tends to be a perfectionist. But --I was determined to paint the names on the doors. I looked at the doors --spaced out the letters in my head and began to paint. The teachers "oohed" and "awed" at my ability to paint such straight, uniform letters - centered and not a splotch of paint out of place. I shrugged my shoulders and said that I had God's help.

Then I thought back to a time when I was sixteen. For Christmas one year, I wrapped up a gift for the Lord. Inside was a piece of paper on which I had written "My Art Ability". For Christmas, I gave back to Him what He had given me --my ability to be creative and draw and paint. I promised to always use my art to glorify Him. Now, all these years later --who would have thought that glorifying God with my art would mean painting "Boys" and "Girls" on the bathroom doors of a tiny Christian school in the heart of The Dominican Republic.

Of all the tasks completed on that trip --that is my most memorable. And really, the reason that I believe I was sent there -- so the Lord could remind me of my calling --to use my artistic ability for His glory. There is no task too small or too humble when you're doing it for the Lord.

God spoke to Moses: "See what I've done; I've personally chosen Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I've filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he's an all-around craftsman. --Exodus 31:1

This post is inspired by the team of young people who are currently in Thailand on a missions trip. May the Lord go before you and open hearts to receive you. May He keep you safe and may He comfort the family members who remain at home....just a little anxious that their children are so far away. I pray a hedge of protection around the team and a "housecoat" of peace around the Moms and the Misters who remain at home. In Jesus' precious name! Amen!