Friday, January 30, 2009



There is a opossum carcass under my front porch. Right. by. the. kitchen. You have NO idea the smell that can come from this thing. I mean, seriously. It's my fault that it lasted this long, really. I thought a cat that Larry and I were befriending was making his mark. Until Larry relocated the kitty and the temperature turned from 20 to 60 degrees. No words to describe this.

Why in the WORLD would I torture you with this image?


Last night we were studying about Jonah and brought up that 4 times the NASB says that God "appointed" different items of nature into Jonah's life. First, the whale was appointed to swallow him in the first chapter. Then in the 4th while Jonah's having his middle school revenge pity party moment, God appoints a plant to shade him, a worm to eat the plant and a scorching wind and sun upon Jonah. The question we were asking was, have we ever experienced this type of God's appointment in our lives? I couldn't help but think of that opossum and what divine lesson it's supposed to be bringing. It may not be bringing one at all, it may just have found our porch cool and supportive in his last moments. Just like the whale just may have been hungry.

Who knows! But it's definitely made me think about what items I should have seen (or smelled) in an early-detection-system kind of way. I knew the smell was there, but I assumed it was my responsibility and didn't consider it further. Are there warning signs cropping up that are being ignored? Be warned. The smell is horrific a week later! Are there things we are letting rot that we really need to dig up and throw out? Friends in relationships: I can't help but think of how many times we could be detecting things early, braving through the digging and throwing out process, and tackling them head-on before they really start permeating other places in our marriage. The process isn't pretty, but it's surely not going to get any prettier in the meantime. I make a short appeal to consider this.

The message of the appointments is the same message Daniel shared at the House this week, the conclusion of the prodigal son. It is an invitation. We don't know how Jonah responded to the appointments, but we do know the options Jonah was given. God continued to appoint for Jonah means of showing Himself, means of preserving Jonah and showing evidence of his grace in order that Jonah could choose whether or not to enter into the celebration of the salvation of Ninevah. The prodigal son had the same invitation-- the Father pursues both the younger AND the older son to invite them into the celebration of the lost son. Yours is the same.'

Still surprised how I went from a opossum carcass to salvation? Me, too. ;)

Home Remedies

Have any great home remedy secrets?

Today at the office there is a HORRIFIC PLAGUE of stomach virus (Love you Holly! I hope you feel better!). Anybody see 30 Rock 2 weeks ago? Picture that-- the slow motion, sick face, zombie people part. Side subject: which plan has a lower risk of exposure? Using a contaminated bathroom, approx. 20 paces from the cubicle or walking a good 400 paces through the building to an as-yet-uncontaminated bathroom?

Back on topic: Luckily one of the girls I work with offered a cure-- red grape juice. I jetted out just after our 11:00 with gallons of RGJ for all. Turns out, Mom says that it helps her arthritis, too!

So then I started thinking about all the other home remedies I'm missing out on... Here's a few I think you should know and stock in your pantry:

My sister introduced this to me, and the pain of cold season has been remarkably less painful since its discovery. Take her suggestion-- make a huge pot of it in the morning and drink on it all day. There is something about how it coats and cuts through your throat at the same time. The last sip is so naturally sweet that no sugar's needed! Free samples of other Yogi tea available here.

  • Local Honey

Despite the bee sting from my first harvesting experience, I still believe in honey and have not suffered from allergies at all after introducing local honey into my diet.

I realize that this sounds too good to be true and the likelihood of something green with seaweed in it actually tasting good is marginal, but this juice really does taste good! If you have anything coming on-- cold, tiredness, depression, anxiety (well, maybe not) drink yourself a couple glasses of this in a couple days and you truly will be feeling better. DH is dead on with this one.

My roommate from my sophomore year in college grew up in S. Africa and got me set on this when my stomach just doesn't feel quite right. It's great for an post-dinner sip after a meal heavy on acid or meat. According to wiki, it's also beneficial dermatologically (I made up that word) and for allergies!

  • Is there anything else I should add to my list? I hate to get sick and I hate taking medicine almost more!!

New Look!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

If you're reading this in a subscription form of some sort, please consider coming to look at the blog! It has a new look-- much more simple. Much more me. If this blog were a painting it would fit in any room of my house :) But it's not. And Larry's thankful.

Bad Movie

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If $9.25 weren't punishment enough for going to the movies, it's especially excruciating when you pay for a movie you wish, I mean really wish, you hadn't seen. This weekend was like that for me. I suggest not going to see Revolutionary Road. It's the depression of Atonement without the amazing soundtrack coupled with the lack of redemption of... oh I don't know because no movie has ever ended without any and I mean any positive spin at ALL quite like this movie.

Be warned.

High Fructose Corn Syrup and the FDA

I feel like a conspiracist this morning. Did anyone see this article today on the Huffington Post? I'm sure it will break out mainstream today. The FDA has known about mercury being in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) since 2005!!! We're not talking small quantities here. In 2 different studies, 30% and 50% of HFCS samples contained mercury! What's the big deal? Mercury is a hard metal that has profound effects on your health, especially your mental health and heart disease. Looking for a clue as to why the youngest generations have severe attention deficit problems? Here's your culprit. How could the FDA allow us to consume mercury in just about everything (processed, that is) for the last 4 years? Sorry, here's the conspiracy theory, $$. So sad. I hope I'm not dead on with this, but I guarantee you I'll be reading labels today at the grocery store! And I'm going to be hard pressed to find a Cheez-It replacement without the HFCS. Be informed.

Update: DH dug up another article on a science website which states the same thing.

Cleaning House

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Does cleaning your house ever seem intimidating?

Two weeks ago was like this for me-- I distinctly remember running the dishwasher on Wednesday but by Sunday not a single dish had been put away. For those of you who know how much I like to cook, you can imagine what that did for my counters. And you KNOW if I let my kitchen get like that, then you know there were 15 loads of laundry (not exaggerating), board games out, dead flowers in vases, floor hadn't swept since ridiculously long ago, dust you can write in, etc. I know-- really makes you want to come visit, right?

Does really diving into a life of prayer ever seem intimidating?
Intimidating may not be the right word. Perhaps overwhelming.

Here's the connection-- that weekend I didn't feel like making a move to clean anything because even emptying the dishwasher would lead me down a path that trapped me in my house for several hours in a fury of cleaning. Better to declare 24 hours of no kitchen duties and wait until later. Have you ever felt like that with prayer? That if you really wanted to take to the Lord everything on your mind you would need 10 hours? Better just to take a nap? I feel you.

I often feel the need to take things to the Lord like, one-sie, two-sie. You know-- yes Jesus I remember so-and-so! Thanks for reminding me-- they need your love right now or your favor or favor with men, your encouragement, healing etc. That is satisfying and full of trust and faith. Just like cleaning up the stack of paperwork that needs immediate attention leads to a sense of satisfaction and one loose end tied up. But I've been feeling the need for a deep clean.

It's been rare, but I've had the occasion when I get into a good rhythm with my house and the laundry basket never seems crazy overflowing because I've (or my amazing DH has) been keeping up with it, the dishes get put away right after I've done them, and the blanket stays folded on the back of the couch. Then when Saturday comes-- watch out!-- maybe the floor will get mopped! Maybe the closet will get cleaned out and salvaged for good will! Well I'll tell you what, I am craving a prayer life where the immediate needs are tucked away in the Lord's hands daily, the worries of the week have been put away regularly at the throne of Christ and when I do have the extra moment to spend-- really spend-- in prayer, we can work on praying through the real scrubs my life and my character need. I also want time where I can be still with the Lord and not feel like I'm catching up on a week's worth of need and thanks. I believe that this is the type of relationship God wants to have with us, too.

Any tips for keeping up with a growing list of prayer requests?

Proud to be an American

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today I am truly proud to be an American.

I am proud of our peaceful way of transferring power.
I am proud to have been able to vote.
I am proud to have Scripture spoken and God's named revered at a political gathering.

I am honored to pray for our President, his decisions and his family.

I humbly pray that he will change his mind on a myriad of issues, but I can see that he has an amazing ability to inspire, challenge, and bring hope. That makes me proud.

And P.S. You had to love the rhyme at the end of Rev. Lowery's benediction.

May God truly bless America. Bring peace. Give our leaders wisdom, knowledge and a fear of the Lord. We need your spirit to guide.

Written better than I possibly could.

Great Quotes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"My journey was much like a romance, an epic battle of the heart, and I think a lot of girls can relate to that."

Would you describe your walk with Jesus in this way? These are the words of one of my favorite college girls as she describes Jesus' pursuit of her. An epic battle of the heart. A romance. I pray that all of the women in my life know that Jesus cares for them in this way.

One of the most remarkable Bible studies I have ever done is the story of Hosea. What a beautiful and heart wrenching picture, that Jesus would allow us to be stripped and lost in a wildernesss. For it is there (and perhaps only there because of our strong will), that we will be hedged in to be protected. Then there we will be clothed and given flowers, that we might return singing and rejoicing in our newfound love.

I pray today you will experience your life with the Lord as though torn from the pages of a beautiful romance novel not skipping over the chapters of the epic battle your Savior has conquered just for you.

Grace is given to you and love in extravagant abundance.


Monday, January 5, 2009

If you've been around me in the last week, you know that I have been preoccupied quite a bit with the political/spiritual/humanitarian/historical/Biblical situation currently unfolding in the Middle East. Let's break that down (in no particular order of importance).

Biblical- DH and I have had a friendly banter going back and forth on the role of Israel in the end times. Both of us agree that Israel will play a significant role, but we've taken positions for the purpose of research as to whether Israel is literally representative of the bloodline of the Jewish people or whether it is inclusive of all who claim inheritance with Abraham (Romans 9:8). While I lean heavily toward a Christian-inclusive interpretation of Romans 9:8, it is difficult for me to leave behind my Zionistic leanings, especially when we have seen such Old Testament-like happenings in modern day events with the Jewish people.

Political- Why is this happening?? I'm so conflicted, that I can't even formulate my various lines of thought on paper. I will echo a quote from President-Elect Obama lifted from the BBC article linked below: [Obama] has also spoken about the problem of negotiating with Hamas when it is "not representative of a nation state, does not recognise [Israel's] right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon and is deeply influenced by other countries." You would be correct if you read this and see that I am siding with the state of Israel. Yet, I see that there are a significant number of Palestinians helplessly caught in the crossfire. They are not only suffering from the recent military encounters, but also from months, and possibly years, of trade restrictions, embargos and displacement injustices at the hands of the Israelis. But that is a separate battle to fight. I'm talking right now about the extreme Hamas militants. Which leads me to...

Spiritual- Why is it that a belief system bonds people together in such a way that leads to hate, suicide, sending daughters and wives to be suicide bombers, abuse and a cry for the extermination of a people of another belief system? I am not naive. I realize that modern day Islam is not isolated in being the only belief system to drive people to this behavior. It still is astounding and horrifying to me the way the unity in this area of the world leads to destruction.

Humanitarian- I am just saddened. I don't know what else to say. So many people in so much pain. No sides taken here.

Historical- and cheating, Biblical too. Scripture has warned us since Genesis that there will always be persecution against the followers of God. Lord, come quickly and end this historical cycle of abuses and war.

See here for more on Obama's current state of silence over the Middle East.

See here for more on the current state on the ground via cnn.

See here for up-to-date news with some of the most interesting, least biased and least reported events on the ground.

Share your thoughts if you'd like.