Sunday, January 31, 2010

Celebrating!


The Cheesecake Factory is a favorite of mine! My husband and oldest daughter picked me up at the Phoenix Airport today at Noon...just in time to celebrate my birthday lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Yes, I left room for dessert...the cheesecake with the red velvet cake in the middle! You bet! We all shared my piece. Get this: when I was in San Diego yesterday, my youngest daughter and I had lunch also at The Cheesecake Factory! Two days in a row!

Thank you my online friends and family who sent emails or left messages for me this week. I loved your birthday wishes and loving thoughts and prayers. Oh, how I wish I could scoop you all up and have cheesecake together!
Last week when I was in San Diego I went out to breakfast with Carrie, Susanna and the neighbor next door, Daisy. She, also, was celebrating her birthday! At 92, She's become a very special friend to us and we joked about the large gap in all of our ages and here we were, partying together at IHOP! It does make me ponder though as I grow older what I cherish in life. What is it that you cherish the older you get? I think for me it is God's Word. I hope I don't sound super spiritual, but His Word never gets old, never loses its excitement for me and always encourages me. Do you have a signature scripture? I'll leave you with mine and may it bless you and uplift you today:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spiritual Sunday ~ How to Know if You are in the Right Church


You Might Be In the Wrong Church If....

You have to pass through a metal detector to get inside.
The choir performs "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" - as a polka!
A week before Christmas the pastor announces the church will be "closed for the holidays."
New "Purpose-Driven" mission statement includes vague reference to Jell-O-wrestling.
On your second Sunday as a visitor they ask you to be their pastor.
On the offering envelopes is printed "Please make checks payable directly to the pastor."
The organist is Boris Karloff or appears to be his stunt double.
The floral arrangement on the altar is in the shape of a big horseshoe... that reads "Hollywood Park."
Everyone is handcuffed together at the ankles before preaching starts.
You are the only person in the sanctuary and its 15 minutes after church is scheduled to start.
The baptismal fount has bubbling water, is large enough to hold two or three seated adults, and looks suspiciously like a Jacuzzi.
Bill Clinton is the speaker of the day and his topic is "Morality in America - How to Be a Shining Example".
The minister falls asleep while delivering his own sermon.
The ushers passing around the offering basket are wearing ski masks.
The Bible they use is the Dr. Seuss version.
The Choir wears black leather robes.
New member candidates are required to submit W-2's for the last 5 years. The media refers to the church facilities as a "compound".

Spiritual Sundays is hosted by Ginger and Charlotte.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Funnies

$5.37. That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Emo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK Sir. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount." I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. "Only $4.68" he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied. I am 62, not even 65 yet?" A mere child! Senior citizen? I took my burrito and walked outside & into the truck wondering what was wrong with Emo. Was he blind?

As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me? I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler? "Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?" I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rearview mirror. Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard. Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later, I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found. I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Emo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?" All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?" At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits. Emo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake." I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized... She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast. As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky...The good news was I had successfully found my way home.


Kim at Homesteader's Heart hosts Friday Funnies. Be sure to drop by for a laugh or two!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spiritual Sundays ~ Got Coffee?


It was early Sunday morning and much of our town wasn’t up yet. We stopped the car suddenly when we saw her. She pushed aside the boxes in the back seat and climbed in and thanked us for rescuing her from the cold. We talked a little bit during the drive. So you’re on your way to town heading for church” she said. “Why do you go to church?”
I paused, realizing that she was dead serious.

I've been thinking about this middle-aged hitchhiker whom we met last week. Her slacks were worn and her big sweater wasn’t adequate enough for the cold morning. I was glad we could give her a lift. Rarely am I ever face to face with someone who has never been to church. Her question caught me off guard.

I thought about this…Why do I go to church? I go to worship God. He saved my life; I need Him and want to sing Him my praises. The Bible teachings are inspirational and measured with a plumb line of accurate biblical truth. I need direction for my life! The love of God flows through the people who congregate there and I feel a sense of closeness to them. I feel love for them, too. I need to be with God-fearing people. This world is crazy.

So how do I communicate this to this woman who has never experienced a church service and, further, never experienced a personal Jesus? I kept it simple saying that the service will revolve around a biblical teaching and it lasts about an hour and a half. Would you like to go with us? Her response tickled me: “Do they have coffee there?” Her greatest need was warmth. She was freezing!

No, she didn’t take us up on our offer to spend the next few hours with us in church; she wanted coffee at the mercantile. Church may be too scary for some, but Jesus is what everyone needs!
And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17

Spiritual Sundays is hosted by Charlotte and Ginger.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spiritual Sunday ~ The Lesson Of The Camel


My girlfriend Jeeni’s love language is gifts. So as a result, when she wants to express her appreciation for me and our friendship, I can receive anything from a hand-made necklace to a free ticket to an event. That’s just the way we are, isn't it? We tend to express our love in ways we like to receive it. Recently Jeeni stopped by the office, but it was a day that I wasn’t working. One of the shelves in my bookcase displayed a little figurine of a camel. “How cute is that” I thought to myself the next day, realizing immediately that I missed a visit from Jeeni.

I’ve been gazing at that camel, thinking a lot about the lesson of the camel. Have you heard about it? To explain it to you, I have to get a little help from my favorite Woman of Faith go-to girl, Sheila Walsh. She included The Lesson of the Camel in her book, The Heartache That No One Sees. She wrote about a friend she met in a coffee shop who felt a God-nudge to share a Bible verse with her. “Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:31.

Sheila writes: “I had such a sense that this was indeed a special word from God to my heart that I began a word study of the verse. The word “commit” in the context of this verse is very interesting. The Hebrew word is “galal.” It means, “To roll; roll away.”

"The word 'galal' is used often to describe the way a camel gets rid of its burden. It is a two-step process. Frist, it kneels down, and then it rolls to the left and the load falls off the camel's back. The picture for us is a beautiful one. We are invited to kneel before God but encouraged not to stop there. We are called to roll over and let the burden fall off our backs. We are called to roll every burden, every concern for the future, onto the Lord, sure that he will accept that responsibility and will bless us.

Whatever you are facing right now, kneel before God and roll into His grace! He wants to carry your burden. You don't have to carry it anymore," Sheila writes.

I share with you today, my camel figurine, my book by Shelia Walsh and God’s Word urging us to roll every concern onto Him. He loves you and me. Our bodies have not been designed to carry burdens. Jesus wants them. I gladly give Him mine; how about you?

Spiritual Sundays is presented weekly by Charlotte and Ginger and they feature wonderful inspirational writers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year ~ New Trust!

Happy New Year everyone! May the coming year bring in a new season of hope for our nation and may the Kingdom of God expand beyond our wildest dreams. On a personal note, I’m targeting trust and delight in the Lord this year and Psalm 37 beckons my spirit:

1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

I thank God for you, my friends. May God bless your year ahead with favor every place you step your foot. May He protect you and draw you close to Him and give you the desires of your heart.