Wednesday, July 24, 2002

BOOKS

I finished The Visitation. It's by Frank Peretti. It was very good. Not a quick read. Not a light read. If you've never read a Peretti book, let me fill you in a bit.

Peretti is a Christian author and he mostly writes books that are fiction. He mainly writes about the supernatural and the spiritual warfare that is constantly going on around us. This book differs from his previous (This Present Darkness; Piercing the Darkness; The Prophet; and The Oath, to name a few) books by the fact that there isn't a separation between the spiritual world and the physical world. (If you read one of his previous books and this book, you'll understand better :)

ANYWAY, this book revolves around Travis Jordan, a pastor who has run aground spiritually. He's tired of all the "stuff" that goes with the church and religion and so he throws in the towel basically. The only problem is that a self-proclaimed prophet comes trotting into town performing miracles and deceiving the entire town. Whether Jordan wants to be or not, he's drawn into the mess and while figuring out the truth, comes to some major revelations of his own life and his own relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you're looking for a light, romantic, "feel-good" book, don't read this one. If you're looking for something thought-provoking, intriguing, with a great plot and story flow, than this is the one for you! :)

I'm still reading For Better or For Best by Gary Smalley. I've read this one a couple of times before, but I can always use the reminders! (like: Don't be a nag!--ha ha) (Josh, do not comment..lol) Anyway, I'm only on chapter 4, but since I've finished my fiction book, I will have a bit more time to read my non-fiction book. I don't know why it is, but I can fly through any fiction that you give me, but non-fiction I struggle to make it through a chapter a day. This book by Smalley has some really good material, but you have really got to want to improve your relationship for any of the suggestions to work. It takes time and patience (all marriages take that anyway!), but it's good stuff, good stuff to think about and work through.

My next fictional pick is The Warning by T. Davis Bunn. I've read a few of the books he has written with Janette Oke, but never anything he's done on his own. The book was suggested to me by an aquaintance who has similar tastes in books, so I thought I'd give it a try. I think it's the first book of a series. I'll let you know :)

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Why does watermelon have white seeds and black seeds? Are the white seeds developing into black seeds or are they two completely separate things?

I know that's not deep, but that's my thoughts for today :) lol. It's late, I'm tired. Thanks for reading..feel free to sound off!

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Well, It's me again. As I sat here the other day I began thinking to myself, What is a Blog? What should I Blog about? Who is gonna read my Blog? Among several other ideas (which I may decide to do as well) I've decide to just Blog the first thing on my mind when i sit down (in this very uncomfortable chair) at the computer. Then just ramble on for a bit and see what comes out.

If anyone reading this knows me personally in real life you will know that Shawna and I are two very different people. She can type and comunicate her views and thoughts easily, I on the other hand am not so gifted. So my plan is to try and be a litte less serious about my blogging. Don't get me wrong, I share many of her views, but may not express them in my blog.

So with that said I have nothing left on my mind, cause well it's almost midnight and I'm very tired, so I'm going to bed :)

C-Ya tomorrow

Signing off,
Josh

Hello!

Just so you know, my husband and I decided to join forces and so now it's "our thoughts" instead of "my thoughts"! :) Hope you enjoy!

PARTY
Well, the party was...different. I felt bad, my daughter and I were the only ones who showed up. Well unless you count the neighbor family that kind of "crashed" the party. The little girl was ecstatic that we were there and the mom was truly thankful. I'm glad we went. Though their lifestyle is really different from mine, which in turn makes it difficult to connect.

As I sat throughout the afternoon (I decided not to swim regardless of what everyone else was doing--go me! :)), I kept asking God what I was doing here. This was definitely not the type of influence I wanted on my daughter. But what was the alternative? To subject my daughter to the influence of me saying these people are not "like us" and so we shouldn't go out of our way to hang out with them? Hmm tough call. Some would say that we have to protect our children and keep them away from those elements that might endanger them or tempt them into another lifestyle contrary to God's word. But as I look at my daughter's innocent face who found no fault in the way these people lived, kept their house, and talked, I realized that she has been given the gift to look at them as people. Just people she would like the chance to know better. And I felt ashamed. Because what good am I to my daughter if I constantly shield her from all the possible "negative" influences? The negative influences are ALWAYS going to be there to face. I need to be teaching her how to handle the negative influences, the differences and to learn to find ways to bridge those gaps and make connections to those who are different from us. All in the effort to love them as Jesus would so that hopefully one day they will come to know Jesus the way we do.

That's what it's about. It's about loving people the way Christ did so they can know Him too. And what better way to help my daughter learn than to come alongside her in the friendship she has began with this little girl and be there beside her as she is in the midst of the "negatives" so I can help her to stand for what she believes without being judgmental and without compromising?

As we were leaving the party, my daughter blurts out "When can we come back and swim again?" to which I smiled and said, "Whenever they ask us to." And the mom looks at me and says, "Maybe I'll give you a call next week?". And I say, "That would be great." And I mean it.

I'm one step closer to my goal. I recognized the opportunity God gave me and I do hope that the mom gives me a call and I have to find the courage to embrace this opportunity. I'm glad God's ways are different from mine. I'm thankful that He is constantly pushing me and challenging me and creating a desire within me to learn about His ways and His desires. The changes are difficult and slow and often times met with a bit of grumbling. But I'm always pleasantly surprised at how it all turns out. Thanks God for loving me enough not to be satisfied with where I'm at but to want me to press on. (See Hebrews chapter 12 for more on "pressing on" and receiving God's discipline)

See ya tomorrow!
Ok, finally got the page set. Now I'm going to bed:)
Goodnight all!

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Heylo i made it:)

Friday, July 19, 2002

Guess What??? I made it to the Updated List..cool huh?

Ok I'm really going! Bye!
Today I'm taking my daughter to a birthday party. Pool Party that is. What great fun. I get to stand around with people I don't know and generally feel like a doofus. Which might surprise some people because if you know me, I'm generally a very friendly person who is very outgoing. Well the catch is, I'm outgoing on my turf! If it's my party or a party I put together or at a place I'm familiar with, I can chat up a storm. But if I'm walking into a place I've never been before or if I'm surrounded by people I don't know and they all seem to know one another, I immediately feel like a doofus. It's intimidating. I want the upper hand. I want to be able to be the one who can mix and mingle and make everyone else feel comfortable, not try to figure out how I can feel comfortable. Ugh. But I will go, and I will probably have a decent time--think positive right? And what's up with the fact that it wasn't stated whether parents are supposed to swim? If I go in my suit and no other adult is, I'm going to feel really silly. But if I don't go in my suit and everyone else IS wearing their suit then what? ugh..I thought I was through with trying to fit in since I graduated from high school..never changes does it? I suppose I could take my suit and leave it in the car and then go get it if everyone is swimming, and leave it if they're not? That could work.. Then I only look a little like a doofus :) lol.

Aren't birthday parties great? I think it's a shame that there seems to be a certain age where it's no longer "necessary" to have a party? Who says? What's the purpose of a birthday party anyway? In my mind it's to celebrate another year of a person's life. Well that isn't just for children! I love party games and I love people and I like being the center of attention, so it kind of stinks that it's not "cool" to have birthday parties. Maybe I will just buck that tradition and throw myself one smashing birthday party next year. I could go all out, have cake, hats, dorky games..the whole nine yards. Hmm.. I'll have to think about that.

Well I'm thunk out for now :) I need to make some lunch and get ready for that party! See ya tomorrow, feel free to sound off in the comments!

Thursday, July 18, 2002

My heart goes out to Erin Runnion, mother of Samantha Runnion who was found dead on Tuesday night after being kidnapped on Monday. I can't imagine the pain she is going through.

So what kind of punishment does Samantha's captor deserve? 20 years, Life in prison, death? How can you even find a punishment that would actually fit the crime in this case? Because our government believes in decent treatment of those in prison, tormenting him/her (most likely him) is not an option. But crimes like this make me feel like justice will never be served. Who knows what kind of horrors that poor little girl went through before she died. It's not fair.

And as I cry out to God on behalf of this poor mother who is living my worst nightmare, what kind of comfort can I find? I know that the man who did this will have to stand before God and account for what he did. And I know God is just.

But I also think, God loves that man. Because the Bible says in 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." He would like for this man to come to repentance. I want vegeance, I want death. I want this man to suffer every horror that could be thought of, because I think he is despicable. I think he is disgusting. But God loves him, and not only suffers over the loss of Samantha, but suffers over the sin of this man. And if that man decides to call out to God, God will save him. God won't make the consequences of his crime disappear, the man will still have to suffer whatever the consequences may be. But God will honor his prayer and make him a child of God.

Part of me wants to cry out as to how that could be. This disgusting, less than human, evil man--how could God possibly forgive him and allow him into His presence? Because God has promised in Joel 2:32 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Everyone--murderer, adulterer, liar, thief, those who think they are better than others, rich, poor, educated, uneducated--everyone. And if God could not forgive this man who has done this horrible thing, what hope do we have?

We need to pray hard that this man is found, because he is a threat to other children and other people. But we also need to pray that God will intervene in his life and bring about repentance. That will be difficult. But we should. As Christians, we need to know God's heart and what He wants to see done. And according to 2 Peter--he wants everyone to come to repentance and that none should perish and that should be our heart too. Granted we are going to have to ask God to help us desire those things. Because it will not come naturally.

But if we truly want to be God's followers, we have to make the things He desires, the same things we desire. It takes a relationship with God to really know what He desires. It will take time. It will take patience and it will take a lot of discipline as He begins to transform us. It will probably be painful as well as we see ourselves for who we really are. We like to think of ourselves as "do-gooders", but in reality we're really selfish. I'm gonna take some time this week to pray for this man and the Runnion family..

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Welcome to my blog. A place to place your thoughts out loud and hopefully to find a few to mull over. Hopefully one day my blog will actually appear in the updated list and I will actually use my comments space, but we will have to wait and see I think.