Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Important Update

Ever wonder what you are supposed to remember when you find the reminder you left for yourself? Perhaps you never have that problem, but I do. I’ll leave a bookmark in something I am reading only to return to the book and find three or four bookmarks in it. Then I have to reread each marked page to see which of my lessons it is supposed to support.

You see, I am a skimmer. I seldom read an entire book word for word. I just want to get to the important stuff. So, what’s wrong with that? The author obviously thinks all of it is important. For me it has to do with perceived necessity. If I need it, it is important. If I don’t; oh well.

As long as we are talking about information, that qualifier is okay. But let’s say we are talking about people. I can not decide that a person is not important to me simply because I think I do not need them. A person’s title or position can make them of more importance than the next fellow within their sphere of influence, but makes no difference as to their significance as a person. What I mean is this; God created man in His image. God gave man his status in the world. God says we are important, therefore WE ARE IMPORTANT.

The Apostle Paul put it this way in I Corinthians 12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

God has done the setting of each member in such a way that the body never need be dismantled. Regardless of our opinion of another, we should remember that each member is vital to the survival of the whole. If we then have the mind of Christ, we will esteem others in the same light in which we desire to be esteemed.

Hold your head up high. You are somebody. You are IMPORTANT! PT2006

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Audio Resumes?

Did you know that there's a website where you can actually put your voice on your resume? The site is called Click here to see how it works . For their basic package of $9.95 you can call into their 800 number and answer five simple questions pertaining to: professional aspirations, interests, and goals
what motivates them in the workplace, and constitutes the ideal work environment, preferred management & leadership styles, identifying conflicts and their resolution process, and what contributions you have made in your past employment and what you hope to contibute in your new. Then they give you a url to post on your resume where employers can actually go and view your resume and listen to your answers. Pretty cool, huh. But I wonder if it will catch on? I may get my hubby to try it out using his best radio voice.

*This post sponsored by PPP and

Redneck Jail Break

Only in the South could this happen. What was he thinking? His poor mother.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In Good Hands

Worship Wednesday is brought to you by my sister and friend, Carla Reynolds, aka PT2006.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1 KJV

Every day we read of the escalation of crime throughout the nation. What is more perplexing is the fact that no neighborhood is immune to its onslaught. Kidnapping, murder, burglary, beatings, rape, grand theft auto, and the list goes on. It is enough to make us want to be armed at all times and barricade ourselves inside our homes. Yet no physical dwelling can be impervious to every type of criminal. There will always be a mind devious enough to find a way inside if that is their aim.

On the other hand, not one evil person can break into the SECRET PLACE of God. As long as they are of a sinful nature they can not enter in any way, shape, form, or fashion. His secret place is for those who have assumed new identities in Him, born again believers with a desire to be living testaments of His saving grace.

When we live in God's safe-house, we are fully protected from the arsenal of the enemy. Satan may hurl insults or nuclear bombs, but they will bounce right off the walls of the citadel. He may try to drop in through the roof or dig in under the foundation, but he will not succeed. The hands of the Saviour, once pierced with nails, are now the impregnable barriers that surround the saved.

The purpose of the Witness Protection Agency is to keep a witness alive to testify at the appointed time. Truly God is the only witness protection agent that is qualified to keep us alive in these last and evil days. Attesting to His grace, mercy, and love is the least we can do to reciprocate His service to us. Additionally, I believe we should expose satan for who and what he is. We should undermine his plans and reveal his tactics to those he holds captive. The word of God is true, no weapon formed against us will prosper.

I am in good hands, are you? PT2006

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Long and Winding Road

New novel progress is stalled. Work on first novel proposal stalled. Most writing attempts stalled due to exhaustion that is tending to stifle my creativity at this point. I am beginning to understand why I waited 40 years to start writing on a serious level. In order to do it right, you almost have to do it full time. I know there are writers out there that are sucessfully selling their books who have written them in sporadic intervals between other full time endeavors and homemaking. I know it is possible. In fact, whenever I get settled back into a nice work routine and am not having all this night work to get done, then I feel that I will get back to the odyssey.

I am concerned that Jack and Ellen (two of my new characters) are losing their appeal for me. I outlined this novel like last time, though. And I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have. I know where the story' s going and where it will end. So I fear some of the magic has been lost. I'm having trouble with the in between and the fleshing out. Maybe it's just that I haven't spent enough time with them yet. Or is it that old reluctance to deal with the themes? I know I'm not quite ready to trash it, because I thought I left one of my journals in a hotel room recently that had an entire chapter in it. And I just about went haywire. I later found the journal in my nightstand drawer where I had looked a thousand times.

Thank you, Diane, for sending me that great package this week. I have had a little time to thumb through the magazines, but can't wait until I can devour them. It was so nice of you to think of me on your trip. I saw some great titles about finding and landing agents that I want to read. I am such an amateur at all of it. I need all the help I can get.

Thank you to all of you who still stop by, even when I haven't updated. I will try to do better with my posting. Tune in tomorrow for sis's Worship Wednesday post. She has some really good ones coming up.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Love My Boys

**After fiddling with old blogger for quite some time trying to get a picture uploaded, I decided to take the plunge to the new blogger. And lo and behold, it worked. Imagine that.

Today my husband turned 39. I think he must be depressed over it, because he hasn't gotten out of bed yet. And it's 12:30. (Thirty-nine did not bother me. Thirty did not bother me. Forty about killed me--especially when you're the oldest mom in the kindergarten parent crowd, and someone asks you if you're the child's grandmother.) Of course, being 39 and having to start over in the career department is frustrating. I'm 41 and haven't found a career yet. Deep down I know I should focus on what I love, which is being a writer. But there is that ever-present need for survival that splits your focus, especially when you have a child to consider.

Throughout my lifetime I've had many jobs, mostly clerical. All left me feeling unfulfilled and underpaid. My favorite "job" is mommy--which is definitely fulfilling, rewarding, and the best accomplishment I've ever attained. Of course I had help. Thank you, Bub, for giving me the most wonderful, smartest, most handsome, incredibly talented and soulful child on the planet. Not bad work for an old man! LOL. Happy Birthday!!!!
Oh, and we lost another front tooth last baby's growin' up.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Let Your Light Shine

I have always been blessed with good eyesight. Even at forty something, I have 20/20 vision.
My night vision is also exceptional for my age. I rarely turn on a light when I get up in the night. It is a habit that goes back to the days when I still lived at home.

I would come in from work around 11:20 pm, go to the restroom, pass through my sisters' bedroom, change clothes, and get in my bed without turning on a light at any time. I knew the path, so I ambled about in the shadows. But the main reason I walked in darkness had to do with the owner of this blog. If I inadvertantly flipped a switch, she would wail out some near obscenity (Editor's note: Was I really that bad?) and wake the whole house. :-) So I conditioned myself to tread lightly and pray that there would be no obstacles in my path.

It is the same way with so many christians today. They walk in the darkness because they have become accustomed to their surroundings. They think they have enough spiritual perception to keep them from stumbling. Or maybe, they just don't want to hear the slurs of the sleeping who do not want to see the Light. Faulty reasoning is one explaination. A lie from the devil is more like it. He attempts to obscure the Truth in any and every way possible. He places obstacles in strategic places. He and darkness are close companions.

We must not fall prey to his antics. We must take the scriptures and apply them to our lives. Daily we must affirm our faith and declare who we are in Christ. Matthew 5:14-16 reminds us of our responsibilities to the world. We are to be more than a pen light. We are to be lighthouses to those in the reckless waves of life. We must point the way to Christ's safe harbor.

We are the light of the world. We must let our lights so shine before men, that they will see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. The Light in our lives will drive out the darkness. It is not a hard thing. Just keep your lighthouse clean and the window open. Christ will shine through.

"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Busy, Busy

I trained all last week for my latest job--a full time medical transcription position from home doing Cardiology. It's going well, and I am going to try keep the other part time jobs as long as they keep sending work, and I can keep up.

CWG has had an interview for a local job this week. He's praying for a callback if this is the right job for him. It's local with benefits. I'm hoping yet again.

Right now blogging is probably lower on my list of priorities, along with getting that proposal out. But I haven't forgotten it. We're just getting the oxen out of the ditch right now. Seems like it's been a slippery, muddy mess down there in the ditch. But we're coming out!

Hopefully sis will send me the Worship Wednesday post soon, and you will have something more to chew on.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Checking In

I know I've been lax about posting. We went out of town for a long weekend to celebrate my husband's upcoming birthday on Thursday. I've also had a lot of other things going on with my work. But I'm not complaining. The Lord is faithful to provide.

I trust everyone's year is off to a good start and that you all are safe and happy. I was watching on the news about the severe weather in the midwest and northeast. It's been a very mild winter here so far, and for that I'm greatful. I even have buttercups coming up!

Also have been keeping an eye on the breaking news about the boys found in Missouri. Be in prayer for these families as they continue to piece together the missing days and years. Pray for the two boys. I'm sure they have a lot of issues to work out within. Pray for their captor. Yes, I said pray for their captor. It's hard to pray for those in the wrong. But it is something we must do. Love the unlovable.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fit 4 Life

Physical fitness is a perennial resolution for many. One reason it tops the list again and again is a failure to make exercise a permanent addition to one's lifestyle. Exercise has many documented benefits. It improves circulation, increases muscle tone and strength, invigorates the body, feeds more oxygen to the brain, and increases overall feeling of well-being. Yet these advantages will not manifest until the mind and body are trained to exercise automatically.

Becoming a better Christian tops Sister Spiritual's resolution list. She says she wants to pray more, read the Bible more and spend more time working for the Lord. The clock alarms at 5am, she slides sleepily from her bed to the floor near by. "Dear Lord', she mutters. There is a draft, but she wants to follow through with her New Year's resolutions. Her knees begin to ache, her thighs start to cramp, even her elbows stiffen as she rests them on the bed. "Why don't I just pray lying in the bed?" she says to herself. And so begins the end of the keeping of resolutions.

On to number two on her list. She takes her Bible and stumbles into the dining room. She sits at the table and tries to focus on the words. She thinks, "A cup of coffee would be nice."
She leaves the Bible on the table and goes to the cupboard. Then she remembers,
"We're out of coffee. I guess I'll just have some juice. Maybe a piece of toast and jam......"

Dear reader you know how the rest of the story goes. One distraction after another. Soon it becomes too much trouble to pray and read in the mornings. So Miss Spiritual decides to do these things at night before going to bed. This effort also fails, for many nights she is just too tired to follow through. After a few days of these frustrating efforts, Baby girl just quits. She says to herself, "I'll do better next year." Thus spiritual exercise becomes a perennial resolution.

Spiritual training supplemented with the power of the Holy Spirit and working out in the gym of God's presence is key to transforming into the likeness of Jesus.

"Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly, For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." I Timothy 4:7,8 NIV

Verse 16 adds; "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Praying for your continued success as you train in His Service, PT2006

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Little Self-Inventory This Morning

Found this joke on a Christian site, and was free to copy it as long as I wasn't compensated for it:

One balmy day in the South Pacific, a navy ship espied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island. Upon arriving at the shore they were met by a shipwreck survivor. He said, "I'm so glad you're here! I've been alone on this island for more than five years!"
The captain replied, "If you're all alone on the island why do I see THREE huts."
The survivor said, "Oh. We'll, I live in one, and go to church in another."
"What about the THIRD hut?" asked the captain.
"That's where I USED to go to church."

Isn't that just like some of us, always finding fault with what we have--always looking for something else, never seeing that the blame lies squarely on our own shoulders? Instead of focusing ourselves on getting in there, getting involved, and making a church all it should be, we spend our time focusing on its faults, worrying about childish, insignificant things like the color of the carpet or some other nonsense. Sometimes when we don't find things to our liking, we just up and move--as if churches were disposable. You don't like this one? Fine, find yourself another. There's plenty to go around.

And while I know this to be true because of my last two years of searching for a home church, I also know that very few of the churches in my town are full to capacity. Most of them have empty seats on Sunday morning. Most of them could use a few dedicated laborers for the harvest. I've spent many a service as a visitor picking apart the music, the sermon, the teachers--when I should have had my mind on worshipping. My priorities were totally out of whack. When you go to church for what you get out of it, you're losing sight of what worship is truly about--commnunion with the Creator.

You see I know that without Him, I am nothing. Life means nothing. There is no fulfillment, no peace, no joy outside of Him. I can tell if I go without worshipping. My soul dries up. I can have my backside sitting in a pew for 12 Sundays straight, and if I'm not worshipping Him while I'm there, I'm still as dead and dry as ever. Did you know you can go through all the motions of being a Christian without actually being one? When we stop worshipping and start picking other Christians and churches apart at the seams, we are not reflecting the love of Christ. We are merely sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

Take time to reread 1 Corinthians 13 today. The whole foundation for Christianity is in that chapter. You can have all the outward signs, but if your inward heart does not love, you are nothing. You have nothing. You might as well be shipwrecked on a deserted island. You can make your own rules, build your own church, take charge of everything yourself--but you still won't be happy until you find a place of true worship. And that comes from within.

Lord, help me to love more. Help me to get my priorities straight. Help me to worship you in spirit and in truth.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year-New Perspective

Okay. A comment on last year's resolutions spurred me to write my first novel. I am now polishing up the query letter, and hopefully will send it out just any day. Thanks Porchwise for spurring me on. Thank you Diane, Maya, Lisa, Dave, Vicki, Linda, and all you others out there who have encouraged me to develop my talent. I look forward to joining you in print someday.

It's a new year with new hopes, dreams, and plans. From my little corner of the world here in Henry County I look out with my natural eyes and see challenges, difficulties, and hardship ahead as we keep struggling to bounce back from the blows life has dealt us. And it seems sometimes they just keep coming. Or is it like editing? Do I need to keep rewriting the same scenes over until I get them right?

It's a good thing that I can see with spiritual eyes as well. When I ask God to take the scales off and let me see, sometimes the picture is still not so pretty. Sometimes He shows me the bitter truth of the sin I still struggle with, the things I need to root out. And yes, the picture is sometimes ugly, ugly.

Until He shows me the finished work. Until He gives me a glimpse of heaven and the afterlife. Until He shows me the things I've missed seeing while having my pity party. Like the love of family and friends who are there for you through it all. Lord, what would I have done without faithful friends and loved ones to cry on their shoulders? What would I have done had I not found you waiting with open arms to comfort me, to quiet my frenzied soul, to whisper to my heart, "It'll be all right, daughter. I have you in the palm of my hand. I will not let you be destroyed." What sweet words to my heart He brings during these moments. What precious comfort I find in Him.

He knows me. He made the heart that beats inside, that breaks so easily. He cares when we lie awake at night not knowing where to turn or what to do. He knows our past, our present, our future. He is our strength when we are weak. When He said, "I am," He reassures us that He is. He is all that we need. In Him we live, and move, and have our being.

Resolve--isn't that a stain remover for your carpets? Hm. Perhaps there is a correlation there. There are many things I would like to resolve out of my life so that others can shine forth.

This year I resolve to find the beautiful things inside me that He wants to let out.
This year I resolve to work on both the inner and outer man.
This year I resolve to worry less, trust more --and rest in the safety of His provision.
This year I resolve to give more of myself away and quit holding back out of fear.
This year I resolve to be a better Christian, wife, mother, and writer.
This year I resolve to not let other's opinions matter quite so much.
This year I resolve to let go of the immaterial and grasp onto the eternal.

For as Charles Carter, my Intermediate Sunday School teacher always said,
"Only one life
It will soon be past,
Only what's done
For Christ will last."

Thanks Charles. And thank you friends for being here. You give me a reason, a purpose, a smile.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Punctuate the Positive

The Apostle Paul begins his second letter to Timothy with recollections from the past and admonitions for the future. Timothy's past had been built on and nurtured with faith. His future would be filled with troubles and afflictions. As Timothy's spiritual father; Paul exhorts him to retain the solid counsel and christian values he had received as his son in the ministry, to keep the faith his family had instilled in him, and to stir up the gift of God that was resident within him.

"For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." II Timothy 1:12

The Apostle had committed his body, soul, and spirit to Jesus Christ. He had committed his calling and ministry to the Lord. He had no doubts concerning his relationship with Him. His present and future were safe in Him who had given him life more abundant. Paul was certain of his future. He said in Romans 8:38,39 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He continued in Romans 14:8, "whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's".

At this time of the year it is common to make resolutions for the coming year. We look back and take inventory. We pick out the negatives in our lives. We vow to change our behaviors and circumstances. Often times our New Year's resolutions are the same ones we have made year after year.

This year when we look back, let's punctuate the positives. Let's use them as a platform on which we will build a brighter future. Let us take a look at how our faith has seen us through the most difficult times and take time to recall the pearls of wisdom we have gathered from our spiritual fathers and mothers. Above all, we must activate the gift of God within ourselves to be all we can be for Him in the coming year.

Truly He is able to keep all that we commit to Him! PT2006
PT2006 writes the Worship Wednesday segment for Beneath the Ivy Wreath. Please let her know how much you are enjoying these devotionals. Perhaps we can encourage her to start a daily blog. I'm sure we could all use her inspirational insights. Thanks again, sis.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fun Scavenger Hunt

Saw the coolest scavenger hunt today. It was sponsored by HP, and the lady had to find all these things around Chicago in -9 degree wind chill. It was part of a Postie Patrol. She went around taking photos and videos and had to bring some items back to the judges. My favorite part was when they wrote I luv HP across her forehead. I was wondering if it was a permanent marker, but I guess for all those prizes I would have. I think it's awesome to be able to take pics and instantly upload or print them. Digital Photo Printing

She got a digital camera, paper, printer, t-shirt, memory stick, and a 1,000.
Man, I sure could have used that digital camera this past holiday season. It was such a pain to take pics with the cell phone and then try to post them. I would be able to share so much more with you guys. Although as much as I hate cold weather, it would truly be a difficult thing for me to do. She had to lie in the snow and try to make a snow angel for crying out loud. Can you picture my big behind in the snow trying to do that? I'd have to have a crane to get me back up. LOL. And if it was permanent marker, she'll be telling the world she loves HP for a while.

This post was sponsored by Pay Per Post and HP.