Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends. I am so thankful that I have some of both around for today. But I also have both family and friends that I can't be with today. I want you to know that I'm thinking of you, I'm thankful for each of you, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

My love to all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Vegetative State

The past couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity and emotional trauma. I dealt with it by doing hard, mind-numbing work like shampooing carpets and completely cleaning out, washing and rearranging all of my kitchen cabinets. (I'll have you know our vitamins are now alphabetized). It's been a busy fall, and I think everything finally hit me last night. I made enchiladas (using venison, mind you!) and then sat down to read a book while they were in the oven. I ended up falling asleep, but fortunately the boys know what the timer on the oven means and they rescued dinner before it burned.
I slept on the couch until a little after 8:00. When I woke up, the only thing I could contemplate was whether or not it was too early to go to bed. Since most of the enchiladas were gone, I fixed myself a sandwich and then curled up in bed to watch a movie. My husband was in the living room while I was sleeping, and then he came upstairs with me, but he was mostly reading and studying for the Wednesday night Bible study.
It occurred to me as I turned out the light that I had vegetated for the entire evening. I started to say I had lived as a carrot, but then I thought, given my hair's tendency to curl up and stick out, maybe I more resembled broccoli. As for my husband? I think he resembled a rutabaga for no other reason than the fact that I like saying rutabaga. My husband gave me the tolerant smile he usually gives when I make no sense and then kissed me good night.
I like having vegetable night. Next time I might be a cauliflower. My thought-provoking question for you is this: if you were a vegetable, which one would you be?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Disappearing Month

You hear it all the time these days. Everywhere people are saying that they're cutting back. They're economizing. They're downsizing. We have to save every resource and make it last for just a while longer than we used to. We have to cut extras out of our lives and live more frugally. And just in case you have troubles doing that on your own, the government will help you. They will tell you where to cut back. They will tell you which natural resources you have to save, even if it means returning to the dark ages. If this health care bill passes, they will tell you which diseases are worth treating, which people are deserving of treatment, and which people we ought to let die for the good of the masses.
I think I've figured out the next place that the government is going to tell us to cut back. I've been studying this for a while, and in my professional opinion, I think that the government is going to downsize the calendar. I think we will soon hear of a bill proposing that we remove one month from the twelve we usually use in a year.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. That's one less month that they have to send out welfare checks, social security, or make medicare, medicaid or WIC payments. That's one less month that government officials have to pay salaries to government employees. One less month they have to use in factoring vacation time and sick leave.
It would be good for us too. Just think, a thirty year mortgage (providing you're one of the few people that qualifies for one these days) would actually be paid off in twenty-seven and a half years. On a more personal front, for females that's one less month of--you know--per year. And who wouldn't be happy with that?
The only question really is, which month do we do away with? It can't be January. We need that for new year's resolutions. Plus, Martin Luther King Jr's birthday is celebrated then. We don't want to be accused of being politically incorrect. For the same reason we can't get rid of March. St. Patrick's Day. All of Chicago would be in a uproar because then they'd have no reason to dye the river green. We can't do February because that would put cupids out of work. And the card companies. We have to keep April because without Easter we'd have no reason to get dressed up in new dresses and we'd have no reason to eat tons of candy. May has to stay because of Mother's Day. And no one wants to get rid of summer months. We need September because that's when school starts, and we can't get rid of October because of the huge Halloween holiday. Naturally, we also need to hang on to December because of Christmas.
When it comes right down to it, November is the month that has to go. It's boring, it usually has bad weather. We'd probably all be better off if the calendar went right from October to December. But wait, you say? What about the holidays in November?
I'm glad you brought that up. Let's look at November's holidays, shall we? First, we have Veterans' Day. Hey, I personally appreciate the contributions of veterans as much as the next person. But let's face it. National pride and patriotism are on the way out. If we keep celebrating our war heroes, we might alienate some third world country that resents our power anyway. We don't have acts of war or terrorism anymore. We have manmade disasters. We could celebrate Disaster Control Day, but that could easily be slipped into August. There's not much happening that month anyway.
The other holiday in November would be Thanksgiving. And we don't want to remember that holiday anymore because that epitomizes our failure as a nation. We've managed to corrupt the true meaning of Easter and Christmas. We've enlarged and celebrated Halloween until it's becoming a major national holiday. But somehow we just haven't truly been able to mess up Thanksgiving.
Oh, we've tried. But gluttony and sporting events couldn't quite erase the thankfulness this holiday inspired. We tried connecting it to the biggest sales day of the year. And sure, we got some people who gave up Thanksgiving in order to sit in lines all night, waiting for stores to open at 5:00 a.m. But still we couldn't get rid of that thankfulness. It's hard to corrupt thankfulness. It's almost impossible to commercialize it. We've even had people try to distort history and take the thankfulness out completely, referring to the holiday as the day we celebrated "sticking it to the Native Americans".
The only way we're going to get rid of this holiday is to do away with November all together. I've noticed that some stores are already doing that. The first week of November I couldn't find any fall decorations to save my life. Christmas decorations were up in the store, and they were even playing Christmas music. I think removing November from the calendar would just be the official gesture to what's been going on for years.
I don't know about you, but in our house, we plan on celebrating Thanksgiving for a good many years to come. For one thing, I'm going to be grateful that God hasn't given our nation everything we actually deserve.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Strawberry Pie and Lifetime Traditions

This picture is four generations of women in my family. The lady on the left is my grandmother. The woman in the middle is my mother, holding my daughter. And I'm on the right.

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around for the past week. There's a reason for my absence, and the reason is this: strawberry pie.

You see, I lost my mother one week ago today. It was unexpected and overwhelming, but Mom went to be with the Lord late last week. I spent a lot of time thinking about my mom the past few days. Remembering, pondering. Mom taught me some pretty wonderful things when I was growing up. Here's just a few of the things for which I'm grateful.

Mom taught me that you do what's needed. Whatever life may hand your way, you follow through and do what needs to be done. People are counting on you.

Mom taught me that family comes first. I can't remember a time when she wasn't thinking or doing something for someone in our family. She worked hard to make sure that we were comfortable. That we had what we needed. That we were happy. Whether it was a Christmas full of traditions, or just an extra blanket on the bed at night, Mom always saw to everyone else's needs.

Mom taught me to honor my husband. For years I watched her honor and reverence the man she married, and that set the standard for the way I've tried to treat my own husband for the past twenty-three years.

Mom taught me that some events were special. Birthdays were always big at our house. For one day, the birthday girl (or boy) didn't have to do any chores. They got whatever they wanted (within reason) for their birthday supper, and they got the cake of their choice too. Even though I always seemed to ask for something difficult, like homemade chicken and dumplings, Mom came through.

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, Mom and my sisters and I spent the day making Christmas cookies. We played Christmas music and turned out hundreds of different kinds of cookies. I still use some of her recipes, and although I don't always make the cookies the day after Thanksgiving, I always have Christmas music playing, and I always think of Mom.

My mom was a great cook. As the youngest of three girls, I didn't always get a lot of cooking time in the kitchen. We all had to help get meals on the table, but a lot of the time I was relegated to setting the table or filling the ice with glasses. Mom did teach me how to make mashed potatoes, however. To this day I take pride in creating mounds of creamy, lump-less perfection.

When Terry and I got engaged, we joked some about the fact that I didn't really know that much about cooking. But my mom was not about to let one of her daughters start her own home without being prepared. So in the six months between our engagement and our wedding, Mom taught me to cook. I made sure to ask how to make all of my favorite dishes, although they never quite turned out as good as hers did. My mom wanted my culinary education to be thorough, so she even taught me how to make pies. I spent all of one afternoon laboring over a homemade strawberry pie. I think she took as much pride in the finished product as I did.

Years later I taught my own daughter to make biscuits from scratch. (In Uganda, everything was from scratch!) Typically, it wasn't any time at all before Steph's skill surpassed my own, but I still took my own form of mother's pride every time she produced biscuits for the table.

My mom was the epitome of the perfect housekeeper and the perfect lady. I fell far short in both areas, something that amused both of us, I think. She thought my mistakes were funny--and they usually were. But even though I never quite got as good as she did, I don't think I disappointed my mother. Because her love for me wasn't based on what I was able to accomplish. Her love was based on the fact that I was her daughter. I understand this love because this is what I feel for my own daughter. Stephanie may have disappointed me a time or two, but my love for her has nothing to do with what she does. I love her because of who she is.

And that may be the best thing of all that my mother taught me.

I love you, Mom. I miss you. Thanks for being you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Military Policy

My boys have been arguing a lot lately. I know it's not unusual for kids to argue, but their fighting has taken an unusual turn and I don't like it. It seems that nowadays, most of the arguing is done because someone "did" something to someone else. And the offended person is angry, not just because of what happened. No, they're angry because they assume that whatever happened was on purpose. They actually believe that their brother intentionally tried to hurt, annoy, anger them without a reason. Now, admittedly, sometimes that's the case. But I hate the instant conclusion that someone as close as a brother would deliberately do something mean. Sometimes things really are just an accident.
I blame all this on political correctness. I really do. See, political correctness assumes that if you do or say something politically incorrect, you did it on purpose. You're trying to hurt someone. Why would anyone want to live their lives assuming others are trying to hurt them? What's the fun of having a chip on your shoulder? I don't get it, but apparently there are so many people out there with the chip-on-the-shoulder motif that we've had to institute political correctness in order to deal with it. We've had to curtail and watch what we say and do lest we offend anyone and then the world will think we did it on purpose.
Obviously political correctness is not the perfect answer. But lately I think we're coming to see that it's actually a dangerous answer. In the first place, it seems to breed entitlement issues. If everyone thinks everyone else is out to deliberately hurt them, then they're always crying for restitution when someone says something unkind. I'm not a fan of unkindness, but hey, it happens. It's not always intentional. Move on. But instead we have people starting up lawsuits because someone said something mean to them. And then other people start lawsuits because their feelings were hurt in a much greater way than the people in the first lawsuit, so surely they should get something too. We've actually raised an entire generation (or two) to believe that people owe us something because they (in most cases) accidentally insulted us.
Political correctness is also dangerous because it smothers truth. Sometimes things need to be said. Issues need to be handled. But no one will say anything because they are afraid of, at the least, being perceived as insensitive. At the worst, they will be perceived as an ignorant lout who should pay for the "emotional damage" they inflicted on others. Now, I realize there are ignorant louts out there. There are people who are warped enough to want to inflict emotional damage. But I believe they are the exception, not the rule.
Political correctness breeds entitlement issues. It smothers truth. But we've learned in the last week that it also costs lives. The Ft. Hood killer (PC versions would say he's the "shooter" or the "alleged shooter". He killed people. Other people saw him do it. He's a killer.) is a follower of Isl*m. He spouted wild-eyed rhetoric apparently throughout his career. He gave a presentation that sympathized with suicide bombers. He encouraged the military to remove m*slims from military action in the Middle East on the basis of being conscientious objectors. He even warned that having m*slims in our military fighting m*slims would cause "adverse" events. Now there's an example of political correctness for you. Perhaps we would have listened had he actually said "we'll kill you" as opposed to hinting of adverse events. Oh, wait. He got a little more blunt than that. In his presentation praising suicide bombers he said, "we love death more than you love life." That's right. He said "we".
So if he said all these things and was open about his feelings, why was he still in the military? Worse yet, why was he a psychiatrist who was helping our military personnel? Why would we want someone like this messing around in our soldiers' minds? The answer is we wouldn't. However, no one wanted to blow the whistle on him. Why? They didn't want to get sued. They didn't want to be accused of discrimination.
We ended up with an entire group that buried their heads in the sand, lest they offend someone who wanted to kill us. This is not the brightest military policy I've ever seen. It could well be the stupidest. What other army in the world would take in people related to or close to their enemies and have them serve? Not only that, but we seem to actually try to reach out to these people and put them in positions of danger to us because we want to show how "diverse" we are. What we're actually doing is showing how stupid we are. What we actually did was allow political correctness to kill thirteen people and wound thirty others.
It's time for us all to grow up. Yes, there are people out there that actually want to hurt us. If they're spouting extremist rhetoric, take the hint and deal with it. Let's quit trying to play nice because they're not going to return the favor. There's no amount of apologies or money that will change the mind of extremists. They're out to hurt us. They're out to kill us. Let's forget trying to keep from hurting their feelings and deal with the threat.
Political correctness will never be enough to pacify them. It could well be enough to destroy us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Dozen

It's time for another random dozen questions. Below are my answers. Feel free to put some answers of your own in the comments. To read more answers, click on the button.

1. What was the last song you listened to?

Actually I don't know the name of it. It was something about wanting to know what love is. It was on a commercial for the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie that's coming out. The three chipmunks had just encountered girls, and there was a lot of dreamy-eyed staring going on. And since this is a dozen questions, I'm going to refrain from getting into the whole love-is-not-the-squiggly-feeling-you-get-the-first-time-you-see-someone thing. I'll save that for my kids.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?

Once or twice I've bought something that was a little small, thinking it would be an incentive for me to lose weight. That was really stupid and a total waste of money. By the time I got down to that size, the outfit would be out of style anyway.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)

Believe it or not, I'm thankful for our dog. (At least most of the time.) Our household is so full and so busy, I didn't think we needed another pet, but Sonny is absolutely adorable. He plays hide-n-seek with the boys and he actually grins when he's enjoying himself.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?

We used to watch it every year when I was growing up. It was as much a part of Thanksgiving morning as football was for Thanksgiving afternoon. I've kind of grown out of it though. I love all the traditional stuff, but I hate the commercialization it's turned into. I want to watch a parade, not a few floats in between each of the new tween or country acts that show up to perform. And please don't get me started on the commentators. They may be absolutely brilliant actors, news anchors, etc., but the illusion they try to give that we're all sitting and watching this together makes me glad these people aren't visiting at our house for Thanksgiving.

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.

"Life is hard and then you die, so eat your breakfast." I guess I can't really say that inspired me lately since I'm the one that said it. It came out of my mouth in response to one of my kids whining about something. They've threatened to put this saying on my tombstone.

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention--G rating?

This is a difficult question. See, I don't like guilt. And if something makes me feel guilty, it sucks all the joy out of the "pleasure" part of it. Plus, I'm not sure I know you well enough to share what I would enjoy that would make me feel guilty.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?

Obviously there's the turkey. And the homemade stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Gotta have the green bean casserole. My boys look forward to the orange salad. My husband likes the stuffed mushrooms. Everyone likes the cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Ham rolls are an absolute must. And we've gotta have a relish tray of olives and pickles. My husband likes both the pumpkin and pecan pies. The kids like the chocolate pie and apple pie. Obviously it's hard to choose. This year I'm mostly looking forward to not cooking since we're going to someone else's house for dinner!

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?

My favorite childhood books were the Nancy Drew series. Could not get enough of them. If I'm reading to my kids, I love reading from the Bloodhound series by Bill Myers. They're so funny, and they also teach some good Biblical truths to kids.

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)

Years ago I used to collect music boxes. Most of them were destroyed by one too many games of football or wrestling in the living room. Now I collect some Boyd's Bear stuff. I also collect shoes. My goal is to have a pair in every color known to man.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?

When we went to Uganda, I took gift bags with us because I couldn't get wrapping paper over there, and gift bags are reusable. Now that we're back here, I'll use a gift bag if I'm giving to someone outside the family. For family, especially at Christmas, it's wrapping paper, baby! With all the ribbons and bows and trimmings. It's an enormous job, and you can tell when we're getting towards the end because the "extras" tend to get a little sparse.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?

After changing my clothes and doing whatever chores I had to do, I would watch an episode of Batman. Yeah, the one with Adam West. Then I would go outside and ride my bike or play football with the boys next door. That was all before I was twelve. I held a part time job after school from the time I was twelve until I wasn't in school anymore.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? When you're fishing, do you feel for the fish??

In the first place, I don't like fishing. In the second place, no! Do you feel for the chicken when you buy eggs? Do you feel for the cow when you buy milk? Better yet, do you feel for the cow when you buy ground beef? Why on earth would you be fishing at all if you have any sympathy for the fish? (My husband shot Bambi's mother, and I'm proud of him!)

Fall Festival

We had our annual Fall Festival at church this past Saturday, and it was a lot of fun.
Here's the cake I entered in a contest.

I lost (and rightfully so) to this cake.

Here's my husband taking a dive in the dunking booth.

Paul enjoying the horseback riding.

And Joel enjoying the moonbounce. That's Nicky in the background.

All in all it was an absolutely wonderful day spent with family and friends. I just wanted to share a few pictures with family and friends from the blogging world. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 9, 2009

How Smart Are You?

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional. Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT that difficult. But don't scroll down UNTIL you have answered the question!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2 . How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend...except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.

This tests your memory. Okay even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is inhabited by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four- year-old.

I flunked the quiz completely. How did you do?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Myth Recipe

Here's the weapon. Er, I mean recipe. Handle with care!

You will need:
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal
24 oz chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 eight oz Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla

Measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a find powder. Cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips and Hershey bar. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes about 112 cookies.


Friday, November 6, 2009

The Neiman-Marcus Cookie

There's something about fall weather that always makes me want to bake. The crisp, cool air, the apple and cinnamon candles I start lighting, the shorter days ... something about all of them just begs me to bake.

Now, I'm not Paula Dean (shoot, I'm not even a distant cousin of her dishwasher), but I've got a few baked goods that I like to turn out. Thankfully, even if I wasn't in the mood to bake, Stephanie usually was. One of the things we both like to make are Neiman-Marcus cookies.

You may have heard of the urban legend of the NM cookie. (How could there be an urban legend about a cookie?!?) Some woman was supposedly eating at the lunch counter in a Neiman-Marcus in Dallas. (Or fill in your favorite big city here.) She loved the cookie and asked for the recipe. After some reluctance, the manager sold her the recipe, but charged the woman's credit card for $250. They wouldn't give her money back, so she vowed to plaster the cookie recipe all over the internet so they could never take anyone else like they took her. identifies the story as a myth, and the Neiman-Marcus website even addresses it. They said they didn't even have a cookie recipe when that story supposedly came out, but in response to the legend, they developed one and gave it away for free. It's posted on their website.

It's a funny story, and it probably helps the recipe go further, but to be honest, this cookie needs no help. In fact, the recipe I'm going to post is not even the "official" NM recipe. It's the recipe that supposedly went with the myth. But it beats any other cookie ever made. Hands down. I do feel the need to post a warning: this cookie is tremendously and immediately addictive. You will not stop at one. You may not even stop at one batch, and this recipe makes a lot of them!

Stephanie once made these cookies for a bake sale that the volleyball team was having. I guess she inherited a bit of her father's business savvy. She knew that the cookies would sell, but she wanted to make sure she got the most money she could. So she gave away the first cookie to anyone that came to her table. Knowing the tremendous power of the cookie, she knew those free cookies would not be a waste.

In fact, the only time these cookies weren't a hit was when we took them to a potluck dinner at church. And that was really my fault. Stephanie started making the cookies that Sunday afternoon while I fixed dinner. After we got everyone fed, I took over the cookies, and Steph moved on to making some other things for the fellowship. I picked up right where she left off, but the cookies had a different consistency when I put them on the pan to bake. They also had a different taste. They were edible, but that's about all you could say for them. (Sadly, that's true of many of my culinary attempts!) Steph backtracked through the recipe and discovered that I'd left out the brown sugar. We both laughed my mistake, and decided we could always bill the cookies as sugar-free.

But that's the only time this cookie hasn't lined up cookie connoisseurs around the block. So please promise me you will be careful with the weapon I'm about to place in your hands. Use it wisely.

Unfortunately, I just realized I've gone the distance on this post. I'll have to actually post the recipe tomorrow. Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I'll post it anyway so you can have a bake-a-thon this weekend. In the meantime, here's to cookies, baking with your daughter, and sugar addicts around the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bookstore Visit

So last evening Terry and I went out to dinner. Can I just say that hunger is the best seasoning? All I had to eat yesterday was a protein shake for breakfast and a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch. I was totally starving and the food was close-your-eyes--in-order-to-savor good. I did behave myself in that I ordered things without sauces or butters and I ate exactly half of my salad and my entree. What a good girl am I.

Quite often after eating out Terry and I will head over to Books-A-Million to do a little shopping. He looks through audio books and I check out the fiction. We both usually wander through the clearance tables as well. I always enjoy our little ritual, but two things that night took a little of the joy out of it for me.

First, I ran into someone I hadn't seen in quite a while. We used to work together. When I left that job, I left it abruptly and I left it for personal reasons. We chatted and caught up a little with what we both were doing, but it felt incredibly awkward. The elephant in the room was almost visual, yet unrecognized. It's been quite a while since I've had a conversation with an elephant in the room. I don't particularly relish it.

The second thing that happened was I looked at a display table marked with the sign, "Most Popular Fiction for Kids". With one or two exceptions, every book on that table had to do with either witchcraft or vampires. I was horrified and saddened at the same time. Reading anything beyond a 140 character tweet or text message is rare in young people these days. Reading is becoming a lost art. And for those that do actually read for fun, this is the garbage with which they are filling their minds. Yes, I said garbage.

Something we don't often acknowledge is the fact that Satan is real and he is out to capture the minds of our youth. Both witchcraft and vampire themes are laced with such occultic overtones, it's no wonder kids struggle with purity, morality and the desire to do right. We're giving Satan a foothold in our children's lives from a very early age. Please don't be fooled into thinking that because the story is compelling, or the writing great, it's something your children should read. There may be certain types of poisons with a delicious flavor, but that doesn't change the damage that the poison will do to your body.

As for the elephant? I think I left it in the store. Hopefully it won't be there the next time I go. It's awfully hard to carry on a conversation with that thing waving its trunk in my face.

How about you? Ever had an elephant in the room?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Revive Us Again

Last week was an incredibly busy one, as we had revival services going on every night at our church. Today I'd like to give a quick snapshot of some of the things the evangelist covered. He started off Monday night talking about mending our nets, the nets being a metaphor for our spiritual walk with God. Sometimes the nets get holes in them from things hidden under the surface of the water. Things we weren't expecting. Sometimes the nets get torn from things caught in them. People you go to church with can hurt your feelings or cause you to want to give up on your service. But most nets get ripped through daily wear. As a fisherman pulls his net back into the boat, the net is constantly rubbing along the lip of the boat and eventually the net will tear and break. Sometimes we get so busy with our service that we also end up with holes in our spiritual life. The important thing to remember is to take those holes and tears to Jesus, because He is the only one that can mend them.

The evangelist also spoke on forgiveness. The greatest forgiveness is when God forgave us of our sins. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 The hardest forgiveness is to forgive ourselves. Sometimes it just seems we can't let go of the things we've done. Remember that, if God loves and forgives you, than you can forgive yourself as well. The most demanding forgiveness is to forgive others. It's important to remember that we don't forgive others because they necessarily deserve it. We forgive them because God forgave us.

One of the most important messages of the week was that we only have so much time to tell others about Christ. I remember hearing a preacher once telling about how he felt the Holy Spirit leading him to speak to someone about the Saviour. He put it off and put it off and then was shocked one day to hear that the man had died of a heart attack. There is no guarantee how long someone has on this earth. If the Holy Spirit is leading you to speak to someone, don't let that chance slip away.

We also only have so much time because Jesus is coming back again. We have no idea when that might happen, but as His children, we are supposed to be using this time for Him. I remember years ago when I was growing up. My mom might leave the house on an errand, and she would give us chores to do until she got back. As soon as she left, we played and had a good time, intending to get the chores done in plenty of time before she returned. Sometimes, though, she got back early when we weren't expecting it. We were caught playing instead of accomplishing the tasks she'd set for us to do. When Jesus comes back, will He find you working for Him? Will you be glad to see Him, or will you hang your head in shame because you never got around to serving Him as you should? Look at what you're doing now. How important will that be when you're facing Him?
Related Posts with Thumbnails