Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A John Mayer Thing

The Julia Marie Band has entered a competition. In order to get past the first round they need VOTES! Hundreds and hundreds of bands will compete. Those with the most votes (the top 200) will progress to a round with actual adjudicators. The winner will perform with John Mayer!

So... can vote for a band EVERY DAY from now until January 30 (or something like that.) You need to take a few minutes to register online, then a simple click or two from here on in will enable you to vote regularly, preferably daily!

You can find out all about it here. Hang in there and get yourself registered!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Silver Bells, Jingle Bells, Wedding Bells

A week to go and Thanksgiving '08 will be relegated to the memory files. (A side note: my personal memory files are either too full or hard to access these days, but I keep trying to utilize such function anyway.) I love Thanksgiving and perennially find myself resenting the commercial oversight of such Godly tradition as rendering to Him sincere appreciation and acknowledgment of dependence on His provision and care. The world around us skips from Halloween to Christmas with barely a nod to Thanksgiving. Good thing there's football, I guess. And a Macy's parade.

At any rate, this year I am almost skipping along with the rest of them. My sights are already set on the month to come. We will most certainly enjoy the final autumn harvest holiday, but then...

...the advent of the month of December, the flip of that calendar page, brings promise of great celebration for this household. Christmas time is always full -- halls to deck, apparel to don, cookies to bake, gifts to festoon with ribbons -- the list, as you all know and experience, goes on and on. But first will be a trip to CA to usher home a daughter and two small grandsons. They will spend the month here with us! Hooray! Let the holiday parties and concerts and festivities begin!

Now, add to that celebration of Christ's birth a wedding! Two days later a special lady, a girl who loves a production, will marry! Her day will sparkle, glow, and resound with joy-filled singing and cheers. No one will accuse her of lacking vision. We're even hoping for bells that day!

What a way to finish the year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lavendar, Lilac, Grey, Mauve?

You can decide if you ever come to visit. You can choose the perfect name for the fresh color on my dining room walls. All I know is my daughters knew I really wanted the room color changed (and they wanted it as well...) and have taken it upon themselves to tackle this project.

Current status? Halfway there and looking great!

My husband's response? "Purple?!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"'Fair' Is Not the Objective Of Life"

"But that's not fair!" came the cry from my youngest son. He was busily playing trains with his nephews; apparently they had the biggest engines, leaving him the small cars only.

Without hesitation, my practiced response was voiced. "'Fair' doesn't matter. If they have the big engine and you don't, use what you have. You can suggest they take a turn, but even if they don't, you can enjoy playing."

We never did the "fair" thing around here. It just wasn't something I could stomach. Something about it betrays an immaturity and smacks of a whimpering type of complaining. Yuck. No thanks. Not indulging them in that one.

First of all, it isn't reality and it never will be; as far as I can tell, it doesn't even need to be. In fact, Jesus seems to state that it won't be. "The poor will always be with you." He said it, not me. Implicit also in His parables and teaching is an understanding that we have differing talents, gifts, and abilities. He made us that way and we can learn to rejoice in our differences rather than try to even out every playing field.

So if I want to prepare them for life in the real world, they need to learn contentedness and thankfulness for what they have today. Seems to me the best way to do that is to do that -- starting with that small car right now!

Secondly, I cannot begin to micro-manage their world well enough to make sure that everything is always "fair". I cannot do it because I cannot be everywhere at all times. I am not omnipresent, omnipotent, omni-anything, so my efforts would be in vain. All that time and energy invested in protecting them from "unfairness" and injustice would be for naught. I cannot do it. Period. Who can? God can. But does He? No. Does He make sure that we all have the same size house, equal athletic abilities, comparable smarts, and matching singing voices? And the last time I checked the mirror, I did not look like Catherine Zeta Jones (yeah, I think she's the prettiest...)

I've learned that the choice is His. He can dole out what He wants when He wants to whomever He wants. And I don't get to whimper about it. Not if I want to please Him and live happily. Get over it and be content. His love is all that really matters, and there's plenty of that for everyone. That's fair enough!

So none of this "That's not fair!" stuff for me. That was one cry for help that never got much sympathy from this mom.

Yeah. Life can be tough in these here parts.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A New Life

1 Peter 1.3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...

Recent family news, heart breaking news, has reminded me of the emptiness, the brokenness, the depravity of soul that results in living life apart from God's salvation and reign. In turn, this verse reminded me of wonderful news: we can be born again to a living hope!

Birth is the beginning of a new life. Those who are living a broken life can get born all over again, experiencing the beginning of a new life. That, my friends, is amazing! That, my friends, is good news indeed!

Oh, can you imagine? You have lived life in bondage, sorrow, sin, despair. Someone informs you that you can get a completely new life. You, your very being, can experience the beginning of a whole new life, a fresh start, a clean slate, a new day with no mistakes in it. But not only a fresh start, for who would rejoice at living existence all over again in a broken world knowing that soon your clean slate would be hopelessly dirtied again, but a new life of living hope in the resurrection! Begotten again to a living hope! Sin free!

Oh, that my family members would see and understand. Oh, my faithful, merciful God and Saviour -- open their eyes, illumine their understanding, soften their hearts. Let them rejoice with me at the wonderful provision You have made on their behalf! Let it be, Oh Lord, let it be. Amen and amen.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Momentous In Many Ways

Obama wins. Many are now left pondering what that means. What will that translate into for the next years and even decades? Even his supporters say they don't exactly know how it will look.

Did you watch? Were you taking in such momentous events? McCain's speech was his best (I admit openly that he was far from a favorite of mine and I felt that if only he had spoken like this all along I would have liked him much more.) He was humble, honoring, showing his love for this nation and people. He stirred me.

Did you then wait and watch Obama and his family as they took center stage before that vast, emotion-filled crowd of onlookers? The crowd's celebration took many forms, undulating from dance, chanting, smiles, laughter and shouts to reverential quiet reflection and tears. The moment was deeply moving. I found it gladsome to view that beautiful young black family on center stage as the newly elected first family of the US. I was gratified to see that the America I love was able to break through a barrier and bridge an ages old divide. Indeed, the bridge crossed was far-reaching and historic. It warmed my heart. It represented hope for healing, victory for a race once oppressed; it depicted liberty from bondage, an American ideal. Obama's words in that moment seemed promising: "To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too."

Then I remembered. As I looked and watched, I remembered. This is the man who said that if a baby has survived the initial attempt at murder in the womb and is now laying on that table alive, we should shut the door and leave it there to die. Do not wrap and warm it. Do not nurture and care for it. Do not honor it enough to at least share those last moments (for that would be possibly too much to bear) but hide such shame and pretend it doesn't exist.

Obama has not acknowledged this as murder. He is either deceived or is a willing liar, and now he has deceived many who ought to know better. He has promised the Freedom of Choice Act as one of his first endeavors as President. Those without the Word have no sure foundation. They will be readily deceived. But those who claim His name are without excuse. God's heart can and should be known. His truth can and should be discovered. There is nothing mysterious or clouded about the legislation Obama proposes to support. It is directly opposed to God's word. Hideously opposed.

America has spoken loudly and clearly. "We will endorse you and your words with our vote. Even if we don't agree with abortion we will willingly call such an act good, as long as you promise free education, free health care, free food. We feel these, rather than the Biblical recommendation for the purpose of government, are the more important things that government should provide. So, yes -- we, as a nation, will allow our young to be sacrificed if you will promise to take money from that rich man and give it to us. If it means making such compromise and sacrifice to get such benefits, we will do it."

"How long, oh Lord? How long will You endure such wickedness? And how long will You watch Your people play the harlot as they dance and cavort with this wickedness and enjoy such lies? I know that Your mercies are new every morning but I also know that because of Your love and mercy You send judgment.

You know, oh Lord. You alone know. And I rejoice in such infinite love, such enduring mercy, such intimate knowledge. I choose this day to rejoice in You alone -- forever and ever. Amen."