Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back to Raleigh

Well, I made it back to Raleigh yesterday (12/26). Both plane rides were filled with rolling turbulence because of the high winds (and no snacks or beverages)!
I was so tired because of my early morning that I fell asleep at the Nissan dealership while some stuff was getting done to my car!
I was just checking in to let anyone who might be checking my blog to come back again next week. I'm hoping to download some photos this week and get them ready for here and my web site...
we'll see how that goes.
For now, I'm just trying to stay awake :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Study hard

One of my favorite verses to use in college was in Ecclesiastes (12:12b to be exact): "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body."

I should say misuse when it came to this verse, because I used it to be lazy. I'd get the least bit tired and say, "well, study DOES weary the body. I guess I need to quit."
This photo of a stack of books was every book I used this semester for class, not including library books and some personal reference books from my collection. Did I mention I only had three classes, well, technically I had four, but the fourth didn't count for anything. I just had to read the book and take four tests. Yippee!
I will definitely have three classes next semester, and no faux classes.
While this Ecclesiastes verse is true, you have to be wise in applying it. You need to spend the appropriate amount in study and prayer, as in most things in life ... too much is not a good thing and too little, well ... it isn't a good thing either.
I know that was eloquent, but it is the truth.
I've been finished for a few days not and my brain feels relieved. I am carrying my Hebrew with me in the hopes that I will go over my vocab and get started on my homework.
Please pray for time management, safe travel and some good times with my family.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas newsletter

Merry Christmas

Dear friends and family,
It is my wish that you all are having a wonderful Christmas season. God sent His Son to earth to become flesh. He is the reason for the season! He faced many temptations and witnessed great sins of humanity. But He was perfect. He was put to death on the cross so that you and I might have life (more abundantly). He was raised from the dead to demonstrate the power of our Savior. His blood paid the price for our sins! May you focus on Jesus Christ, and live out His Will for your life.
What a year it has been! I have survived my first semester at seminary. So much has happened this year. It’s hard to imagine that it began while finishing up my last couple of months as a US/C-2 missionary in Lexington, S.C., and is ending in North Carolina.

Thank you
So many of you have prayed for me and supported me in various ways. Thank you so much! Each time I receive a message or note or a gift/donation, I feel that God is watching out for me and using you to do it. There have been so many instances of trusting in God, and receiving something from one of you that encouraged me or helped me in some way — even paying some unexpected bills along the way.

Early year recap
My last two months on the mission field (January-February) and really up through May were part of the May newsletter I sent out. Of course, many more people have been added to the mailing list since then … so welcome! One thing that God has always gifted me with is the ability to make new friends. He has truly blessed me here in Raleigh/Wake Forest with new friends at work, seminary, church and in my apartment complex … and a veritable plethora of friends around the world who love me and pray for me. I am so blessed!

“Backpacking in Europe”
After my term ended in South Carolina, I had no clue where my next step would be. I was still trying to figure out if seminary was the next step or if I needed to find another job at a newspaper somewhere. This section is titled “Backpacking in Europe” because that sounds much cooler than what I actually did. Some wonderful friends allowed me to stay in their house while I figured things out. I paid for gas and some bills while working as a pet sitter and errand girl. I even did some office work. While I didn’t actually go to Europe, I did do some exploring of the spiritual, my-life’s-about-to-change kind (and without all the weight of a backpack). Upon much prayer and research I settled on attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

Raleigh – Here I Come!
I moved in May and began work at the Biblical Recorder ( You can view some of my work there; just do a search for my name and you’ll find articles I’ve written over the last several months. God has truly blessed my time here. I have some amazing neighbors at my apartment complex and very diverse too! I spent the summer getting settled in and learning my way around some of the major spots – it took me forever to find the closest Wal-Mart. I mean, most of the time map quest is OK, but searching for the closest Wal-Mart did not cut it on that site. There was no major signs directing potential customers to the store. I live less than three miles from work, so that’s nice. I spent the summer catching up on some reading and trying to get organized and ready for school.

First semester
This semester was quite busy with work and school. I managed to be a full-time student and employee. I don’t have my grades yet. My first three classes were Baptist History, Hebrew I and Biblical Counseling. History was pretty easy for me. Of course, it was one of my majors in college (eons ago). Hebrew was challenging but good. I mean, I am reading the Bible in Hebrew. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s really slow and sometimes excruciating when I have to look up every word and figure out the order in English. My brain doesn’t work in Hebrew yet.) Biblical Counseling actually was my toughest class. All my grades came in the latter part of the semester. The professor’s tests were extremely challenging and covered a great deal of reading. But, God brought me through it. I should find out my grades in the next week or so. I know one professor who promised he’d have it in before Christmas.

Scholarship help
Thank you all so much for those who have sent money to help with seminary and supplies. You have made it much easier on me in helping me pay for tuition, fees and books. I am in the process of scholarship applications right now but that is something I can’t count on … yet! Please be in prayer as I apply.
If you are a member of a Southern Baptist church, please make sure your church gives to the Cooperative Program; it helps Southern Baptist students pay for school. If it wasn’t for the CP money, my seminary costs would be at least double what it is now.
If any of you still want to contribute, you may do so:
Christian Women’s Job Corps
2626 Hebron Dr.
West Columbia, SC 29169
Please make sure you put Dianna Cagle in the “for” line on your check.
Also, please do not use this address for personal correspondence. Please contact me through the information provided below.

I’ll be home for Christmas
This statement is true. I’m flying to Alabama before Christmas and staying almost a week. I know my family is excited — as am I. I haven’t been home since early March.
I don’t have many scheduled plans, but there are some people I would like to see and some restaurants I would like to go to …


My break is super long since I’m not taking January classes. Spring semester starts at the end of January. Right now, I’m planning on taking three classes again: Christian Ethics, Counseling People with Addictions and Hebrew II. I’m thankful for the long break, although I do have some Hebrew “not-a-break” homework, and I’m trying to familiarize myself with Turabian, the writing style used most often by the seminary. So far, none of my professors were sticklers for it, so I avoided it. But I know one of my classes will emphasize that style. I also have several projects in the works to get a little more organized and get caught up on filing. Of course, preparing for tax season is always a lot of work too!

Mailing list
Many of you are joining me via my web site. I apologize for not mailing you a newsletter. I am trying to save on postage, as my mailing list is rather large. If you would like a hardcopy, please contact me. If you need multiple copies, feel free to copy this one. Or you can contact me if you need extras. If you wish to be removed from my mailing list, please contact me. If you feel that you have received this newsletter in error, also, please let me know. Sometimes a person is added to the mailing list because of another mutual friend or by request, and of course, being human, I do make mistakes, so I could have inadvertently mailed you one through a wrong address (especially if it’s through e-mail — really some of you do have unusual addresses — I’m speaking to myself as well)

Giving to missions
This time of year is very special. Not only is it the celebration of the birth of our Savior, but it is also the time for the collection of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Please, if you haven’t given already, pray about doing so. All proceeds go to support missionaries on the foreign field. While I’m here I’ll also plug the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering that is coming soon (to a Baptist church near you).

Contact information
(A lot of information has changed, please make changes in your address book.)
1031-C Hunting Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27615, (919) 414-6999
e-mail:; web site:;
blog:; work web site:
Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Remember, God is always there for you no matter what.
May you have a blessed Christmas,

Friday, December 08, 2006

Remembering Pearl Harbor

A tract used in the 1950's and 60's by the League and signed by Captain Fuchida with a reference to Luke 23:34 to demonstrate how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change lives anywhere.

While I'm not old enough to remember Pearl Harbor, I do have enough sense to realize what a devastating event it was and how it has changed generations of people.

One of the web sites that sends me updates is the Pocket Testament League. This is their post about Pearl Harbor:

Today commemorates an event that stunned the world and dramatically changed the lives of all Americans. For The Pocket Testament League, Pearl Harbor Day has special meaning because it reminds us of God’s grace and His amazing desire to transform even the most seemingly unreachable hearts. Let me explain why.

Captain Mitsuo Fuchida led the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On that fateful morning, he flew the lead plane of the 360 aircraft diving on the idle U.S. Pacific Fleet and he was the last pilot to leave.

During World War II Captain Fuchida had many close brushes with death, including six crashes at sea. During the battle of Midway, a bomb hit his ship, breaking both his legs and hurling him into the sea. He was rescued and sent back to Japan. God had other plans for Captain Fuchida.

At the request of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, the Pocket Testament League shipped 10 million New Testament Bibles to Japan. Captain Fuchida attended a League meeting at the Shibuya railroad station. After League members went through Scripture with him, he committed his life to Jesus Christ on April 14, 1950. He went on to work for the League, passionate about saving lives for eternity.

Check out his full story at Pocket Testament League

Thursday, December 07, 2006



Arrangements for first-class accommodation have been made in advance.

"In my Father's house are many rooms......I am going there to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2).


Persons seeking entry will not be permitted past the gates without having proper papers/credentials and having their names registered with the ruling Authority.

"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life". (Revelation 21:27).


The exact date of departure has not been announced. Travelers are advised to be prepared to leave at short notice.

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. (Acts 1:7).


Your ticket is a written pledge that guarantees your journey. It should be claimed and its promises kept firmly in hand.

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24).


Only one declaration is required while going through customs.

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

(Romans 10:9).


All passengers are classified as immigrants, since they are taking up permanent residence in a new country. The quota is unlimited.

"......they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one..........he has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:16).


No luggage whatsoever is necessary.

"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." (1 Timothy 6:7).


Travelers going directly by air are advised to watch daily for indications of imminent departure.

"After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:17).


Injections are not needed, as diseases are unknown at the destination.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain....." (Revelation 21:4).


Supplies of currency may be forwarded ahead to await the passenger's arrival. Deposit your heart, mind/soul & life.

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20).


A complete and appropriate new wardrobe is provided for each traveler.

"...For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness...." (Isaiah 61:10).


Resetting of watches will not be necessary to adjust to any/night schedule.

"The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp........for there will be no night there." (Revelations 21:23,25).


Booking is now open. Apply at once.

" is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)


The highlight of the journey is the welcoming reception and coronation which await the arrival.

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:8).

--Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Would you like a doughnut?

Each Christmas I get a joy unspeakable. I love the crisp weather that starts becoming more frequent, even if the promise of snow is elusive! This is the season we celebrate the Birth of Jesus. God came to earth in human form to face the same struggles we face, only He did it without sin.
The story I'm sharing below really strikes me as the meaning of the season. The birth also means the death of our Savior, because without His death, the resurrection would not be possible. Our many penalties we rack up in our sinful lives have been paid for by one man -- God in the flesh!
If nothing else, read the story below. It has a great meaning behind it. God came for everyone, but only a few accept the gift.


There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States.

Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman but was studying with the intent of going into the seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well-liked and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the Professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good Steve," Dr. Christianson said, "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know. I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of 10 for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it!" said the Professor.

Steve said, "Well, I think I can. Yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.

When class started, the Professor pulled out a big box of doughnuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of doughnuts; they were the extra fancy BIG kind with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these doughnuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a doughnut."

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.

Then Steve again sat in the desk. Dr. Christianson then put a doughnut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a doughnut?"

Joe said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a doughnut."

Steve did ten push-ups; Joe got a doughnut. And so it went, down the first aisle. Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their doughnut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacked for female companionship.

When the Professor asked, "Scott, do you want a doughnut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own

Dr. Christianson said, "No. Steve has to do them"

Then Scott replied, "No, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a doughnut he doesn't want."

With perfect obedience, Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "Hey! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desk and these are my doughnuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it."

And he put a doughnut on Scott's desk.

Now, by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now, the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a doughnut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "NO!"

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve would you do ten more push-ups so that Jenny can have a doughnut she doesn't want." Steve did ten; Jenny got the doughnut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room.

The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten doughnuts on the desks. Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each doughnut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push-up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all those uneaten doughnuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely. Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the Professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next.

Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups.

You're in charge now. You can do them any way you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No. Let him come in."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in, you will have to do ten push-ups for him."

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a doughnut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a doughnut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "Give me a doughnut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a doughnut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a doughnut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time, sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Linda can have a doughnut that she doesn't want."

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then, Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a doughnut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a doughnut whether they want it or not.

When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade.

Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a doughnut."

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into Thy hands I commend my spirit.' with the understanding that he had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up his life. And, like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile. "Well done, good and faithful servant," said the Professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the Professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept his gift to us, the price has been paid.

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

--Author Unknown

Monday, December 04, 2006

TV Land lists 100 greatest catchphrases

This report strikes a chord with many people. So many people know these phrases, who says them and what show they come from... How about you?

In alphabetical order, TV Land's list:

—"Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")

—"And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")

—"Ask not what your country can do for you ..." (John F. Kennedy)

—"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")

—"Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")

—"Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")

—"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")

—"Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")

—"De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")

—"Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")

—"Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)

—"D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")

—"Don't make me angry ..." (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")

—"Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")

—"Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")

—"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")

—"God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")

—"Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)

—"Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")

—"Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")

—"Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)

—"Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")

—"Here it is, your moment of Zen" (Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")

—"Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")

—"Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")

—"Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")

—"Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")

—"Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")

—"Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")

—"Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")

—"How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")

—"How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")

—"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)

—"I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")

—"I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")

—"I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)

—"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl" (Larry, "Newhart")

—"I'm not a crook" (Richard Nixon)

—"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)

—"I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")

—"Is that your final answer?" (Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")

—"It keeps going and going and going" (Energizer Batteries ad)

—"It takes a licking" (Timex ad)

—"Jane, you ignorant slut" (Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")

—"Just one more thing" (Columbo, "Columbo")

—"Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")

—"Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)

—"Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")

—"Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")

—"Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")

—"Never assume" (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple").

(Story Continues On Next Page...)
(...Story Continued from Previous Page)

—"Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")

—"No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")

—"Norm!" ("Cheers")

—"Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")

—"Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")

—"Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")

—"One small step for man ..." (Neil Armstrong)

—"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)

—"Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)

—"Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")

—"Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")

—"Schwing!" (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")

—"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)

—"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)

—"Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")

—"Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")

—"Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")

—"Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")

—"Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")

—"Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)

—"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")

—"That's hot" (Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")

—"The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")

—"The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")

—"The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")

—"This is the city ..." (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")

—"Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)

—"Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")

—"Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")

—"We are two wild and crazy guys!" (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")

—"Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")

—"Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")

—"We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")

—"Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)

—"What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")

—"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")

—"Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)

—"Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")

—"Would you believe?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")

—"Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")

—"Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")

—"Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")

—"You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")

—"You look mahvelous!" (Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")

—"You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")

—"You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")

—"You've got spunk ..." (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Too involved?

Sometimes, the church members get a little too interested in the lives of their ministers. A recent story out of Mississippi demonstrates what I mean.
A member of a Baptist church was bragging about her pastor and his girlfriend. She thought this young lady would make a fine pastor's wife.
So this industrious woman, on the advice of a friend, decided to make a motion at the next business meeting that the pastor propose.
Thankfully, she asked the pastor's opinion first. He had already bought a ring but hadn't determined how to ask yet.
“Don’t do that. It’d scare me to death,” he initially responded in the article.
But later in the week, he changed his mind.
During the meeting the group was recognizing the pastor for Pastor Appreciation Day; the lady made the recommendation and the motion passed.
The girlfround thought it was funny but didn't realize it was real.
She did accept and the couple will be married next year.

So, readers, how involved is too involved? Is this a sweet story or a sign of busybodies in the church?

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Frightening Thought

I was interviewing a pastor the other day about a youth event, and we started talking about Asheville, N.C. He said that last year (2005) around Halloween in New York about 50 or so witches, warlocks or so gathered.
Not enough to worry about, you say.
In Atlanta around the same time there were about 80 gathered for the same kind of event.
Who cares you say?
The problem is where it might lead.
In Asheville, there were around 600, yes, I typed 600.
The pastor said the witches and other new age, occult leaders believe there's something mystical in the mountains. Some come for the ancient Indian burial grounds.

Below are two articles about pagan worship in Asheville and a woman from Tennessee who says she is a witch and a Christian. The first story had a fairly lengthy list of events associated around the "holiday"

During Samhain, pagans worship the Earth, ancestors
(Asheville Citizen-Times)
ASHEVILLE — On Tuesday, members of the Earth Religions, such as Wicca, celebrate the most sacred day of the year.
Known as Samhain (pronounced SOW-in), the day is the final of three Pagan harvest celebrations and a day to commemorate ancestors and others who have died.
“This is the big one for us,” said Byron Ballard, a high priestess and a founder of the Coalition of Earth Religions for Education and Support. “This is the beginning of the Celtic winter and the celebration of our new year.”
The biggest event in the region this year is Tuesday evening on the grounds of Unity Center for Christianity on Fanning Bridge Road in Fletcher. Several thousand people are expected to attend the 12th annual Samhain celebration sponsored by Oldenwilde Coven.
“People know we do this every year now, it’s always free, and we don’t allow any selling,” said Dixie Deerman, also known as Lady Passion, the high priestess of Oldenwilde. “We have been promoting it on our Web site, so people know about it.”
Deerman said the Oldenwilde Samhain is joyful and reverent.
“What we do has meaning and purpose,” she said.
The event will include a spiral dance, during which participants dance in concentric circles, plus a maze trance dance, tribal music, a costume contest, harp music around the balefires and more. Children can enjoy autumn games such as “bat bowling” and candy corn relay races.
Earth religions are the oldest on the planet, Ballard said. They predate monotheistic religions by many centuries.
“People worshipped the forces that brought them their food and their lives,” she said. “In ancient times, people celebrated the change of the seasons and remembered the people who had come before.”
Pagans — the umbrella term for people of all Earth religions — believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest on this night. Originally, Celtic people celebrated the Feast of the Dead by leaving food on altars and doorsteps for the wandering dead. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home, and extra chairs were set at the table and around the hearth for the unseen guests.
Samhain was when cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating during the winter, and any crops still in the field on Samhain, considered taboo, were left as offerings to the nature spirits.
Pagans built bonfires (originally called bone-fires, because the bones were thrown in the fire after the feast as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the coming year). Stones were marked with people’s names, then thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold that person’s fortune in the coming year.
Pagans also lit hearth fires from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.
Many Pagans believe the six weeks between the autumnal equinox, called Mabon, and Samhain are a time for introspection and contemplation, Ballard said.
Today, Pagan religions are emerging again, after centuries of persecution, Ballard and Deerman said.
“There were times we had to call the police because we felt threatened,” Ballard said. “We have had our religious ceremonies picketed and invaded.”
But the religions are growing as people become disillusioned with what Deerman calls “the dominant paradigm.”
“It’s about universal love of the land and knowing … we’re all integrally connected,” Deerman said. “We find the sacred in the land and in humanity.”

Something Wiccan This Way Comes
Religion News Service
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. -- Rebecca Walkoff knows that she could never pass a
psychological test. "I hear voices," Walkoff, 47, said as she enjoyed a
cigarette outside her store, The Moon Willow, just off the Fayetteville
Square. "I see visions."
Walkoff shrugged, her green eyes twinkling, and snubbed out the
"Magic is everywhere you look, if you're inclined to see it," she said.
"I'd rather be a person who sees it."
She's untroubled by an outside assessment of her sanity or what people
think of her when she identifies herself as a Christian Wiccan.
Though she considers herself a believer in Jesus, Walkoff also embraces
a label, "witch," that was a death sentence for an estimated 100,000 people,
mostly women, during the European witch-hunting period from 1450 to 1700.
The mass hysteria by church leaders was "one of the longest and most bizarre
delusions in Western history," says Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World
Walkoff is quick to assure questioners that she does not worship the
devil -- Wiccans do not believe in a devil -- and that the Wiccan creed is
"And it harm none, do what you will," a creed that guarantees that she tries
to generate only good energy and deeds.
"We don't do black magic," Walkoff said. "According to the Wiccan Law of
Three, anything you put out, you'll get back times three."
Walkoff pushed open the door of the little shop. Inside, a spicy herb
smell lingered around racks of greeting cards. Tendrils of steam wound out
of the nostrils of a dragon perched over a decorative fog lamp. Halloween
costumes crowded a rack next to a pile of chunky crystals. Somewhere a
fountain splashed.
Walkoff's store features some herbs, minerals and other basic equipment
used by Wiccans for casting spells or making herbal potions. It also
includes jewelry made of simple semi-precious gems, books about magic and
herbs, but also house decorations, candles and the playful kitsch of Harry
Potter, fairies and elves.
Walkoff believes that her prayers led her to the Fayetteville Square, a
historic district with a thriving antiques clientele and shoppers from
around the region. What she's found in Fayetteville are a lot of friendly
people, she said, even if her shop does raise a few eyebrows.
In case a visitor misses the possibility that the store offers
Wiccan-friendly materials, a banner on the wall is emblazoned with a star
inside a circle. The symbol, for Wiccans, symbolizes that the spiritual
world, the point at the top, rules over the four elements of the material
world: air, earth, fire, water. A Satan worshipper would reverse the
pentagram, asserting that the material world controls the spiritual world,
Walkoff said.
(A Nevada widow recently won a fight to have a Wiccan pentagram placed
beside her husband's name on a veterans' memorial wall. Currently, the
Department of Veterans Affairs does not recognize Wicca as an official
One grandmother, Walkoff said, wandered into the store with her
grandchildren. When she glimpsed the pentagram on the wall, she reacted
"Come on, kids, we've got to go," she said. "This place is evil."
Joanny Simpler, Walkoff's sister, manages the store most days. She said
most people have been very friendly to her, and the customers they've
attracted since opening last summer have been loyal.
"Everybody needs to meet them," said Mary Ann Marsh, who sells
advertisements for The Exchange, a local shopper, which takes her into every
shop on the square. "It's enlightening."
Walkoff enjoys combining whimsy and witchcraft in the shop. The
combination isn't that unusual in Wicca. The religion is still defining
itself after being recovered in 1939 by Englishman Gerald B. Gardner and his
partner, Doreen Valiente, according to the Encyclopedia of World Religions.
The two culled rituals from English folklore, world mythology and other
writers on mysticism and goddess traditions.
It wasn't the physics aspect that attracted Walkoff to Wicca, she said.
It was the inclusion of a female divine force and the emphasis on letting
people figure out things for themselves.
"They say in society one of the biggest problems we have is families
with just one parent," Walkoff said. "I say, in the church, where's the
goddess? Let's put the mother back."
Wiccan rituals, hinged on the changes of the moon and the seasons,
celebrate the rhythms of life and a feminine appreciation of connections,
she said. When she stumbled upon the system of beliefs that are part of
Wicca, Walkoff realized that she had found the group she had been moving
toward naturally on her own.
Walkoff said she knew early that she had psychic gifts. She said she
gave her mother messages from her deceased grandfather when she was 2. She
grew up with an Irish mother and part-Cherokee father and said her household
was filled with folk knowledge about herbs and some shamanistic practices.
"It was never anything but commonplace with my family," Walkoff said.
"It was only when I got out into the world that I realized what other people
thought of it."
Walkoff wishes people would not fear Wicca. In fact, she thinks other
believers, including Christians and Muslims, could even learn something from
"I think they could learn to relax, to stop being so serious," Walkoff
said. "And to stop killing people in the name of God. There never was a war
fought in the name of Wicca."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Giving in obedience

When I was little my parents always tithed for me. I never really got an allowance until much later — when I was living with my grandmother and aunt during the week. And then, the money given didn't cover the expenses of buying reeds for my saxophone, paying for lunch, etc. I didn't learn the importance of tithing.
A recent report released by empty tomb, inc. said that according to church members in 2004, giving was down compared to previous years.

The article said: "Church members gave 2.56 percent of their income, down from 3.11 percent in 1968.
"The Illinois-based Christian research organization found that giving to benevolent causes — activities focused outside the congregation — as a portion of income increased slightly in 2004 from the 2003 level. The levels for 2003 and 2004 both rounded to 0.38 percent, the lowest in the 37-year period empty tomb has tracked such numbers.
"Empty tomb reported the rate of giving to congregational finances — the funding of internal operations of the congregation — began to recover in 1993 but was down in 2003 and 2004. The portion of income given to congregational finances declined more than activities focused on benevolences, the study found.
"For each dollar donated to a congregation, denominations spent 2 cents on overseas missions in 2004, down from 7 cents in the 1920s. The study’s authors, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, said evangelical Christians could complete the task of global evangelization for 7 cents per member per day.
"Using statistics published by the Southern Baptist Convention for 2004, empty tomb determined that 1 cent of each dollar given to an SBC church ultimately makes it way to the International Mission Board to support missionaries.
dditional data is available through the empty tomb website,, and the entire report is available in a book called “The State of Church Giving through 2004.”

I pray this is not correct. One cent of every dollar given to a Southern Baptist Convention church ultimately makes it to the Interational Mission Board. Since Cooperative Program giving and Annie Armstrong reports are up, can you imagine what Lottie Moon might be this year — well, technically next year? And that apparently is only one cent on the dollar given to SBC churches!
Imagine, if you will, a world in which all church members tithed!
I've never seen it, and in a world full of greedy people I don't imagine it will ever happen. But I can continue to pray and share the many blessings I've received by being faithful in tithing to my local church.

Giving in obedience

When I was little my parents always tithed for me. I never really got an allowance until much later — when I was living with my grandmother and aunt during the week. And then, the money given didn't cover the expenses of buying reeds for my saxophone, paying for lunch, etc. I didn't learn the importance of tithing.
A recent report released by empty tomb, inc. said that according to church members in 2004, giving was down compared to previous years.

The article said: "Church members gave 2.56 percent of their income, down from 3.11 percent in 1968.
"The Illinois-based Christian research organization found that giving to benevolent causes — activities focused outside the congregation — as a portion of income increased slightly in 2004 from the 2003 level. The levels for 2003 and 2004 both rounded to 0.38 percent, the lowest in the 37-year period empty tomb has tracked such numbers.
"Empty tomb reported the rate of giving to congregational finances — the funding of internal operations of the congregation — began to recover in 1993 but was down in 2003 and 2004. The portion of income given to congregational finances declined more than activities focused on benevolences, the study found.
"For each dollar donated to a congregation, denominations spent 2 cents on overseas missions in 2004, down from 7 cents in the 1920s. The study’s authors, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, said evangelical Christians could complete the task of global evangelization for 7 cents per member per day.
"Using statistics published by the Southern Baptist Convention for 2004, empty tomb determined that 1 cent of each dollar given to an SBC church ultimately makes it way to the International Mission Board to support missionaries.
dditional data is available through the empty tomb website,, and the entire report is available in a book called “The State of Church Giving through 2004.”

I pray this is not correct. One cent of every dollar given to a Southern Baptist Convention church ultimately makes it to the Interational Mission Board. Since Cooperative Program giving and Annie Armstrong reports are up, can you imagine what Lottie Moon might be this year — well, technically next year? And that apparently is only one cent on the dollar given to SBC churches!
Imagine, if you will, a world in which all church members tithed!
I've never seen it, and in a world full of greedy people I don't imagine it will ever happen. But I can continue to pray and share the many blessings I've received by being faithful in tithing to my local church.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Talk about obedience

Part of my job is looking at other articles about Baptists and the work God has called them to around the world. The other day when I was looking at some Baptist newspapers online and came across this photograph.

The caption said: If new believers wish to be baptized before Spring, Siberian Baptist church members carve a hole in the ice of a local lake with axes for the ordinance. The Siberian pastor who conducted this baptism last winter gave this photo to members of a mission team from Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola who worked with an International Mission Board strategist to send pastors and wives to Siberia.

WOW! I remember when I was baptized. I was 15. It was February, and the church had just built a new sanctuary in a new location. I was among the first baptized there. The day I was baptized the water heater went out so the water was pretty cold. But I will say it was Alabama cold, not Siberia cold!
To this day tears form in my eyes each time I see a baptism. It is such a public demonstration of complete submission to God and His complete cleansing of our sins. Being raised to a new life takes on a whole new meaning.
PRAISE GOD from whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Feeling the crunch!

Some days it just seems you don’t have enough time to get all you need done. Well, I should say most days. Now that I’m working full time and going to school full time, I have a lot more days like that…
This summer, it was quite different. I moved to Raleigh in May and started work. May, June, July and much of August was spent getting to know the area, looking for a few pieces of furniture for the apartment, etc. I also managed to read a few books — for fun!
But that is all over. And, oddly enough, I’m enjoying myself now too. I never thought I would enjoy learning Hebrew as much as I am. Don’t mistake this emotion for in any way being fluent or to indicate that this is easy.
Being one of three women in the class of 50+, I feel the pressure to represent. I am also the oldest woman in the class but definitely not the oldest person.
Since I’ve been out of college a little more than 10 years, I’m definitely feeling the crunch — a certain number of hours to work, homework piling up for all three of my classes, classes to attend, papers to write, quizzes and tests to take, church to attend, orchestra, quiet time — did I say quiet? When do I have TIME for that?
One of things I’ve learned is that if you are following God’s will, which is what I believe I am doing, He makes TIME stretch. TIME has no hold on my GOD! He is beyond all we can imagine.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Facing the Giants

If you haven't already seen it, go see "Facing the Giants". I finally got to see the whole thing Sept. 29. It was wonderful. Please support Christian movies in the theater.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Well, Saturday, I went to an evanglism seminar/class at my church in North Carolina. I attended two classes and then went out into the area to do door-to-door evanglism. We stopped by several houses with no one answering the door, but kept at it. We finally talked to a mother and daughter in a mobile home park. We invited them to church and told them about who Jesus is. They seem to already be involved with church but it seemed to cheer the woman up to have us there.
Anyway, all that to say ...
This cartoon was on Baptist Press' web site. It is a weekly feature on their lighter side section. I'm just glad we made it back to the church safely — not like this guy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Fern and the Bamboo

One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me.

"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four.

"Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.

But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.

"Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.

"Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.

"Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.

Never regret a day in your life.

Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life.

--Author Unknown

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Was it the coffee you wanted?

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.

Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups--porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal; some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite--telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

"What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other's cups.

"Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and do not change the quality of Life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided.

"So, don't let the cups drive you .... enjoy the coffee instead."

--Author Unknown

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Facing the Giants

See this movie. It is coming to some theaters Sept. 29. Click on the picture to go to the web page to find out if it is showing in a city near you.
For a $100,000 movie, it is really good and has an all-volunteer cast. The only paid people were the NFL cameramen they brought in to film the football games.
Go see it and support this church's ministry.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why go to church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

"I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time, my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.

"They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.

If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

"Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

--Author Unknown

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bridge out?

A priest and a pastor from the local churches are standing by the road,
pounding a sign into the ground, that reads:

The End is Near!

Turn Yourself Around Now
Before it's Too Late!

As a car sped past them, the driver yelled, "Leave us alone, you
religious nuts!"

From around the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash. The
priest turns to the pastor and asks,
"Do you think the sign should just say: 'Bridge Out'?"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What is a sandwich?

Put two slices of bread together or fold one slice in half and there you go -— a sandwich. A delicious, mouth-watering feast, right? Wait a minute. Does that sound right? Webster’s says no, and I would have to agree with them. There has to be that filling. THAT makes the sandwich!
(And if you’re on that carb diet, you shouldn’t even be eating that bread, so drop it!)
Our relationship with Christ is like a sandwich — please excuse the simple analogy.
It has to have substance — exhibited in the fruits of the Spirit.
Unless the ingredients are fresh, each grows crusty, stale, hard, moldy ... you get the picture -- or the turned stomach?
God wants us to maintain a fresh, growing relationship with Him. We have to stay committed. We have to stay motivated.
Most of all, we have to remember we are loved, blessed and highly favored!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interesting articles

Generally, I don't put too much effort into updating my blog. I save a few things I get through emails or share articles I find interesting. Sometimes I put urgent prayer requests on here and also on my web site.
I wanted to share some interesting information about house churches.
Click on this link; House Churches.
Also, I am including a link to the first story in a series about the differences between our Bible and the Qur'an.
Click on this link: Bible and Qur'an.

Another interesting story I wanted you to share was one about the crazy/funny people who call 911. Please don't misuse this vital link to our police.
Click on this link: 911.
Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What's in your dash?

In Sunday school, my teacher talked about the importance of the dash. When you look at most tombstones, it lists a birthdate and the date a person died, but the writer of a poem emphasizes that the dash in the middle makes the most difference.
Click on this link to watch the dash movie: Dash movie

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lord help us

I found a horrible article I wanted to share with shakes me at my very core. We need to realize the evil that is out there. Please be in prayer for this man. He needs the saving grace only God can give through His Son Jesus.

Pedophile Says Sex With Boys Is Sacred Religious Ritual
By James F. McCarty
Religion News Service
CLEVELAND — An admitted pedophile offered a bizarre defense this
week to 74 charges of rape, drugs and pandering obscenity to minors.
Phillip Distasio, 34, told a Cuyahoga County judge Wednesday (Aug. 2)
that his apartment in Rocky River was a religious sanctuary where engaging
in sex with boys and smoking marijuana were considered sacred rituals and
are protected under civil rights laws.
"I'm a pedophile. I've been a pedophile for 20 years," Distasio said
during a pretrial court hearing. "The only reason I'm charged with rape is
that no one believes a child can consent to sex. The role of my ministry is
to get these cases out of the courtrooms."
Judge Kathleen Sutula warned Distasio, a self-appointed friar who
compares himself to St. Francis and St. Ignatius, to confine his arguments
to secular laws at his trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 11.
"If you want to challenge the law, that's your right to do so," Sutula
said. "But we're going to follow the laws of Ohio in this courtroom."
Police arrested Distasio last September on charges he molested two
disabled boys he was tutoring at his home and raped seven other autistic
children at a Cleveland school for special-needs students. All but one of
the boys was under 13, which carries a mandatory life-in-prison sentence if
he is convicted.
Police found journals at Distasio's apartment in which he described his
activities, plus child pornography and videotapes of him engaged in sex with
Distasio tried unsuccessfully in June to fire his court-appointed
lawyer, Thomas Shaughnessy, who refused to go along with his
religious-freedom defense.
"Not all pedophilia is bad, and sex (with boys) can be healthy,"
Distasio said. "It's an argument that I'm willing to make, but my attorney
is not."
Sutula decided to allow Distasio to represent himself at trial on the
condition that Shaughnessy remain as his advisory counsel.
In motions filed with Sutula, Distasio accused prosecutors of
threatening to dismantle his church, which he calls Arcadian Fields
He described his apartment as a sanctuary, a place of worship, and a
safe alternative to prison for a congregation of social dissidents. Distasio
said he and his congregation consider the justice system to be corrupt and
addicted to punishment, and believe it should be abandoned.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not worthy

There are some days when I feel like I can do no right, that I'm the ugliest person in the world, that no one likes me — let alone loves me. It seems like everyone goes out of their way to anger me, insult me, etc.
Through it all God loves me. Satan is the one who feeds me the lies.
The thing is, I am unworthy, but God has created me. He chooses to love me. And Jesus, who took my place to pay for my sins, stands in my place at judgment. When God asks "Dianna, show me your heart," He doesn't see my heart, He sees Jesus.
That makes me smile — one of those big, stupid, goofy grins that just won't stop.
You can see what I mean in His word:


c/o Father Heart Communications

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is.Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Your Dad

Friday, July 28, 2006


Earlier today (July 28) I asked for prayer for my uncle Robert. Apparently he's going home today. I told you he was in ICU in a Birmingham hospital. That was overnight after a fall from a horse yesterday (7/27/06). Everything had checked out OK except there was bleeding in the brain. After a CAT scan this morning, the doctors said there is a small amount of bleeding which should be absorbed into the body and there is no swelling which is what they were concerned about... My sister Dedra is supposed to take him home in a little while. Please continue to lift him up in your prayers because he is going to have some serious headaches for a long while. Also, my aunt Faye did not handle the whole episode very well. Please continue to pray for her as well.

Urgent prayer request

Please pray for my uncle Robert. He is a Birmingham hospital in ICU with bleeding in his brain. He had a fall from a horse which resulted in a busted noggin'. No one at all is allowed to see him right now. Please pray for him, his doctors and especially his wife — my aunt — Faye.
Check out the link to my website for more updated prayer information. Click on the prayer tab.

Another wonderful story


By Steve Klusmeyer
Life might be less complicated for all of us if we each received our own Lego kit at birth.
Yes, I realize there is a choking hazard for children under three. But when you are old enough, you can learn a lot from Legos. I have learned that:
  • There is strength in numbers. When the bricks stick together, great things can be accomplished.
  • Playtime is important. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you are building, as long as you're having fun.
  • Disaster happens. But the pieces can be put back together again.
  • Every brick has a purpose. Some are made for a specific spot — most can adapt almost anywhere — but every one will fit somewhere.
  • Color doesn't matter. A blue brick will fit in the same space as a red brick.
  • Size doesn't matter. When stepped on in the dark, a 2 x 2 Lego brick causes the same amount of pain as a 2 x 8 brick.
  • No one is indispensable. If one brick is unavailable, another can take its place.
  • All Lego men are created equal (1.5625 inches tall). What they become is limited only by imagination.
  • It doesn't always turn out as planned. Sometimes it turns out better. If it doesn't, you can always try again.
    I thought about each of these statements as it relates to the church. Some of the statements apply more than others.
    For example, unity is a biblical concept. When Christians stick together, great things can be accomplished.
    And it is an important biblical truth that every Christian has a purpose. As Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 12 using the analogy of a human body, some of us are eyes, some are hands, still others are feet, but we all have a purpose and a role.
    But while it is technically true that "no one is indispensable", the teaching of scripture is that each one of us is needed and the body suffers greatly if we don't do our part. (1 Cor. 12:20-22)
    The greatest comparison between Legos and Christianity, though, is that we are indeed a building shaped by God's own hand. And every Christian is a part of that building -- not a plastic building block, but a "living stone":
    "As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
  • Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Prayer request

    I received a longer email today from some missionary friends in the Middle East. They ask for prayer for our Southern Baptist representatives in Israel. They are in imminent danger of being evicted from Israel, after having worked there for many years. This is an unprecedented effort by a small minority in the Israel government...and if it is successful, could lead to a domino effect in relation to other Christians in Israel.
    First of all, pray. In the end, our trust is in the Lord and not in man!
    Please join me in praying for the missionaries there. Pray for God to work in the hearts of the people behind this effort. Pray for open doors to share God's Word.
    Thank you for joining me in this effort to pray.
    Below is a story I thought would help with your priorities.

    Full life

    A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
    The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
    "Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions — and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
    The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
    "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
    -- Author unknown

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Updated web site/sharing another story

    I updated my website today and yesterday with more prayer requests. There's a link over on the lefthand side of this page. So click on the prayer tab when you get there. I'm posting a picture of some kids in Venezuela. Some missionaries I know work there. They just sent a newsletter to me. I put a link on their section of the prayer page. Please make sure you pay attention to the Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church section as well as the Wayfarers on the Silk Road. Each of these three have been updated in the last couple of days. The others have dates on them as well. Please pray for these missionaries and the work they are doing around the world.

    Clay ball

    A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a
    canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled
    clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

    They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the
    bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw
    the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

    He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it
    cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

    Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each
    contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in
    the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

    He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the
    clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of
    thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands,
    but he had just thrown it away!

    It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and
    we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It
    isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that
    person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known
    or wealthy But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden
    inside that person.

    There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to
    get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He
    sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to
    shine forth.

    May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown
    away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May
    we see the people in our world as God sees them.

    I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with each of you.
    Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Something better is coming

    The story below is one of my favorites. It probably makes the email rounds every year but it never ceases to amaze me. We need to look forward to something better...


    There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.

    As she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

    She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

    Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

    "There's one more thing," she said excitedly .

    "What that?" the Pastor replied.

    "This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

    The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

    "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

    "Well to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the Pastor.

    The young woman explained, "My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

    "In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.'

    "It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something absolutely wonderful!

    "So I just wanted people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?'

    "I want you to tell them my story of keeping the fork. And then I want you to share the gospel."

    The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death.

    But he also knew that the young woman had a tremendous grasp of heaven. She knew that something better was coming.

    At the funeral, people were walking by the young woman's casket and saw the fork placed in her right hand.

    Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, "What's with the Fork?"

    Over and over, he smiled. And shared her story and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    --Author Unknown

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    That all may know Him

    A few weeks ago controversial Bible came to my attention. I admit, I’m intrigued. Apparently, an organization called XXXchurch has been handing out Bibles at adult film industry events and conferences. With vibrant colors, letters boldly proclaim: Jesus Loves Porn Stars.
    Bible publishers refused to publish the book because they weren’t sure it was a smart move.
    But Jesus does love porn stars, doesn’t He? Of course He does, but most traditional churchgoers don’t want that element in their church.
    This is the reason so many of our churches are declining or barely maintaining the status quo. No one wants to rock the boat.
    A new friend — I’ve known him a little over a year — of mine is a fabulous storyteller and a pastor. He has a heart for people and winning them for Christ. But when he started sharing the gospel with prostitutes and minorities and bringing them to church, baptizing them and trying to disciple them … well, he soon lost his job!
    Loving the unlovely is good in theory and definitely when in another place. Let’s go on a mission trip! Let’s support missions overseas or in rural Appalachia!
    But start inviting the low-income or no-income to your church? Forget about it!
    Tell me what you think…

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Sharing brownies

    The story I’m going to share below shows us an example of how tolerant we become of sin in our lives. It shows us how we justify letting a little in — just a little.
    There’s an old saying I love because it is so true: If you give Satan an inch, he’ll become your ruler. Most rulers for school are made up of 12 inches. It helps us draw a straight line; it helps us measure. You find giving an inch is easy; it’s just an inch. But the problem is once the inch is gone, we generally don’t get it back. Satan is not going to voluntarily say “Oh, here you go,” and hand us back the inch. You have to fight for it.
    In battle, the military digs in and fights. Continual retreats lead to defeat. After one inch, Satan will want another. We’ll wear down and give up another. After all, it’s only an inch. Mind you, now that’s two inches gone, leaving me with 10 inches — still a winner!
    You get the picture. The story below is a chunk of space, but it is worthwhile. Let me know what you think by clicking on the comments below:


    By David Kirkwood

    We become de-sensitized a little bit at a time.

    Some years ago, I walked into my office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous person who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story.

    Two teenagers asked their father if they could go the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the internet, he denied their request.

    "Aw dad, why not?" they complained. "It's rated PG-13, and we're both older than thirteen!"

    Dad replied: "Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as being normal and acceptable behavior."

    "But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That's what our friends who've seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It's based on a true story, and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie review websites say that!"

    "My answer is 'no,' and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion."

    The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen.

    They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other, "Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he's going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all."

    About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating and the brownies in the story. I kept reading.

    The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies which he offered to his kids. They each took one.

    Then their father said, "Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you both so much."

    The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening. "That is why I've made these brownies with the very best ingredients. I've made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic. The best organic flour. The best free-range eggs. The best organic sugar. Premium vanilla and chocolate."

    The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad's long speech.

    "But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you needn't worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think."

    "Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we eat?"

    "Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won't even taste it."

    "Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is."

    "Don't worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients."


    "Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is poop."

    I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out into the waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs that still remained.

    Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror.

    "DAD! Why did you do that? You've tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can't eat these brownies!"

    "Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won't hurt you. It's been cooked right along with the other ingredients. You won't even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!"

    "No, Dad...NEVER!"

    "And that is the same reason I won't allow you to go watch that movie. You won't tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?"

    I discarded what remained of the second brownie as well as the entire untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute go had become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn't...but I couldn't convince myself.)

    What a good lesson about purity! Why do we tolerate any sin? On the day of the Passover, the Israelites were commanded to remove every bit of leaven from their homes.

    Sin is like leaven - a little bit leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6).

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    New ABC's

    A is for apple, and B is for boat,
    That used to be right, but now it won't float!
    Age before beauty is what we once said,
    But let's be a bit more realistic instead.

    A's for arthritis;
    B's the bad back,
    C is the chest pains, perhaps cardiac?

    D is for dental decay and decline,
    E is for eyesight--can't read that top line!
    F is for fissures and water retention
    G is for gas, which I'd rather not mention.

    H is high blood pressure--I'd prefer low;
    I for incisions with scars you can show.
    J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend,
    K is for knees that crack when they bend.

    L is lost hearing--now what did you say?
    M is memory lapses occurring all day.
    N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;
    O is for osteo, the bones that don't grow!

    P for prescriptions, I have quite a few;
    Just give me a pill and I'll be good as new!
    Q is for queasy. Is it fatal or flu?
    R is for reflux--one meal turns to two.
    S for sleepless nights, counting my fears,
    T for tinnitus; there are bells in my ears!

    U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;
    V is for vertigo--that's "dizzy," you know.
    W is for worry. NOW what's going 'round?
    X is for x-ray and what might be found.

    Y is another year I'm left here behind,
    Z is for zest that I still have--in my mind.

    I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,
    and I've kept twenty-six doctors fully employed.

    My comments: A friend sent me this email. I'm not sure where she got it, but I sent her an email back saying I believe I had that many doctors as a teenager. God is a miracle worker! But it doesn't mean I don't try to avoid them as much as possible now!

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Mideast crisis

    Please join me in praying for missionaries serving in areas under attack right now. Some have been evacuated to other regions. Check out my website's prayer tab (see link on left-hand side of page) to hear prayer requests from the region.
    Lord, please be with the people of the Middle East right now. Please be with believers and missionaries who are in harm's way. Please protect them and get them out if it is Your Will.
    I pray for those in leadership roles. I pray for wisdom and discernment. Lord, let Your Will be done.
    Help believers during this time: to be able to reach out to others, to share Christ and to further Your Kingdom.
    Lord, above all, let Your Name be glorified in this situation. Bring others to You.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Cell Phone vs. Bible

    Someone sent this email to me. It brings priorities to mind. What would the world be like if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone. How do you treat your Bible?
    Read the full email below:
    I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell Phones?
    What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
    What if we turned back to go get it if we for got it?
    What if we flipped through it several times a day?
    What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
    What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
    What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
    What if we used it as we traveled?
    What if we used it in case of an emergency?
    What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?
    This is something to make you go... hmmm... where is my Bible?
    Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't ever have to worry about our bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    God Walks With You Through The Valleys

    My comment: I share so many emails I get with you because they so often encourage me in my walk with Christ. Each day we need to praise God for all He is to us. We need to share Christ with others. I need to — more than I do. Lord, help me give you praise and honor. In everything, may You be glorified. Give me courage today to share You with someone. May this be your prayer as well.

    Life is good on the mountaintops of celebration. But no matter how much we'd like to spend our lives up there, we need to walk through the valleys of challenges, too. Life is tough in the valleys.

    Still, there are valuable lessons we can learn in the valleys that we could never learn if we stayed on the mountaintops.

    If you find yourself walking through a valley right now, let God teach you as He walks alongside you. Here's how you can find victory in the valleys:

    * The Valley of Uncertainty. Remember that every day of your life is gift from God. Thank Him for each day, and decide to use your time as well as you can. Don't assume that you have tomorrow; live one day at a time, as best as you can. Praise God for giving you life and ask Him to accomplish His full purposes for you. Understand that nothing can take you from Earth until God's plan for you is complete, and nothing can keep you here after God's plan for you is complete.

    * The Valley of Fear. Know that God wants to use this valley to deepen your faith. Be assured that nothing can change the fact that you belong to God, and He is in ultimate control of your life. Ask God to make you aware of His presence with you and to give you the peace that only He can give - the peace that surpasses all understanding. Remember that God will help you overcome anything that's causing you fear. Ask Him to give you the strength you need. Realize that God will be faithful to you, even when you're not faithful to Him. Use your time in this valley to learn how to trust God more, knowing that struggles build trust by showing you how to live out your faith.

    * The Valley of Detours. Realize that what is a detour to you because it's unexpected is, to God, just part of the expected path for your life. Even though you don't know where the detour will lead, God does. Lift your eyes beyond your circumstances to God and trust Him to guide you well. Cooperate with His plans for you; work with Him instead of against Him. Decide to live your life according to biblical morals, and follow God in both adversity and prosperity. Count on God's promises in Scripture as He works out His plan for your life. Cling to His providence and move forward in confidence.

    * The Valley of Suffering. Understand that, because God is sovereign, nothing can get to you without first coming through Him. Know that He won't allow you to suffer any more than you can bear, and that the suffering He allows you to experience is all for a good purpose in your life. Ask God to show you what He wants to learn from your suffering. Use your time of suffering to get to know God better, love Him more, and trust Him more. Don't lose heart; seasons of suffering inevitably end, and often result in positive growth for you.

    * The Valley of Storms. Invite God to use the storms you go through to stretch your faith.

    Understand that God can use storms for correcting (returning you to a right relationship with Him), perfecting (to mature you and prepare you for serving more in His kingdom), and instructing (to teach lessons you couldn't learn otherwise). As you struggle through a storm, keep in mind that Jesus is watching and listening, and He is rooting for you. Not only that, but He is praying for you to remain faithful and learn to trust Him even more. Don't panic, no matter how much rain falls, how loud the thunder crashes, or how close the lightening strikes, because God is more powerful than any storm you could ever experience.

    * The Valley of Discouragement. Seek counsel from people who are close to God, rather than from worldly sources. Ask strong Christians to pray for you, because their prayers are powerful. Bring your problems and pains to God and ask Him to empower you to handle them according to His will. Ask God for encouragement, and know that He will give it to you. Don't isolate yourself or fall into lethargy. Remember that if you wait until you feel like doing something, you often won't do it, but if you decide to take action no matter what your feelings, your feelings will follow. For example, if you wait to read your Bible until you're in the mood to do so, you probably won't read it. But if you read it anyway, despite your feelings, you'll discover that you'll want to read it more. Trust that obeying God will always bring His blessings into your life. Remember that nothing is impossible for God, and that problems are platforms for Him to work miracles if He chooses to do so. Know that you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Don't quit living a faithful life; if you do, you'll miss out on God's best for you. Be persistent in faith until your circumstances change - and know that, in the process, you will change for the better yourself.

    * The Valley of Confusion. While walking through this valley, don't let yourself become disoriented.

    Stay focused on God, and firmly cling to Him and His promises, regardless of what happens. Be assured that even when your circumstances confuse you, God knows what He's doing in your life. Ask Him to help you trust Him more.

    * The Valley of Correction. Recognize that every crisis is an opportunity to take a personal inventory to determine how closely connected you are to God. Ask Him to show you any sins in your life that are blocking intimacy with Him. Repent, accept His forgiveness, and embrace the grace He offers to be reconciled with Him. Know that through your repentance, God can restore you and use your life to accomplish great things.

    * The Valley of Sickness. Understand that sickness is a summons to pray. Don't be shy about praying often, about everything you need, like healing, strength, and wisdom. Intercede for your loved ones and your medical team. Keep praying until answers come. Ask others - especially strong Christians - to pray for you, and let them know your specific requests. Don't wait for others to contact you; take the initiative to contact them. Seek the best medical care you can find, pray hard, and never give up hope. Understand that, while physical healing isn't guaranteed, God will intervene according to His will if you pray and give you peace and possibly restored health as well.

    - by Whitney Hopler