Thursday, January 31, 2008

Walk On

Inspired by Louie's recent blog I thought I would be brave and share the words to a recent song I wrote. Here goes nothing.

Give me the strength to walk on, walk on.
Give me the faith to believe in myself again.
To live this life you paid the price for .
Give me the strength to walk on, walk on.

Putting one foot in front of the other
A chance to make things right
I get out of bed and pray for another
Time to press on

So Give me the strength to walk on, walk on.
Give me the faith to believe in myself again
To live this life you paid a price for.
Give me the strength to walk on, walk on.

Sun is shining and the night is over
Clouds are clearing and I am hearing
A voice so soft but louder than my own
A sound so crystal what have I to fear.

Strength that is not my own
Peace that I now know
Shame begins to lift and you give
me this gift to.....

Have the strength to walk on , walk on
I have the faith to believe in myself again
To live this life you paid the price for
Given the strength to walk on, walk on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Small Groups

Well, I have successfully done it again folks. What's that you ask? What have I done again? Signed up for way too many small groups and my schedule suddenly got very, very full. As if it wasn't full already. Why do I do this to myself? They all just looked so fun I suppose, but then I start writing things down on the palms of my hands just so that I can remember where I am supposed to be tomorrow. Not to mention that this makes me wonder if I have already failed miserably at the whole People Pleasing resolution thingy. I have done great on the other 2 resolutions but, man alive, I don't even think I realize sometimes if I am pleasing the peeps or pleasing me, myself, and I. I feel pretty pleased :)
No, in all seriousness I love these groups that gather on a weekly basis and I am excited to be in each and everyone of the FOUR that I signed up for . I wanted to add one more to that but ya gotta know when to draw the line.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's Not Surprising to Me

It's not surprising to me that Caroline Kennedy has come out and is not only supporting Obama but also is comparing him to her father. When I went to hear Barak speak a few weeks ago I sat next to a man who made the same comparison to Robert Kennedy but he also said Obama had the hopeful feel that the Kennedy brothers were so endeared for. My mom has always been a HUGE Kennedy fan because of coming from Massachusetts and all, but also because she said he really cared about issues that hit home for the average American. This quote from Caroline in the New York Paper is really something I totally agree with.
"There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.
Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books."
I am looking into getting his books and learning more about him. I have enjoyed following this campagin so early and I know it's a long road ahead til November but, I am thinking he might actually get the Clintons out of the race and I am sorry but that is a good thing because, I don't want the US history books to show, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton- it's time for a change from that routine.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Baseball Season

I am getting excited that the season for baseball is returning. This year will be a bit different for us in that we actually have a kid who wanted to play baseball. I think my enthusiasm might have worn off a bit on him. Anyway, we signed Solomon up today and I am so excited to see how he does, if he likes playing it rather than just watching, and what it is like to be the mom of a b-ball player. He going to look so stinking cute in uniform I can hardly wait. Is it too early to be thinking of Fenway in his future?? Hee hee hee.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to the man I love, I am so Happy you are Here

I love you for so many reasons but here are just a few for you on this your birthday; You have THE greatest sense of humor ever, You are so artistic and this is so beautiful to me, You create all the time amazing treasures for the whole world to enjoy but I think I enjoy them the most, You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen and I am so thankful that your beautiful eye gene got passed on so I could see different versions of it in our four children, Your heart is just and fair always, You are a REAL dad- not always just full of fun and games but filled with wisdom and discipline as well. I love to see you driving in your bus because you are so tall and fit so well and I know the REAL reason why you drive a VW. You cook, You fix and You love to do these things which makes me love you more. Your capacity to retain knowledge is something that I not only love but also appreciate because I feel like I am walking around with a half a brain sometimes so I am your compass your are my brain :)

So much more that I hope you know already but on this day that you came into the world it became a much better place and all that other mushy Hallmark crap that you hate but I love.

I love YOU more!!!

Book Review , The Secret Message of Jesus

I finished The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian D. McLaren and I have to say that it wasn't nearly as good as A Genorous Orthdoxy but it still was very thought provoking. The theme of this book is pretty much in the title , are there secrets to the message Jesus brought that we have yet to discover and if so what are we doing about it and why hasn't anyone discovered them as of yet.
The book starts off by asking a bunch of interesting questions, "What if the religion generally associated with Jesus neither expects nor trains it's adherents to actually live in the way of Jesus? What if the core message of Jesus has been unintentionally misunderstood or intentionally distorted? What if many have sincerely valued some aspects of Jesus message while missing or even suppressing other , more important dimensions?What if many have carried on a religion that faithfully celebrates Jesus in ritual and art, teaches about Jesus in sermons and books,sings about Jesus in songs and hymns, and theorizes about Jesus in seminaries and classrooms.... but somewhere along the way missed rich and radical treasures hidden in the essential message of Jesus?"
Sheesh- that right there is just a snippet of the questions that come at you right off the start of chapter 1. Needless to say, this book made me think about the really hardcore , somewhat unpleasant topics that Jesus touched on while he walked the earth. It was a good reminder to me how important it is to study the scriptures because to just quickly read through them is just about as pointless as not reading them at all. The deeper meanings hidden behind so many of the things that Jesus taught can only come when we practice that word we read over and over in the old testament (Selah) which means stop and really think about that for a minute or two or three.......
Here are some of my favorite quotes;
"In one of my previous books, I said that clarity is sometimes overrated and that intrigue is correspondingly undervalued."
"Much about his message is frustratingly unclear and impossible to categorize, but this much is clear: this carpenter's son from Galilee challenges every existing political movement to a radical rethinking and dares everyone to imagine and consider his revolutionary alternative."
"It is not just another one of the kingdoms of this world. NO, this kingdom advances slowly, quietly, under the surface-like yeast in dough, like seed in soil. It advances with faith: when people believe it is true, it becomes true. And it advances with reconciling, forgiving love: when people love strangers and enemies, the kingdom gains ground."
It was most definitely worth the read and there was a study guide provided in the back that I am still working through and thinking about going through with others. Any takers??

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Handy Dandy Dishwasher

Recently I have noticed that my dishes are coming out quite clean these days. What is different you ask? New Detergent, New High tech machine, Better Scrubbers??? None of the above. The reason that my dishes have been coming out so clean lately is because I have a new friend who helps me with these dishes. Her name is Bella and she loves to lick even what lil bit of food might be left on the dishes as I place them in the dishwasher. Time and time again I have told her no to this nasty habit but tonight I realized , ya know I don't really mind the company as I accomplish this 3times a day chore(sometimes more). I have now become a wierdo pet person who allows her dog to lick her dishes. Now, I still think they are coming out sanitary after going through the dishwasher cycle, but just to be sure if this bothers you, next time you come over for dinner you might want to bring paper plates because this bad habit isn't going anywhere. And neither is this sweet pup.

Monday, January 21, 2008

27 Dresses

27 Dresses is a great, clean(as clean as they come these days) chic flick. I took my girlies to go see it on Friday and I was so pleasantly surprised by how cute it was. It also got me thinking of all the weddings I have been in over the years. I made a list and out of the 9 weddings I was in only 4 are still married. 2 were widowed and 3 divorced. The dresses in these weddings ranged from butt-ugly to something I have worn again truly because I really could. That was one of the funnier parts of the movie was how many times the brides would tell their bridesmaids that "the great part about this dress is that you could just shorten it and wear it again" . Then I started to think of my wedding day almost 13 years ago and my poor bridesmaids and what I made them wear. Sorry girls, I am truly really sorry for the hats especially.

The Caucus

On Saturday, the girls and I walked over to Dillworth Jr. High to be a part of the very over-hyped presidential Caucus. I was greeted at the door with an Obama person who of course wanted to sticker us all up with advertisements and we then proceeded in doors. I had to register at this event because I was changing my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat so that took a minute and then we waited in our precinct line for about 20 minutes, until exactly 11am when they began to let us in the gym and they passed out the ballots that we held in our hands and waited some more(this time at least sitting down with coffee and cookies near by). It was at this point that I realized that this was not going to be a quick event. I had no idea what to expect and I certainly didn't realize that there would be a part when you could try to convince others to vote for you candidate. That was pretty cool I thought. The group was pretty much divided right down the middle between Clinton and Obama with a few for Edwards and a few for some other Presidential hopefuls that I had never heard of. So, when it was time to vote we marked the box and then before I could turn to check on those small groups there were people swarming around them like flies. This part was so interesting. Apparently, in order for your vote to count for your candidate you had to have at least 11 people to be a viable group so these stragglers were left to the masses to be coaxed over. The whole process was very interesting to me and I think I would go again but next time I would make sure that I brought more snacks and maybe minus the kiddos. The girls did great but I felt bad making them sit through this event, especially because people wanted to keep making them be their little walking advertisements.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My First Attendance to a Political Event

My friend Christene and I got there early and stood outside in the FREEZING cold weather for almost an hour. We were having a good time and joking that after this long of a wait his speech better be life altering. In line to listen to Obama were alot of people that reminded me of what I might see at a Volkswagen event. These were my kind of people. He brought out a pretty big crowd and we heard several volunteers say that they weren't expecting this many people. Could it be a sign of things to come ? I was kinda bummed to report David that there were no protesters. NOT a One!! As I stood there I began to wonder why any of us get excited about these political events at all. It is hard not to be a skeptic when it comes to all things political but then I guess if we all bowed out because of the negativity surrounding politics we would be in a world of hurt today? So we go, we listen, we vote, we hope for this person to be different than the last or we wish the last person could stay forever.
When we finally got in there were no seats in the bleachers left and so Christene and I had to see in the isle, on the steps, where people were trying to get in and out of their seats the whole time!!! This provided for very close quarters to a gentleman sitting at the end of a row and very close to my left. I know my sister Jen is going to say once again that I most like my mother in this way but I am going to have to say that one of the highlights of the whole event for me was talking, mostly listening to this man tell me about pretty much his whole life story. He is a Native American man about my parents age and the whole conversation started by him telling me that he was a political volunteer for Bobby Kennedy's campaign and was there the night he was shot. That night he threw in the towel on politics never to be involved again until NOW. What an amazing story and what a conversation. We talked about minorities, Jesus, politics, media, and I saw him begin to have a flicker of hope again as Obama was speaking.
The most impressive thing to me was that Obama did NOT make a bunch of promises that he couldn't keep. He did NOT bash on other politicians or even different political parties. He did NOT talk about things as though once he was in office the world's problems would be solved, he would bring about world peace and everything would be rosy. He did however, say that if we as the American people wanted something to change then we have the most power to do that. He put the responsibility of the future in our laps and said that he knew that it is within us and through us that true change will really come IF we want it WE have to do it. I liked that. I liked that he said he knew that there is something to the urgency of NOW. I think he quoted Martin Luther King Jr. on that one. I have to say I went as an incognito, registered republican, and a bit of a skeptic. I left feeling encouraged and like I had been to a church service. My hands were stinging and tingling from clapping so much in agreement to what he was saying. I am going to do some more research of course but from what I heard yesterday I am at least hopeful for a much needed change.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Barack Obama

I am going to go listen to him speak on Monday. I have NEVER seen any political person speak before. Should be interesting. I am going with a friend and at least that I know will be fun. I will let you know what I think when I come back.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

"Tomorrow is a new day, fresh with no mistakes in it" This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies of all times, Anne of Green Gables. If you are a female and have not watched this or the other two movies in this series you are missing out, (I need to buy this movie set on DVD so I can OD on it) and not just missing out, but I would go so far as to say that you are doing a diservice to yourself. But I didn't come to blog about that , I came to blog about why I love that quote so much. It reminds me of why so many take to the age old tradition of setting New Year's Resolutions. Everyone loves a fresh start. I am not one who usually makes resolutions at the start of the new year because I believe any day can be a new day. Wiping the slate clean from past mistakes, failures, pain, or other negatives is a very helpful way of life because we all screw up from time to time(some more than others, me ,which is why i don't wait til the new year) and it is nice to know that tomorrow is a new day.
So this new year I find myself making some resolutions that really, in all reality ,have been a long time coming I am just choosing this time in my life to start fresh. Here are just a few of the new habits I hope to begin making in 2008;

-Eat Breakfast- I have heard my whole life how important this meal is and frankly, I have just had a hard time convincing my stomach that this is true. I usually gag down anything else ,(besides coffee OF COURSE) that comes before 11 a.m. but, I heard on some show(yes, prolly Oprah) that if you don't eat breakfast it is one sure fire way to tip the scales in the wrong direction. Don't need any of that going on , so I am eating breakfast.

-Drink more water- Again this is something that I know is just better for you but I really don't like water in general as a drink. It has never been my drink of choice, but alas I am trying to change this because I know it is better for me. I saw a movie where they had the drinking fountains in the future spitting out gatorade instead of water and I was thinking , yea for the future but I know that really that would be bad as it was in this movie, which was really funny btw. Wish I could remember the name of it.

-Stop being a People Pleaser- I don't know if I come by this genetically or what but Man ALIVE is this ever a hard habit to break! Baby Jesus has been working on this one for a while now and this new year I am really gonna pay attention to how often I am saying yes when I really don't want to. Now, I don't think that the pleasing of all people is bad but the pleasing that comes from guilt or manipulation , not so good.

These are just a few and of course we all know it takes 28 days straight to start a new habit :) so I have to say the first 10 have gone pretty well, yeah me.
Anyone else like to make new year's resolutions? When I asked the youth that question last night I was surprised to find a very non-resolution making group.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Book Review

The Book , A Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian D. McLaren was a very interesting, easy to read book. In this book, Brian talks about all the different denominations in Christianity in such a way that really makes you think about each of these ways to follow Christ,in a whole new light. He has a positive approach with each one and really gives a bit of a history lesson about them all. I didn't know this at the time but he has written quite a few other books and I have already started to read another one of his publishing's, The Secret Message of Jesus(for sure to be in a future book review blog) but for now I will share some favorite quotes from Generous Orthodoxy;
"Nobody is on a journey anymore, everybody is stuck in their high or low status quo." In this quote he talks about how in all these different denominations no one asks why we do what we do they just remain stuck in the status quo. This really rung home for me because I am at a point of asking ALOT of questions. Not about Jesus, but for sure about this thing we call church.
"When Jesus refers to himself as "the son of Man" it would be like saying, the essential human, the ultimate embodiment of humanity. In this way "son of God" would mean embodying God, or carrying the essence of God." The way he phrased these sayings that Jesus said often really made me think about how complex the God we serve is. Fully human and fully God is a pretty big thing to wrap my brain around.
"Has He become(I shudder to ask this) less our Lord and more our Mascot?"
This quote , whew- really hurts but is Oh so true in the way we throw Jesus name around with so much that we do in His name when in all reality it's not really what He's about at all.
There were several more interesting things that I kept my notebook around for the whole time while reading this book because I wanted to come back to much of what he said.
I also needed to take notes on how many other book references he made. Some on his list that I was able to recently purchase, (thanks to some amazing friends who know me OH SO WELL and got me book gift cards for my b-day, Thank you again)are; Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli, What's so Amazing about Grace , The Jesus I never knew both by Philip Yancey, and Sex, Economy,Freedom, and Community by Wendell Berg.
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