Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why have Revival? Why not Renewal?

These are the words from Rev. Duane Eastman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lamar, CO. This was printed in the FBC Lamar newsletter The Messenger.

Last year Myrna and I enjoyed a rare Christmas with our grandsons in West Virginia. We never dreamed that we would celebrate Christmas in Lamar in 2007. It's a new experience for us, and that is good! That's because Christmas is about how God comes to us in the new.

There is a lot of talk these days in evangelical churches about revival. When I asked a colleague what he meant by "revival" he responded by expressing a longing for a movement of the Spirit of God as in the days of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, or Billy Graham. Sometimes we long for the "good old days" of the Spirit, as if God is not as powerful now as He was in the past. It is a spiritual nostalgia myth to believe that if we go back to doing things as they were done back then, we will experience the same kind of spiritual awakening, i.e. "the good old days." But for the believer, the good days of the Spirit of God are always right now.

The word "revival" does not appear in the Bible. "Revive," as in "to resuscitate," appears only four times-all Old Testament references. To return to the nostalgic past has never, ever been the way of God. While it is the natural way of mankind it has always been a barrier to our experiencing the new things God is doing. The Israelites failed to see Jesus for who he was, because of nostalgia. They were trapped into seeing the status with God defined by the "good old days" of temple worship, military might of David's throne, and possession of the land. That nostalgic memory blinded them to the vision of God's kingdom and purposes as fulfilled in the church.

In contrast to "revival," the word "new" appears nearly 200 times in the Bible with significant emphasis on concepts such as new hear, new covenant, new people, new way, new teaching, new wine, new wine skins, new commands, new creation, new self, new order, new name, new birth, new heaven, new earth, new song, etc. In Revelation 21:5 is the final proclamation: He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Obviously, to understand the church in the paradigm of the old, as a modern equivalent of ancient Israel, is a critical mistake. in the same way, to try to return the church to what it was in the past is also a mistake. too many things are new. Virtually every facet of our social structure (government, education, community, family, corporate business, etc.) has gone through a major revolution. Accordingly, it seems that instead of praying for "revival" we should be seeking "renewal."

To suggest the use of "renewal" instead of "revival" is more than semantics. It is a critical awareness of the radical nature of the New Covenant initiated by the birth of Christ. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Renewal is a return, but not to the forms or formulas of the past. It is a return to daily dependency on the Holy Spirit, who always leads God's people into the realm of the "new mandate." Renewal means that the focus is not on the way things were, but on the humbled hear and transforms it into a heart for God. Renewal means to trust God, not our habits. Renewal means to respond to all situations for a heart that is motivated by love.

It seems appropriate that only a week after we celebrate the birth of the Savior that we enter a new calendar year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Love lives and thrives on the vibrant, fresh edge of life.

James and I went to a marriage seminar called "Marriage - How to Make a Good One Better" the other day and we really, really liked it. It gave us a lot of valuable information and has made us understand each other so much better.

Rev. Dr. Ray Lincoln was speaker at the seminar. The words that I am going to put here are his, and something I suggest everyone who is married take to heart. I must suggest if you ever have a chance to take one of Dr. Lincoln's seminars, you should do it!

Nutrients to Grow Your Love-
The Way to a Better Relationship
The growing edge of your mind is the exciting frontier of your own world. It is where ideas are born and love is kept fresh and new. So, keep mentally fresh; learn more about yourself, your spouse, your world, and God. Read; study; get informed; explore! Fill your inner life with a lot of joy-passion and/or excitement-and it will change the nature of your outer world, keeping love vibrant. Live on the edge!

Dull people are never good lovers. Dull minds are poor meeting grounds for hungry souls starved by the routine boredom of daily grind. Freshen up the cutting edge of your life. Put some thrill back into living. Do exciting things; explore the vast unknown world out there that holds the power to renew your spirit and your mind. God gave it to us for this very purpose and we pay a price when we neglect to enjoy God's gifts. Love is not an emotion to be protected lest it be lost. It is a living, fragile dynamic to be risked in the thrills and bumps of life.

Grow your life and love; the alternative is deadly! Don't get so caught up in the demands of living and working that life itself passes you by and routine causes you to lose life's sparkle.

Learning is the potent wind of change that blows over our lives stimulating us all to new things - making us fresh and exciting in all we do. Stop learning and the edges of your life begin to shrink and the green leaves turn brown as you fade into a long autumn of diminishing motivation. In this context it is not without meaning that this withering is called "fall." The learning edge of life is where our attention must be focused if we are to achieve a refreshingly exciting love.

One more important thought. Love is a life force. Any life force that is not nurtured and fed with atrophy and die. For loves ultimate health feed it a variety of nutrients.

Those nutrients are:
  • Joy
  • Hope
  • Peace
  • Kindness
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Longsuffering (This smooths out the rough places. God's health packet contains a supply of it for emergencies)
  • Goodness
  • Loads of appreciation and love shown in what we do, and always in our words, is dessert for the human spirit.

Other nutrients are found in the Bible!
  • 1 Corinthians 13
  • Romans 12
  • Philippians 4

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dove commercial... "Evolution"

14 Down... 93 to go...

I stepped on the scale again this morning and it showed me 248. I think that is possibly the lowest since I started WW. I have such a long way to go, 93 pounds in fact. I am trying not to get down on myself. I am not losing as fast as I would like. I know a lot of it is my fault for not eating the correct things. I have been sticking to the points, but I haven't been eating the veggies and fruits like I am supposed to. I have been drinking pop too. That, I stopped yesterday. NO MORE POP FOR ME! Hopefully that will help. I am pretty sure it will. I will be drinking more water and less calories!

Anyway, I am going to go swimming here in a little bit, so I have to actually get out of my pajama's. I'll post more later.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today....

So, I stepped on the scale this morning and was back down under 250! I weighed 249. Only 1 pound under, but that is ok... its not 250!

I also went swimming today and started out by swimming a 500 freestyle. I have never done a 500 in under 10 minutes, even when I was a lifeguard at the Rec. Center in Gillette (which was a requirement). I did it today in 8 minutes!! I was soooo happy. I wasn't even that tired after it, so I kept swimming and did another 500. The second one was breaststroke and backstroke. Swimming just feels so good.

I also took my measurments this morning and was down another inch. I am down 11 inches since starting. I was only down 1/2 an inch in my waist and 1/2 inch in my hips since Nov. 9. Not a lot, but some. Hopefully I start losing more! Anyway... that's all for now.

Edited picture of the Fischer family


Thursday, November 29, 2007


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Did NOT Agree With Me!!

Yuck... Yuck... Yuck. I even tried to be good for Thanksgiving. But alas, I have gained three pounds back in the last two weeks! I don't like it. I think it must have been the rolls. I made too many and ate them instead of eating pie. Oh well.

Thanksgiving was good. We went over to our friends house and had Thanksgiving dinner at about 1:00 then we hung around there all day and had seconds at about 7:00pm. It was so nice. There was three of us couples and we each chipped in to make stuff. I made rolls, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes. I almost had a big oops before we went to dinner. I was boiling the mashed potatoes and almost boiled them down to potato soup. I tried to drain them and they just wouldn't drain. I ran upstairs and was upset and told James I ruined the potatoes. He dumped them into a bowl from the strainer and salvaged them, luckily. Otherwise we were going to have to stop by King Soopers to pick up some of theirs. But we didn't have too. They were actually good. I was just trying to do too many things at once.

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving. I only had one serving of everything except the rolls. And I really didn't eat too many of those. I did not have pie either. I don't like pumpkin pie and they also had a french silk pie that I don't like so I didn't have pie! I still gained weight though. I think I am not drinking enough water. In fact, I am pretty sure I am not drinking enough water.

Today I am starting over again. I logged my weight in on my Weight Watchers thing and I lowered my daily allowance of points from 32 to 29. We'll see if that helps. I need to be eating better too. I also have not been exercising as much. James and I did go for a 5 mile walk before Thanksgiving dinner. But the week before that the Rec Center was closed so I couldn't go swimming. Then I forgot to go swimming last week. Monday I was going to go, but I had to go pick up Jet from the Vet at noon. I know, excuses, excuses.

I did exercise a bunch last night. I was watching The Biggest Loser (such an inspiring show) and I exercise during the whole 2 hour show. I was running in place, jumping, sit ups, push ups, and I used some cans of soup as weights for bicep curls, flys, and a couple of other arm work outs. I hope to so that a little bit more! Anyway, I will quite rambling now!

Monday, November 19, 2007

You are Not What You Do...

This is taken from my Bible… the comments in it are written by people at Zondervan… here is some that I really liked.

“But now, This is what the Lord says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” Isaiah 43:1

Regardless of what society or your family tells you (or even what you may secretly tell yourself), you are not the sum total of your pedigree, resume and credentials. You have one identity in life upon which you should rest all your aspirations: You are a daughter (or son) of God. That’s all. But how much that “all” entails!

  • You are unconditionally accepted—not because you earned it, but because of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • Your past is forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • You have a promising future (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • He will never turn you away (John 6:37).
  • You are loved as you are and not as you should be (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • You are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)

Do you believe God wants an intimate relationship with you, not another impressive audition? The Bible’s revelation to the over-achiever is this: There is nothing more for you to “do” to earn God’s favor; Christ has already done it all. And because of the Cross (not by anything you’ve done), you are entitled to a promotion you didn’t earn, favor you didn’t seek, a status beyond your wildest expectations and confidence in the court of the King. The world will try to point to what you do in order to define your worth—as if a salary, title or home address could ever encapsulate the wonder of a person’s value. Remember, it’s not who you are or what you do but whose you are. And you belong to the Almighty God.

Other Readings

Psalm 46:10
John 1:12
Ephesians 1:5

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Keep House for the Lord

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the LORD ‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.’” Haggai 1:7-9

Housework! I hate the word. Actually, loathe is probably the optimal word. I do not like to dust, vacuum, clean the toilets, or even do the dishes. But, like I told my sister the other day, I do the housework because it keeps everyone happy. I notice that things go so much smoother around my house when it is clean. My husband comes home happy and we can go out, have fun on a Saturday, instead of doing the work that I should have done during the week.

My piano students even notice when I don’t clean the house. They are five and seven years old and if I haven’t dusted in a week, or two, they point out that the piano feels funny (aka dusty). My student last night was even drawing pictures in the dust when I went to answer the phone. I was so embarrassed. I wanted a do-over. I wanted to be able to dust and get my house cleaned before they came over. But, I did not spend my time wisely, and the housework went undone.
Do you ever wonder what God thinks of your house? Is it pleasing to the Lord’s eye? Does it have too much “stuff” that you never use? Could that “stuff” be given to someone who has never had something like it? Or, is your house falling apart? Do you keep the floors, walls, ceilings clean and void of cracks and holes?

Have you thought about your church in the same way that you think about your own house? Your church should be God’s house. Does the Lord’s house get the same respect as your own?
This past Sunday, November 11, 2007, was Stewardship Sunday around the ABCUSA. Many people spent the month prior to Sunday thinking and praying about what they can do and give to their church to keep it running and out of debt. Then they made pledges and gave what they could to their church. According to ABCUSA General Secretary Roy Medley, United Mission (UM) giving is leveling off from its sharp decline, but is not near stopping in its decline. Giving in the local church usually, but not always, reflects the UM giving.

If you decided to give to your church in this next year, did you do it with the idea in mind that your church is God’s house? I know that if I, and all others in my church, gave comparably as much to God’s house as we spent on our own houses, in “housework” and in money, our church would not lack funds or workers for special projects and other “housekeeping.” I know very few people who actually like doing housework, but I do know that not enough people pitch in to do the housework for God.

Take time to speak to the Lord. Listen to what the needs are for the house in which God lives. It may not be money; it may be volunteering to teach, filling in for a sick janitor, or helping repair a leak in the roof. Whatever it may be, take time to do God’s house work. Take pride in where the Lord lives. Don’t let God’s house become something less than your own house. The care you put into the house of God will translate to visitors as care for the members and people of the church.

Prayer: Lord, help us to listen for the call for help. We know You take pride in Your house and Your people, so help us do the same. In your precious name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weight loss pictures...

I finally have pictures. The one on the left is the picture taken today, the one on the right is when I started. I see some difference, but let me know if you see any.





12 Pounds Down!!

Slow but steady. And it yelled at me again. I know I did not lose more than 2 pounds this week, but it is taking the "average" of the last couple of weeks and telling me that I am losing more than an average of 2 pounds over a week. Well, I am not going to worry about it. I have been at this for 8 weeks and I have lost 12 pounds. That is not more than 2 pounds a week! I should be at 16, but I had some trouble when I was in Grand Junction.

Oh well, anyway, I am at 12 pounds down, and 10 inches lost. I measured myself the other day. I don't have the measurements with me, but they total 10 inches! I am happy. I stil have yet to get my pictures taken. I will see if I can do that some time this week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A must read!

Any Christian should go and read this blog. Make sure you have a tissue in your hand.
http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/dr-criswell-longtime-pastor-of.php.

10 pound milestone!

I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 252! I was excited. 10 pounds down since I started. I started on Sept 19 at 262. 7 weeks later I am down 10 lbs. That isn't bad. Or so I thought. I logged my weight in to the Weight Watchers website and it yelled at me :-(. It told me I was losing weight too fast. That I need to slow down to 2 lbs or less a week. I lost 3 lbs this week and it yells at me for losing too fast! I don't understand sometimes... I am trying to be good. It is hard. And I understand what it is saying when it tells me that I am losing too fast, but I still don't want the scale to be the same or higher each week. I am going to take what I can get. I'm going to work harder on only losing 2 lbs per week, but I am going to lose each week. I am not going to gain. That is part of my goal.

Well, anyway, I am happy I am down!

Weight Chart

Monday, November 5, 2007

Inches Lost!!!

I am so excited. I measured myself today and I have lost a lot of inches. In total I have lost 9 inches!!! I am sooooooo estatic! I have lost the most in my waist.

Here are my starting measurements...
thigh-34
hips-53.5
waist-41 (?)
chest-44.5
arm-16.5

Here are todays measurements...
thigh-33
hips-51
waist-38
chest-43
arm-15.5

So here are the differences between Sept 30 and today (Nov. 5)
1 in the thigh....
2.5 in the hips....
3 in the waist....
1.5 in the chest...
and 1 in the arm...

I guess this is working. I all of my jeans are too big for me. But I don't want to buy anymore clothes til I am down to where I can't wear any of my current clothes. I did buy a dress this weekend, but it is a wrap dress and will be easily adjustable when I lose weight. It can also be used as a maternity dress once I will need to have one. But anyway, I am done now. I have to go clean the house!!! I will post pictures tonight once I have James take them!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tag, I'm It

There is a little game of tag going on, and I am it.

Here are the instructions for the next people:
List 3 habits/little-known facts about yourself on your blog.
Then tag 3 more people, post their names, then go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog for these instructions.

Now here are the 3 habits/little-known facts about myself.

1) I love listening to talk radio. I don't like listening to music at work cause it puts me to sleep, so I listen to talk radio.

2) I want to have a baby soon!!!

3) I love the Japanese Sake Fuki! It is a plum wine that is really good to have during a meal or with dessert!

I now Tag.... I don't have anyone to tag... I'll have to wait to tag someone... cause I don't know enough bloggers.

Update on Weight Loss and Family

So, I was told the other day that I need to keep writing in my blog. I have been a little lax on doing this. My apologies! Anyway, I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 253!!! My lowest since I started WW. I am excited! I also measured myself the other day. I don’t have those with me right now, but I will put another post up tomorrow, with updated measurements. I will also put up pictures.

As far as other news in my life- I don’t really have any. Grandpa is having more tests done, so no news there. James is loving his new job. He is keeping extremely busy. He has learned more in his last two weeks then he learned in his two years at Archstone. He is proving to his boss that he is a good investment.

Anyway, I must tell you about this awesome restaurant my boss introduced me too. It is called Four Leaf Chopped Salads (http://www.fourleafchoppedsalads.com/home4.htm). MMMMMMMMMMMMM I LOVE this place! All they serve is salads, so I can’t take James there (he’s “not a rabbit”). But their salads are excellent. You can choose one of their pre-designed concoctions, or make your own. My favorite is one they had as a special the first day I went there. It’s called the “Super Spicy Salad.” It consists of a mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce, spicy chicken, chedder cheese, jalapenos, red onion, tomato, and a southwest ranch. MMMMM! Anyway, they put all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then they pour the contents out onto a cutting board. They chop the salad together really well, and then put it into a big bowl, add the dressing, and then toss it all together. It’s then returned to the original bowl, and then you eat. Its soooo good, and really, really healthy. That salad is only 4 points on my WWs for a BIG salad. When I say big, I mean big. (If you have a set of the three Pyrex bowls, it will fill the middle size bowl! J) I am going to have that for dinner tonight!

OK, I’ll quit talking about the salad place! Well…. I will write more tomorrow. Hope you all are doing well. Write me some comments! I love to see your opinions and comments, etc.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beautiful Trip Back from Grand Junction



















James took this picture of me waiting to get on the train.



















This is a beautiful sight right outside of Grand Junction.



















The vineyard is to the east of Grand Junction and I am sure the wine that comes from here is excellent!



















Same vineyard....



















This was the first snow we saw. Isn't this pretty?



















That same place where we first saw snow, but this is the whole view!



















This is the Glenwood Springs train station.



















This is across the river from the train station in Glenwood Springs. They have hot springs here, and this is a very cute looking town!



















If you look in the middle of this picture, you can see the Hermits House. It is built into a cliff east of Glenwood Springs. There is an elevator at the top of the cliff that you can take to get into the house. It is totally remote. No one would, or even could, bother you there!
























This is the start of the canyon just east of Glenwood Springs.



















The canyon walls didn't have snow on them, but the trees did.



















I-70 near Glenwood springs. The west bound lane is elevated.



















Pretty view of the river and the mountains.



















The train and the tracks with snow. It was so much fun!



















The Colorado River and snow



















We sat in the lounge car the whole way. I worked on the blanket I am making the entire time.



















Pretty huh?



















Snow on the mountains and the Colorado River



















James on the train.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bad News and Good News

Good news and bad news. I will start with the bad news first. My mom told me on Wednesday that my Grandpa Dickey was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since he is over 70 they will not operate. He will be going to Sioux Falls to where my aunt Donna is a nurse and works in the hospital, to get a second opinion, just to make sure. I hope that you will keep my family and Grandpa in your prayers. It is much needed at this time!

Now, for the good news. I have been in Grand Junction all week long, and it has been wonderful. I really think I know what I am supposed to do for this time in my life. I am going to stay right where I am and enjoy working in a job I love!

Wednesday evening and all of Thursday we went through a workshop called Healthy Congregations. I was a lot of information thrown at me at one time. I don’t know how much if it I will be able to put into practice at my church but I guess I will work on it. The whole premise of the workshop is to create a congregation that is “healthy.” This does not necessarily mean that it has to grow, but it is a way for conflict and all that to be dealt with on a civilized and Christian basis.

One of the main points was that each person in a congregation should focus on improving self, and when one does that, it in turn will help improve the whole. For example, most churches will experience a time of high anxiety from time to time. This anxiety can come from many sources. Such sources can be positive or negative; losing members, losing a long time pastor, money problems, issues involving sex/sexuality, staff conflicts, growth, worship styles, etc. These factors can contribute to the whole becoming anxious and possibly arguing, and even eventually dividing.

This does not have to happen though. A church can work through these anxious times and be a healthy church. Like I said at the beginning of the last paragraph, each person needs to focus on improving themselves, and in turn the whole will be better. This example was set by Jesus himself. If you look at the story of Jesus, he taught (Matthew 22, Mark 4, Luke 6, etc) and was a leader (Mark 1, John 6, John 10, etc) for the people. However, he took time to got to the mountain and pray and get away to reflect. He made time to reconnect with God and make sure he was focused on God’s will (Mark 6:30-33, Luke 4, Luke 22:39).

I must cut this short, but I really feel that this, if put into practice, can help any church. I have to finish this for now, but I will write more tomorrow on the rest of the Gathering.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grand Junction Train Ride

Have you ever been on a train ride? Have you ever traversed through Colorado on the train? I never had till today I did. I went from Denver to Grand Junction for the ABCRM Gathering. It was a spectacular ride. I recommend doing this to anyone! I would love to take a cross country train trip. Not only do you see wonderful things, you can meet wonderful people. The food is actually really, really good too! Here are some of the pictures from my trip. I’ll update with more pictures as the Gathering goes on.
This is just outside of Denver. If you look in the middle of the picture you can see downtown. It was kind of foggy and very very smoggy.
The train as we went through Boulder Canyon.

The mountains outside of Frisco.

Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado river.

The Colorado river leaving Glenwood Canyon.

The train going around the bend after going through Glenwood Springs.

Near Grand Junction

Comments from my Uncle

My uncle and I have been penpals lately and I asked him to comment on some questions I had. One of them was about my blog posting about James looking for a new job and the comments surrounding that. The second was on some questions about women and the church that I have been pondering for some time. My uncle was brought up in the same church I was and went to the same college, but it 10 years older than me. I wanted his opinion just to see if I was crazy or not!

Here are his comments!

“Luke 3:14 is John the Baptist talking to occupying Roman soldiers. These soldiers were far from home and paid well compared to the people that lived in the land. But they still caused problems and extorted money from the civilians around them. John’s call to “be content with you pay” was in response to their questions of what they needed to do to receive God’s favor. Also, Hebrews 13:5 is about the only reference to money I can find in Hebrews. While it is very important to not love money more than God, wanting to make enough money to pay your bills is not a sin. The things to remember when looking at scripture is WHO is saying it, WHO they are saying it to and WHAY is going on that has made the message be spoken. Some verses are for a specific people at a specific time; especially the teachings about the authority of women. But also in teaching about tithing and giving there are specific applications and prophetic applications. Malachi 3:9-12 basically says that if you are tithing then you will be blessed. This is a specific and prophetic writing. God was the speaker here and that makes it applicable throughout time. I especially like the end of verse 10 where God says, “Try it! Put me to the test.” Just see if your tithing will go unnoticed. I think that is a far better section of scripture to apply to a church than a fragment of a conversation about being content with your wages. I also found in 2 Corinthians 8:12 where it says to give eagerly. To be glad in your giving and tithing is a blessing to God. The most important part of money is that it is not the center of your life. God should be the center.

As for the female authority in the church; the only Bibilical reason I can find for this is in 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Once again, this was written to the people of that time. Women were for the most part not educated. Those women were far more likely to teach false teachings and be seduced by worldly teachings that were contrary to God. They were also separated from their husbands during the teachings and would be yelling out questions to their husbands because they wanted to understand what was being taught. Paul lists several women who were at least deacons in their churches. I guess my own experience has been that a teacher is a teacher, male or female, it doesn’t matter. As an adult male, I have had many female teachers in my faith journey. I have made many mistakes in my life. Of course my mistakes do not invalidate my past encounters with God, they just prove the need for a constant and renewing relationship with Him.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

8 lbs down...

So this mornings weigh in was a little traumatic for me. I was fearful that I had gained all of my weight back. James and I had gone to Outback Steakhouse for dinner and I really did not eat a very good meal. I had steak, broccoli, and a baked potato, with water. This usually would not be too bad, but it is what we had before that messed me up. James ordered some of their cheese-fries. MMMM good, but really really really, and I mean REALLY not good for you. I went online and found the nutritional value of that meal.... YIKES!!! Just the fries themselves were 20 points!!!!!! And that was for the 1/2 of the plate! Never having those again!

So when I got home from dinner (James had a pulpit committee meeting) I did my dance aerobics workout, then went swimming for 30 minutes. I did get back 10 points, but I was .5 a point from going over!!Oh well, that is ok. I DIDN'T.

Anyway, back to the weigh in. Needless to say I figured I gained it all back. I stood on the scale and saw 254! I smiled! That made my morning! I just really need to start watching what I am eating to make sure I don't do that again!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Prayer to My God in Heaven Above

My heart fills with love for You
my life is filled and made so new
You died up there just for me
You died just to set me free
free form all I have done wrong
free to let me sing Your song
praises I send You now
never asking why or how
You knw my hear, my soul, my mind
and when I talk to you I un-wind
from all the days joys and woes
to than You for all, only You know
You bless me in every way
that is why I say what I say
please bless me now in my own life
and help me make my decisions right
Your will is what I hope for me
not mine, but Yours, forever will be
please help me find what you know is true
let it only and honestly glorify You
You are my only rock and prayer
You know my every though, action, and hair
I ask you to forgive me for all I have done
Thank you Lord, the battle is won!

Un-published poetry

Dec. 12, 2001 my family's lives turned around. My brother, Tim, died suddenly in his sleep. As is my tradition when someone passes, to deal with the grief, I write poetry. I was going through my old poetry books that I had written in and found a couple of poems that I have not put out there for anyone to read. I feel now is the time that I can do that. Here are a few.


"Untitled"


"Brother, oh brother, my brother dear!"
That is what I would say
if only you were standing here,
yesterday and today.
But your time is here
God has asked for you back,
you know I will shed a tear.
But the love I will not lack.
For though I never said it enough,
and time and again I wanted to
-you were always so rough and tough-
it scared me to say, I love you.


"Untitled 2"

Each little piece carefully placed
in its spot, with perfect grace
finally the work is done
a ship whose battle it had won
just like the life of my dear brother
piece by piece, just like the other
the construction of this life gone by
had its straights, lows, and highs
starting with a thought conceived in the mind
but eventually leaving it all behind
pieces were broken, fixed, and glued
its importance as the pieces new
so, too, my brothers days
each step never mixing his ways
applying the last paint coat on
so did he fall asleep at the dawn
like the maker placing it in a safe place
God did the same with his life, with grace
the creation was finished and finally done
just like my brother, he's finally won!


"Tim"
(this one was published in the program for his funeral)

You are with Grandma now
and little Jacob too,
Jesus and all the others
are in God's house with you.

You, my brother,
regarded with much love,
are standing with God
watching us from above.

Please watch over us
each and every day
and be our guiding angel,
keep us from harms way.

One last thing
before you go
I will always love you,
I just wanted you to know.

Grab a Tissue....

My sister and I have this video posted on our myspace pages. I reccomend grabbing a tissue before watching this video. But, I say you should and ought to watch it.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=11230538

This Video is Halarious!!!

So my mom sent me this video. I have to send it on to everyone out there who either is a mother or has a mother! It is halarious! YOU MUST SEE IT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSpBUxsgAU

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wedding Day Adjustment

One of my bridesmaids took this at my wedding. I finally got it from her. I have to share it. It was taken by Mary Olsen (then Fritson) and I have to explain the back story.

We took pictures before the wedding. During the pictures, my back was killing me. I could hardly stand up straight. Well, we have a family friend who is a chiropractor and he came in before the wedding and straigtened out my back. The problem was, as you will see, I was in my wedding dress at the church. My nephew is in the background and thought he was hurting me too. This is just too funny. You have to watch it all, the funniest moment is close to the end.
video

Down 2 lbs more...

I got out of bed this morning, went through my normal routine, and then stepped on the scale. James and I had gone to Applebee's last night, and I was sure I was going to be heavier than yesterday, since I had a few buffalo wings. Well, turns out, my new weight is 255. I had to do it again, just to make sure! I can't believe it, I don't know what I did different, other than working out in the morning and drinking tons of h2o. Well, whatever I did, I am going to do it again today and see if it works more than once!! :-)

Friday, October 5, 2007

More Random Pictures

Me and my two best friends! I love this pic!!
















Mr & Mrs. Cone (Jami & Brandon) married July 28, 2007!!

















Left to right- Me, Jenni, Amy, Mary- waiting to get into the limo with the happy couple to go to the reception.

















So, I have a comment on my last group of pictures that I don't have a pic of my brother, so here are two. One in his fire gear coming off of a fire, and the next pic of him by a coal truck at Jacob's Ranch Mine. (I thought I would include the coal mine pic because that is what I did for money to get through college :-)






































Beth & Beth- Or rather, Beth Faubion and Elizabeth Nebelsick

















My in-laws, Peggy and Larry, at their 25th wedding anniversary party in June 2007!























The is the first picture ever taken of James and I. It was taken in RI where we met. (Man I was skinny then)












I thought this was pretty. This was taken at James & I's wedding. The sun through the stained glass window in the church made the spectacular color.






















My baby, Jet!! He's sooooo cute















It's going ok....

I went swimming this morning. It felt really good. I came home, ate breakfast, and with hair wet, I weighed myself. I was down 1/2 a pound. That is pretty good. I also measured myself. Here they are with the measurements from Sept. 30.

-------Sept 30-----Oct. 5

Thigh-34 ----------33.5
Hips--52.5---------52
Waist-*see below*-40.5
Chest-44.5---------44.5
Arm--16.5---------16

So when I measured I don't know what I did on the Sept. 30, my waist was 47. I don't think I measured in the right place. But if I did then I lost almost 7 inches there... I don't think so.

Anyway, I lost about 1/2 an inch almost everywhere. I am happy!!! I just have to keep going!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Because Kids Matter To Jesus

I highly recommend reading this blog posting on John Roberts' blog.

http://onceaweekforgod.blogspot.com/2007/10/because-kids-matter-to-jesus.html

NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN!

I went to Sonic for lunch. BIG OOPS!! I got a jalapeno cheeseburger and fries and a pop. Oh man. Should not have done that. I get 32 points this week per day and just that lunch was 27.5 points. I just know I will not do that again. I let my stomach do the talking and didn't check the points before I went to lunch. YIKES... I guess I will just be eating salad for dinner. That is ok though. I need to have veggies! I guess I will know better next time. I can also go for a walk after I get home from choir. I'll just have to see. Now that I think about it, I won't be getting dinner tonight because I usually don't get dinner on Thursday nights. I have bell choir at 5:45 and James and I usually get there about 5:30 and set up. Then I have regular choir right after that at 7:00. No time for dinner between. I usually don't get home till 9:15-9:30 so I don't eat when I get home either. That is ok today. I am good. I have an apple that I can eat on my way to the church.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 lbs down

So I forgot to post this morning on how my weight loss is going. So far I have lost 4 pounds. I want to be losing faster, but I have a couple of people around me telling me that slow and steady is the way to go. Well, I will just wait and keep doing what I am doing. My weight now is 258. I'll do measurements and all that tonight. I am hoping that I see some change. If not, that is ok, I did just measure the other day. But I have been swimming and walking a lot. So hopefully that helps.

Science and Bibilical Faith--Both Have Their Place

So, as you can tell, I find a lot of things in church newsletters that I get at work. I find things interesting and I think other people should know them. So, here is another one. This was published in the FBC Today newsletter of First Baptist Church of Grand Junction. It was written by Jerry Springston, the interim pastor there.

"Guard the Good News which has been entrusted to you. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith." (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

Upon coming to Grand Junction I subscribed to the [newspaper]. I try to read it from cover to cover every day. My favorite sections are the letters to the editor and the Saturday and Sunday opinions expressed in the You Said It articles. These provide windows into the thoughts of certain people (probably not the majority) in western Colorado. Their opinions most frequently address politics, public works and science and religion. Of course, it's the later topic that interests me most.

Two hundred years ago, scientists feared that trains speeding more that 50 miles an hour would self-destruct. Today they anticipate harvesting minerals from asteroids and communicating with life forms in other galaxies. Complete control of the aging process is expected by the year 2050. Despite prospects like these, age-old problems still exist--problems like human hatred, international strife and socio-economic inequities. Science itself poses dangers, such as nuclear holocaust and genetic engineering. Einstein regretted that his relativistic principles had influenced ethics and morality. "Science without religion is lame." he confessed. Beside Einstein, many of the greatest scientific thinkers--Galileo, Copernicus, Newton and Pascal--acknowledged the world of the Spirit.

So while science can show the wonder of God's intelligence and purpose, only faith can know and worship God as Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Beside, the world's greatest problem is not a lack of information, but alienation from God. It is not ignorance, but sin. Sin is a problem that science cannot address because sin is spiritual, residing in a person's heart and soul.

People cannot become greater or better than their heart. Only through the power and knowledge of God can they go beyond science to deal with the issues of personal character and human destiny. Character includes honesty, trustworthiness and compassion. But how can these be realized? The Bible teaches (as history confirms) that virtues and values do not come merely through study, education or the acquisition of knowledge. Some of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people of history have been exceedingly wicked. Our sinful, fallen nature requires that science and religion join together so that we both appreciate the wonder of God's creative power and know the joy of His salvation.







Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Notes from Pastor John Turnage (taken from FBC Loveland newsletter)

I recieve the First Baptist Church of Loveland, CO, newsletter "The Visitor" every month. I found this ponderings by the pastor, John Turnage, particularly interesting and helpful. I think it might be helpful and insightful for you too.

Many centuries ago, our Christian forefathers spent many hours developing the sense of God's presence, trying to understand how the spirit was leading and what they might do as servants of Jesus Christ. Hours of prayer and discussion were easily set aside for these endeavors. Time was of little concern in a world where the pace of life followed the seasons. Waiting a week, a month or several years did not weigh on them. I have often wondered how to slow down my day or life and spend hours searching for an understanding of God's will and ways. Although we say we want more of God in our lives, I find myself questioning where God will fit into my agenda and day timer. Are we too busy for God?

The world has certainly changed, and we have adapted to the frenetic, hurried, demanding 24/7 schedules. We have adapted, but I'm not sure that was the way we were made. Has God changed to adapt to our world and schedules? Is God in a hurry like we are? The Psalmist says "Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10) Can I be still quickly?

Our busy, busy world is not geared to the spiritual life and the disciplines of reflection, prayer, meditation, and repentance. And yet somehow in this busy world we have to find time for rest, restoration, healing, and presence, which are the fruits of a spiritual life.

You can still be busy and have a spiritual life that is growing and connects you the spirit. We simply need to think about spirituality in some different ways. Here are some ideas for a spiritual life in a 24/7 world.

Turn off noise makers, like radios, the television, and Ipods. We are bombarded with noise. This last winter I stepped outside when it was snowing and could hear the silence. We receive so much input that we do not have time to process it. Simply cutting out the background noise and input helps us step away from the busyness. When you are in your car, leave the music and radio off. You will be amazed at what you discover and how much less stress is present. If you are really brave, turn off your cell phone for a couple of hours every day. Who knows, maybe you will hear the "still small whisper."

Be kind. An insurance commercial shows people doing simple and easy acts of kindness, which lead to more acts of kindness. The care and concern grows without one ever speaking a word. Kindness is spiritual and it is very easy. A smile, a little helping hand, a little time helps others in ways that cannot be measured. It does wonders for our spirituality. It acknowledges the other without really knowing them. And it is right in line with what Jesus did to so many who just happened along his path. Kindness changes your whole being.

Join a community or group. Spirituality has moments of reflection and quiet. However, most spirituality emerges in fellowship and community. One of the byproducts of our electronic world is a growing sense of disconnect. People talk about being alone and isolated. This isolation is a great issue. Almost everyone I talk to knows of someone who is alone. We are made and programmed for community. For a deep spiritual experience, one needs a group or friends. Love is the element that binds us together. If we cannot join with others, how do we nurture that love?



Be generous. You may not have time to go on a mission, pack boxes that are headed to the mission field, or join a group building a house, but you can participate with a gift. All mission efforts require funding. ideally one can both go and give to a mission. However, setting aside a week or ten days can be difficult. Your gift connects you to the mission field and empowers the mission. In some ways, you are paying someone else to do what you cannot. This is a bit like the early church collecting an offering to send Paul and Barnabas out to do what they were not free to do.


Spirituality is not as time consuming as we think. Small things and attitudes can create a rich spiritual experience. Spirituality is more available and easy than we believe. God waits for you!

A Fascinating Perspective on the Bible

Ok, so this is a re-post of a re-post... probably of a re-post. But I asked for permission. I got this from Laura's blog (http://madenoughtopray.blogspot.com/). I find this has helped me in my search for truth and the correct way to view things. I know that in our earthly state we are faulty and want things to be the way we want them to be, not the way God truly has them be. I'll quite blabbing now and let you read on.

Laura says:
I found this through a link to the "Confessing Evangelical" blog, in a comment on Craig's blog (AGAIN. GEEZ.) and found it really thought-provoking and insightful. I think we too often seek answers to our questions and concerns about faith within our own traditions (in my case, reformed baptist -- not exactly a shallow pool, but limited by definition) rather than gleaning wisdom from believers in other traditions. Bo Giertz (1905-1998), whose quotes you'll read below, was a Swedish Confessional Lutheran Bishop. Let's just say his writings are not on the syllabus of most classes at Southern Seminary. I mean, a Lutheran? Those weirdos with their whole law-gospel business and their infant baptism and their sometimes uncomfortably vague definitions of Christian doctrine? Caveat: I don't necessarily endorse every jot and tittle of the doctrine espoused in the quoted passages (nor, I would imagine, the book as a whole), but I thought it interesting.

“The Bible is exactly as God wanted it to be”
John H
Saturday 2nd June, AD 2007


My holiday reading last week included Bo Giertz’s book The Hammer of God [note: this book is a novel] (which I’ve read, and posted on, before), and I was struck by the following passage in which Pastor Bengtsson (an orthodox Lutheran) tells his more liberal colleague Pastor Torvik that what matters is not whether one has a “historical” view of the Bible (”historical” being code for “liberal”), but instead:


Everything depends on whether we have a religious view of the Bible.


When Torvik asks what this means, Bengtsson explains as follows:


That is faith in the Bible as the voice of God, so that if you read it to hear what God would say to you, you actually hear God speak. For my part, I have the simple belief that the Bible is exactly as God wanted it to be. That does not mean, perhaps, that every detail is set forth systematically for science, as in an academic treatise. But it does mean that every little detail has been given such a form that a human being who seeks salvation will be helped to find the truth.


The highlighted words express my own conviction on this issue as well. I’ve never felt comfortable with the term “inerrant”, largely because it carries connotations of the Bible conforming to a standard that we have set for it ourselves. But, equally, I find it intolerable to suggest that the Bible contains errors (even if some might see that as a necessary consequence of rejecting inerrancy).


Better to follow Pastor Bengtsson and affirm simply that “the Bible is exactly as God wanted it to be”; that it meets the standard that God has set for his written Word, regardless of how it measures up to whatever standard we might wish to apply.


There is then still plenty of work to do in understanding what that affirmation means and in resolving (or learning to live with) apparent contradictions or difficulties within the Bible. However, we are freed to carry out this work positively and from a position of confidence, rather than constantly having to do battle against the purported “errors” that, left unchecked, might undermine our faith in the “inerrancy” of Scripture.


Pastor Bengtsson also reminds us that the Bible was not written to satisfy our curiosity. Rather, “every little detail has been given such a form that a human being who seeks salvation will be helped to find the truth“. Many of our anxieties concerning apparent “errors” or “contradictions” in Scripture - for example, the differences between accounts of the same events in the four gospels - evaporate when we understand the purpose for which God provided the Scriptures.


As Pr Landgraf’s comment as quoted in my previous post reminds us, the gospels are not there to satisfy our curiosity as to what exactly Jesus said or did on any given occasion - in other words, they are not “fly on the wall” documentaries - but to provide four different perspectives on the more fundamental questions: why is Jesus considered a Saviour, and what is the “good news” concerning him? Much the same applies to the rest of the Bible.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Doors- opened or unlocked??

God has a weird way of presenting His plan. He will open doors and will shut others. He sometimes will just unlock the door and let you do the opening!

We have found that out these past couple of months. James was finding that his job was just unsettling for him. He felt that his company was not using him to his potential. He was getting a little antsy in his job so he just on a whim decided to post his resume on Monster.com. The next day he had 5 phone calls. In the follow weeks he had 3 interviews and this past Friday he accepted a new job.

This is so a great thing for us. Since I quit my full time job and am now only working part time, we have been having a tight time. We still were doing ok, but the new job for James will help us pay off some bills we have, keep us from pinching pennies so much, and allow us a stable start for a family when God chooses to bless us with children. I am so glad that God heard our prayers.

So back to the doors. I was talking to James about this last night. I don't necessarily think God initially opened the door for James to get a new job, but He did unlock it! He gave James the pressing on his heart that he should look for another job. It wasn't like he needed another one, but God knew he was needing a change. So, he gave James the knowledge of what to do and the patience to wait for the right job to come along. Once God found that James was approaching the door, after He had unlocked it, He did open it for him.

Here are some verses from the Bible that talk about money.

  • Proverbs 13:11 "Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow."
  • Proverbs 21:5 "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."
  • Proverbs 23:4 "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint."
  • Romans 13:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. "
  • Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
  • Deuteronomy 8:10-18 "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."
  • Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine."
  • 2 Corinthians 9:11 "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. "

I suppose that is enough for today. I do believe that God has blessed us and I praise Him for answering our prayers with a "yes" and not a "no"!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random Pictures


My nephew, Jackson!


James, Mom, & I on our weekend outing! I love this pic of Mom.


Dad, at the top of the world on Mt. Evans at 14,000 + feet! We went to the very very very top.. this is the highest you can get on Mt. Evans...


My town!

My pup Jet playing tether ball at Camp Wyoba!

He loved it!!!


Jami's Bridal Shower
Elizabeth & I at Douglas' college graduation in May 2007.