This church is unique, (at least very different from my church in my hometown). They have different venues for their services. The sermons are fed by video into several different meeting areas and everyone sees it live. The truly unique thing is each venue has a different style of worship prior to the sermon. There's Country, Traditional, Loud, Louder and Loudest....you get the idea.... And the really cool thing is that there does not seem to be any 'competition' between the venues. Everyone is just happy to be there and lovin' everybody.
So if you have half an hour devoted to devotions today, maybe this would be a fun option. Check it out. Click here: SearchableSermons.com North Coast Church Video Sermons. The one to play is titled, "Same Old Problems, Same New Solution" from the "Scripture's Believe it or Not" series. Of course, you are free to play more of them if you want. Children, laundry, walking the dog and dinner can all wait. Grins.
Enjoy "Word-Filled Wednesday."
This is a beautiful letter, well written and heartfelt. But what struck me while reading it was the reminder that just like 'we' may have missed portraying the full truth of the reality of Christ, His Love, Grace and Mercy to Oprah... hmmm.... The people who live next door are intelligent, prosperous, gentle, kind, loving and they accept all religions. They were raised that way - all ways are good ways. How does that old song go? "Open my eyes, Lord..."
Here's the link: A Love Letter to Oprah. I'm not going to stop checking in on Oprah once in a while (I don't watch much daytime tv). But I'll watch it with my eyes opened a little wider and my ears tuned in a little closer. And I'll watch for more opportunities to have the neighbors over for ice-cream...
Apparently, a man who was talking on his cell phone and oblivious to the world around him walked right into her path and the tumble occurred as she swerved to miss him. It was a very nasty fall and break. Lots of emergency people helped her. (Whew!)
Just tonight, DJ and I took Master Max for a walk at the lake and I mentioned how disturbing it is to see the Dapper Dans on their phones, working deals, while they are walking around the lake --- talking, talking, talking and intruding on nature. Gramma was riding at the beach and probably on a biking trail. Gramma definitely stays on the pavement, goes with the flow, and is not a mountain biker.
Please help our Gramma to feel all better really soon. Help her bones to get all smooshed back together in the right way. Please help Grandpa as he makes the coffee and tries to cheer Gramma up. Please help Miss Lexus and Miss Mercedes to be good doggies and not irritate Gramma needlessly. Help them to be awfully good snugglers when she needs snuggling.
In Jesus' Name,
Grace, DJ & Max
This morning I took a few minutes to read his seven or eight most recent posts. As this whole blogging-shebang is still a bit new and random issues still pop up occasionally, I found out that you must get to this blogsite through a link instead of just typing in the address. He probably has some Nazarenes who are upset over something.... Just joking! I love Nazarenes! Go Vicki & Dan!
Oh, my. This is Thursday, not Word-Filled Wednesday and I've chattered on and on.... Please, Please, Please, go to this site and read the top seven posts (there's one serious one, just so you know...). Do not miss the one on clapping (#169). Promise me you won't... http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2008/04/175-godisgoodandbeautiful777yahoocom.html
On a far more serious note...isn't it great that we can laugh! Life brings us some plain ol' yucky stuff way too often and if it wasn't for the ability to say, "God is Faithful - Regardless" and have a chuckle with family and friends....wow.... I sincerely hope my newly formed playlist is spinning "Let's Go Fly a Kite" right now...
Hope you have a Terrific Thursday!
"There's two pieces of advice I would give to you. The first is to open your eyes. And the second is 'open your eyes.' The eyes have it. That's why people say that."
"Little David has a real musical soul to him. But he just must keep those eyes open. I can't watch somebody whose got their eyes closed all the time."
We cheered.* I don't expect to see this advice reprinted in Worship Leader Today or Christianity Today or at worshiptogether.com. But I may keep last night's show on our DVR for a few years just because....
*If you're part of a traditional church denomination, this entire post will be meaningless....we, however, have been led in worship by the cewts (closed-eye-worship-teams) for many, many years and have often been quite puzzled.....
I could write a novel about my mother. She was truly amazing. But this is not the day for that... Mom thought she might be having a stroke (thanks to a head's up from a guest in their Sunday School class). She knew something was definitely wrong. The ER was frustrating; they didn't want to believe Mom when she said she couldn't swallow. She looked fine. She couldn't raise her arms as high as she normally did doing her nightly stretches. "So?" was the look we saw on their faces..... Within 24 hours, Mom was on a ventilator, fully paralyzed except for her eyelids and toes. And her brain was not affected in any manner. Imagine. We were told she had been attacked by this most unusual syndrome: Guillain-Barre. Oddly, even those who are the most severely stricken usually recover. Mom was recovering neurologically months later, she actually had the best physical therapy session of the six month ordeal the day she moved to hospice. It had all been just too much... 27 weeks after calling me, she ran to meet Dad and they danced together with Christ. My guess is there was a pretty big party that morning with more hugging than we can imagine.
This post is not intended to be a tear-jerker. But please, just in case one of your loved ones might be one of the 'one-in-one-hundred-thousand' who fight this illness...please take five minutes and check out this site. Guillain-Barre Syndrome Fact Sheet: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) It can hit any one, any age, any sex, any where, at any time.
I promise to post something humorous tomorrow. Really.
It seems change is in the wind for lots of people in our little world here in Sunny. New jobs, moving from over-there to off-yonder, internships, caring for parents, welcoming grandbabies..."Change is the ultimate certainty." That must be a famous quote. I, however, do not know precisely to whom it should be attributed. Maybe one of my English major friends will let me know. (They're very good about that sort of thing.) The quote could also be from many parts of Ecclesiastes. Boy, that might lead to another post entirely!
Regardless, if your world seems to be spinning today as fast as the hummingbird's wings...just relax. You're in good company.
When the bombing occurred, my parents were living about ten miles from downtown in Oklahoma City. They heard the bomb explode. Yes, they heard it!
In 1979, I had a part-time job in the heart of the city and used to meet my mother for lunch in the Murrah building once in a while. It was such a nice place. Mom worked at the Kerr-McGee company for a few years which was just a hop, skip and a jump away. (She always enjoyed being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the business world.)
I'll never forget visiting the bombing site with my parents. The new fence was in place and filled to the brim with flowers, ribbons, notes from guests, toys, photos....all tokens of love. The silence was overwhelming. It screamed at you. Then we walked across the street. Amazingly there is a church there (St. Joseph's) and in the garden area of the church is a prayer corner. I remember coming face-to-face with a huge statue of Christ, the "Jesus Wept" shrine. He is facing away from what was the vacant lot (and is now the national memorial). His head is bowed and carved in the statue are tears. (I have never seen this included in any news story about the Oklahoma bombing.) The beautiful church was built in 1903. Although it was incredibly close to the explosion and heavily damaged, it ultimately survived.
I think you can make the same statement about the people of Oklahoma City. They were heavily damaged and as a city they have survived. And they know great strength is often found through tears.
Here's what happened....
I sent an e-mail to a good friend on Thursday (yes, Thursday) to see if she and her husband would like to go to dinner sometime this weekend. She sadly had to decline for a multitude of reasons. One delightful reason was needing to watch her grandchildren while her husband would be away on a camping trip. I extended an invitation to her to join us at church where the kids could enjoy some time in Sunday School and she might have a bit of peace for a few minutes.
Later in the e-mail exchange she relayed that the kids would actually be picked up on Sunday morning --- Maybe we can go to dinner another time next week.... I suggested Panera and explained how fun it was to take Max along and how nice it was to sit on the patio with him....
Something was criss-crossed completely on my part. I felt so silly. My dear friend replied in total honesty: "Where are you going now? I can't believe (but I guess I can) that Max goes with you to church."
Wouldn't that be something?!? We may have to look into it soon....
"I'd like the organ side...."
I'm not Catholic, but certainly this papal visit is huge news for America. I wonder....if Billy Graham were to visit the Vatican; would the Italians be more interested in news of last night's Italian Idol? hmmm. I'll try not to bring this up next time I talk to JJ. He'll appreciate that, I'm sure....
"Viva il Papa."
Today I was at the mall having some minor surgery performed on my all-too-new cell phone. Whilst waiting, I stepped into the Hallmark store across from the Verizon outlet. (Although I should mention there were two Verizon stores there; one for technical support and one on the opposite side of the mall for sales. That really annoyed me. But I let it go...) I passed by the Mother's Day items quickly as they made me lonesome and found my way to the Precious Moments, Hallmark movies-of-the-week, and touristy-stuff collections. I looked up to see those ceramic jars they sell everywhere now. They say things like: Retirement Fund, Vacation Fund, Life-Savings and such (some captions are not appropriate on a family-friendly site). My eyes then stopped on the top shelf and I saw them, a dozen of them: "To Much Information" --- cast in ceramics to last until the end of time and available in bulk most likely at Hallmark stores all across America....Sort of a bizarre, "Raise your glass to the technical age, gossip of the week, or brand-new-parents-who-share-the-whole-birthing-experience stories.
I should call that guy. Maybe I can send him a container for his birthday. On second thought he'd probably like one that says, "Travel Funds" better.
I tried my best to put the comic strip right here for you to view, but it appears there is a copyright issue and the folks who own gocomics.com want you to stop by their site to see the funnies. That's fair enough! Or maybe you've got today's paper on your kitchen table right next to the apple fritter and hot chocolate, so that's even better.
Last night we all (DJ, Max and myself) watched a scary movie (that we didn't know would be a scary movie...) and every time a creature would surprise us or a stairway would crash from the creatures leaping onto it --- there was Master Max! Jumping into Dad's arms, practically crawling into his shirt or trying to sit up behind me on the back of my neck. Truly an interesting sight as he is just about 40 lbs. now!
And JJ thought we should train him to stay off the furniture when he was tiny. We would have had no comfort at all last night had we been so strict back then....
With the lovely spring days and summer on its way, I do have a prayer request to mention. We have an ongoing problem in our area every year about this time with coyotes and their pups. When we moved into this house, the lot next door was vacant and the animals ran through quite often. They still do this, although there are two new homes in their old subdivision. We lost our last little puppy angel to them in '03 (although she was up in years) and she had been attacked by them twice before. Here is the concern: Master Max feels it is his duty to protect our property and he also feels he's more than strong enough to take them all on.
I now have the privilege to extend awards for Blogs of Excellence to these amazing blogspots. And here we go:
- For Pursuing Prayer: Beloved Mama
- For Sharing Deep Insight & Frivolous Matters with Proper Priorities: Life and Times of Life at Home
- For Dreamy Delights: Joy of Desserts
- For Inspiration: Little Red Hearts from God
Once again, I am humbled as I stand on my antique needle pointed footstool in the living room and accept this award with Max looking at me adoringly. Or perhaps he thinks I've....well, perhaps he is wondering....I suppose it is time for a good walk at the lake.
Enjoy today. Have fun with the little things.
Oh! I've digressed something horribly! Here's the link: Strange Christian Products & Signs. You will need to scroll down just a little bit. Go down to the picture of the two plastic nuns. Enjoy....?
Yesterday, a few sentences popped out at me and I've found my thoughts going back to them repeatedly:
And then I began thinking about all the wonderful places in this bloggy world where we can find people just offering to pray with you. Some of us might be friends in regular (is there a bloggy term for this?) life, but mostly....we're simply people who want to prayerfully support and remind each other, "There's Hope." (See Beloved Mama or Christian Women Online for more information.)
I think E.M. Bounds would be impressed. And he probably would be blogging his thoughts every day....
O.K., As you probably know....I'm new to this Mr. Linky, blog my page, let's have a blog party (just select all/copy my code and post it on your elements), tag-you're-it stuff between blogs. So here's my best effort to tell you, "I give this guy a head's up and encourage you to please take a minute to check out his really interesting blogspot." How's that? Hope the link above works -- I sincerely hope it takes you to the right spot.
My good friend over at the university who sent me the Youtube video of the Muppets on St. Patrick's Day also told me about this site. Once again, I'm really glad we're friends. And I think you'll enjoy this site a whole lot. If not, you probably don't get my humour either, so I don't need to worry about it too much.
Enjoy! Or go visit Joy at Joy of Desserts. You can never be offended by chocolate.
We recently visited my only cousin on my mother's side way out in the wilderness and he is just the best cook! He fixed two of these amazing treats - deep fried turkeys. Two! We had more fixin's than should be legal. There were far too many pies and they were fabulous! Yes, we finished them all off. None were left to save in the freezer for the fourth of July. Not a bite.
My cousin is also the best cousin in the whole world. In the past few years we've discovered we share many traits. We both hate to be late getting somewhere and we don't have a whole lot of patience for those who are...we remember phone numbers easily...we highly dislike phony people and can spot them quite quickly....we become extremely frustrated with electronic gadgets when we can't get them to work properly (we'd never admit it might be our fault) and then there's that dessert thing. You can never have too much dessert. Especially on your birthday. Especially when it's a big one.
So here you are Cuz, just for you, for your very special big day this week....
This photo is of our Max with his best buddy, Milo, who lives next door. Every afternoon you can watch this scene between 4:00 and 4:30. That must be when Milo's family are home from their busy, busy worlds. Milo comes to our patio door as if to ask, "Can Max come out to play?" If we don't see or hear Milo ourselves, Master Max is quick to find us and start racing toward the door.
DJ & JJ were more interested in finding ice-cream. It was a very hot day and the ice-cream sundae was the best treat of the day! We tried for hours to appease our new friend, Honey, who had her heart set on going on the ET ride. Sadly, we discovered....it has been replaced by a visit to the dark inner sanctum of haunted tombs of some mysterious middle-eastern land. Although it's a fabulously fast indoor roller coaster --- anything that's about spooky tombs and monsters is not my thing. I far prefer visiting Hugh's bookstore.
So now a note to those reading this on the date it's posted.....you never know when someone may be twisting your earlobe. My good friend Ruby Dee was the recipient of my efforts this morning. She was informed by "Kaiser" of most interesting test results! Who knows, it might be twins! We go way, way, way back and that's a good thing or she might not forgive me real soon.....
O.K., Ruby Dee --- I owe you a Messy Sundae at our favorite spot.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.