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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/kenzie/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/8
by Kenzie
Rated: ASR · Book · Writing · #1160028
Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise

Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas

A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.

This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.

Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.

I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.

For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:

It's a New Day  (E)
My pain and welcome to it.
#1028189 by Kenzie

Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas
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August 24, 2007 at 10:47am
August 24, 2007 at 10:47am
Faith Works - Part 5

Word Up, Word Active

But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:25 NKJV

*Star*Adjust our lives for the Word of God.

...so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His varvelous light... 1 Peter 2:9 NASB

...so not offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. Romans 6:19 NIV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV

Jesus didn't ask the disciples to come and discuss with him, he said, "Come and follow me."

We have to do #1 above to do #2 below...

*Star*Accept the Word of God.

He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 NIV

We have to hear, understand, then produce.

Attitudes for access:
Try to listen.
James 1:19a Be quick to listen...
Seek to learn. James 1:19b ...slow to speak...
Be laid back. James 1:19b ...and slow to become angry...

We have two eyes and one mouth for a reason. We're supposed to listen more than speak.

*Star*Assimilate the Word of God.

Jemas 1:21 NRSV for if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror;
James 1:24 NSRV ...for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

Hebrews 4:12 NIV For the word of God is living and active...it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Read the Word.

James 1:24a NCV But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God's perfect law that makes people free...

Here the word study means to "stoop down and gaze in."

Three questions I need to ask before reading God's Word:
What can I learn from this?
What is God trying to tell me?
How can this make me a better believer today?

One promise I need to make before reading God's Word:
Whatever I read I promise to obey.

Ruminate on the Word.

Do you know what ruminate means? Chew on and chew on again (as in cows and cud), meditate on, ponder.

Here's an interesting observation. Worry is negative meditation. Ponder that one...

James 1:25b NCV But the truly happy people are those who...continue to study it.

If God is trying to tell me something, what is the...
Promise I need to claim.
Problem I need to confess.
Purpose I need to practice.
Praise I need to acknowledge.

James 1:25c NCV They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God's teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

Act on the Word.

James 1:22 NIV Do not merely listen to the wod, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:25 GW However, the person who continues to study God's perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don't merely listen and forget; they actually do what God's teachings say.

John 13:17 NIV Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

James 1:26-27 TLB Anyone who says he is a Christian but doesn't control his sharp tongue is just fooling himself, and his religion isn't worth much. The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father's point of view, is the one who takes care of orphans and widows, and who remains true to the Lord - not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.

Character confirmation.
Take control over your mouth.
To care enough to work your faith.
Stay clean in an unholy environment.

Maturity is how much change in character there has been.

When it comes to studying the Bible, there are more auditors than students. (Remember college days? You could audit a class and not have to take any notes or tests or really learn anything? You could just sit in.)

August 24, 2007 at 10:10am
August 24, 2007 at 10:10am
I asked a question in a moderator forum - because the question had been posed to me. I thought I would dump it here as well.

The E rating says that there will be no reference to violence. If one writes a children's story about Jesus that merely mentions that Jesus died, that should qualify as an E-rated story, right? Death isn't necessarily violent, although we know that in the case of Jesus' death...

If one uses the phrase "died on the cross", which implies violence, does that change the rating to ASR or 13+? If so, then how does one write a children's story about Jesus?

I have to admit that as a child, I didn't know that the death of Jesus on the cross was a violent experience. Even as an adult for a while, I guess I chose to not think about what happened too much. It wasn't until I read the words of a doctor about what would have happened to Jesus that I realized the full extent of the wounds and the pain. Then, of course just a few years ago when the Mel Gibson movie came out, I cried like everyone else in the theater when I saw how horrible it must have been.

Received in my inbox today: Ohio Bans the Name of Jesus from the Statehouse. http://www.newswithviews.com/Johnston/patrick13.htm This article points out that at the same time that Jefferson penned the words "separation of church and state" in a letter to a pastor, he was presiding over public schools in Washington, D.C. where the books used to teach were a Bible and a hymnal. *Smile*

This article mentions this Supreme Court ruling in 1892. It's rather dull reading until towards the end where it shows why, indeed, this was a Christian nation, at the beginning and still in 1892. It says, "These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation." http://home.aol.com/TestOath/HolyTrinityOp1-2.htm

The first article also provided a link to something about secular humanism and whether or not it is/was a religion. Interesting reading. Sounds like it's considered a religion when it's convenient and not a religion when someone wants it to be taught in schools.

August 23, 2007 at 9:05pm
August 23, 2007 at 9:05pm
I'm stuffed. Hubby and I celebrated his birthday at Outback Steakhouse. He had a steak, of course. *Smile* I ate pasta with chicken and ham. We tried to bring home some cheese fries for Derek, but didn't realize they put bacon on top. That doesn't work for a vegetarian.

Jake is turning into quite a mamma's boy. He follows me around. I guess that's understandable since he's been in 4 homes in the last month. He and Piewacket are getting along okay, but he's still terrorizing Opera. She moves around so quickly that he just has to bark at her. *Smile* And chase her.
August 22, 2007 at 1:52pm
August 22, 2007 at 1:52pm
If you read yesterday's entry (you did read yesterday's entry, right??) you know that Jake arrived safely and became an instant part of our family. And you know that someone near and dear to me is struggling with marital problems.

What I didn't mention is a little mishap yesterday morning.

Jake's foster mom told us that he had not been sleeping through the night. He really hated being crated, and was waking every night about 3 a.m. She thought he would do much better sleeping outside the crate, but were worried that if he had to go outside at 3 a.m. we would either be angry or not wake up, causing him to have an accident.

When Piewacket first came to live with us, she used to wake up at 3 a.m. every night also. (I wonder what it is about that time of night???) She just needed to be reminded that she was not alone and was welcome to join us in the bedroom. Hubby would mimic her meows and she would usually find her way to the bedroom and plop down on the bed. End of story.

So...we weren't too worried about the 3 a.m. wake-up calls. I guess that just goes with having a new "baby" in the house. *Smile*

But Jake didn't wake up at 3 a.m. that first night. Maybe it was because he was up later than he had been "on the farm." He slept beside me all night.

Since I didn't have to pick up Derek at work, I slept in too. Actually, I woke up at 7 a.m. like I always do and cannot figure out why. (Some noise in the neighborhood?) Rather than disturb Jake, I went back to sleep.

At about 8ish, I got up and got dressed so I could take Jake out right away. I guess I didn't have the leash secured firmly in my hand when we stepped off the porch. A squirrel ran from our front tree to the sidewalk and Jake followed in pursuit.

The leash flew from my hands and I dove after it. Yes, I said dove. I guess I thought I was an athlete. You know... a football player making a tackle or a baseball player sliding home. Like that, I dove. And I landed on my face.

The squirrel took off into the street, and I yelled for Jake. I guess the sound of my voice brought him back. I went into the house, asked Derek to walk Jake and went into the bathroom to access the damage I had done to my body by diving.

I had a small scrape on upper right thigh and on my lower left leg. I had a small brush burn on my face. Well, two small brush burns. (I looked like hubby does sometimes when he shaves in the morning. *Smile*)

Not too bad, I thought. Hopefully the neighbors had not seen my strange dive in the yard. I thought the embarassment was worse than the damage I did to my body.

Then a few hours later, my right hand and wrist started hurting. Uh oh. Here I am 55 years old, and I have never broken a bone yet. My hand appeared just a bit swolen, but not what I would expect from a break. Still the pain continued...

About 2:15 I called my doctor's office to see if any doctor in her group could see me. One had a 2:30 opening, so off I went. The doc agreed that there wasn't much swelling, but given the amount of pain I was in by then, ordered some x-rays.

You know what the difference is between getting x-rays at the doc's office and at the hospital emergency room? Well...there's a huge difference in cost, for one thing. X-rays at the doc's are soooooooooooooo much cheaper. They don't have to charge for the room and the machine and the technician and the...well, you get the picture.

There's also a difference in the time in reading said x-rays. In the emergency room, the x-rays are read right away. It's an emergency, after all. *Smile* In the doc's office? Well, those x-rays taken yesterday afternoon were to be read this morning and the doc was to get the info back this afternoon.

I haven't heard anything yet. I'm still in pain. Not moving the hand/wrist/arm real well. (Not supposed to in case there is somehting broken.) And on some strong pain medications - although I can take half-dosage.

We've had one walk today without incident. And Jake is definitely more at ease today. Yesterday he followed me around everywhere I went. Except the bathroom. While Opera chooses to come into the bathroom while we're doing our thing, Jake chooses to wait outside the door.

Anyway, as I was saying. Yesterday he followed me around. He sat on the chair beside me if I was on the computer - staying wide awake, probably so he could watch and make sure I didn't disappear.

I did disappear, going to get the x-rays in the afternoon, and when I returned he was all full of doggie love and kisses.

But today, he ate, completed his walk and then disappeared somewhere in the house. When I went to look for him, I found him fast asleep on our bed.

Opera is quite happy about that. Periodically, she checks on him to make sure he's still napping. Then she proceeds to play and romp like she used to before Jake arrived.

I'm sure they'll work all that out eventually.

I guess I should call the doc's office soon to see if I have a break or just a sprain.
August 21, 2007 at 9:35am
August 21, 2007 at 9:35am
Hubby and I picked up Jake in Georgetown, KY. He did his business there, then had a quiet drive in the car to our house. He slept most of the way. When we got to the house, Jake and I got out and hubby headed to the gas station.

Jake walked right up to the door, just like he did the first time he came to visit. We went inside and he detected that there was someone in the house, so he barked. Already the guard dog. *Smile* That someone was Derek, of course, and they said hello, then I took Jake back outside to explore and, well, you know.

Jake likes his new home. He slept right next to me last night. He did wake up a few times - like when he barked at Derek going to the bathroom - but he did have a good night. Opera keeps slinking around after him and he knows it, so he barks at her. They'll have to work that out. *Smile* Piewacket is just ignoring him all together.

On to another topic...

Someone near and dear to me discovered recently that her husband has been cheating on her for quite a while. She suspected it, but just recently got proof. Some of the cheating takes place on the internet, where he has chat sessions and emails with women that he should not have. Not as a married man. Not as a Christian who is supposed to follow God's way.

Some of the cheating takes place on the telephone - most likely during his lunch hours and those times when it takes him three hours to shop for a few items at the store. Or those times when it takes him twice as long to get home from work than it should, and the news has no reports of accidents on the highway.

There's no proof yet about any local, in person, cheating, but those times above might be an indication of that as well.

There are at least four individuals with whom this supposed Christian husband is having intimate internet sessions. Each one probably believes she is the only one. But how silly is that? Each one knows he is married and cheating on his wife. Shouldn't they realize that he would do the same thing to them?

The woman involved says that her husband tells her every day that she is special, that he loves her, that she's the best thing that ever happened to him. Then he rushes to his computer to tell several other women the same thing. How sick is that?

I really don't know what advice to give. I do think that this fake Christian man should stop preparing and giving Bible lessons.

But what do I tell her?
August 20, 2007 at 1:34pm
August 20, 2007 at 1:34pm
Each morning, I get a motivational quote from quoteland.com. Sometimes calling them motivational quotes is stretching it, but I attribute that to the fact that they're trying to find 365 different sayings. I did like today's quote.

"What this country needs is more people to inspire others with confidence, and fewer people to discourage any initiative in the right direction; more to get into the thick of things, fewer to sit on the sidelines, merely finding fault; more to point out what's right with the world, and fewer to keep harping on what's wrong with it; and more who are interested in lighting candles, and fewer who blow them out. ~ Father James Keller

Yep, I have to agree. Wise words, don't you think?

As you recall, I had a bit of a disagreement with my doctor about taking drugs to lower my cholesterol - because they had affected my liver once before after only 2 weeks. I wasn't willing to take that risk again, unless 100% necessary. Since then, I have been researching things that can lower one's cholesterol more naturally - diet changes and supplements. I have also discovered quite a few doctors and researchers who don't believe that cholesterol should be lowered, nor that high cholesterol is what causes heart problems. It's all a bit confusing, not being a medical professional, but it certainly appears to me that studies conducted by or paid for (even partially) by drug companies tend to show that cholesterol causes heart problems and should be lowered - by drugs, of course. Studies conducted independently seem to lean in the opposite direction - high cholesterol is not the reason for heart problems, etc.

Today, we got a magazine/advertisement from Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. The commercials all call Christ Hospital the "heart hospital."

There was an article about women and heart problems. It said, "In the United States, more women than men die of heart disease every year."

And, "Women's main misperception is that breast cancer is their biggest risk, when in fact, women are seven times more likely to die of heart disease."

Here is the new Reynolds Risk Score page for women to discover their heart disease risk factor. The only number I did not have to plug into this was the hcCRP number. That's the level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). That substance might play a role in heart disease. This number is higher with inflammation, so since I didn't have a real number available, I chose a big number - considering that I'm in pain a lot and probably have high inflammation. http://www.reynoldsriskscore.org

Even with putting the high number in for hsCRP, my risk score computed as 1% at my age now (55), 3% in 10 years, 5% in 20 years and 14% in 30 years, if the numbers remain the same. I have to tell you that I'm a bit relieved. And I do intend to ask my doctor if they happened to do the hsCRP test when I had my last physical. And to show her my Reynolds Risk Score.

Do you read USA Weekend that comes in some Sunday newspapers? This week, Dr. Tedd Mitchell had an article titled, "Driving While Distracted." As you can imagine, it talked about cell phone usage. But the article's focus was on young people, especially those with ADHD.

The writer pointed out how many young people have been diagnosed with ADHD in this country - 2 million. He also pointed out that being distracted can happen to those who do not have ADHD. He said, "A text message distracting a student in class may mean ignoring a teacher's point, but a text message distracting a driver may mean ignoring a red light."

Yep, that's a bit frightening. There's more: "The New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 found that using a cellphone while driving quadrupled the risk of a collision."

And...The National Institute of Mental Health said, "Youths with ADHD, in their first two to five years of driving, have nearly four times as many accidents, are more likely to cause bodily injury in accidents, and have three times as many citations for speeding as young drivers without ADHD."

I really had never thought about what having ADHD might mean to a driver. Should we test for that for, say, truck drivers or bus drivers? Perhaps so.

I was still thinking about all of this when I heard breaking news this morning. A man was hit by a train. It seems that he was walking and text messaging and didn't hear the train. He walked onto the tracks and was hit by the train. I guess he was distracted.

We're scheduled to go and get Jake this evening. Have to be at the shelter at 7:30. That may be pushing it, since hubby usually gets home between 5:30 and 6 and the shelter is maybe 90 minutes away. Why didn't I look for a dog closer? I did! Then I saw Jake's picture...And the way he seemed to be at home here when he came to visit... well, I just think it was meant to be. *Smile*

Getting back in time to get Derek to work might be difficult too, but he's not feeling very well today. He's so sick, in fact, that he's already thinking about calling off work tonight. Always the mom... I hate to seem him feeling poorly. *Smile*

Guess that's all I have for now.

Oh...except...did you know that sharing that my article ended up on a naked girl's blog meant that my blog entry was viewed by more folks than on a normal day. *Bigsmile* Figures, huh?

Later gators.

Ooops. There was one more thing. You know that I get "News with Views" delivered to my inbox every day. Some of it is...well, definitely opinionated. *Smile* Still, it's all thought provoking.

Rudy Takala wrote "Debasing Democracy in America" today. His article reminds us that so many Americans really have no clue about how the government works or how it was originally designed to work. Many do not know who the names of House Representatives, the Senate Majority Leader, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But they have very strong opinions even so. Even if what they think they know is wrong. *Smile*

He mentioned how we live for sound bites. Because of that, he said, "Republicans should brag that they will never negotiate with anyone; Democrats will brag that they’ll never defend America. If either side actually believed in what they were saying, they would be advocating for the abolition of the State Department or the Department of Defense."

Here's the whole article: http://www.newswithviews.com/Takala/rudy21.htm

Now I'm done. For now.

August 19, 2007 at 8:58am
August 19, 2007 at 8:58am
Yesterday, we had our home visit. The worker from the shelter came to see our house and ask a few more questions. She brought Jake with her. He sure is a cutey. He's a mixture of Chiuaua and terrier. Black and brown face, white body with black spots.

Karen brought her black Lab with her and he was none to pleased to think he might have to stay in the car. So, she brought Oliver out of the car, while I walked Jake. He marked a few places, then went right up our walkway, on to the porch and pawed at our front door. Just like he knew where he belonged. *Smile*

Inside, he jumped on the bed to help me waken hubby. He went to the door when he needed to go out again. And he snuggled in my lap and went fast to sleep while Karen and hubby and I talked.

Meanwhile, Piewacket hid, although she did let hubby take her on the leash to show off for Karen. And Opera hid under a cabinet in the kitchen, but wanted to play with the big Lab. He wanted to play with her, but she just pawed at him from beneath the cabinet.

Soon, Karen and Oliver and Jake were ready to leave. For some reason, Jake's current foster parents have to be consulted about what the shelter worker thought about our home, and us and our current pets. Weird, huh? I'm not sure that makes sense.

Letting Jake go bye-bye after bonding like that was difficult. Sure would like him to be a part of our family. I think Tiff will love him!

Okay, I admit to being almost old. *Bigsmile* When I was a kid, all mothers (and some dads) got involved in the school and education. There was always some mom available for hugging and crying over silly things. They were certainly there for parties, and there seemed to be plenty of reasons to have celebrations. And because they were evident in the classrooms, parents knew what was being taught. Not that they were worried about what was being taught. Back then, adults were in agreement about what was important.

Today? How many parents do you know who actually visit classrooms? How many even look at the text books being used to see if there are things being taught that just don't line up with the family's beliefs? How many are curious enough to find out about special assemblies? When I was a kid, there were always at least a half dozen parents at the back of the auditorium at every assembly.

I was pondering all of that because I got one my News with Views emails this morning. One of the featured articles is titled, "PUBLIC SCHOOLS - PAGAN RELIGION INDOCTRINATION CENTERS." One of the author's questions is this: "Are state-controlled public schools deliberately trying to cripple children’s ability to reason and deal with facts?" Here's the link for more: http://www.newswithviews.com/Turtel/joel46.htm

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV

I just discovered this writing by someone who was in high school just a few years back (compared to when I was in high school).
Book 3: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished  (13+)
Preview Chapters to Book 3 of The Hannaria Series (Sci-fi) Published June 2010
#1299401 by Patricia Gilliam
Please take note of what was being taught and how religion/faith was stripped from history lessons. How in the world can you teach U.S. history (or that of England or France or Germany...for that matter) without mentioning religion and faith?????????!!!!!!!!!

Yipppppppeeeeeeeeeee! We found out we're getting Jake. Now we just have to figure out a day and time. We'll have to pick him up about an hour+ away in Kentucky.

August 18, 2007 at 5:21am
August 18, 2007 at 5:21am
So...I put decided to do a Google alert for my name. I know there are other Marilyn Mackenzies out there, but I figured I wouldn't get a tremendous number of the alerts and I was just curious.

Well, sure enough, I got an alert. And don't you know, the alert was about this Marilyn. Cool. Someone decided to use one my articles at ezinearticles.com. That's cool. It's a free content site, and folks are free to use anything for their newsletters as long as they keep my name attached and link back to ezinearticles.com.

Way cool. Look at the article they chose to use! "If So Many Believe in God, Why Doesn't it Show?" The words should be familiar to y'all because they started as a blog entry. *Bigsmile* http://ezinearticles.com/?If-So-Many-Believe-in-God,-Why-Doesnt-It-Show?&id=3655...

So...I clicked on the URL to see where my words had ended up.

*Blush**Blush**Blush*There were my words - about God - and with my name attached to them.....right next to a woman's naked buns. Well, not totally naked buns. She had a teeny, tiny thong thingy on. I think she was topless too, but everything was covered up by her pose. Yikes.

I have to 'fess up. I didn't just back out of there. But I didn't do any exploring either. What I saw right there was enough. I didn't want to see anything else. But I was curious about why my writings ended up THERE! So I explored that one page only.

Turns out it was a blog and my article was this woman's blog entry for the day.

At first I didn't know what to think. I didn't know if I should ask her to remove my writings, or what. Then I decided that God has quite a sense of humor. There beside this woman's almost naked body are the words, "If So Many Believe in God, Why Doesn't It Show?" *Laugh* Isn't that a hoot?

I decided not to say anything. People going to this bimbo's site are going to be quite surprised at getting a touch of God.

August 17, 2007 at 12:40am
August 17, 2007 at 12:40am
This continues our pastor's series from James.

Faith Works (Part 4)

Taming Temptation

James 1:12 NIV

Bless is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

*Star*Don't panic.

† James 1:13 NIV

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me."

† 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

† Hebrews 4:15 NLT
This High Priest (Jesus) of our understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, het He did not sin.

You will be tempted. Being saved does not keep temptation away. It is not a sin to be tempted; the sin is giving in to temptation.

*Star*Don't pass the buck.

† James 1:13 GW

When someone is tempted, he shouldn't say that God is tempting him. God can't be tempted by evil, and God doesn't tempt anyone.

Quite blaming other people, God, the government, even the devil.

*Star*Be prepared.

† James 1:14-16 NCV

But people are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death. My dear brothers and sisters, do not be fooled about this.

† 1 Corinthians 10:12 NIV
So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall.

† 2 Corinthians 3:11 GW
I don't want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan's scheming.

What we can count on:

*Check5*It begins with me.

† James 1:14a MSG
The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us...

God's plan is not about me. Satan's plan is all about me.

*Check5*He exposes my weaknesses.

† James 1:14 NRSV
But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it.

† James 1:14b MSG
We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.

Any out of control urge is wrong.

*Check5*He moves me from attention to action.

† James 1:15a NIV
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin...

We go from imagination to fantasy to action.

We are like fish. We think we can nibble and nibble and nibble at the bait. But...

*Check5*There is a price.

† James 1:15b GW
When sin grows up, it gives birth to death.

We have the freedom of kicks but not freedom from kick-backs.

*Star*Re-prioritize (change focus).

† James 1:17 NLT
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows.

† Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

If you're in the car and in a bad mood, don't listen to the Blues station. Turn on a contemporary Christian or Gospel station!

*Star*Get power to live.

† James 1:18 NCV
God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.

† 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
But remember that temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Be born again!

Salem's answers to taming temptation.
*Check5* Small groups. (Being accountable.)
*Check5* Bible reading plan. (Learning and growing and understanding.)
August 17, 2007 at 12:25am
August 17, 2007 at 12:25am
This continues our pastor's series from James.

Faith Works (Part 3)

Winning at Life's Mind-Games

"We make our decisions and then our decisions make us." - Frank Forham

*Star*AGGRAVATION: Waivering indecision.

† James 1:8 NIV

He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

*Check5*Levels of instability.

Emotional instability.
"The most miserablel person in the world is the person who is habitually indecisive." William James

Some people use more energy deciding than doing.

Relational instability.

Spiritual instability.
† James 1:7 GW
A person who has doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Spiritual instability blocks our prayers and our blessings.

We need to be believers 24/7, not Christians on Sunday and AWOL on Monday.

*Star*ANSWER: Wisdom of God.

† James 1:5-6 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

The world is not about wisdom. Wisdom is the application of knowledge.

*Check5*Steps to the answer:

See the need.

† Proverbs 11:2 NIV
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Seek the wisdom.

† Proverbs 2:6 NCV
Only the Lord gives wisdom; he gives knowledge and understanding.

Secure your faith.

† Hebrews 11:6 NIV
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Doubt is there every day. We have to ask for wisdom every day - BELIEVING.

*Star*ASSURANCE: Willingness of God.

*Check5*Wisdom is in the Word.

† Psalms 119:105 NIV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Having a light on your path means you won't stub your toes.

*Check5*It's my choice.

Free will is both a blessing and a curse. If God doesn't answer and you say, "I knew He wouldn't", well DUH. You have to believe.

Focus on Him not on the circumstances.

God gives continually, generously an cheerfully. There is grace for all of our mistakes.

August 16, 2007 at 1:35pm
August 16, 2007 at 1:35pm
Remember? I gave the sermon at our church on July 15. I wrote the sermon, but my pastor created a sermon notes page to give out to the members. He figured they're so used to having them that they would be lost without them. *Smile* He also provided a power point presentation while I spoke. It was these Bible verses on screen. Nice of him, huh?

I'll put my sermon in a static sometime soon. But here are the notes...

Date: 7-15-2007
Message by: Marilyn Mackenzie Williamson

Take Note:

† John 13:35 NIV
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Romans 12:10 NIV Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 13:8 NIV Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

1 Peter 3:8 NIV Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

Loving in practical ways


I Samuel 17:42 NIV He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.

1 Timothy 4:12 NIV Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV …"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Exodus 4:10 NIV O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.


John 13:35 NIV By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Matt 28:19 NIV “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… “

Matt 25:34-40 NIV Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

3. ARK Almighty.

Go to http://www.arkalmighty.com/church/ and go to "look for my church" enter “Salem Community Church” and click “Find”.

Act of Random Kindness.”

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.“ - Robert Louis Stevenson

Luke 6:38 NIV Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Daily Doses:

For those with extremely busy schedules: Take just a minute a day to start out with a Word from the Lord. Read it! Listen Again! Write down how it applies to you. Finally pray about it.

[ ](Monday) John 13:35
[ ](Tuesday) Rom 12:10
[ ](Wednesday) Rom 13:8
[ ](Thursday) 1 Pet 3:8
[ ](Friday) 1 Tim 4:12
[ ](Saturday) Mat. 28:19
[ ](Sunday) Mat 25:40

Through the Bible in One Year
"Parson Larsen's Quiet Time Notebook" or “Through the Bible In 1 Year” brochure study guides are available in the lobby of the church. This free resource should help you to develop a Bible reading plan that will certainly bless your week.
August 16, 2007 at 9:57am
August 16, 2007 at 9:57am
...cleaning the house and sermon notes. Both at the same time? Well, not really. Cleaning, then writing, cleaning, then writing. *Bigsmile*

Remember the Wergle Flomp contest I entered. Well boo hoo, I didn't win. *Cry* There were 901 entries. As a reminder one had to write a bad poem and submit to one of the vanity poetry sites. You know the ones...that try to sell you expensive books, want you to pay hundreds of dollars to attend an awards ceremony and pay for your own awards. *Laugh* After submitting to the vanity sites and being accepted, then one could enter the same poem at the Wergle Flomp contest. Here's the list of winners with links to their poems.

If you're interested in entering the 2008 Wergle Flomp contest, here's the info.
http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/we_guidelines.php Entries from August 15, 2007 to April 1, 2008.
August 15, 2007 at 10:49pm
August 15, 2007 at 10:49pm
Tomorrow I'll work on all those semon notes. I said I would.

I spent some time at the church today. Besides being co-chair for the ArkAlmighty ministry, and being asked to help with 40 Days of Community, I'm now working on doing job descriptions for all of the volunteer positions in the church. And trying to write up some things for bulletins and newsletters about different upcoming events.

The ol' body didn't want to cooperate this morning, though. Almost didn't make it to the church, and by the time I came home a few hours later I was feeling rather puny (as mom always said).

I found a really cute dog on Petfinders.com at a shelter in Northern Kentucky. That's just a hoot and a holler from us and I decided to put an application in at the shelter. I figured by the time they got around to checking my app, the dog I thought was cute would be gone. Guess not.

The application was huge. The things they asked...including 3 references they couldl call. They did. And a vet they could call. Ditto. Then they emailed me a few times clarifying incidences with previous and current pets. My, my. I'm glad, actually, that they're taking this seriously.

Today a worker called to say she'd like to come by on Saturday to do a home check. I told her that with my fibromyalgia I'm not a very good housekeeper. She insisted it wasn't about the house, per se, except to see if I was truthful on my application. And she wanted to see what kind of person I am (and Jim is and Derek if he's around). The dog may or may not come with her, depending on whether he's occupied with his foster family.

So you know what I'll be doing after doing the sermon notes tomorrow. Cleaning house. Can't over do too much, 'cause I need to be up to having visitors on Saturday.

And then going to the church picnic and baptism party on Saturday afternoon and evening.

And still being able to get to church on Sunday.

Somewhere in there I have to do some resting. Hmmm.

Hey, check it out. I've shared some pictures of Pittsburgh with you before. I found another Pittsburgh native here, and she has a picture of the Bridge to Nowhere in her port. Wish I had one...
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August 14, 2007 at 9:04am
August 14, 2007 at 9:04am
Here's a story that hit my inbox this morning:

"PFC Brendan Schweigart was helping retrieve a tank in Iraq when he was shot by an enemy sniper. The bullet missed his vital organs, however, because he kept a Bible over his heart." http://www.thecronline.com/news_article.php?nid=2899&ndate=12/08/2007

Sounds like a miracle.

Have you heard about this one?

"The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of the United Methodist Church filed a federal lawsuit Saturday against New Jersey officials. The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights has threatened to prosecute the Camp Meeting Association for adhering to its deeply held religious beliefs. State officials launched an investigation after the Christian organization refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony at one of its worship facilities." http://www.thecronline.com/news_article.php?nid=2903&ndate=14/08/2007

What do you think? Should this religious organization have the right to decide who is married on its private property?

When I worked at a church in Texas, the priests and ministers in the area had an agreement with each other - a covenant, actually - that they would not marry anyone without first insisting the couple go through at least six pre-marital counseling sessions. Often times, we would get phone calls from couples in a panic because their own church would not marry them in a hurry. I had to explain that all of the area churches were in agreement on this. It made some couples mad.

One couple tried to get around these requirements by just calling to ask if they could rent our facilities. I asked what the purpose of their meeting was, since our churh would not rent the facilities for something that went against the church beliefs. They explained that they wanted to have a wedding, but they didn't want or need our pastor for the ceremony. I explained that even if they were going to use another pastor or a justice of the peace, the requirements were the same. The couple had to go through six counseling sessions in order to use our church for a wedding. They were not pleased.

Here are some more questions. Do you think the state would have gotten involved in this if it was just a case of the church requiring pre-marital counseling? Would they have gotten involved if the church's doctrine said it would not marry anyone who had not been baptized? Or did the state only get involved because the church refused to allow a wedding of a same-sex couple?

"To read Jesus is to see one who was intolerant of empty religion and self-righteous hypocrisy and treated with tenderness the sinful and broken. The modern church has been far too tolerant of sin, hypocrisy and corruption among its leaders while proclaiming judgment on the masses." http://www.thecronline.com/mag_article.php?mid=1108&mname=August

Boy that's the truth. In our church in Florida, there were quite a few active leaders whose children were living with their partners. One leader's son and girlfriend got pregnant, and they made no plans to get married. But they did expect their church friends to celebrate with them. A few months after their son was born, I was asked to substitute for the 20-something Sunday school teacher for a few weeks while she vacationed. Before she left, she explained that there were parts of the lessons that she was skipping because they would upset the class.

Know what one of the lessons was that she intended to skip? It was all about the fact that God intended intimate relations to take place in a marriage only.

I do think that couple should have still had the love and support of the church members, but not as if they had done nothing wrong. They had, but God forgives and so should the church. The part that was wrong was that no one ever confronted them about what had happened. No one suggested that they should make things right by getting married either.

And what's worse... There was a neighbor girl who was not a member of the church who also ended up having a baby out of wedlock. One day, I was in the church picking up some supplies when I heard a group of older women talking about that neighbor girl. They were talking downright nasty about her. Well...most of you know me by now. I had to put my two cents worth into that discussion. I simply asked why it was a sin for someone outside the church to err in that way, and not for someone within the church. Later on, one of the more gentle ladies admitted that she struggled with that very question, but she also knew that the father and mother of the young man with the new baby gave lots and lots of money to the church and she didn't want them to get angry and take their tithes away. What?!?!?!?

I guess I've always been vocal about things of this sort. I was probably only about 20 myself when I asked a preacher why the church preached a message that the rich folks in the church could be comfortable with, instead of preaching truth.

By the way... Here's what I wrote at Gather.com today:

August 13, 2007 at 10:08am
August 13, 2007 at 10:08am
I drove Derek to the store last night and waited for him in the car while he got just a few things. As I flipped through the radio dial, I stopped on a Christian station that was talking about "tweens."

Tweens? It used to be that pre-teens were defined as eleven and twelve year olds. They were a bit too old to be just kids and not yet teens. I could understand that. *Smile*

Last night, a children's ministry worker and children's author explained that tweens are now defined as 8 to 12 year olds. Okay....??? And...???

She also explained that these "tweens" are now doing what teens of the past used to do. Huh? She also spoke of this group - 8 to 12 year olds, mind you - as young adults. WHAT????

She explained that "tweens" have to have the "right" cell phones, IPods, clothes, shoes and hair styles. They tell their parents what cars are cool to drive and which ones are just not acceptable.

Two 10 year olds were interviewed briefly. When asked what was important as they enter school this week, they both said that their clothes, shoes and hair style had to be just right or they would be never be popular. The interviewer asked what would happen if they wore the wrong clothes, and they explained that MOST kids don't usually say anything to your face. They just talk behind your back and decide as a group that you are to be avoided at all cost.

Then the author explained tween life a bit more. She said that these kids (remember 8 to 12) are exposed to sex and violence in the ways that teens of the past used to be. Parents allow them to watch PG13 movies, and sometimes even R rated movies. She said that, fortunately, they are not usually pressured into having sex or doing drugs at that age, but they are most likely exposed to it - on the school grounds.

Perhaps they're not pressured. But not long ago there was a 19 year old interviewed on TV who had just gone through drug rehab. She explained that she first started doing Crack because it colored pink and tasted just like bubble gum. That same show revealed some drugs that were disguised in what looked like famous candy bars.

You know what I'm wondering? How did we - the adults of this world - allow this to happen to our kids? Are we really too busy in our own little worlds that we don't see these things? Do we - collectively - think it's okay for our kids to be exposed this way?

I remember being teased - to my face - for wearing knee socks to school when I was in the 7th grade. My best friend was teased even more because she was in the 8th grade and wore ankle socks. We were both new to the neighborhood and the other girls all wore hose, not socks. I was teased even more because I carried my violin to school and back each day and because I actually brought books home to study and got good grades.

Carol and I never let that bother us. Perhaps it helped that there were two of us who were "different". But I think it had more to do with how we were raised and how our parents reacted to these "problems." It didn't matter to our parents at all that we were being teased; we weren't going to wear stockings to school. Period. And you know...in the winter we relished the fact that we were quite warm (Carol wore knee socks in winter) as we waited sometimes 45 minutes for our bus as it struggled through the snow. Those girls with their skirts rolled to expose more leg and stockings, and cutsey mid-weight coats (because they wouldn't be caught dead in an ugly, heavy winter coat or wearing gloves or mittens) froze while we were quite comfy.

In high school, we were not allowed to wear pants until I was a senior, and then the pants had to be part of a pant suit. Jeans were something you wore in your leisure time, not at school.

There, my group of friends wore a variety of outfits. One, who took secretarial classes, wore what would have been appropriate in an office. The two who were going to vocational school half days wore clothing that was appropriate for the jobs for which they were training - a hair stylist and a nursing assistant. The rest of us - in the academic crowd - wore whatever dresses or skirts we pleased. Sometimes we wore something short; sometimes we wore long skirts and knee-high boots. It didn't matter what everyone else was wearing. We just didn't care.

What has happened? Why do kids think they have to be copycats of each other? Why do they think they all have to own the same game systems, cell phones, etc.

Something has changed dramatically, and not for the good.

Think it's possible to go backward? Probably not. So...what would you propose? How do you or will you help the kids around you learn that their value is not in the clothes they wear or the electronic devices they own or the cars their families drive?

I just found this quote that I think applies here and in many parts of life as it's becoming...

“All that is neccesary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

August 12, 2007 at 9:27pm
August 12, 2007 at 9:27pm
I missed church this morning. I did pick up Derek from work at 6:40 a.m. and was up maybe 30 minutes after that. But I finally crawled back into bed. I sort of remember hubby getting up and getting ready for church. I imagine he left around 10:30 as usual. I didn't wake up until 11:10 a.m. Looks like hubby took some good sermon notes, though, so I should be able to follow along in the sermon series. Sometime this week, I need to catch up on posting sermon notes. Y'all remind me if they don't show up by.....well, how about Thursday? *Smile*

Had a bit of a confrontation with a newbie the last few days. She has posted something that she found (or received?) at myspace.com. Although the words were nice, the work was not hers and she really cannot share it here. She can send a link to where we can read it. Y'all know that, right? When we post anything here a copyright notice appears at the bottom of our writings saying that it's ours. We can certainly post something that belongs to someone else if we have their written permission to do so - like a relative that will never open an account - but we cannot share works that belong to others, even if we don't know who that is. (anonymous or unknown)

If you ever get confused about the copyright policy here or about copyrights in general, there is a link at the top of the page. See it? It's in a column next to the last on the right, third item down. Under "Our Store" and "Self Publish."

Check out Mothering Magazine. Pays $200-$500 per article:

Here's a contest that ends soon - August 15, 2007. Entry fee $1.

August 11, 2007 at 7:52pm
August 11, 2007 at 7:52pm
I have done lots of sleeping today. *Smile* I guess the reasons are twofold. For one, I went to the chiropractor yesterday. If all I need are the heat massaging units (which I love!) and then the doc herself works on the huge knots in my back, I come away feeling fine. But sometimes the muscles in my back are sooooooooooo tight that my back requires some stretching. That doesn't hurt (although if anyone watched I'm sure it would look like torture!). But maybe, just maybe it zaps my strength a bit. Could be.

The second reason I'm so tired is that I had to take a muscle relaxer last night. Boy, oh boy, if I took the prescriptions as they are written, I wouldn't spend much time here. Or time awake. I'm allowed to take two muscle relaxers per day. That's for skeletal muscles. I also have a muscle relaxer that helps relax stomach muscles. And pain pills. If I took them all as prescribed, I'd be a total zombie. (And, sadly, I would still not be pain free. The only thing that takes away all of the pain is anesthesia when I'm about to be operated on or put to sleep for tests or something. That, and morphine, which I had a few years ago when I was experiencing bad chest pains. Both of these take away all of the pain. That's when I realize how much pain I live with day after day after day.)

So I choose not to use these drugs unless they're absolutely necessary. Why be in a totally drugged state or sleeping life away if they really don't take the pains completely away anyway?

Sigh. I did need the muscle relaxer last night. I slept 7 1/2 hours straight after taking it, was up and groggy for about 6, then slept for another 3+ hours. I told hubby that I could - it feels like, anyway - sleep for about 3 days just because I took one muscle relaxer. The script says I can take 2 a day. Can you imagine????

Anyway. Enough whining.

Not much going on here. First we were supposed to have Tiff again this weekend. Then Friday was scrapped and hubby was going to pick her up after soccer game this afternoon. He went, but she chose to not come so she could spend more time with one of her friends. Confused me. This is the same friend who just spent the whole week sleeping at Tiff's house. Oh well.

Tiff should have been with us next weekend, but someone is having a 50th wedding anniversary and, I guess that takes precedence over us having her here. Shot my plans. I was figuring we'd celebrate hubby's birthday next weekend. It's the weekend before it, but with Tiff here it would have been a good time to do that, especially since it will be a payday weekend for hubby. Grrr.

Supposedly she'll be here the weekend following his birthday and the one after that. We'll see.

Have you been wondering about those doggone laptop battery problems? Here's an article that addresses that: http://pcpitstop.com/news/rob/rcheng0707.asp

Here's a link telling where anyone can go in the U.S. for free health care. Good link to have handy, just in case. http://ask.hrsa.gov/pc/

You know that I've been at issue with my doc since she prescribed some cholesterol lowering drug, even though I had been told previously not to take them. Since then, I've been reading lots of articles and studies about cholesterol. Did you know that many of those studies claim that cholesterol should be high, not low? Or that when they study patients who have heart attacks, the only things they can find that are consistent are that they CoQ10 is deficient and they were under unusual stress (emotional and/or physical). Some folks with high cholesterol have heart problems, some with low cholesterol have them. That's not what we're being told by the FDA and the drug companies, is it? Grrr. When I have finished the book I just got today about curing things without drugs, I'll let you know what I've discovered about this cholesterol thing.

You know what I'm doing instead of the drug? I'm adding the CoQ10, B6, B12 and folic acid - in addition to the vitamins and minerals I already take. Trying to do a bit more walking, at least around the house. (Walking outside in this heat and humidity is miserable!) These things combined should make a difference in cholesterol - if it's higher than my level should be. Big if.

Here's something Dr. Mercola had on his site: Cholesterol is NOT the Cause of Heart Disease http://www.mercola.com/2005/may/28/cholesterol_heart.htm

Guess that's all for now. Have to decide if I want to sleep some more or read more of the book...
August 10, 2007 at 10:35am
August 10, 2007 at 10:35am
At a forum on another site, one of the participants talked about blogercizing. Blogercizing? She said that's what she calls her blogging experience when she really doesn't feell like writing her blog. *Laugh* I guess she's not thrilled with real exercise either, but forces herself to do so. Same thing goes with blogging. And when she doesn't feel like blogging, she calls it blogercize. Strange? Perhaps.

Then again, we all should writercize, shouldn't we? Write when we don't feel like it? Know what I've found? Sometimes the words you force upon the page end up being a great beginning to something that really should be written.

Oh sure. There are the times that every writer loves the most, the times when we sit down with pen and paper or at the keyboard and we cannot keep up with the words pouring from our brains to our fingers. Everyone has those times - sometimes. But there are also drier times, and it's then that we should force ourselves to write - ANYTHING!

Sometimes when I'm not up to writing anything profound, I'll merely add to my list of writings that need to be born, to take life, someday. I have such a list on my computer. Perhaps you should too. A list of things that should be written. When you're having a dry period, adding to that list makes sense. But so does perusing the list to see if something jumps out and says, "Write me - NOW!" It could happen.

I think sometimes writers have "writer's block" because they have come to expect having it. What? Well, sure.

Take me, for instance. I started writing as a child. For me, there was an endless supply of writing subjects around me. You know...the wonder of a child. I filled up notebooks with my writings. I wrote and wrote and wrote. No one had ever told me that there might be times when there wasn't anything to write about, or that I wouldn't be able to find something about which to write. I never read any biographies or autobiographies about writers, just about other kinds of people. So I didn't know there was any such thing as writer's block.

Through the years, I continued to write and write and write. I can honestly say that I never experienced writer's block. Yes, there were times when my pen did not race across the page as fast as it had the day before, but I could always find something for my pen to do or say. *Smile*

During times when I needed six hands because there were so many thoughts trying to escape onto the page at the same time, I started writing lists of things to ponder later. I learned to add to those lists when my writing mind slowed down a bit. And if I had a day when I started out thinking, "I wonder my words should be today?" then I might peruse that list of things that were screaming at me earlier, "Write me! Write me!"

There's another writer's site that has categories for stories listed at the size of the page. One suggests character traits, and if you click on that link you'll find this list: aggressiveness, alertness, appreciation, commitment, complacency, courage, dependability, disappointment, fidelity, forgiveness, honesty, insight, iIntegrity, kindness, loyalty, mercy, morals, passion, patience, playfulness, resiliency, respect, sensitivity.
I copied those words onto my "topics to cover someday" page to use as suggested topics. That other site also has these topics: contexts (arts & crafts, holidays, miracles, etc.), feelings (anger, confusion, delight, etc.), self-skills (self-awareness, self-esteem, etc.), skills (achieving dreams, communicating, creating, etc.), transitions (adoption, illness, death, etc.), and values (control, faith, innocence, knowledge, etc.). With that list of topics, how could one not find something about which to write?

Since most of what I write is non-fiction and about people and happenings, I also have a list of my closest friends and family and notes about some incident that deserves being told. Maybe. Someday.

If my lists don't spark any interest, then I know that if I sit on the porch - no matter what time of day - that I will see God's creatures all around me, enjoying their existence. I'll hear those birds singing and watch the squirrels romping. I'll observe the ants carrying heavy loads to their hidden homes. Something will surely trigger thoughts that get my fingers anxious to write.

Reading the Bible is a daily adventure for me, and sometimes a verse will cause me to ponder something that should be written. Or in my discussions with God the Father, something important might come up in our talks that really should be shared with the world.

To keep a good stream of future writing topics at hand, one must also read, read, read. I am always amazed at the so-called writer who claims, "I don't have time to read." Balderdash. The only way a writer can become a better writer is by reading the works of others. Remember...just living is a continuing education program. Writing certainly has to be that as well. *Smile* I love Mark Twain's quotation, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."

If you had never heard the term "writer's block" do you think you would really be able to claim it and use it as an excuse? Or would you find a way to write at every opportunity?

Writers write. They write in their dreams, they write in their minds as they drive to their "real work", they write in their minds as they shop for groceries, clean the bathroom, walk the dog.

Long ago, I made it perfectly clear about what I think defines a writer.

Kenzie says: "I don’t think true writers ever write anything bad, not if we allow the heart and soul to be the writer of our words."

Kenzie says: "If you dream of being a writer, you already are one! The words are merely being held prisoner in your mind. Release them!"

But I think as I learn and grow, I have realized something else. The real writer never accepts writer's block. Oh sure, you'll hear famous writers talking about it once in a while. (Someone told them it was a reality too!) But if you listen closely, they were still trying to write even when they claimed they had writer's block.

What have you tried to write today? Nothing? Then get out your list. Don't have one? Then start one. There is so much about which to write. Actually, there are not enough hours or days or weeks or months or years available to each one of us to write all the words that we have to write.

Know what I think? A real writer has writer's frustration about all those words and whether or not they will ever be written. There's no time for writer's block!

August 9, 2007 at 10:10am
August 9, 2007 at 10:10am
Do you seek news other than what is available on the TV? Where do you look?

I get a newsletter each day called CR Daily, News, Commentary and Opinions for Christians from the publisher of The Church Report Magazine, Jason T. Christy. That's just one of the "other" sources I use to find out what's happening all around us.

Some stories from yesterday:

"The Army and Air Force are considering disciplinary action against seven officers — including four generals — who violated ethics rules by assisting a Christian group in the production of a fundraising video." http://www.thecronline.com/news_article.php?nid=2873&ndate=08/08/2007

"The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) scored two important victories in Louisiana this week, protecting school board prayer “in Jesus name” and protecting a courthouse painting of Jesus holding the 10-commandments, when two judges dismissed frivolous lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)." http://www.thecronline.com/news_article.php?nid=2872&ndate=08/08/2007

From today:

"GodTube.com today announced its official launch and is already attracting more than 500,000 unique visitors per month -- connecting with millions of young people online as their traditional church attendance plummets. In this powerful new online migration of Christians, dubbed "Jesus 2.0" by GodTube.com CEO, Christopher Wyatt, GodTube.com has become a leading online community -- bringing together Christians from around the world -- to upload, share, watch and comment on Christian content. The fast-growing video sharing site, GodTube.com is tapping into one of the largest underserved markets in the world and through its Christian-centered video content is empowering a new generation.

GodTube.com has more people visit its website on an average Sunday than attend the largest mega-church in America, tele-evangelist Joel Osteen's 35,000-member Lakewood Church located in Houston, TX." http://www.thechurchreport.com/mag_article.php?mid=1127&mname=August

I also get a newsletter called News with Views. I'll be the first to admit that some of the views are rather....out there. Still, I think it's important to get news from sources other than the liberal media. Remember, I worked for a newspaper and discovered how news is created.

"Last week I saw a story in the local paper that made me squirm. It seems that a public library was putting up a fight over the placement of sexually-suggestive books in the children’s section of the library. When a politically incorrect parent complained about the placement of such materials in an area that was open to the perusal of young eyes, it seems that the local librarian got all bent out of shape over the attempt of the parent to “censure” from children “educational” materials that the library board had deemed “appropriate.” http://www.newswithviews.com/Daubenmire/dave79.htm

"Funny what makes the brain start ticking and inspires internet surfing! Featured on the TODAY show today was a purported study coming from Harvard no less. It showed that children favored food wrapped in McDonald’s packaging – even carrots. " http://www.newswithviews.com/Cumbey/constance10.htm

By the way... Did you see that report on the Today show? I didn't, but our local news mentioned the study. Can you believe???

I also get a health report from Dr. Mercola. He's definitely not a main stream kind of medical professional. *Smile*

Most recently: "In May 2007, it was reported that over 1,600 adverse reactions, including three deaths, had been linked to Gardasil, Merck’s new vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV). Among those reactions, 371 were classified as serious, and, of the 42 women who received the vaccine while pregnant, 18 experienced side effects including spontaneous abortion and fetal abnormalities. It appears those reactions, and deaths, are steadily rising. A review of the National Vaccine Information Center revealed the following statistic about this vaccine: 2,207 adverse reactions to Gardasil have been reported. Among them:

5 girls died
31 were considered life-threatening
1,385 required a visit to the emergency room
451 of the girls have not recovered as of July 2007
51 of the girls were disabled"


You know what my pastor called me yesterday? A rebel. Can you imagine? *Bigsmile* Guess I'm a rebel for Jesus...and that's gotta be a good thing.
August 9, 2007 at 12:52am
August 9, 2007 at 12:52am
Oh heck, let's just concentrate on the good, shall we? So what would that be???

Well, my pastor said today that he and the prayer warriors at church are praying for a quick Social Seciruty ruling in my favor.

He also said that he's claiming the fact that I'll feel so much better once that is over and done with and I'll be able do some more volunteering at church. *Smile* I have a new project, which, thankfully doesn't have to be finished until November. Descriptions - like "job" descriptions - for the volunteer opportunities in the church. Could be quite a project.

And he said that he's praying that I can become a paid staff member at church at some point in the future. Well, that made me feel good. Right now, there's no money in the church budget for additional staff and I'm not much good about even getting in for a few hours a week. So...y'all start praying on these things too, ya hear?

In case you noticed that, although I am trying to blog each day, I'm not really spending lots of time reading and rating...well, I've been exploring somewhere else. In case you're curious: http://www.gather.com/inviteLanding.jsp?parentMemberId=223207&tc=14

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