Friday, January 30, 2009

My Life in Quotes

My self esteem:
"Beauty only goes skin deep, but isn't that deep enough? What do you want an adorable pancreas?"

My love of Love:
"Love is everything it's cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for." -Erika Jong

"The course of true love never did run smooth" -Lysander, A Midsummer Night's Dream

"Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.”

For my Dad:
"Listen. Do not have an opinion while you listen because frankly, your opinion doesn’t hold much water outside of Your Universe. Just listen. Listen until their brain has been twisted like a dripping towel and what they have to say is all over the floor." -Hugh Elliot

My Happiness
"All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh." -Doris Lessing

My hope for humanity:
"What can we say about a society that believes God is dead but Elvis is alive? "

To my mom:
"It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more 'manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.” -Alex Karras

Keeping my cool:
"Dont get mad at things, things dont care."

My marriage:
"Marriage is a romance in which the heroine dies in the first chapter." -Cecilia Egan

"Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience." -Samuel Johnson

Being a mommy:
"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone

To encourage me in my crappy job:
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” -Malcolm S. Forbes

Life in general:
"Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something." -Wesley, The Princess Bride

"Be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble." -William Barclay

About My Saviour:
"If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me." ~Robert M. McCheyne

"He changed sunset into sunrise." ~Clement of Alexandria

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."
C. S. Lewis

Thursday, January 29, 2009

♫ The Silver Lining

A friend and me were talking today...and out of a chance conversation I got the best MasterCard-like commercial. I was saying, why is it that I dont want what's in my face, I want the things I cant have? He said, "It's not worth talking about what you've got, but to take something you cant get, get it, and make it your own, really is." Of course, that wasnt verbatim, but the point is, it seems human nature to want what we cant have. A bigger house, more animals, a more perfect husband (because let's face it, no matter how much we expect, no man is perfect). A better job, dark chocolate, high dollar wine and whiskey.

I was watching CNN last night. Surely you remember that flight that landed in the Hudson a few weeks ago? They did a special on a survivor, and how much he is appreciating everything he's got NOW. Why is it, that we dont appreciate what we've got, until it's either gone, or nearly?

Im not really sure where this is going, other than I really wish we could just be grateful for what we have. I understand not settling, probably as good as anybody. But look around and try to count what you've got, rather than what you dont. We all have to lose something, make sacrifices, but we dont have to assume we have nothing until we have everything either. If I lose everything but my angels, life couldnt be better.

We hear these "be grateful, be happy" shpeals all the time, but as I watch the news, and even look at my own attitude most days, I cant believe how greedy we are as a whole. We have our freedom, our family, and the right to say, do, and love, worship, anybody or anything we want without punishment from the law or otherwise (self inflicted aside).

Im grateful. Im trying to find something to be thankful for every single day. My angels. My dog. My cute little doll house. The smell of rain. Doris (my lovely car). My best friend. My comfy cuddler fat man couch. My crappy (but still there) tv. My music. The lily's sitting on my counter. My biggest challenge to myself lately though, is to take the things I've been least grateful...and find a way to look at them in a different light.

There is someone in my near vicinity daily that I cannot stand. Inspired by some of my fellow meeting go-ers that feel the same, I am trying to find the best in that person. Be grateful for what she does contribute. Try to realize that there is a purpose to her being in my life.

I am challenging you. Just as those motivational speakers, book authors, pastors, and annoyingly optimistic friends do. I am challenging you to find something to look forward to, a reason to get up every morning, the silver everything, especially the things that grate your last nerve, pour salt in your wounds, and drive you bonkers. Find a way to be grateful for those things, and the rest will come easy. We all have to find a way to save some money in a crappy economy, and find a way to stick together as things have the possibility of getting worse.

I want to hear your responses to this...what bugs you that you're going to try and enjoy. Your goals. Even you, anonymous jerk, that insists on being pessimistic. Of course we wanna hear your side of this too!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

♫ Student Auctioning off Virginity

A student from California is going to an extreme to pay the tuition bills. Brilliant, bright, and beautiful, auctioning off her virginity. Check it out:

Virginity for Auction

I find it interesting more than anything. Scary that our economy is in the shape it's in, and we're willing to throw this kind of money at a one night stand with some girl. Not a celebrity, not love, just a random one night stand...I think, more than anything, it's a shot at the spotlight, a momentary spotlight.

What are your thoughts on this?


Monday, January 26, 2009

An interesting perspective


I am gay, and I am writing on behalf of many thousands of gay people in this country who have grown to hate the church because of organizations like yours. First, however, I would like to give you a quick background on myself.
I grew up in the home of a minister. It was a very happy, nondysfunctional environment. I grew up as a Bible-believing Christian, and I always tried to put Christ first in my life and live by His commandments. Most of my childhood was spent where I knew of no other gay people.
I loved the Lord, the church, and my family -- in that order. I left home and attended college, where I spent hundreds of hours studying the Bible, theology, and the history of the church. My parents were proud and thought that everything had turned out perfectly when I graduated. That's when I told them I was gay. They were devastated!
You see, from day one of puberty, I was attracted to the same sex. I never changed. Of course, I tried to change because I thought I was the only one in the world like this, and my father preached against it. So from the sixth grade to my junior year in college, I tried everything I could to go straight -- counselors, prayer vigils, reading countless books on the evils of homosexuality, and attending Homosexuals Anonymous; nothing worked. The more I tried to change, the more it seemed just natural for me to be gay.
I decided to come out of the closet. The first person I met in a gay club was the choir director's son at my parents' church! He introduced me to many other gays -- students in seminary, Sunday school teachers, church pianists, ushers, and many preachers' sons. There were gay people all throughout the church, but no one really knew because, like me, they were silently living their lives far from the minority of loud activists that you see on the evening news.
In the next few months, I took a course at college in Pauline Epistles, and one of our textbooks had a lengthy chapter regarding what the Bible says and does not say about homosexuals. To oversimplify a complex argument, it concluded that the Bible did not take a definite position on what we know today as committed gay relationships. I am sure you have read some of the discussions, and they are quite sophisticated. Nothing to be dismissed lightly, I'm sure you'll agree -- especially when people's lives are at stake.
I write this letter on behalf of my many friends who come from a similar background but hate the church because of organizations like yours. Sprinkled throughout all your programs are derogatory and demeaning references to gay people. You support legislation to take away our rights and spread misleading, inaccurate information.
If you are really concerned about winning people to Christ, then look to the gay community. They are ripe for harvest. They would be attentive to a voice that preaches hope, forgiveness, acceptance, and sexual morals -- as long as you understand we are not perverted in our feelings of love for one another.
Dr. Dobson, I remember watching your first videotape series in my dad's church, and I felt so strong for your message. I still do -- basically. My partner and I, as well as thousands of other gay people, just wish you would be more inclusive.


More than anything else, I appreciate the respectful and conciliatory attitude you conveyed in broaching an extremely emotional and controversial subject with me. You have made your case sensitively and intelligently. Thank you for that. I honestly believe that if more of us would adopt your approach, we might begin to make some headway in the business of understanding one another!
In response, I want to begin by telling you how strongly I feel about the mandate we have as Christians to love and care for people from all walks of life. Even those with whom we disagree. Even those involved in lifestyles we believe to be immoral. My first reaction to your honest sharing of yourself is a sense of acceptance for you as an individual. I mean that sincerely.
Regardless of what the media may say, Focus on the Family has no interest in promoting hatred toward homosexuals or any other group of our fellow human beings. We have not supported, and will never support, legislation aimed at depriving them of their basic constitutional rights -- rights they share with every citizen.
On the contrary, we want to reach out to gay and lesbian people whenever and wherever we can. If I had the time, I could describe for you many situations in which we've done exactly that. It's a commandment we've received from the Lord Jesus.
Beyond that, I have to acknowledge that you and I have a very different understanding of Scripture. It is my firm conviction that sex outside of marriage (whether homosexual or heterosexual) is not permitted by those who call themselves "believers."
Yes, I'm aware that some biblical scholars have conducted elaborate studies to show that Scripture takes no decisive position on the issue. This is neither new nor surprising. Biblical studies have been done to support a wide variety of unbiblical ideas!
But from our perspective, the truth remains clear. You've obviously been over that ground, and I will not use this reply to belabor the point.
Let me simply say that the same Scriptures that condemn homosexuality and premarital heterosexuality also tell us to accept those who are in violation of these ordinances. Jesus was more compassionate toward the woman caught in the very act of intercourse -- a capital offense in those days -- than He was toward the hypocrites in the church. This is our model and our mandate.
Whereas we have never attempted to hurt or ridicule the individual homosexual or lesbian, I do find myself in sharp disagreement with the more radical elements of the movement. The effort to redefine the family, qualify for adoption, promote the homosexual lifestyle in the schools, etc., are objectives with which I disagree. And I will oppose them when the issues are raised. Does that make me a hatemonger? I think not.
Concerning the passage of Amendment 2 here in Colorado (which would have prohibited ordinances and legislation creating "special rights" for homosexuals, equating them with those needing civil rights protection), let me explain why we strongly favored that legislation. To understand our position, you must know that many Christians also feel they have been victimized by society's hostility to traditional religious views.
A dear friend of mine, Bob Vernon, former assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, was driven from office because of his faith. No charges were ever brought against him. The pressure was political, resulting solely from his fundamental beliefs. He is but one of thousands of people being discriminated against today because of their Christian beliefs.
How would you and your homosexual companions feel if we, as Christians, began lobbying for special, protected legal status? How would you react if we asserted that we should be given a job and shielded from termination just because we are Christians? I can predict that you would fight such ordinances tooth and nail. Why?
Because when one person wins in these kinds of struggles, someone else (the nonbeliever) loses. Thus, we must be very careful before creating new "minorities" based on behavior or beliefs -- as opposed to those who have been discriminated against historically based on their race.
That raises the question: Have homosexuals faced this kind of uphill battle? Perhaps in the past, but there is no evidence of which I'm aware that they are disadvantaged now. The average homosexual earns $55,000 per year, compared with $32,000 for heterosexuals.215
Gays also have a much higher percentage of college degrees than the straight population.216 And when it comes to political clout, how can they claim to be shortchanged? Dozens of objectives of the gay and lesbian community are being achieved today.
Look at the issue of funding for AIDS research and treatment. I had a heart attack several years ago, and I am very concerned about support for research on coronary artery disease. After all, heart attacks and strokes kill more people than AIDS, cancer, TB, and several other diseases combined. But as you may know, the federal government spent 39 times as much on AIDS last year as it did on heart disease.217 Why? Because of the clout of homosexuals who turned their powerful guns on Congress and the White House.
My point is not to decry money being spent on the horrible AIDS epidemic. I'm simply making the point that the homosexual community is hardly an oppressed, powerless minority seeking protection under the law. You have Hollywood, the press, the media, the universities, the publishers, the professionals (in the American Bar Association, American Medical Association, etc.), and the judiciary enforcing your "politically correct" agenda.
Conservative Christians, by contrast, are stranded pretty much on their own. Given this undergirding, I hope you can see that our opposition to the gay and lesbian tidal wave is not an expression of hate but one of social justice and common sense.
One more thought about expressions of hatred. The question is: Who is endeavoring to hurt whom? Have we brought caskets to your front door? Have we thrown bricks through your windows? Have we left bloody animal parts on your property? Have we spread untrue rumors about your activities and motives? Have we spray-painted your buildings or made bomb threats at your offices?
No, but all of these hostilities have been inflicted on us by the homosexual community and its supporters in Colorado Springs. Nevertheless, we have not returned evil for evil, nor do we intend to do so. Thus, the charge that we are hateful is simply not rooted in fact.
I hope this clarifies my position for you. Again, I'm grateful that you cared enough to write, and I want you to know that we're here for you if you need us. God bless you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Objects of Divine Love

jesus\' love Pictures, Images and Photos

Objects of Divine Love

When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some 'disinterested', because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and suprising truth, we are objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the 'lord of terrible aspect', is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wish you to be happy in you own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist's love for his work and despotic as a man's love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father's love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes. How this should be, I do not know..... We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest 'well pleased'.

To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loved us He must labour to make us lovable. We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that He could reconcile Himself to our present impurities.

Words from C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 23, 2009

Life happens, and tends to leave you spinning...

Just a few updates on Nomz:

*I am surrounded by more friends than I ever realized I had. It’s always ironic how when life takes its turns, you can look around and see who’s still standing by your side. I dont know what I would do without my fellow show-stoppin best friend, my partner-in-bloggin & shoppin’ sista, my Jo, my Sir, my Otter. My co-coffee drinkers and meeting goers. My family, and my God. My dog. My girls. {disclaimer: these are not in order of importance}

*I am {thankfully} currently working at Sierra Trading Post . A grand company most of the time...filled with the best people I’ve ever met. Ever wonder what I sound like? Call in and talk to the love-ly customer service. I am the telephone operator that says "thank you for holding, the next available representative...blah blah blah." Yes, I am living up to my dream of being a call girl. ;)

*I am reading "The Shack": Strangely good. Hard to explain, "wayyyy out there" but a neat perspective on the Christian walk.

*I have a therapist. There. I admitted it. I cant get enough of my therapist. Not because im that crazy, but because she really is healing. I think it should be a requirement on the path of life to see one, just once even. The world would be a more peaceful place if nothing else.

*I have a Coach bag. Thank you said fellow show-stoppin best friend. I never thought I’d own one...not because I don’t like them, just never understood why they were so expensive. Moving up in the world. And officially a bit of an addiction started. Im going to sell them {be looking for sales pitches SOON}!

*I have one of the trippiest, quirkiest houses ever. New to me, built in the early 1900’s...I think it used to be a garage, and is affectionately known as "the doll house".Oh yeah, and it's attached to a hair salon. Perfection.

*I have discovered Twitter. How does one describe Twitter? It’s like...walking around the house naked with the curtains open and asking the neighbors to look in. They’re status updates, allowing everyone you know, and don’t know, to know what’s going on in the life of you. Took me a while to catch on, but also strangely addicting, and an awesome source for networking, career info, and news findings. You can find me here: Nomz and Sazaran here: Sazaran.

*Music is inspiring to me. I am learning to play guitar very soon {thank you said co-coffee drinker and meeting leader}, and eventually will write and sing my own stuff. You know, Coyote Ugly style {please tell me you've seen that movie}.

*I love change. Thrive on change even. I plan on doing something really extreme with my hair SOON. Debating going to the dark side. Or living vicariously through my hair, and going short.

*My biggest life change happened within the last month. It’s been absolute torture, and also soul-freeing. We’ll see where this road goes, but either way, it’s a learning, growing experience and I look forward to the ride ahead. Open heart, open mind, and wings spread, looking to fly.


I'm an ENFP

I must say, this describes me to a "T".

The Inspirer

General: ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of "help") and be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another.

Social/Personal Relationships: ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to the more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. They are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As SOs/mates they are warm, affectionate (lots of PDA), and disconcertingly spontaneous. However, attention span in relationships can be short; ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting about the older ones for long stretches at a time. Less mature ENFPs may need to feel they are the center of attention all the time, to reassure them that everyone thinks they're a wonderful and fascinating person.

ENFPs often have strong, if unconventional, convictions on various issues related to their Cosmic View. They usually try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade people gently of the rightness of these views; his sometimes results in their neglecting their nearest and dearest while flitting around trying to save the world.

Work Environment: ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work with. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions. Follow through tends to be a problem, however; they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they've been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working in a group with a J or two to take up the slack.

ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect of it. (I need a new job)

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving (Guilty).

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be "gushy" and insincere, and generally "overdo" in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivious to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

An ENFP who has "gone wrong" may be quite manipulative - and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems (I was always told to use my powers for good and not for evil).

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendencies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people (Guilty). They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labeled (I need a new job). They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.

Famous ENFPs:

Franz Joseph Haydn
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Will Rogers
Buster Keaton
Theodor "Dr." Seuss Geisel (The Cat in the Hat)
Mickey Rooney
James Dobson ("Focus on the Family")
Andy Rooney
Carol Burnett
Paul Harvey
Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched)
Bill Cosby (Ghost Dad)
Dom Delouise, actor
Dave Thomas, owner of Wendy's hamburger chain
Lewis Grizzard, newspaper columnist
I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet University
Martin Short, actor-comedian
Meg Ryan, actor (When Harry Met Sally)
Robin Williams, actor, comedian (Dead Poet's Society, Mrs. Doubtfire)
Sandra Bullock, actor (Speed, While You Were Sleeping)
Robert Downey (Heart and Souls)
Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)
Andy Kaufman
Regis Philbin

Dr. Doug Ross (ER)
Balkie (Perfect Strangers)
Ariel (The Little Mermaid)-----
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Steve Irkle

Find out what your personality is!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heavenly Perspectives: Blam! You’re in a Castle?

This post is fully opinion based. Im not going to quote the Bible, and I don’t want that in the responses. I want to know, where do you go when you die? If you believe you are going to heaven/hell, what will it look like? How do we get there? Will there be a stop along the way? In your mind, how do you picture it?

This one came from a few different inspirations. One of the responses on our suicide post mentioned that what if suicide is the last thing you do before you leave? Then my sister and I got to talking about it…

I believe, know even, that im going to heaven. I love my God with my whole heart, and nothing I do will change that. But I don’t believe in “Blam! You’re in a castle!” I don’t think that you die, and wake up in your paradise. I think it’s a trip. I think there are “Pearly Gates”. I think Jesus meets you at those gates and says “come sit on my lap, let’s look over your life together.” Streets of gold, smelling like rain, beautiful music, cloud jumping, pretty earrings (or shoes) (hey it’s said that you wont NEED material possessions, doesn’t mean you wont still love them right?), story time with the angels…ultimate satisfaction and love. No more emptiness, loneliness, or desires.

I think the pits of Hell are exactly opposite. I think it will be the utmost torture, in addition to physical pain beyond imagination, you will be tortured by your biggest fears (not the deep water, getting buried alive, elephant seals, or monsters), but loneliness, emptiness, dying alone, etc. I think the devil is not a being, but a creature that can morph himself into the depths of your soul.

Again, this is more of a poll of your imaginations. Where are you going? What’s it like when you get there?


*picture from:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Suicide sends us to Hell?

I have debated posting this blog for a while now, because I do not want to give license to those out there who may want to take their own lives. In the end, I realized that no matter what I say, I am not in control of someone’s choice. So, I want to put this out there in a way that simply explains how I feel about suicide, without condoning it.

It has long been the belief of most Charismatic Christians, Protestants, Catholics, etc. that when a man or woman commits suicide that they immediately go to Hell. Regardless of their life or belief on earth. I say it isn’t so. And this is why:

The Bible states that there are only three unforgivable sins. They are:

The Sin Unto Death
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
Taking the Mark of the Beast

The Sin Unto Death:

Sin unto Death is not a physical sin is made when a man or woman would be willing to crucify Christ a second time. Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (have accepted Jesus as their savior), and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

The sin unto death is very hard to commit; certain conditions must be met in the heart of a man before he can be given over by the Lord.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is done to take actions obviously from God and attesting them to Satan with the specific intent of leading a man or woman stray. The Pharasees knew that Christ was of God and that His miracles were of the Father, but because they were jealous, they told people that He was of Satan- intending to lead them astray from Christ. Matt. 12:22-32, “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Taking the Mark of the Beast:

This one is easy. In the end times (that we are coming upon) The Antichrist will offer a mark which symbolizes commitment to him. Rev. 14:9-11, “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."”

Reading through the Bible, I am unable to see where it says that if a man takes his own life, he condemned to Hell. One would argue that taking your own life is trying to be God- whose right is it to chose whether a life should be lived or not? In that case, do murderers go to Hell? No! If they ask for forgiveness they do not!

Now, let me clarify something before I go on. According to The Word of God a man will go to Hell regardless of how he dies if he has not accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. I am basing this whole blog on if a man who has Christ in his heart commits suicide. Not an unbeliever. If an unbeliever commits suicide, gets into a car accident, chokes on his candy or dies by any other way, he will go to Hell. Those are the consequences of not accepting the gift of salvation that Jesus paid for. (This might be another blog altogether, hmm? Please be considerate and comment on the main topic here rather than starting a debate that is not what I’m blogging about. Thanks!)

John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Wouldn’t this, technically, be suicide? If you have control over whether you live or not and you chose to die, you are taking your own life. Yet, the Bible says that if you are in a position where you can save another by taking your own (or giving your own up)- there is no greater love. Christ was the Son of God- He turned water into wine, stopped storms, and liberated demon possessed men- He definitely had the power to save Himself from being crucified. But, He didn’t. He allowed mere men to kill Him, because His love was so great for us.

That being said, suicide is a sin. And those who do so will have to answer for it when they stand before our Lord. But, it is not a sin that sends one straight to Hell. Christ’s forgiveness is more powerful than that! When His blood cleansed us of our sin, it covered our past, our present and our future mistakes. I believe that suicide is no different than lying- in terms of being forgiven.

I began this blog with the condition that I do not condone suicide. I do not believe that life can get so hard for us, Christ cannot deliver us. If you have been feeling the tugs of despair and ending your life seems to be the only answer; if you need help, please dial 1-714-NEW-HOPE (639-4673). If you do not want to talk to someone on the phone, feel free to email myself or Nomz- we are here to be a listening ear and an encouragement to those who need it! Email us at: And, please, know that Jesus Christ loves you more than you could ever begin to imagine. You are His joy, His reason for dying and He is right beside you, willing to help you overcome your tribulation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless the President{s}

It breaks my heart to see how people are treating Bush as he is out of office and graciously handing the shoes over for Obama to step in.

I am trying to remain open minded, hopeful, and supportive of Obama, regardless of my views prior to election. The decision has been made, and we must have the integrity and faith that it will work out for the best. He is the best man for the job, or he wouldn’t have gotten the job.

I realize that there are strong feelings toward how Bush ran the country. He’s human, not perfection. Far from it. But so is Obama, and having such high expectations of one man is undoubtedly setting yourself, him, and the country, up for failure.

Personally, I loved Bush. Those of you that know me know my standings. I couldn’t have picked, and refuse to think of, a better man to take us through 9-11. He made some mistakes. A lot of mistakes even. But where is he is trying to make a smooth and graceful exit, people are mocking him, his ability to run the country, and dwelling on the past. Ridiculing him does not make you a better person. Judge not lest you be judged. We need to have the same respect, dignity, and prayer, for the man leaving, as the one taking his place. They have the integrity to laugh together, powerfully shake hands, and move together through the transition, while the country tears them apart.

We all need to look forward to this change with open minds and open hearts, ready for a new direction, but realize that we wouldn’t be going this direction without the path marked before it.

God Bless the Bush family, and the Obama family.


Jesus Freak?

So there I was, about 16, sitting in youth group one warm Wednesday night in the year 2000. My youth pastor, Mike, was teaching us about fear. You know, the scary movie, dark woods, basement kind of fear. He stood behind our church’s huge wooden pulpit as he explained that we do not need to be afraid because our God is bigger and is always in control. I don’t remember much of what he said next because I was distracted by the two men that burst through our church doors. They were holding guns.

Being a skeptical teenager, I immediately thought: bogus! Turning to my pastor, expecting a huge smile to appear on his face, I prayed for the prank to end prematurely. But, instead of snickering, I saw Pastor Mike grab his little girl and hide her behind the pulpit.

My life didn’t flash before my eyes then, but I can tell you that the world suddenly played in slow motion. I didn’t know who the two men were because they were wearing ski masks. I felt my body slowly slide off of my chair and hover near the ground, obeying their commands to “get down!”. I can tell you that I felt as if my heart had moved from its position in my chest to a new position right inside my ears. And I can tell you that the only thought echoing through my mind the moment the men grabbed my friend’s brother was:

What will I say if they ask me to deny Christ?

As they dragged Zach back toward the doors they came through, I heard another teenager yell, “Those are BB guns!”

Yup. You guessed it. A prank. Well, I guess not so much of a prank as an “object lesson.” All pulled off by my fearless youth pastor, Mike Hendricks. While it wasn’t the most conventional way to teach your youth about being fearless (he had many calls from parents that night, I think), it did the trick. At least for me, it got me to think.

Right afterward, I felt so ashamed that my thought would be “What?” and not “I’ll never deny Him!” But, I guess that is just our human nature.

Reading through stories of modern day martyr’s I can’t help but feel a little anxious when I put myself in their position. If a military man threatened to roll over my body with a steam roller, would I be able to sing praise songs while each bone crunched underneath the weight of the machine? Would I truly be able to keep praying as men drowned my pastor (who is, actually, my dad) in a trough of urine? Would I keep eyes and heart set on the heavens as men beat and raped me?

Dear Lord, I pray that I would be able to stand strong in the face of fear and evil; I pray that you will always be my core desire and no earthly bribe or threat will be able to make me deny you.

Right here, in my comfy American life. I can tell you that I would never deny my Lord and Savior. I truly believe that there are those who are called to martyrdom (similar those who are called to a celibate life) and they are equipped with grace to withstand. If, that is me, I will not deny Christ because I know that I will not be alone.

Think about it. And read up on a few stories of our brothers and sisters who will be wearing the martyr’s crown when we meet them in Heaven:


Monday, January 19, 2009

Love's Ultimate Sacrifice

So there I was sitting in church, listening to a sermon about how temptation grabs ahold of ya and teaches you to have so much fun that you get addicted, crave more. As my fabulous aunt so carefully put it (without even knowing it), we got taught how to “sin wisely”! Of course, that wasn’t what the pastor was going for. He was preaching more along the lines of steer clear as much as possible to avoid getting latched on to those cravings. Strangely, what grabbed me the most out of the shpeal though, was a little bunny trail he ran off on about staying pure until marriage. To steal a few of his lines:

“If he loves you, he wont ask you to compromise your standards”, “If he’s asking you to sacrifice something so large right now, imagine how much he’ll ask of you once you’re married”, and my favorite quote of the whole talk “don’t give up on what you want most for what you want in the moment…because the moment lies.”

How many of us have given in to temptation-sexually-and then been completely heart broken, shattered, and left with empty promises and broken dreams? How many of us have given the utmost sacrifice for somebody, just to be let down or not receive the same in return?

I am no angel. I had sex with Kayce before I married him…got pregnant before I married him (twice). Thankfully, God forgives, and makes it his will regardless of your choices. I honestly believe though, had we waited, had we not sacrificed or compromised, our love would have had a chance to bloom on its own rather than being forced to do so.

I think, when you give in to somebody to prove your love…you compromise not only your body but your integrity and heart. Once that sacrifice is made, it’s extremely difficult to trump…and relationships get rocky and eventually lead to pains deeper than you ever imagined. I know Im not alone in this.

I also wonder where the romance goes. How often do we give up everything, just to realize there is nothing left? I want you to ask yourself…or even ask your partner…if we take sex out of the picture completely, what’s left? Do you have something to stand on without the physical relationship? Over time, life’s tingley’s seem to disappear, the romance fades, we lose site of those butterflies and goose-bumps, and all you have is sex. How do you rekindle the fire in an empty relationship? Take the sex out of it…figure out what you loved most about each other, what that magnetism was, before it became physical. Do you have to be “romantic”? No…I think that’ll come naturally.

Kind of a healing trail I went off on there, but the point is…don’t ever compromise yourself, your standards, or your heart for somebody else. At the end of the day, all you have is you. If they cant love you for you…without giving them something in return, then they’re not worth it. Raise the bar. Remember that the moment lies. And keep in mind that once you get a small taste of something sweet, it’s hard not to eat the whole cake.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Eve wasn't on crack either...

So, this morning, I almost thought I walked through a wardrobe into Narnia. Seriously. I pulled up to work at 5:45 am (do you feel sorry for me?) and I saw. a. tree. talking. to. a. wall. No joke. I can prove it with pictures. Just as soon as I remember to bring my camera to work. I'm not on crack, either. I could make out an eye, a nose, chin, jaw and mouth. And the wind was making the branches move just so that it looked like the mouth was talking. So, I just sat there for about five minutes thinking, What would a tree possibly have to say to a wall? Okay, I didn't actually think that very same thing for the whole five minutes. I thought, maybe, they might gossip about the people who passed between them all day long.

Anyway, I won't bore you with certain details. From there, though, it got me thinking about talking trees and talking animals- I like the Chronicles of Narnia. A lot. And I do really think that animals used to talk. I do. I mean, c'mon, when Lucifer changed himself into a serpent and spoke to Eve, she didn't freak out. If it were me, I would not have begun a philosophical debate with something covered in scales. I would have peed my pants (well, my leaf) and took off running. But, I think the reason why she didn't do that was because she was used to talking animals! How cool is that?!

And, that got me thinking about other things that changed after Adam and Eve sinned. You know the fruit on the Tree of Good and Evil? I think it was an onion. Yes, I do. Nomz might think it was a tomato- but, it wasn't because tomatoes are good. I'm telling you, it was an onion. See, the way I see it, The Fall (as we Christians call it. I don't know who "we Christians" are; so, don't ask.) made everything turn bad. Or almost bad. Lions don't lay with lambs anymore, they eat them; we used to use 100% of our brains, now we only use 10%; onions used to be delicious, temping, beautiful fruit. But, sin turned it into the most vile, yucky horrible veggie out there. That's why I don't eat onions. They're sinful.

I just might be on crack...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Storm

Have you ever had that dream that occurs over and over in the exact same detail? I swear, I have a mini series of dreams- sometimes, I dream in re-runs and other times it’s a whole new dream with the same characters and surroundings. I love the way my mind works.

Anyway, I had a really cool dream a while back and I turned it into a short story. Hope you like it:

Standing atop a high mountain, overlooking expanse of earth below, she absorbed in the atmosphere around her; it was so serene… almost dream-like. She took a long, slow and deep breath.

The smell of the air just before rain.

Its clear, sweet scent enveloped her, surrounded her, filled her lungs and rushed back out as if in a hurry to rejoin its kin. With her arms slightly raised, fingers outspread and chin lifted, she welcomed tiny rain drops as they gently sprinkled upon each finger tip; her nose wrinkled at each kiss of the cloud’s droplets. She curled her toes and gripped the ground she stood upon; the grass felt soft beneath her.

Like standing on cool, green clouds.

As the wind picked up slightly, it lifted her brown locks above her shoulders and danced them around her face- each strand playing tag around her neck and along her back. Tiny goose bumps reacted to each raindrop carried by a hint of breeze that splashed on her arms, cheeks and legs.

Her eyes remained closed, until the moment she heard it.

A low rumble… thunder.

Her eyes sprang open and she scanned the horizon to the west of her mighty platform. An impressive array of clouds loomed dominantly; rolling over one another in a match to conquer more heavenly territory. She watched as each bolt of lightning reached to the earth and, for a moment, made contact. Never before had she seen such an amazing display of colors in a storm. Each lightening strike created a color only heaven could invent. They whipped, cracked, lashed and streaked against the sky with a wild and almost-angry performance.

There! Pink! Again- blue! Once more- purple!

Her heart began to beat faster.

What could cause this? What did it mean?

She turned to face the storm head on, to watch this glorious act of nature’s most beautiful- and deadly- pantomime. With each illumination, the hair on her neck stood on end and as she lifted her arm to eye level-the hair stood, simultaneously, as a bright pink bolt of lightning touched the ground and re-coiled.

This is no longer safe. You need to leave. Find shelter.

The thunder cracked- louder- and she flinched. She could see the enormous clouds now charging her way. They had become dark and cold; no longer adorned with a rainbow of colors.

Another thunder-clap, another streak of lighting shot toward her.


She spun around and looked for the easiest way down the mountain upon which she stood. The storm began to rumble in a threatening tone. Its silver lining and enticing candor now turned dark and menacing. She ran to the left, changed her mind and spun to the right. Where could she go?

Fear ripped through her mind and heart. She began racing down hill, careful not to lose her footing and fall. Rain began slapping and beating her; stinging like needles where kisses once teased. The wind opposed her like a brute force, determined to make her flight downward a nearly impossible task.

Her foot slipped and she slid down the mountain face. Her arms flew out to her sides as she searched for something to grab a hold of. Bushes and small shrubs offered no safety. She dug her palms and heels into the dirt; her skin tore with no resistance. After an agonizing few more feet, she finally came to a bloody and whimpering stop. Lying with her face in the dirt, she tried to catch her breath and silence her thoughts of panic.

The rain beat harder now, soaking her dress and hair. She lay there for a moment, tear streaked and out of breath.

Thunder- right overhead- loud and terrifying.

She rolled to one side and searched around for the bottom of the mountain; she was nearly there. Climbing to her knees she stood and stumbled down, over rocks and plants. With each shaky step she took, the earth fell after her- rocks lost their place attempting to make her lose hers.

A wind gust- forceful and bullying.

Forced onward, she staggered once more but didn’t fall. As her fear rose, so did her determination to get to the bottom of the mountain. She broke out into a run. She fell once, twice, three times- getting up every time with supernatural energy.

Finally her feet fell upon level ground. She ran toward the nearest building, sensing the storm at her heels and closing in on her hopes. She reached the first door and grabbed the handle.


She didn’t miss a beat. She ran for the next door- and the next.

All locked!

No other buildings were in sight- she didn’t recognize where she was. It didn’t matter; she did not want to die. Not like this- not in this storm that had once captured her imagination and then turned sinister.

A strong gust of wind picked her up like a giant hand with an invisible, iron grip and hurled her into the air. Higher and higher she rose, watching as the ground fall away like a dropping ball.

Higher and higher still, she rose as the unrelenting wind kidnapped her from the ground. Her gasps were caught in her throat as she raced upward toward the terrifying clouds.

J-Jesus! Jesus!

She tried to cry out but her lungs were pounded and restricted by the altitude. She twisted around and- once again- faced the storm head on, bracing herself an impact beyond her imagination. Her arms flailed and reached out for nothing.

Her own piercing scream ripped her from the fearful sleep in which she had been trapped. Sitting up in bed, she rubbed her eyes and pulled away her nightgown that clung to her sweat soaked skin.

Silence. Sweet, reassuring silence.

She glanced to her left and rose to walk toward her window. The night sky welcomed her visit as each star twinkled in grandeur, offering comfort with their beauty. She laughed a little to release the tension, silently scolding herself for being so unnerved by a dream. As she walked back to her bed to rest in the stillness, a sense of anticipation overwhelmed her…

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