Tuesday, May 08, 2007

hope in a jar.

I try to take good care of my skin. The line of skincare that I am using right now is called philosophy. I first tried their kiss me lip balm back in 1997, because I thought their packaging was cool and I liked the name of it. Now, years later, I still like their stuff and I still think the packaging is cool.

One of the cool things about the packaging is that each product has this neat name with a little blurb underneath that relates to the name of the product. Now, there are many products in the philosophy line that I love, but my favorite is my face cream. It feels great. It's got a bunch of good stuff in it. And the neat name? Hope in a jar. Isn't that cute?

It gets better. The little blurb on the jar says:

"Where there is hope, there can be faith. Where there is faith, miracles can occur."

Now, I realize that it's supposed to be a blurb that purports the miracle-working properties of the cream for one's skin (and I apologize NOW for using the word 'NOW' so much in this post...I must be tired) but it can really be the blurb for my life. Or the life of any believer for that matter. I don't know if the founder of the company is a believer or not, but she hit the nail right on the head. And how apropos that she fits such a power-packed statement on a little jar.

How much hope does one need really? If one can do fairly well (to say the least) with faith the size of a mustard seed, then a jar-full of hope would do more than enough to see one through a life of miracles, wouldn't it?

Sorry to lead you down a rabbit trail. And no, I'm not randomly musing. I really do have a point to all of this.

I was asked to lead the worship for the spanish church service that we have on Sunday afternoons. I've done it before, so it was no big deal.

What was a big deal was being asked to do the teaching for the service. Hmm. It's been years since I've done any teaching like this, and never in Spanish. And it was short notice. So I was like, what should I say?

"I know," I thought. I'll tell them about hope and encourage them to never lose it. I'll tell them that as new Christians (which they all are) the enemy will go after them with guns blazing to try to get them to feel hope-less. He'll throw all sorts of impossible circumstances their way, to get them to feel there is no hope. Because without hope, there can be no faith, and without faith, it's pretty hard to see any miracles. (Hebrews 11:1)

So, that's pretty much what I told them.

I told them about a church full of hope, wanting to see the Kingdom of Heaven manifested here on earth in people's lives, versus a church full of religion, devoid of hope, faith, or power. The latter may look good on the outside and even seem right, but in the end it leads to death. It leads to the death of destiny and purpose.

I spoke to them about their destiny and purpose, and prayed for each one of them. It was cool.

That was after a Friday afternoon that was spent carrying some hope to a couple of girls in a predominantly Spanish neighborhood and leading them to the Lord. That was cool.

THAT was after spending about an hour on the phone with my cousin the day before, pouring hope into her, encouraging her to hold onto it and keep her eyes on the Lord and not on circumstances, as she was worrying about how she would pay her rent which was due on May 5 (her husband just left her). I knew it might be a hard sell, but since she already knows the Lord, I believed that if I could just get her thinking about Jesus and all the GOOD he has for her (Jeremiah 29:11) and get her mind off of what has just transpired in her life, she would begin to see some miracles herself. And she did.

I told her her rent would be paid, and it was. Her boss ended up paying it for her, and told her she was family! How many bosses do THAT? That was cool.

That was hope. And my skin looks pretty good with no makeup. That's cool.

nostalgia tuesday.

Today it's the year 1975. Here are the hits.

  • "One of These Nights," The Eagles
  • "Jive Talkin'," Bee Gees
  • "Black Water," Doobie Brothers

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Oh my gosh! I am SO glad Heroes is back on. And it was SO good last night!

...Well...two nights ago. I guess.

Grrrr Sylar! I hate that guy!

HOW will it all END??

nostalgia tuesday.

I know it was only a few years ago (okay, three), but what the heck? It was still in the past, if not exactly vintage. So here you are. Songs from yesteryear, or more like almost yesterday: 2004.

  • "This Love," Maroon 5
  • "Yeah," Usher
  • "Meant to Live," Switchfoot

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

Today it's songs from 1994. SOME GOOD ONES! :)

  • "The Sign," Ace of Base
  • "All That She Wants," Ace of Base
  • "Don't Turn Around," Ace of Base

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

Well, actually, it's Nostalgia Wednesday this week.

Yesterday was a long day and time just totally got away from me. Here are three great songs from 1984. You may already have them on your Ipod, especially all of my peeps out there who love 80s music! Reminisce away!

  • "When Doves Cry," Prince
  • "Owner of a Lonely Heart," Yes
  • "The Reflex," Duran Duran
Oh my gosh...I SOOO LOVED all three of those songs!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

congo video.

Here is a video highlighting the trip to the Congo that four men from our church took:

Also, there is an update to the story on Ryan's blog, for those who have been reading it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

Today it's songs from 1974. Were any of these your (or your parents') favorites?

  • "The Way We Were," Barbra Streisand
  • "Hooked on a Feeling," Blue Swede
  • "Time in a Bottle," Jim Croce

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


It's been a while since he's slipped up, due to his increase in maturity I guess. But, in the last week, he has let slip some hum-dingers!...

Me: "What kind of tennis shoes did your dad buy you?"

Him: "Nothing special. Just some organic ones."

Me: "...You mean, generic?"

Him: "...Oh. Yeah."

And several days before that...

"The Nicholsons use Purell a lot; that's how I was introduced to it. I like using it because of all the anti-doxins it has."

There you have it, folks.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

This set is not nearly as old as the others, but it was four years ago so I added it instead of going back to the 70s this week. For those of you who are wondering why I'm not doing anything from before the 70s, I decided to start with the year I was born (refer to this post) and go up by decades until the 2000s, then start back with the following year in the 70s. So next week the year will be 1974. But for tonight, here are your three songs of yesteryear (2003):
  • "Crazy in Love," Beyonce
  • "Hey Ya!" Outkast
  • "Miss Independent," Kelly Clarkson


I'm about to blow up!

more from congo.

One of the other men from our church who went to the Congo has put together a website with pictures and his testimony of the trip, as well as video! It looks superb. I encourage you to check it out and be blessed:

Congo trip 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

cool contest!

Quick! They're having a Dyson vacuum giveaway over at 5 Minutes for Mom! Go enter! It's a 500 dollar vac!


The Lord has been showing me a lot about grace lately. It is so much more than anything I ever thought.

The more I learn about the grace of God, the less I know, and the bigger the mystery.

The more challenges I overcome, the more feeble I sense myself to be.

The more I am favored, the smaller I feel.

I say that because the grace of God is so grand a thing, I feel as if I could drown in it sometimes. Drown isn't the proper word, I know, but for lack of a better one at the moment, it is the one I will use.

I don't mean drown in a negative sense; on the contrary, if grace were an ocean, I would want to go under and stay under for good. I would want to be swept under by the strongest current, and plunged into the deepest depths. Unfortunately, I've experienced almost drowning in the natural sense, and being taken under is probably the most frightening thing I have experienced in my life. Sensing the grace of God in my life is akin to that same experience, just without the terror.

Facing different trials at times has been frightening, but I have been overwhelmed by the Lord's willingness to bail me out on a dime. And in those times when he has not bailed me out, seeing what he chose to do instead is just as overwhelming. These trials have been things that I don't think I could have faced a few years ago. I was too feeble-minded, and by that I mean too dependent on my own wits and wisdom, of which I had very little. It really is true that a man's ways seem right to him, but in the end they lead to death. I was at death's door spiritually, and had no clue. I loved the Lord, but I was completely bound by religion and all of my ways (doctrines) that seemed right to me.

When most of those doctrines began to be proven wrong one by one, I felt completely lost. It was then that I began to experience grace and what it truly means. However, even with all of my sacred cows being totally skewered and my entire picture of the Lord being erased and re-painted, I wasn't quite prepared for the sight of grace in action that I witnessed last Sunday.

In the midst of incredible miracles being wrought through his hands, Pastor Edouard in the Congo experienced the kind of loss that no parent ever wishes to experience. His three month-old son, John Wesley, fell ill suddenly with pneumonia and died. He had faith to raise John Wesley from the dead, as did the four men from our church who were there with him, and fought valiantly just for the opportunity to pray for his baby after he had been taken to the morgue. After overcoming several obstacles to get to him, in the end, John Wesley was not raised.

Pastor Edouard faced intense persecution from his own wife and family, but that did not discourage him. Even after putting his son in the ground, the same faith that he used to open blind eyes, cast out demons, and heal countless afflicted people was not the least bit weakened. He continued to worship the Lord with all of his might, and went right back out that same evening to preach the Gospel in the villages. He even prayed for our four men before they left to come home, with the same joy and peaceful countenance that he had when they arrived a week before. Now that's grace.

The cool thing is, that is the same grace that the Lord wants to pour out on all of us, all of the time.

Hearing the testimony of what happened in the Congo and seeing Pastor Edouard's videotaped greeting for our church changed all of us who were there. It was truly powerful. Our associate pastor, Ryan, has posted it in several parts on his blog. I posted the link to the first part the other day. You can go here to read the rest. (The picture on Ryan's blog is a photo of him and Pastor Edouard.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

no einstein.

I guess I would have been smarter if I had been breastfed as a child...

Testriffic IQ test

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

Ooh my gosh, I almost forgot!

Here are three songs from yesteryear, the year 1993 to be exact. Do you know these?

  • "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston
  • "Whoomp! (There It Is)," Tag Team
  • "Can't Help Falling in Love," UB40

messed up.

I am forever messed up.

After Sunday, that is.

Our church had a group of four travel to the Congo on a small mission trip of sorts, and they arrived home last Tuesday. On Sunday, they gave the full testimony of the trip. You can read some of the story here, and I would encourage you to do so. It was a hard, amazing, gut-wrenching, inspiring story. I'm still trying to process it all, and am kind of at a loss for words. Maybe in a few more days I can fully express how I feel about what we saw and heard. All I know is, I got a brand new lesson on what true worship is. It is truly a sacrifice, and it is a beautiful fragrance to the Lord.

More on all of this later.


Here's another good one. I love photography, spend way too much time on Flickr, and wish I had more time to spend taking pictures. I love looking at blogs with beautiful photos in them. This one is not exactly that, but it is dedicated to photography and gives tips on doing really cool things with your photos. It's called Photojojo. Check it out.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Okay, this one is just plain cute. I smile gleefully every time I visit this blog, due to all of the warm and fuzzy feelings it provides. Plus, I love fashion, and Fifi looks great in EVERYTHING. She's definitely up on all of the trends. Go pay her a visit.


nostalgia tuesday.

It's the return of Nostalgia Tuesday!

Since I'm getting back into the swing of things and posting regularly, it's time to take you back to yesteryear again with some good (or not good, if you hated it) music. The last Nostalgia Tuesday post had songs from the 70s, so I think I'll jog your memory tonight with songs from the 80s (yay!) All three are from 1983, a vintage year in music. Visit the music service of your choice, do a search, and be transported:

  • "Every Breath You Take," The Police
  • "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," Eurythmics
  • "She Blinded Me With Science," Thomas Dolby

Sunday, March 18, 2007

off the chain.

That's the word I would use to describe the day at church today. We had an awesome Spanish service in the afternoon. We've been having them for five weeks now, and being able to share the Kingdom with people in this way is amazing. We've been able to teach them the Word of God and speak into their lives, and it's been awesome.

The Spanish service was just the cherry on top of a huge Sunday sundae. We had a guest speaker in the morning. His name is Julius Oyet, and he is a pastor from Uganda. He was visiting our church before leaving the country to return home. In Uganda he has seen countless miracles in his churches. The title of his message to us today was: "10 Secrets for Miracles." Great title, isn't it? I've decided to transcribe all of my notes out of my trusty little Moleskine onto this post. Keep in mind, most of this is verbatim.

A miracle is a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature; a temporary suspension of the accustomed orders through the Spirit of God.
  1. Natural miracles: occurences that marvel our understanding but they do not temporarily alter the course of nature (flowers, sunrise with color rays, childbirth)
  2. Healing miracles: repairment of a damaged part of the body
  3. Supernatural miracles: This is done as the result of the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). In this the law of nature is temporarily suspended as the supernatural intervention takes place.
10 Secrets for Miracles
  1. Bless the Lord. Psalm 103:1-6
  2. Remember His benefits. Psalm 103:2-6. Forgiveness, Healing, Provisions, Salvation, Families
  3. Believe it is God's will for you to receive a miracle. Matthew 8:2, Matthew 7:7-8, Numbers 23:19
  4. Name your desired miracle. Mark 10:51-52, Matthew 18:18-19
  5. Turn away from doubters. 2 Timothy 3:5
  6. Ask for your miracle in faith. Matthew 7:7-8. Make a demand on the ability of God. Reach for your miracle. Do not waver. James 1:6-7 (He gave examples of people in the Bible who did this, such as Jacob and blind Bartimaus.)
  7. Make an effort to catch your miracle. 2 Kings 4:21-30. Don't just sit there; do something!
  8. Talk power talk daily. Mark 9:23. (Basically don't defeat yourself and your faith by speaking negatively.)
  9. Turn your faith loose. Acts 14:8-10, Luke 17:13-14
  10. Never never never quit! Miracles are for those who persist on the promise of God. Mark 7:25-30, 2 Kings 4:30
He gave a lot of other juicy nuggets, such as:
  • As long as you don't embarass sin (confess it out loud), it will be your master.
  • Grace doesn't consider or measure. It is not fair.
  • When you turn to God in faith, He comes to you in power. When faith is your diet, miracles become your lifestyle.
For each of the ten steps, he had several testimonies and pictures of miracles that have taken place in his church. It was quite the faith-encourager. There's no way that I could write all of that stuff down too, so for those from my church that were not able to make it, get the CDs!

don't get shipwrecked: part two.

Here are more notes from that "Things that people do to shipwreck their faith" sermon.

  1. Choose, by default, the easy way. Acts 14:22. It takes a lot of difficulty or trouble to get to where you're going sometimes, but it's totally worth it. The Kingdom of God is worth the price. Romans 6:16. The easy way is not necessarily the God way. The easier way is to just DIE [to your will]. Relinquish all control to God.
  2. Announce their intentions. Foolish people announce their intentions or plans. Wise people ask counsel. Fools keep their own counsel. Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 20:18
  3. Don't confront their problems. 1 Samuel 17:24. Most shipwreck begins as a trial, problem, or conflict that goes unsolved or unresolved. What you don't confront will dominate you.
Again, well said Ryan.

don't get shipwrecked: part one.

Several weeks ago, the Associate Pastor at my church taught a good lesson on things that shipwreck one's faith. When our faith gets shipwrecked, our destiny can be aborted. We can be stuck in a place of inaction for years and not even realize it. I've been going over the notes of what he said quite often. We get lots of good lessons at church. The wonderful thing is each message points us toward Jesus (so many sermons today don't actually do that) and motivate us to seek first his kingdom and righteousness. I'm amazed at how easy that has become, probably because I don't do some of these shipwrecking things anymore...

  1. Blameshift. Just as Adam did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many of us are afraid of failure. We can also be ashamed of failure. What we, ironically, often FAIL to realize or remember is that failure in life is inevitable. Not everyone rides smoothly on the bike the first time out, or displays impeccable penmanship at the first attempt at cursive. There is nothing wrong with failure; it is what compels us to KEEP TRYING. As long as we don't QUIT, we can succeed. Failure is a great teacher; it is an opportunity to repent and embrace responsibility. All authority comes from embracing responsibility. Authority never comes from side-stepping responsibility.
  2. Shoot the messenger. Who hasn't done this, and often? God corrects his people in a myriad of ways, and one of the ways he brings correction is through people. We tend, however, to miss the opportunity to embrace the truth and grow because we don't like the package the truth was wrapped in. We don't like someone's "tone," we think they have a lot of "nerve" because of where we think they are in their walk, or we simply don't like them. None of that has to do with the message itself. Instead of accepting the truth of what is said to us, we throw it out, and shoot the messenger. A sign of maturity is when we can embrace the truth, no matter what the package is from which it comes.
  3. Live every day on an open-door policy. Many Christians live in such a way that their lives and destinies are dictated by circumstances. That is a dangerous, highly unwise way to live. Being led by the Spirit is essential to stay in the will of God and have peace. Being led by the Spirit is NOT being led by circumstances, feelings, or situations.
Well said, Ryan.

I'll post more on this tomorrow.

"Between the promise and the Promised Land is a desert that is the exact opposite of what the Lord has called you to."--R. Joyner

Friday, March 16, 2007


Now that I am returning to a regular blogging routine, it's time to continue adding to the blogroll. New on the found list is DesignSponge.

You may not have noticed (yet), but I love beautiful things. I'm into design, interiors, making one's home look super-dope (although mine has got a LONG way to go), letterpress (I am a slight paper-addict), colorful housewares, and just anything in general that helps to make the simple life fabulous. This blog contributes to all of the aforementioned things, and it's worth a look-see. Lurk away!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It's been a month since I've posted here. It's been quite a month. We've gone through a few personal trials and changes, not the least of which is my husband being laid off last week. The good news is, he had a new job the next day, and started yesterday. The not-so-great news is we have to go the next three weeks without any income. Fun fun fun!

I have no doubt that the Lord will provide everything we need. He always has. It's just scary sometimes going through it.

There should be more consistency to my posts here now that we've come through this difficult month. My goal is to get back to posting twice a week, then eventually every day if I can. Hope all is well out there in the blogosphere.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

sickness sucks.

Apparently, there's been some sort of virus going around, and I may have caught it. I have felt absolutely miserable for the last several days. I couldn't even thoroughly enjoy Heroes the other night because my whole body was aching and I was going back and forth between having chills and breaking into a sweat. Needless to say, Valentine's Day was a bust for hubby and me.

The weather around here has been a miserable bust too. It's just way too cold.

My husband brought me chocolates though. That was nice. Chocolate always makes things a little better. Here's to antioxidants and endorphin-releasers.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Who knew January could be such a ROUGH month?? I have barely had time to go to the bathroom on a semi-regular basis, much less post about everything I have wanted to the last few weeks. Now it's February!

Sheesh. I really need to get on the ball.

And I shall. Tomorrow. After Heroes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

nostalgia tuesday.

To begin this year, I think I am going to do something new with the Nostalgia Tuesday posts. Since I am a musician, and there seems to be some sort of song running through my head most of any given day, why not share some of my favorite songs?

Several weeks ago, hubby and I were watching one of those Time-Life infomercials and they were selling a CD collection of "soft rock from the 70s and 80s." You know, like Air Supply and Christopher Cross and stuff like that. Well, I was a little kid back then, and I remembered most of that music. Especially the eighties stuff, since I was really small in the seventies (I was born in '73). I remembered the songs that I liked from the seventies but I never knew the titles of the songs or who sang them. With the eighties I knew all the stats. It was a neat trip down memory lane. It's so cool how a song can be a peg that a really good memory from one's childhood is hung upon.

So, here are a few pegs. Look these up on iTunes or Rhapsody or Pandora and be transported to a simpler time and place...at least it was simpler for me...

Killing Me Softly With His Song--Roberta Flack (1973)
My Love--Paul McCartney and Wings (1973)
Rocky Mountain High--John Denver (1973)

happy new year!

Well, I'm back, after another short hiatus of a few days. Things have been so busy around here I have barely had time to catch my breath. Trying to get mentally prepared to start the daily routine again is hard work for me! Where is all of this resistance coming from?? I think it will take me a couple of weeks to feel like life is normal again.

Bob Jones came to our church again this past weekend. He had a great deal to share but one of the main things he kept saying was "paradigm shift." What we have been focused on previously is going to change dramatically. That has already started happening in my life. Things I had not previously even imagined that I could do or would be doing are now regular habits. Things such as going on outreaches, preaching the Gospel, ministering out in the marketplace. We came out of a church where it was a select few that did those things, and everyone else had to go through some hundred different steps before they would be "qualified" to do the same. It is so different now. There really has been a shift in my life, and it was said that this shift would occur everywhere. My husband said it sounds like a mass repentance (repent= change one's mind) that is coming, where everyone is re-focused on what is truly important and eternal and a great unity and power results.

I'll get the recordings and share some key points as I've done before.

Time to go eat some cookies.