Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you, Veterans!

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic
For which it stands
One nation, UNDER GOD,
With liberty and justice for all.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! On this day I would like to thank all of those selfless men & women and their families who faithfully serve (or have served) in our military so that I might enjoy the many freedoms I have. So often we take your sacrifice for granted and I'm sorry for that. We will never be able to thank you enough for making our country free and working to keep it that way.

While there are many, many things wrong with America (Lord, have mercy on us!)--this is still the best country on earth and I'm so thankful the Lord created me an American.

Veterans, on this day and every day, may the Lord richly bless you for your service. And may His almighty Hand keep you safe always. Thank you again!

God bless America, land that I love!
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cat Dread

Well, it's with sincere apologies to any cat-lovers out there that I announce I'm officially experiencing a severe case of cat dread. I bet you didn't know that was a medical condition, but I promise you, it is!

Beginning Friday, I will be pet-sitting for 16 days for a cat and a dog. I have sat with these particular ones several times and the cat and I have a mutual dislike for each other.

Firstly, I am not a cat person. I am a dog person. I can't explain why necessarily, I just know that's the way it is. Perhaps because putting things on counters (say your toothbrush for example) does not make it out of the reach of a cat and hair from said cat. NASTY!

Then, there is the pill-giving attempts of 2009 where I was supposed to get the cat to take a pill. WHAT?!?! I was successful 2 of 4 attempts. I gave up after that and for the remaining 8 days of that particular jaunt, the cat was fine without the med. Dogs are so easy to give meds to--just put the pill in PB or in cheese or in a hot dog or any "food-like substance" and the dog will lick it up in no time. Not so much with cats.

Then, there was the door-closing-on-the-cat episode of 2009. Cat tried to escape and got caught in the door and that scared it half to death...

So now, as soon as I walk in the door and the cat sees it's me, it runs the other way. Fine with me (of course do NOT mention this to the owner...she thinks the cat loves me!)

The only things that make this pet-sitting gig bearable are the sweet little (Toy Poodle) dog and the money I make. It's really pretty good money for the effort. Owner has a nice apartment that includes washer/dryer so one of the bennies of my stay will be not having to pay for doing my laundry. :)

The main stress of the assignment (other than just being in the presence of a cat which stresses me to a certain degree) is that both of the animals are pretty old and sick. I would hate for anything to happen while the owner is gone. She is going out of the country and so it will be hard to deal with any health issues due to the difficulty to reach her (Skype, no regular phone). There is also a horse, but thankfully she has a trainer for him and where he's being boarded will take care of him (I know nothing and am slightly afraid of horses). I am on call in the case of a horse emergency in that I will have to Skype the owner where she will be and relay info.

So between now and Friday, I will thoroughly enjoy the remaining 3 nights in my own bed and will try to counteract the cat dread with thoughts of the money I'll make...which will be my first deposit in my saving-to-visit-friends-in-Ukraine fund. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

To God Alone Be the Glory!

Two weeks ago, we had a wonderful Committment Sunday at my church. Today was Announcement Sunday when the Pastor announced what God had done. We were all blown away that God gave us all the $$ we need to build our new campus. It really is a miracle and I'm so thankful!

Literally as soon as the number was announced, we started singing:

To God be the glory, great things He has done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son!
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and
Opened the life-gates that love may come in!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice,
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus His Son

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Timely Word

I am going through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book Choosing Gratitude and the 30-day devotional that goes with it. Today's reading was in Psalm 103. I have always loved this Psalm. What struck me today was how timely this particular Word was. In order to understand, I need to explain a little of what's been going on in my heart the past few days.

I learned Saturday night that a friend from college passed away. This friend was a part of my life when I was wandering away from the Lord and over the next few years made many wrong decisions and sinful choices. God in His mercy rescued me from the horrible position I was in and when it was all said and done, gave me a fresh start in another state thousands of miles away. Learning of her death brought on a flood of memories, which are filled with guilt and shame. I do not want to be anxious about this because I know that God has forgiven me and my sins are as far as the east is from the west. I have asked 3 key people to pray about the situation, that I would focus on the Lord's grace and not these painful memories.

With that info in mind, imagine how much this spoke to my heart when I read these words just now:

"O my soul, bless God! From head to toe, I'll bless His holy name.
O my soul, bless God. Don't forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins - every one.
He heals your diseases - every one.
He redeems you from Hell - saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal.
He renews your youth - you're always young in His presence." (The Message)

How I praise the Lord for these wonderful truths - such a timely Word for me today...and for each of you. Even if you don't have a past to be weighed down with, we all can appreciate our salvation by God's mercy, as well as His infinite goodness.

All praise to Him!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Baby Names

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I love baby names! I have always known the name of my first daughter due to my story about motherhood, which you can read in part here.

So, with my story in mind, naming babies is far-fetched, but I believe God is able and so a girl can still dream! :)

My first daughter will be named Hannah Hope. Hannah because I will have waited so long for her, and because the story of Hannah in the Bible has been such an encouragement and inspiration to me. Her middle name will be Hope, because dreaming about my daughter gives me reason to hope that God still plans for me to be a mother.

Each time I dream of having a baby, the baby is a girl. (not sure why, but that's how it is!) HOWEVER, I know being a mother of a boy would be phenomenal, too. I like strong, Biblical names like Josiah Paul (Paul was my maternal grandpa's name and he left such a legacy of love for his family). I also like Jonathan David because of the significance of these characters' stories in the Bible. I would like to honor my Dad in some way and his name is Charles Glenn. I'm not crazy about either for a baby boy, though I knew a baby boy named Charlie and he was a cutie pie! :) I would also want to consider the baby's Daddy's name as well as family names of men on his side of the family. Another idea would be to use my Mom's maiden name, Houston (pronounced "house"-ton) but the baby name would be pronounced like the city...

Additional names for girls that I like would ideally include somehow honoring the significant women in my life, whose names are Donna Mae (Mom), Dorotha Viola (maternal grandma) and Doris Mabel (paternal grandmother). While I don't like any of those names in their exact form right now for a baby girl, I would somehow like to somehow work them into a baby's name.

Other random baby girl names I love:
Caris or Karis (rhymes with terrace)
Abigail (Abbie for short)

Other random baby boy names I like:
Liam (short for William)
Phillip (Phil for short)
Andrew (Drew for short)
Jacob (Jake for short)

I could go on and on, but I know you have better things to do! Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Service

Here is a link to the service last Sunday when Sandi Patty was our guest. She sings "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" about a minute or so into the service. Then if you let the video load and click and drag (or just watch) until you get to about 28 minutes, she'll sing "How Great Thou Art".

The girl's still got it! Love her!

Even though it was wonderful to have her in my church and even be on the same platform with her, really the morning was all about the Lord. It was our commitment Sunday to bring our 3-year pledges for the building campaign. It was amazing to see the sanctuary full of people come up and drop their envelope in the bin. I can hardly wait until a week from this Sunday when they announce just exactly how much money our people gave. God will get all the glory, because this is all about Him! I'm so thankful to be a part of my church for such a time as this!