Monday, March 30, 2009

The return of Musical Mondays

Since it seems I am posting a lot of lyrics lately I think I'm going to dedicate a post on Mondays to the music that has touched me recently. God is constantly speaking to me through music, and more and more I feel I should share it's message. I hope to also find links to the song so you can here it for yourself, here is the best link I could get for this song.

"You Move Me"

This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive
And no guarantee

So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear
Like a rock in the ground

But you move me
You give me courage
I didn't know I had
You move me on
I can't go with you
And stay where I am
So you move me on

This is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowin' what they mean

And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch

Oh but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I'm burning with love
And with hope and desire

How you move me
You go whistling in the dark
Making light of it
Making light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughing all the way

Oh 'cause you move me
You get me dancing and
You make me sing
You move me
Now I'm taking delight
In every little thing
How you move me

~Garth Brooks

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Accountability - Health Tracker

% of goal March 23-29
Calories 91%
Moderate Exercise 133%
Vigourous Exercise 117%
Water 86%
Fruits & Vegis 68%
Dairy 54%
Vitamins 100%
God Time 100%

Love will keep us together

I didn't know how the human body could get more miraculous, but it just did! Another 'In HIS hands' reminder.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What are the chances?

On average only 60% of sperm have enough motility to make it to the fallopian tubes, out of a hundred million sperm only several dozen usually reach the egg.
The remaining sperm then have to be strong enough to try to fertilize the egg, which can take about an hour to permeate the eggs's membrane.
Then a fertilized egg has to move into the uterus and, IF that journey goes well, be implanted in the uterine wall, which only then makes the process of conception complete.
There is only a 20% average chance of becoming pregnant each cycle for women under 30, 12-14% chance per cycle for women between 30-34, and only 7-9% chance for women age 35-39.
And that's only if you have the timing is right. Ovulation is only a 24 hour window of fertility, but sperm can last about 5-6 days in the fallopian tubes, so a maximum 6 day opening to get pregnant, but on average only 48 hrs.
But conception doesn't guarentee a baby. It is estimated that 70% of fertilized eggs will miscarry before the 13th week, most of those happen shortly after implantation and cause bleeding around the same time as an expected period, or a slightly late period. And the chance of miscarriage about doubles when a woman is over 35 years old.

So, for example, one year of trying for us is 12 attempts to get pregnant. Lets assume we get the timing right, out of those 12 attempts it is average for only 1.44 eggs to be fertilized (since I am over 30). And out of those 1.44 eggs fertilized it's likely only .43 will make it past the 4th week of pregnancy. And so for 3 years of trying, the probability has been that we've only had 1.29 chances for a successful pregnancy. That's just averages, I could have better fertility than average, however, I do not. Take into consideration my family history; it took my mom 5 years to get pregnant, one of her sisters was unable to have children, and one of my dad's sisters were thought to not be able to have children but were able to have one, and then my sister, who is 5 years younger than me, has tried 6 months longer than us has also not been able to conceive.

Sometimes I need a reminder that I AM NOT IN CONTROL. If ever I needed proof, those statistics are it. To me it's a miracle anyone has children, yet there are women who madly defy these odds. Women who don't know anything about ovulation or timing are often the ones I hear saying holding hands with their husband gets them pregnant. Or women who are using birth control and that 1% (or less) chance happens to them. They are likely the reason we don't know the odds are so not in our favor. But now that there is science calculating averages of chances, for every woman bringing the average up there is one bringing it down. And what's staggaring is that the AVERAGE chances for pregnancy are so astronomically improbable, it only points to one conclusion....God is the only one who has ultimate control over who gets pregnant. Every baby is meant to be, and every barren woman is also meant to be.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My heart today

Some lyrics of a song that especially speak my heart today. Thank you God for your healing whispers.

Restore me,
I would have no way but your's my Lord,
Restore me,
Like the eagle spreads it's wings and soars,
I will lift my faithless heart
To a God who's love is pure
Resting in your arms I am secure.
Restore me.

I lift my prayer to a God who waits to hear
Each groan that I call out in His Name.
I'm standing here in silence
I wait for You to speak
For Your whisper heals me with one word

Restore me,
I would have no way but your's my Lord,
Restore me,
Like the eagle spreads it's wings and soars,
I will lift my faithless heart
To a God who's love is pure
Resting in your arms I am secure.
Restore me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love is not tolerance

This entry is somewhat tied into my last one about Unity. As much as we aren't able or asked to judge other believers, loving them is not the same as tolerating their version of truth. Even for unbelievers, loving them is not reeling them in with a watered down faith that is more tolerant of their world view. Over the last century the world has changed and the Church has changed with it in order to keep a following, but the 'faith' some have taught us to follow requires no faith at all, and is but an illusion of God. You can't hide the realities of our faith and expect these believers to hold fast to that faith when times get tough.

God promises tough times but rewards for finishing the race, this new 'faith' promises rewards on earth for just believing. God promises we can rely on His love when we can't rely on anything else, this new 'faith' promises we can rely on ourselves as long as we go to Church each week. God promises He will use the least severe means possible to bring the greatest number of people to Him without violating our free will, this new 'faith' promises peace and love by the world's standards. God promises to refine us by His fire, we are to be pure as gold, this new 'faith' says sin isn't a big deal, God loves us too much to not be merciful.

Another marriage analogy if you will. How would you expect a fiance to react to his bride's self-centered and apathetic view of their impending marriage? All she wants is romance and happiness and doesn't want to even hear of the possibility of tough times, never mind prepare for them. All she wants is to still be able to do things her way, she doesn't consider she is joined to another life that is affected and hurt by her choices/actions. All she wants is him to satisfy her defintion of love, but she doesn't have to satisfy his.

People who are drawn to the Church for that kind of watered down faith, for that kind of half-hearted commitment, are the bride who is not ready for marriage. Jesus doesn't want that kind of commitment and will not settle for a self-centered, apathetic bride. He's already given up his life for His bride, he's made the commitment, but He won't be coming for her until she's worthy.

So if you really want to share God with someone, be honest and tell them about the love AND the pain we are promised, tell them of our God who is both a lamb AND a lion, tell them of the peace we are promised AFTER Jesus returns. If they can't handle that, then they are not meant to follow God until they can. And remember, you can't bring anyone to God, it is up to God if your words change someone's heart, so at least make your words truthful and loving, not tolerant.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Accountability - Health Tracker

% of goal March 9-15
Calories 85%
Moderate Exercise 133%
Vigourous Exercise 83%
Water 57%
Fruits & Vegis 80%
Dairy 86%
Vitamins 100%
God Time 100%

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Have you ever known a couple getting married where you suspect one is not the faithful lover they are pretending to be? Do we sit back and judge, and watch people get hurt? Or do we do something, do we try to intervene? Do we talk to the party who is unfaithful, or to the party who will be betrayed? Or both? What about in Church, do you see people you suspect are less than faithful, who you suspect are not fit to be the bride of Jesus? Do we just sit back and judge? Or do we do something, do we try to intervene? Do we pray to the Groom, Jesus, and pray that he confronts them and reconciles them? Or do we talk to that person and try to help them become the bride they are meant to be?

Not surprisingly, a lot of us tend to sit back and judge, maybe even go so low as to spread the suspicion of unfaithfulness all around the wedding guests. But we forget one thing, the Groom is not some blinded lover, He already knows the heart of His bride, He can see all that is hidden from our eyes. As our world has aged, believers have just had more time to create for themselves the Jesus that makes it easiest for them to follow, to get what they need out of faith, and so, even more so than in New Testament days, the truth is, the Church is not a building or an institution, it is the group of believers whom Jesus recognizes as His faithful bride. We are obviously not qualified to judge who is or who is not a member of that invisible Church. We know very little about the hearts of men, we don't know what lies beneath the exterior of their words and actions. So, back to the question of, do we interfere? We have to leave the judgement up to Jesus, and trust in who He says His Church is.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Galatians 3:27-29
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Romans 12:5
So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 16:17
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Colossians 3:13-15
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Ephesians 4 :2-6
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

So, His Church is the people baptized by the Spirit into Christ. That is the group of believers we are to unite with. Of course, this is easier said then done. Denominations have major disputes with the interpretation of the Bible, and even within denominations, a lot of people have their own ideas and perceptions of what God says, a lot of people don't have a completely Biblical worldview (i.e. God is the one true God, our rejection of God's rightful rule over our lives is sin, Jesus is the only way to Heaven, etc.) and some live a life that is almost no different than non-believers at all. Some people who say they are followers of Christ have created their own truth about what faith means but it is absolutely impossible to have more than one truth.

If two people disagree on passages in the Bible, both interpretations can not be wholly true. So, what should we do? Ephesians 4 continues with this in verse 11 "It was he (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (emphasis mine)

So, although we leave the judging up to the Groom, and although praying that Jesus will confront and reconcile the unfaithful is a good thing, we also need to show the bride the truth of her betrayal. Why is it easier for us to share our faith with people who don't believe in God and/or Jesus at all, than to try to shed truth on what our fellow believers and denominations believe? How else are we going to 'grow up into him...Christ', unless we work together, lovingly, to allow God to reveal the truth to us? Now, lovingly means not assuming we're right and they are wrong, it means setting aside pride to honestly seek God's truth, wherever that will lead us. It won't be easy getting to a place of wholehearted and pure motivation with every person we try to seek the truth with. I can imagine many conversations of 'but why does it matter?' and my only answer is, 'what is more important, knowing the truth or believing on your terms?' A tough conversation, no doubt, but only then, through truth and love, can the whole body, every last part, be 'joined and held together' so that each part can effectively do its work. Our work is to defeat the deceivers, and only united can we dispel all lies. Satan's goal is to divide and conquer, and he has done a terrific job of that if you count how many denominations there are in the Christian Church. We have given too much importance to our differences as believers and not enough importance to our similarities. Do we believe in Jesus? Yes? Well then hallelujah, we have a place to start from! That's one less battle than talking with an unbeliever.

To reform our Churches and our Christian society we need to start with ourselves of course, there is no guarantee we can change the world but we can change ourselves (with God's help). Seek out what it means to 'speak truth in love', what it means to be led by the Spirit of truth and in turn submit to the authority of Christ (who is the way, the TRUTH, and the life). Once we are living under Christ's authority, and we are listening to the Spirit of truth, we can have those wholehearted and purely motivated conversations where we speak truth in love with our family & friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our small group members, and even our Church leaders. God may call you to be a force of truth in your Church, or He may call you to higher expectations of truth that you can only find in another Church. But, one thing is certain, He calls us to "be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (sound familiar?)

As they often say at weddings, to the family and friends in attendance, something like, 'as a witness to this committment, there is now a responsibility to support and encourage the bride and groom to stay faithful and committed, helping, not hindering, their journey to a most holy union." I encourage you to not only be the bride Jesus envisioned when He gave up His life, but that you spur other believers on to that end as well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not your typical love shack

It is rare to find a story that can, with the mear words our communication limits us to, portray a revelation of God that fills your heart, soul and mind with peaceful understanding and a passionate desire to know Him more. This is such a story. The author of The Shack may have just been a janitor barely scraping by, but God revealed to him a story that HAD to be shared, a story he would allow him to write that could open the eyes of our hearts. For those of us who think we understand/know God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit sufficiently, this story will blow your mind, it will open your heart wider than you thought possible, and it will forever change your soul.

It is hard to begin to describe how this book has made me feel. I could not stop wanting more, I read all 248 pages in under 5 hours!! All the best things I have ever believed about the trinity are just a small taste of the way they are revealed in The Shack, brought to life so vividly I feel like I was the one conversing with Them, laughing with Them, crying with Them. I have never before read something that transported me into Their presence like this book, a glimpse of heaven, more beautiful than my mind has ever imagined.

One thing that stood out the most to me is what I learned about forgiveness, or more accurately, what was finally articulated for me, but something my heart always seemed to know. Here is a portion of what I read that really rang true (slightly paraphrased as to not give too much away).

" 'For you to forgive is for you to release them to me and allow me to redeem them. Forgiveness is not about forgetting. They too are my child, I want to redeem them.'
'So what then? I just forgive and everything is okay? And we become buddies?'
'Forgiveness does not establish a relationship. In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose a relationship. Forgiveness is an incredible power...Jesus gives to all whom He indwells so that reconciliation can grow. In my relationship with men, I will never bring up what they did, or shame them or embaress them. I don't do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation. They don't produce one speck of wholeness or righteousness.
Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgement, but without true change, no real relationshp can be established.'
'I think I understand what you are saying. But it feels like if I forgive them then they get off free. How do I excuse what they did?'
'Forgiveness does not excuse anything. Believe me, the last thing they are is free. And you have no duty to do justice in this, I will handle that.' "
This is exactly what I've been trying to communicate to Richard for nearly 2 years now, but he has no desire to be redeemed, he says.

Anyway, for fear of giving too much information and spoiling it for any future readers of The Shack (which I hope you ALL do!), I will end my rave review here, but I hope one day I can talk to many of you about the discoveries you make about God and yourself through the experience of this wonderful story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If I could be half this eloquent

This is one of the truths I've been burdened to tell, but I think she tells it much better than I could, and she's only twelve.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Playing catch up

So, other than delving into the depths of my search for purpose, what else have I been up to recently? I figured it's about time for some more not so serious posts, so here's the goings on in my life recently.
February has been a very busy month! During the week, work has been crazy because we moved locations yesterday, so on top of my normally busy workload I was also part of the committee handling the move, getting a new sign, new alarm, new furniture, new blinds, arranging set up of utilities, change of address on all company stationary, correspondence, notifiying clients and suppliers, dealing with old tenants of new place and new tenants of old place....*breath* it's been a lot of work! And I only had part of the work load of moving : )
It's going to be great, I can't wait to have a real office finally, and our new building is going to look amazing! I say going to because contractors, as usual, don't have everything done on time but it should all be done in 2 weeks.
And then my weekends have also been on the busy side. The first weekend in February I babysat my nephew from Friday to Saturday, yes my FIRST overnighter with a baby! Ack! He was actually very easy on me, he slept from 9 pm until 6:30 am and I think the only reason he woke up is because I accidently made the floor creak as I checked to make sure he was still breathing! I was terrified because I thought it was impossible for a baby to sleep that long!! Seriously, babies need to snore, otherwise they are too quiet and that is the most terrifying thing ever! I've included some photos from our weekend together at the bottom of this blog.
Then, the next weekend was our family weekend at a hotel, which I've already blogged about.
The weekend after that we decided we needed a weekend of just being at home and taking care of things that needed to get done around the house because the next weekend (which is this weekend) is our anniversary, and we have special plans that would keep us busy and out of the house.
Other things that kept me busy this month, a girl's night out with my friend Crystal, a much needed massage and dinner at Joey's. And I was finally able to return to my monthly girl's night out making Stampin' Up greeting cards the last monday of the month, boy had I missed that (haven't been since November). What else...oh yeah, Sean and I are contemplating getting a puppy. We've wanted one forever, now we have a fenced back yard that will make it easier, and we're narrowing it down to a breed. We think we've found one but we want to make sure we do it just right, that we're not doing anything on impulse and then the puppy suffers for it later. Weight loss is somewhat a secondary thought these days, I haven't had my traditional exercise in the last few weeks but I have been very active with other things. And I haven't been eating the best but I have still tried to be healthy in my choices, and I haven't gained or lost a single pound, so that's not all that bad for lack of effort. Oh, and I think I'm just about ready to get my next tattoo!! Yay! I have the design, I just need to have the consult with the tattoo artist (I'm going to try to use the same one I did last time) and then actually get it done. First I want to get my hair done because I want a hairstyle that's easier to keep off my neck, because that's where I'm getting it done. Anyone want to join me : ) cutie patootie!
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