Month: March 2008

To FIOS Or Not To FIOS

For years and years and years I was a die-hard cable fan.  I remember when it first came to our area back in 1979 and we were so excited to have 14 channels of service, most of which were local broadcast channels like NBC, ABC and CBS.  Then when I began to work for the cable company my love for the industry grew even stronger. 

When so many were switching over to satellite companies because they wanted sports packages or more channels, I could give them more than a dozen reasons why they should stay with cable.  We had the best customer service and quality of service and I was so proud to wear my company shirts when out in public. 

As the years progressed, my love affair began to fade.  The company was making promises to Wall Street that they couldn’t keep and the dollar became more important than the customers.  Our billing became complicated, rates kept rising while the quality of the service went down, focus on the employee went down and so did morale and the caliper of new hires was also on the decline which made my job as a customer service supervisor difficult and stressful.

Sadly, the stress of the job took it’s toll on me mentally and physically and I became very ill.  It was my intention to return to work so I never filed for workers comp, and because I was really sick my LTD (long term disability) paperwork did not get filed on time (my doctor’s office held on to it for too long) so I was denied coverage.  When I wasn’t able to return to work my employment was terminated.  It wasn’t a nasty split, they told me I was welcome to apply for a position when I wanted to come back and I honestly thought I would be back to work in no time.  About a month later I needed a service call for my cable service and I found out that not only was I being billed for service, but I was being billed ala carte for each service – that relates to about $125 per month.  I was so upset.  I had over 15 years service with the company and should have received 3 years courtesy service, but they changed policy while I was out on leave so no courtesy service for me.  I wasn’t a happy camper about that, but I was more upset that they did not even bother to call me and see what services I wanted.  So I called Verizon and signed up for their DSL service and Direct TV and cancelled my cable account. 

I must admit, the DSL was pretty reliable for the most part.  It wasn’t as fast as my broadband but it was a lot cheaper.  The Direct TV wasn’t too bad either and that was way cheaper too.  The only downside to the dish was service outages whenever the weather was really bad and no On Demand, but the upside was over 10 Christian programming channels to cable’s 1, Direct TV had the NFL packages and cable didn’t and I could change my service through the Internet rather than having to call and speak to someone from another country – which is pretty sad considering the cable company has an office not more than 5 minutes from my house and a call center 15 minutes up the road – tsk, tsk, tsk…

Anyway, the reason for my post today is that Verizon has launched their answer to the cable company – FIOS!  I found out that my area was set up for FIOS so I placed my order – 6 weeks ago and today was the first available appointment!  Can you believe that?  I was in total shock that I would have to wait so long, but boy was it worth the wait!

The technician arrived at 10:30 am and was not finished until 4:30 pm which explains why so long a wait to get an appointment.  And here’s the kicker, he didn’t have to replace any of my internal wiring!  I now have Verizon for everything, my cell phones, house phone, Internet and television and I got a really good deal!

The picture is amazing, my Internet is super fast and I love having caller id again.  I didn’t take any premium channels for right now because we don’t really watch a lot of TV and I don’t want to be lured to watch it because of a movie. 

Once the tech left, I called Direct TV to cancel my service which was a royal pain in the behind.  The first time I called, I was on hold for 10 minutes, then when the rep came on the phone she announced her name and I was disconnected.  I called back again, another 10 minute hold but this time I got through.  The rep tried 3 times to transfer me to someone so they could give me info and rates on Internet service – where she got the idea that I wanted to take their service I have no idea, especially since I had said several times that I was calling to “cancel” my service, not “upgrade” it.  She informed me that I had to keep the service until September because I had a 2 year contract.  I said, NO, I had a 1 year contract, to which she stated that since I got a DVR, they extended my agreement another year.  She stated if I cancelled now, I would have to pay a cancellation fee of $62.50 to which I replied, well that’s better than paying $52 a month for the next 6 months.  So, with that cleared up, she proceeded to tell me that I was paid through April 24th, so that’s when my billing would stop – uh, duh, what???  Why would I pay for service I wasn’t using??  I firmly but politely told her that she would stop my billing today or I would have to call the FCC and my Governor and report them for fraudulent business practices.  Needless to say, my billing was stopped as of today and they are sad to see me go and hope I have a wonderful day.

Whew!  So as I sit here happily typing away, watching an amazing picture with my new FIOS as the Phillies play their home opener, losing by 5 runs in the 9th because some dee-dee-dee pulled out Romero and put Gordon in who let Washington score 5 runs in the top of the 9th!  I’m not sure why I’m upset by this because I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan – it’s my husband and sons who like the Phillies – I guess I’m feeling sympathy pains for them. 

So, as to my question, “To FIOS Or Not To FIOS”, I sayFIOS, and FIOS it NOW!  It was well worth the wait, I got a great price (I’m actually paying less for my Internet, phone and tv now and I’m getting faster Internet, better TV picture, and lots of features with my phone not to mention unlimited long distance!)  So my next question is, “what are you waiting for?”

Jennifer Kirk Prayer Update

In February, I posted a prayer request for Doris’ granddaughter Jennifer.  Thank you and praise God for each of you that prayed for her.  Her surgery date is finally scheduled for April 10th at Cooper Hospital.  She has finally gotten the insurance taken care of and God has sustained her these past few months.

Please continue to lift Jennifer up to the Lord that He will continue to hold her in His arms.  Pray for the doctors and nurses and hospital staff that will look after Jennifer that they will allow God to work through them.  Pray that Jennifer’s surgery will be swift and without complications and that she will heal quickly and without pain.  May she declare that Jesus bore all of her sickness and carried her pain when he was nailed to the cross.  He bore her sin on his body therefore she is healed by His stripes and will give no place to sickness or pain, through God’s Word she is healed, she is an overcomer and dead to sin and alive to righteousness, in Jesus name, Amen.

Terri and Larry Prayer request Update

Hi prayer warriors, back in September I posted a prayer request for Terri and Larry and I am posting an update for them.

Larry has recuperated from the surgery he had as a result of the bad fall from the deer stand but still hasn’t found another job.  His wife, Terri, is carrying the full financial burden now so please stand in agreement with me that God will place Larry in a good job so that he can walk in the authority and position as head of his household.  May Larry declare to the Lord that he will put aside all negative, limiting thoughts about what kind of work he will do, or where he will work.  May Larry open himself up to all of the possibilities through God and call forth a perfect, satisfying, well paying job all allow the Lord to direct his steps, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Pray that God will give Terri the strength and courage to support her family financially during this time and that she will also lift her husband and children up to the Lord in daily prayer.  May Terri declare that no weapon formed against her shall prosper, and that she will fear no evil for the Lord is with her and His Word and Spirit are there to comfort her.  May Terri take up the shield of faith and stand against every evil the enemy tries bring against her, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Prayer Request Susan Fagan

Dear friends, I received a prayer request from Doris asking us to please lift her dear friend Susan Fagan up to the Lord in your daily prayers.  She is going through some personal trials in her life and is greatly troubled.  Pray that the Lord gives her guidance and directs her path.  Ask the Lord to place His angels around her like a hedge to protect her from any attacks, and to give her the peace that only our Lord and Savior can bring.  I pray that Psalm 23 comes to Susan’s remembrance and that is serves as a source of strength for her.  May she know that even when things look their darkest, Jesus is with us, carrying us and holding us in His grace and mercy.

Thursday Thirteen 17th Edition

Okay, so I decided to do things a little differently this week and link to 13 random posts or pages from my blog.  I know it’s not very creative or cerebral, but I’m not feeling too hot and it’s all I could muster…

 

1. Becoming A Woman Of Excellence

2. Thursday Thirteen 1st Edition

3. Works for me Wednesday – Cinna-Mallow Rolls

4. God of wonders

5. Tapas Tuesday – Pepperoni Bread

6. Aloha Friday – March 14th

7. A message from Joel Osteen

8. What color crayon are you?

9. Carnival of Beauty

10.Why do Jews…?

11. A Seed

12. My Journey

13. Giveaways

Works For Me Wednesday

wfmwsmall

Okay, I know that we are supposed to use this weekly theme to list things that we use or do that have helped us with one thing or another and then post it for others to see in the hopes that they too will benefit from our tip.  Well, this week I wanted to switch things up a bit and post something that I want to share with others that isn’t about a recipe, child rearing, weight loss, financial find or household tip.  This WFMW is of the spiritual nature specifically aimed at women.  Linda, one of my bloggy friends shared it with me and now I’m sharing it with you.

It’s called Christian Women Connected and there are over 250 christian women from all over the blogsphere that have signed up and it’s free!  CWC is a social networking blog that brings women together to pray and connect in spirit and faith, and because I believe so deeply that prayer is powerful I can’t think of a better reason to join, plus I love how the site allows HTML so you can send cutsey clipart and animated graphics.  The very first day I signed up I had several messages welcoming me to CWC and found lots of sisters in christ and groups to join in with.  There are groups that focus on prayer, some have bible study, others focus on our Troops and there are some that are just for fun.  Take a moment and visit their site, or head over to mine and leave me a message to let me know you stopped by.

Why Is Easter So Early This Year?

Okay, I’ve heard more wacked out reasons why Easter is early than I care to have listened to so I went to Yahoo.com and did a search and this post is the most lucid and easy to understand explanation I found.  Now, those who know me that while I was baptized and loosely raised Roman Catholic and made my holy communion and confirmation, my relationship with the Catholic church was never the same once I accepted Jesus as my personal savior so don’t read too much into my using a Catholic website for info – it is what it is, information…

Why is Easter so early this year? Blame it on the moon

By Patricia Kasten | Special to the Herald

 

fullmoon-crop

Why is Easter (March 23) so early this year? Blame it on the moon. Specifically, blame it on the Paschal moon.

Last year, Easter was April 8. Next year, it will be April 12.

Why? Is there really a formula to deciding the date of Easter?

As a matter of fact, there is, but it’s complicated. And it means Easter can come as early as March 22 – which it hasn’t since 1818 – or as late as April 25 – which it won’t again until 2038.

Here’s the simplified formula: Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox. This year, the spring equinox falls on March 20, one day before the full moon of March, which falls on Friday.

Confused yet? Well, there was once so much confusion about it that things have come close to schism a few times.

Easter is the most important church feast, marking the Lord’s resurrection. In the earliest days, every Sunday was celebrated as if it were Easter. Christ’s followers gathered that day to commemorate his passion, death and resurrection. In fact, to this day, every Sunday remains a celebration of Easter.

However, as time went on, Christians began to mark a special annual celebration of the Resurrection, first called the “Pascha,” after the Jewish word for “Passover.” Not everyone could agree on the proper date, however. Some wanted it to be celebrated on the actual Jewish Passover, which can fall on any day of the week. Others wanted it to be on Sunday, since that was the day of the Lord’s resurrection.

The Jewish Passover falls on the 14th day of Nissan, the first month of the Jewish calendar. (This year, Passover begins at sunset on April 19.) Those Christians who adhered to celebrating Easter on that day — no matter which day of the week — were known as “Quartodecimans” (based on the Latin for 14). They were led by Polycarp of Smryna who claimed to be following the tradition of St. John the Evangelist. (Polycarp was a disciple of John.) However, most Christians, following what was believed to be the tradition of the other Apostles, chose Sunday for the Paschal feast. However, this was not completely settled until the fourth century.

The ‘Easter Controversy’

The “Easter controversy,” as it became known, really got heated over which Sunday. By the second century, the churches in Antioch and Syria based their Paschal feast on the Jewish calendar — which is based on the Paschal full moon, a liturgical, not necessarily an astronomical, event. (This year, that Paschal full moon is April 20.) Alexandria, and most of the churches of the western Roman empire, chose their Easter date independent of the Jewish calendar and tied it, in some way, to the spring equinox.

To show how heated the debate was, Pope Victor I, in 190, decreed Easter would be on the Sunday following the 14th day of the full moon of the spring equinox. And, to avert a schism, he threatened to excommunicate anyone who didn’t agree.

However, Easter’s date (more correctly, its full moon) still became tied to various calendars — solar, lunar, Babylonian — and confusion continued.

The Council of Nicea in 325 took on the challenge, but really only decided definitively that Easter must be on a Sunday and it must be tied the Paschal moon. Generally, the Easter date followed the pattern set by the Alexandrian church, since Alexandria was the ancient world’s center of learning. Their date for Easter had the feast falling on the Sunday two weeks after the Paschal moon, which brought it fairly close to the Jewish Passover date.

However, the break between the Eastern and Western churches in the 11th century, again muddied the waters.

The western church began to rely on astronomical full moons, while the Eastern church continued to follow the liturgical Paschal moon, which is not always the same as the vernal equinox’s first full moon. Finally, around the Middle Ages, the formula in the West had settled into the one we are most familiar with today: Easter falls on the Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox.

Julian vs. Gregorian

The last major problem arose in the 16th century and you can still see it when you look at a calendar this year: The Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter later than the Latin-rite churches on most years. This year it’s April 27. Occasionally, we mark the feast on the same day, as we did last year on April 8.

This is because the Eastern churches use the Julian calendar for calculating Easter, while we in the West use the Gregorian calendar.

In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar devised the calendar that bears his name, but it was flawed. Julius’ calendar was 365 1/4 days long, about 11 minutes longer than a true solar year. Eleven minutes doesn’t seem like much but, by the 16th century, it had added up to meaning that the Julian calendar’s spring equinox fell 10 days earlier than it astronomically was. So Pope Gregory VIII ordered a more accurate calendar and, to clear up the errors, eliminated 10 days during the month of October in 1582. The Gregorian calendar has 365 days, adding an extra day every fourth year, as we do this year.

So the date of Easter still seems confusing. Yet the most important thing to remember is not the date of Easter, but what we have celebrated from the first days of the church: that the eternal God entered into human time through the incarnation so that, through the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, God could draw all of us into eternity with him.

Kasten has been a Catholic journalist since 1985 and is currently associate editor of The Compass in Green Bay, Wis. She has a master’s of theological studies degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, and advanced catechist standing with the Green Bay Diocese. She is also author of the Scripture Search puzzles, published in the Hawaii Catholic Herald and other Catholic papers and many parish bulletins. She can be reached through http://www.tri-c-a-publications.com.

Directions To Our Fathers House

One of my very dear friends, Doris, sent this to me in an email and I thought it was the coolest thing, so of course I’m sharing it with all of you!  These directions are much better than the ones you get on Mapquest!

 

Make a Right onto Believeth Blvd.

Keep straight and go through the Green Light, which is Jesus Christ.

There, you must turn onto the Bridge of Faith , which is over troubled water.

When you get off the bridge, make a Right turn and Keep Straight.

You are now on the King’s Highway – Heaven-bound.

Keep going for three miles: One for the Father, One for the Son, and One for the Holy Ghost.

Then exit off onto Grace Blvd.

From there, make a Right turn on Gospel Lane.

Keep Straight and then make another Right onto Prayer Road .

As you go on your way, Yield Not to the traffic on Temptation Ave.

Also, be sure to avoid SIN STREET because it is a DEAD END.

Pass up Envy Drive, and Hate Avenue.  Also, pass Hypocrisy Street , Gossiping Lane , and Backbiting Blvd.

However, you have to go down Long-suffering Lane , Persecution Blvd. And Trials and Tribulations Ave.

But that’s all right, because VICTORY Street is straight ahead!

AMEN!!!!!

SEND THESE DIRECTIONS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY SO THEY WILL NOT GET LOST.

Life is God’s gift to you. The way you live it…………is your gift to God.

Inspired Faith Broadcasting Network

IFBN

 

Praise God for His faithfulness and for those who love and serve Him.  My friend Daniel sent me a link to IFBN’s website today and after I figured out how to use the site, I was blessed with wonderful worship and then tonight at 9pm EST I was tuned in to an awesome bible study called “The Messianic Hour” with Rabbi Scott Sekulow, who also has a website. 

I highly recommend this site to anyone that is looking to go deeper into worship and learn more about our Jewish roots.  Registration is free and once you register you will receive a confirmation email with a link that will take you back to Inspired Faith Broadcasting Network.  Once you log in, on the left hand side of the page under HOME click on the link that says HI Band w/graphics.  This will open up your media player and then you will begin to hear wonderful messianic praise and worship. 

 

Aloha Friday March 14th

alohafriday5

Kailani hosts this weekly meme and in her words:  In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing heavy or thought-provoking. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants!

So here is my question for this week:

What do you think about Oprah’s “New Age” teachings on XM Radio?

Be Ready

I’ve been reading “And The Angels Were Silent – The Final Week Of Jesus” by Max Lucado for some time now.  I must admit that while it’s an excellent book, as are all of his writings, I have picked it up and put it down many many times and have been distracted by other books and things that caught my interest.  I find I do this all too often – start, stop, hurry up, slow down… in many areas of my life, including my walk with God which grieves Him I know.  Well, back to the reason for this post.  I was reading the other night and Chapter 18, Be Ready, struck a chord in me.  I know it’s a bit of an undertaking, but I am going to share this chapter with you, I feel it’s that powerful and that important.

Chapter 18

Be Ready

“So Always be ready, for you don’t know the day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42

There is a secret to wearing a vest.  It’s a secret every father should tell his son.  It’s one of those manly things that has to be passed down from generation to generation.  It rates up there with teaching your son to shave and use deodorant.  It’s a secret every vest wearer must know.  If you own a vest, I hope you know it.  If you own a vest and don’t know it, here it is: Button the first button correctly.

Take your time.  Don’t be in a rush.  Look carefully in the mirror, and then match the right button with the right hole. 

If you do, if you get the first button buttoned right, then the rest will follow suit (pardon the pun).  If, however, you don’t get the first button right, every button thereafter will be buttoned incorrectly.  The result will be a lopsided vest.  Put the second button in the top hole, or slide the second hole over the top button and, well, it just won’t work.

There are certain things in life done only one way.  Buttoning a vest is one of them.

Being ready is another.

According to Jesus, being ready for His return, is a vest-button principal.  According to Jesus, start wrong on the first move, and the rest of your life will be cockeyed.

Not everything is a vest-button truth.  The church you attend isn’t.  The Bible translation you read isn’t.  The ministry you select isn’t.  But being ready for Jesus’ return is a vest-button truth.  Get this right and the rest will fall into place.  Miss it, and get ready for some wrinkles.

How do we know this is a vest-button principle?  Jesus told us.  According to Matthew, Jesus told us in the last sermon He ever preached.

It may surprise you that Jesus made preparedness the theme of His last sermon.  It did me. I would have preached on love or family or the importance of the church.  Jesus didn’t.  Jesus preached on what many today consider old-fashioned.  He preached on being ready for heaven and staying out of hell.

It’s his message when he tells of the wise and the foolish servants.  The wise one was ready for the return of the master the foolish one was not.

It’s his message when he tells about the ten bridesmaids  Five were wise and five were foolish.  The wise ones were ready when the groom came and the foolish ones were at the corner store looking for more oil.

It’s his message when he tells of the three servants and the bags of gold.  Two servants put the money to work and made more money for the master.  The third hid his in a hole.  The first two were ready and rewarded when the master returned.  The third was unprepared and punished.

Be ready.  It’s a first step, non-negotiable, vest button principle.  That is the theme of Jesus’ last sermon, “So always be ready, because you don’t know the day your Lord will come.”  He didn’t tell when the day of the Lord will be, but he did describe what the day would be like,  It’s a day no one will miss.

Every person who has ever lived will be present at that final gathering.  Every heart that has ever beat.  Every mouth that has ever spoken.  On that day you will be surrounded by a sea of people.  Rich, poor.  Famous, unknown.  Kings, bums.  Brilliant, demented.  All will be present.  And all will be looking in one direction.  All will be looking at him.  Every human being.  “The Son of Man will come again in His great glory.”  You won’t look at anyone else.  No side-glances to see what others are wearing.  No whispers about new jewelry or comments about who is present.  At this, the greatest gathering in history, you will have eyes for only one-The Son of Man.  Wrapped in splendor.  Shot through with radiance.  Imploded with light and magnetic in power.

Jesus describes this day with certainty.

He leaves no room for doubt.  He doesn’t say he may return, or might return, but that he will return. By the way, one-twentieth of your New Testament, speaks about his return.  There re over three hundred references to his second coming.  Twenty three of the twenty seven New Testament books speak of it.  And they speak of it with confidence.

“You must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time you don’t expect him.”

“…Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

“…he will come a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

“…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

His return is certain.

His return is final.

Upon His return, “he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from from the goats.  The Son of Man will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.”

The word separate is a sad word.  To separate a mother from a daughter, a father from a son, a husband from a wife.  To separate people on earth is sorrowful, but to think of it being done for eternity is horrible. 

Especially when one group is destined for heaven and the other group is going to hell.

We don’t like to talk about hell, do we?  In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish.  It’s not logical.  “A loving God wouldn’t send people to hell.”  So we dismiss it.

But to dismiss it is to dismiss a core teaching of Jesus.  The doctrine of hell is not one developed by Paul, Peter or John.  It is taught by Jesus himself.

And to dismiss it is to dismiss much more.  It is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of a free choice.  Let me explain. 

We are free either to love God or not.  He invites us to love him.  He urges us to love him.  He came that we might love him.  But, in the end, the choice is yours and mine.  To take that choice from each of us, for him to force us to love him, would be less than love.

God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences.  And then, in the end, he leaves the choice to us.

Hell was not prepared for people.  Hell “was prepared for the devil and his angels.”  For a person to go to  hell, then, is for a person to go against God’s intended destiny.  “God has not destined us to the terrors of judgement, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Hell is ma’s choice, not God’s choice.

Consider, then, this explanation of hell:  Hell is the chosen place of the person who loves self more than God, who loves us more than his Savior, who loves this world more than God’s world.  Judgement is that moment when God looks at the rebellious and says, “Your choice will be honored.”

To reject the dualistic outcome of history and say there is no hell leaves gaping holes in any banner of a just God.  To say there is no hell is to say God condones the rebellious, unrepentant heart.  To say there is no hell is to portray God with eyes blind to the hunger and evil in the world.  To say there is no  hell is to say that God doesn’t care that people are beaten and massacred, that he doesn’t care that women are raped or families wrecked.  To say there is no hell is to say God has no justice, no sense of right and wrong, and eventually to say God has no love.  For true love hates what is evil.

Hell is the ultimate expression of a just Creator.

The parables of the wise and loyal servant, the wise and foolish bridesmaids, and loyal and wicked servants, all point to the same conclusion: “Everyone must die once and be judged.”  Eternity is to be taken seriously. A judgement is coming.

Our task on earth is singular – to choose our eternal home.  You can afford many wrong choices in life.  you can choose the wrong career and survive, the wrong city and survive, the wrong house and survive..  You can even choose the wrong mate and survive.  But there is one choice that must be made correctly and that is your eternal destiny.

It’s interesting that Jesus’ first and last sermons have the same message.  In his first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls you and me to choose between the rock and the sand, the wide gate and the narrow gate, he wide road and the narrow road, the big crowd and the small crowd, the certainty of hell and the joy of heaven.  In his last sermon he calls us to do the same.  He calls us to be ready.

While on one of his expeditions to the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton left some of his men on Elephant Island with the intent of returning for them and carrying them back to England.  But he was delayed.  By the time he could go back for them the sea had frozen and he had no access to the island.  Three time he tried to reach them, but was prevented by the ice.  Finally, on his fourth try he broke through and found a narrow channel.

Much to his surprise, he found the crewmen waiting for him, supplies packed and ready to board.  They were soon on their way back to England.  He asked them how they knew to be ready for him.  They told him they didn’t know when he would return, but there were sure he would.  So every morning, the leader rolled up his bag and paced his gear and told the crew to do the same saying, “Get your things ready boy.  The boss may come today.”

The crew leader did his crew a favor by keeping them prepared.

Jesus has done us a service by urging us to do the same:  Be ready.  It’s a vest-button principle.  Get that one buttoned right today.  For you don’t want to be fumbling with buttons in the presence of God.

Daylight "Savings" time?

Okay, so last year there was this big announcement that Daylight Savings Time would no longer be observed.  Okay, so why did we have to “leap” on Sunday?  If it was originally intended to help farmers, and is no longer needed, why are we still doing it?

How was your leap?  Mine was pretty yucky!  To begin with, the wind has been howling for the past 4 days.  Apparently a tornado touched down not far from our house – Thank You Lord for Your covering and protection of our home – and caved in the roof of a nearby high school and it’s office building.  Now when I say nearby, I mean nearby.  The school is maybe an 8 minute drive from our house, that’s close!

The wind brought with it rain and weird temperatures, cold then warm, then cold again and even a bit humid on Saturday.  All the pressure changes brought on a major migraine that is still lingering and an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

Saturday my husband and I set our clocks then turned in for the night with hopes of getting up early, having some breakfast and heading to church.  Well, things did not go according to plan.  My husband had a rough night, he suffered in pain and tossed and turned all night.  This kept me up as well, and I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 3:30am.

When I woke up a 8am, I prayed that God would remove my headache so I could go to church.  I knew at that point that my husband would not be able to go, and unless my migraine subsided, I wasn’t going to be able to drive.  I laid my head back on the pillow hoping a few minutes of rest and prayer would get me going, however by 9:15am I knew that church was out of the question.  Praise God that we have the Internet, our bibles and nearly a dozen Christian channels so that we could still have church at home.  The only thing missing from having church at home is the fellowship and worship.  Thankfully we have Wednesday evening Bible Study!

Oh yeah, my reason for this post – if we didn’t have to set our clocks ahead an hour, I would have been able to go to church!  I say this because around 10, 10:30am I felt better and could have asked my son to drive me to church.  If the clocks weren’t set ahead, this would have been around 9, 9:30am and while I might have missed some of the praise and worship, I would have made it to hear the Word!

I don’t know about anyone else, but daylight savings time really messes up my internal clock for a few days which quite frankly is pretty messed up already!  I say we end it once and for all and just let the days and nights progress without help or hindrance from us!

God Of wonders

As most of you know, I tend to have nights where I can’t get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning and I end up watching a lot of television and see all kinds of shows ranging from History, Crime, Religion and the ever popular, inf0-mercials.  One night I watched an info-mercial for a praise and worship CD, ‘Open The Eyes Of My Heart’.  I ordered the cd and it has to be one of the best things I’ve ever purchased from a television offer.  It’s full of wonderful songs and one of my favorite is “God Of Wonders” by Third Day.  I want to share the lyrics with you, and I pray they touch you as they have me. 

Take care and God bless you, Briggie ^i^

 

God of Wonders

By Third Day

Lord of all creation
Of water, earth, and sky
The heavens are Your tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on High

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy
Lord of heaven and earth (2X)

Early in the morning
I will celebrate the light
And as I stumble through the darkness
I will call Your name by night

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy
Lord of heaven and earth (2X)

Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth (3X)

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
Precious Lord, reveal Your heart to me
Father holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy, holy, holy

Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth (6X)
Lord of heaven and earth
Lord of heaven and earth

Early in the morning
I will celebrate the light
and as I stumble through the darkness
I will call your name by night

God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares your majesty
You are holy, holy
Lord of heaven and earth
Lord of heaven and earth

Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth

God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
Precious Lord reveal your heart to me
Father holy, holy
the universe declares your majesty
you are holy, holy, holy, holy

Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah to the Lord of heaven and earth

higher thoughts

A message from Joel Osteen

Higher Thoughts

Today’s Scripture

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own! He wants to bless you indeed and enlarge your territory. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, and His plan is so much bigger than we can imagine. Choose today to focus on the good things God has in store for you. Don’t allow the circumstances of life to drag your thoughts down. Choose to think God’s thoughts by meditating on His Word. The scripture says to “set your mind on things above.” Those “things above” are God’s thoughts and ways which are, “I am blessed and highly favored. I am above only and not beneath. I am the head and not the tail. I am a victor, not a victim. I am righteous, and my path shines brighter and brighter to the full day. I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.” When you allow those higher thoughts to fill your mind, they will direct your steps, and you will rise higher in life! You will see yourself as an overcomer and live the abundant life the Lord has for you.

A Prayer for Today

Father in heaven, thank You for thinking good thoughts about me. Help me to focus on Your higher thoughts today. Empower me to obey Your Word so that I can live as an overcomer in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Missing Images in IE 7 Update!

 software-patch.jpg

Okay, I blogged earlier in the week about my ongoing hate/hate relationship with Windows Vista and IE 7.  I decided that since Microsoft wasn’t doing anything about the problem, I’d take the advice of others and use Firefox to see stuff like YouTube and images that IE 7 kept telling me I wasn’t allowed to see because I didn’t have the most current Flash Player (which I know I have because if I didn’t, how could I see it through Firefox???)

Anyway, I tried searching again for a fix by typing ‘internet explorer and macromedia flash’ to see what would come up and about 4 links down I came across the site “The Software Patch” and PRAISE GOD, they had the answer and the fix.

If you are experiencing problems similiar to mine, go to their site, follow their instructions and in just minutes you will be viewing all your images through your browser just like me!  If you want the correction for IE, click HERE or the link above.  If you want to go to their home page, click HERE or the icon at the top of my post!

Proverbs31 Devotion – Love Out Loud

One of the feeds I subscribe to is the daily devotion from Proverbs31.  I just read this and it struck a nerve with me.  I have decided to accept this challenge and I know the first blank is going to be a challenge for me because there are certain things I am patient with, yet when it comes to my husband, I find that sometimes I’m patient and there are other times when I’m not.  He asked me to rub some Sportscreme on his neck (he has serious health problems, his neck and back being the most difficult for him right now).  I had no problem doing this and I really got into his neck muscles and his shoulders and his back.  I then began trying to get him to move his head up and he was resisting me and began crying out in pain.  I continued to gently lift his chin and he became irritable with me and I found myself saying with an edge in my voice, “you have to try and push yourself beyond the pain, do you want to be like this the rest of your life!?”.  He then left the room and went into the bedroom.  A few minutes later he was in his pj’s, went to the kitchen to fill his water bottle then announced he was going to bed.  I know how much he struggles with the pain, and I also know he has not done everything he can to get healed.  I feel like he has given up and that’s what causes me to lose my patience.  So, that being said, I have decided to put this message from Karen on my blog.  I’ve accepted the challenge, how about you? 

 

March 5, 2008

Love Out Loud

By Karen Ehman

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 1:22 (NIV)

Devotion:

One of my favorite passages from the Bible is the “Love” chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. I remember being challenged to memorize it for an English class in my public high school in the 1980’s. Even secular scholars have no doubt that this piece of literature is a beautiful work, flowing in its rhythm and captivating in its cadence. It is actually relatively easy to memorize. However, living out the words is a whole different story!

Let’s pick up the passage in verses 4-8….

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

How would you describe your love for others? Are you a patient soul or do you drum your fingers and tap your toes while you stew and sigh not-so-patiently? Is it hard to bring you to a point of anger or does flying off the handle come much too naturally? Do you keep score with those who have wronged you, ready to dredge up the past and become “historical” to make your point? Do you boast? Got a case of the green envies? Ever been rude to someone? How will we ever learn to love the way this passage urges us to?

Here’s an idea to help to flesh this out in real life. Make a copy of the love chapter on your computer. However, wherever the word love is used (or its pronoun ‘it’) leave a blank. Then try over the next week or so to be able to write your name in the blank when you have a chance to exhibit this quality in real life. Were you patient at the doctor’s office today and, instead of grumbling while sitting in the waiting room, you quietly thanked God for the extra time and then used it to pray for others? Write your name on the “________ is patient” line. Did you and another family member get into a heated discussion and you were tempted to bring up a wrong from the past but, with great restraint, held your tongue? Bravo! Write your name on the “________ keeps no record of wrongs” line. Were you kind to the grumpy cashier instead of being rude right back? Get out that pen and write away!

Be assured that if you take this challenge, God will give you lots of opportunities to practice displaying these wonderful characteristics of love. And you can count on others noticing the change in you as you seek to love out loud.

Dear Lord, help me to accurately reflect the love you show to us by my actions to others. When I want to live in the flesh, help me to walk in the spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

New Me – New Outfits!

So, I went shopping today for the first time in 3 years.  I don’t know what size I was before my surgery.  I do know that I haven’t been able to fit into clothes at Lane Bryant for 3 years and they go up to size 32.  Now, I know that women’s clothing sizes fluctuate due to material, design, style and so on.  It’s possible to wear a size 26 in one style jeans, 24 in another and a 22 in another.  Men don’t have nearly as much trouble as we do.  A man with a 38 waist wears a 38 pants – end of story.

Now, I was wearing mens 3X sweat pants (prior to my surgery) and they were snug to say the least.  I was wearing mens 4X and 5X shirts tops and while they were way too long in the arms, and way too big up top, they fit around my hips and butt!

So, now to the good stuff – my trip to Lane Bryant!  When I entered the store I was a bit apprehensive – actually I was A LOT apprehesive.  I didn’t see anything that caught my eye, and they have changed their sizing for jeans and I was totally out of my comfort zone.  I was worried that I would try on jeans only to find that they A-didn’t come big enough to fit my fat butt, B-looked horrible on me or C-would be way too expensive.

I started looking through the jeans to find a size 26, good place to start I guess since most of the jeans I fit into from my drawers are 26-28 and they are big on me.  The problem was that most of the jeans were either 28’s or 22’s and I had no idea how to figure out the new color coded sizes which were yellow, red or blue and sizes 1-8.  I grabbed a 26 and 22 and headed for the fitting room.  The 26’s fit, and were a bit loose – good sign but I was really hoping they’d be falling off my butt.  The 22’s didn’t even come up over my hips – figures!  Not to mention the prices – don’t even get me started!

Next on the list, a new bra. I had the sales associate size me up and she said I could wear either a 40 F or a 42 DDD.  This cracked me up because right now I’m wearing a 46 DDD and while I know the “girls” have gotten smaller, I never imagined they got that small.  She suggested an under-wire molded bra.  I nearly wet myself from laughing at what a 42 DDD molded bra looked like on the hanger.  Why on earth would I want a bra that looked like it would make me even bigger than I already was.  I laughed bras in hand as I entered the fitting room.  But the final laugh was on me because after I got it on (which took some maneuvering) the girls were standing at attention and I found it was easier to breathe. 

I got up the courage to ask about their new sizes and found that I would be a “blue” girl and should start around a 6.  So, to clarify, the blue code means you are fuller in the hip and tush area – THAT’S ME!  I grabbed a 6 petite and I’m so happy to report – they were too big.  I then grabbed a 5 and again too big.  I wasn’t able to find a 4 petite so I settled for a 4 average – and I would have preferred the stone washed blue versus the  navy blue but hey – they fit and they were under $40!  Here’s the best part, the associate told me that a 4 is the equivalant of a size 20 – woo hoo!!!

Okay, now it’s time to find a new top.  I grabbed a few tops sized 22/24 and off to the fitting room yet again.  I was so blown back when I realized I needed a smaller size!  My son was with me so it was his job to pick out a few tops in various colors and styles in a size 18/20!  This was the best part of the day!  I found a few tops that looked really great, and some that fit great but the color just wasn’t me – especially the ultra orange and power packed pink ones! 

After some giggles and oohs and ahhs and hey miss thang (this is me checking me out in the mirror) it was time to decide on what to get.  I decided on the pink top pictured below and a brown top also pictured!  I got 2 bras, one black and one cream and the size 26 jeans and the size 4 jeans.  I was happy with the outfits but I was not as happy about the price tags but once all was said and done and everything was rung up it all came to $158.00.  This is pretty cool since the jeans were $40 each, the tops were $35 each and the bras were also $35 each.  That adds up to $220 so with the sales I saved $62, and I received a coupon for 40% off my next purchase and 3 $25 coupons for a sales event they are having in a few weeks. 

And now, without further ado, the photos –

P3050068   P3050069 P3050070

   P3050075 P3050076 P3050077

So, that’s it for now!  Can you tell I got’s a new attitude??!!

Drum Roll Please……………………..BANG!

It happened!  It finally happened.  There were days when it felt as though I had come as far as I would.  Then I would think back to the vision the Lord had given me many years ago and I would have renewed hope.

Have you ever heard the saying, “a watched pot doesn’t boil?”  That’s kind of how I would look at my situation.  The more I thought about it, the less change would come.

Oh, what am I talking about you ask???  Well, duh, I’m talking about the BIG ONE!  THE BIG 100!  My first 100 pounds lost since my surgery on June 21, 2007!  And it happened today!  I am just so excited I’m having a hard time writing this! 

I usually only weigh myself on Monday mornings these days because my weight fluctuates a few ounces up, a few ounces down and it really frustrates me at times.  The past month or so, the weight hasn’t been coming off like before.  I’d lose a pound here, a pound there and sometimes I’d gain a pound or two.  I know it’s not because I’m over-eating, or the foods that I’m eating because quite frankly, I don’t eat that much regardless of what I’m put in my mouth.  I chalk it up to not being a “regular” visitor to Mr. Potty!  I’ve started taking a fiber supplement and while I’m not as regular as I should be, I am seeing a slow improvement, and slow is good for me. 

I’m taking the weight off slowly, which in the long run will probably be to my advantage because my skin won’t hang like a lot of WLS patients and since I’ve heard it can cost anywhere from $10 – $30 THOUSAND dollars for plastic surgery, this will allow me to save up and put it off for as long as possible.  As for “irregularity”, this is something I’ve suffered with my entire life.  The only time I can remember being a daily depositor was when I was pregnant.  For the most part, I would go 5-7 days without making a BM.  That’s not good on so many levels.

Anyway, back to the reason for today’s post.  I actually had to weigh myself a few times just to make sure it wasn’t some kind of fluke or mechanical malfunction.  Sure enough, each time the scale gave me the same reading – – – – 257.8.  WOW EEE WOW WOW!!!!

 

So, I’m going to fulfill a promise I made to myself, and that’s to go and buy a new pair of jeans and a top.  I’ll probably try on a new bra and pick a pair of panties while I’m at it.  I have NO IDEA what size I am for anything, except for my socks. 

I’ll post a picture in my new outfit.  Pray for me, I’m nervous – I have no idea what to expect when I go into the dressing room for the first time in over 3 years.

Father, Master of the Universe, my Lord and Savior, thank you for your many blessings.  Thank you for answering my prayers.  Thank you that you touched my husbands heart so that he would support me in my decision to have this surgery.  Thank you for leading me to Dr. Dallal and his staff and for the amazing job he did with my surgery.  Thank you for all the support and prayers my family, friends and cyber buddies have given to me over the years.  Thank you for Your healing hands and for never leaving me even in my darkest times.  Thank you for the vision you gave me many years ago, a vision of me, thin, happy and praising you in dance at the altar.  That was a vision and Your promise of hope that I have clung to, and even though there were times that I did not remember it, you would bring it back to my remembrance.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.  I look forward to what You have in store for me in the days ahead and ask for the strength to fulfill my days in health, peace, joy and following Your will.  In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

The Solid Rock

This was written by Edward Mote in 1834 even though it was introduced in 1837 by David Denham as being written by Rees, (I’m not sure if he is referring here to Timothy or William Rees).  This mistaken identity was due to Mote’s submission of the lyrics to a fellow brother in Christ for his wife to read during her illness and Mote had failed to put his name or initials on the copy.

In 1836, Edward Mote published his own book Hymns of Praise and this song was listed.  Some may call it “old timey” but I call it wonderful.  You can check out other Gospel Hymns over at The Cyber Hymnal.

 

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.