Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blessings and Bloggings!

I recently took the plunge and sent out a query letter. Was I ever surprised when I received a reply back asking me to submit my article! Needless to say, I've been busy contacting sources, drumming up quotes and getting my thoughts in order. By nature, I'm on the shy side, so the thought of contacting perfect strangers freaked me out a bit. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Surprise again! These people aren't strangers at all - they're my sisters in Christ. I feel like my family circle has been wonderfully enlarged through this experience.

Thank you, Lord!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Note to Self

I don't want to be confident. I want to be qualified.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Major Davis' Prayer Campaign

Please take time to check out this link on Cindy Swanson's site and be reminded to pray for victory in this war. I think Major Davis' has the right idea; it's time for Christians to humble ourselves and plead with God for His intercession in this struggle.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hold Your Judgment!

Even though I've read the Bible through countless times, I often find myself reading a passage as if it were the first time. Lately I've been reading through II Samuel in my NIV Quiet Time Bible. The other day I was shocked to read the story where Ziba, servant of Mephibosheth, tells David that Mephibosheth has turned his back on the king in an effort to reclaim his inheritance in the house of Saul. Unthinkable, I thought to myself! How could this man on whom the king has bestowed extraordinary favor turn out to be such a selfish creep? And I mentally listed Mephibosheth with all the other shady characters in the Bible.

Today I continued reading II Samuel 19, where David returns to the throne after Absalom's death. On his way back, Mephibosheth comes to greet him. David simply asks, "Why didn't you go with me, Mephibosheth?" He gives the young man a chance to explain himself. Turns out that Ziba had actually betrayed Mephibosheth, and lied to David. Whew!

This story reminded me there's always more than meets the eye to every situation. It's so important to stop and get the facts before we pass judgment on others. I can't help Mephibosheth was glad David was willing to give him a chance. How many times have I written people off due to hearsay, or because I only knew half the story?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Good Guidelines for Blogging

Here are some thought-provoking guidelines for Christians in the blogosphere. I read this on Donna's blog, who linked to it from a missionary's blog.

1. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your blog, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. (Eph 4:29) Is what comes from our blogs wholesome? Is what we are writing helpful for building others up? Or does it tear them down?

2. Blog about others as you would have them blog about you (Lk 6:31) The golden rule. If we blog about others, do we do it with love, respect, and integrity?

3. But in your blogs set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience... (1Pet 3:15,16) Are we consciously allowing Jesus Christ to rule over our blogs? When people disagree with us, do we respond with gentleness and respect?

4. Each one should use whatever blog he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms (1Pet 4:10) Are we using our blogs to serve others? To encourage, stimulate, and help others? To build them up in Christ? Or to blow our own trumpet?

5. Let us therefore make every effort to blog what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Ro 14:19) And 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 blog of peace (Eph 4:2) Do we make every effort to maintain peace and unity in the body of Christ? Or do we focus on what divides us? When we disagree, are we humble and gentle?

6. Accept him whose blog is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters...Let us stop blogging judgment on one another... whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. (Ro 14 1-22) Let us be careful not to condemn ourselves by dividing the body of Christ over disputable matters, or by judging the spiritual state of our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree.

7. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - blog about such things. (Phil4:8) Amen!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hey You! Off My Blog!

I was shocked to find my blog had been spammed this morning. Nothing offensive, just an advertisement for some financial opportunity posted as a comment. Grrr. If this happens again, I'll be forced to change my comments to "Blogger Members Only." Ha ha - like I'm just inundated with comments here!

Living the Writing Life

My friend and I only work 4 days a week (although my 4 days are 10-hour ones). We laugh about the so-called fantasy life that we live on our off days. You know; sleep in, go for coffee, swish around the house with a feather duster, etc. We both know this is not exactly the life non-working women live. In fact, I seriously doubt there's such a thing as a non-working woman. Nevertheless, it's fun to imagine life without the forty-hour week obligation to someone else.

So today, the last in a stretch of 6 vacation/off days, I planned to live out my writing fantasy. No really, I awoke this morning to leftover thoughts from last night when I got the bright idea of starting my own writing business. The gears were turning and light bulbs popping on all over the place. I couldn't wait to finish packing my husband's lunch and get him off to work and get back to my idea generation. I ran downstairs to grab a can of Chef Boyardee for his lunch - uh oh, what's this? Hmm, where's that water coming from? Oooh, the carpet's all wet too. Turns out our AC pump is not working. This comes on top of discovering a leak under the kitchen sink last night. Which came on the heels of a puking cat, in need of a trip to the vet today. Sigh. There goes my day, I thought.

But wait a minute. It is a blessing that I'm off and available to deal with all these little things. I don't understand it, but my husband is always extremely happy on the days I'm off. Hey, if this is the reality side to my fantasy life, I'll keep it - thank you very much!

So in between calls to the AC repair guy, sessions with the shop vac and wet carpet, and a trip to the vet, I'll be cranking out ideas and whatnot. This is the day the Lord has made, after all. I'm going to be glad and rejoice!

Friday, August 12, 2005

See Where Love & Respect Will Get You?

Check this out! We're about to celebrate our eighth anniversary this fall and I'm marveling at friends, younger than we are, who've been married for over fourteen years. But this - eighty-one years with the same person! That's just awesome.

Friday's Feast

I thought I'd do Friday's Feast since future blog entries are still in the simmering stage (and of late, on the back burner!)

Appetizer: Did you sleep good last night? Yep, 'twas good to be back home in my own bed, after several days away. Although the time away was blessedly peaceful and relaxing.

Soup: What is your current computer desktop image? At work, pictures of my niece and nephews.

Salad: When was the last time you planted something, what was it and where did it go? I just said to myself this morning as I picked yet another rotten-bottomed tomato from my garden, this thing is going to pot real fast! Well, at least I have a few Romas and a beautiful eggplant and some jalapenos to show for my efforts!

Main Course: What's your favorite condiment? Without a doubt, mustard. Gourmet mustard, if you please. Dijon or something like that. Mayonnaise should be restricted to ingredient status!

Dessert: Share a quote that you like, for whatever reason. "There's no way to accomplish great amounts of hard work without great amounts of hard work." Author unknown to me. Every so often, this quote comes to mind and I actually accomplish something worthwhile.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Perspective & Perception

As usual, this entry is written on the fly, but it's a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately. It seems to me that much of our lives would be right if we could grasp these two concepts: perspective & perception.

Merriam-Webster defines perspective as "the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance." The really great artists have an accurate sense of perspective. They have an ability to not only see an object or scene as it is, but as it relates to the setting. Remember how as children, we tended to draw everything on the same plane. Houses, trees, flowers - we had no concept of near and far. As we grew, at least for some of us, we began to develop a sense of perspective, and soon clouds and trees were drawn smaller and higher up on the page to show distance.

As Christians, it's so important to gain God's perspective on things. We're often so full of our own feelings and emotions about issues and problems. Really small insignificant issues loom like giants from our point of view, consuming much of our time and energy, while the truly significant matters, things that matter to God, get shoved off to a mental corner to collect dust. Honestly, sometimes I find myself fretting over a small monetary expenditure and yet I can't seem to devote some time and prayer to improving some relationships. I wish I could tell you I have learned to see things from God's perspective but I'm a long ways off. But lately this awareness has caused me to at least stop and prayerfully consider God's perspective. And it's making a difference in how I pray and think about things.

Maybe tomorrow I'll share some thoughts on the other "P" word: perception. For now, I want to head back to that amazing viewfinder, God's word, and continue to seek to align my perspective with His.