Sep 30, 2009

Please: Prayer in Action for the Philippines

I have a new blogging friend, so to speak. We've only "conversed" a few times in recent weeks, but she is a young Filipino, in her early 20's, a university student. She's bright, seems to me to be very authentic and honest about her feelings and beliefs on her blogs, and I appreciate that about her. She's learning to find her voice out there in the world, and at such a young age, I admire that in her.

Her name is Jenny, and her blog is Oh, By the Way. She lives in the Philippines. She left me a comment today that said this:

"hi ms Chel,

I was thinking if you could somehow raise an awareness over what has happened in o[u]r country. Uhm, i know it's a big favor to ask but we really need your help. who knows, someone with a good heart will donate. the damaged in our country is beyond repair with just us..thank you so much for the time:)"
Realizing that Blogger is going to miss a few things in translation, you get the idea. So I started doing a little research.

It's not hard to find articles and videos on what's going on there. Three days ago, on September 27, 2009, these small islands were struck by a typhoon (basically a hurricane) called Ondoy.

In her most recent post about the typhoon, Jenny said:
I am imploring to those people who have the capacity to spread the word that Philippines is really in need of your help, be it financially and in prayers. This country needs more than just healing. The people who were affected by the calamity need to feel that they are loved.
As a child of God and a member of the Body of Christ, that last sentence hit me right between the eyes. You know, I may not have much, but I do "have the capacity to spread the word." Many of you do, too.

If you can donate, it is much needed and I'm sure appreciated. But even if you can't donate, can you spread the word? Nothing shows love like genuine concern. I know I would love nothing more than for this young Filipino lady and the people of her country to be able to feel the love of Christ during such a terrible disaster.

Wouldn't that be just like our God to take a horrific nightmare and turn it into a conduit for His love to pour out over them?

Click here to read more and donate to Samaritan's Purse.

Click here to read more and donate to the Philippine National Red Cross.

One last thing, and I've saved the best for last: will you pray? Will you pray a true, heart-felt petition to God for His mercy and grace and provision to be sent quickly to those in the Philippines...and in Indonesia and the islands of Samoa while we're at it?

Our planet is experiencing the birth pangs Scripture speaks of (see Matthew 24:3-8), which means we don't know how long these people have to hear the Truth and receive it.

The time is now.

Meme Without A Theme--Randome Dozen [Quatre]

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.

In my own home, snuggled under a soft blanket with my honey and the lights down low. Oh, and a side of hot tea or coffee and a salty/sweet snack to go with it.

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?

I can't say I've ever really thought about it in the "preferences" kind of way. The only thing I've ever said to DH was that I wanted a godly man to lead it and give a tender, but clear, presentation of the Gospel. It would be some celebration if someone came to know Christ after going to my funeral!

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?

When it comes to service, I'm more of a giver, for sure. But when it comes to gifts or material surprises, not so much. I think I'm just so surrounded by gift-givers (my mom, Chel, and my DH to just name a few...) that, compared with them, I am more of taker. I have to tell you though, that I don't even like writing that.

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?

A little of both; I find that if I schedule too much, I end up frustrated because it doesn't all happen. But if I schedule just a few "important" things, then it's much more attainable and there is still plenty of free time to do whatever comes up. But I know if we don't plan anything, too much time will be wasted trying to find something to do, or we'll miss something great because we didn't do a little research first.

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?

The corners of the rooms...some little turd spiders get in there and make these tiny cobwebs every time I turn around. Ticks me off.

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.

This one was actually kind of tough for me because I don't serve a particular "cause" as in organization. I understand what the question is asking, but I'm not sure how to put into words what I'm thinking. So I think I'll put it this way: Reaching around the world with the Gospel is becoming something recently that means a lot to me. God has been showing me lots of areas where He is working and how I really could be involved in things that I never dreamed before. It's not that I didn't care before, but I was ill-informed. It's never been a priority for me, but it's starting to rise to the top.

Another thing that has drawn from my heartstrings has been helping other women grow in the Lord. It absolutely breaks my heart to see my sisters staggering in their walk and I so want to come alongside and help them gain strong footing again. My desire is that we would all walk in the one and only path that God has set before each of us. I know I need help in that area, so I want to do the same for those God brings into my life.

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?

Well now, it wouldn't BE a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly, now would it Lid? Um, gotta have the jelly. Grape or apple are our faves. I do not usually customize it, because you just can't perfect a classic. But sometimes I put Cheetos inside, just because.

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I had to ask DH this question of myself, because I really don't know. Much to my surprise, he said he didn't know either! The only thing I can think of is that my voice shakes, but people tell me they can't hear it. Don't ask me how they can't, because it sounds like Poe's tell-tale heart to me.

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of toothbrushing and jammies?

I almost said, "Brushing? I'm supposed to brush before bed?" But since you all don't know me in person, I didn't want you to think I'm gross.

So it depends on how 5-9 pm goes. If it's 9:00 and I've just now tucked the boys in bed and my kitchen is still a mess, then basics is all I get by the time I finish it all. But if the boys are tucked in at 8:30 and I cleaned the kitchen and made DH's lunch before that, then I will take more care...meaning actually washing my face instead of just wiping the contact solution off of it, flossing before I brush, and rubbing lotion on my feet and arms.

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?

Not yet. Well, maybe the toothbrushing thing.

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?

I have been told more than once that I look like Michelle Pfieffer, but I don't see it. Now that I've done a search for her pictures, maybe I should ask which one I most resemble?

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?

Hmmmm....I am listening to Michael Buble's "The Best is Yet to Come" on the Pandora Radio website right now, so I think I'll dedicate that to my sweet Darlin' Husband. Awwww....

I hope you enjoyed stopping sure and say hello to my good friend Lidna at 2nd Cup and see what all the other participants said to these rock-your-world questions!

Sep 15, 2009

Meme Without a Theme: Random Dozen Thres

1. Which is worse: a long, boring meeting or standing in a return/exchange line after Christmas? A long, boring meeting is definitely worse. At least in a long line I can find someone to talk to...and I usually do.

2. Except for maybe Rosie O'Donnell or Ann Coulter, nobody likes confrontation, yet we all have to deal with it. When you feel cornered and defensive, do you "bite back" or become passive aggressive? Ordinarily I start out passive aggressive...but there will usually come a time when I've had enough, and it ain't perty.

3. Do you know anything about your genealogical background? (What country, culture, ties to prominent historical figures, or other stuff.) This isn't something I would normally brag on, but I have a distant relative who, during the 1930's, was a member of the mob in New York. Yeah, shining, isn't it? Apparently he was locked up for "fixing" horse races and money laundering. His name? Rocco Pollotti. Doesn't that just sound mobsta?

4. What is the quickest way a person can endear him/herself to you? Direct eye contact in conversation.

5. Cake, pie, cookies, or ice cream? (Note there is no "all of the above" option. You must choose one. Feel free to elaborate on flavor or memories tied to this dessert.) If you'd like, you can share a recipe, but you certainly don't have to. Warm chocolate cinnamon sheet cake. It's a family favorite. I like the fact that it's a sheet cake not because it's easier than a stacked cake, but because I pour the warm frosting over the hot cake and then I get to visit heaven for a bit.

6. Females: Do you regularly change your handbag to coordinate with your outfit? I have just started doing this in the last few years. Prior to that, I pretty much had a purse and wore the snot out of it. Now I love to have variety to choose from!

7. Are you task-oriented or relationship-oriented? I think I'm more task-oriented. Relationships are very important to me, so much so that if I have an opportunity to visit with someone I'll skip whatever needs to be done for as long as needed. However, because I know this about myself, I also have the tendency to put off the opportunities because of something I know I "have" to get done. I have to be careful on both ends. Is that normal? Am I confused?

8. IHOP, Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel? Cracker Barrel...all...the...way.

9. Have you ever left a movie in progress in a theater? Why? No. I am so selective about what movies I watch that if I'm going to pay MONEY to watch it, I know enough about it to know I won't leave.

10. What is one area of life in which you would like to develop more discipline or organization? I really miss working out. Once I get out the routine of it, it's SO HARD to get back in it again. I already get up so early, so I don't know where I'm going to cram it in, but I want to.

11. Was middle school fun or painful? Middle school was fun for me...more fun than high school. I met all new friends during those years.

12. What is your favorite Fall beverage? A hot cup of coffee with a touch of cinnamon brewed in it. Yum....!

There's another week of the Random Dozen...go see Lidna at 2nd Cup to check out more fun responses!

Sep 14, 2009

Worthy is the Lamb

I love the fact that my kids learn God-honoring music in church. I can't count how many times I've heard each one of my boys at different ages playing by themselves singing:

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's the book for me;
I'll stand upon the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!


You came from hea-ea-eaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the Cross
My debt to pay
From the Cross to the grave,
From the grave to the sky,
Lord, I lift your Name on high!

Last Sunday we were in the truck on our way home from church, and Lil'bit, who will be chowing down on his Wow Wow Wubbzy #5 birthday cake in about 3 weeks, begins softly singing from his car seat: "La la la la....Worried is the Lamb...sitting on His throooooone!"

In time of shifty political promises and economic uncertainty, thank God we can rest in the fact that the Lamb of God is most definitely NOT worried.

Here's the way the song really goes, and a beautiful creative movements piece to go along with it. These girls are in a Korean church, and it literally makes my eyes burn to think of people of all nations and ethnic groups all worshiping the same God together. How glorious. Enjoy!

Sep 10, 2009

Meme Without A Theme...Random Dozen Dos

Round Two of 2nd Cup of Coffee's Random Dozen...go ahead, enjoy a sweet morsel, and then check out the link at the bottom to read more!

1. What is something that you have changed your mind about either recently or over a number of years? I used to think that parenting was not that hard, and what on earth is all the fuss about....yeah, that was when I had one little three year old who was a mommy's boy. I had so much to learn.

2. Choose either subject, but does your a) church b) job feel more like a dental chair experience or an easy chair (recliner) experience? Hmmm, easy chair implies laziness and the dental chair implies there an in between? My church experience feels more like a water rafting experience...sometimes fast and exciting, sometimes slow and reflective, but always moving and refreshing.

3. Kisses or hugs? I actually typed "huts," which might have been a more interesting question. I agree...some grassy hut on a South Pacific island somewhere sounds just right! As for the real question, it depends on who's doling them out...if it's hubby, I love a soft, tender kiss when he comes home from work. But my boys, I could squeeze the stuffing right out of them.

4. What do you think is the biggest threat to families today? Emasculating our men. Husbands and fathers are getting apathetic in their responsibilities because our culture has said that they are not important. Movies, TV, and even cartoons portray fathers as being foolish, slow, out of touch, and inferior to dominant females. Families need their men to snap out of their complacency and lead our families like they are supposed to.

5. A day after you grocery shop, you open a perishable item that is horribly spoiled. Do you take your receipt back to the store to be reimbursed or just throw it away and forget about it? I have taken a loaf of bread back to Wowmart because it molded within two days of purchase and more than a few days away from the expiration. A loaf of bread, people. What is that, like a dollar? I just can't stand wasting money, so if it's not my fault, then I want it back.

6. What personality trait (feel free to address good or bad or both) do you notice yourself adopting from your parents? Bad posture. I am trying SO hard to correct it, but after 30-something years.... On the good side, I am much cleaner and tidier than I was as a young person. I'm sure they worried about that when I was a teenager.

7. How many slices of bread do you leave in the bottom of the bag when you throw it away? Two? Three? Just the heel? None? (I really want to know if you eat the heel.) I make almost all of our bread now. Maybe it was the Wowmart incident that pushed me over the edge? Well since I put so much effort into making all our bread, when the heel is left over, I usually have one of my younger boys take it outside and tear it up into small pieces and throw it in the yard for the birds. Later, I get to enjoy a yard full of visitors!

8. What mispronunciation or usage error really irritates you? Let's see, hearing the word "irregardless" has always been kind of a scratch on the chalkboard for me. The correct word to use is "regardless." I always want to correct a preacher who says "Revelations" too. It's only ONE Revelation....the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

9. In honor of the uniqueness of today's date, what does the numeral 9 mean to you? (Any special life moments attached to the 9th? Are you the 9th kid in your family? Can you count by 9s really fast? etc.) Nine really doesn't mean anything to me except that it is one more than 8 and one less than 10. Oh, I was born in the ninth month...there's something.

10. Does the general color palette in your closet match the colors you chose to decorate your home with? I have a complete rainbow in my closet. I enjoy wearing just about any color...seriously. The colors in my house tend to be deep red, butter yellow, and khaki (with the exception of the red, white and blue of the Texas flag decor in my bathroom). So I'm going to have to go with "no, not really."

11. When you're hanging out with friends in the kitchen, do you automatically ask to help, or do you sit there and chat until the host asks if you'd like to help? I'm not implying that the 2nd choice stems from rudeness or laziness, just not a first-response like it is for some people. "Can I do something?" is usually the first thing I ask. I feel guilty with idle hands when someone else is working on something.

12. Let's end on a pleasant note: What do you enjoy about September the most? This will probably ring true for everyone who answers this question...but it's true! Definitely the weather change. Which also involves great fall food changes, too. Can't forget that. Oh, and it's the ninth month of the year! Yay!

Well there you have it! Go check out other participants in this fun meme at Lidna's 2nd Cup of Coffee!

Sep 2, 2009

Oooo...A Meme Without a Theme...Yummy Randomness

So our good friend and blogging mentor, Lid, has created her very own random meme! Yay! I haven't done one of these in ages, and it looks like fun!

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration? More frustration because for some reason, there is always, and I really do mean always, ONE thing on my list that they don't have. I don't know how they do it, but it's always one thing. But if I must put an actual product: laundry detergent. (I try to not go but once every blue moon.)

2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate? Rap music. It's not just the lyrics, because even Christian rap just doesn't do it for me.

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about? Reading really old books. Like 1800's. Love 'em.

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car? It's been around a while, but I still LOVE "Shackles" in the car! When hubby's driving, I stick my hands waaaay up in the air like I'm on a roller coaster ride.

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient: Fruit (berries, oranges, strawberries, etc.)

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences): Don't worry so much about starting a career from this thing; just write from your heart and make some good friends. No stress, and be real.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you? Michael Jr. Um, no.

8. What in your life are you waiting for? My husband to come home from work. I need some adult interaction, please.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from? Usually books...from a seller. Oh, you don't want the USUAL answer, but a dreamy one? Um, how about a really cool book and a "I heart Ken Lee" mousepad from a really sweet blogging friend. Or an old Bible from another blogging friend? Those are always fun.

10. Today--what song represents you? "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself? I enjoy writing even more than talking...I like that I have plenty of time to think about my words and what I'm trying to say; it saves me the embarrassment of "...uh, what was I saying?"

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today? Today, I feel good! I am wearing a lavender women's cut t-shirt that says "and they lived happily ever after." I chose it because, again, I am anxiously awaiting my other half's return.

Well that was random! You should all copy and paste all this to your blog and fill in your own answers. But leave me a comment and let me know so I can read yours too! And go check out Lidna's 2nd Cup of Coffee for more random fun!