Thursday, August 30, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm moving...

...just my blog! Check me out on WordPress! I was tired of some lack of features here on Blogger, so I've decided to try WordPress. I've heard great things about it. I want to find out if it's true. Don;t be surprised if I try something else right away! For now though, you'll find me at the above link. Also, i'm still choosing a template, so it will probably keep changing for a while. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Lord surrounds me with His favor as a shield.

My daughter Ella drew me a picture! While I was on the phone with my mom, on Sunday when she told me about my grandma, Ella was starting to whine and yell right next to me. Chris stopped her and told her to let me talk and explained why I was sad. Then Ella decided to draw me this picture.

*As a disclaimer, I should add that all her drawings of people look like this. She draws the ribs! She drew this on the back of another picture. That is why the background looks strange. But, this is my grandma. Isn't it sweet? I love my Ella Belle!

Sunday night I was reading Psalms looking for something comforting. I found Psalm 5.

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the Lord abhors.

But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies--
make straight your way before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.
Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Some of it is scary, kinda of, but I really liked the the first and last two stanzas. I was crying out to God because of my fear that my grandma didn't make it to heaven and God comforted me and surrounded me with His favor. And I believe brought my grandma into His protection. I do feel assured of her destination now. I believe she did make it to heaven. And I know that no matter what, God is in control and is a just God. I must trust Him. And I must continue trying constantly to become more holy and obedient. I must further His Kingdom while I am here on Earth. I pray that I fulfill the goals He has for me and that I will be assured of the rest of my family's fate before they die.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Loved My Grandma!

My grandma had quite a few grandkids and I was the third youngest. My brother was the youngest. By the time we came around, I think the novelty had worn off. But I still remember her fondly for several things.

When we would stay overnight at her house, she would let us watch TV till late at night. We didn't have cable at home, but she did and I remember watching Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

She always wanted to feed us! We would be stuffed and she would suggest we eat something more. We had a hard time convincing her we could not eat any more.

She once got a new comforter and all the trimmings and gave me her old set. It was big, pink, floral and lacy. I think it was pretty ugly now, but I absolutely loved it then. There were even satin sheets! That was luxury to me then.

She taught me to crochet. I forgot how, but I enjoyed learning from her. She also gave me a book about home crafts. It showed how to crochet and make various things for your house.

She was a nurse, so we always had to practice our CPR on her dummies when we went to her house. Along with that, she paid for our swim lessons.

One of the greatest things she did for me was save an old crazy quilt. My other grandma died when my mom was only 12 or 13. She had finished a quilt my great-grandmother never finished. My family and I moved a lot and were many times hard up for money. My mom didn't want to, but needed money so she was going to sell the quilt. My grandma Carmack bought it and then gave it back to her. She knew it's value lay more with my mom than anyone else. Thanks grandma!

I didn't know her that well. She wasn't one of those perfect grandmas that cooks and bakes your favorite things when you come over and she didn't spoil us. But she did love my brother and I and I loved her too.

I wish I had taken more time to get to know her after I grew up. Now it's too late, but I say thank you to her. Thanks for loving me and caring for me in the best way you could. Thanks for being yourself. I am glad you were my grandma!

My Regrets Hopes...

I just found out my grandma died this morning. It makes me very sad. I wasn't really close to her, but I wish I had been closer. I should have prayed for her more. I don't think she was saved. That's what just devastates me. If she had been saved I would only be sad for my family and I's loss. I would be happy for her gain. I wish I knew she had asked Jesus into her heart at the last minute. And I knew I should call her the other day and I didn't. Which makes me cry. Maybe I could have led her to the Lord! Maybe I missed my only opportunity.

God, if this is so, please forgive me. And please be with my aunt and uncles through this difficult time. Especially my aunt who will be lost without anyone to care for and no job. Please bring someone to her to help her through this and please help me to be a witness to my family somehow. Help me to listen better and do what you ask. Help me to know what I can do now that will comfort my aunt and uncles. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Please pray with me for my family. Thanks.

Thanks to my Aunt Christine Baker for the beautiful photos she had previously posted on the internet. The first picture is of my grandma as a child with her baby sister, Arline. (My grandma as a child.) Picture two is of my grandma, grandpa, Uncle Richard and Aunt Christine. (My grandma with children.) The third picture is my grandparents. (My grandma with grandchildren.)

Update: My mom seems to feel assurance from God that grandma is alright. My aunt, too believes my grandma was spiritual but only privately. I feel I must trust God. No matter what, I can't do anything now. I know God is just and if she truly believed that God was Lord, even if she didn't say so to anyone else, He will know.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

And the winner is...

ME!!! Booyah! I won the Faster Pastor race!

There was only one other pastor; Pastor Mike Beeler from Faith Gospel Tabernacle of Bad Axe. He was the winner last year when Chris raced. He was stiff competition! I think the only reason I won was because I have been adjusting my depression medicine. I have really terrible road rage. It's completely under control usually, but I figured it could only help me in a race, so I let it out. He cut me off at one point and I said to myself, "Oh, you are NOT going to win." That was the point at which it came out! It also helped that we had regular, front-wheel drive cars instead of the usual rear-wheel drive race cars. I didn't have to worry about letting the car slide because it wasn't supposed to. I guess that was the second biggest reason why I won. I wouldn't have done as well otherwise I don't think.

Because it was just the two of us, I only won $300, instead of the $1000 they said, and he got to take the food. The money was a little disappointing. (I was hoping to get more new windows in the parsonage. We are getting three new vinyl, double hung windows already, but we really need all 13 replaced.) It is still a blessing, though. I thank God for helping me to win. And, I was glad Pastor Beeler took the food. There was a lot of it and we were afraid it wouldn't fit in the van. Besides, their own church has a food pantry and as long as the food goes to people who need it, it doesn't really matter.

The other disappointing things were that Chris and the kids didn't make signs for me - :( - and I forgot I lent my camera to my mom and she was supposed to return it, but something came up. We stopped at the only gas station we saw after we realized we didn't have one, but they didn't sell them. So, no pictures. :( No signs. :( At least I got a really big trophy! When I get my camera back, I'll take a picture of it.

I have to say thanks to Kayla Kreh who loaned me her car. I banged it up some. Thanks for being such a great sport. She drives a purple car (I'm afraid I'm not sure what kind) with a number 5. Thanks for letting me use your car and win! I hope you win lots of races, too!

All in all, it was a great experience and I hope I get to do it again!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oh my! Was that a bridge?

Kare 11 Photo

I've driven over that bridge! Oh, SCARY! I pray that no more are found dead! And I also pray for all the families of the four that have died. What a freak accident!

Kare11 News Story

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The Faster Pastor Race

On Saturday, I get to drive a stock car in the Faster Pastor Race at Owendale Speedway. You might say I'm a little scared! Chris did it last year and didn't want to embarrass himself again. He was afraid to go fast. I've been told by a man in our church, who used to race, that you HAVE to go fast to get around the corners and that you have to turn left to go right because you are letting the wheels slide! SCARY! And to make it worse, it is just a dirt track. I don't know if that is actually a bad thing or not, but it seems scarier! The stock car owners lend their cars to the pastors and we do ten laps. We have to collect canned goods to determine poll position. Chris was in the last starting position last year, out of only four though. I will probably be last too. I don't think that it really mattered with us all being amateurs, though. There was one paster, the winning one, that seemed to have experience last year. I wonder if I will be up against him. The winning pastor receives $1000 for their church and all the canned food collected is donated to his (or her) charity of choice. If I win, ours will be donated to the local food pantry at Trinity United Methodist Church. That picture is of Chris getting ready to race last year.

More Reading

Last Sunday I preached on The Lord's Prayer. It was a rather hard subject for me. This is mostly because I don't pray enough and I know it. God helped me to write a very good sermon, but through it I felt compelled to commit to pray more. I pledged to God that I would read a chapter of a book, that makes me think more about God, every night for a year. I also pledged that I would do this reading before I read my nightly fiction. So, I started reading "Listening for God", by Marilyn Hontz again. I started reading it a while back, but never finished it. I like the book. Through reading that, I pledged to also read the Bible at the same time and pray. Now I don't really have time for the fiction at night! Somehow, that doesn't bother me. Which makes me very happy.

I have a new friend who is struggling to read the Bible. She has a hard time understanding it. (Any ideas or suggestions for her are appreciated.) But I found something in Marilyn's book that might have helped some. She wrote, "Since the Bible was written under inspiration, I need to ask the Lord to help me read it by that same inspiration." Doesn't that make a LOT of sense? I had never thought about it exactly like that before. I hope it helped her. I enjoyed being used by God to show someone else something.

I think I will grow a lot because of my pledge. I'm ashamed at my lack of having done these things regularly before, but I know God is continually working in me. And as long as I am willing to learn and be molded, I don't need to feel ashamed. Thank you God for molding me!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Love Netflix!

WOW! WOW! WOW! What else can I say? Well, let me think while you read...

Your price is lower!

Dear Elaine,

Great news! We're lowering the price of your 3 DVDs out at-a-time plan to $16.99 a month plus applicable taxes. Now you can enjoy Netflix for less!

You don't need to do a thing - except pay less. Your membership will automatically move to the lower price and be reflected in your Membership Terms and Details. The lower price will take effect beginning with your statement on or after July 23, 2007.

Your $16.99 plan not only gives you 3 DVDs out at-a-time but you can also watch 17 hours of movies and TV episodes instantly on your PC each month - for no additional charge.

Your friends at Netflix

Since when do companies lower prices like this? How awesome! It makes me wonder why they are doing it, that's for sure! I just heard today that Wal-Mart is planning on lowering their prices because they are losing money. Retail Giant Slashing Prices I also read yesterday on Doug Clay's blog that Wal-Mart has put a value of $215,000 on each of it's customers. I find that very interesting. The rest of Doug Clay's post is also very interesting. I suggest that you read it. But, to continue, it would seem that Wal-Mart is lowering prices to keep customers. Smart move I would say. I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart (I love Target!), but they do have a successful business model. It benefits their company very well (but maybe no one else). Of course, I love lower prices, but not if it makes workers in other countries suffer (as with Wal-Mart from my understanding). I can't see that being the case with Netflix, though. So, I will just do a little happy dance for a price reduction of $1 per month! YAHOO!!!!