Monday, March 31, 2008

Empowered Living Ministries Camp Meeting

This weekend my family and I attended a Camp Meeting held by Empowered Living Ministries. We didn't camp out because the site was about 45 minutes from our home. In hind sight I am wishing that we had because the camping and being away from home for a few days is a part of the experience.

Jim Hohnberger, the founder of the ministry, preaches the basic gospel message-a surrendered life in Christ. No matter what denomination you are, this family camp is for you.

He gave his personal testimony of living the "rat race"-having fancy cars (he had 5!), a nice house and a fat bank account. All of this and his life was not full. His marriage was on the rocks and his children barely knew him.

Check the website to see if there is a meeting coming near you and if at all possible, go! And even if you can't make it you can still do an inventory of your life. Are you really a Christian? Even at home? If someone video taped your home life and played it at church, would you be ashamed?

If you would be, and Lord knows there are times in my life when I would be, don't despair! Jesus paid it all and invites you to allow Him to take control of your life!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I have come to the new realization that Spring is my favorite season. I have always believed it was Fall. And as much as I love the Fall, Spring is when I seem to come alive and feel regenerated.

My house is finally coming together. I have purchased my new couch, bench, chair and ottoman and I just purchased my new rug! Next on the list is a new entertainment center and curtains. I will probably add a few new plants as well.

For Spring Cleaning, I considered making a list and crossing it out as I get things done, but instead of making a list and possibly being overwhelmed by what I know I need to get done, I am doing things as they come to mind and making a list of what I have done. On Sunday I cleaned out my refrigerator inside and out and even behind. I still need to clean off the top.

Are you Spring Cleaning? What projects have you done so far or have plans on tackling?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Error Bonus

As a part of my job, we are required to fill out progress reports for each student that we tutor. If the report is not filled out then our time sheet will not be processed. The pay period before this last one, I had a report that had not been filled out and so when it was time for paychecks, I did not get paid. I went ahead and filled out my report, thinking that I would have to wait until the next pay period to receive my pay.

My girlfriend asked to borrow some money and when I went into my account I surprised by the amount of money there. I did a little investigating and found that not only had I been paid before the next pay day, my paycheck had come through twice.

I figured that since it was not payday that they would just catch the mistake and then adjust my next paycheck accordingly. Well they didn't. The next Friday came and I received my full paycheck as normal. I contacted my supervisor to make her aware of the error and to see what I needed to do to have it corrected.

To my surprise she told me to keep the money as a bonus! Wow! I will use the extra money to purchase a laptop for my mom to replace the one that was stolen.

God is good ALL the time!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Lives!

I serve a risen Savior
He's in the world today
I know that He is living
Whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy
I hear His voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.

He lives, He lives,Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives,Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart!

Happy Easter!

On Friday night, my family met with another family from church to share the sedar meal. Although I believe that we are not required to keep the feast days and observe the ceremonies of the Old Testament, I believe that there are great spiritual lessons in them.

One part of the meal involves dipping parsley in salt water and eating it. The kids complained miserably about how bitter it was. What a great opportunity to teach them of the bitter lives of the Israelites in bondage.

On Sabbath we had an Easter service entitled "What's Love Got To Do With It"? I was a participant in a play entitled "But He Says He Love Me". The setting was in a hair salon. My hair stylist, Natasha, was just putting me under the dryer when her next client, Dana, showed up. Dana complained about the traffic being a mess and went on to explain that her controlling boyfriend was getting out of hand. He calls her job all day-so much so that her boss said something about it and he even called her while she was at the hair appointment demanding to know where she was.

Natasha is lovingly "fussing" at Dana for allowing her man to be so controlling and telling her that she need to get him under control. Dana begins to ignore her and realizes that I am reading the "Five Love Languages". She interrupts my reading and asks me about it. She believes that reading this book will help her relationship with her abusive boyfriend. I listen and ask her if she has ever tried counseling. She goes on to say that he believes he doesn't need counseling. I shift the tide of our conversation to get her to focus on her. Explaining to her that she needs to focus on establishing a relationship with Christ. "Dana, no man can ever love you like Jesus" Once you experience what it feels like to be loved by a man who would lay down his life for you, who did lay down His Life for you, having a man who puts his hands on you while claiming to love you won't even be an option... Falling in love with Jesus is the best thing I've ever done."

I talked to her about how love is patient and kind, it build up. It doesn't tear you down.

I mention this play because the ideas of it are real. Every day women are getting into abusive relationship with men who don't love them. I suggest to you today that part of the problem is that the woman themselves do not know what real love looks like.

Falling in love with Jesus is the best way to know what real love looks and feel like. There is no greater demonstration of love than His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

Thank God that Jesus paid it all!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Study on Music

God has impressed me to do a study on music. I will be studying music as a whole, but specifically concentrating on music as it pertains to worship. Is the criteria for the music we listen to during the week the same as the music that we present as praise to God?

Who sets the standards for the music for worship? Have the standards already been set by God? Is it ok to take music of the world, add lyrics about God, and then call it holy?

Is there ever a time when God does not accept our praise?

These are just a few of the questions that God has laid on my heart. I invite you to share your thoughts if this is something you have already considered or to open your Word and search the scriptures with me to find out what thus saith the Lord.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Homeschooling Declared Illegal in California

A California appeals court held recently that parents have no constitutional right to home school their children, and that only parents who possess state teaching credentials are eligible to teach at home.

I must say that I am in shock. Of all the states in the country, I never would have guessed that California would be one to have such a ruling.

What gets me though is that homeschoolers continue to outperfom school students on all standardized testing and are outperforming them in college as well. Makes you wonder what evidence they used.

I can't imagine that Texas will be next seeing as we have no laws at all for homeschooling other than homeschoolers are considered private schools, but I guess you never can tell.

I'll be doing some research on the requirements for teaching credentials.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Christopher's Race Car Party

My son had his 6th birthday party on Sunday. We decided to do a race car theme. I made cars out of boxes and bought cones from Walmart for games in the back yard, set up his race car tracks (he has collected 3 over the years) and made a track myself out of contractor bags and yellow tape.

The track that I made turned out really well. The kids used matchbox cars to race across it. Sliding across it seemed to be the thing of the day. The traffic light that you see was made from a triangular shaped priority mail box. I cut the flat front and spray painted it black. Then I cut circles from construction paper for the lights.
The cake was a Vegan cake that I ordered. It was absolutely delicious. For the party favors, I ordered hats with a race car flag from the Oriental Trading Company. I also included car stickers, notepads, whistles, a matchbox car and a snack.
The party was a great success.

Senator Obama

I am not a very political person, but my kids seem to absolutely LOVE Barak Obama, which is so crazy because they have never been intersted in politics before. The idea that a man that has the same color skin as my son could be the President of the United States thrills him to ends I cannot even describe.

So we went to go and see him last week. I was actually surprised by the number of people that showed up that early in the morning and equally surprised at how my kids got up and dressed without me having to ask more than once. Maybe a black man should run for President more often!! :-)

At any rate, whether you get into politics or not, are a democratic or republican or whatever your beliefs are you must admit that this is a record breaking elections. People are coming out to vote in record numbers and a black man and a woman actually have a REAL chance at being the President of the United States. Wow. This country has come a long way.

I am proud to be an American, but most of all I am proud to be a Christian!