August 31, 2004

Frustrated

I had a huge post typed out on why some people believe and others don't. The internet went out and I lost it all. I'm just too tired to start all over with it right now. I need to be studying and I need to be in the bed at the same time.

Maybe it wasn't meant for me to post anything this week. I have had so many great ideas, started so many posts, and either couldn't finish them or felt like I shouldn't and gave up on it. Maybe I am supposed to keep the conflict down this week, or maybe I am supposed to just be concentrating on family and school since we have had so much hit us in the last week.

I hope to have an interesting post Monday though. We get back from encounter on Sunday. We (a group of Church of God women) are going for a weekend in the woods to have an encounter with God. Doesn't that sound interesting? And you can quit laughing now Jerry. :o)

Posted by Barbara at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2004

Serenity Prayer

This was written for moms of teenagers....I'm convinced of it.

GOD, grant me the serenity

to accept the things
I cannot change,
Courage to change the

things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.
Living ONE DAY AT A TIME;

Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the
pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this

sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make

all things right if I
surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy

in this life, and supremely
happy with Him forever in
the next. Amen
Reinhold Neibuhr-1926

Posted by Barbara at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

Happiness or Joy?

The service of the Holy Spirit is that He helps us to distinguish pleasure from happiness and develop real joy. There are many experiences which give us temporary pleasure but do not add up to abiding satisfaction. Their thrills pass quickly, and sometimes leave a trail of regret and remorse. Some of our sense pleasures are like lightening flashes, while true joy is like the sunlight.

Ralph W Stockman D.D.

Posted by Barbara at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2004

Nursing School Preparation

I have had to slow down on posting much that requires any research due to having to prepare for starting back to nursing school. I start back next Monday and have skills check off's the following day. I have been trying to practice and study ahead. I'm getting really nervous and I figure that being prepared is the best way to ease the tension and stress.

I will try to post something everyday even if it is not something wonderful. I read so much everyday that I wish that I could share it all, make it make sense, and make it sound good. :o)

Well, off to study more. Maybe I can find time to post something clever later.

"Jesus said,'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list."
Matthew 22:37-38 The Message

Posted by Barbara at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2004

"I Am The Way The Truth and The Life"

I am the Way
so just follow Me
Though the way be rough
and you cannot see..

I am the Truth
which all men seek
So heed not"false prophets"
nor the words that they speak...

I am the Life
and I hold the key
That opens the door
to eternity....

And in this dark world
I am the Light
To the Promised Land
Where there is no night!

Helen Steiner Rice

I am the way, the truth, and the life.
I am the light of the world.
John 14:6, 8:12

Posted by Barbara at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2004

Being Spiritual

"Being soulish is antagnostic to being spiritual. The spirit, that noblest part of us, the part which may be united to God and ought to regulate the soul and body, is now under the dominion of the soul, that part of us which is earthly in both its motive and aim. The spirit has been stripped of its original position. Man's present condition is abnormal. Wherefore he is pictured as not having spirit. The result of being soulish is that he becomes a mocker, pursuing ungodly passions and creating divisions."

"1 Corinthians 2:14 speaks of such unregenerated persons in this fashion:'The natural (soulish) man does not receive the gifts of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.' Such men as are under the control of their souls with their spirits suppressed are in direct contrast to spiritual people. They may be exceedingly intelligent, able to present masterful ideas or theories, yet they do not consent to the things of the Spirit of God. They are unfit to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. Such revelation is vastly different from human ideas. Man may think human intellect and reasoning are almighty, that the brain is able to comprehend all truths of the world; but the verdict of God's word is, 'vanity of all vanities'."

From "The Spiritual Man" by Watchman Nee page.... 53

Posted by Barbara at 10:44 PM | Comments (2)

August 20, 2004

God Knows Best

Our Father knows what's best for us,
So why should we complain-
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain-
We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear....
Our father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow...
For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand a storm,
And the sharp cut of the chisel
Gives the marble grace and form...
God never hurts us needlessly,
And he never wastes our pain,
For every loss He sends us
Is followed by rich gain....
And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament...
For our Father loves his children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul's deep need is pain...
So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirits strong.

Helen Steiner Rice

Posted by Barbara at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Spiritual Gifts?

Are the spiritual gifts for today? Were they only meant for the prophets in Acts? Many people that do not believe in the practicing of spritual gifts believe that they were only meant for the times that Acts was written about. Many believe that they were meant as a source of comfort from 'The Comforter' for all times.

This is something that I have personally struggled with. My early years were spent in the Church Of God and now that I have gone back to church nearly twenty years later, my atheist husband challenges everything that I have ever been taught. Even this, he says, if you are going to believe.....you have to believe that it was for then and had a purpose. He bases this on the fact that there were many people around that spoke different languages and that they spoke in different tongues so that all that was there could understand what was being said. Of course, if that was the case, why did they need an interpreter then? What would be the difference in the Spirit causing one to prophesy then and now? Do we not still believe in the other gifts of the Spirit with the greatest being love? And if we believe that God wants us to have part of the gifts, then why not all? If he only wanted us to have part of them, why wouldn't he specify that part were for the prophets and part for everyone? Also, if speaking in tongues, casting out of demons, prophesying, etc....were just for those times, then why does Matthew 7:22 say this? "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" And for those that oppose speaking in tongues, why does the Bible say this in 1 Chorinthians 14:39 "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues"?

Of course, I am the type of believer that doesn't think that one denomination has it all figured out and knows all of the answers. I think that all of the denominations have some good ideas. I don't think that just one denomination is going to go to heaven and the rest will be left behind in hell to burn forever. I believe that each individual person has to work out their own salvation. That is between them and God. My salvation is between me and God.

Posted by Barbara at 06:22 AM | Comments (20)

August 18, 2004

Believing is Healthy

Okay....here is a reason to believe that even my atheist husband has to embrace to some extent. It is actually healthy to believe and pray. According to recent studies as shown on WebMD, being spiritual and religious can make you healthier and add years onto your life.

In addition, as shown in the same article, a controversial study was done on prayer done for others without their knowledge (intercessory prayer) and was found to have some bearing on the success of their recovery. And yet another article that has similar findings can be found here.

I don't know about you guys, but going to church and having fellowship with other Christian people and experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit makes me feel better. Won't the skeptics and unbelievers be glad to know that we now have another reason to attend church and worship? :o)

Posted by Barbara at 10:40 PM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

Why Am I Complaining?

My cross is not too heavy,
My road is not too rough
Because God walks beside me
And to know this is enough....
And though I get so lonely
I know I'm not alone
For the Lord God is my Father
And He loves me as His own...
So though I'm tired and weary
And I wish my race were run
God will only terminate it
When my work on earth is done....
So let me stop complaining
About my "load of care"
For God will always lighten it
When it gets too much to bear...
And if he does not ease my load
He will give me the strength to bear it
For God in love and mercy
Is always near to share it.

Helen Steiner Rice

When thou passest through the waters,
I will be with thee;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned.
Isaiah 43:2

Posted by Barbara at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Are We All Mystics??

We are all of us more mystics than we believe or choose to believe.....We have seen more than we let on, even to ourselves. Through some moment of beauty or pain, some subtle turning of our lives, we catch glimmers at least of what the saints are blinded by; only then, unlike the saints, we go on as though nothing has happened. To go on as though something has happened, even though we are not sure what it was or just where we are supposed to go with it, is to enter the demension of life that religion is a word for.

Frederick Buechner from 'Rumors' by Philip Yancey

Posted by Barbara at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2004

Miracles & the Unbeliever

"The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Faith does not ..... spring from the miracle, but the miracle from faith.

Fyodor Dostoevsky as quoted in 'The Jesus I Never Knew' by Philip Yancey

Posted by Barbara at 09:30 AM | Comments (2)

August 13, 2004

Intelligent blogging??

I apologize for the lack of posts for the last couple of days. I have had my hands full babysitting and running errands for friends. Not to mention that I have two active teenage boys that don't drive yet. :o)

I guess that most of you have figured out that I do not know a lot about having my own blog by now. I have been touring other blogs and I'm not as educated as some as far as writing skills and knowledge in philosophy. Some people think that those two things are a huge part of measuring your intelligence. Sure, I'm as impressed as the next guy if you can memorize ANYTHING enough to quote it off of the top of your head, or know subjects well enough to be able to go back and look up the quotes. However, it doesn't have to be philosophy or science to impress me.

I guess that is why we all have our differing favorite blogs, huh? We pick ones that fit our taste and feed us intellectually because we all view what that is differently. Well, I have started my list of links to blogs that I enjoy. I will be introducing them in future posts but don't wait until then. Go ahead and check them out.

Posted by Barbara at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

"I Am Happy Every Hour of the Day"

I borrowed this quote from John Merrick, the Elephant Man. He found happiness in spite of his horrible affliction. How many of us could if we were in that situation?

I, on the other hand, have everything to be grateful for. I have a few little gnawing problems that get me down once in awhile. Who doesn't? But still, I can honestly say, that I am happy. I have truly been blessed.

I will have Ms Emily again today! More smiles, giggles, da-da-da-da's, and funny faces. Who wouldn't be happy? :o)

Hopefully, I will have time for a more serious entry tonight?

Posted by Barbara at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Babysitting

emnmat.jpg

Today was spent babysitting my beautiful handful of a niece so I will be posting light tonight. Her name is Emily and is shown above with my son Matthew. :o)

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Posted by Barbara at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

To Believe or Not to Believe?

Living with an atheist challenges your faith everyday. You think and rethink everything that you do or say. You second guess yourself, your thoughts, your actions. You constantly ask yourself why you are doing something. Is it because the church tells you that you should? A church elder? The pastor? The Bible? Your parents? Was that God REALLY speaking to me or just my imagination? Just when you feel comfortable, you are challenged again.

I used to resent the fact and still really get my feelings hurt when I feel that I'm looked at as a weak person because of my beliefs and faith, but am beginning to see things from a new perspective. This constant challenge has caused me to to go on a search that I think will ultimately bring us together in the end. Of course, I think that in the end, he will see the truth and come to realize that there is a very real God. He thinks that I will end up seeing the truth and see that I have been brainwashed my entire life.

Does faith delude us into seeing a world that doesn't exist, or does it reveal the existence of a world we cannot see without it?

Doubters want ironclad proof. There is none. 'You need eyes to see and ears to hear', Jesus said to those who doubted him. It takes the mystery of faith, always, to believe. The ordinary, natural world contains the supernatural,a necessary step since we don't have the capacity to apprehend God directly. We see God best in the same way we see a solar eclipse: not by staring at the sun, which would cause blindness, but through something on which the sun is projected.

Posted by Barbara at 09:34 PM | Comments (3)

The Adoption

I heard the front door open
My heart began to pound
I froze to see if it was them
Then I heard the sound

Of a tiny little four-year-old
Asking this strange man
"How come we gathered all my clothes?"
Did my husband have a plan?

Exactly how to tell the child
On this awaited day
"You've left the only house you've known
And now you're here to stay?"

And what am I to say to him,
"Hello my name is Mom"?
I was filled with insecurity
But my husband looked so calm

He diverted his attention
And didn't answer right away
He looked at me assuredly
"Let's just let him play."

After minutes just crept and crawled away
He patted his right knee.
"Can I talk to you a moment, Child?
Would you sit right here with me?"

He stopped what he was doing
And crawled up on his lap
He looked straight into my husband's face
And dropped his baseball cap.

"Michael, do you have a Dad?"
My heart jumped in my throat.
A sadness swept that precious face
"No," he said, "I don't."

"Michael, I've been thinking
Since the first I saw of you
We've got a common problem
Is there something we can do?"

"I've everything that I could want
Upon my list but one
It seems that you don't have a Dad
and I don't have a son."

"Watcha say we strike a deal
And seal it with a shake?
I've thought it over carefully
Now, the choice is yours to make."

I remember well the boy's words,
Feet swinging as he sat--
After all this time without a Dad,
"It happens just like that?"

The man gave him a gentle nod
The boy's grin grew wet
As if he thought, "What's there to lose?"
He blurted out, "You bet!"

His hand appeared so fragile
In my husband's callused palm
Keith whipered, "There's a bonus here.
That lady's now your mom!"

The handshake gave way to a hug
Tears came as no surprise
Transfixed, I watched my precious son
Be born before my eyes.

They ascended up our stairway
Suitcase tightly in his hand
My husband pointed to a door
And said, "Enter, little man."

Cautiously he took each step
Until he was inside
Bunk beds for boys, and lots of toys
Confused, his eyes grew wide.

"Whose stuff is this?" The boy inquired
Not knowing what to do
"Go ahead and touch it, Child!
It all belongs to you."

The birthday of our special son
Should not seem strange or new
For if you have been born again
You've been adopted too.

For God so loves the aching world
He pulls us, good and bad,
On to his lap and says to us,
"I want to be your Dad."

"You have no Heavenly Father
And you're not my son, it's true,
But there's room inside my family
A space made just for you.

"It's not a snap decision
It's the kind that takes the heart
But with a 'yes' all things are new
Want a second start?"

"You bet, Dear Lord, my mind's made up.
I've made my final choice
Yes, I'll be your brand new son!"
Let angels now rejoice!

"Partake, Joint Heir, your heritage...
I am your great Reward
Stick closely by my side, Dear Child
I'll guard you with my sword!"

Friend, are you wandering lost about,
An orphan of the soul,
Bleeding from your brokeness?
But One can make you whole.

Cease waiting 'til you're good enough
There's nothing you can do
God's business is adoption, Child,
And He has chosen you.

Forsake the earthly vanities
No treasure's left to own
That equals that sweet moment when
God says, "Child, welcome home."

by Beth Moore
from Things Pondered

Posted by Barbara at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2004

Afraid of Church?

Is it possible that some people are afraid of church?

I have been trying to get my step-dad to go to church with us. He keeps saying that he hasn't lost anything there and he isn't worried about his salvation. He believes in God and thinks that he can worship just fine from home. He thinks that the church is just full of hypocrites and there to take your money. He makes fun of our church when given the chance and he has never even attended the first service. Of course, he does it light-heartedly, but still refuses to even go and see what makes me and Mom want to continue going. My husband, the atheist, has been several times himself and would go again and again if he really thought that I wanted him to even though he wouldn't want to attend regularly.

I might be wrong, but I really think that he'd enjoy our church if he went. Maybe that is what he is afraid of. But why? Is he afraid that he'd have to eat some words or admit to something he doesn't want to admit to? :o) Men!! I've tried every trick in the book that I know of to try to get him to attend just once. I've asked him to go just once for me, I've offered to take him to lunch, promised to never bother him again if he goes one time..... Any other suggestions other than praying?

Posted by Barbara at 04:25 PM | Comments (2)

August 07, 2004

Learning to Pray

This week I am concentrating on how to pray. That almost seems too ignorant to put in my blog, because we all assume that everyone can pray....and we can. I am talking about REALLY praying. I have found myself thinking many times that I really do not know how to pray. Since I began feeling this way, I have heard others state the same thing. The disciples even said, "Lord, teach us to pray."

I grew up influenced by Christian people, taught to believe in God, and went to church much of my life. I knew a lot of Bible scriptures, the books of the Bible, the ten commandments, the favorite children's stories, and most of the basics. I heard a lot of stories of miracles and answered prayers and how good God was and witnessed much of it myself. I was thrown little peices of advice like, "Always pray for God's will because His will is what is best." However, I don't think anyone told me how to really pray other than to talk to God like I would talk to my mom or dad.

When the disciples asked the Lord how to pray, he gave them the Lord's Prayer. According to Kay Arthur's book "Lord Teach Me To Pray," He did not give this to them to mindlessly repeat over and over, He gave it to them (and us) as an example of what should be included in our prayers. She breaks down the prayer and shows how it teaches us to worship, show allegience to God's sovereignty, show submission to His will, ask for His provision, confess and ask forgiveness of our sins, and to ask Him to watch us and deliver us from evil. She also points out other scriptural references to prayer such as 2 Timothy 2:15. John 14:13, John 16:23, Matthew 21:22, James 4:1-3,Isaiah 31:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Isaiah 59:1-2, Psalm 66:18, 1 John 1:9, James 5:16, and more. The Bible is ultimately our guide to effective prayer.

Throughout my post I have dreaded clicking the 'post' button because I know the comments from "you-know-who" will begin so I decided to end this post with a quote. :o)

"If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully-the life you save may be your own-and Jesus says, Whoever would save his lifewill lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The world says, Law and order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get, and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world's sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under the cross than under a delusion. "We are fools for Christ's sake," Paul says, faith says-the faith that ultimately the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men, the lunacy of Jesus saner than the grim sanity of the world.
Frederick Buechner

Posted by Barbara at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)

August 05, 2004

Welcome to my Blog

     Hey all! My name is Barbara and I have not figured out exactly why I wanted to start my own blog. Most of my thoughts have been being posted in a private journal where they cannot be attacked or criticized. However, I really think that I would like the interaction that goes along with a public blog.
     My incredibly intelligent and wonderful husband put this one together for me and will probably soon regret that he did for a number of reasons. The first reason is that I am almost completely computer illiterate and I will be constantly asking him to fix, change, or configure something for me. The second one is that I will most likely embarrass him. The third is that it will most likely become a battleground for us. While we have a most fantastic marriage and I think he is truly the most wonderful man in the entire world, we disagree on religion. He is beyond atheist. He not only doesn't believe in God, he hates the very idea of God. I, on the other hand, believe wholeheartedly in God and attend a charismatic Church of God Church. You can imagine the arguments at the dinner table, right? I'm sure you will get the idea if you follow my blog.
     Anyway, I intend to blog on more than religion and God, but intend to base the majority of it around it. I feel that we should base all that we do around God. There will probably be tidbits of health issues considering that I am currently a nursing student. I may choose to discuss issues concerning teens, ADHD, adoption, epilepsy, or divorce since I am divorced and remarried with an adopted teenager with ADHD and I have epilepsy. We have two cats and a dog who are as much our children as our two teenagers also. We are currently trying to get into volunteering in our community too. I'm sure it will lend to some experiences worth sharing.
     I hope this gives you all some insight as to what my blog might be like and will interest you enough to make you want to come back and visit.

Posted by Barbara at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)