Fill me up, Lord

"You will seek me, & find me when you seek me w/ all your heart," God says. But that is not the whole story. I'm not just a searcher. I'm also a hider. You too. We have to come face-to-face w/ our tendency to hide, to get lost. ~John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I exaggerate

My witch doctor is a podiatrist/natural medicine, 84-year-old. Jewish, gentleman. He doesn't accept insurance. It's weird.

Genuine, Authentic, Community

I need to be open and vulnerable with my grace-providers. I need to be watching for potential future grace-providers....

These are my current favorite words: genuine, authentic, community;

What are your favorite words & how do they reflect your own identity? Or do they?

Monday, August 28, 2006

God's Not Lost

Did you know you could catch up & chat with God
while listening to reggae at Starbucks,
& drinking a medium chai latte?

Please share a unique place you have met with God....


I was going to delete the church post, because I was starting to feel it was slanderous. I don't regret writing it, but I think it has served its purpose. But then I read Milk Machine's comment, and I think I am keeping it.

It was a VERY interesting weekend.... Friday I was convinced I would be going to Willow on Sun., then Sat. I told my parents I'd be joining them for church. Sunday, I got my act together & went to my regular church. And we had another "ministry update". As soon as I saw that, I almost shat in my shorts because I was thinking, "crap, someone else resigned!". But thankfully, no one did!

During the sermon, Pastor C referenced the conflict we are currently going through. He stated his commitment to being at this church, and that we shouldn't think that just because we are going through a hard time, we need to go somewhere else until this "business" is over. He said we need to commit and stick it through.

Whammo! Was that God or what? Regardless, it doesn't mean I will make the right decision, but then how does that fall in line with this week's Bible study on OBEDIENCE. Maybe, I answered my own question. God doesn't want our gifts and sacrifices so much as our obedience. Blech. I stink in that category.

He also announced we are 10% behind in our budget, and I was secretly glad. I know that is terrible.

I am feeling good about slavery for the first time in about two years. I am excited to go to work each day. My clients are cute, slow, and don't follow directions. I think it's time to bring out the "mean queen" technique. Every day seems new, & it feels good to work hard & come home feeling tired -but a good tired. It's good to have place and purpose for each day. God did create us for work. Work was on the Earth before the fall even. I pray that I would be willing to a humble learner, & that I would show mercy & forgiveness, and give GRACE.

Right now I LACK faith! (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith = waiting=trust, humility, hope

Never having the life I want scares me so much. It would be disappointing. I think I am wanting God to love me the way I WANT HIM to love me. I know that is selfish & arrogant & really clear evidence that I do not comprehend GOD and who He is, but that is where I am at.

I am so thankful for this season of hunger and eating of God's Holy Word. In order for me to apply God's solutions for managing obstacles, I have to have an accurate understanding of God's Word. I am reading through Mark, and I go through several passages in Philippians, Ephesians, I John & Colossians.

I see God in my life through the relationships that I have, who want me when I feel unwantable. People lately have been just calling me out of the blue "just to talk". Hmmm.... GOD SIGHTING!


Right now I am webbing:
RISK: unsafe, unknown, not in control
FEAR: unsafe; allowing isolation as a result of;

My book title:
If God is Enough, why can't I _____________ .
(I do not have a publisher yet.)

Ears: no tumors; no solutions;
will live with clogging, popping, & ringing. There are worse things in life.
Foot: not limping, still hurting; will not go to witch doctor anymore. He is in the Edgebrook section of Chicago. Whatever! Lesson Learned: BUY I-PASS, stupid!!!!!

Question... Can you look good on a budget? I am not sure. And I stubbornly, I don't want to find out. Kohl's alone freaks me out. I went to TJMaxx's the other day, and almost threw up.

What is the connection between over-spending and a lack of organization?
(please don't say selfishness or chemical imbalance, because I have explored both of those)

Quotable from MTV's the Real World: (I'm serious!):
"Self-love is the best human love you can receive."

from Oprah's "Viewers Favorite Moments"
-I may have posted this before; please don't knock Oprah; yes she is somewhat self-help/new agey; no, she is not my god & I don't belong to the Church of Oprah;

"God can dream a bigger dream than you could ever dream for yourself."
"There are no coincidences."

"A woman was feeling down emotionally & financially, but some how was able to get a hold of a used pair of "Oprah's shoes". Whenever she felt down, she would put them on, & feel more confident.... and soon she was confident, and she didn't need the shoes anymore!

If you can't step into your shoes, step into Oprah's. Call upon your "inner Oprah". (Oprah = your authentic, confident, self-actualized, purposed woman). Soon you'll be standing on your own in your own shoes."

(please fill in God where you need to; & His strength/grace for the shoes & what have you)

My biggest lesson that keeps coming up and up and up....
Grace = forgiveness & the power to overcome temptation & sin = God always gives us a way out= He doesn't give us anything we can't handle=He endures suffering with us. It is used to draw us closer to Him & so that His glory can be seen through me.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Witch Doctors & Church feuding

Tomorrow, slavery starts again. I am actually looking forward to it, and feel very ready for the year.

Saturday, I went to a witch doctor. I was scared out of my mind to go, but he turned out to be a very short Jewish guy. Seriously...The shortest guy I've ever met in my life. I am glad that he is Jewish. I kind of think Jewish doctors are good luck..., well, not good luck, but I think it's just better that way. Although I did have a Jewish dentist, and that didn't work out so well....

Tuesday I get to find out if I have tumors. I really probably don't, I just like to say that to freak people out. It's weird 4 out of 6 of us in small group have medical things going on.

Church is very weird right now. It's very uncomfortable. They keep hauling in all these "church experts", but they are not really getting at the issue. Reconciliation is unlikely at this point. These experts really have no idea as to what is going on, or at least they are just blindly taking the side of the pastor. Seeing Christians in improperly handled conflict with each other is just disgusting. Seeing grown men and women I have grown up with (my parents age), looked up to & respected, crying, shouting at each other, and just being so, I don't know. It really breaks my heart to see my family go through that. I never thought it would happen to us. Our pastor calls that "church pride", and that is what it is.

I joke about it a lot, but really, it's just a cover up for the fear & hurt I have. But God is in control. I just really thought reconciliation could happen. I thought people could make changes within in the church. But they are just leaving, so hurt, some attend other churches, others have started their own. It is nauseous. All I can do is continue praying.

At first this conflict really revved me up to seeing how important it is to be a member of one's church that they attend and support financially. I wanted to have a voice that actually mattered in church matters. But now, I don't really know. Do I even want an association with this place? Can I still go to a place of worship where I am not really sure that I trust the integrity of the leadership? And isn't that interesting.... I love the teaching.... But the values & integrity, is questionable. (meaning I truly don't know.. Only God knows.)

At one point during this crisis, I received a letter from past board members, affirming a certain side of this issue. I then was reading in scripture about how we should honor & respect the wisdom of those who are our "elders". So I thought, well that's my sign... I am putting it in God's hand.

But now I see men who I think ARE full of integrity leaving... And I don't know what to think.

I sort of want to stop going until this smoothes over a bit. So far we have had 2 pastors leave, 1 elder, and 1 secretary.

I might erase this post, I don't know.

This is the church I was dedicated at, grew up at, and one day dreamed of getting married there... (despite there not being a middle aisle -grrr)...

But, you don't become part of a Christian community for those above reasons. Right now the worship service seems so hollow & empty (not attendance wise), but God IS there. It's depressing to go. I hear they might not even hire another worship pastor for another year. I don't think I can take another year of this. I've heard downstairs at the sinner service, things are better, but I wonder how long that will last, as that assistant pastor has left now too.

But, those pastors are not the church, and I think people are forgetting that, but it feels like they are the church, as worship is at the fore-front of our services.

NOTE: this is just my opinion and thoughts, and they are likely to change at any moment; I am not trying to bash individuals -I can't TELL you how many times I have edited this account, and probably will continue to do so

I don't really want advice on how to handle it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Random Thoughts *who me?*

Do you realize that in about 40 years,
we'll have millions of old ladies running around
with tattoos and pierced navels? (
Now that's scary!)

Money can't buy happiness...
--but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than a Kia.


I had a commenter ask about why I haven't responded to readers in the comments area.

Actually, I did once.

I guess I feel like I have written my say in the blog entry, and the comments area is for the readers.

Some bloggers comment, others don't (at least the 3824928 I've read).

I will consider commenting in that section, however. Thanks for the idea!

Yada Yada #5 is out!!!

Eeee! This is one of my FAVORITE series!! It's about a racially/economically diverse group of urban women, who get tangled through prayer in each others' lives. It's community if I ever saw it! It's awesome to see the lessons the Lord teaches the ladies and the readers.

This series of books have real spawned a number of similar prayer groups throughout the country. I know it has been a great model for my small group, or at least something to strive for.

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught,Book #5 in this popular series by Neta Jackson is now available! Read a sample chapter:

For the Yada prayer sisters and their families, getting caught up in troubles isn't the problem; it's how to get free.

Only weeks ago, we Yada Yada sisters toughened our prayer knees when one of our own was the victim of a vicious, racial attack. Now it seems each household is being thrown into even bigger and badder circumstances. It especially worries me, Jodi Baxter, because I'm a fixer by nature, and the prayer list is getting out of control . . .

If there is an upside, it's that all this trouble is revealing the subtle lies we Yadas believe about God, ourselves, each other and life. Maybe our best hope is to catch on to what God's doing and catch on quick! Before the enemy can take any prisoners. That'd be a freedom worth celebrating.

And celebrating is what I and my spiritual sisters do best!

A Piece of Peace: But When?

U.N. Peace Plan Accepted by all 3 parties!
Thank you, Jesus! Way to be, way to be.

I am sure this is just a band-aid over a huge wound,
but at least some of the killing and dying will stop (temporarily).

But there is no start date for the cessation of violence.
And, Israel is allowed to keep fighting until Sunday? Uh, ok....

The UN sure took its time...
and still has not addressed the issues in Iran & North Korea.
I am sure those will be addressed in 2007,
if Syria/Iran/North Korea haven't blown up the planet.

The article I read, says that people worldwide have lost respect for the UN as a result of the time delay in decision-making.

Hmm, I think most of us already held that view.

The U.N. cannot even control its so-called "peace keepers" from raping local women & girls in villages/cities across Africa.

I think Lebanon DOES need financial and other misc. support.
But why do we have to take the lead?
What about Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, or the UAE, or Germany or what-have-you.

Who da thunk it that FRANCE and the U.S. would be the ones to draft it?
Maybe there is hope for our relationship with our cousines francaise.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Are you being filled?

Are you being filled by the Spirit?
or by the media?
or by your relationships?
or by your job?
or by your children?
or by other substitutes/addictions/vices such as...well, we won't go there today.

I am posting this verse AGAIN, because we all NEED IT!!!

"If you have tasted the Lord's goodness and kindness, cry for more, as a baby cries for milk. Eat God's Word -read it, think about it, -and grow strong in the Lord and be saved."

That's kind of what I meant by naming this blog "Fill Me Up, Lord". I want to be filled up with God's glory, grow into the fullness of my salvation; "Fill me up, Lord" is my cry to God, and the commitment I make to study the Word of God.

This is a charge for myself. The next few weeks are going to be crazy-busy-stressful. ALL the more reason to get filled up by the Spirit & leave other options aside.

Feet: Part Deux

Okay, I know you guys are not really that intrigued about my feet update, but isn't that what blogging is all about? Being self-indulgent? Remember this blog is mine, so I am venting and releasing my negative energy. Hee!

Feet: Regina (PA) said the xray of my foot is normal. But, that for arthritis to show up on an x-ray it has to be 30% present already. (I don't know how to term that correctly. I was going to say effaced, but I have too much Catherine on the brain.) So, now I am going to go the podiatrist. If that doesn't work, well, even regardless... I think I will go to a reflexologist.

See, when I broke my foot the last time, even when it was officially healed, it still was painful. (kind of like when George W. Bush said, "Mission Accomplished", and we are still gunning the crap out of the insurgent Iraqis). So, I'd get up every morning, and just groan in pain, and have to hop out of bed. Eventually, I could limp, and then once I got going, it would be okay. So, last August I had my first massage. After the massage therapist massaged my foot, I NEVER HAD A SINGLE PROBLEM AGAIN!!

So maybe that will work again. My roommate was telling me all about reflexology. Apparently, her GRANDMOTHER in KANSAS is a reflexologist???!@?!? I was like what the heck? I thought reflexologists were hairy, vegetarian, tree-huggers with great karma. I stand corrected.

Ears: 2 appointments. With ENTs. (long story, don't want to go there)

A Social Update:
am watching the television show LOST: Season One with a friend. We were supposed to get through the whole season before fall, but I don't think its going to happen. What shall I do? Season THREE starts in September! I am so screwed!!

CUTE BAG from GAP!!! (Brown & Pink: reversible) Hint: good gift for Literacygirl!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More Willow

Shhhh... don't tell Pastor Colin, but I went to Willow again last night. Last week speaking was one of my favorite authors, John Ortberg. Last night it was Mike Breux. I love him -he is so amazing! He has such a fun sense of humor, and really knows how to communicate God's message in a very clear manner. THE PRAISE AGAIN WAS AWESOME!!! And this week (as it was last week) we sang all familiar songs. (sometimes willow/harvest will sing songs written specifically for their church -i hate that). IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE TIME WITH THE LORD! Usually, I detest those stupid worship choruses, because you say the same line over and over and over again. But the Spirit must have been present, because I could have sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" three million times. Maybe I should go to the contemporary service downstairs sometime.

Our church has 2 services
-in the main sanctuary: Old School service (traditional worship w/organ, orchestra & choir)
-in the gym: The Sinner Service (Worship band)

I prefer old school. But mixing it up with some SS is good too.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pain in the Foot

I have a prayer request.

I have had bad pain in my foot for the past 2 weeks. It is causing me to limp, which is causing my hip to hurt. I cannot run at all.

I went the physician's assistant (PA -shout-out to Regina!) who said it was probably arthritis. Well, how's that for feeling old. Anyway, I went downstairs to get an X-Ray, and the radiologist told me under the table, that nothing shouted out to him that it was broken or anything?

WTF!? (My version of what the FREAK, not F- - --)

The Dr. Says I cannot be barefoot in the house anymore, no more sandals or flip-flops. I am so completely dead. I frickin' hate shoes. I will wear my new tennis shoes, & then my roomie and I have a date to go to the running shoe store so the guy can look at my foot, and see what kind of support I need. And if you happen to see me wearing the above mentioned banned footwear, keep your yapper shut. I don't want to hear about it.

I am just freaking 30 years YOUNG people.
My friend with RH told me to take glucosamine. I've taken gluco in the past for my hips, but I sort of think it's a scam. There are not enough studies out there that prove it helps long-term. And plus, how many vitamins/supplements do I need to take & buy? I think4 is enough for now.

How am I supposed to exercise?
How am I supposed to friggin' walk???
If I don't get any answers, I am going to my mother's podiatrist. Although, I do have a nice ortho from when I broke my foot 2 years ago.
And mom says that arthritis usually comes where you have broken a bone before. However, I broke my 4th & 5th metatarsal, and my pain is in the middle of my foot (which is where Regina says arthritis usually comes about).

Okay, I don't have cancer or anything, but OUCH! OWWWWWWWWWWWWCH!

plus now I have to go to an EarsNose&Throat for my ears. My ears have always sucked. I have such bad memories of going to the ENT as a child, I cannot even tell you. I shiver just thinking about it.

My ears have been ringing non-stop for I think 9 months or longer....And drops didn't help. And according to Regina AND the almighty Internet, there really is no cure for it. It's not the end of the world, but it certainly is dang annoying.

And that folks, is my medical update. (well, minus the scoop on my sleeping)
You know you are freaking old when you are whining non-stop about your freaking medical conditions. Sigh. :-)

Please pray that we can figure out a way for me to go back to regular walking and exercise walking without pain soon. Danke/Merci/Thank You

Thursday, August 03, 2006

God has Only One Treasure: PEOPLE!

I think Willow Creek gets a bad rap. Personally, a few years ago, I was pretty snobby-snobby toward it. Its service felt like a very fake, slick, professional performance.

However, the last 2 years I have been involved with a couple types of small groups there, and I have to say.... that I have met the most genuine, authentic human beings.

They are passionate and excited about their faith. Yes, they love their church & really like to be involved/& help out in every aspect, but Christ is first place in their life. Not the pastor.

Additionally, Willow doesn't just preach & teach the Word...they have a strong focus and commitment to the surrounding communities and beyond.
Something that is lacking in most American Protestant churches...

GREAT Quote from an article that Bill Hybels (Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church) wrote in Christianity Today a few years ago.....

"We cannot afford to be deaf to heaven. Training, process, and strategy are all good. Developing your mind is essential. But ultimately, we walk by faith, not by sight. There is a supernatural dimension to our Christian experience and it comes our way by keeping an ear open to heaven.

I ask myself regularly,
Can I still hear God's voice?
Is the ambient noise level of my life low enough that I can still hear God's voice when he speaks? And do I still have the guts to obey him even though I don't understand him all the time?

Have you reminded yourself recently whose job it is to grow your heart for God?
Is it the church's job?
Your small group's job?


It's your job to make sure your heart for God is increasing.
Nobody can do that for you.

You've got to develop the spiritual practices
that keep you growing towards Christlikeness.

Likewise, is your capacity for loving people deepening?

If you think about it, you realize God has only one kind of treasure. It's people. "
-Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church

What are some spiritual practices that you incorporate into your faith journey?

(Beyond being faithful everyday, in the little things; making the right choices, loving God and loving your neighbor, turning the other cheek, living justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Although these things are good...)

I am thinking of intentional disciplines.

PS: I'd like to hear from my secret readers in California & Missouri.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My lack of feminism.....

My cousin Michelle is taking a woman's studies class. They are talking a lot about feminism and they're required to do a class project. She wanted input/letters/ideas from some of the female members of our family about their ideas/thoughts regarding feminism.

-What is your definition of feminism? -As a Christian do you think that your ideas about feminism differ from
society's definition of feminism? -Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? Why or why not? -Do you think that some of the powerful women in our society (ie Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condolezza Rice, etc.) are positive, or negative, feminist role models? -Who are some of your female role models (living or deceased), & why?
-Was there ever a time when you felt discriminated against
because you are a woman? -Who is your favorite female from the bible?

I'm not a feminist. I think that if all possible women should stay home, and men should work. I think that women make horrible leaders, and I'd much rather work for a man. Women in leadership tend to have something to prove and are very deceiving and conniving. Basically, they are back-stabbers. The only case where this wasn't true was my first post-college employer, & she was a lesbian. So perhaps I should say that heterosexual women should stay out of leadership positions. They have such little self-esteem they feel as if they must be overbearing and in control, and micromanage every single situation. There is no empowerment given to employees whatsoever. It's all about kissing up to her boss, and making sure she is looking good, with little regard for her employee's job satisfaction and security. Employee morale is frequently not a concern for these individuals.

I don't have a definition of feminism, but it has negative connotations for me.

As a Christian, my ideas should be Bible-based, but admittedly, they are not. They are just based on personal work experiences as well as the experiences of my colleagues and friends.

I think Oprah Winfrey, despite negative press, is a wonderful role model for empowerment and achieving goals. I have been personally inspired by her struggles and victories regarding body image and compulsive eating issues.

Hillary Rodham Clinton makes me want to vomit. She is so overbearing, and thinks in a very white-and-black way, meaning there is no alternative way to think besides her own. See my above comments about women in leadership. Of course she is very "BLUE" politically, and I am very "PURPLE". You know what... I concede... She is a positive role model for liberals... However is she really? Or is she sliding in on her husband's political coat tails? She had to put up with a lot of garbage for a lot of years.... Ugh, I don't know... I am undecided.

I think Condolezza Rice is an additional positive model. We talk about her in my 4th grade classroom. She has made tremendous gains throughout her political career, and keeps setting her sights even further. Both Bushes have placed a lot of trust in her. She is totally admirable. She has accomplished much more than many other political African-Americans, or women in general.

Some of my female role models include Oprah Winfrey=see above

My mother =she gave up her job so that she could take care of us full-time, and then later BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO, not out of need....Went back into the job force to restart her career. She made choices that were best for her, not based on society's expectations. Society told her to work full time. Her friends made it clear, that she didn't need to work, so why do that? They even pulled God into the equation, saying that staying home full-time (even though my brother and I were teenagers) was what God wanted her to do! Disgusting!!

The only time I felt discriminated against because I was a woman is when I go buy a car. Thankfully Dad goes with. This is so I don't lose control and scream at them, as I have a tendency in doing. (teehee)

Who is your favorite female from the bible?
-Mary Magdalene (closest woman-friend of Jesus)
-Esther (willing to give up her life for her race, showing courage)
-Mary (mother of Jesus, faced lots of sadness and ridicule, doesn't get enough positive press in the Protestant church)
-Deborah the Judge

growing up female..........
well there were certainly separate "female" and "male" roles in our family. But it wasn't really a negative thing, it was really joked about actually. Women didn't drive into the city. Women did not mow the lawn. (I had to beg my father to let me try it for just 5 seconds.) Beyond that... Not really.

UPDATE...ok since posting, I've dialogued with a highly-respected peer of mine, and have come to this conclusion: She says that she doesn't think that makes me a non-feminist. She thinks that traditionally, feminists made a huge mistake by saying essentially "we are men." Which is not really pro-female, but anti-female. She think that now, feminism is going more towards -- that we are NOT men, and we shouldn't have to be men, but that our voices, experiences, and wisdom should be given proper place AS IT IS.

I can agree with that. Just don't put me in the same corner as Betty Friedan or Hillary Rodham or any of my other former female employers. Perhaps these individuals are really anti-feminism.... If you can't be valued for who you are naturally, then you aren't being valued.

Here are my answers. I expect you to disagree with them. That's okay. But I won't be defending them. So if you want to debate, fine, but I'm not even going to go there. I'd love for you to respond to the above questions as well.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Current Events that Frustrate Me

The United Nations is completely useless.
Why is everyone looking to Bush for leadership/action re: the Lebanon/Israel/Hezbollah crisis?

Don't you think perhaps we should stay out of this one????
Especially when Israel is acting so irrationally with no obvious concern for human life? They seem very unapologetic.

Uhm....Europe, maybe you could gets some balls and deal with this.
OR, shock of all shocks...
maybe Jordan & Saudia Arabia could get a spine and get involved??? Hmm?

Remind me why we are still allies with Saudia Arabia? Because most of the terrorist frmo 9/11 were Saudis. But no, we have to continue to use them for their ideal location. The world is messed up.

There is NO solution. Israel and Palestine will never agree to "share" the land. Jerusalem cannot be divided. It's never going to happen.

I just don't think bombing Lebanon is the answer....Hezbollah is in Lebanon, but mostly it is Lebanese civilians there. Hezbollah has at this point probably left the area and gone into hiding in Syria and/or Iran. Possibly even Pakistan or Saudia Arabia? I don't trust the Saudis.

Of course, did we do the same thing when we tried to remove the Taliban from Afghanistan?

Another wrench in the problem... 2-3 years ago, Israel was occupying part of Lebanon. And now they are bombing the place?

Lebanon is too heavily influenced by Syria. Syria was only just a few months ago told/warned/threatened to leave Lebanon. Clearly, Lebanon does not have a strong government.

The UN needs to get there act together and bring peace keepers there. Also, they have a lot of unfinished business re: Iran & North Korea. It seems the UN's process is so slow... or is the Europeans that want to take a "wait and see" approach.

Israel does depend on the US for support, especially with the rise of anti-Semitism in the European countries.

I'm just not sure that the Israeli response was appropriate to what Hezbollah did. And what Hezbollah did was CLEARLY WRONG.

I think all we can do is pray, and if we have strong opinions we should contact our govt. reps (senators/White House).

Bush needs to STAY OUT of this mess. We are NOT the "parents" of this fighting world. We can only do so much.

Other countries complain when we DO get involved, but when we sit back a little, as in now... we have the world (at least in the Middle-East Countries) asking us to be involved.

Can Egypt, Jordan, & Saudi Arabia use their influence on Iran, Syria, & Lebanon?