30 January 2007

what is up with death?

so it has just been one of those weeks...tomorrow will mark exactly a week that my phone rang and the news came...you know 'the news' ..news that no one likes getting... i knew that it wasn't good the moment my dads voice was on my voice mail- you just know it in the 'tone' ... there is the sound that is there at that moment that is not there at any other time... like the time he called because he had just left the vet without the dog he swore he 'hated' .. yeah... he loved that dog.. or when he called to tell me his mom had finally won the fight and gone to dance again (she was bound to years in a wheelchair due to diabetes...i always loved that he said the words she had 'won' as he knew in his heart and in his pain she was no longer in her pain...) or the call i over heard last year on the news his brother had passed....it is that same tone his voice gets that was on my voice mail... so i put off calling him back.. for a few moments ... but only a few.. you can't change what the news will be.. you can only put it off for a moment..

the news? my grandma has take a turn for the 'worse' ... her body is 'shutting down'... it is 'wearing out' .. like a car wears out after it is driven too many miles... or a pair of shoes wears out after you walk to many miles ... or a shirt you love a lot and wear all the time wears out from too much love... her body is 'wearing out' ... or is it? not really.. it seems they think...or guess she might have cancer.. (UGH i'm pretty sick of that word..never have liked it...but it keeps coming up in my life these days) somewhere in her body that is complicating her already sick body (she has had emphysema for almost 20 years) and it just can't take it any more...they don't know how much longer she will make it...it could be days...or months... (I laughed out loud...i did... oops!)

days or months...what is that... "hi i am death...and just wanted you to know you have days...or well you have months..." i guess in reality we all have days...or months... or years.... as not one of us knows...but this seemed so odd to me- to get that call ...with that tone in the voice... and to be told... days or months... we just don't know.. but this is what we do know.....
she has lived....she has experienced... she has celebrated....she has loved...

i was pretty numb wednesday- biblestudy with the kids was kinda a wash that night- we spent time just laughing they did their best to keep my mind off what was before me. I went home that night and just sat on the edge of my bed for the longest time and thought.. about nothing and everything... i had a lot of conversations with everyone and no one... it was crazy... on my side table is a stack of books i am going to and am reading.. there as been this one sitting there since November that I have been meaning to read... but i keep putting it off... mostly because my life just seems to be full of 'stuff' that is too much right now.. and i was sure the book would be more of the same.. but i was drawn to it... but i couldn't pick it up...

thursday i stayed home from work.. i just couldn't do work .... but i finally picked up the book- i read all day thursday...in fact for 7 hours straight my first stint went- .... it was like the book was meant to be read right now...at this moment... i finished it in 2 days.. 21 hours of reading... little sleep in-between... it is the most real book i have read in a long time. if you haven't read it yet... you need to- the authors are to real... and raw....they share from their hearts...from their own stories of hurt and pain...from their own personal experience of death and sorrow.. and just when you think you can't breath...you find yourself laughing because it is written like only they can... with their strange yet amazing humor!... and it has some of the most amazing and interesting facts you could ever want...and somethings that will make you go.. 'huh?' ... and a lot of questions will be answered that you never knew you had... or maybe you did that you were afraid to ask... what about your soul?... where does this all fit into what was and what will be?... how do i explain this to others....and dang it how does this all relate to bluegrass?....okay so maybe you were not lucky enough to be raised on the sounds of bluegrass and country music... but for those of us who were the ties that binds ... they were great... so to the great authors Crowder and Hogan.. THANK YOU... and if you haven't yet... go out and get it... "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants To Die" by David Crowder and Mike Hogan... it is worth every moment spent reading and even every tear shed... enjoy!

14 January 2007

it just 'icing' on the cake...

okay so it is a first....
it actually happened!
i never thought i would live to see the day that it did....
....but yes today, for the first time in my 33 (almost 34 years of life) ...
I actually work at ...and am a member of a church who was closed on Sunday.
Yes...you read that right! this morning at about 7:18 my cell phone rang to inform me that we would not be holding church services. i was shocked. i thought surly i was hearing things wrong. i mean come on...i grew up in wyoming and i don't ever remember our church being closed (i mean i remember a few sundays when hardly anyone was there and i wondered why we had braved the snow covered...ice slicked roads..but we were there and the doors open) ....and when i lived in Winter Park, Florida and we had our first (of what would be 3 direct hurricane hits) we didn't close our doors once (still not sure i agreed with the first one- i didn't make it to church that sunday due to the fact the family i was with had HUGE trees in their yard and i had just surrivived one of the scarriest nights of my life...my Pastor was not so happy with me...but he was rarely happy with me...I loved Jesus too much and didn't believe in kissin the butt of deep pockets- but i digress) ....but today i recieved the phone call that shocked me... yes we were closing our doors. NOW let me go on record... lots of churches closed their doors- all over- it is a little thing called....ICE... and it is interupting life as we know it in central texas.... for me it is baffeling- in Wyoming this wouldn't scare off a first grader trying to learn how to ride their new bike..but let me tell you as some one who learned to drive on streets of snow and ice..even i don't like sharing the road with texas drivers on icey roads....so i took the news in stride.... turned off the alarm...and went back to bed....ahhhh zzzzz land... woke late had some breakfast.. read a little and just enjoyed my day. but 2 days in my little house that has more holes than walls is too much....so here i am at the before mentioned closed church.... sitting in my nice warm office....feeling a little guilty for leaving my dogs to fend for themselves in my cold house.....i have a space heater in the bathroom and bedroom- but well i don't trust them alone with them on... but they have built in fur coats right? oh well...for now i am gonna go brave walmart..hahaha bout the only time you can go...no one will be there...they are too scared to come out in this ice stuff! THANK YOU MR. ICE STORM! .... i hate my cold cold house...but i love an empty walmart!!!!!!!!!

06 January 2007

5 things you don't know.....

okay so this is OLD and long time coming my good buddy ...heck i would call her a best friend (do you still have best friends in your 30's....sure you do) mindi tagged me (is that what you call it?- ugh i am so lame!) so here goes... 5 things you don't know about me....
1. SHOES! as much as i brag that i am not your typical girl... that i don't like to shop or spend HOURS getting ready--- i really really can't stand my friends who spend hours upon hours getting ready to go somewhere .... i do have a LOVE for shoes... but... and this is a BIG BUT i will go on the record saying my shoe collection is NOT full of spiky heels and pointed toed insaned things that people (girls) claim to call shoes...and some (like my afore mentioned buddy above) LIE and say "i know they don't look like it---- but really these 90" extreme elf-pointed toed jimmi-choos are comfortable" WHATEVER! ...so anyway here is my count- yes it is a sickness and i will go i record- i did downsize in my last move:
Birkenstocks-17 pair (i only paid full price for 1 pair (my first pair) all others have come from an outlet....which make them so affordable... or as gifts...still it does make me a little sick-i use to own 27 pair..i donated 10 pair in my last move) Chocos- 3 pair- Crocs- 5 pair- in 5 fun colors of course, 3 pair of cowboy boots- 2 pair lace up ropers, 1 pair custom boots that i got as a high school grad gift in 1991 (see good shoes last people!) one pair of Italian shoes that my students call my 'bowling shoes' umm no... too good to bowl in... but so fun... don't wear them enough.. a few pair tennis shoes...fun ones...not like lets to go the gym...but these are stylin' and then 1 lets go to the gym and do some damage... and well then i have 5 or 6 pair of flip flops.... i think that may be all... man i hope so...this list is making me sick... YIKES... and to think this is down size...
2.I'm a deep thinker/analytical/have the gift of discernment: yeah yeah yeah... call it what you want... this surprises lots of people but i am a thinker.. i spend lots of think thinking about things- people -situations-things i can change- things i can't- things God has put on my heart- things He wants me to be a part of... see my strongest spiritual gift is this thing called Discernment- which many people when they give me the quick once over would never guess that- but it is there...and i try to be really faithful with it... but another friend of mine Greg, she also has the Spiritual gift of Discernment...and if you have this gift you understand...it is tough sometimes... it is one of those spiritual gifts that you at times want to throw your hands up in the air look up and go "seriously?".... i mean i don't...but there are time... wow... but i am a deep thinker... people just don't get me the credit... i think it's the hair... or maybe it's the tattoos...or both? or maybe it's the job?????
3.Speaking of Tattoos...some of my friends that read this will not like number 3....sorry... but okay for some of you you are also gonna say duh and say that number 3 doesn't count... i told you that this is hard... okay so i want to get a few more tattoos.. i know i know... some of you are rolling your eyes saying NO, DON'T, you can't....blah blah blah we can debate this later...but here are the 3 i really want to get... don't know if i ever will...on my left wrist under my watch band (so really just for me) i want to get a tattoo in Hebrew that reads "love the Lord with all your Heart, Soul, and Mind (from Duet) coming from where it says to inscribe it on your foreheads (don't want a tattoo on my forehead) and left hand. then i have a picture of my dad and i from when i was like 2 or 3 of us on the beach in cali it is us from behind walking in the surf. I would love to have that somewhere on me... with my dad's and my birth dates on it... and then a snowflake with a cross as the center with my mom's and my birthdates on it (mymom is a HUGE snowflake person) ... i am addicted to miami ink i record it every week so i don't miss it... i would KILL to have one done there i have even down loaded the application... now it is just coming up with the money and then getting accepted...well and filling out the application..i guess i never think i'll get picked anyway!
4.I always wanted to really be a Neo-Natal ICU Nurse: so from the time i was little blood, guts and the thrill of a hospital was my draw... one problem.. my brain! yup little issue called dyslexia and well an adversion to MATH thanks to the dyslexia and well that wasn't in the cards. I did the EMT deal and would love to go back and get the cert again as I LOVED riding in the ambulance and working the er...even just for weekend call and such....man! i don't know if it was all the time i spent in the hospital as a child or what...but i never freak out in those situations... never have.. you can have blood and guts every where and i am calm and in control- yet put me in a room with a bunch of over educated adults and tell me to explain how to make a a paper airplane and well i am not a happy camper... it always cracks me up to hear my friend Janice talk about a road trip i made with her one day to pick up her grand kids- we happened up on a really bad accident and i just went into action doin my thing- she was so amazed that i knew what to do..it was old hat for me...i love when old things we have done in the past come back and God can use it to bless someone... it was very useful that day for that girl...
5. I dream big, often, and believe!:so i can't so i always say that i know i had great parents..because like most teens i went though stages where i thought they were bad...horrid...awful...whatever...but i really did have amazing parents... WHY? because they taught me to dream...and to dream big... not only that they taught me to believe in my dreams..because my dreams were placed there by God and God alone...and in every dream was a possibility and in every possibility an adventure and in every adventure a new experience and in that experience growth from that growth would come wisdom and from wisdom would come knowledge and from knowledge would come grace.....see how this goes... I WAS and AM BLESSED! i still remember my 2nd grade teacher mrs smith calling my mom and telling her that i spent too much time 'imagining' things and they needed to teach me 'reality'- i'll never forget over hearing my mom telling her that children grow up too fast and my imagination was just beginning- that my dad and her couldn't wait to see what doors God opened up. that night my dad as he tucked me in to bed with is nightly ritual of a bed time story, a bible story, a kiss on the forehead, nose, and chin his 'you are the prettiest princess in all the world in both your Father's eyes' turned on my night light 'may the Son rise to greet you in the morning' turn off my big light looked at me and said something along the lines of 'hey mago tonight dream extra big- God's got big possibilities for you- no matter what teachers or other big people tell you- you are special- let those dreams get as big as He wants them to be- they are just possibilities waiting to happen.' ..... so I still dream big... and right now... my biggest dream? is simple really... "Mission Dreams" ... a new look on how we do short term missions- really it isn't a new look it is going back and refocusing and revisioning how we are approaching short-term missions- how that gonna work? don't know yet... it's just a dream...but here is the amazingly cool part..it is not my dream...it is God's...He put it there! Dream with me....and PRAY!

who is Jesus for you?...

okay so umm disclaimer... these are my notes from the sermon on 24 december 2006 that i promised from my last post- so take note these are MY notes. meaning a. this is what my brain took in b. this is MY brain we are talking about c. you get my filters d. i may have missed a lot- i can be a little ADD e. i may have added something-often when someone is preaching i will have a thought and go off on something- i will try to say if it is my own thought (if i can remember or not) ... lastly- you can so go to www.stonegatefellowship.com and get their podcast or just listen to this message- it is so worth it- their Pastor- Patrick Payton is a great communicator... okay onto the message:

~Who is Jesus for you? during the Holidays and always?
~What are you doing, or are you going to do with who Jesus is this Christmas season?
~Is He just your Holiday Savor?
3 questions to really think about

What kind of Jesus do you worship/have in your life?
1. Holiday Jesus: you take him out when it's 'okay' (you might be a 'Christer') he's just always 'baby Jesus' - Get with it Jesus is REAL AND POWERFUL--- or is he just a plastic figure you put up in your yard or a cute little figure in your nativity at home?
2. Football Jesus: You find someone to hand him off too when he gets to be too much- the responsibility is more than you signed up for- or just isn't so 'cool'
3. LasVegas Jesus: You want something for nothing! You give him a token buck or ten of your life but you want the million dollar pay off- or the "what happens in church stays in church" I show up and do my part, but don't expect my outside life and church life to collide. - think about it: can you buy and manipulate God? God knows your heart!
4. Social Jesus: not too much, not all the time, not too loud, don't want to really 'hear him' you want him to be 'just like you' drive the same car, dress the same, etc. FACT: He is NOT just like us: He asks us to be like him. 'Be Holy as I am Holy...'
Our Hope and our Goal~ but be careful--- do a gut check should be that:
Jesus is King- Ruler- Lord- Master of my life... (lizzy can you say this? in all areas...loudly? boldly? what areas are maybe dull? what areas do you not feel that you can boldly proclaim? you can't proclaim it in only part of your life...it is an all or nothing deal... that is the problem so many times people want to say okay but only in part a and c of my life the rest is mine... i want to make sure i can say it and say it boldly in all parts of my life where am i not saying it boldly and best? how can i change that? ... ask Him to show you and don't wait...)
"I've come that you may have life ....." "you must lose your life..." "take up your cross...."
FACT= You can't have Christmas without Easter... or think about it...Christmas would be pretty meaningless really... okay...so you would have the virgin birth but that about it...another birthday that for some odd reason lots and lots of people celebrate for years after the person passes... think about that for a few and then it hits you...more pastors need to clue into this on Christmas i think...that my humble opinion... okay back to Patrick's message
From the cradle to the cross (oops that is mine too) with out the crucifixion we are fools (understatement) we are just a bunch of people who celebrate something that happens every day (birth) so....is he REALLY your KING? is he King of your speech? Money? Job Change? thoughts? Actions? are you following the small voice that speaks to your heart and soul?
is He your King? Yes? What does that look like???
let me know would love to talk about it some!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CHRISTmas message i always wanted....

so i have been putting off posting this... trying to figure out how to put this in words and realized it wasn't gonna happen till i just sat down and did it! so here it goes:
okay so this year was kinda a strange Christmas for me- first time to not be with family- and for being 33- it is kinda odd- okay no lie- it was ROUGH- and to be really honest- i mean why lie now- i wasn't really looking forward to Christmas eve services. i mean lets get real.
you go to church on Christmas eve and you get these feel good baby Jesus messages, light candles, sing songs, go home, go to sleep, get up and open way too many gifts- really we have things a little- okay A LOT messed up.
so this year being what it was, i was really not so hip on going to hear a ho humm happy go lucky message- now i will say that i was expecting a pretty good sermon from the church i was going to in the morning as the i really like and respect the pastor at the church- but i wasn't sure how much he would 'bring it' being that it was Christmas morning at all and they were not doing Christmas eve services- just morning services (which can i go on record and say AMEN! why do it twice in one day if you are gonna do it right the first time...and they did btw..more on that in a min) so i get up and go to meet my friends at church....
it was tougher than i thought to be at church- didn't help that i was sitting between two of the sweetest people in the world (frances and charlie) and when the singing started up he sounded just like my dad- a little off key (sorry charlie... love ya baby) but sang with heart and JOY! so i got a little teary... but pulled myself together...music over- pastor comes up to give the message- i get my bible out and my journal ready to take some notes- thinking 'will i have something to really 'chew on' this week?' - and this pastor gives the CHRISTmas sermon i have been wanting for years. in fact it was a message i have said in some ways to people before- i am sure some people sat there a tad bit uncomfortable- it is okay- sometimes we are spose to be uncomfortable at church. I was once told if you are too comfortable at church you must be asleep or at the wrong church- but i digress- so this message-- it was amazing- it was not your feel good lets get baby Jesus out and put him in the manger...NOPE! it was the yup it's Christmas- but what are you gonna do with this gift from now on... because reality is with out the resurrection- Christmas really wasn't that exciting... you HAVE to have the whole story... WOW... i will blog more about his message in my next post...but i want to give you a little contrast...so in the morning i get this AMAZING message-- then that night I go to church with the family i am staying with for the 6pm service and what do we get? a pastor who prays we find Manger power (i still haven't figured that out yet--- what the HECK is manger power? is it like what Superman has when he can stop a moving train? but it is holy? don't get that...is it something you can wrap and put under a tree for your unsaved friends? cause that is kinda what it sounded like...CRAZY) and then made the statement that the Trinity teaches us that we need to be in community as God himself was lonely as he created 3 of himself.. I sat their confused ... thinking surly i misunderstood him- so i waited for church to be out- and asked the college aged daughter of the family i was with if i wrote down the quote right. she said she heard the same thing. I still hope I am wrong- if not- that is some confusing theology- ahh GRRR welcome to some crazy preaching... so more on the great message in the next post