Here are the welcome messages from
May 2002

5/7/02 May 7, 2002
5/14/02 May 14, 2002
5/21/02 May 21, 2002
5/28/02 May 28, 2002
May 7, 2002

Want to arm wrestle? I built up some big ol' muscles in my arms last week. I washed my truck (big!) and camper (bigger!) AND waxed them!!!

I'm not going to say I wasn't huffing and puffing while I was doing it and I'm not going to say I wasn't tired when I got done. I will say they needed it and they do look nice now. I even cleaned the insides. Whew! I'm glad I don't have to do that again for a while! Now I want to go somewhere!

About two years ago I bought a computer program to make greeting cards. I used to buy birthday cards ahead of time. I used to buy them from Christian book stores. Then the prices on those cards skyrocketed. I found that for a decent card I was spending $3.00 or more. Some of the cards actually cost $6.00 and up!

I switched to buying cards at a regular store, but the prices on those shot up shortly afterwards. So, I bought a program to make my own. It is easy to do, but I keep forgetting to do it until the occasion is right on top of me. I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to sit down on a regular basis and make a bunch of cards ahead of time, the same way I used to do when I bought them!

When I was contemplating which greeting card program to buy a woman began telling me about two of the different ones. She told me that she got one, a popular one, and it was not very user friendly. So she showed me the one she ended up with and told me how nice and easy it was. God sent her to help me decide! Not only that, He had concern for my budget. The program I bought was $25 with a $20 rebate!!!! Hallelujah!

I've been working outside so much the inside is needing some attention. I'm getting stacks of paperwork here on my computer desk and also on my regular desk. The kitchen counter has a big stack of mail as well as some other things that need to be put away. I better spend some time in here before I drown in paperwork.

I finally got the instruction books I ordered that will teach me how to use Microsoft Front Page to handle my web sites. That's another thing I have to do. I need to sit down and play with that program so that portion of my life gets a little easier. I spend way too much time on the details and not enough on the ministry end of it. I spent half the day yesterday trying to fix my guestbook and working on putting together a mailing list newsletter. It shouldn't have been so difficult, but it was.

Link to the 5/7/02 Bible study.

May 14, 2002

Oh, wow! I'm updating this week's Bible study using my new FrontPage program. My my my, what a difference! This is so much easier! Well, it will be a lot easier once I figure out everything it does. I'm still a bit hesitant because I don't want to do something I can't undo!

I've worked in the html (behind the scenes codes) up till now. It is pretty cool being able to have the program do all the work. It is much easier on my poor brain. This program was so extremely different than what I am used to that I bought some instruction books. I just didn't know where to start and the teensy weensy manual that came with the program was almost worthless.

This is actually very exciting for me! I still have a lot of work to do to modify all my pages to fit within the parameters of this program, but once I do.... watch out! Nothing will hold me back! (Well, nothing but everything else that goes on in my life!)

We've been having some very strange weather. The wind has been blowing more than it ever has before. We've had a series of hot days, then a series of cold days, then a series of cold in the morning changing to hot in the afternoon days. The past three days we have been up in the 100's. Way too warm for spring!

My poor potted plants! I over watered them during the days that were hot in the afternoon. So, I stayed away from them for a couple of days. Saturday they were fine. Yesterday they were looking very thirsty. Hopefully they didn't get too dry! I hate when that happens!

OK, here's something silly for women to consider doing. As the only female in my little world I have found that pink is a color I can have to myself. For example, if I buy myself a pink pen then usually none of my guys uses it. It has come to my attention that M&M's is having a vote on what new color they should make. The colors are pink, purple, and aqua. I'm voting for pink. What do you think? 
Note:  the link is http://gcv.mms.com/us/

I almost had this finished yesterday and I got to playing with my FrontPage program. When I get buried in exploring something on the computer I find that time zips by. I wonder if I will ever learn enough about the programs I use that I won't have to do more searching and exploring. Nah. Probably not.

One thing that would save me a ton of time is a dsl or other speedy Internet connection. I have AOL and have a few of my pages there. Plus, my email address is out there in a lot of places. I really can't change away to another provider. In order to get AOL's dsl I "only" have to pay another $32.00 a month on top of my regular monthly AOL fee! That's more than I would have to pay with another company! AOL makes me mad sometimes, but for some things they are good.

I am a stay-at-home mom. I've worked off and on over the years but, I am basically a stay-at-home mom. When I work we are able to afford more extra things. For example, we used to go snow skiing for a week every spring while I was working full time. We had extra money to buy things, like our ski boat.

Now we have one income, my husband's. As a teacher, his income isn't really terrific, but we manage. I do my part to make sure it buys the things we need. I shop the sales and use coupons. I make a lot of Christmas presents rather than buy them. We still find ways to pay for things that are considered extras. For example, we sold our family vehicle and bought a pickup truck and camper. Granted, they cost more than the van did, but we had saved money knowing it would cost more. That's what I drive.

I am available to help my family when they need it. I am home when they need me to be home. I am able to keep the house and yard decent looking and comfortable.

The main reason I am not working at a job that generates income is God knew you would come visit this website. That's why it is here. That's why He told me not to find another job after the last job I had. He wanted me working for Him. I find it utterly fascinating how God puts things together. He gave me the burning desire to put together a website and gave me the time to do it. He gave me material to put here and now He is drawing the visitors!

I often have people ask me, "What do you do?" This is the way you are judged in society. . . by your job. You ought to see the looks people give me when I tell them I have an Internet ministry. They don't understand what I mean.

So, I see that I am rambling now. Enough is enough! On to the Bible study!

Link to the 5/14/02 Bible study.

May 21, 2002

My husband and I have been looking for a new church home. We have gone to quite a few different churches in the past six months. We are finding that you cannot tell anything about a church from the name of the church, from how many cars are parked there, or from the denomination of the church.

We have been to churches that aren't even serving the milk of the Word. They were serving up personal opinion and warped versions of actual Bible stories.
Other churches are lukewarm in their relationship with the Lord. We see no passion for the Lord. The people just sit in their seats and sing the songs as if they were singing "Happy Birthday" to someone. They listen to the sermon and zip out the door when the service is over.

There are a few basic principles for a church service. The worship portion of the service should consist of the entire group giving worship to God. Songs that have words similar to, "God makes me happy," are not giving worship to God. Many songs are songs that emphasize what God does for us. They take the focus off of giving to God and onto our own selves. Those kinds of songs are not bad, but they are "self" songs. A true worship service will cause the people there to feel God's presence as He comes to receive what is being offered.

An anointed worship leader will be sensitive to what God desires during the worship service. Even if the list of songs was bathed in prayer prior to the service God might change the songs. The worship leader must be prepared to flow in whatever God directs.

The worshipful attitude that ushers in the sweet, heavy presence of God then should be allowed to remain for the rest of the service. Often God may change the order of service or the topic of the sermon. The leaders of the church must be sensitive to what God wants to do, just as the worship leaders must be sensitive to what God wants during the worship service.

There are a lot of churches that have a bulletins that list the hymns and songs to be sung, when the announcements will be read, the topic of the sermon, and more. God needs to be given the service and allowed to have what He wants. Over and over I've felt the sweet presence of the Lord during praise and worship only to have Him "dismissed" in order for the week's announcements to be read.

Three things are important in a church service: The leadership be sensitive to what God wants, God be the only focus of the praise and worship time, and the truth of the Word be given.

It sounds easy, but it isn't. There generally isn't one person who is able to do all those things. People are gifted in different areas and all are necessary for the fully-functioning Body of Christ. The leadership must know how to delegate based on each person's giftings and calling. A worship service that focuses totally on God usually takes many people doing many things. Even those in the congregation might be more than just singing along. Some might be warring against the enemy. Others might be praying for the worship team. Each person should be listening for what God would have them to be doing.

To sum it up: Every church must learn how to LET GO AND LET GOD and every person must learn how to be used by God!

The weird weather continues. It is cold enough for a sweatshirt in the mornings and hot enough to make you wish you were wearing a t-shirt and shorts in the afternoon. Yesterday it was overcast, as it had been most mornings the past few weeks, and all of a sudden.... the wind began blowing really hard and it began pouring down rain!

I was putting up an extension on our chain link fence to keep my dog from jumping over it. I grabbed my tools, grabbed the clothes off the clothesline, and ran for the house. The sun came out later in the afternoon.

Have you noticed that the weather is getting weirder every year? It used to be fairly predictable. All right, who is messing with the weather??

My truck was in the shop yesterday. It didn't run smoothly. I guess you could say it had a hitch in its get-along. Some mornings, when I started it up and put it in gear, it jumped around like a bucking bronco. Now it is happy and so am I. The only one unhappy is my husband when he has to pay the mastercard bill.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the rest of the warranty work done on my camper. I took the camper off so my son could drive the truck to the prom a couple of weeks ago. Tonight I need to put the camper back on. It's been kind of fun driving the truck without the camper. I didn't have to slow way down to take the corners. I guess it is a trade-off. Now I will be taking my portable bathroom with me. :-)

I've found the cutest thing. Microsoft has a little help wizard that looks like a paper clip. If you have Word, Excel, or another Microsoft program you probably know what I'm talking about.

They have additional helper characters on their site. I downloaded a cat. It is so cute! It acts like a real cat except when it is typing or mailing letters. I leave it open all the time. It washes itself, naps, scratches, and does other cat-like things. It even sounds like one of my cats every once in a while. My cat, Bug, (yes, his name is Bug) meows with his mouth closed. That's what it sounds like.

I'm going to make my husband take me out to dinner tonight. I wore myself out. I washed my truck and camper again. When I put them together I can't get up to the front of the camper and I can't get in between the truck roof and camper.

I was working on this early this morning and our electricity went out. It was out for over two hours. We have an awful lot of incidences of our electricity going out. When we were having black outs last year our area wasn't supposed to be shut down because we are on the same grid as a fire station. We end up having it out for a couple of hours every month it seems.

I had bought a back up battery before I knew we weren't subject to black outs. It is a good thing I did. There have been quite a few times when I would have lost things I was working on had I not had it.

I was talking to a friend who lives about 2 miles from here. Hers doesn't ever go out. Good grief!

Link to the 5/21/02 Bible study.

May 28, 2002

We were busy yesterday. Yesterday morning we attended a Memorial Day service at a cemetery. The high school band my son is in provided music. This was my son's last performance with the band because he is graduating next month.

The service was really nice. The best part, other than getting to listen to the band, was the two long prayers, one at the beginning and one at the end. Both pastors emphasized how the only sure thing, the only thing that we can depend on is God.

There are a lot of people who know that deep down in their hearts, but if they feel they don't need God then they ignore Him. Maybe that is why God allows bad things to happen. Maybe it is to cause us to do what we should have been doing all along, acknowledge Him. I don't know.

I have a long list of things I need to do today. I am washing and hanging clothes. Come to think of it, most of the rest of the things on my list have to do with our animals. I had to spray the yard with bug spray because our dogs are getting ticks and fleas. I have to go to the grocery store because the iguana is out of greens. I have to go to the vet and pick up more medicine for one of my cats. The only other thing I have on my list is clean the house. Of course, that needs to be done whether I have pets or not.

Wait a second! The main reason I have to vacuum is because of the cat hair floating around! So it is pet-related!

All right, that does it! No more free rides! I'm going to teach the dogs how to tend my roses. The cats can learn how to clean bathrooms. Hmmmm, what job can I give the iguana? I know. I'll have him answer the phone like that gecko does on the TV commercials. Tee hee. Yeah, right!

I keep coming back to this in between doing other things. I guess I better sit and get it finished before I go do anything else or I may not get it done today.
I still haven't gone to the grocery store. I like to go to the grocery store early in the morning to avoid bad traffic and shopping rush hour, but I have another plan. I will go tomorrow morning. The iguana can wait for his food.

I didn't go to the grocery store because the cat's medicine won't be ready until this afternoon and our vet's office is in the same direction as the grocery store. The vet used to be really close to our house, but the place next door to them had a fire and they are still rebuilding. In the meantime, I have to drive over 10 miles in a direction that usually has ugly traffic, especially in the afternoon. I try to only go there in the mornings, too. My cat just won't get his medicine first thing in the morning, but that will be OK.

Whew, that took a load off my mind. I just have to get moving a little earlier in the morning tomorrow and I can still make it to my prayer partner's house by 9:00AM. Thanks for helping me figure that out!

I have a busy schedule, yet can't explain it to people who ask me what I do with my time. I have three different prayer groups each week, sometimes four. I work on my web pages a lot, too. Then there is the yard. My dogs take time as they need to be brushed and played with. There are always dirty clothes and dirty dishes.

Now, if I was working at a full time job I would pay someone to clean my house and I would probably have a gardener, too. I wouldn't clip coupons or shop the sales because I would have more money. I wouldn't spend time mending things, I would just buy new ones.

God has shown me that it is important that I be available for my husband and my son. He also has let me know I am to spend time on these web pages. If God doesn't want me working outside the home, then I better not. I have had to get over feeling guilty when I cannot explain where my time is spent. It isn't important for me to impress anyone. It is important that I be listening to what God wants me to be doing.

I don't have to cook tonight! Yippee!! It is dollar taco night at our favorite restaurant. There is no spring football on Tuesdays so my husband doesn't have to coach late. It works out perfectly.

I just don't like to cook. Actually, I do like to cook, but I don't like to do it alone. Plus, it just seems like it was a waste of time when the things I spent hours on are gone in five minutes!

Can you believe that the year is getting close to being halfway over?? Saturday is the first of June! That is just amazing! Why did it go so slow when I was a child and now is going so fast when I need it the most?? No fair!

Speaking of being fair, that made me think of something I used to tell my sons. Every once in a while they would complain about something being no fair. If I gave one a larger piece of cake than the other I would hear the plaintive cry, "No fair!" I would simply tell them that life was not fair and they needed to get used to it. I told them that unless there was a good reason, I would never treat one of them with favoritism over another. Throughout their lives they could plan on encountering many situations that seemed entirely unfair. So, they had an opportunity to get used to it!

Link to the 5/28/02 Bible study.

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