Here are the welcome messages from
May 2003

5/6/03 May 6, 2003
5/12/03 May 12, 2003
5/21/03 May 21, 2003
5/27/03 May 27, 2003
May 6, 2003

I had computer problems last week. I had a virus. The dumb part about it is that I have the Norton virus program. For some reason the program keeps telling me my email is protected, but when I open the program and check the details the email isn't protected.

It also has an Internet security option that protects from Trojan Horses and has other types of Internet protection. It, too, has a problem. It disables itself every time we start the computer even though it is set to automatically run. It prevents us from going on secure sites. The funny thing is that it used to work just fine. It wasn't the virus that messed it up, either.

I have a confession to make. I've allowed the enemy to distract me. He is working on my health and on my body. This morning my back is giving me fits again. I was helping on building our barn over the weekend and must have done something to it. I don't think I allowed enough healing time since the last time my back hurt.

Last week I had a sore throat. My husband and son had regular colds. Mine just was a really bad sore throat. I've had some other physical problems that have distracted me. Plus, I've not been able to meet with my prayer partners regularly.

I need to refocus on God. I need to get up earlier in the morning and keep a heavenly appointment with Him. Tomorrow morning I set my alarm an hour earlier!

So, I have not been giving you my best and I am sorry. I WILL be focusing on the Lord and reading my Bible more. I WILL practice up on abiding in Him and listening to Him.

I've gotten way behind on my household filing and paperwork. I'm unable to find things that I need. Soooooo, yesterday I spent hours wading through piles of stuff. Now I have a few boxes of things that need to go in the filing cabinet and other designated areas.

I've also gotten way behind on my email. I didn't get to it last week while I was wrestling with the virus. When I was gone a week the end of March I got behind and never caught up. So, once again I have a ton of email waiting for me. Ugh. I didn't want to get behind again and here I am...

I know there are some good emails to send out to those of you on my mailing list, but they are sitting in my inbox waiting for me to read them.

Well, I need to get to the Bible study before another minute goes by. Each minute seems to quickly turn into an hour and then each hour manages to turn into a day!

Link to the 5/6/03 Bible study.
May 12, 2003

Happy Monday to you! Yay! I'm getting the Bible study done on Monday again!

There is a new area at the Clarion Call that you should see. It's called Jewish Insights by Billye Jeane. It's terrific!

For the longest time I've wanted to know more about Jewish traditions, songs, celebrations, and more. There are so many ways that God paved the way for Jesus and they are reflected in many ceremonies, poems, songs, etc. Plus, our understanding of the Bible is made greater when we can understand more about their culture, the land of Israel, and other things.

Anyway, enough talk... go look!

My back is feeling better. I've been being very good to it this week. Isn't it awful how pain can take our focus off of everything else? Our brains have a tendency to crumple when we feel pain. Over and over I've had to explain to my own brain that I am not dying just because I am feeling pain.

Pain and sickness are good ways to keep us from focusing on our relationship with God, aren't they? The enemy uses them for that very purpose. That is why it is important for us to fight our way through. If we wallow in the sickness or the pain then the chances are good the enemy will keep us under that attack because it accomplishes his purpose.

There are a lot of things the enemy uses to distract us from accomplishing God's will. Even things that we know are in God's will can be used by the enemy to distract us from God's purposes. I've found myself working fanatically on something that I know God wanted me to do only to discover that I had been so focused on accomplishing the task that I went overboard and spent too much time on it and neglected other things He wanted me to be doing.

Like I told you last week, I've been allowing myself to be led off track. I've made a decision to spend more quality time with Him and to fight my way through the enemy's attacks. I spent a short time feeling guilty about not walking in His will until He picked me up into His loving arms and gave me a GIANT encouraging hug through a Word given to me through a friend of mine. I was feeling guilty and ashamed and God wanted me to know how pleased He was that I was still His willing vessel in spite of all that had been happening! YIPPEE!!!

So, watch out... I've turned my face back into the right direction and will be fighting any attempts the enemy makes to get me turned!!

I went back and read the article I had written, "Why Does God Allow Evil?" I had written it shortly after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. The article had gotten a little out of date. I began working on it and ended up rewriting most of it. I find it interesting how God has brought me along a road where I started out thinking that my opinions were very important, needing to be forced on others because of their value, to a point where I don't want any opinions of my own at all.

It's not that I don't still have opinions. I still make assumptions based on personal experiences and gathered information, but in all things I want to know what God thinks about it.

As I was rewriting this article I was trying to put down in words the things God has taught me. After all, if someone is desperately seeking the answer to the question, "Why does God allow evil?" then I would be doing them a disservice by telling them what I think about it. My opinion will not turn into a "life raft" and provide a solid avenue of support in times of upheaval in someone's life as will God's opinions. I keep using the terminology "God's opinions" when, in actuality, God's opinions are reality... fact...truth!

Anyway, in case you ever wonder about why God doesn't stop bad things from happening there might be some helpful clues in that article.

Sparrows keep building a nest in a small opening under the shingles where our shed is a few inches lower than our patio. I don't mind it because the sparrows aren't hurting anything at this particular location. In the past I've had sparrows actually carve out an opening in the stucco to make sure their nest doesn't fall.

Anyway, this particular next has five babies in it. When I climbed up the ladder and peeped in I woke them up. Their overly large heads popped up on their scrawny little necks and their huge cartoon-like yellow beaks opened. Then, when they realized I wasn't their mommy or daddy they put their heads back down and went back to sleep.

When I was telling one of my friends about the babies she asked me to repeat to her how many babies there were in the nest. There were five. She pointed out that God was showing me that He was taking care of my husband, my three sons, and myself... five of us.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7


Well, we've had a few Bible studies already. I hope there is still one left for the "official" Bible study!!

Link to the 5/12/03 Bible study.
May 21, 2003

Oh dear, what happened? I started working on this on Monday and my brain decided that I had finished it. My poor brain. My "steel trap" has turned into a sieve. Oh, wait, that's not too bad if I word it differently... my brain is HOLY HOLY HOLY!!!  LOL!

By the way, how long have I shown 2002 as the year? Anybody know? Sigh!

Last week, while talking with one of my prayer partners, she and I were discussing praying for our children. We were discussing how bad it was to dwell on the bad things. So I decided to ask God to give me a vision for each of my sons that I could put in my mind so I could look at it instead of at any bad things in reality. Plus, I asked Him to pick a scripture that I could speak over each of my sons.

Two of the three scriptures are great and I would probably not have found better ones. The third one I argued with God a little because I liked another one in the same chapter better, but I can see now why He liked it better.

Anyway, when I look at my sons I can look at them in the way God desires them to be. I'm imagining that the visions He gave me are what He has gifted them for and called them to do. There is power in praying for people once you know that you are praying in God's will! Power!

I kept hearing a "knock knock" sound coming from my computer every now and then. At first I thought it was my imagination, but it kept happening. I would check each of the programs I had open to see if something had happened there and the program was trying to get my attention. I checked all my sounds to see if I had a "knock knock" sound assigned to something. I couldn't figure it out! Each time it would happen I would imagine a tiny person in my computer trying to get out.

Then, I figured it out. I never knew AOL offered the option of hearing other people's chosen sounds when they appear on my buddy list. One person I had on my list used a "knock knock" sound! I had to set my options to use only my sounds. It could get way too confusing if everyone had their own sounds!

I've added another new section to the Clarion, too. I had a quote that I just loved but there wasn't any place at the Clarion where it would fit. So, I made a new, fun area for good, clean jokes, witticisms, funny stories, and more things that will make us smile.

Smiling is very good. God gave me a great (ok, and often strange) sense of humor. I am able to laugh at myself when I mess up (most of the time). I see the funny side of things that I see throughout each day. Laughing keeps my mind cleaned out I think. It relaxes me and keeps a smile on my face (once again I have to say "most of the time.")

I get a lot of emails from friends that are funny. Some strike me as extra funny. Those I will add. Who knows where it will go. Anyway, there isn't much there yet but you can keep going back every now and then for a refreshing smile: Humorous Tidbits

Link to the 5/21/03 Bible study.
May 27, 2003

My husband and I beat ourselves up this weekend.  Remember the barn we are building?  Well, two of the sides are completely painted.  I painted and he set up the sprayer for me and moved the extension ladders for me so I could step from one ladder to the other.  Let's see.... I painted a wall 14' tall by 56' wide, plus a hard-to-reach section on one end.  Actually, multiply it by two because one day I did primer and another the finish coat.

The end where we have the big door was the hardest because the ladder had to be almost vertical and my head was right up where I was painting.  I looked like a snowman when I was done with the primer.  I had forgotten to put on a scarf.... oh my it was hard to get it out of my hair!My legs are all bruised from leaning into the ladder to keep from falling.  My back, legs, shoulders, hands, and arms are tired and sore.  The good news is that my fingernails don't hurt!  LOL!

We still have to do the trim on the back and end.  We painted the paneling before it went up, so the big parts are done.  Painting the trim is going to take a long time.  The barn is on the property line and we have to go into the neighbor's yard which slopes downhill away from the barn.  Plus, he has trees and bushes that hinder our progress.  Plus, the back side wall is 16' tall!  Oh, yes, that is going to be fun.  Well, it will be fun if you like to torture yourself.

Then, my husband had to do some major modifications and repairs to the sprinklers.  He had to move some because of the barn.  Some of the valves were leaking so he re-did all of those, too.  He had to make bunches of trips to Home Depot.  Unfortunately, our Home Depot is a half hour drive away.  The good news is that they are building one closer to us but it won't be done until next year.So, we got a lot done.  Good thing we have a short vacation coming up.  We need one! 

My niece is graduating from college this coming weekend and we are taking Friday off to travel there.  It is about an 8-hour drive.  I'm hoping we are able to break that up into two 4-hour drives.  After about 4 hours I begin turning into a pretzel.

I've been meditating on John 17 this past week. I was doing a daily devotional that sent me to John 17 and I never made it back to finish the devotional because there is so much good stuff there.  I'll share a few:
This prayer was for all of us (vs 20)
Jesus glorified God (vs 4)
We glorify Jesus (vs 10)
The glory God gave Jesus, Jesus gives us (vs 22)
We are to be one  with each other as well as one in God and Jesus as they are one (vs 11, 21)

 There are a lot more spiritual nuggets in that chapter besides those.  One of the verses that comforts me is how Jesus says how the world hated the disciples because they are not of the world, even as He was not of this world.  People will not understand when we demonstrate our being fully committed to the Lord.  It makes their lack of relationship with the Lord obvious and, as a result, they feel uncomfortable. There are even Christians who are lukewarm and who are uncomfortable being around those who are sold out to God, too.

   The reason that verse comforts me is because there are people who don't like me.  In the past I would have bent over backwards to do whatever it took to get them to like me again.  Now I know that, as long as I've sought God in the matter, that it isn't important whether a person likes me or not.  If I did as God directed then the results are His problem and not mine.  I'm not saying it still doesn't hurt me when people who used to be my friends won't speak to me, but I have nailed the situation(s) to the cross and have moved on.

Today's Bible study is a word study on the word Word.  How's that for an interesting sentence?  The word for the study is Word, as in the Word of God.  A word study is a study on a word and the word for this study is Word.  Whoa!  Somebody stop me!  I'm stuck in a play on words... actually, a play on a word.  Which word?  Word.  LOL!  Stop me!!!

Well, I need to get busy.  I have to get to the grocery store and to Costco.  I had to start my poor husband off this morning with only half a bowl of oatmeal.  I thought I had more.  I need to hurry and get there before lunchtime or I will buy things that look tasty because I will be hungry!

Either today or tomorrow, I need to wash my truck and camper..  That is a minimum four hour job.  At least I don't have bugs to scrub off of it.  It is dirty just from sitting in the driveway.

See you next week!

Link to the 5/27/03 Bible study.

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