Here are the welcome messages from
November 2009

11/4/09 November 4, 2009
11/12/09 November 12, 2009
11/17/09 November 17, 2009
11/26/09 November 26, 2009
November 4, 2009

I got a lot of work done while I was gone.  I finished up the "gap" welcome message that fills in the time period while I was on sabbatical.  If you are interested, it is here.

I also finished up the article Out of This World Faith.  It explains the circumstances surrounding my spiritual upheaval that caused me to go on sabbatical.  Before you go read it, let me explain.

I had believed that a miracle was in the making.  I began keeping track of the process.  I couldn't find much information about the process of how miracles occur.  I know that a lot of the things I have put here at the Clarion Call help people to understand the things they are going through so I figured a description might help encourage others in the future.

I announced it to the Clarion Call mailing list before the miracle occurred in order for it to be prayed over.  When the whole thing seemingly blew up in my face I yanked the story and retreated to review what had happened.

The story is hard to read and was very hard for me to go back through it to prepare it for re-publishing.  It was one of the most awful things I've ever experienced.   I do have faith that God will use it all for His glory even if I messed up, which I'm still not sure if I did.

I hesitated putting it back because I was thinking it might not do any good, but God has been nudging me to do it.  So, pray about reading it or not reading it.  If it upsets you then you'll have to take it up with God and not with me.

I do know it is important to focus on the Body of Christ and that is something that God showed me through that trial.  The Body is in sad shape and only seems to be getting worse.  As members of that Body it is imperative that you and I find out what God wants us to be doing.  We must be careful not to be doing things for Him that He doesn't want us to be doing.

Churches need to be focusing on training the Body so they are equipped to do whatever job God gives them.  Many churches are only encouraging people to become teachers and pastors and evangelists when there are so very many other jobs in the Body.

Intercessors need to be praying for the Body to be healed and to rise up into position.  OK, enough.  You get the idea.

Our weather is making me crazy.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I was already crazy.  It's making me crazier.

During the day it is hot outside but at night it is COLD.  I've been opening the windows at night to cool down the house and then it gets too cold. 

Yesterday, for example, I was cold.  I put on a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  When I went outside to hang my clothes on the clothesline I felt like I was a roast in the oven!  To be comfortable I would have had to keep changing clothes when I went in and out of the house.

So, did I hear you tell me to not open the windows at night?  I would, but then the day's heat would make the inside of the house too warm.  It's easier to get warm by layering or wrapping up in a blanket than to get cool when you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt and modesty prevents you from taking those off!  'Nuff said.
Oh, I haven't told you about my husband's heart getting softer.  That's right, softer.  He is actually letting our cats sleep in the bed with us!

Maybe that doesn't sound so spectacular, but if you knew my husband you'd be flabbergasted.  Up until Rudi came he always kind of ignored our cats.  He took a liking to Rudi and I think he began to see how much fun cats can be.

He has also been getting a lot closer with our dog, Moo Moo.  He even lets his students call him Santa.  Of course he told them he'd only let them call him that if they did everything he told them to do.  Otherwise he'd have to put coal in their stockings at Christmas.

Speaking of that, one day when we were in the checkout line at Costco (a big warehouse store) a little girl in front of us kept smiling at Charlie and waving to him.  When her mom was leaving with her she said, "Bye Santa."
I don't know if I ever told you about my bookmark, so I'll tell you again.  I love it.  It says:
Still my heart,
quiet my soul,
slow my speech,
awaken my ears to the melody of your voice.

Stretch out my arms,
take hold of my spirit
anchor my being in the depths of your love.

Help me God,
to know you more,
to love you most,
to serve you better.
Link to the 11/4/09 Bible study.
November 12, 2009

My Christmas Cactus is blooming.

Good grief!  Somebody shoot me.  I just went to find a picture of a Christmas Cactus to show you.  Why in the world would I want to show you somebody else's Cactus when I have two (count 'em.... TWO!) digital cameras?  Sheesh!

Christmas Cactus

Here's a picture of my own plant.  I have it hanging in the window of my office.  I let it bloom when it wants.  Some people like to force it to bloom at Christmas, hence the name "Christmas" Cactus.  It's weird looking the rest of the year, but is gorgeous when it is blooming.

You want WHAT?  WHEN??  You say you want your computer programs to work right?  You want companies to do what they say?  You are expecting people to return phone calls when they say they will?

Just whom do you think you are, somebody special?

I use the Microsoft Expression Web program to design my web pages.  It crashes over and over and over.  Each time it crashes it says it is trying to save my information.  It never does.  It always "looks for a solution" and never finds one.  It always "reports the problem" to Microsoft.  Pfffffttttt.....  That's clever how it pretends to do things, but not at all encouraging.  I have a suspicion it is just a lie built in to the program to make people think Microsoft actually cares about problems people are having with it.

More and more I am having professional people tell me they will call me on a particular day when they have no intention of calling me.  I actually told one guy to tell me the truth from now on.  He looked at me with a shocked look on his face that I was "insinuating" he was a liar.  There was no insinuation.  If you lie, even about something you feel is small, it is still a lie.  When you lie on purpose that makes you a liar.

It is getting rare to find businesses that really care about their customers.  That's sad.  It's almost shocking when a company or place of business actually believes you when you have a problem and who actually tries to do everything in their power to help.

Last week my husband and I looked at each other in amazement when a restaurant manager actually cared that my husband's food was cold.  He came out and offered an upgraded steak as an apology and then took 15% off our bill!  Wow!  Usually you are treated like you somehow cooled down your own dinner or that you are just a chronic complainer.  A long time ago at a small restaurant I found a large rubber band in my omelet.  The waitress told me it couldn't have come from their kitchen because they don't use rubber bands!!!  She reluctantly offered to cook another and never offered any kind of compensation.

So, what's the solution?  You are.  You can make a difference and I can make a difference.  One person at a time we can make a difference.  Be sure to "...let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay...." (Jms 5:12)  In other words, be sure to speak the truth.  If you say you will do something, then be sure to do it.  If you run a business be sure to be honest and to honor your customers.

People are watching us.  We are influencing people.  Will we be influencing them positively or negatively?  I've been around people who swear a lot.  When we are talking they notice that I am not swearing.  It doesn't take long before they try to stop swearing.  When a swear word slips out they apologize. 

I did nothing to make them stop other than set an example of how to speak without using swear words.  I didn't frown or wince when they swore.  They picked up on my example and changed.  No, they probably didn't quit swearing altogether.  However, they might be more sensitive to the words they are using.  They might even be sensitive enough to feel God urging them to stop swearing.  We don't always know the end result of our actions, but God does.  That's why He urges us toward holiness.

Oopsie, was that a Bible study in the welcome message?
I just found out that the Clarion Call mailing list seems to have been malfunctioning and not adding people who requested to be added.  I have no idea how long that has been taking place.

I actually pay money to use that service.  The old list I used was being spammed and fake addresses were being added as well as people who didn't want to be on the list.  Plus I often had to manually add and delete people on the old one.  This one does it automatically.  Let me rephrase that.  This one is SUPPOSED to do it automatically.

The good news is that the enemy wouldn't be messing with things here if the Clarion Call wasn't doing some good.  Hallelujah!!
This coming Saturday my husband's reenactment group, Guns and Garters, will be performing at Pioneer Town in Phoenix, AZ.  If you are near there come on and watch.  It's fun!  I'll be there, too, taking pictures of the Guns and Garters group.
I got to have a girl's day out with my youngest son's girlfriend.  She and I went to some antique stores.  The first one we went in was huge.  We had a lot of fun.  She's got a good sense of humor and we laughed a lot.  Every phone she saw she picked up and said, "HELLO??"  Ah, yes, laughing is good medicine!

I found some more reasonably-priced colored glass to add to my collection.  I like the pinks, blues, greens, yellows, and all the other clear colors as well as the depression glass.  I've only been buying small things like little cups and pitchers because the price has to be right.  Then, too, I can fit more small things in the space I have so I can get more colors.

It was a nice day.  We needed to get out and forget about all the nonsense that happens on a daily basis.
Link to the 11/12/09 Bible study.
November 17, 2009

My husband, Charlie, and I got home from Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.  His team, Guns and Garters, performed there.  They have one skit that they have been changing and this time it was hilarious. 

The "woman in the bank" was being robbed.  She gave the "robber" (in real life the robber is her mother-in-law) a pie in the face.  The robber was wearing a fluffy beard for a disguise and the pie plate got stuck in the beard and hung there the rest of the skit.

Pie in the face

The things the robber had been getting in the face had been changing from skit to skit.  It all started with a little water and the amount of water had been increasing so the robber knew something was going to come out of the door.  It will be hard to top the pie.

Then they pulled one on my husband and tried to shoot him when he thought his part was over.  He didn't cooperate with being shot and ran.  As he ran he tripped over one of the "dead" robbers and almost did a face plant but recovered nicely and escaped into the saloon.

The audience loved it.  Every once in a while the team tries to do a serious skit and I keep telling them that the audience wants to see something funny.  It feels good to laugh especially when many people are having a hard time finding something to laugh about these days.

I'm trying to get this done this morning.  My parents-in-law are coming for a quick visit.  They are going to be moving down here closer to us and wanted to get some things done prior to moving.

Charlie and I had been telling them about a retirement apartment complex nearby.  We have heard from lots of people that it is a very nice place to live.  We got as much information as we could about it, but they needed to come down here and see it for themselves.  I'm relieved.  If they would have taken our word for it and been miserable there I would have felt awful.

So, we will be running around the next few days getting things done so they can move here the first part of January.
I fixed the mailing list so you can sign up.  For some reason the one where you can sign up just by sending an email is not working.  So, it just takes a little longer to do it this way.
I need to get going.  I have to finish getting ready for my guests.  They are heading my way and will be here in another 5-6 hours.

See you next week!
Link to the 11/17/09 Bible study.
November 26, 2009

My mother and father-in-law will be moving down here closer to us the end of December.  During their visit here we took them to look at the apartment complex that we thought they'd like.

The main thing about them moving closer is so there is a bigger network of family to help each other.

People were not meant to be alone.  There isn't one single person in the world that has everything it takes to handle everything that comes along.  Yet, people try exactly that.

I look around and see families split apart so far that they can't or won't help each other.  When something happens to a family in a neighborhood some people turn away and close their doors because they "don't want to get involved".

I could go on and on, but I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about.  We are all members of the thing known as "society".  That would be the rest of the people in the world. 

I've done lots of Bible studies on the Body of Christ and every part needing to focus on it's job.  Well, it is also important to be looking around for what things we should be doing in society.  God wants us to be touching people that aren't necessarily already members of the Body of Christ.  Think about it.

We had some excitement today.  There was a fire upwind from us that was set in a field by some homeless people.  The wind began carrying it toward our house through the wash that runs behind us.

The wash behind our house and for about five houses up from us is much cleaner than it was in 1989 when we had the fire back there, but there's enough to make it bad.

I have an emergency evacuation list that I pulled out and began to follow.

LOL!  I just realized I still had the dogs leashed to a pole in the back yard.  That's one of my first priorities is to make sure the animals are safe.  I confined them so I could grab them quickly.  They've been there the last hour.  My poor brain is slipping!

The fire department put it out before I got too far down my list.
My back has been getting worse again.  I'm starting to get more and more muscle spasms.  The pain in my back I can handle, but the muscle spasms are harder to deal with.  They feel like someone pressed a tazer to my back.

I have an appointment with my orthopedist next month and I will ask to get more of the pain blocker shots.  They were a life-saver to me before and I expect they will let me get back to living a more normal life again.
On this Thanksgiving day I hope you have taken the time to reflect on the things you are thankful for.  I have found that, even when all around me seems dark and dreary, there is always something that is worth thanking God for.  Sometimes I have to look hard to find them, but they are there.
Link to the 11/26/09 Bible study.

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