Here are the welcome messages from
October 2002

10/2/02 October 2, 2002
10/7/02 October 7, 2002
10/14/02 October 14, 2002
10/22/02 October 22, 2002
10/29/02 October 29, 2002
October 2, 2002

I thought I would be flying quickly through the Internet this week on my new DSL. Well, for some reason it won't work. I ordered the AOL DSL since I am already on AOL. I've called their tech support three times and they have taken me through every thing listed in their little "help" books. As a matter of fact, it is getting to the point of ridiculous. Some of the things they are having me do are absolutely not going to make it work.

I've had other occasions where I've contacted AOL's tech support and have spoken with people who know absolutely nothing. AOL has some really great features, but also is very annoying. If I still had young kids I would keep it for sure because of the helpful information within AOL. I've got my prayer and Jesus pages on AOL. They are in search engines and on links on other pages. My husband's and son's pages are also on AOL. That makes it difficult for us to move to another provider.

Ugh. I wish I could find a DSL provider that will charge less because I already have my own service.

I get a lot of spam. Sometimes I get spam from the same source at both my email addresses. I'm guessing they are getting my address off my web sites. Here's the funny part: I have the address for signing up for my mailing list on this page and on another page. If you click on it you are signed up automatically.

I see where some spam addresses are now receiving email from the Clarion Call because they sent mail to the subscribe address. One of them is even one of those "I'm from Nigeria and we have chosen your ministry to help us move money to the US" letters.

I'm praying that God touch some of those people with the "good" email they will get. Maybe they will even get out of the spam business.

I moved my computer into a spare bedroom. Could you tell?

I have made a computer, ironing, sewing, crafts, work room. I will be better able to concentrate on email and such by not being next to the TV and by being out of the traffic flow of the family room.

I had to move a bunch of furniture around to make it work. I wore myself out. The main thing I wanted to do yesterday was get the computer moved and hooked up so I could put this online. Ha! You should have seen what furniture I had to move to make room for this big computer desk! It was a lot harder than it looked!

When I start a task I end up working a lot harder than I think I will. I find things that need attention. Since I had my computer unhooked I decided to spray the noisy fan with WD-40. HA! My personal can seemed to have run away. The only other can I could find had the nozzle broken off in the top and I had to steal a nozzle from something else and dig out the little broken piece to make it work.

Then, as I moved things that had been in one place forever I found lots of surprises. I ended up vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing walls and floors. I finally got the family room looking decent so I stopped. I still have piles of things that need a new home in their new rooms.

One of my high school friends is visiting her parents. She lives in New Zealand. Another friend is flying in from another state. There is a fourth that lives about an hour from my house. We are all going to get together and have a slumber party on Friday night! This is going to be so much fun! I am going to dig out my picture albums and find the pictures of us at slumber parties we had while we were young as well as our old Girl Scout photos.

We are also going to share our stories about how we got saved and what the Lord is doing in our lives. I am SO looking forward to this! The only bad thing is that I volunteered to help at the band's big field show fund raiser on Saturday. I'm helping another ex-band parent in the directors' tent. We feed the band directors well in hopes that they will bring their band back every year.

This other ex-band parent and I have become prayer partners. Also, she is the one that does the day care where I did the vacation Bible school this summer. Somehow she got roped into helping and asked me to help her. I will probably be tired from staying up late and chatting at the slumber party and will be on my feet about eight hours on Saturday. I'm too old for this kind of stuff!!

Link to the 10/2/02 Bible study.
October 7, 2002

Wow, I wore myself out this weekend! Friday I spent the day with three of my friends from high school. We went to the beach and walked and walked and walked and talked and talked and talked. It sure was wonderful to see them again!

We were catching up on lots of years of what's been happening in our lives. It was wonderful! We are all Christians and got to share our testimonies and talk about things God is doing.

Our reunion was supposed to be a slumber party but I had volunteered to help the high school band on Saturday at their big fund raiser. I knew I'd be on my feet for lots of hours so I figured I needed to sleep in my own bed.

When I finally got home after the fund raiser just after midnight I was wiped out. I slept until 9AM and then took a 2 1/2 hour nap! Today I was still tired and took another long nap.

I need to reformat my hard drive. Oh boy I hate it when it comes to that! It takes so long to get all my programs back up and running, not to mention customized the way I like them! However, it is easier for me to back things up this time because of the burner my son installed for me. Those cd's hold a lot more info than my old zip disks!

I'm thinking I will do it tomorrow or Wednesday. Tomorrow I have a couple of appointments and I don't want to rush myself. I want to make sure I am thoroughly backed up before I do it.

The main reason I am doing it is because the computer doesn't like my printer any more. It has been getting worse and worse. I have to transfer things I want printed to my laptop and hook it up to the printer. I print out a lot of stuff and this takes way too much time and effort!

Plus, my laptop is having a problem with the plug that goes to the screen. Sometimes it starts up with a black screen and I have to snap open a little cover and unplug and replug the screen plug. One of these times it won't work at all. The bad thing is I got it from Dell and will have to mail it back to them. Ugh. I need my big computer working well so I can mail off the small one.

I was hoping to be able to spend more time on the Clarion Call by moving the computer to the bedroom. So far I've not gotten to that point. It will come. I still am trying to find places for all my stuff. I'm cramming a lot of stuff into this one, small bedroom! I've been given the gift of organization so I will get it done ( I will, I will, I will).

In the meantime I have other things I need to be doing as well. I've got a small stack of problems to handle. One of them is my bank has gone berserk. They have charged me a fee for not having enough money in my checking account to cover a check and there was plenty! They charged my son for an ATM visit that he didn't make. The charge for the ATM is on his account and there is no amount withdrawn.

The photographer that took my son's senior pictures is taking his sweet time fixing the 8 x 10" photo. He's already "fixed" it once and it came out worse than the first one.

Someone is trying to keep my mind focused on my problems instead of on the Lord. It's not working. I am still keeping my mind on the Lord. I am prioritizing.

Last week's Bible study was about being submissive to God. I had been musing on whether I could stay in a submissive state. Well, as I got busier on Saturday I moved from abiding in God to flying about in the flesh. My mind was focused on our goal of serving up a Thanksgiving dinner to 150 or so people in a tent on a football field.

When we got really busy I didn't rest in God and let Him direct me. I could tell that my words were not directed by God. I could hear panic in my voice. I felt myself getting tense as I was multi-tasking. I was putting things down and forgetting where they were.

The good news is that I realize I messed up. Hopefully I will be able to do better the next time I am in a hectic situation.

I now have an accountability partner... the friend I told you about last week that I was chatting with when God showed us that abiding is about submission and not about striving. We are going to email each other every day and hopefully give a good report.

She was in a discussion about churches who have small groups. Her church doesn't have small groups and I don't have a church. So, we have decided to become a two person small group. Who knows, maybe we will add some members to our group somehow. After all, distance is not a factor. I live in California and she lives in Michigan!

Link to the 10/7/02 Bible study.
October 14, 2002

Oh boy, my computer is giving me fits! It was going slower and slower and then it decided that it didn't like any of my printers, even my new one. I couldn't get any clean printouts of anything.

So, since my son installed a cd burner for me I decided to do a full backup and reformat my hard drive. I've reformatted other computers before and just the idea gives me the chills. I like to fully customize all my programs and reformatting not only deletes all the great new programs I've added since I first got the computer, it throws a bunch of stuff I don't want onto it. So, I knew I was in for a large task of getting it back the way I like it.

We got this computer through a friend of my husbands who had convinced my husband he knew a lot about computers. Well, in some areas he knew a lot, but in others he had made stuff up to fill in for what he didn't know. That's dangerous, but I didn't heed the red flags. I knew my husband wouldn't want to fork over any more money than what we were paying this guy so I went along with it.

The reformat disk is not a good one. Windows 98 has not loaded correctly. It froze up when I added new programs. I reformatted three times and I still had problems. Our "computer genius" gave me a generic cd on which he had written "Restore Ver 2.0." So, to whom do I go to complain? Ha! I'm not going back to him, that's for sure. Right after we bought the computer I was having problems. He tried to tell me that I created the problem by OVER-ORGANIZING MY START MENU! Oh, gosh, even I knew there was no such thing.

I was the one who figured out what was wrong. I had a bad keyboard. It turns out he had not given me the keyboard that came with the computer. Then, when he gave me the right keyboard the instruction book was missing and he tried to tell me there wasn't one. I guess I'm supposed to know instinctively what Turbo means and know how to use the other interesting keys it has. It appears to have been made by Microsoft so I am not even going to try to get a duplicate book. Microsoft has the most user unfriendly customer service department in all the world!

Since I can't go get a replacement cd for Windows 98, since mine seems to have come from an unknown source, my son is sending me his. In the meantime I am computer deprived. I'm not on my regular computer. I definitely need to do something as I'm getting behind on my emails that should be going out to the Clarion Call mailing list. Here I am, with my computer in a room where I can fully concentrate on my Internet ministry and the computer pooped out. Hmmm... it seems to me that satan kicks up his heels whenever he sees someone making spiritual inroads that will make a big difference in the Kingdom of God. So, I am going to believe that God wants me to continue in the direction I've set my face and He will come to my aid. He is my computer expert and He will make sure I get back up and running! Hooray!

Finally, for the first time in about five years I'm able to get things done around the house in October. The last four years I was a football and band booster parent. This year I am free, FREE!

I was finally able to spray the yard for ants this morning. I began finding them inside the house and garage and knew I couldn't wait any longer.

This morning I did something that hasn't been done in probably 7 years. I wiped out a huge colony of dust bunnies from under my bed. Yesterday I was looking for one of my cats with a flashlight and found the dust bunnies. It's a good thing those bunnies didn't eat my husband and me alive while we were asleep! They were ferocious!

Then, while I had the things out from under my bed I was able to reorganize everything so it will be easier to clean under there in the future. I put smaller things into larger containers. Achoooooooo..... I have been sneezing ever since I disturbed those dust bunnies. Achooooooo.....

My poor husband is going through a rough time. He is a high school football coach and the team is not doing well at all this year. Every other year since 1984, when he first start coaching here, the team has done decently. There have only been a few years when they haven't gone to the playoffs and even the years they didn't they were close to making it.

This year the coaches are at their wits' end trying to figure out what to do. They aren't just losing, they are losing in a BIG way! My husband is making himself sick over it. He keeps trying to beat himself up and say he isn't doing a good job. I have to keep pointing out that he is a good coach. He has proved that over the years. I've heard it from many other coaches. Just because the team isn't doing well doesn't all of a sudden make him a bad coach.

My husband suffers from acid reflux. It hasn't bothered him this bad since the last time he had a miserable year coaching in 1982. Then he thought he might be having a heart attack and ended up spending three days in the hospital. I've been waiting around the house today in case he got a doctor's appointment. He rode his bike to work today. I would have to go pick him up to take him to the doctor.

I'm going to try to help by keeping him on a bland diet so his stomach has less to think about.

I've been doing OK in my goal of being submissive to God. OK is not good enough. In my quest to get my computer running again I spent less time in communion with God in the mornings. My mind was taken up with my computer. As a matter of fact, I was having dreams about it.

It is imperative that I spend time with God and in the Word. IMPERATIVE! That will be my focus this week. I am not having success in jumping totally into a submissive state. The things I've taught my flesh are too deeply ingrained in me. The things I've placed in priority positions must be downgraded to below where God's position is.

I felt like I was doing a lot better than I was. As I look back over the past week I see that I did improve, but not nearly as much as it felt like at the time.

I need to reflect on my progress, or regress, every day. I will keep you posted.

Link to the 10/14/02 Bible study.
October 22, 2002

I had almost finished with this yesterday and was reformatting my Outlook email program at the same time. Outlook froze up all my programs. Wait... before I go any farther I want to take a moment to speak to a friend of mine. He said I have been complaining too much about my computer problems.


I finally got my computer reformatted and it only took four tries! I found out that the program for my new Lexmark printer was messing things up. So, I had to put my old printer back on here and my son doesn't have one for his computer. That's ok, he can just put his work on a floppy and bring it in here. This computer is always on during the day.

The Lexmark was a great printer and works fine on my laptop, which has Windows XP. This computer has Windows 98. So, whenever I need to print something like a picture I will have to go to a little more trouble to get it done. At least I have my main computer back!!

I'm still loading programs into it. It takes such a long time to get the programs installed. Many of them want to be registered or need specific information to run correctly. I like to have my toolbars customized for the way I use them. Plus, many programs throw a whole bunch of stuff on your start menu and desktop. I like mine organized so anyone can find what they need. I have all the picture and banner programs in one file, all the writing programs in another, etc. I like to keep things user friendly.

I told you last week I'd keep you updated on my progress in submitting to God. I had quite a few good reports this week. I was able to keep my mouth shut with very little effort on a number of occasions. I also was able to let God work through me to witness to some people in a big way. (Well, I'm believing it will end up being a big way. I will probably not see the results myself.)

Then I also had some bad moments where I went ahead and let my mouth speak words that came from my flesh. It is much harder to relax and let God take over when I am tired or when I am busy. My brain goes into "flesh-mode" and that's what pops out first.

I do have a really great praise report for you, though. On Wednesday I was getting ready to go to my friend/prayer partner's house for our weekly prayer time. I went to make more coffee because I wanted to take some with me in my travel mug.

Well, the Lord has been bugging me about me drinking so much coffee. I have been ignoring His promptings. What I am doing, in actuality, is telling Him to look the other way while I do something that is not pleasing to Him.

Wednesday I obeyed. I turned off the coffee pot and even left half a cup in it. It was a chilly day and I really had wanted to have some more coffee. As I was driving to my friend's house I was musing on perhaps she would offer me a cup of coffee (which she has rarely done) or, better yet, she might offer me a cup of hot chocolate (which she has NEVER done.)

I no sooner walked in her door when she asked me, "Would you like a cup of coffee or a cup of hot chocolate?" I almost started crying! It was so wonderful.... so GOD! Why do I ignore Him when the rewards of obedience are so very much more satisfying than what I get through disobedience??

AOL sent a DSL technician to my house this morning. It appears that there is something wrong in the wiring inside my house. In order to bypass the problem he would have had to rewire the junction box so that it took out all possibility of us having a second phone line. I wasn't willing to take the gamble that we would never want another line. The other solution was to have someone run a separate line to wherever we would need a second phone line... which involves going through the walls and attic.

So, I said no thanks. We still can look into cable DSL which would make my husband happy. He hasn't had cable TV in about 10 years.

In the meantime I'm satisfied. I have my computer back and everything seems to be running well. The sun is shining, the neighbor's dogs are barking, my feet are cold, my cat is bugging me to feed him.... what more do I need? LOL

Link to the 10/22/02 Bible study.
October 29, 2002

What a fun morning I had yesterday. I had a tooth break last week and this morning I got to go do the get shots, get drilled, get fitted for another crown game! I just had an awful thought. Please tell me this isn't like the crown of righteousness we are going to get! LOL

I've got plenty of crowns and this one is extra ouchy because the dentist had to dig a little deeper into my poor tender little gums. Well, at least the worst part is over.

The sun came out early yesterday morning for the first time in about three weeks. We've been having lots of overcast skies which is unusual for us. After all, we live in a desert. We have to put up with the heat in the summer, but we usually get a lot of sun in the winter, too. I hang clothes on the clothesline and they haven't been all getting dry in a day. That's really unusual. Who has been messing with our weather?

We actually got rained on at the football game Friday night. I only remember getting wet two other times since 1979! I'm glad I went early with my husband. He made the comment that it looked like it might rain so I grabbed an umbrella and a couple of large trash bags.

The head coach's daughter and I huddled up under the umbrella. I put a trash bag over the back of my stadium seat and the other over my knees and feet. We stayed dry. It was hard not jumping up and down to see what was happening because if we did that we really would have gotten wet. Once we got wet we would have been cold. Cold is bad. Cold hurts.

Did I ever tell you about my friend who lives up in the mountains where it snows in the winter? She is only a 45 minute drive away from here. She hates to come off the mountain in the summer when we are having our 100+ degree weather. She says the heat hurts.

My body got acclimated to the heat within a year of moving here. During the winter when it cools off I make sure I am bundled up so my body doesn't get used to being cool all the time. So, if I get really cold I find that cold hurts. My friend from the mountains and I can experience the exact same weather and have two totally different opinions about it because we look at it from opposite directions.

The majority of people seem to have a goal of winning other people over to their way of thinking. I know it used to be important to me to show people the "right" way of thinking when it was only "my" way of thinking. Now I have found the most important way of thinking and there is no other way that is "right." That important way of thinking is the way God thinks. The only opinion that is worth anything at all is God's opinion. Then, once we know that we do have the right way of thinking. However, even when we know that God has put His stamp of approval on it we still can't go around pushing it onto others until God directs us to do so.

God showed me something really great last week that encourages me. I've been going through a desert time of not receiving many Words from Him. Usually I could be ready with pen and paper during my morning devotionals and receive direction, encouragement, Words for others, and more from Him. For the last five months or so I've been closing up my journal without writing much of anything.

Last week I found out the two-fold purpose behind it. God knew that sometimes I was unsure of whether the Words had come from Him or out of my own mind. He is showing me how, if I was making them up out of my own mind I would not have a blank journal. I am going to KNOW that what I will receive will be Him and not me.

Secondly, He is making me hungry for more of Him, hungrier than I've ever been. He has not left me during this time. He still provides direction, guidance, and such but on an individual basis and in a different way, a silent way.

I'm looking forward to when He feels I have learned my lesson! I hope it is soon!

Link to the 10/29/02 Bible study.

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