Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A two-part blog: Thankful and quotes

I think I'm on a blogging frenzy this week...

I have so much to be thankful for this year. It’s been absolutely insane, no doubt, but what year isn’t? Superman and I have gone through some trials, but I think we’ve come out on the other side holding on to God, and isn’t that what’s important?

A short list of what I’m thankful for:

My family (biological and married), my Savior, my freedom to worship, my wonderful friends, Superdog, my job, my home, my city, my Sunday school class, the coolness in the air that finally feels like winter, being off work on Black Friday…This could get lengthy, but I want to know: What are you thankful for?

Also, (part two) I’m a quoter. I love people’s quotes, so here are some I’ve heard over the last few months that I felt like sharing.

"Applebee's is better." – My friend, “Transplant,” taunting the Chili's softball team as they played against our team

"I tried E-harmony once after my divorce. He had a man purse, and I left." – Former co-worker

"Go brush your mustache, Geraldo!" – Rachel, yelling at the TV during Hurricane Gustav

"You're allowed to do that." – Superman, speaking to a legendary football coach as the coach went to the bathroom

"He did not look like that on Google." – A student reporter, talking about a billionaire who came to campus

Dad: "I think Spanish would be a really good language to learn. Maybe you should take a class."
Me: (pause) "I did. I took three years of Spanish."
Dad: "Yeah, but you didn't learn anything."

“Ohio Boy”: "When you drive by that restaurant, you usually see a hobo. Do you guys see a hobo?"
Me and Superman: (looking) "Yep."

"You've conformed to Blockbuster. Way to go." – A student speaking a Movie Gallery employee, about Movie Gallery's decision to arrange their movies like Blockbuster's

"If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?" – Student B

"I got into a fight on facebook…" – Student C

There are more, but I’ll save them for another time.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SOAP No. 12: Compare/Contrast

Scripture: “In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” – Romans 8:4-10

Observation: We actually covered a lot from Romans 8 in Bible Study last week, so… be prepared!! =)

Observations, in bullet form:

• Paul writes like a lawyer, making sure all of his points get across thoroughly, but not with so much repetitiveness that it makes you lose interest (can you tell I’m preparing for my column writing class?).
• Paul is comparing and contrasting those who live in sin with those filled with God’s Spirit.

Application: Again, sorry, but I’m using the bullet form because I think it’s the best way to get this across.

• People who live according to sin – have their minds set only on what they desire; their mind is on death; are hostile to God; do not submit to God’s law; cannot please God; do not belong to Christ.
• People who live according to the Spirit – have their minds set on what the Spirit desires; have peace and life; God lives within them; their spirits are alive because of righteousness.

Okay, I wanted to sum that up right there so it’s easy to see and compare/contrast. It’s fairly easy to see the differences; they’re night and day.

I see the contrast of the black and white, but I see so many Christians, including myself, living in gray areas. And, it’s not supposed to be gray. It’s supposed to be as clear as Paul’s description there to be able to tell someone who is living for God as opposed to someone who is not.

Christians are supposed to have peace, supposed to do what the Spirit says, supposed to mirror God. Of course, I know there are several other comparisons that could be made, like showing the fruits of the Spirit and such, but I feel like this is almost a basic overview of how we should live. After all, if we live according to the Spirit and follow Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbors, shouldn’t everything else just fall into place?

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I mirror you every day and that when I fall, my failures are seen only as growing pains and not a slight on You. Help me step away from the gray lines and live completely and wholly for You, as intended.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One week...

Superman left this morning for Alaska. He didn't want to leave. I didn't want him to leave. Unfortunately, due to bills and our need for food, he had to leave. It's only for a week -- but that seems like such a long week.

I'm leaving for my parents' house with Superdog Wednesday, thank goodness, and I do hope that I'll be pleasant company instead of moody. I always get moody when Superman leaves. That's why I drink lots of mochas. That's also probably why I can't sleep at night (that and my overactive imagination, which can see monsters in the shadows -- yes, I'm a huge kid).

He's missing Thanksgiving, though, which makes me so sad -- and him, too. I'll miss Thanksgiving with his family, too, as I'll be in my parents' hometown. I'll miss seeing them, but the drive to and from our homes multiple times is really too much -- especially since Superdog, naturally, will come with me.

So please pray for me and Superman this week. He has lots of warm clothes, though, so hopefully he'll stay warm, and I made him promise to take some pictures of the landscape (and bring back Alaska coffee and a magnet).

Also, another prayer request: We recently sent off a query letter for our book to an agency, and we're hoping we get some positive results. This was our favorite agency, so we wanted to try them first, but if it doesn't work, we're probably going to do a mass query to several agents. Anyway, if you could keep that in your prayers, too, I'd be very appreciative.

Let's see...and here are some pre-Christmas pics of Superdog... she was not pleased.

And here's a picture from a couple of Christmases ago...How scary is that Santa?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So I'm NOT going to get arrested...

Remember the whole ticket situation we've been dealing with for the past month? Well, I have an update which doesn't involve the cops pulling me over and hauling me to jail for unpaid fines.

After not receiving a call back from the city attorney (thanks a lot, dude) and talking to two lawyers PLUS the state district attorney's office, we learned two things:

1. Out of principle, we should fight it because two of the tickets should not have even been issued to us.

2. If we did fight it, though, we would probably have to pay even more than the rotten tickets.

So, as we had to make a quick decision (because it's not like I'd get a phone call back from the police chief to extend my court date; oh, no, this city apparently doesn't know what RETURN MY MESSAGES means), and, as I did not really want to go through the whole arrest thing and I could not go to court because I was giving a final that day, we decided to pay it.

I'm still a little sore. It's a sore loser soreness, though. =)

We paid on 11/06. For once, I actually kept all my records. I sent the mail and requested a return receipt. I did everything perfectly.

And, all of last week, guess if I received a return receipt.

I started to get really panicky by Thursday, two days after my court date. I had to drive out of town a couple of times, too, and I was just praying, "Please, God, if I have to get arrested, let it be in my hometown, because at least I know some of the cops there who would help me out." Now, within my city limits, I was not worried about getting arrested. Yeah, it would be annoying and slightly embarrassing, but, the journalist inside me can't help but think of what a great column that would make (I'm crazy, I know). BUT I did think that it might not be good for my students (or their parents, for that matter) to see my name in the arrest report. My parents might not be too thrilled, either.

Plus, I bet they don't give you coffee in jail. Or, if they do, I bet it's nasty, day-old coffee that's not hot. Yuck.

However, yesterday, praise the Lord, I got a return receipt. FINALLY. I will keep it in my car (my dad reads this, so I just want to verify this for him, lol) for...well, until I get a new one at least.

So all ends well. The mean cops got their money, but I didn't get arrested. A fair compromise, I suppose.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So...I'm also a big facebook-er, and I've noticed a lot of people have been posting old pictures, and I got a little nostalgic. Therefore, without further ado, baby pictures of me and my Superman. =-)

Me as a baby

Sweet baby Superman

On the boat with my dad

Young Superman

My mom with me when I was born

Me and my mom

Dad with me at the hospital when I was born

Superman, growing up

Monday, November 10, 2008

SOAP No. 11: Fearless

Scripture: Before the spies lay down for the night, she (Rahab) went up on the roof and said to them, "I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death." – Joshua 2:8-13

Observation: Joshua had sent spies into Jericho, and, once the king of Jericho realized spies had entered his land, he searched for them. Rahab, a prostitute, hid them, though, to save their lives.

Application: (I'm taking a brief hiatus from 1 Samuel and turning to Joshua.)

I think we’re going to hear a lot of this in the coming years. I really do believe we’re on the brink of something really, really big – and I think we’re going to see a Godly revolution in this country. And…who knows? Maybe it can be initiated by blogging. The Web is the new online media. =)

Rahab told the spies that she had heard all the things God had done for the Israelities. Her people knew, too, and were fearful of the men – yet only Rahab and her family were saved from the destruction that soon followed. Why? How can you know of God and yet not come to Him? That just baffles me.

I think more “Rahabs” will search for God. I know they’re searching now. We just have to guide them to the One who can help them.

It’s also interesting to note the differences between Chapters 1 and 2 of Joshua. The first chapter has Joshua talking with the people, telling them to be strong and courageous. In fact, those words together are used FOUR times in the 18 verses. Be strong and courageous. And what do we find in Jericho with Rahab? “This country (is) melting in fear,” Rahab states. What a difference God makes! I’m pretty sure Rahab was not fearful after God saved her as the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

Prayer: God, let us be strong and courageous, as you instructed the Israelites so long ago. Let us show mercy on the “Rahabs” of our culture and let us guide them to You. There are so many people in this world who are fearful – fearful of the economy, of terrorist attacks, of war. Let them realize there is hope in this world, despite what we may hear on news reports. Let us be strong and courageous.

Friday, November 7, 2008

SOAP No. 10: Soothe

Scripture: Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."
Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. – 1 Samuel 16:14-16, 23

Observation: God had rejected Saul as the king because of his disobedience, and Samuel had just anointed David as the next king of Israel. David had just entered Saul’s service.

Application: It’s quite interesting to see how the Spirit of the Lord had departed Saul yet filled David. I’m not sure exactly how the evil spirit was hurting Saul...maybe a migraine? I don’t know. At any rate, Saul was in pain, and David, filled with the Lord, could soothe Saul’s pain.

Isn’t that what we as Christians should do to those we meet who are in pain? We are also filled with God’s spirit; can we not comfort others as David comforted Saul?

Prayer: Lord, let us all be comforters, not only to other Christians, but to anyone who is hurting and in pain. Give us patience and mercy to deal with our enemies and be a witness for You by our actions. People are always fighting battles, whether they tell anyone or not – and sometimes, they don’t have anyone to confide in. Let us be courteous and kind, filled with Your Spirit and soothe those we meet, just as David soothed Saul.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You can’t fight city hall…can you?

This is a long story, so I’m going to bullet it to make it quicker (hopefully).

• Superman and I received some tickets (three, to be exact) while traveling out of state. The original one, for speeding (but was written up as “careless driving,” which the officer said would not go on my insurance -- my lawyer, a family friend, tells me differently) was entirely my fault. I was speeding, even if I didn’t realize it. That was my fault. And, granted, the other two (expired license plate tags and lack of proof of insurance – long stories, but we had insurance, just fyi) were our fault. But…

• Superman called to get the price of the tickets. $250. Yikes!!! But, our bad, and we need to pay them. Right? Right.

• Turns out, the lady he talked to last month also said if we sent in our proof of insurance, they’d drop or reduce our proof of insurance fine. That's what the cop told us, too. Yippee, right? Wrong.

• Superman called the police station this week. The price has now gone up to $600. Oh, yeah. No lie. Has anyone ever heard of $75 in court fees and $300 in assessment fees? Please, if you have, let me know, because I’ve talked to two lawyers who also don’t know what this is, and I really want to know why the price has jumped so much.

• Superman faxes in his proof of insurance, saying he was insured from April to October. The woman SERIOUSLY tells him, “Well, I don’t see anything on here for September.” Superman calmly explains to her that September comes before October. She doesn’t believe him.

• My lawyer informs me that as we were pulled over in another state, they cannot fine us for expired license plate tags. They don’t have the jurisdiction. Oh, neither the city attorney nor the police chief have called me, our lawyer, or my husband back.

• My court date is Nov. 11. Turns out I can’t fight it then. Why? I’ve got to give a final that day.

So…what do we do??? I’m at a loss cause I REALLYNEEDTOPAYTHISSOON. Yet…I know we’re being taken advantage of with two of those tickets! But how do you jump the cost from $250 to $600??

Any suggestions? Fight it or pay it?

**EDIT. Superman called the attorney general in this particular state, who explained things very clearly and politely. Apparently -- for all of you out there who may go through something like this -- these little towns, like the one we got pulled over in -- can charge you an assessment fee if they want. Granted, all tickets are revenue-boosters, so this is just their way of making sure you pay as much as possible. So, it looks like we are going to pay it, but it was really nice to have someone EXPLAIN it to us instead of being rude like the police woman Superman talked to was. Just tell me WHY I have to pay a ridiculous fee. Oh, and apparently the judge makes the final ruling of whether or not the license plate tag fine sticks (though, if we caused a huge commotion, I'm sure it would be dropped, but it probably would be MORE expensive). It still is absolutely asinine, but I guess we're going to have to bite the bullet and deal with it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congrats goes out to Obama and Biden

I was quite surprised that Obama was elected president. I really was. The funny thing is that I did NOT want to watch ANY election coverage last night. Why? Because I feared a repeat of the 2000 fiasco and we would not know who was president until Saturday or whenever. However, Superman flipped on the television, and as I was yelling, “No! No! I don’t want to see anything yet!” that was right when Obama was declared president.


First, I was quite shocked that at 10 p.m., we knew who the president was. Second, I was surprised that Obama won. But that was my fault for not seeing how much the economy really would impact individual voters’ decisions.

I did not vote for Obama, but I have to see things optimistically. That’s just the way I am. I have to find some positive in this decision – and I do.

I see the next four years as a change – a change for Christians. A change that will light a fire under lazy Christians’ rears and make us take a good look at what we believe in and what we stand up for. I see a change for us to decide what REALLY is important in our country – our pocketbooks or our ethics?

I want this to be a revelation for Christians to start a revolution. And, PLEASE, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want an upheaval of government power. In fact, my biggest fear right now for our new president is that he will be assassinated before he even takes office. We must pray for him beginning NOW.

I want Christians to start a prayer revolution, one that will bring people -- from voters to higher-ups in the government -- closer to God. Our country has strayed so much from what is good and true and right that we will have to have a revolution to bring us back.

I hope Obama does bring change -- I hope he brings a change in us Christians. I hope he inspires me to change and to be a stronger witness for God.

God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). We need to be an Acts 1:8 people – preach, witness, love, pray. The world is crying for a savior, and, truly, I think some people see Obama as the person who can save this world. But he can’t. And when people become disillusioned with him and realize he is only a man, what then?

Man does not save. Only God does.

Congrats to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. May God guide your steps and your decisions, and may you lead this country with peace, justice, and mercy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or treat at a stranger’s house? I think not!

Since when did it become the norm to knock at any door to ask for candy? ESPECIALLY when the lights are off?

A friend of mine came over on Halloween, and, due to an unfortunate situation, I decided I did not want to any trick or treaters. I did tell a co-worker to bring her children by, but I warned her in advance my light would be off.

As my friend and I sat on the couch watching television with the lights off, I heard the doorbell ring. Thinking it was my co-worker with her children, I jumped up and took the tiny bag of candy I had to the door.

Random strangers. I’ve got NO CLUE who those kids were – or their parents.

Confused, and wondering why they would show up at my door when the lights were turned off, I gave them a very small bit of candy (I was trying to save it for my co-worker’s kids) and sent them on my way. And I double-checked to make sure the porch light was off.

We continued to watch our show, but about three minutes later, the doorbell rang again.

More random kids.

After I sent those kids on their way, I barely had any candy left for the THIRD group who showed up at the door not a minute later (I’m sure they saw the success of the previous group and decided to give it a go.). By that time, I had just a few pieces of candy left, and I told my friend, “We need to go.”

We left and went to dinner, so I’m not 100 percent sure how many more trick or treaters decided to ring my doorbell, but am I the only one who thinks this picture is WRONG??? Since when did parents send their kids to strangers’ houses whose lights are OFF?

We do live in a little subdivision, so I CAN kind of understand why parents may have sent their kids to my house. But with the porch light off? Am I missing some new trick or treating rule?

I was talking to my dad the next day about the trick or treaters, and I said, “Well, they’re lucky I had candy!” But he had a different reaction. “YOU’RE lucky you had candy,” he replied. “If you didn’t, they probably would have toilet papered your yard.”

And he's probably right. If parents send their kids to strangers’ houses with the lights off, they probably brought toilet paper, too. Glad I left before the candy ran out.