Category Archives: Personal

Personal stuffs

Let the munchkin-proofing commence

I do my best to try to write a blog entry when I can tell I have too much to say and will end up getting spammy with all of my facebook updates.  I believe I’ve failed that attempt this week.  I’ve just been in too great of a mood and I’ve had way too many things going on.  I think my last blog entry just added to the facebook spam.  Oh well, those that know me very well should be used to me talking (and talking, and talking) a lot by now.

This week just keeps getting better.  I think I last posted here on Monday night, so I’ll pick up from there and give you a quick overview of my week.  I’ll highlight the high points in case you want to skim.  I mostly write these so I can look back on them later, anyway.

I recovered pretty quickly from the all-nighter I pulled Monday waiting for the contractors, which is a rarity for me as that usually hits me pretty hard.  Tuesday I was able to go to the Y and exercise again, I’ve actually gotten there several times over the past week or two, so hopefully it will be an established habit soon.   I discovered more exercise machines I can actually use (which was unexpected, considering I can’t use anything that requires me to use any muscles in my arms, below the elbows, or any muscles in my legs besides inner and outer thigh).  I had to up the weight on the inner/outer thigh machines already, and did an extra set of reps to feel like I was getting a workout!  I even managed to swim without the swim paddles I need — that I can’t afford quite yet — without damaging anything.

I went grocery shopping from there, something I haven’t really been able to do much of lately, found some great deals and got my pantries and freezer pretty well restocked.  I was sore from the workout and barely managed to get the cart to the checkout, but I pushed through (forgive the pun) and managed to get everything put away before I crashed.

I scheduled Wednesday as an off day because I knew I’d been overdoing it, and I knew I had to have energy for Thursday.  I’m glad I did, because don’t remember much of it.  I know when I got up my scale showed me down 5 lbs from the weight I was unable to get below last time I tried to lose weight (I’ve been eating differently but I wasn’t really even trying to lose weight this time).  I think I spent some time highlighting my Bible — I’m slowly trying to migrate my highlights and notes from my old trusty torn apart Bible to the new one.  I think I spent the rest of the day just basically vegging.

Thursday I went bowling with a family from the new church and another mother and her daughter.  I was good and didn’t bowl — I love bowling but it put my arm out of commission for weeks sometimes even before this issue with the nerve intrapment, so I dare not try anymore — but I got to hang out with 5 kids, 2 teens and a couple of adults while they bowled their first game, and then Penny (the mom of most of those kids, who’d invited me) played a game of air hockey and two games of pool with me while the others were either watching us or still bowling.  I had an absolute blast, and I think everyone else had a great time, too.  I even got to play a couple of games of skeetball before we left.  We went to McD’s afterwards to grab a bite to eat and then on to church.  Mike, the 14 yo,  who’s a pretty cool kid, rode in my back seat to both places (I really have to clean my car out, there wasn’t room in the front), and we talked the whole way.

Thursday evening’s service was great as well…

There were a lot more people there than last time, I think because they had some special musicians in that evening.  But even with all of the other musicians there I didn’t get 3 rolls in the door before someone asked me if I was going to sing again, and that question was repeated by enough people that I lost count.   At least a couple of people who hadn’t even been there Sunday came up and told me they were looking forward to hearing me sing because they’d heard someone bragging on me.  I was a little uncomfortable with all of this, but my normal awkwardness didn’t even get a chance to come out, because I was still bubbling over from the great day/week I’d been having.  (Later that night I found myself thinking, “wait a minute!  All that hugging and hand shaking and talking to people and I didn’t even freak out!” lol)

After a few congregational songs, something told me I should try to do one of my personal favorites  (Hail, Hail Lion of Judah!).  After a quick check with one of the ladies to gauge whether the people would be willing to play “repeat after me” on a praise song, I went ahead and got permission to do two both songs (it was made clear I had to do an encore of the song I sang Sunday as well).  With that many people there, almost all ready and willing to learn the song with me, it went incredibly well.  I’ve taught/sang that song at several churches, and I usually get a few to sing along, but the entire room erupted here, and it reminded me of “home”.  The Spirit was in it and I think everyone there got a blessing, I know I sure did.

My voice was tired from talking all day by the time I got to my song, so I don’t think I sang it as well as I had Sunday, but the Spirit was still strong, and I believe a number of people were blessed by it as well.  The other musicians did a great job (including one little girl with an impressive set of lungs and an awesome voice) and the Spirit was with them as well.  Then the pastor’s message was great, inspired, spot-on, and needed, and it touched on some of the things that Mike and I had been discussing earlier in the car.  We spent quite a while in prayer, peppered through the service, and we didn’t get out of there until around 11pm.  That’s my kind of service, the kind where you let God have his way and stay until He’s done :)

I went up to encourage the young singer afterwards and kind of got blocked in, so I was one of the last ones out the door, and ended up talking to people in the parking lot for a while before I left.  Before the night was over I’d asked about (with some prodding from Mike), and given a tentative commitment to helping with their VBS program in July.  I don’t know what I’ll be doing but I bet I’ll have fun! :)

So I got home near midnight, and didn’t remember until about 2am that I would have to be up early in the morning for the contractors that were coming to work on my door I tried to pull an all-nighter again, so I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I’d actually wake up when they arrived, but I lost the fight around 6am, and woke up just in time to see the contractor’s truck leaving my driveway.  Thankfully, he called a few minutes later to tell me he would be back shortly but his workers had gotten lost and he had to leave to go pick them up.  Disaster averted, I would have been SO mad at myself if I’d missed them, after trying to get someone to do this job for nearly a year.

Contractors working on my rotten door frame

this is why I was trying to get this worked on months ago

The job took them most of the day, because of more water damage than they’d expected, and having to chisel an old door jam out of cement (whoever put that door in was not bright).   I ended up sleeping through large portions of the work, I slept through chiseling, hammering, drilling and power saws, all feet from where I was sitting lol

In the end I *finally* have a new sliding glass door on the back of my kitchen, and a new entry door on the attached garage.  He didn’t end up charging me any more than the original estimate (which I was worried about because of a misunderstanding and the extra work on the water damage).  There are a few finishing touches and a couple other things I need to pick up, but he’s coming to finish up on Monday.  Since this contractor actually showed up, and seems to have done a good job, I actually have someone I can call the next time.

He also gave me a really low quote on what it would take to get a dishwasher installed in one of my cabinets, so I just have to find a way to round up the money and maybe I’ll be able to do that before too awfully long.   Doing my dishes by hand is incredibly hard for me to do these days, if I could manage to get a dishwasher installed my stress levels would drop significantly, plus I’d have the energy to do other housework that ends up never getting done right now.

They got done just in time for me to get ready and head to church at my regular church.  We had a good service there, and Vivienne showed up. I hadn’t seen her for a long time, and was glad to catch up a bit.  Afterwards, I swung by the park and caught the tail end of a baseball game between the youth and adults at the new church.

So combine this with the last post and I’ve had quite the spectacular and busy week, and I’m not sure it’s over yet.

This coming week I have a date on Wednesday to take my friend Hunter (and maybe his mom) to Skyline Chili for kids’ night.   I also have to child-proof and clean my house, and I have to try to find a way to get my schedule moved back around to something approaching normal hours, because the week after next my friend’s preschooler, Kayley, will be coming to hang out with me.  For now, I’m going to go see how much sleep I can get, lol.

Goodnight world.

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Answered prayers and such

I know I haven’t posted anything here for a while, but it’s not exactly for lack of trying.  I have at least 5 posts I’ve been trying to write but I just can’t seem to get anything to the point I actually feel comfortable posting it lately.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past few weeks (okay, that’s a massive understatement), but I believe yesterday evening was a huge turning point for me.

I’ve been checking out a new church lately (while still going to my current one — I love those people dearly but the church just isn’t accessible, and I don’t feel like it’s a place I can really be used), I’ve been there 3 times now and yesterday the pastor’s mother took it upon herself to make sure that I got to sing.  I sang one of my own songs that I haven’t sang in public for probably a year or more, and it went really well.  God seems to have touched nearly everyone in that service through my song, I had people chasing me down to make sure I knew about it, too.  I’ve never seen a reaction that strong before, and the timing was great, I really needed the pick-me-up.

After that, the pastor’s sermon hit me just right, I’m not even sure what he said exactly, but it was just what I needed to hear to finally let go and step out on faith on a couple of things that have been holding me back for a long time.  To top it all off, one of the ladies invited me to come join a group at McD’s after the service, and we sat there talking until they kicked us out at midnight.  If you know me very well you’ll probably be able to pick out about 7 answered prayers in the past couple paragraphs.

After I got home I pulled an all-nighter, I had some contractors due to come install a new door and I didn’t want to sleep through it  (which is the only bit of bad news in this post, it started pouring down rain around sunrise, and they had to postpone til Friday).  While I was up, I managed to get about 20 more songs recorded for the Praise Songs Database, and I actually got them updated to the site, along with a bunch of updates I’ve been putting off for months.

Then I made a couple of phone calls — I got resolution on one issue that’s been seriously stressful for me for the past 2 months, and I made the first step in finding a solution for another issue that’s been a huge stressor for years now.

So all in all this is shaping up to be a really awesome week, here’s hoping the trend continues, but even if it doesn’t I think I’ve had enough blessings to carry me for a little while.

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Filed under Music & Songs, Personal


I usually tell people that I don’t remember much before I was 8, and leave it at that.  The fact is, my personal memories are pretty spotty no matter what age.  I like to think of my collection of personal memories as a hunk of swiss cheese, fairly stinky, with a flavor that’s tolerable at times, but really doesn’t taste good, and is full of holes.

I’m sure that over the years I’ve internalized some of the stories I was told about my childhood, to make up for the lack of memories, so the collection may not be all mine, but I’ve been reminiscing a bit today so I figured I’d share some anyway.

I went through a phase where I refused to wear a swimsuit.  People called it a bathing suit.  You don’t bathe with a suit on.  You bathe naked.  I wasn’t going to wear a suit to take a bath, and just because you suddenly decided to start calling it a swimsuit doesn’t mean it’s purpose has changed.  Seeing as how I spent half of my childhood in swimming pools, I imagine this was a huge source of exasperation for my family.

I had a nightmare when I was 4 or 5.  One or both of my siblings was trying to steal my purple bubble gum from the top right drawer of my new yellow dresser.  I remember waking up to tell Mom that.  I remember being laughed at, even though I was upset and hurt.  I remember checking and finding my purple bubble gum was, in fact, missing.  I remember no one caring.  That’s my first and clearest memory from childhood.

I have a picture somewhere of my preschool class.  I was wearing a purse.  I found the purse a while back and put it in my toybox here for visiting kids to play with.  When Mom last saw the picture she chuckled and said something like “yeah, the teacher was exasperated because you always wanted to answer every single question and wouldn’t let anyone else have a turn”.  I don’t really remember preschool, but I remember being told to let other people answer… but the teacher kept asking “does anyone know…” so I kept raising my hand.  And if she asked us to call out answers I did.  I didn’t know what they expected, I wasn’t going to pretend I didn’t know, when I did.  I wasn’t going to lie, and I didn’t want people thinking I was stupid just because the teacher didn’t like me knowing everything.  It’s not like she had to call on me just because I raised my hand.

My favorite toy was the sit’n’spin.  I would spin as long as I could, I’d get dizzy, fall off, give myself a moment to recover, then go right back to it.  I believe I had to be forbidden from riding them, because I kept trying long after I was too big to manage.  I also loved yoyo’s and spin toys and swings and pretty much anything else with perpetual motion.

I spent a lot of time in Dr offices, because I fell all the time.  If I wasn’t injured again I was seeing yet another specialist to try to figure out why I kept getting injured.  Mom used to take her knitting and I took my sketch pad.  An artist I was not, but I liked to try to draw things as true-to-life as possible.  I was great with fish tanks and still life, I was okay with animals.   I failed miserably at drawing people.  I couldn’t draw a face to save my life.  It drove me nuts.

I liked numbers, and I made a game with myself to memorize them.  I had memorized most of the phone numbers I’d ever heard, and on the way into building I’d often take note of a license plate or two and see if I could remember them on the way back out.  Somehow Mom figured out I was doing this at some point, so she joined in and would quiz me on them.  Of course, she didn’t write them down, and couldn’t remember them herself, so she never would have known if I was wrong.

I used to wear jean skirts all the time.  One day on the way home from the bus a girl from the neighborhood thought it would be fun to pull my skirt up.  I stopped wearing skirts after that, for the most part.  Any piece of clothing that offers so little protection that a split second decision by a bully can leave you walking down the street with your underwear flapping in the breeze is just not practical or decent.  Considering how often I was falling, I think that incident just drove home the realization that skirts were not for me.

When I was in the 5rd grade I was put in a classroom on the third floor.  My 5th grade teacher had been my 3rd grade teacher previously, and she was a great teacher then.  But the third floor meant stairs after stairs after stairs.  3 flights up, three flights down, up in the morning, down for recess, up for class, down for lunch, up for class again… all of those stairs kicked off the initial exacerbation of my peripheral neuropathy, but we didn’t have a diagnosis then.  I just knew that I was falling, a lot.  And every time I got one injury healed I’d get another.  Those stairs were hard for me, and it broke my heart when the teacher I loved sneered at me and said “come on, granny” when I took too long getting up the stairs one day.  She later got mad at me for having to use crutches once again.  I think she thought I was injuring myself just to punish her.

Rounding drove me nuts.  Not because I have a problem with rounding, but because people tended to do it in the most bizarre circumstances.   Ask someone what time it is, and they might say 4:15 or “quarter past 4”.  It may be 4:12 or 4:20, but somehow it made sense to them to round it to 4:15.  It never made sense to me.  You don’t save time by saying 4:15 instead of 4:12.  Over the years I’ve learned to make these strange conventional roundings by habit, and to get a feel for when people want them, but it always seems bizarre to me.  I most especially remember driving my ex-sister-in-law nuts with this issue.  When someone asked the time, and she rounded, I always felt the need to let them know the actual time.  I couldn’t understand why she had to round.  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t understand that rounding was correct.

I have always preferred to be on the outside looking in.  Especially where people are involved.  When we had large family gatherings I used to hide under my grandpa’s old desk.  I’d pull the chair in after me so no one knew I was there.  That way I could just sit back and listen to the muffled sounds of the hustle and bustle of a large family gathering, without being accosted by it.  I felt safe there.  Usually a cousin would eventually find me and assume I was playing hide-and-go-seek, and then my fun was over.

At my other grandma’s house I used to love to sit up on the stairway and listen to everyone downstairs.  We played a lot of board games there, and she had these little plastic containers that she kept the marbles and dice in.  We used to shake them because the sound was cool.  I think my favorite sound in the whole world was hearing someone downstairs shaking  one of those, and the sound echoing up through the stairway.  I also loved the sound she made when she was ‘shuffling’ her dominoes on the kitchen table.

I did not understand why people cried at movies.  The people on tv, on screen, in fictional books, in plays, were just acting.  I got this concept, but no one else seemed to.  They wanted me to cry after watching sad stories, but they were stories.  They were not real.  Why should I get upset over something that someone made up?  So they kept trying.  They kept showing me sad movies, this one will make you cry.  But it was just a made up story, too, there was no reason to cry.  (For the record, I now cry at the drop of a hat, but that’s another story.)

When I was in 6th grade I had a nerve biopsy.  The nerve conduction studies were enough to make it clear that I had a peripheral neuropathy, but my symptoms did not match my test results, and they were baffled.  They wanted to study me, so they convinced us to let them take a hunk of nerve out of my ankle.  It wasn’t hard to convince me, I got the doctor to agree to setting up a mirror so I could watch, that was all I needed.  It was cool to watch, especially when my nerve wasn’t even in the right place and he had to dig around for a long time to find it.  He showed it to me afterwards, it looked like a fat piece of spaghetti, shredded and bloody, stapled to a popsickle stick and stuck in a jar.  Unfortunately, he wouldn’t let me keep it.

My guidance counselor at school apparently decided that that was a good time to talk to me about the whole disability issue.  I’d moved schools several times because of it.  I’d had special notes for gym for years.  But apparently they just then realized maybe I needed counseling, so she called me in to talk to me.  I think she asked how I felt.  I responded “weird” because that had become my stock answer.  She questioned me further and I explained that everyone is weird in some way, some more than others.  She asked about my best friend, I assured her that Jenny was weird, too.  She eventually asked if I thought she was weird, I believe my answer was “YES!”.  She never called me in to talk to me again.


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Filed under Disability, Humor, Personal

It’s been a long long time.

I had a million things to say yesterday and I was thinking: “wow if I post all this on my Facebook status people are going to get really annoyed” when I remembered I have a blog just for that reason lol

I know, it’s been forEVer since I made any blog entries.  It’s not that I forgot about it, really, I’ve just been incredibly busy and every time I think of blogging I think “well maybe I can find some time next week”.   Next week always seemed to be busier.

In any case, I don’t think I’ve updated since before my bro came to visit this summer… it was a great visit! Even though both of us were having health issues, and we were often too tired/sick to do much of anything, we had a great time just enjoying each other’s company.

I was sooo upset when he had to leave — I thought I’d almost had him convinced to stick around but he left anyway, then he missed a train connection in Chicago and almost did come back… I had a hard time processing it all and then dealing with being stuck here alone again.  The next couple of weeks I don’t think I could have blogged if I’d wanted to.  Then the holiday orders started early, and I’ve been working pretty much nonstop since then.

Holiday sales were great this year! My business took a huge hit a couple years back when I shut down for 9 months because of the uncertainty caused by the CPSIA toy laws.  After I opened back up my sales were no where near what they had been, and I felt like I was building from the ground up again, so I was very pleasantly surprised to see sales pickup so early this year.  And they kept up.   I still have a couple of orders to fill, but I am proud to say I managed to get every holiday order out on time this year (the ones that came in before our cutoff dates anyway).

One of the main reasons I was able to keep up with holiday sales this year is becuase MY ARM IS BETTER!! My arm had been relatively okay while Fred was here, and then 2 days after he left it was screaming again.  I knew it wasn’t psychosomatic so I started analyzing what could have caused the change… and tracked it back to my favorite ezchair.  While my bro was here I spent most of my time on the couch beside him, instead of in my chair.  It turns out my favorite chair has been exacerbating the nerve entrapment in my arm for YEARS.  I feel completely stupid for not having figured this out before, but I had an old easy chair in the other room, so I had someone help me switch it out… and my arm’s been better ever since!

It’s not great.  I still can’t do much with it without it having trouble, and I still have to load up on NSAIDs to keep it functional, but without the chair exacerbating it all the time it is SO much better.  Before I switched the chairs it had gotten to the point where it was hurting and useless more often than not, and if I did too much with it it would be useless for days afterwards.  Now it’s only hurting when I use it too much, and it’s more or less recovering over night.  I cancelled the appointment I’d made for a cortizone shot, and hopefully won’t be needing it, at least for a while!  For the first time in 2 years I’m actually holding out hope it may heal most of the way given some more time.

I have a lot more to share but I think I’ll end this post here for now, and pickup more tomorrow :)

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Filed under Business Stuffs, Disability, Personal

9 days!!

I have a bunch of last minute stuff to get done tonight and tomorrow but I figured I’d better get a post in now because I might not be around much for a while.

Saturday I’m going to a my childhood bff’s house for her son’s birthday party, I’m meeting another long time friend there, and bringing his son Sean home with me for a few days … we’ve left the pickup date open-ended, in case I get too tired to keep him so long, but if all goes well they’ll pick him up next Friday.

I’m really excited to have a little visitor.  Many of my nieces and nephews usually get to spend time here during the summer and for whatever reason it didn’t work out for any of them to come this year.  A munchkin in the house always brightens my spirits a bit, and will help fill the interminable wait before I go to pickup my best friend/brother on the 14th.

I know I’ve said this a dozen times on here already, but I’m SO excited to see my brother, he’ll be visiting for 5 weeks!!  I’m sure those 5 weeks will go by as fast as the past few months of waiting have gone slow… but I’m hoping we’ll get plenty of time to visit and rest up and just enjoy each other’s company.

Anywho, I don’t imagine I’ll be posting much while the munchkin is here, and I’m not sure if I’ll be online much while my brother’s here or not, so I figured I’d post a quick update before hand.  I hope you’ve all been having a great summer!

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How to lead the best church ever!

This list is intended as a funny way to call attention to some of the major problems in churches today.  In case it’s not painfully obvious, nearly everything that follows contains pure, dripping sarcasm.  Unfortunately, I have encountered some or all of these issues/attitudes in most of the churches I’ve visited over the past decade or so.

  • Your church does not need to be accessible.    After all, you don’t want any disabled, injured or old people in your congregation anyway, right?  They’ll just get in the way.
  • Those posted hours?  Not important.  There’s no reason to show up for services, no one’s coming anyway.  And don’t ever leave a note on the door if you happen to go elsewhere or cancel service, no one’s gonna come by to check out your church on the one night you’re gone, especially if you have a big blinky welcome sign out front.  Whatever you do, do not call your regular members and let them know what’s going on if you have to cancel a service, they won’t care if they show up and the doors are locked.
  • If you’re a pastor, be sure to complain about former members that have wronged you, or the church, from the pulpit.  Your congregation needs to know you’ll snipe at them behind their backs if they ever do you wrong.  It won’t look bad on you personally, and it’s not gossip or anything.
  • Stay far far away from the internet.  No one who just moved to your area will ever think of looking for a church online, and no one wants to keep up to date with church activities on sites like twitter or Facebook, the whole of the internet is a silly, evil fad, and it’ll eventually go away if you ignore it.  Never return emails or phone calls either, if it’s important they can ask you face to face.
  • If someone misses a week or two, just forget about them.  If they really care about God they’ll come back eventually, and if they don’t you were better off without them anyway.  No one wants their church family calling to check on them when they’re sick or unable to get to church.  And they certainly won’t want to hear a friendly voice if they’re depressed or oppressed.
  • Any visitor that comes through your doors and doesn’t meet your personal standards for dress, hygiene, adornments, skin color, class, or anything else should be immediately ostracized so that they know they’re in the wrong place, preferably before they even get a chance to sit down.  This can be accomplished with dirty looks, scowls, whispers, and random gasps from a trained congregation, assuming you don’t wish to take a more direct approach.  It’s only fair that they know from the get-go that they aren’t welcome, it’ll save awkwardness later.
  • Be sure to complain regularly and loudly from the pulpit about the horrible people that keep calling the church asking for help and handouts.  And whatever you do, never ever let the song leader sing songs with lyrics like “God loves a cheerful giver”, “give me Your love for humanity” or “they will know we are Christians by our love”.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, find something for a church member to do if they come to you asking how they can help.  No one really wants to feel like they’re doing something constructive for God or the congregation, so they must have an ulterior motive.  If you deflect or ignore them enough they’ll give up and leave you alone, a sure sign that you were right and they really didn’t want to help in the first place.
  • If someone is too loud, sings off key, gets too excited during worship and actually shows emotion, yells “amen”, or has the audacity to bring their child into the sanctuary with them, you should make sure they’re immediately pulled aside and schooled on proper church etiquette.  Patriarchs like David never danced, or sang, or acted ‘crazy’ when they got excited about God, and Jesus never would have let kids get close when he was preaching!
  • The pulpit is the best place to call out the sinners in your congregation.  If you find out someone’s fallen into a specific sin you should preach a sermon against it as soon as possible; be sure to stare at them the whole time so they get the message, and so that everyone else knows who you’re talking to.  If that doesn’t work, you might consider going to them in private later.
  • Outreach is overrated.  You’ll reach far more people if you refrain from doing any activities where you interact with the community at large. Stay away from any charity or missions programs, never interact with other churches, and make sure that no one in your congregation has any idea how to witness.
  • If your church has to relocate, for whatever reason, you should not even think about calling your members, recent visitors and attendees.  Anyone who really belongs to the church will have heard about the move already or can ask a member that already knows.
  • If a member brings a visitor to your church, and that person is obviously not saved, you should make sure to take the first opportunity to scold the church member for being “yolked with unbelievers”.  They should know better than to bring unsaved people into the church!
  • Things like taking prayer requests or setting up prayer lists and prayer chains are unnecessary.  No one should ever think that the church cares about major problems or illnesses they are dealing with, and they should never get the idea that they have an adopted family backing them up when they’re going through a hard time.
  • Every single sermon should be positive, affirming, comfortable, saccharine, and uplifting.  Never preach against sin; never preach about accountability, leading a holy life, or working for the Lord; never teach your congregation how to flee from temptation, grow their relationship with Christ, deal with adversity or persecution, or get through tough times.  As long as you pretend the Christian life is all smiles and roses their lives will be perfect, and so will yours.  It’s fine to just ignore or rephrase any Bible verse that seems ugly or difficult.  As long as you keep tickling everyone’s ears their money will keep hitting your coffers… and that’s the real measure of success, right?
  • Hypocrisy is very attractive, you should show it whenever given the least opportunity.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is a great philosophy for any Christian to live by, especially a pastor.
  • The music service should be all about entertaining your congregation.  It’s really just a feel-good concert and should be approached as such, after all, they’re paying for it right!?  If people happen to worship God some while they’re at it that’s okay, I guess, but your top priority should be making sure everyone’s happy and entertained.


I’m sure I could add a lot to this list, but I’m getting tired so I’m gonna call it.  Do you have any to add?



Filed under Bible Study, Rants, Tips & Advice

Quick update…

It’s been far too long since I blogged, and I’ve not even been around twitter much lately, so I figured I’d drop a quick update here.

I usually don’t spend nearly as much time online during the summer… I have a couple of acres of yard to mow and a garden to take care of, on top of all of my normal household stuff, which I can’t even keep up with during the winter.  Add to that the extra social events summer’s always filled with and I’m usually not around much this time of year.  Don’t get me wrong, I still spend a ton of time in my ez-chair trying to recuperate, but I’m usually too tired or too overwhelmed to do much socializing.

I’ll probably be even more scarce this year than normal, because my best friend/brother is coming in a little over a month (HOOORAY!!) and I’m not likely to be online much at all while he’s here.  So, if you don’t see much of me between now and fall that’s why.  I’m sure I’ll have a ton to share after things settle down in the fall, though.

I usually have my nieces and nephews out for a while each during the summer, too, things are still up in the air for this year, but I may have some starting next week.  It’s so hectic and draining for me, but boy is it fun :)

My mom usually helps with my garden a few times and hasn’t been down at all this year, I managed to get it planted myself, but collapsed afterwards and haven’t had the energy to do much since then, so it’s so full of weeds it looks like I planted my veggies in the middle of my yard lol… I’m getting cukes and zucchini out of it already, though.  I absolutely LOVE having fresh food from the garden.

My corn got knocked down in the awesome thunderstorm we had last night,  it didn’t snap so I straightened it up and expect it to live, but I don’t reckon it’ll produce well.  That storm was totally worth the corn damage though, best one I’ve seen in a long time.

I finally found a quackpractor (i.e. chiropractor) in the area who would take xrays before working on me (something I insist on)… he does not impress me at all, but he has some really great equipment that does most of the work for him (it actually does a computerized adjustment), so I’m going to go for a while and see how it goes.  He wanted me to come in every single day for 2 weeks, but I had to put my foot down there… I can’t even depend on being able to get out of bed every day, let alone driving a half hour.  I’m going to go every other day for now.  It’s seeming like it might help some.  My back’s been messed up for years but I hadn’t been to a chiropractor for over 10 years… I didn’t realize my insurance would cover it.

I’m heading to Cincinnati Friday to have dinner with a friend and his family, can’t wait!  I also get to pick up some ticket vouchers while I’m there that I won from a local news station, for a musical in September, so cool!  I haven’t quite decided who to take yet.

Anywho, this was supposed to be a quick update so I’ll cut myself off here, I hope everyone’s having a wonderful summer! :)

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Filed under Personal

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy father’s day to a couple of great dads! :)

I know it’s been a really long time since I posted… I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks here.

In any case, I wanted to post something for Father’s Day, so I thought I’d share one of the first songs I ever wrote.

My earthly father’s pretty darn cool, too, here’s a couple of pics for ya:

Dad in his hippy days

My Dad

<-- he's glaring at me for uploading that pic










My dad is probably the hardest working person I’ve ever met.  He worked an average of 80-90 hours per week through my entire childhood (at one point he held 2 full-time jobs and a part-time all at the same time), but still tucked me into bed every night when he got home.

The few hours he had left he spent working on stuff around the house for us, and somehow still found time to complete an associates degree (and most of a bachelors) in electrical engineering from home.  I remember sitting on a chair next to him at the kitchen table at night watching in awe as he built circuits and fixed things with his soldering iron.

Some of my fondest memories are of all the times my sister and I cajoled him into playing guitar for us (not that he didn’t love playing, he was just tired!).  Now that I think about it, it had to be amusing for him to have his little daughter begging to hear “House of the Rising Sun”.  I could have listened to him play for days on end.

He still plays for me every once in a while… now that his shoulder injury is healed and he’s cut back to halfway normal working hours I’m hoping I’ll get to hear a lot more.  He played backup for me once at his church (I sang flat the whole time, it was awful lol), and we’re hoping to do more songs that way.  Perhaps I can get him to let me record a video at some point…

In any case, that’s my dad, and I love him to pieces.  Isn’t he great!?  :)


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Filed under Music & Songs, Personal

This is one great day…

♫♪ I’m so happy, feeling snappy, my life is rosy, I’m feeling comfy cozy…
keeps getting better, good days forever, and this is one great day… ♪♫

I had a great day today!  I’ve been having a lot more of those lately.

My arm is doing so much better these days that as long as I remember my meds it hasn’t been hurting at all when it’s at rest… a very far cry from the constant screaming pain it was in for so long.  I’ve been able to make blocks, hold a microphone, mow, pull weeds, and many other things, as long as I work in short spurts, take proper breaks, and splint it when I’ve overtaxed it,  it continues to cooperate.   My throat is still blistery, but it hasn’t been particularly inflamed or in pain, which means it’s not affecting my singing voice at all (hence the song posts of late).  My legs have even been cooperating more — I’ve started using my leg braces more again, which I had neglected for a few years, and it’s letting me do a lot more.

Combine all of the physical improvements with a good church, warmer weather, and the promise of 5 whole weeks with my best friend this summer, and things just look so much brighter around here.

Today I actually got to spend the entire evening with a friend.  I helped her break down her yard sale for the evening, we had dinner together, went to church, and spent way too long yacking about anything and everything … it was great! :)   We kind of fell out of touch over the winter, hopefully we’ll be able to get together every few weeks or so now, though.  I might even manage to drag her to a concert sometime this summer.



Filed under Disability, Personal

Will we gladly labor?

I wasn’t planning on posting a song this weekend.  I have a lot of work to do, and really should be off doing it.  But we sang a song in church last night, one we’ve sung a few times in the past, that got stuck in my head, so I figured I’d better go look up the lyrics so I could sing the whole thing and eject it (I generally have to hear a whole song through a time or two before I can get it unstuck).  Anyway, I did manage to find the lyrics after some searching, and went to see if there was a recorded version on YouTube.

To my shock, the only versions I’m able to find anywhere leave out the last, and what I consider to be the most important verse of the song.  Before I go futher, let me share the lyrics with you so you’ll know what I’m talking about:

When He Calls I’ll Fly Away

1. There was once a time when, in my heart, I was condemned to die;
I was walking in my sinful ways.
Jesus paid the ransom for my soul, I bade this world goodbye;
When He calls me I will fly away.

When He calls me, I will answer “Here am I!” — I am ready, if He wants me to die.
There’s a mansion now awaiting me on high — I am going there by and by.
I have made my preparation, from this world a separation;
I am walking on God’s highway, when he calls I will fly away.

2. I could never think of turning back into this world of sin.
I’m rejoicing in the gospel way.
I am longing for the time when heaven I shall enter in —
I am ready should he call today.

3. If He needs me in this harvest, helping gather in the sheaves,
I will gladly labor on below.
If on earth my work is finished, and it’s time for me to leave,
When He calls me I’ll be glad to go.

Here’s the thing.  It really bothers me that this third verse has been left out in the popular recordings.  It doesn’t really surprise me, but it does bother me.

One of the biggest temptations we face as Christians (and when I say we, I definitely mean myself included, as this is absolutely my biggest problem) once we’ve gotten our own affairs more or less in order, is to just sit back and wait.  This problem is huge in the church, because it’s the temptation that most affects Christians that have been around a while.

Most people aren’t that likely to sit back saying, “I’m ready to come home, Lord” or “Lord, come quickly”.  Some don’t believe, and to them this entire idea is ridiculous.  Some are busy reveling in their pet sins and figure they’ve got plenty of time to straighten up before the end.  Some have people depending on them.  Some have goals, either in their personal lives or in their ministries, that they’re trying to complete.  Some just love their lives and aren’t ready to leave yet.

But those of us who truly believe, have more or less gotten our acts together, and who are tired, for one reason or another, often fall into the trap of just sitting around begging God to bring us home.  I’ve wasted years of my life this way.  In my case, it’s because I don’t enjoy life here at all.  I’m in pain, all the time, and I’m almost always tired.  Further, I have no children dependent on me sticking around, and at least right now, no clear ministry.  The promise of a place with no more disease or pain, where I get to spend all of my time singing praises, is overwhelmingly appealing to me.

Songs that remind me of that blessed promise really speak to me, as they do to most of the older Christians I know.  There are some services where every single song we sing is about going on home, and I don’t usually pick the songs, so I know this feeling resonates with others.

Here’s the thing, though.  We have a JOB to be doing.  I wasn’t intending for this post to get this long, so I won’t go into all of the scriptures, but they’re abundant.  We’re not supposed to be sitting around waiting to go home, we’re supposed to be out in the world sharing the good news, making disciples, and making a difference in the world.

This is a great song, when you read it all the way to the end, but without the last verse it’s just another temptation.  It’s just another great melody distracting us from what we’re really supposed to be doing.  There’s no harm in looking forward to the life to come, but we need to do so acknowledging that, for whatever His reasons, God hasn’t come back and He hasn’t called us home yet.

I have a policy that I won’t let myself sing a song unless I can agree fully with it’s lyrics.  This one’s a tough one for me, but I’m singing the song, so I am endeavoring to live up to it.  If He needs me in this harvest, I will gladly labor here.  I just hope He gives me a better picture of what I’m supposed to be doing soon.

Oh, and I recorded the song, just so it’ll be out there somewhere in full.  It’s not the best recording, it’s a capella, and I was probably singing too low, but here it is :P


Filed under Music & Songs, Personal