Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Depth of His Love Astounds Me

I want to get personal for a minute here. Honestly, I just need to get this off my chest. I may publish it on the blog, I may erase it, I don't know yet.

When I say I'm an introvert, believe me I don't know a single person who can withdraw into themselves so completely as I can. Over the years I learned to put up this wall, this solid iron - three foot thick wall, around my heart. There have been very, very few people that I've even allowed to peak behind the wall. I can name and count these people on my right hand. And that was my existence for as long as I can remember.

Hidden behind a wall petrified to come out, and even more terrified to consider allowing anyone to come near the gate. I lived a life inside my head lost in my thoughts and in my books; in 10 years I've only let a few people get close, and even then not completely. I cannot tell you what started me down this path, but I've grown accustomed to it.

This past year has been the most heart wrenching year of my life. I've seen everything I've had be ripped to shreds. I've been broken and bruised. I've been betrayed by friends and family. I've had my pride torn down like never before. I've been utterly turned inside out. I hide it well, I suppose, because people marvel at how composed I tend to be considering what has been going on. But it seems even my ability to hide and control my emotions is faltering.

And you know what? It terrifies me. It terrifies me to know that I really don't have everything under control and there is nothing I can do about it other than to simply lay it at His feet. It is startling to know that God has used everything this year to break me down to the basics so that He can build me up in His love and grace. It's terrifying to see how deeply I am capable of feeling. Not just for myself, but for others. I cannot tell you how off guard I've been taken by the depths of my emotions. I thought I knew what love was before this year, but now? Now, I see that I didn't even scratch the surface. I still don't know what real love is, not when you think about it in the context of how much God loves us. I cannot begin to fathom the depth of His love.

And when I stop to really think about it I just seem to lose it. I cannot discuss Him without wanting to weep. A friend, I fear, thinks there is something wrong, because every time we are together I'm on the verge of tears. But in truth it's only because when we are together we talk about Jesus all the time and I cannot think about Him without tears coming to my eyes. I cannot talk about what He is doing in my life without my heart breaking anew.

I'm desperately in love...with Jesus. He's broken me down and softened me, I'm being molded in His hands. He's changing me like only He can. He's chipping away all the hardness that's around my heart. And I can't contain it, I can't talk about Him and not be on the verge of tears. I've found myself utterly incapable of doing so. My mind and heart are being consumed, it's remarkable. Someone so entrenched in sin, completely and utterly lost, with a heart buried under 10 feet of stone...to this! And still I know how much more He can and is doing in me, truly our salvations are miracles!

He loves me, I read that in a book today, and something inside of me snapped. I was reading about the leper that Jesus heals, and Mary Magdalene, I was reading about Peter stepping out of that boat and then sinking, I was reading about Him. About Jesus. And it really ripped me open today. He loves us. Does that mean He is complacent about our sin? No, but He loves us! He loves me so much that He has allowed this mess in my life to break me down and heal me. He loves me so much that He's delivering me from the messes I put myself in. He loves ME! The chief of sinners, me, He loves me! How that steals my heart.

He's taking this shell and filling it. Truly I was empty before, only a glimmer of hope could be found in me. But now, now I cannot tell you the hope I have. For me, for my children, for my mother, for my friends, for the homeless guy that stands by the Walmart asking for food. My heart breaks, and I never imagined it possible.

"Come to Me," He cries out. His hand extended, lovingly offering me peace and rest if only I would accept. I don't know how I've missed the passion in that for so long, He loves me. He loves you. And if we love Him, we are called to mirror His love to others. And I'm only beginning to understand the depth of that commandment. And my heart breaks.

He loves me so much that He is willing to allow me to be ripped apart to expose my sin so that I could offer it up and repent of it. He loves me so much He is teaching me what dependence on Him really is. He loves me so much and has called me to Him. He covers me with His righteousness the way I would wrap my jacket around my son's shivering shoulders, all because He loves me.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(Matthew 11:28-30)

I Think They Should Call It "Pizza Town"

The guy from Domino's has decided to start a town based off of Catholic ideals (No birth control of any kind, no porn, ect. Though I do wonder what their stance is on wine? Only red wine allowed within the city? They'll probably have The Passion show every Sunday after mass is over), and I'm just wondering if Domino's will be the only pizza place in town?

All joking aside, how are they going to enforce it? What if someone decides to move there and use condoms? Will they feed said person to the alligators (It is being built by the Everglades in Florida, ah how I miss the days of swamp buggy races)?

And it may seem strange to people, but really I understand the appeal of this. With the country, and the world at large, in a state of moral decline and open rebellion against God it is an attractive thing. To create a state where there are only people who share your beliefs around you, it would make things so much more simple in a way. But we are in the world, to be a witness and a reproach to the world. God didn't call us to be a bunch of hermits, despite how very attractive that does seem (especially to an introvert like me).

Monday, February 27, 2006

Taking a Nap at 7pm

Is probably not the best idea I've had. Simply because I can't just take a 20 minute nap, if I go down I need at least 2-3 hours. And so yes, now it is 1:43 and I'm WIDE awake. Bad Kristina, bad.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I was thinking about Abraham, Sarah, Ishmael, and Isaac

Abraham loved God, I believe he longed to serve and trust Him faithfully. And knowing God had huge things in store for his blood line must have been a little frustrating for him because of his being so old and Sarah's barrenness. It was a seemingly insurmountable thing that was laid before him in his ripe old age. Yet God was in control and had His plan laid out in His timing for His glory.

But Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands, they came up with a plan that seemed good to them, and went with it. They had no heir by Sarah, so by Sarah's maid Abraham would have his heir. That's what I love about this story. It's so real. I see the struggle of Abraham and Sarah and I relate to it.

It's what I love about the Bible. It's real. It's blood, sweat, tears, and ultimately triumph. It's the ultimate happy ending, movie producers could do well to learn from it.

Anyway, sorry about the movie kick, back to the topic at hand. How often are we like that? How often do we know God is moving in our lives and has a plan for us but still we question? Still we try to fix things on our own? Still we try to move in our own strength? And we see the result of such actions in the story of Abraham. Their plans resulted in Ishmael. But God had a different plan. He wanted to work a miracle in their lives. He wanted to create a miracle in the womb of Sarah, and indeed had told Abraham of His plan, but still they went forth in their own strength. And yes, Abraham got a son out of his plans, but the key here is that it was not what God had planned. God had bigger greater things to accomplish and He had chosen to work them through Abraham with Sarah. And so Isaac was born.

How often do we do this ourselves? God speaks to us, tells us He is going to give us [insert whatever] and we rush out and try to create the opportunity to get that on our own. Whether it be a job, a husband, a child, or a million other things we try to do it in our own strength. Why? I think that silly serpent really got under Eve's skin, because he's still under our skin. With the fall we continue to follow in Adam and Eve's way, taking matters into our own hands, sinning.

God gives us the garden, He gives us more than everything we could ever need, but still we want more.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5, emphasis mine)

::crunch:: My, this fruit sure tastes yummy!

And the end result of not just waiting and trusting and following God? Banishment from His presence, a curse, and death. The end result of following our desires rather than God's will never be as good as if we had followed Him.

Had Abraham just waited and trusted the women never would have had conflict over the children because Ishmael wouldn't have existed, and thus Abraham wouldn't have to choose to send Ishmael and his mother away on their own. They went forth with their own plans and conflict arose from it. Unnecessary conflict.

And such is life. We go out and try to create opportunity for ourselves when we know we should be waiting on God to move and we create conflict. Even if the conflict only takes place in our hearts and minds it still happens. Doubt creeps in if we do not actively seek and wait upon God to move. That old serpent starts to whisper, "Hey Kristina, come here. I've got a great idea for you!" And instead of running away, how often do we turn. After all, no harm ever came from hearing and considering all the options available to us, right? Wrong. Like Joseph we must flee, even if it means fleeing in the nude. FLEE. Besides, isn't it a little strange to have a conversation with a talking snake? FLEE.

From the Hymnal: I Could Not Do Without Thee

From Cyberhymnal.org, you're one stop shop for all your hymnal needs. ;) Emphasis mine.

I could not do without Thee
O Savior of the lost,
Whose precious blood redeemed me
At such tremendous cost.
Thy righteousness, thy pardon
Thy precious blood, must be
My only hope and comfort,
My glory and my plea.

I could not do without Thee,
I cannot stand alone,
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But Thou, beloved Savior,
Art all in all to me,

And weakness will be power
If leaning hard on Thee.

I could not do without Thee,
For, oh, the way is long,
And I am often weary,
And sigh replaces song:
How could I do without Thee?
I do not know the way;
Thou knowest, and Thou leadest,
And wilt not let me stray.

I could not do without Thee,
O Jesus, Savior dear;
E’en when my eyes are holden,
I know that Thou art near.
How dreary and how lonely
This changeful life would be,
Without the sweet communion,
The secret rest with Thee!

I could not do without Thee;
No other friend can read
The spirit’s strange deep longings,
Interpreting its need;
No human heart could enter
Each dim recess of mine,
And soothe, and hush, and calm it,
O bless├Ęd Lord, but Thine.

I could not do without Thee,
For years are fleeting fast,
And soon in solemn oneness
The river must be passed;
But Thou wilt never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know Thou wilt be near me,
And whisper, “It is I.”

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Conrad Album Release

Alright folks, here's a shameless plug for a friend. Conrad has released his third album, The Shortest Distance Between Two Points. I know it is an insanely long and slightly obnoxious title, but it's still a great album none the less. Go visit his site, you'll be able to listen to the entire album for free as well as view the lyrics and the stories behind the lyrics, and much more! Thank you for supporting independent artists.

::end plug::

Friday, February 24, 2006

Don't Fast Forward Through KFC Commercials

With the rise of TiVo and things of that nature, one doesn't always have to watch commercials anymore. Well, KFC is a clever little company. Now, if you watch the commercials there's a secret hidden in the message and if you solve it you can get free food!

Also, with the advent of this technology I wonder if we'll start seeing shows sponsored by companies now, the way they used to do the old radio shows (Fibber McGee and Molly was supported by Johnson's Wax) and incorporate the advertising into the shows. Already I believe we're seeing this a bit, American Idol for example (my mom loves this show). Every time I see it there are cups sitting in front of the judges that say Coke on it. It's clever and subtle advertising. I mean, if Simon drinks Coke then I want to drink Coke!!

Thoughts on Affliction

I came across this in the morning and thought it was interesting, especially verses 71, 75-77. Sometimes we can lose sight of that in the midst of a trial. God allows things in our lives that would give us the opportunity to trust in Him and lean on His Word. He allows affliction in our lives because He loves us and wants our faith to be perfected in Him. I take comfort in knowing that even in the midst of a difficult trial, God is here and He loves me and has presented me with an opportunity to grow in Him.

As much as I may not like certain things, as difficult as they may be, I'm not sure my faith would develop as well if I didn't have them. There are things that need to be developed in me and it seems like trials are the only way to do that. As a diamond needs pressure to develop, so do I. Perhaps this is why the Bible speaks so much about gold refined in the fire (See Revelation 3:18-22 for one example).

65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

(Psalm 119:65-80, emphasis mine)

But I believe the key here is that we trust. We must, especially in times of trial, lean fully upon the Lord.

Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. (Psalm 119:92)

I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts. (Psalm 119:94)

The Psalmist doesn't ask the Lord to save him because he's done what he thought was best, rather the Psalmist cries out to God to save him solely because he is the Father's. When we seek the Lord and do His will, even when it doesn't seem to make sense to the world, we can take comfort in knowing He can and will save us. It may not be in our flesh we are saved, but if we are truly His then we are safe. We must delight ourselves in Him, in His Word.

The Word is food to our souls, if we don't eat we starve, in the same way if we don't study and dive into His Word when trouble comes it is very likely our soul will perish, our faith may falter if we do not have our feet on steady ground. And the Word is that ground. We can rest easy upon His Word, because He is perfect, faithful, and true. If His Word says He will save us, then we must rejoice! Our Redeemer lives!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Blog in IE!!!!!!!

It works, praise Jesus this was getting on my nerves so badly. And it was such a simple little thing to fix, I don't know how I missed it for so long. I mean it guys, thank God, I hated looking at my blog and couldn't figure out why the side bar was being so stupid. This has been a huge pain in my side since I realized it wasn't displaying properly but couldn't figure it out despite many attempts to do so. Thank You Jesus.

Most Abortions Banned in South Dakota

That's right folks, for the first time in 14 years Roe vs Wade is being taken on and challenged by a state. And from the looks of it, the state is getting it's way.

The measure, which passed the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman. The proposal still must be signed by Gov. Mike Rounds (R), who opposes abortion.


Apparently there are no provisions made in the bill for cases of rape and incest which is causing an uproar. The question I would love to have answered is, had the provision been provided, would the cases of claimed rape/ incest increase? If the provision had been allowed all a woman would have to do is say she got jumped in an alley. There's no real way to prove she didn't and thus the abortion would be allowed even if she was lying. I suspect this is one of the reasons no such exception was made.

Mom vs Bear

A mother took on a 700 pound bear to protect her children. A mom's love, I'll tell you...

Book Review: Unshaken

Unshaken is the third book in the series written about women in Christ's lineage. This book is written about one of my favorite women in the Bible. This book is about Ruth.

No, I didn't read these books in order, I have yet to read the second, fourth, and fifth books. I picked Tamar because it was the first book, but I picked Ruth...well, because it's Ruth. And as always, I encourage you to be familiar with the Biblical account before starting these books.

Unshaken begins it's journey with Ruth walking the streets of her town, her husband has sent her to visit her parents as he lay dying from an unknown disease. Once he dies Ruth and her mother in law sojourn to Naomi's home town of Bethlehem. As you read the account and see Ruth's willingness to remain true to her mother in law you can't help but be touched, but you also realize this goes well beyond loyalty to a beloved family member. Ruth has made up her mind to follow Naomi largely because she desires to learn more about the God of the Hebrews and worship Him. It is her love for her mother in law and her growing desire for God that leads this young woman to forsake her family and the life she has known in exchange for a life of poverty in an unknown land where she is not welcome.

By time Boaz made his first appearance I felt deeply attached to Ruth, moved and encouraged by her faith. And as you read it you can't help but rejoice in the provisions God provided these two women, truly He was faithful to them in their darkest hours as He is faithful to all who would trust Him.

This book does take some liberties, but none I feel that take away from the Biblical account. It's well written and quite touching. It is the story of Ruth.

Book Review: Unveiled

I picked this book up for two reasons. One: It's by Francine Rivers. I'd previously read her book entitled, Redeeming Love, and was deeply impressed by it so I thought I would give another book a shot. Two: It the first of five books based upon the lives of women in Christ's lineage. It is based on the Biblical account of Tamar.

So, here's the basic run down. As far as I can tell from memory she stays pretty true to the Biblical account. Actually in the introduction to the book she says that was her goal, to be able to stay as true to it as possible while expanding on the internal thoughts and motivations of the characters. I think she succeeded very well.

The beginning pages of the book, quite honestly, are a little rough. When I started reading it I was a little disappointed. Perhaps I came at this book with expectations that are too high. Perhaps not. But I was pleasantly surprised that with the appearance of Tamar the writing style picked up, as well as my interest, and continued on through the end of the book.

For the first of five books, I think she did very well with this. Obviously I encourage you, if you're going to read the book, to know the Biblical account of Tamar. I found this book to be moving, honest, and over all well written. Just don't go into it expecting it to be Redeeming Love and you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Skinned Knees

I get hurt, upset, and confused. I have this tendency of trying to deal with things on my own, I'm used to being self reliant and sometimes I forget - actually I'm not sure that's true. I know I'm supposed to go to God, but sometimes I just don't want to - that I'm not supposed to be relying upon myself but upon the grace provided to me via the Cross.

In my quiet time this morning I asked the Lord where He wanted me in His Word, I was planning on starting in the NT, perhaps in Galatians but after an upsetting trial yesterday I thought it would be best to see if He had something specific for me. One word came to mind: Hannah. I haven't read the story of Hannah in well over four or five months and haven't thought too much about her since my initial encounter with her.

In 1 Samuel 1 we meet Hannah. She's married, but barren and her husband has another wife that has been able to give him children. Hannah has to endure the scorn inflicted upon her by her husband's wife as they head to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice.

3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
(1 Samuel 1:3-10)

Hannah goes to the house of the Lord to pray after Peninnah hurts her, she went to the Lord and wept and pleaded for a son. As she is praying Eli confronts her, mistakenly thinking she is drunk.

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. (verse 15, emphasis mine)

She poured her heart out to God and He heard her. She left the temple that night with her spirit lifted and eventually was given the son she longed for. He took her heart ache and replaced it with joy. But the key here is that she had to give it up to Him.

Hannah didn't immediately go to the temple when her husband's wife hurt her, we see this in verses 7 and 8. Instead she hung around and cried and refused to eat. It is only after her husband asks her why she won't eat that she finally goes to God. Perhaps she went because she finally reached her rope's end with this problem. I imagine that has a lot to do with it, otherwise why not go sooner? I believe it's because she, like many of us, was trying to deal with her problems under her own strength. Our pride often gets in the way and we think we can, or at least should be able to, handle things on our own. We say to ourselves, "I'll deal with this and if something really big comes along then I'll go to God. Surely, God helps those who help themselves, so if I can just get through this I'll be fine."

Like Hannah we often go "to the Temple" as a last resort. We don't go straight into our prayer closets when we are hurt but often will sit and feel sorry for ourselves and be angry for sometime before we go to God with it. We often try to find solutions by our own reasoning rather than consulting God. Obviously waiting isn't the best way to handle our hurts. We should be heading to Him sooner and sooner as we grow in our relationship with Him.

Like small children who fall and cut their knees go to their mother to have their boo boo kissed and mended, so should we be going to our Father. My son doesn't wait around when he gets hurt, he immediately cries out for me in his pain, fully confidant that I can comfort him. And more often than not when he turns to look for me I am already standing right there with him.

As God's children we can take comfort in knowing our Father is always right there with us. We just need to turn around and realize it. We have to stop trying to fix our wounds by slapping a band aid on it and go to our Father to have the wound cleaned out and mended properly. And the longer we wait to do that, often the worse the cut becomes.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.(Isaiah 53:4, emphasis mine)

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16)

Wacky Wednesday: 400th Post!

Actually this isn't my 400th post b/c I had a bunch of posts on here originally that I deleated about 6 months ago, at least 10, but according to my dashboard here on blogger this is my 400th post. Go me.

Wacky Wednesday: The Benifits of Ignorance

I thought this was pretty entertaining, and found it to be a fairly effective parable. Nice work Challies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Congrats From One C-Sectioned Mother to Another

Baby Caly was born to Janelle from GirlTalk, congrats and rest up momma!

Monday, February 20, 2006

More Food! Chocolate Ravioli

Can anyone say yummy? I made these tonight for dessert. Just watch your time and how high your heat is b/c they burn easy. I skipped the mint because I don't like it.

Jesus As a Best Bet

Chip, over at Thideology, has an excellent post concerning bumper sticker theology. Check it out here.

Food Review: Chicken Saltimbocca with Cannellini Beans with Herbs and Prosciutto

Last night I made Chicken Saltimbocca with Cannellini Beans with Herbs and Prosciutto for the second time. The first time I made it I had partnered up with a friend of mine and we made it for her grandparents who are in their 70s, this time I made it for a family that is near and dear to my heart with two children as well as my own children.

Here's the run down:

It is pretty easy to do all you really need is to allow yourself enough time to make it, if you rush you can get easily overwhelmed. Smell factor? Fantastic, I love the way this meal smells. Of course I use more garlic than it calls for, and we all know how I feel about garlic. The kids seemed to enjoy it, despite the appearance of spinach in the chicken, even my boy ate it and he eats almost nothing new.

My alterations

Last night I didn't use cannellini beans because the store didn't have them when I went shopping. I don't remember what I used, but either way it turned out fine. Also, rather than getting some greans and laying the beans out on that I just took some of the spinach from the chicken and mixed it in with the beans. It tasted pretty good to me, and I don't normally like spinach or beans.

So, wrapping up I think the meal was a success, I enjoyed making it, and unless I hear from my friend nobody got food poisoning as a result of eating it. So, this meal is an easy five stars.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

If I Shot My Friend

And didn't apologize to them what would you think? What if they were standing under 15 feet from me when I "accidentally" shot them? What would you think if my friend then had a heart attack from the stress of being shot? Still no apology from me? And finally, what would you think if I didn't apologize and my friend, once they recovered slightly from the heart attack, went on national television and apologized for getting shot? Surely I'd be in jail, and you would all hate me. It's funny how some people get away with doing the most insane things without even an apology.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Have I mentioned I Love to Cook?

I've got a few more recipes to add to my list in the sidebar, will do over the weekend. But really, I've discovered cooking the past couple of years. This year especially I've seen my skills in the kitchen blossom. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's been an adventure because I've never had 99% of the things I've been making, and amazingly they've turned out well. I think cooking is quickly becoming one of my favorite past times, even if the people I cook for tend to be unadventurous.

Right now I've got some chicken I threw together with diced tomatoes, olive oil, and tons of garlic cooking and it smells fabulous. I love the smell of garlic especially. I'm a garlic nut, everything I make lately is loaded up with it. YUMMY. So yes, I like to cook and I really love garlic. The end.

Steve Camp on Rick Warren

I love Steve Camp. hahaha

A guy writes one very successful book, makes a lot of money and all of a sudden he's concerned about people with AIDS and world hunger. Fair enough. But now, Rick Warren is spearheading a global effort called the Evangelical Climate Initiative...

One must ask of our brother, is this a midlife crisis or a global one? Warren has changed the hair; changed the wardrobe; grew the goatee; announced he was curing world hunger, but couldn't (his undying cause six months ago); realizes that addressing AIDS is more complicated than knowing BONO and throwing celebrity money at it; still isn't sure what translation to read; has a PHD in proof-texting (no one is better than the Rickster); and isn't content with what his biblical duties as a pastor are... so what does he do now? Buy a bright red turbo charged hybrid car? No--too obvious. Instead, create the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Give it time--this too shall pass... possibly by autumn or until U2's next CD comes out outlining the next cause. (In addition to AIDS, world hunger and global warming, maybe he could also go to Europe and resolve the Cartoon Riots and then find Osama.)


PS - Please notice, I'm not completely insensitive to Mr. Warren's environmental concerns. To show my empathy, I chose to use a dark-green color on the subheading titles and blockquote. I'm doing all that I can in my part to help Rick in this cause.

RIAA Says That I'm in Trouble

Apparently, now it's naughty to make copies of your own CDs, or to rip them and place the mp3s on your mp3 player! I'm so naughty. I own the CDs, I don't pass out the mp3s to people, even if they ask, and I only use the mp3 player in my car. I don't have a cd player. So now I'm being unfair? Give me a break. Last year it was ok for me to do this, so what the heck? Why is it unfair now? Dumb RIAA changing their minds all the time.

Last year:
"The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."

But now, because I play my music on my computer they say I shouldn't buy CDs, and basically imply that just playing the CD on the computer should be illegal simply because there are services out there that provide mp3 downloads. Since when are they allowed to dictate how I spend my money? Computers crash, if all I have is mp3s I will be force to buy more mp3s once the computer is fixed. That is twice as much money for the same amount of music being played. Give me a break. And really, what do they think I do rip the mp3 and play it on my mp3 player while playing it on my computer while having the CD in my brother's stereo? That is a bit excessive, don't you think? Dumb RIAA, hush up. I'm not stealing, I'm not using the music for anything other than private use, so relax. Geez.

::end rant::

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Don't Waste Your Cancer

I found this encouraging piece by John Piper, written on the eve of his procedure for prostate cancer. This word has touched me deeply, and I believe we all would be well of to take it to heart.

A Light Unto My Path

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. (Psalm 139:10-11)

When I trust in the Lord and allow Him to lead me even when things seem overwhelming I am not lost. Even in the midst of darkness I can be sure of my footing as though it was noon day. If I allow the Lord to lead I know my destination, even if I don't know the exact route He is taking me on. If I don't doubt I will see Him work wonders in me, all I have to do is trust Him. I take comfort knowing when the darkness seems to encompass me I still have His Word to be "a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wacky Wednesday: iGod

That's right folks, God now is on the internet. Here you can talk to "God". It is actually quite stupid, basically if you've ever talked to those bots on AIM you've talked to "God," you can trick it into saying stupid stuff, it doesn't give a straight up answer as far as salvation (I tried to get one out of it, but true to bot style it forgot what we were talking about once I used more than 5 words in a sentance.)

Wacky Wednesday: I've Been Published in a Magazine

That's right. I was messing around and sent this joke of an article out to Burn This Magazine, and they used it! I've been published. ::does a little dance:: So, here, read this and laugh.

Boogers: To Pick or Not to Pick?
The Question That Haunts Us All

I suppose I’ll start with a confession. When my nose is itchy I scratch the inside of my nose. I can’t help it, it’s the only way to get the itch to go away. Now, my children on the other hand, they pick their noses for other reasons. My daughter uses her thumb to pick her nose, I’m not sure she does it on purpose because she’s only 10.5 months old and she is a major thumb sucker. The only time I catch her with her thumb up her nose is when she’s distracted watching tv, so my running theory for her is that she was trying to suck her thumb, missed, and was too distracted to notice she has managed to jam her thumb up her nostril.

My son, quite frankly, is a boy. And boys tend to be gross. He picks his nose solely because I don’t want him to. He giggles and sticks his finger up there and then comes looking for me to show off. Then he laughs very hard as I pull his hands away from his face and tell him to stop picking his nose. This inevitably leads to him sticking his finger right back up there and running away to keep me from stopping him. It’s quite funny, though it is rather gross. But, like I said, he is a boy and he’s not even three yet. I hope this fascination with his nose ends sometime soon.

I realize there some of you who may be totally grossed out, but I know that you all are probably closet nose pickers. I’ve decided there are about five types of people when it comes to picking noses. You’ve got the people like me who scratch from the inside, then you have people like Julianne who get (this most frequently happens while watching tv), then you have the people like William who do it just to gross people out. Next we have the people who don’t care where or when, if they want to pick they are going to. This type of person is the most likely to eat their boogers.

And finally, we have the closet nose picker. These people want to pick their noses, for whatever reason, but are so self conscious that they can’t bear to risk it. Therefore they do the very quick “up and out” pick all the while scanning the room to be sure they haven’t been seen. These people probably are more comfortable picking their noses in the car simply because anyone who might see them won’t be anywhere near them after the next red light.

So, as we can see. Just about everyone is a nose picker, or a recovering nose picker, so the next time you cat someone with their finger up their nose don’t get all judgmental. Odds are you do it too, even if it is only in your car. Remember, Jesus said to “judge not lest you be judged,” (Matthew 7:1). He must have understood people are nose pickers and that we all need to stop acting like we’re the only one in the entire world who doesn’t pick their nose. So, now instead of being grossed out, try to be compassionate. And while you are at it, try to figure out what type they fall into! This could be the most entertaining form of people watching to ever be invented!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Really Don't Understand

Scott Peterson, the guy in the UK, the woman in California, and this woman...I just don't understand why killing your children seems to be the thing to do. I don't remember hearing of so many cases when I was younger, so what gives?! It's heart breaking.

A McKinney woman accused of killing her 10-month-old daughter by cutting off the baby's arms with a kitchen knife went on trial Monday after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

Police found Dena Schlosser, 37, covered in blood in her kitchen, still holding a knife and listening to a church hymn.

WHAT THE HECK. And really, could you be more cruel? She cut the baby's arms off? Come on. I'm so stinking angry right now.

Today is a day like no other

Today is a day when chocolate completely dominates the tv. Chocolate and Victoria's Secret commercials. Boy I can't wait for today to be over. Happy Greeting Card Created Holiday Day, excuse to whine about not having enough chocolate/ jewelry/ roses. hehe

Monday, February 13, 2006

Someone Please Explain The Appeal of The Bachelor To Me

My mom is into The Bachelor. To be honest I've never seen it before. She had it on tonight and they were interviewing past couples and then went on to the new show. Someone please explain why you would go on national TV and make out with a man who has made out with 24 other women during your stay with him? I just don't understand.

More Thoughts on Hell

I thought I'd start the week off right after all the trouble from last week and dive right into a few more thoughts I've had concerning hell.

I recently listened to a couple of interviews with Brian McLaren, and a large part of the interviews discussed hell. Essentially McLaren and the emergent reject the idea of hell and our traditional teachings of it, by in large, because it just "isn't fair." The general argument against God sending people who reject Him to hell is this: To punish a finite being for a finite number of sins for an infinent amount of time doesn't seem very loving or just.

But my question to people who reject hell because it doesn't seem fair is, how do you justify Christ's sacrificial death? He was perfect, God incarnate (though this is another thing the emergent don't seem to always accept), sinless, and innocent. How is that fair? God had to send His Son to us and kill Him for us to even have a chance at salvation. Christ laid down His life to save us. How is that fair? If you want to play the "life isn't fair" game, justify that! God poured out all His wrath upon His only Son for a wretched bunch of sinners (ooh that's a naughty word among the emergent as well). He poured an infinent amount of wrath upon the only man to ever live sinlessly and perfectly. Can you imagine the pain, emotionally, Christ experienced upon that cross? He was completely sinless, even after having been tempted in every way we are, and His Father poured His wrath upon Him, His Father withdrew from Him, it's heart breaking to see Christ cry out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Yet, Christ knew why He was there. He never lost sight of what He was accomplishing on the cross. But what of the Father?

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed; he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper his hand. (Isaiah 53:10, emphasis mine)

It pleased the Father? What satisfaction could come from the death of His Son? The depth of the answer to this question escapes me. As much as I may understand, I know it goes beyond what I can even begin to comprehend. It doesn't seem fair to kill one for the sins of others yet we accept this. This is the core of Christianity. Christ died to pay the price for our sin. It doesn't make sense that Christ should die so that we may live, but we accept it. It is a teaching that is laid out clearly through out the scriptures. And we accept it.

So why do we reject other teachings that are laid out just as clearly? When the Bible says everlasting punishment, why do we seek out another meaning? Why do we think that surely the choice of words must be a mistake? Are we honestly so arrogant to believe we know what the Bible means better than it's writers? Better than God? Nobody on earth would say yes to that question, but when you reject something that was taught that is what you are saying. You're saying "I know better than Paul, Peter, John, and yes, even Jesus about the character of God."

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Do we truly believe - are we so arrogant to think we can fully know the mind of God? Especially when we are submerged in sin? But if Jesus, who is God, spoke of sin, death, hell, and eternal fire - why do we try to twist His words to fit into our way of thinking? This doesn't speak well of our regard for Scriptures and it certainly doesn't speak well of our overwhelming pride.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Day the Computer Died

So, my computer died. And I haven't really posted much since. Here is the basic run down.

Oh my son, how I love the boy, decided it would be a swell idea to leave his juice sitting on top of the tower. (He knows he isn't supposed to do that, and truth be told I don't remember the last time he ever did leave anything on top of the computer) and my daughter was playing and... Well, she is really into cups right now. So swoosh, drip drip drip. Right into the back of the tower.

I don't know what's wrong with it, simply because all my knowledge is wrapped up in installing DSL and messing with software and building websites. I don't know anything about the inside of a computer. All I know is no fun for me. MONTHS of research on Bible translations and movements within the church, as well as music and graphic design projects are locked up in a computer I can't touch.

YAY. Haha. At least she's cute. Anyway, I've moved onto my mom's laptop (which I hate, not just her's all laptops. I just don't like them) and am back up and running, though the loss of my stuff is rather irritating.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Online Versus Real Life

“Jesus loves you just the way you are,” I cannot tell you how very many times I’ve heard that in my life. And fine, yes Jesus loves you. He loves me. He loves Bob down the street and Mary two blocks over. But when He calls us to be His own, when we accept that marriage proposal, we are called to change. So, while Jesus may love me as I am - if I truly do love Him, if I have truly repented of my sins and embraced the freedom found in His love, shouldn’t I therefore desire change in my life?

Indeed, I am changing. I’ve seen God work wonders in my life. And I know that He will continue to work a miracle in me, so long as I am willing to allow Him to do so. He’s not going to force me to change, but if I really love Him won’t I desire to lay down my old nature, my old habits and hang ups and desires, for a fresh start in Him?

Lately, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my writing (especially my blog) and my real life. It may surprise some of you to know that in many ways my online presence is much different than how I am in real life.

Don't panic. I’m not saying I am really some 45-year-old man who lives in a shack in the woods of Montana. My name really is Kristina and I really do have two beautiful children whom I love deeply. Rather the difference I am speaking of is simply my boldness. Online I am more...bold? Intense about some things? More outgoing. I can ramble a lot online, but in my day to day life I tend to be more quiet.

Now, those of you who are close to me may need to take a moment to recover from the choking fit I’m sure you just experienced over your coffees before we continue. Better? Good. Let me clarify. I hate crowds, I loath new situations, and I detest public speaking as well as anything that is going to force attention to be focused upon me. You are more likely to win the lottery - even if you’ve never played in your life - than you are to ever hear me speak publicly. It just does not happen. I tend to be quite introverted and it takes a ridiculous amount of time for me to get comfortable in new places with new people. A perfect example of this is church. I attended the same church every week for 4.5-5 years before one person in that entire congregation could have told you my name.

The few friends I do have can attest to this fact. I have been like this since I was a child. I was the kid in the corner reading or playing by themselves on the playground. I was the kid who would be playing solitaire at the after school program while everyone else was playing UNO or Chinese Checkers. I was the kid who was over prepared for their presentations in class, but you would never know it because of how badly I stammered during it. I was the kid who, assuming they didn’t throw up before hand, was in the bathroom immediately after the speech was finished. Even if it wasn’t a presentation I rarely said a word during my classes. In fact I don’t remember participating in class discussions until I was a junior in high school. And I still hated doing it, but the things being discussed were either too interesting to pass up or I was so bored out of my mind that I had to participate to keep from falling asleep. I think my senior English teacher liked to bring up certain topics simply to rouse my interest and get me to interact with the rest of the class.

Anyway, I am still very much like that. And truthfully I’m not thrilled about it, though I am most comfortable not being noticed. I blend into crowds easily, and that’s what I’m used to. I would rather be by myself with a stack of books in silence than in a crowded movie theater. If it weren’t for email most of my family and friends would never hear from me.

But my question is, for those of you who only know me online, would you have ever figured me to be like this? When I read the things I have written over the past year I see confidence. I see strength, I see someone who can articulate their ideas pretty well...even if they do tend to ramble a bit. But I don’t see that in my real life. At least, not yet.

You see I truly believe God is still at work in me. He continues to bring things about myself to mind that need attention. And I’m glad for that, though I must admit it can be frustrating and painful at times. I know He is at work in me. My writing is a proof of that. I never used to write like this, my blog and the articles I have written are so very different from the writing before I knew and desired Him.

My writing before was much more weak than it is today. It wasn’t as fluent, it wasn’t as brave. But the Lord has changed that. He has given me confidence to write and I know the strength I see in my writing is not my own but His. And I am sure He will continue to cultivate that.

But sometimes I find myself wondering if He is going to work on me in the real world? When? I worry sometimes that I will always be this “wet noodle” of a girl. But I realize that He is at work! The fact that I can shop by myself is a miracle in itself. Occasionally I even speak to the people at the check out line. That is huge for me...you have no idea. And so I know I need to relax. He is in control and He is molding me (despite my worry and my fears) in His timing for His glory. Do I know what the end result will be? No. But I don’t need to. All I need to know is that my God loves me enough to change me and save me from myself and my sin. And that, beloved, is my peace tonight. I am being changed, imperceptively, from the inside out in more ways than I can imagine.

I'm still taking a break, but

I thought just so that interest doesn't completely die in this blog that I'd post a little something that is not my own. I'm planning on resuming posting on Monday, Lord willing, now that I'm all settled in on the laptop. To hear a detailed account of my adventures that caused me to shut down the blog come back on Monday! See you then.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Due to some technical difficulties

I will not be making many, if any posts until further notice.

My daughter decided to spill some juice on my computer tower, yea. It's that good. The thing will not turn on, I had to unplug it to shut it off. And it's LOADED with research and programs I only have on that computer. So yay.

Wacky Wednesday: Rubix Cube Christian Style

I found this a few days ago. What the heck?

Wacky Wednesday: Fun at the ATM

From GirlTalk.

A sign in the local Bank Lobby reads: "Please note that this Bank is installing new drive-through teller machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers using this new facility are required to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts.

After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender."


1. Drive up to the cash machine.

2. Put down your car window.

3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.

4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.

5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.

6. Put window up.

7. Drive off.



1. Drive up to cash machine.

2. Reverse and back up the required distance to align car window with the machine.

3. Set parking brake, put the window down.

4. Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.

5. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up

6. Attempt to insert card into machine.

7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.

8. Insert card.

9. Re-insert card the right way.

10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.

11. Enter PIN.

12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.

13. Enter amount of cash required.

14. Check makeup in rear view mirror.

15. Retrieve cash and receipt.

16. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.

17. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of checkbook.

18. Re-check makeup.

19. Drive forward 2 feet.

20. Reverse back to cash machine.

21. Retrieve card.

22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.

23. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.

24. Restart stalled engine and pull off.

25. Redial person on cell phone

26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.

27. Release Parking Brake.

Wacky Wednesday: Useless Facts

When I was in high school I had a notebook worth of useless facts and random quotes I thought were interesting. When I built my first website I had a useless facts page. I enjoy knowing things like this, so in a strike of nostalgia I present to you five useless facts. Enjoy!

# The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from and old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

# Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.

# Shakespeare invented the word "assassination" and "bump."

# The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the alphabet.

# The average chocolate bar has 8 insects' legs in it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


A constant flow of emotions that sets you on cloud nine and then brings you down to the lowest levels of discouragement is human. But for those that believe, deep down inside there is set a constant unwavering joy, and that is God. It is easy to find when the mood is high and laughter is in the air. When the sun shines and a cool breeze blows on a warm summer day it shows in your smile like a clear window to your soul. However, there are those times when the mood is gray and the emotions that roll from your heart follow the negative thoughts that bombard your mind like a war torn battle field. The times when the sky churns with storm clouds in the winter creating a freezing rain that can paralyze you with sluggish inactivity. The window shuttered and boarded by the frown that has replaced the smile. But take heart followers of Christ, these are also the times of miracles, and believers are revealed. These are the times to put trust in the one who created you and confidence that He is going to carry your through the storm. These are the times to test the resolve you found in the sunlight. These are the times when those who really believe, standing in stark contrast to their surroundings and circumstances, reveal true joy. These are the times when people of loss look to one of their own and think, “what does that person have to smile about?” You know what it is brother, and so do you my sister. If you feel the tug of peace on your heart right now and a small grin beginning to appear on your lips, then you know what it is. That’s the joy that Christ has given you. Turning your mind and heart to Him when your weathering the storm is the key to finding it. It’s a hard thing to do though when everything seems bleak, when no one seems to understand how you feel, when your rejected by someone you love, when your finances seem to be crumbling around you, when the world is going crazy and you just don’t know what to do, I know its hard, but hang in there and think on the goodness of God, and slowly the sun will come out again, I promise friend. I know because I’m not writing this while the sun is shining on me. The storm is strong right now. However, I’m encouraged by the joy He has placed in me. HOPE is strong, FAITH is strong, and LOVE is the greatest of all! The love He has for you and I! Do you feel the JOY?
Source (emphasis mine)

For the Lord Sustained Me

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. (Psalm 3:4-5)

Each day we have, every breath, every heart beat is a gift from God. He sustains us. If it is His will for us to awaken we will do so. If it is His will for us to die, so shall we do this. In Matthew Jesus tells us not to make oaths but to simply let our yes be yes and our no be no.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (Matthew 5:36)

Christ knows that we have no power in and of ourselves, we cannot even change our hair color, therefore why do we think we can ignore that it is God who gives and takes away our lives. Why do we give guarantees to people, when we don't have the power to fulfill them without God's grace. I think that may be one reason why Paul often in his letters to various churches would say he was planning, if the Lord permits, to come to them. If it isn't in God's will for him to go, then they should be comforted in knowing that God's will above Paul's is being done.

So, knowing that it is God who gives us the day, why do we seem to become so complacent towards our lives being completely subject to God's will? We often get so wrapped up in our day to day lives, in our schedules, that the fact that our hearts are still beating is a God given miracle. The fact that I'm writing this right now is a gift of God. He easily could have called me home in my sleep - or at any other point during my life - but it is His will that I should be here. He has chosen to give me this time. He has given me this day. My life is not my own, but His to use as He pleases. My life is His to use to His glory. How great a gift, to be used by God!

I used to set off to do my own plans without consulting God (sadly, I must admit I continue to do this more than I like) only to become depressed and discouraged that they fell flat. When my best laid plans died I would get frustrated. But really, should I? Obviously those plans were not God's will or they would have succeeded. So, if I say I love God and desire His will above my own, shouldn't I rejoice that they fell flat?

Indeed, I believe I should. Because I long for nothing more than God to use me as He sees fit. Because, whatever the outcome of any given situation, Christ will be glorified. And I thank God for that.

The Professional Laity

CofeeSwirls has an interesting piece concerning serving the church. Check it out here.

February is

Love Your Library Month! I didn't know that! Thanks Stacey. Now I have to go to the library so that I may fully appreciate the coolness of it. Actually, my library is really great. So yay.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Four Killed at Muslim Protest Over Cartoons

Muslim demonstrators clashed with security forces who fired live rounds and tear gas to break up violent protests in several Asian countries Monday against the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Four people were killed and at least 19 wounded in Afghanistan.

The worst of the violence was outside Bagram, the main US base in the country, with Afghan police firing on 2,000 protesters as they tried to break into the heavily guarded facility.

Two of the demonstrators were killed and five wounded, while eight police were also hurt.

In the central Afghan city of Mihtarlam, police fired on the demonstrators after a man shot at them and others threw stones and knives.

Two protesters were killed, and three other people wounded - two of them police, one of whom was stabbed by a thrown knife. Protesters burned tires and threw stones at the offices of the police and provincial governor.

Meanwhile, about 200 protesters tried to break down the gate of a the Danish government's diplomatic mission office in the capital Kabul, but failed, said police who were guarding the building.

Sure sounds like a peaceful religion to me...

Interesting Quote

Can there be a greater cheat or wrong done to a man that to give him your person without your heart?

--William Wycherley, "The Country Wife--Lucy"

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds." - John Newton

Remember The Other Day?

I posted an ebay auction about an athiest willing to go to church for $10 a visit? The guy made $504!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My God is an Awesome God!

I talk about trust a lot on this blog, specifically about trusting God. Perhaps the reason I write so much about it is because in the past I didn't. I trusted my self only, and to trust anyone else (even God) just seemed too unstable. Sadly, I see that I had mistakenly imagined God to be like man. But He isn't. And I'm learning that quite a bit this year.

Yesterday I had to trust Him all over again. Yesterday my 13 month old daughter woke up with a cold. And as the day progressed I saw her health deteriorate before my eyes. She was extremely cuddly, and refused to not be held which was fine because I adore the opportunity to just hold her. She ate almost nothing, less all day than she normally eats in one meal. If you've seen her eat you understand how drastic of a change this is. She is always eating. As the day progressed her mood worsened, she began to hold her head at very strange angles, and started to scream on and off like she was in pain.

In the evening she started screaming like she was in pain and wouldn't stop. She couldn't support her own weight when standing, or even sitting, and when she would try to crawl (something she hasn't done in over two months) she'd fall to the ground. Needless to say by time the evening rolled around I was deeply concerned, especially since she wouldn't make eye contact with me, and the way she was looking at things reminded me of a little girl I know with downs.

I had my mom watch my son and took her to the ER. I thought maybe part of the problem was an ear infection, which would explain the way she was holding her head. It wasn't an ear infection. Also of concern was the fact that when you forced her to straighten her head she would gag on her spit and was drooling quite a bit. This problem made driving to the hospital especially frightening for me as I knew she had to get to the hospital, but worried she'd start to choke and not stop. Thankfully we arrived with little problem.

The doctors eventually came in, asked the same questions over and over, and shook their heads. No idea what was wrong...well, that's not true. No idea that they were willing to share with me. All they would say is they thought a MRI was needed and that they thought she'd experienced some kind of trauma to the head and perhaps that's why she was acting so strangely. I told them that wasn't possible because from the moment she woke up that morning she'd been in my arms, and if I wasn't holding her it was because we were driving.

And so we were transferred to, and arrived at, Children's around midnight, still without any answers. The doctors came in and I explained what was going on and they poked and prodded. They ordered a X-ray of her throat and then a CT Scan. Truth be told I was deeply frightened. But what could I do but hold her and love her and pray for healing? And so that's what I did. Though Satan tried to steal my peace I found my comfort in quoting Scripture to my daughter from memory. She and I shared a few verses out of Isaiah, Matthew, and Hebrews. I also discovered, that dispite how badly she felt she still reacted to my singing. It was deeply encouraging to see her smile briefly as I sang How Great Thou Art to her. Indeed, the fact that she isn't repulsed by my voice is a miracle in itself!

And as we waited for the results from the tests to come back she started to improve. She stopped looking around the room the way she had and started making eye contact. Slowly she began to sit up on her own. Then, much to my surprise she got up and started to play! The tests came back clean. The doctors regrouped as they tried to figure out what it could be. By four in the morning my baby was back to normal, albeit very tired. She barely slept the entire time we were at the hospital. And since she was doing so well, we gave her some pretzels, water, and milk.

We were discharged around 4:30 with instructions to go see her pediatrician on Monday or come back if she starts to act weird again.

So, my beautiful daughter is healthy, granted overtired, and there are no concerns what so ever. I asked for a healing, and my God how He provided! Truly He is a good God. As I held her last night I asked Him to heal her, in whatever manner He chose, and trusted that He would use this to His glory. If nobody else ever realizes the work He did in her last night, I do. And I am amazed. How He loves us! And when you trust Him, wow. There aren't words to describe the comfort I knew as I trusted that He would work this out for the best.

Friday, February 03, 2006

How to Make a Buck...

I don't feel very creative when I hear about the crazy things people will do to make a buck. One guy sold his forehead on ebay, well not actually he rented his forehead out to the winning bidder and wore a temporary tattoo for a month. He made well over $30,000.

And this person, right out of the Chicago area, is willing to attend church for $10 per visit. I never would have even thought that one could make money doing things like this. Wow.

Kristina Hansen Redesign

I redid the design of my website. I think I like it. You should like it too. Or at least think about liking it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

CoffeeSwirls: End of the Spear

Today is Kristina's movie day it seems.

Doug over at CoffeeSwirls has seen and commented on the controversy surrounding End of the Spear. He seems to have a very balanced view of the movie and the concerns surrounding it that I find myself in agreement with. Take a look for yourself.

Narnia 2.0

Well, we Christians must be truly desperate for entertainment these days. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian will begin production shortly and should be released around Christmas 2007. Am I the only one on the planet who isn't thrilled with the idea? When the Lord of the Rings movies were big all I ever heard about was how great the movies were, and that you could see the correlation between the films and the Bible (and to put the critic's mind at ease, yes I did see the movies though I must admit I fell asleep in the theater during the second one).

So, if that is true why do we need a "Christian" series to be released? Are people actually going to get up from these movies and say, "Wow, Jesus rocks," if they don't already have faith in Him? People talk about using these films for outreach, but how effective has it been? The first one has been out for quite some time, and I haven't heard of ANY stories of someone accepting Christ after seeing it. If it's such a great outreach, where's the conversions? Where are the changed lives?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It Is Your Father's Pleasure to Give You the Kingdom

John Piper delivered a sermon based on Luke 12:32.

Fear not, little flock,
for it is your Father's good pleasure
to give you the kingdom.

It was a great encouragement to me.

Jesus knows that the flock of God struggles with fear. He knows that one of those fears is that God is the kind of God who is basically angry and delights most of all to judge sinners and only does good out of a sense of constraint and duty, not delight. Therefore the Lord is at pains this morning to free us from this fear by telling us the truth about God. He has chosen every word for our comfort and joy and peace.

Fear not,
for it is your Father's
good pleasure
to give you
the kingdom!

On Faith And Fruit In The Lives Of The Believer

I once discussed with a young man faith and fruit (or the lack of it) in a believer. Essentially he said to me, "I have faith, but not enough to act on it - not enough to produce fruit." And I wondered, how can one truly have faith and not be able to act on it in any fashion? Christ said that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we would have enough faith to cause a mountain to fall into the seas. So, if that small amount of faith can move a mountain, how much faith does it take to simply live in a fashion that is different from the world?

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2, emphasis mine)

Here Christ tells us that any branch that does not produce fruit will be removed. James tells us that faith without works is a dead faith. He says that even the demons believe. So, what makes us any different from them if we have no fruit? Christ tells us that we are to abide in His love and follow His commandments (John 15:10).

Often I hear people speak of being Christ's friend. There's a popular song on Christian radio that says "I am a friend of God." We love hearing that. We love hearing that He loves us and wants to be our friend. This is in reference to John 15:14, but the entire verse never seems to be cited.

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14, emphasis mine)

So, in context we can see that we are His friends IF we do what He commands of us. We cannot claim to be friends of Christ, we cannot claim to love Christ if we are unwilling to follow Him and do as He has commanded. Christ said if we want to follow Him we must first deny ourselves and take up our cross (Matthew 16:24). So if we want to be with Christ, if we want to be called His friends and abide in His love - how can we continue on in our flesh and rebel against His commandments when that was His stipulation for being called His friend? If we want to be His friends we must follow - we must submit to Him as Lord over our lives to be able to claim we are "a friend of God."

Wacky Wednesday: Giant Jellyfish!

Ahh! Can you imagine swimming and seeing one of these suckers? Wow. I guess it's a good thing I live in Illinois, the odds of me coming across one of these is probably pretty slim. But you can bet your last dollar I'm not planning on swimming off the shores of Japan anytime soon!