- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I said something about this in a previous post but it has really struck me as odd that I gave my first genuine "old lady" talk last Saturday night. I was asked to speak to the 30 somethings at church. I thought it was funny that one of them asked me how old I was and when I said, "45" she exclaimed, "REALLY??? Your THAT old???" Yep, I am. I am pretty sure that was a compliment but it still struck me as funny because I don't consider 45 to be old.
I'm feeling better as far as coffee withdrawl goes too. The first couple of days were rough. I felt like I had the flu or something but day by day it gets better. I still have a headache and I'm still really tired but it's better than before.
The Two Weeks of Sacrifice is a weird thing. Speaking for myself, there are two parts to this deal - (1) giving money to help build wells in Africa where millions lack access to clean water, and (2) the sacrifice. I could just give money, and that is fine. A lot of people are doing that and that's a good thing because the need is so desperate in Africa and I'd venture that most everyone I know could afford to give a little to help a lot. But for some reason, for me, the sacrifice part has been important. I'm not sure why. From the start I've just felt that God has something for me if I do this. I'm not even sure what that is... maybe something I need to learn or something about me that needs to change, or something that will bring me closer to Him. I don't know what it is, but I know I want it.
I was SO tempted to "cheat" yesterday when I saw some chocolate covered expresso beans at the store. I even put them in my cart and then I thought, "no, I couldn't be OK with that. I'm determined to do this with no coffee at all". For me that's the "me" part and the giving is the "their" part. If that makes any sense.
I'm also reading Shane Claiborne's book and am almost finished with it. I may be posting my thoughts about it in the near future. I know two things: I like what he says, and I don't like what he says.
I am also excited about going to a homeless camp this Friday. The other night my son met a lady who works as a "Cooridinator of Homeless Outreach and Criminal Justice Services" . She is also on the board of the local homeless shelter. I had met her before and always wanted to go with her to see the things she sees. Now I get my chance!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
My head is also spinning from the weekend. It was a long and busy one. I got off work at 11:00 AM Saturday, came home to shower and change clothes and then went to a party at my soon-to-be daughter-in-law's apartment where we worked on getting stuff ready for the wedding. After that, I ran home for a bite to eat and to say hi to Brian. Then it was off to Unchained where I had been invited to speak to the 20-30 somethings at our church.
Sunday morning was the typical busy Sunday only this Sunday we got there early to put labels on 350 bottles of water that were to be given out after the service - a reminder and a gift to those participating in the Blood:Water Mission sacrifice.
After all of that I sat wondering at all the varied personalities I had come in contact with over the weekend. That in itself was enough to make my head spin. People are weird. Beautiful and unique but definitely weird.
So today I'm just tired and not in the best mood. Then I ran across this and my day brightened considerably.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
- Be sure to check the comments section of the post "A New Video Site" for an encourging word.
- This is spreading, which is a good thing. Ericka's dorm buddies are joining us in the sacrifice. One of them is also going to try to get her church involved.
- A man at church is going to try to get his coworkers to join us.
- Today is the first day of the Two Weeks of Sacrifice and already we have collected $157.00. Collection day is not until March 11th!
"Dear God I feel like $#%& today. I am so #%&*$& up and
I really need Your help to get through this".
The first time I heard this girl pray I was a bit taken aback. I had never heard anyone pray like that before. For this little pastor's wife It was shocking to say the least. But soon I began to see that this girl was praying was a beautiful thing. She was being honest and humble before the Almightly as she brought her whole self - the good, the bad and the ugly, into relationship with Jesus. Isn't that what He wants? For us to fearlessly bring our whole self into relationship with Him? There are far more profane things in life than profanity and perhaps pious self-righteousness is one of them.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I first heard about him from my son Cody. Cody and his soon-to-be bride Allison have been praying about what branch of ministry to go into ... and it appears that they may be led to work with inner-city ministry and the homeless. RWK, your book, which I ordered for myself, has been snatched by my son and it is now well worn. He gives you a two-thumbs up.
Here is an excerpt from an article Shane Clairborne wrote about hell. You can read the entire article here.
People sometimes ask if we are scared of the inner city. I say that I am more scared of the suburbs. Our Jesus warns that we can fear those things which can hurt our bodies or we can fear those things which can destroy our souls, and we should be far more fearful of the latter. Those are the subtle demons of suburbia.
As my mother once told me, “Perhaps there is no more dangerous place for a Christian to be than in safety and comfort, detached from the suffering of others.” I’m scared of apathy and complacency, of detaching myself from the suffering. It’s hard to see until our 20/20 hindsight hits us—but every time we lock someone out, we lock ourselves further in.
Just as we are building walls to keep people out of our comfortable, insulated existence, we are trapping ourselves in a hell of isolation, loneliness and fear. We have “gated communities” where rich folks live. We put up picket fences around our suburban homes. We place barbed wire and razer-wire around our buildings and churches. We put bars on our windows in the ghettos of fear. We build up walls to keep immigrants from entering our country. We guard our borders with those walls—Berlin, Jerusalem, Jericho. And the more walls and gates and fences we have, the closer we are to hell. We, like the rich man, find ourselves locked into our gated homes and far from the tears of Lazarus outside, far from the tears of God.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
"When the church becomes a place of brokerage rather than an organic community, she ceases to be alive. The church becomes a distribution center, a place where the poor go to get stuff and the rich come to dump stuff. Both go away satisfied (the rich feel good, the poor get clothed and fed) but no one is transformed. And Jesus did not set up a program but modeled a way of living that incarnated the reign of God."
It got me to thinking about our church and how we do some, shall I say, unique, things. Just take a look...
That's our Sr. Pastor acting like Elvis
More pics here
*Disclaimer* The above picture is from our annual "Choir "Talent" Show" which sort of reminds me of old Saturday Night Live shows. He doesn't usually act this way in church.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I could have, should have, stopped on the way home from work since I had to be out anyway. But as I said, I'm tired. And crabby. I've worked 30 of the past 48 hours and I shoveled the driveway at work while I was there there. I didn't mind the shoveling. I enjoyed it. It helped me burn off some frustration. Ms Cranky was at it again today - very demanding. To give you an idea of how demanding she can be, after I came in from shoveling the driveway she asked me to make her some sausage and eggs. I had not even taken my coat and gloves off yet when she made her request. I made the sausage and eggs. And then I cleaned up the mess and was about to sit down when she asked me for something else. That's how it is with Ms Cranky. That's why they have trouble staffing her house.
As cranky as Ms Cranky is, I like her. We get along. We know each other and a good deal of trust has been built over the past 3 and a half years that I've worked with her. That kind of trust doesn't come easy for someone who is completely dependent on others to care for her most basic needs.
So what I'm really crabby about is the fact that the office called this morning to ask me if I would switch houses. Our company has several houses with 2 - 3 clients in each and staff for each house. I told them I did not want to change for all the reasons I stated above. Besides that, we have 3 regular staff people who get along really well. We help each other out and cover each other's shifts when need be. We like each other. Other houses have staff who engage in petty fights and I want no part of that. I told them no but given this company's track record, I've probably not heard the end of it.
So now I'm home and I'm going to go get a hot bath and wash my hair and grab a cup of coffee. I really wish I had a chocolate chip cookie to go with it.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
My dad has had a busy week.... he:
~ checked with some doctors in Columbus who do cryotheraypy to see if that would be an option. They advised him that it would not work for him.
~ he went to the oncologist yesterday. The doc is in no hurry to do chemotherapy. They scheduled a CAT scan for Friday and a chest x-ray. Next Tues. he will get the results of those and then they will proceed from there.
Check Brian's Blog to see what I woke up to this morning. I thought he had done it on photoshop until I looked out our front window!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
More than anything else the question I have been thinking about the last few months is this: "why does the church exist?"
Does it exist to meet on Sunday morning? Does it exist to care for each other? Well, yeah, certainly those are good things. Does it exist to teach its members how to better follow Jesus? Certainly that is part of it. Is it a holding-tank for followers of Jesus waiting for his return? Well, even that is not such a bad answer.
But I don't think those answers really answer the question at its core. Here is my answer: I think the church exists to carry on the mission of Jesus. We exist to do what he was doing. What Jesus did for Israel, we are called to do for the world.
Which begs the question: what is the mission of Jesus? That question can perhaps be answered in lots of different ways as well . Yet I think Jesus' answer in Luke 4 is probably the best:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Let me cut to the chase. I think the church exists for the good of the world. If Jesus came to heal the sick, preach good news to the poor, proclaim justice, and give sight for the blind -- we should be doing the same.
Monday, February 12, 2007
A few years past, Brian and I married and moved to Lake Charles, LA. We were newly weds and we were poor. We lived in a rented house that was scheduled to be torn down so no repairs or improvements had been made to it for quite a while.
One day Brian came home and announced that Dr. Robert Reardon was going to be visiting our church and that he had invited him over to our house for dinner.
The prospect of entertaining the much revered Dr. Reardon scared the snot out of my immature domestic skills. But come to dinner he did. I served him hamburgers. And I was nervous beyond belief. After I kept calling him Dr. Reardon, he corrected me and told me to call him Uncle Bob. It felt strange calling this man I feared so much by such a familiar name but that was the cool thing about him. He was just an everyday, good guy who loved people and wanted them to be comfortable around him. Before long I felt very much at ease in his presence and by the time he left he was definitely "Uncle Bob" to me and I've always remembered as such.
I've not seen him in years but I know that he will be sorely missed and I feel a loss even though years have separated us.
Sometimes though, it's just TOO easy to buy (Product) RED.
For instance. My cell phone died. It just up and died. So I took it to the Cingular store to see if they would let me change phones. I've been a customer of Cingular for at least 6 years. Here is how that visit went.
Clerk: May I help you?
Me: Yeah, I'm having a problem with my phone. It died. When I flip it open to answser a call or make a call I get a blank screen.
Clerk: Hmmm.... (checks it out).... What's your cell number?
Me: (Tell him my cell number)
Clerk: (looks it up) Well, you are available for an upgrade. I can sign you up for a new contract.
Me: I don't want a new contract. I just want a phone that works.
Clerk: Well if you just want to buy a phone the cheapest I have is $150.00
Me: I don't think so. Can't I just switch phones?
Clerk: Not without signing a new contract. Your phone is no longer under warranty so you would either have to sign a new contract or buy a phone outright.
Me: Well I don't really ant to do with of those.... I like the idea of (Product) RED but Cingular doesn't have that so if I have to buy a new contract for $200.00 or a new phone for $150.00, I will just go with Sprint and the (Motorola) RED phone.
Clerk: Well I don't know what's up with (Product) RED but they will only work with certain companies. (takes the battery out of my phone, puts it back in. Tries to turn it on but it fails as it has been doing.) Well gosh, I can't get your phone to turn on now.
Me: Yeah, that's the problem. It's useless. That's why I need a new phone. (DUH!)
Clerk: Well I have one for $150.00.
Me: I guess you can't help me then. Bye!
From there I got online and did some shopping and comparing of various carriers, plans and phones. And guess what?
For $29.00 (after $50.00 rebate) I can get a (Motorola) RED RAZR with 200 more minutes per month and NO START UP fee when you get it online. And $17.00 of that $29.00 goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa! True, it's $80.00 on my credit card and then I have to mail in a $50.00 rebate but I can deal with that.
The only other decent deal was with Verizon where I could pay $90.00 and none of it go to fight AIDS in Africa
So with Cingular I could have paid either $200.00 for a new contract or $150.00 for a new phone, OR I can go to Sprint and get the RED phone and no start up fee for $29.00.
Let me see... $150.00 or $29.00???
My new phone (pictured) will be here this week.
BTW ... If Brian and I "disappear" from blogs and email this week it will be because we're supposed to get a LOT of snow and ICE and they are telling us we could be without power for several days.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Honestly, when it was presented to me and I was told it was in Branson, I didn't give it a second thought and didn't even look at the materials because I knew it was unlikely that I would be able to go. It's probably on a weekend, given the name Worldview Weekend, and weekends are my work-week and I can rarely get off work . So I just didn't even look at it.
Then Brian raised some concerns about it to me so I looked Worldview Weekend up online to see what it's all about. I was intrigued to find that they have a little test there to see if I you a Biblical Worldview thinker. I took the test.
Now, I consider myself to be a follower of Christ. I answered each question that pertained to salvation in the most conservative way possible - that Jesus is the only way. I believe the Bible is the word of God and that God is the source of all truth and I try to live out the message of the gospel to the best of my ability - not because I "have" to in order to score points with God, but because I want to because of the love and grace shown to me by Jesus Christ.
Yet according to their test, I am ranked WAY down on the list somewhere close to being a communist!
I suspect it was because many of their questions I could not give an opinion on. The ones about our founding fathers I answered "no opinion" because I didn't know those guys personally and can not say with assurance what their motives were. I know what I've been taught about them but I don't trust that I was taught the truth. When you begin to look at their lives, well, some of them seem a little shady to say the least. And because I do not believe they showed the love of Christ or acted in Godly ways when they funded our country (they slaughtered the "savages" with a get saved or die attitude), those questions apparently counted against me.
I also answered "tend to disagree" on some of the political questions. I do not believe that having a totally christian state is in the best interest of the "Church". The Church has always grown under times of persecution - not times when they were in compliance with a government. You cannot legilate morality. Morality is a heart issue and you simply cannot rule anyone into being anything. Having a christian state may be in the best interest of our country - I don't know, but as a follower of Christ I am more concerned about the state of the Church than the state of our country. I do not believe the USA is more godly or more favored by God than other countries. That belief is very patriotic but not very grounded biblically.
And becuase I didn't answer that all who are able to work and don't should go hungry as a "Strongly Agree", apparently that counted against me as well. I happen to belieive that there are various circumstances that determine the answer to that question and that it is not always a black and white issue. The question, as most of their questions, left little room to consider circumstances. Everything was a black and white issue to them. To not answer was to be rated lower on my "biblical worldview score".
So basically, I am a lesser Christian if a Christian at all according to those folks. That doesnt' bug me. I couldn't care less. I am not anxious to join their ranks. In fact, I would be ashamed to be a part of their ranks. I never want to be that narrow minded and legalistic again. I've been there and do not care to return.
What bugs me is their legalistic nature - the old "if you don't see things my way you are wrong" attitude. They leave no room for a personal relationship with the living Christ. They only adhere to a set of rules that are used to measure one's spirituality.
*NOTE* I do not believe my church made the decison to pay teacher's expenses to this confrence with any real knowledge of what the Worldview Weekend was or is or what they stand for. I think they just were anxious to help our teachers and as a teacher I appreciate that.. In fact, I don't believe that anyone in my church who supports this confrence has the same legalistic worldview as the guys runing this confrence do. The people who are supporting this are my friends and I know for a fact that they are not as narrow minded and mean spirited as this. It goes against the grace and freedom that our church has always stood for.
*NOTE* Neither do I believe the people putting on this confrence are trying to be decietful or mean-spirited. I believe they are very sincere and are trying to do what they believe is correct. But the religious leaders of Jesus' day also sincerely felt they were doing the right thing as well.
I have been getting some requests lately to use some of my videos on Youtube. The latest is from a rock band named Rabid Granny. They have linked to the Pine Ridge blog and are using the Lakota "One" video on their site. Check them out!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
So here's some winter questions for you.....
- Do you like snow? Big snows, just a dusting?
- Does winter bring back any particular memory for you?
- Do you do any winter sports (skiing, ice skating, hockey, etc.)
- What is your favorite winter comfort food?
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
My dad got some bad news today. His blood work for Feb. shows that his PSA has doubled. The new meds are apparently not doing their job as we had hoped. He has an appointment with an oncologist next Tuesday. Chemo is probably in his near future.
Prayers are apprecaited.
This picture was taken way back in the day when he served in the Army.
Monday, February 05, 2007
I just got off the phone with Steph at the hospital and it seems as though Carly is doing a lot better. She is watching Full House and doing crafts which is a lot different from yesterday when I was there. She even was joking around and put paint on her Nurse Beth's nose. That sounds a lot more like the Carly we know. She is still on dopimene to keep her blood pressure up but they are weaning that. That is the last of three meds she was on to help her heart. They even let her start to eat ice chips. It seems as though Carly has some super organs that can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'!! (knock on wood) As much as she has been through her body just keeps on going strong. Anyways, I will update later...
Prayers still appreciated.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Carly did come home from the hospital but soon started running a fever of 104. She is now back in ICU. I can only imagine how discouraging this would be for her and her parents.
UPDATE - note from Carly's dad ....
Some of you may know that Carly is back in the ICU at Childrens. She came home
Thursday afternoon and everything was fine until Friday night when I flushed her
central line. She apparently had an infection brewing in the line and when I
flushed it it sent the infection directly into her heart and therefore her whole
body. She was in septic shock within half an hour and she had a very rough night
to say the least. She is doing ok now, but she is still on a lot of drugs to
support her heart. She is starting to make some recovery progress, but it is
slow so far. I will update more later. Kev
The Lady Who Saw the Need
The lady in my church that called about taking coats to the homeless shelter went to deliver her goods the other day and was yet again suprised when 5 men came running up to her pickup asking if she had any mens winter coats because they had none. This morning she made an announcement in the service telling about her experience and asking people to bring their used coats and that she would take them there. I love it! I love to see everyday people in the pews seeing a need, feeling a burdern to "do something" and then acting on it. It's one of the things I've prayed for and worked for so I'm a little encouraged to see the change happening even if it is slower than I would like.
Update - the lady who saw the need told me tonight that when she is no longer raising her grandson (when he goes home to his parents), working at the shelter will be her ministry.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Sometimes I hear things said about the homeless and the poor. There's the idea that maybe they aren't really that needy ... that maybe their taking advantage ..... that they choose to be the way they are ..... and on it goes with the justifications we tell ourselves for not caring enough to help. The lady in our church saw what she saw and knew that someone would have to be truly hungry to do what those folks were doing.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
* Pic taken before her illness.