Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ahhhh Christmas

December is such a busy month; but, by far one of the best months of the year.
It's a month were I step outside the box that I am so familiar with and embrace others.
One of the highlights of the month was spending time with my blog friend Holly. What a breath of fresh air...their family is soooo...functional. They are awesome. I have never seen a family work together as they did, I was more than impressed. We three girls baked cookies while the guys went out and hunted for supper (at the nearest Chili's hee hee). Actually, I must confess...little Kylie and I created cookie dough under the supervision of Holly, and while I would like to say I baked cookies, I actually baked one sheet and forgot all about them...uh...leaving the rest for Holly to follow up on. lol She's awesome! Then, I was introduced to a game called Whodunnit? I think that is what it was called anyway. It was so much fun...could have gone for another round, but it was late, so I took the kids up on a game in the morning, then was interrupted by the lovliest breakfast omelet...really, it was worth remembering. mmm mmm mmm I took my fancy plastic camera for cookie baking pictures, but forgot to take them; however, Kylie created the following picture which expressed our awesome time better than any Kodak film could.

Smith family: thanks for allowing me to share a piece of Christmas with you.

From there, I finally got into the Christmas spirit and did some mild home decor.
I decorated my mantel

The Christmas tree to the left is the only one my cats will allow in the house; any tree (or anything else in the plant family) will be chewed, and ornaments will be used for kitty batting practice.

And I decorated my windows (I had one of those battery operated candelsticks in each godson's spent last weekend with me and as they drove up, one of them said "dad, is Aunt Katie Jewish"...I thought that was so cute, so I told him...nope...Aunt Katie is just waiting for her man to come so she leaves her candles burning in EVERY window so he doesn't miss it.) Simon is on the couch...I just noticed. Any ideas on how to hide the cord?

I also decorated my entertainment center, but who wants to see a tv.

My delightful overnight with the boys consisted of dinner and all night at a Nickel-A-Play where we shot up Villain's, raced motorcycles, race cars, and spent lots of money trying to win cheesy plastic toys (and one "holiday assorted candle"), and watching movies well past midnight (uhh, well, I fell asleep watching The Underdog, but they were up). The next morning we went to breakfast where I was entertained for the next hour and a half with verbal replays of the first movie we watched, interesting comic reliefs involving omelet surgery and talking muffins, and plenty of giggles. I must say, I had a blast.

I picked up my niece and great niece for Christmas. Ahhhhh White Christmas. It was so BEAUTIFUL...big giant white fluffy snowflakes! No snow on Christmas Eve...not even remnants, but Christmas morning I had a good six inches on my balcony. So, I didn't house hop this year ('cause I live in Colorado without 4-wheel time); I just stayed home by the fire with my hot chocolate and my nieces and watched Christmas movies, read the Christmas story (the real Christmas story), and sang Christmas songs.
Anika hanging out with me as I watch Home Alone.

Even one of my kitties was in the Christmas spirit...maybe she just liked my scarf.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Haven't Forgotten To Post...I'm Sleepy! :)

This is my last week of school for the semester and I have a ton of work to do tonight...I have 3 papers and a presentation to do. I've attempted to write a blog, but have only managed to fall asleep each time. :) But...after Wednesday...look class for a month...I'll have to be posting something...or a lot of somethings.

My niece sent me a cute little picture of my great niece wearing the little robe I purchased for her during a recent shopping trip...I couldn't save it for Christmas Holly...I'm (Yeah...had to try out the hyperlink thing too...thanks for the training Rock!) Anyway, isn't she just adorable!! If she comes to mind, please pray for her as she has something on her thyroid which is causing swelling in her neck and face. They don't want to do surgery until she is 2 1/2 'cause she would have to be on thyroid meds for the rest of her life; however, if it keeps getting infected, they will have to do surgery. I am totally expecting complete healing. Her next appt at Childrens Hospital is Dec 14 at 1:30. She is 4 months old and her name is Anika (like Pippi Longstocking's friend...only with one "n"). Thanks bunches for your prayers.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Shape of the it a Square or a Heart?

I had no clue what to blog about when I was mildly chided for not blogging in a while…thanks Leigh…keep me on my toes. My life is a continual stream of routine, so I’d rather not bore others with it, but I’ve really been worked up lately and thought I might share my most recent thought processes. (Sorry it's long...I'm making up for 2 months of not blogging.) :)
Back in August, I invited a friend to stay with me up in Winter Park, she loves to be in the presence of God, she loves being around other people who love God and encourage one another in the things of Christ, and she is also very willing to take those who haven’t got a clue and show them the things of God. Well, we began one of those talk past midnight chats about the Lord and what he is doing in the overall church and in our own church, and she asked me a question that really hit me hard. She said “you long for the same things of God that I do...why do you stay at our church?” I simply stated back…because the Lord hasn’t told me to go anywhere else.” That was such a plain and simple response, but the fact of the matter is…she shook me up with that question because, honestly, I like to serve in the capacity that I do…I like my “position” and I would never want to shake things up by moving. She went on to explain what she was searching for in a church and I explained that the church is us; we’re the ones that walk into the building to create one body called the church. I didn’t really know what I was saying until recently.
Last weekend another friend informed me of a news report on Carlton Pearson that hit many networks. So, I watched it and was absolutely appalled, not so much at the fact that he “had the revelation” that hell didn’t exist and everyone is saved (he even has a book titled "Get the Hell out of My Bible"). I wasn’t even appalled that he has begun another church (sponsored in part by the Episcopal Church – for additional interesting info on the EC, check out Charisma’s September 27th article There Is Weeping in the Cathedral). What bothered me was what I noticed of the initial church that accepted his disturbing doctrine. It was a church of “outcasts” as they called themselves (gay/lesbian, abused people); what I saw were people who served this man the way Christ served others…they washed his feet…and I couldn’t help but think that even those who claim to be “righteous” rarely, if at all, serve others in any manner resembling humility.
I am of the opinion that it is time we examine the attributes of the church as it pertains to its rightful place in our lives. I guess I’m thinking mainly of the church as it was described in Acts 2:42-47. It seems that the church has traded in community for individualism. Are we so caught up in our own lives that we can’t see the life that sits beside us in church? Are we so intent on getting our own needs met that we fail to see the needs of others? Is being a Christian a catch-phrase or an act? Are we adding to the number of our church by bringing in those from the streets or those from another church? Married people, how about inviting a single person over for lunch or out for coffee…single people, how about cleaning up the yard of an elderly person…elderly people, you have SO MUCH irreplaceable wisdom to offer, please share it.
When people were brought into the church in Paul’s day, it was important for him to discuss being the “body” of Christ because people then were honorable to their family...outside of their family...the game is on, and Paul needed to let them know that we are all a family and we function together. 1 Cor 12:12 says “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” We absolutely cannot function without each other. 1 Peter 2:5-9 says “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
One more thing…tonight my teacher said the most profound thing. He stated that he left his house around 4 and told his “bride” that he would be back around 10:30 and that he can’t wait to see her again. He’s been married 35 years! Of course all the girls took a deep breath as he continued to say…you know, when I’m home, I just want to be in the same room with her. How incredible is that! We are the bride of Christ…does he want to just be in the same room as us?

Rev 19:7-9 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God.”

I’m just shooting from the hip here, but surely I am not completely off. I am open to the thoughts and opinions of others.
Hopping off my soap box now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Year

I went to Louisiana this past March and sat on the knee of a 200 year old oak tree. It was amazing to think that tree had been around so long and seen thousands of people…wow…and all the secrets it knew. I think about how grand God is…I pale in comparison to that tree, but sitting on the knee of the Lord…well…I’m completely hidden.

Today I have ended another year and begun a new one. I am not as old as the oak tree…thank heaven, but I remember being about 17 and thinking that my foster mom was so old and out of touch…well, I am now the age she was then and that is a scary thing. :)

I drove home from work today and despite the compelling urge to go straight to bed and forget this day exists, I went right to bed with an OLD journal I have kept since 1986. I have written in a journal since I was 15. They are very important to me since my life has changed so drastically over the years. The journal I read tonight is a different sort of journal. Over the years as people have spoken over my life, I have written it all down because I never want to forget what the Lord is telling me through people. So, tonight as I read through all the scriptures and words of encouragement, it struck me as so profound that through the years the theme has always been the same. Some of the words I never really understood until now. One specific word of encouragement stood out…it captured the story of Esau and the sale of his birthright. It reminded me that even while the things of this world pretend a zeal for the blessing that I should guard my spiritual birthright and not sell out to what looks right. Twenty years after that was written it hit home.

I know very well that this year will bring some serious life changes. Some I am looking forward to…some I am not. My company sold to TD Ameritrade and TDA will only be retaining about 40 people (there are 900+ in my company), and those select few will be csr’s, which leaves me out. There is also the possibility of me working for our VP’s new company, but I’m beginning to feel like that might just be the tradeoff…a morsel for my birthright. I had a slight glimmer of hope a couple weeks ago to purchase a coffee shop and ministry in Downtown Denver, but the owners changed their mind and would like to partner with a church and stay involved in the business. I am doing what I know to do and keeping my options open, but I am being pulled now more than ever to take steps that are completely uncomfortable. I am constantly being reminded of the ministry that has been in the works for YEARS. In all honesty, I want to run some place where no one knows me, but I feel like my feet are nailed to the floor…it’s rather frustrating. So, in my reading tonight, I really felt God asking me (again) to keep my eyes on him and He’ll be before me, beside me, holding my hand, teaching me, leading me...and even singing over me (Zeph 3:17).
Here are some of the scriptures I went through tonight, hopefully you will allow them to minister to you as well:

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Psalm 139:3-5 “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8 “This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Isaiah 48:17 “This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Psalm 25:12 “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I read all these and then some, and then I went to sleep. LOL The sleep I had longed for since my alarm went off at 4am. However, my sleep was short lived because my roomie came home and knocked on my bedroom door…I was pretty grumpy about having to get up, but of course I lightened up when I saw the present. :) Who wouldn't? She gave me a “Women of the Way” sculpture called “Someday My Prince Will Come” and has John 14:3 as a scripture reference. The artist wrote a nice side note in her booklet that says “no earthly relationship will completely fulfill you, no matter how wonderful it is. I’ve been married over 30 years, and I love my husband very, very much…but someday my Prince will come!” Isn’t that awesome! I about burst into tears. I love my gift – thanks EJ.

So, another year has come and gone, but the future looks awesome and terrifying all at once, but I will plant myself until He says “go,” and I will turn my anxieties over and let Him take me by the hand and lead me forward.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Love (The Samaritan Woman)

I posted this in my HisHolySpace, but I thought I would share it with my fellow friendly google bloggers. :) I'm kinda stuck on the Samaritan woman. It's kind of funny, but years back I posed as her for Marilyn Hickey's Outpouring Magazine....Just so I don't get into trouble, it was February 1991 Volume 14, No.2. Dang...that was 16 years ago...yikes. Check this out...then hee hee hee and now...wooo must be the living water 'cause I haven't aged a bit (shhh...just let me believe that).

Anyway...on to my blog...


What an awesome verb. How we claim to know how to show love, yet we fall short way too often. To say we accept and forgive is simple…to show it…not so simple.
Over the past eight weeks I have been pulled to John 4…stepping away and being pulled right back. It preaches like no other! I’ve learned about worship, seeking the lost, and love so deep that God sets aside the wrong done and fully embraces the undeserving.
Here’s my personal assessment pulled from my complete exegesis of John 4:4-26 (email me if you are interested in reading the entire thing…it’s pretty long, but awesome if I do say so myself):
The passage of the Samaritan woman is not just a portrayal of what Jesus did, but rather John writes about who Jesus is. Knowing the struggle that lay between the Jewish people and the Samaritans, Jesus entered Samaria with a purpose…they too were God’s people and he had to draw them back into fellowship with the Lord. Today, Jesus is the bridge that connects everyone to God. It is all too easy to take on judgments of other people neglecting the fact that they too belong to God. Jesus met the Samaritan woman where she was. Sure, she walked up to the well, but Jesus brought her to a level of reality that said he knew her and still accepted her. We all have baggage that we carry, but Jesus meets us in the midst of our everyday life and gives us a free gift of eternal life.
When Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman the life he had to offer, he didn’t tell her to go to Jerusalem to worship there because he was not concerned about the place of worship, but rather the condition of her heart. It is so important that we are not in a game of leading people to Christ simply to populate the house of God, because we are the temple; 1 Cor 3:16 says “[d]on't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” Relationship with Christ, as we see in this story, does not begin at a place of worship; it begins within the heart.
Though the focus of drawing the unbeliever to Christ is not to lead them to a church home, it is important to be in fellowship with people of like faith. Today religion is a plethora of whatever goes. Reality is no longer truth because truth is subjective. Many Christians today are being led away from the Christian faith to fit into the mold of the modern practices of worship which are no longer about the Lord, but about how we feel. The church of the United States, which prides itself on diversity, has passively sat by and allowed religious diversity to spill into the church just as the king of Assyria had planned for Samaria. Samaria knew the Messiah after Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well, but their customs drew them back. Later, in Acts, we see Philip going into Samaria to preach the Gospel; without constant edification in the things of God, it is natural to slip back into the life we once knew.
God is love, and yet so many times we thrive on hate. Please be aware that every seeker can see through any pretentious stance we may carry. It is so important that we stay humble, that we not fear the rejection of people who have different cultural standards, that we view no one as less than - because we are all God’s children. What greater act of worship can we give God but to present Him with the sacrificial obedience of walking in love and reaching out…just as Jesus did…to those enticed away from the things of God in order to fit societies mold. That love that we pour out may transfer from one person to an entire city.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Dating Escapades

The not so good…the really bad…and the borderline ugly.

I don’t know why after 15 years of not dating, I decided to try my hand at this ghastly practice, but here’s what I’ve been thinking:

  • The aging process that has me frightened…I’m getting old and…oh my gosh…what about a family! I forgot to have one!
  • My sister’s child already has children…ouch. Children are awesome! Every child I know is my child…except one - that seems to be missing from my life.
  • I just want someone to be with. I’m so done with being alone. I have goals in life, and while I can accomplish them solo, the thought of having someone by my side with the same hearts desire would be phenomenal.
  • Sex. Yeah, I’ve thought about a time or two…more recently than ever before, and…decidedly, I would like to have it before I die; but I am steadfast on not compromising my values!

So, with all that said, I took to the dating scene like a fish out of water. I have a few issues: I don’t get out much, except to study at Starbucks, and I’m very shy. So I went to the typical student study Starbucks…the only one open 24 hours (oh how I love that!), and actually had someone come up to me and start a conversation. It was a normal conversation…can’t quite remember, but it went something like…nice day huh … yes, very nice … do you have any plans to get out in the beautiful weather … not really, but I’m sure I will. At that, I walked off like a dummy head. He followed me and asked why I walked away, I was dumbfounded. I thought the conversation was over, but he handed me his number and said to call if I’d like to meet for lunch. Holy Smokes! My first date in forever…and he was cute…had that buff, Latino, let’s go out and dance kind of look. We went to a lunch and played at Dave & Busters, but as the night progressed and he began to toss back a few…it got a bit scary. I found out he was actually from Morocco and searching for a wife to take back to Africa…The date ended abruptly. Upon mulling over my stupidity of that first date, I remembered as a teenager I promised the Lord I would never date anyone who didn’t Love God first. Ooooh…I broke my promise. In my feverish excitement over someone finding me attractive enough to take out, I dove in and didn’t consult the Lord. So, what to do next…there has to be some kind of way to screen these individuals…’cause I certainly am not going to date strangers anymore. Ahh, the internet.

YES, I did the dating sites!

The internet is such a great thing. I posted what I looked for in a guy, I was specific, and I was fairly popular…woo hoo. Here are my noteworthy experiences:

Guy #1: Great guy, Christian (of course nothing else will do), average looks, rides motorcycles, and had a job…this guy is meetable. We meet just up the street for coffee. He’s nice, but he decides to lay everything out in the first meeting…why he didn’t say all this before we met is beyond my comprehension…maybe he thought we wouldn’t meet (which he would be right), but it’s better than meeting and then never meeting again. I understand people making mistakes in their life, and I’m all for their desire for self-improvement; however, this man was divorced twice with four children from two different marriages, engaged in many various sexual encounters (why he discussed sex on a first date…I don’t know either, but I’m finding it’s not unusual), and four months out of an extended stay in the pokey for a life mistake. No thank you…I admire your will to change…God bless you in your future endeavors…moving right along.

Guy #2: Nice, active role in his church, loves God, great job babysitting the Broncos and Nuggets, nice looking, and a stellar profile obviously enhanced after meeting a few interesting people – which I can appreciate. We met and talked for a while. He told me about all the interesting people he met online – every one of them addicted to something – sex, gambling, drugs, or alcohol. So, rightfully so, he asked me if I drank, did drugs, gambled, or was addicted to any other thing. He was very relieved to find that none of those applied to me and then he complimented me…my head swelled…I got dizzy. Ha ha. He said that from my profile he was expecting me to look very average, but he was surprised, in a good way, at how pretty I was. That constituted another date…this guy was smart too! Ha ha ha. Date two we dine at Applebee’s. We discussed what a relationship would look like for each of us…and then he dropped the “S” bomb. He said two people should show their imitate feelings for each other through sexual activity. Ohhhhh…show me that in the bible Mr Church Man. Apparently, I am archaic in my beliefs of premarital celibacy. He said “I would hate to wait until I was married and find out its bad.” I told him that sounded like he speaks from experiences I would never want to know about, and that kind of thinking would bring a level of unfair comparison and judgment into his sex life. When the time comes, I think I would prefer to learn with my husband…not from. Our date ended politely with a much too long (in my opinion) and awkward hug. I think there should be hugging etiquette for the dating.
While I stand by my morals, this one I have to say shook me up a bit because of the circumstances surrounding it. In January, Beth Moore did a radio broadcast in which she told women to get their check-ups done…which I didn’t ever see the need to do. Well, I scheduled an appt shortly thereafter and was absolutely horrified! First, the doctor came in and proceeded to rake me over the coals because I haven’t been in for this type of exam, then the doctor, even though I told her, upon examination, was a bit shocked at the truth of what I told her. I never thought anyone could actually lie their way through one of these appointments. The short of it: she asked me why I don’t have sex and don’t I want to have sex and asked if I was depressed and needed to see a psychologist. Ok…excuse me, but do you realize I am not wearing clothes and you are practically yelling at me and telling me there is something psychologically wrong with me for not having sex. Ohhh…let me get dressed and then we can battle…lol…but, I just sat there silently stunned and unable to think to even utter a word. With all these things (the date, Beth Moore’s chiding, and the Dr’s appt) all happening within weeks of each other, I questioned myself harshly for a good month, but came to the conclusion that even if I am crazy, my God is just as crazy and is even crazy for me, and I will serve Him with my heart and my body no matter what authority figures, peers, or society dictates.

I’ve gone on dates with a couple other guys who were similarly disappointing and I wonder if I am the one who has issues. I have heard it said that if you are thinking that everyone else has issues, then look inwardly. So, I’ve looked, and I am sooo not willing to compromise...issues or not...haa haa haa. So maybe I’ll be single forever, but I think I’ve found some answers to my points:

  • The aging process…so what if I forgot to have a family…Jesus said “who are my mother and my brothers?” And while God was speaking to Israel, I like to take this verse as my own “For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name…” (Isaiah 54:5)
  • Children are indeed awesome, but if I never have them…I still have them “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:1)
  • Though I want someone to be with, I am never alone. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:16-18) I guess that covers my need for a psychiatrist too. lol
  • Sex. I haven’t got a clue, but this I know - though I’ve been taught that “sin is sin regardless of what that sin is” it is not true! There is something more powerfully wrong with sexual sin and is even in a way spoken of differently in the Bible. Check this out: “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Then it goes on to say “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18)

So, I’m done with the dating scene, I guess if it happens it happens, but I am rather doubtful, but am somewhat ok with it.

p.s. rather than typing a bunch of scrips, I got my verses from Check it out if you need a quick look up.

Friday, May 18, 2007

My First Blog - A little about me

Well, instead of doing homework tonight, I decided to blog. A single tear will probably take a stroll down my face when I see my grade, but I think I can handle it...I do pressure well. :) Actually, I don't, but I certainly like to think I do.

I'm locked up in front of my computer most of the time, but I do like to have fun with the girlfriends. Here's a pic of a fun time. Us gals decided we needed a girls hike out and headed for Winter Park, CO. No, we didn't hike all the way there...woo that would be crazy; we drove most of the way...the cabin was a quite a hike in. We had a blast that bonfire, but we built a snowlady (what!?!? Men weren't invited...even snowmen), we listened to very old records, we sang VERY loudly, and we danced like the respectable ladies we are ha ha ha...well, we were dorks, but we had a blast. Next cabin trip is scheduled for mid July, and no hiking in is required.

I also took up snowboarding this I mean OUCH! Caught the hang of it (sort of) and went up as often as I could. Stole the pastors kid to get him addicted to the slopes early...for those who don't know...5th graders ski/board for free. Was glad to have the company when my regular ski-n-board buddy bailed.

I did some absolutely dynamic flips and spins and what have you's. In fact, after doing a perfect 380 spin parallel to the ground and springing up to my feet, an instructor yelled down from the lift "that was ACIDENTALLY AWESOME." So much for pretending I knew what I was doing. ha ha
I have a friend from New Orleans that likes to come out to ski with his church peeps during Mardi Gras in LA to escape the, well...yuck...there. This year he didn't come, so I decided to travel there (not during Mardi Gras though...eww). It was one of the best trips I have ever taken...of course I had the best tour guide EVER!
Here are my two favorite pics from that trip (from 16 rolls of film...yikes): The Vieux Carre - French Quarter as we know it - early in the morning and a pic of the early morning fog from the ferry on the west bank of the mississippi.

Fabulous architecture, gas lamps, original horse tie posts, and early morning was absolutely divine!
Of course, I would be in error if I did not tell you about my morning stop at Cafe Du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets. mmm mmm mmm

The most important thing about me though is my love for the Lord. I am blessed to even be alive when the odds were against me from the beginning. I was abandoned at 8 months, lived in foster care for four years then was taken by my psychologically unstable biological mother and moved to a small town under an alias name...Jones of course...I suppose Smith would have been just as good, but I guess there were already too many Smith's in the town. I was severely abused growing up and began running away at a very early age. By the time I was a teen, I was a mess. I slept in parks, but I always figured they were safe places to be since my friends lived close my young mind I figured at least if I died someone in the area would recognize me (frankly, any place was better than home...including the grave). Looking back, I am amazed at how the Lord protected me during the roughest of times.

Well, one fine day, I ran into one of my substitute teachers whom I absolutely adored. She asked me what I was up to, so I proceeded to tell her of my grand plans to go to California (CA was the place to be...I had to go there), and she asked me to come over for dinner and we would discuss my plans. Are you kidding!!! Who cares about my plans...did she just say dinner? ha ha Well, my dear Kay took me home with her and that night I found out she was more than a teacher...she was a Baptist! She had a much better journey in mind for me. In the few months I was with her, I learned so much. I didn't know of any morals or values, and knew very little of right and wrong, proper and improper...she had her work cut out for her, and even today I cling to many of the things I learned from her. I found out who Christ was during that time, and that he loved me ... wow ... me...the one who was told to grace the world by exiting it. How could he love me when I was vicious to people who even spoke his name around me? How could he love me when I didn't love him? But I found out it was true!

God didn't send Christ into this world to tell us what bad bad people we are (I think we already know that), he sent Christ to restore mankinds relationship to the One who's love is immeasurable, and who's ways are unfathomable. He loves us. In the bible, John 4 talks about a group of people called Samaritans. Samaritans were Jewish people who intermarried with people who worshiped other gods and idols. The Jewish people who were devoted to the one true God stayed away from the Samaritans...even to add three days to their journey by traveling around Samaria so they would not be tainted by the customs of the people. Then Jesus comes on the scene and says he must travel through Samaria. God still had a HUGE heart and love for the Samaritans...and they were doing all the wrong things. Jesus had a need to go there...a greater need than a shorter journey...a divine need. There he met a broken woman and offered her living water and life everlasting. He didn't care about who she was or what she did...he cared about her...just as He cares for you. It doesn't take much to have a part in God's family. The bible says "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Rom 10:9) One simple step makes a huge life difference.
I'm not up for debate, I'm just sharing; but, if you would would like to know to me.