30 October 2007


Yeah, yeah, yeah... I can hear you grumbling loud and clear.

I know it's been several days since I posted, but cut me some slack will ya?

After an INSANELY BUSY weekend -- HPC Women's Conference -- I have been physically "crashing" for about 2 days. I think I'm trying to get sick, but I'm fighting it with everything I have. I'm doing the full arsenal of Airborne (yes, it really works), Cold-Eeze, Vitamin B complex, and LOTS of fluids.
I still feel awful.
Did I mention today is my birthday?
I turned 38 today and so did my very good friend, Monette.
How crazy is this? I live across the street from one of my dearest friends and we have SO much in common and we were born about 5 hours apart! Seriously; same day, same year.
I have to tell you, though: she's older. HA!
Love ya, Monette!!!

I have SO MUCH to say that I don't know where to begin...
I am REALLY wanting to post about the various sessions of the women's conference, but I think I might do that on my website and just post the link here. I will let you know if I decide to do that.
Also, I realize now that I never got around to talking about the amazing clean-up we did a couple of weeks ago at the Winbourne Church (soon to be the NEW Baton Rouge Dream Center). So, I will try to go by there and take some pictures and post about that soon as well.
I guess that's about it for today. I really want to take a nap before class tonight, but I haven't played Runescape in over a week...
Then again, it might be good if I folded the several baskets of laundry piled up on my floor.
Oy Vey!

25 October 2007

Believe What You Want...

But you better be able to back it up.

Someone asked me recently to define "apologetics."

The dictionary states: the branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity.

But I think it's better summed up this way:

Know WHAT you believe and WHY you believe it.

Nothing frustrates me more than talking to a Christian who doesn't really know what they believe.
This is not the same thing as not knowing theological facts or memorizing Biblical history.
This is a thoughtful, inward examination of what you REALLY believe to be true and right.

I first became interested in apologetics my senior year in college. I was only a few hours from graduating when my advisor discovered that I was missing my Philosophy credit. So, I enrolled in a Freshman-level philosophy class on "Argument & Debate."
The professor was a brilliant man -- witty and animated -- and also a die-hard atheist.
Fully 95% of the class were wide-eyed, innocent, just-out-of-high-school and first-time-away-from-home freshmen. Being smack-dab in the center of the "Bible Belt," (Conway, Ark), most of these students had been raised in church. But when that seasoned, atheist professor got hold of them, he (philosophically speaking) ripped them to shreds.

In their innocence and naivete, they could only defend their faith with emotional rants and tear-streaked pleas. Nothing made this professor happier than to reduce his audience to a quivering mass of dejected, raw DOUBT.

There were two of us in the class who were not the norm and with whom he found greater resistance. We were both considerably older (wiser?) than the rest of our class and didn't feel the need to thrust ourselves on our daggers to defend our religious beliefs.
In the end, I told the professor that he was privy to the same information I was and that if he was dead-set against considering the fallibility and falsifiability of his OWN stance, then I would no longer "cast my pearls before swine."

I got an A in that class.

For a time, I even considered getting a PhD in Philosophy because I loved the spirit of argument and debate, but then I realized that I would definitely be the minority in a field of god-hating agnostics. And that's what they really are; there's no such thing as a true atheist.
But that's a whole 'nother blog entry...

I came away from that class adamant that my children would not grow up blindly believing what I believe simply because "that's the way we believe." I want them to question and study and really THINK about what it is they believe and WHY they believe it.
My children will not be reduced to tears by some faith-bashing, so-called atheist who thinks it's "fun" to prey upon the fragile beliefs of young Christians. At least, I hope not.

You see, it's not just our job (as parents) to take our kids to church and read the Bible with them and listen to their evening prayers... It's our job to empower them with the education and the tools with which they will need to forge through this world that is so unkind to anyone of faith.
It's all fine and good to have the love and emotions, but you better have some theology to back that up.

22 October 2007

HPC Women's Conference!!!

Click on the banner above to be directed to the LIVE THE DREAM Conference page.
There are only a few seats left!
This is going to be such a WONDERFUL event -- If you're a woman, you don't want to miss it!

21 October 2007

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace... That's the only way I can describe how I got through the past week!

Elevate mid-terms for my level are in TWO DAYS and I have never been busier! This past week was truly a test in faith and endurance. I had stuff going on EVERY DAY. I was either working or volunteering every day and my study time has been extremely limited. I was really worried about it and I was completely "stressing," but a few days ago, a friend of mine said something profound to me:
"If I were able to do it all on my own, then I would not need God."
That puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
I don't ever want to "not need God." But even more, I want to do so much MORE than what I, alone, am capable of.
That takes faith and trust that He will see me through ANYTHING that comes my way.

Two days ago, I was studying in CC's and met a young lady named, Tova. She said something that really got me thinking... Her friend is doing a program similar to Elevate through her church, Bethany. She told me that when her friend started the ministry internship, she was literally assaulted by "stuff" from every direction, but more importantly, she expected it.
Well, yeah.
Strange how I never thought of it that way before.
Why would I expect anything different?
I mean, I guarantee that the enemy (Satan) is not happy that I am doing Elevate. Why would I expect my life to get simpler or slow down when I am doing something so *dangerous* to him?

What did I expect???
That life would be smooth sailing while I did something of utmost importance?
That all of life's problems and issues would work themselves out or (at least) wait on hold until I get through with this semester?
That's not faith. That's wishful thinking. Mortal wishful thinking.
Anytime we are in God's will, we can be sure that things are not going to get easier for us -- especially if we are stepping out to do something the enemy considers "dangerous." But we don't have to do it alone!

Instead of wishing for easier days, more hours in the day, or less stress in my life, my prayer needs to be for more GRACE to get me through anything that comes my way.
And not to just "get me through it," but to help me to excel at EVERYTHING I do even when it seems impossible to do so.
God loves to do the impossible, so why not give Him a chance to do it?

His Grace is enough for me.

14 October 2007

BRDC Clean Up!!

I am SO excited about this!
NEXT Saturday, we begin clean-up on the church/shelter that is currently known as Winbourne Avenue Baptist Church. This will become part of the Baton Rouge Dream Center!!!
Click on the pic/logo above to hear a short word from our pastor, Dino Rizzo about what we are doing here and to see some cool video of the new location and our current outreaches...
We need all the help we can get; this place is HUGE and needs a lot of work. If you're not afraid of a little dust, come on out to help us.
This is going to be so awesome!

13 October 2007

Disney Pictures

Here are just a few more pics from our trip to Disney World... Enjoy!

It's a Small World, After All...
But it's a REALLY long LINE!

Dining at Biergarten
in "Germany" @ EPCOT

Have you SEEN this ride??? It's amazing!

We waited an hour to ride it, but it started to rain so we never got a chance... =(

Raisha & her daddy riding the train. =)

The girls @ "Minnie's Country House."

Our last night in the Magic Kingdom... Goodbye Disney World!

11 October 2007

The Glass is Half Full... I Think.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... stop grumbling.
I know I haven't posted in 2 weeks, but I *did* say I would be back SOMETIME after we got home from Disney World... LOL! Seriously, we have been "recovering." :D Ok, so it was a good trip. Really, it was. But when I was thinking about how I would blog about it, I realized that really, this post could go 2 ways: REALLY negative or REALLY Positive. For example,
*Orlando was experiencing unusually hot weather (mid-90's) and 90-100% humidity while we were there

*It RAINED every day we were there -- and not just an afternoon heating shower, either -- pouring, drenching rain for hours on end
-- BUT we just donned ponchos and slogged our way through the parks anyway! (we're starting to dry out now)

*Our flight was delayed 5 times going and 6 times coming home and Raisha
threw up IN the airport -- BUT we arrived safely and had a good flight and they didn't lose a single piece of our luggage!!

*We didn't get to ride Expedition Everest (raining), Rockin' Rollercoaster
(maintenance), or Spaceship Earth (upgrade) -- BUT we DID ride Pirates of the Caribbean about 50 times and It's a Small World 30 times and Natasha and I rode Space Mountain until we nearly passed out. Oh, and we sat in the FRONT on Splash Mountain and can I just say, wearing a poncho does NOTHING to protect you from getting soaked if you are riding in the front!!! It was a blast!
And did I mention, we were in DISNEY WORLD???!! Bottom line?
It was an AWESOME trip and I thank God for giving us the opportunity to go and the many blessings we received as a family along the way...
We are already planning our next trip to the "Happiest (Soggiest??) Place On Earth" for sometime in 2009... Here are just a few pics from our trip:
I took over 200 pictures, but I'll spare you and not post them ALL here... I will have more up in a separate post later, I promise! =)

PS: No, Raisha did not get to wear her Minnie Mouse costume OR her Cinderella dress to the Princess dinner at Akershus (sp?) because it was pouring rain and I didn't want them to get ruined... she's really too young to care anyway but she did LOVE seeing all the princesses!!