30 January 2008

What's a Voter To DO???

Are you as frustrated as I am about the upcoming election?

I have never been so conflicted in a presidential election year as I am now... I see good and bad in EACH of the candidates.
Please remember: I am a moderate -- I don't vote a "party line;" I actually try to weigh the issues and the candidates and then make an educated choice.
Have I ever been wrong?
Clearly, yes.
Have I ever regretted my vote?

Absolutely not.

Exercising our freedom to vote and choose our nation's leader is a right half the world only dreams about... and I don't take this freedom lightly.

I don't just vote for "whoever" because they were funny on the Tonight Show, did a skit on Saturday Night Live, or staged an interview for MTV. Those are not the issues that I consider important.

As a Christian who is not a partisan Republican, things are getting a bit hairy for me. Allow me to vent my frustration here (comments -- if clean and respectful -- are welcome):

-- By far, my favorite candidate for several reasons: I am originally from Arkansas and he was an awesome governor -- highly respected by members of BOTH parties. I also think he is the ONLY candidate to stick to his guns when it comes to his convictions and his morals. WAY more intelligent than people give him credit for and FAR more witty than I ever knew before this race began! Oh, and one more thing worth mentioning: NATIONAL SALES TAX in place of the IRS. I'd vote for him on that alone...
DRAWBACK: I fear that he is too conservative for most Americans & unfortunately, I don't know if he is truly "electable."

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON -- While the feminist in me LOVES that this strong, intelligent woman is making her play, I have to decline to vote for her. She is WAY too liberal for my taste. I also worry about her long-term plans for U. S. health care. I have some more personal reasons for why I am reluctant to vote for her, but I won't go into it here. I don't want to get crucified over my own blog!

-- Um, No.
I'm gonna pass on him, too. I don't find him credible or consistent in the least. He reminds me of a Republican Al Gore -- very stiff and disingenuous. His debates thus far have left a bad taste in my mouth.

-- I find Mr. Obama to be intriguing and promising; I think he is brilliant and being somewhat of a Cosmopolitan, he brings new insight to the table in dealing with our current world circumstances. Where I have trouble with this candidate is in his stance on abortion. Even during my most liberal and feminist days as a college history major, I could never make peace with the arguments supporting pro-choice. I find it almost unbelievable that anyone who refers to himself as a "Born-again Christian" (a label even staunch Republicans are reticent to employ) can make peace with this. Then again, he did pointedly remark,
"Nobody is pro-abortion." A statement of truth, indeed. HOWEVER, I must assert that, as an educated and informed voter, I cannot in good conscience base my entire choice for President on one, singular issue -- no matter how important that issue is to me, personally.

-- I do like John McCain; I truly do. I think he is sincere and kind and very considerate of all the issues. I would not mind him as an advisor to the President or even as holding a cabinet position. My issue with Mr. McCain is the fact that he is a former prisoner of war. I have GREAT respect for our veterans of war and especially for those who have suffered such horrible circumstances as John McCain did during his days as captive in a North Vietnamese prison. This poor man endured 5 and a half YEARS as a prisoner of war and suffered indescribable torture. I find it hard to believe that ANY human can come through something like this without some evidence of mental impairment, primarily PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
That said, I have been told by an expert in the field of psychiatry that of all of the survivors who came out of the WWII German concentration camps, 75% suffered some degree of PTSD.

Then again, that leaves an entire 25% of survivors who for whatever reason -- faith in God, resilience, whatever -- did NOT show signs of PTSD.
The issue, for me, is whether or not John McCain has ever exhibited signs of PTSD. If so, and think carefully about this:
Do you want the leader of the free world -- the man with his "finger on the button" so to speak -- to be suffering from PTSD?
It's just something to think about.
I pray to God that Mr. McCain does NOT suffer from residual trauma of his days as a prisoner of war, but I have not heard this clearly addressed as yet and I do think it is a valid concern.

-- Interesting candidate and a bit of an enigma. He has some thought-provoking views and I respect his intelligence and educational background. That said, he is looking really old to me these days and I worry that the stress of public office may prove too much for him. I could definitely see him as an advisor or cabinet member affecting change without bearing the brunt of the responsibility. The question is: to which party would he truly be useful? Dr. Paul is definitely unique and cannot be put into any sort of "partisan box." In a way, that's what I most like about him. But do I think he's electable? Hmmm....

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and views (RESPECTFULLY, PLEASE) if you would like to share them... I'm really interested in hearing different viewpoints because I feel that it is only by LISTENING to BOTH sides and trying to see things from another's perspective can you truly make an informed decision.
So...(gulp) fire away!
If you are new to my blog, please read:

29 January 2008

For... I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me Something To Drink...

Awhile back, I mentioned a book that I absolutely love:
It's well worth reading.
The other day, I found this video on YouTube that highlights one of the ministries discussed in this book: BLOOD:WATER MISSION : (PS: pause the music in my sidebar so you can hear the song in the video)

27 January 2008

Contented Exhaustion

I think I may have to cut my feet off at the ankles...
Seriously, at the moment, it doesn't seem like a bad idea as they are throbbing like mad.
It has been an exhausting, but exhilarating 24 hours.

Yesterday evening, I worked in the nursery at HPC (as per usual); I did sign-in and then worked the 2-year-old room. Pretty uneventful night. Tonight, however, was a completely different story! Tonight was the 15th anniversary celebration of Healing Place Church and all of our campuses came together for the event.
I was in the 2 & 3 year old room (combined) and we had a total of 37 kids.
And they gave them cupcakes with blue icing!
'Nuff said.

But, back to last night...
I put my 3-year-old to bed at a decent hour (for a change) and crawled into bed, myself, before midnight, -- shocking, I know.
I had to be up by 6:45 this morning to go to my first LEADERSHIP Class with Mrs. Ann Morrow. I was so excited and nervous. I think it was around 11:30 when I finally got to sleep.
Raisha then proceeded to wake up (night terrors) every 20-30 minutes for the next 2 hours. I was about to go sleep on the couch! Then around 4:00 am, she started talking in her sleep and actually woke herself up laughing! Of course, she was wide awake by then and refused to go back to sleep. She wanted to get up and play. I made her stay in bed, but neither of us got back to sleep until well after 5. Next thing I knew, my alarm was going off.

Sometimes, the devil is so transparent.

I made it to Leadership Class and it was awesome. I learned so much and just really felt like I was in the right place at the right time. Obviously, this explains the ridiculous amount of sleep I got the night before.
You see, I am NOT a person who can go without sleep and I am definitely NOT a morning person. I don't even understand annoying morning people. And there was definitely a time in my life -- not so long ago -- that getting 2 good hours of sleep would have been MORE than enough reason to stay in bed on a cold, cloudy morning.

But something happens to you when you allow God to speak into your life...
Not to sound hokey, but you get a whole new sense of purpose that you've never had before. You actually care about what comes next and you are excited by the possibility in every opportunity.
It's really quite difficult to explain, but I told someone recently,
I feel like I "just woke up" into my faith
Does that make sense?
I have been a Christian for many years, but I haven't always walked it out and I certainly haven't felt that I was living with PURPOSE until the past year or so. I was kind of just drifting along like a lot of Christians do...

Sara Groves has another song I like called, "Just Showed Up For My Own Life," and I think I know just what she means:

Just Showed Up -- Sara Groves

Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take
by working their way from the outside in

I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface
repairing the holes in the shiny veneer

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I'm going to live my life inspired
Look for the Holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel, all that's honest and real, until I'm truly amazed
I'm going to feel all my emotions
I'm going to look you in the eyes
I'm going to listen and hear, until it's finally clear, and it changes our lives

25 January 2008

Baby Gives The "Evil Eye"

Well, first of all, I don't believe in the "evil eye," and there is certainly NOTHING "evil" about this precious baby, but this is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen!
I don't know which is funnier: the "evil eye," or his adorable laugh. You will be laughing, too!
Check it out:

http://view.break.com/422660 - Watch more free videos

23 January 2008

Diet Motivation =)

Since my good friend, Carole, is forever posting old pics of herself on her blog (which I love, btw!), I thought I would do the same...
I found these old photos of myself the other day & have decided to make them my MOTIVATION to stay on track!
Yeah, I'd settle for this. ROFL
Bring on the 80's big hair!

One more for good measure:

There: now I have a "permanent reminder" to come back to whenever those carbs start calling my name... I find these pics to be HIGHLY motivational. LOL
Ok, and probably a bit unrealistic. I am considerably older now (38), but I'll take all the help I can get.
I have gone back to the way of eating that seems to work best for me:
My body and my diabetes just respond best to it.
I know, I know... some people are highly opposed to it, but I have done EXTENSIVE research on this subject. The logic and science behind low-carbing is actually very convincing.
And YES, we do eat vegetables!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is *not* the Atkins of the 70's, people.

I have posted my updated bio at the awesome website: www.lowcarbeating.com
where I have been a moderator (off and on) for a number of years.
You can read my story here: MY BIO
If you would like more information or sources about the benefits of this way of eating, you can check out the wonderful information available at the website above.
Ok... I'm headed to the gym.

21 January 2008

The Reason We Acknowledge This Day...

From a man I can't wait to meet in Heaven:

(Be sure to PAUSE the music in my right sidebar so that you can listen to this video)

20 January 2008

What I Thought I Wanted

By Sara Groves
(song is in my playlist at right... take a listen)

Tuxedo in the closet, gold band in a box
Two days from the altar she went and called the whole thing off
What he thought he wanted, what he got instead
Leaves him broken, yet grateful

I passed understanding a long, long time ago
And the simple home of systems and answers we all know
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful

I keep wanting You to be fair
But that’s not what You said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that’s not what You said

When I get to heaven I’m wanna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken, yet faithful

What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted

Staring in the water like Aesop's foolish dog
I can’t help but reflect on what it was I almost lost
What it was I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and grateful

I’m broken and grateful
I want to be broken and grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful

19 January 2008


Another incredible Midnight Outreach last night... it's so amazing to watch God lead!

You know, it was cold and rainy and I was thinking, "Hmmm... will anyone even be out tonight?"
Our first stop was at a local strip club and as we walked in taking roses to the girls, I couldn't help but notice the difference from the last time we came to this same club. Before, we could hardly walk through the crowd due to the throng of patrons, and before, every stage was in use. Last night, the club was almost empty (well, compared to before). We quickly passed out roses and went back to the van, but Pastor Alliece remained behind for a few minutes talking to the girl working the door. She knows Alliece from previous encounters and last night, she really needed someone to talk to. She is dealing with all kinds of health and financial issues and is desperately looking for a new job. Alliece prayed with her (discreetly) and then we were on our way. I couldn't help but think SHE was the reason we entered that club last night.

Fast forward about an hour... We are driving around trying to find someone, anyone, working the streets. They have apparently been run off from their old territory, but (like Alliece said), it's not like they all made a career change just because the cops showed up. So we drove around desperately praying for God to show us something -- to open our eyes to their new locations.

Driving down a dark, residential street in northern Baton Rouge, we spotted a woman walking in the rain. We pulled up beside her and offered her a rose. She asked if she could have 2 more for some other ladies who were in the house, so Alliece stepped out of the van and came around to talk with her. The woman (aged in her 50's or 60's?) had just been thrown out of the house by her daughter (again) and had nowhere to go.
A homeless grandmother.
As Pastor Alliece told her about the nearby Dream Center and how we could help her, the woman began to cry. She told Pastor Alliece that after her daughter had kicked her out, she had been trying to drink herself to death.
She was literally trying to kill herself with alcohol. Alliece and Charity held her and prayed with her for some time and got her name and information. I hope she comes to the Dream Center so that we can minister to her more!

We found a few more people to give roses to -- and a new idea for our midnight outreaches: Hospital emergency rooms!
But the majority of our evening was spent looking for any sign of the elusive prostitutes and especially the underage ones who we so desperately want to get off the streets.

As we drove around, I kept remembering Alliece's words regarding their similar ministry in another state: in the beginning they just prayed for FAVOR and for God to lead them to where the people were. And they thanked God for the day that would come when they would be able to make a connection with these women and when they would be allowed to enter those clubs... and when that day finally came, they were just in awe.
I thought about that and all I could see, staring out the dark, rain-splattered windows was the possibility of what could be.
I can hardly wait.

If you are wondering what it is we do, exactly, you can read my first MIDNIGHT post here: MIDNIGHT OUTREACH

God bless Healing Place Church for allowing us to do this important ministry. We truly want to be a HEALING place for a hurting world.

16 January 2008


Have you seen this?
Watch it to the end.
I'm speechless...

I've always liked Ben Stein... I REALLY like him now!

15 January 2008

FOCUS, People!!

Ok, so I was at the gym today -- Yeah, second day in a row (Yay me!) -- when I picked up a popular fitness/glam magazine to read while I endured the torture device elliptical machine. Flipping through the pages, I was amazed to find article after article about Happiness. How to BE Happy. How to achieve happiness. How to make yourself happy...

Um, forgive me if I'm being obtuse, but is that really all it boils down to?
Is that our sole purpose in life... to obtain happiness?

If that sounds like a stupid question, consider this:

What if Jesus had lived his life with "happiness" as His goal?

What if the apostle Paul had done the same?

Can you imagine what the world would have been like if Mother Theresa had made "happiness" her sole purpose in life?

In fact, I have known people to make some of the worst, life-altering decisions -- destroying the lives of those around them -- based on their own quest for happiness.

Personally, I think it's a sad statement on humanity if this is what it's come to. If a monthly magazine is printing article after article about how to obtain happiness, you gotta wonder:
"Why are people so gosh-darn UNHAPPY?"

Perhaps the real issue here is focus.
When we constantly focus on ourselves -- our wants and desires, our pet peeves and dissatisfaction -- it becomes very easy to think that happiness should be our goal.

I believe, however, that if we STOP thinking about ourselves all the time and take a moment to think about others -- and not just think, but actually DO SOMETHING to make a difference in their lives -- we will accomplish so much more. Isn't that what it *should* be about?

Only by eschewing our search for the
"illusive happiness" will we truly ever find it.

13 January 2008


Just a thought...

Are the eggs of an endangered species federally protected from harm or destruction?

Even if the eggs are not viable at the time of destruction?

And if you say, "Well, humans are not an endangered species," my question for you is this:
Since when do we value an animal's life more than human life?

When we get to that point, there needs to be some serious conversation.

10 January 2008

An Anti-Intellectual Fable

Once upon a time, there was a powerful kingdom in a faraway land...

The king was very brave and handsome and rich and powerful and he was well-loved by his entire kingdom. This kingdom was considered the wisest and kindest kingdom in all the land. The king's royal advisors were highly educated and his closest confidants were elders of great wisdom. Whenever the king was met with a particularly troublesome dilemma, he knew he could count on their loyal, but shrewd, advice on how to proceed.

Unfortunately, this king had one major flaw: he didn't think he was very smart.
Oh, he was bright enough to run his kingdom and he had many other gifts attributed to his person, but his apprehension of those who were smarter or more-educated soon turned into distrust, and eventually, dislike. As time went by, this king started demoting those of great intelligence, and began surrounding himself with people who would not threaten his own intellectual sensibilities.

There were some brilliant people in his kingdom -- scientists and philosophers, artists and mathematicians -- but he simply overlooked them. At the very most, he gave them menial tasks to keep them "busy," and marginally employed within his kingdom, but these positions rarely utilized their gifts to the full.

Instead, the king granted positions of power and authority to those whom he deemed "non-threats" to his title and throne: loyal, but common, peasants who did not add to the king's uneasiness over his own lack of education. Oh, many of these peasants were very gifted in various areas and they certainly contributed to his kingdom, but as time went on, the king's decisions began to have an unintended effect...

Those who were very bright or highly educated began to feel unappreciated and unwanted in the stubborn king's empire and so, they left.
They didn't want to leave; at one time, they had been very happy in this kingdom, but they couldn't help feel they were being unfairly punished for something that was beyond their control -- and certainly not worth shame.

Over time, the king began to realize that even though he no longer felt threatened by anyone around him, his kingdom was no longer the wisest or the brightest, either. Indeed, it had become rather mediocre. It soon became apparent to him that without the full spectrum of gifts within his council, day to day life in his kingdom had become dull and mundane. There was no one left to challenge his decisions or prompt him to thoughtful discernment. And so, the once-great king of the once powerful kingdom, fell into obscurity and was forgotten by all.

As iron sharpens iron, so those who challenge us to think -- beyond our own, self-imposed limits -- ultimately produce in us a more effective version of ourselves.
-- Summer Kelly

09 January 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Lunch Box?!?

Guess I'll have to take down the Christmas tree now...

I put off doing so until January 10th every year.
Some years, I don't feel like I really enjoy the tree and
lights until the holidays are completely OVER. Everything leading up to the big days is so hectic, I don't slow down until it has literally, passed me by. This was definitely one of those Christmases!

This weekend, ELEVATE starts back up for the spring semester. We have a mandatory retreat on Friday and Saturday and then classes resume on Tuesday. The month off was nice, but I'm kinda ready to get back into the swing of things...
Even though I have had a bit more free time on my hands, my creative juices don't seem to be flowing as well. I almost think my chaotic life might be beneficial to my writer's repertoire!
So bring on the new year & the new semester. I think I'm ready.

Now where did I put that pocket protector...?

08 January 2008


Mostly Cloudy
Feels Like
Updated: Jan 8 04:00 p.m. CT


And now that my pity-party is over (see post below):




I just want to say...
Kidney stones and kidney infections are really horrible.

It has been a miserable 5 days.
And that's all I'm going to say about that...

03 January 2008

Here I Go Again..,

I may not be able to walk tomorrow.

Today was my first day back at the gym in over 3 years!
I did 35 minutes of cardio and about 40 minutes of weights & abs.
I focused on legs today so I may be walking a bit slowly tomorrow...

Getting back on the old low-carb woe (way of eating) again; my body responds really well to it. The hardest thing for me will be giving up Cokes.
I am a Coke (Coca-Cola) addict!!!
I fully admit my addiction.
I honestly think I could drink 6 or 7 of these a day and not think twice about it (until I fell into a diabetic coma, that is). Seriously, monitoring my blood sugar is the only thing that keeps me from doing just that.

I have been a moderator on a low-carb website for several years ( www.lowcarbeating.com ), so I *know* what to do and how to do it.
Actually, even though they have been gracious enough to retain my MOD status, I haven't been active on the boards in quite some time.
Still, I did use to write articles for the site as well as a small, low-carb magazine, so the info is there.

I have found, however, that KNOWING what to do and actually DOING it are two very different things.
I think most people would agree with that sentiment. =)
So, I'm off the cokes... (Sorry Dean)
I'm slowly backing away from the simple carbs... and making a commitment to exercise at least 3-4 times per week.

Dawn, you have inspired me!