Friday, October 30, 2009

Girl Time is the Greatest!

I've been going to a Thursday night Women's Bible Study since September. I'm realizing that each week I've come to love it more. The teaching is wonderful. The studies challenge us to dig into God's Word. The thought provoking questions that come up are stimulating. The prayers are uplifting. But the fellowship, ahhh, the fellowship. That's what can't be duplicated anywhere else. It's pure unadulterated girl time!

When we discuss the Bible, Jesus, and struggles we deal with in our walk, it takes on a different tone when there are only gals in the mix and all the thoughts and theories are from our perspective. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing men or saying that their input ranging everywhere from fascinating to perplexing isn't interesting, all I'm saying is there is a very sweet satisfaction that comes from having no testosterone in the room for this special time we spend together.

When I joined this group I knew most of the gals by name, but being new to the church I didn't feel any connections. Something happens when you spend time with someone on a regular basis. We pray for one another, talk about kids, pets, complaints, praises and everything in between. There is a trust for one another that grows and intimacy develops. All from just spending time together.

Do you think that is what God had in mind when he tells us in James 4:5 that He yearns jealously for time with us? It's great to go to church and wonderful to spend time playing and in fellowship with fellow believers, we grow from both. But something very special happens when we take the time to turn everything off, shut everything out and just spend time alone with God. As intimacy is developed our trust grows. The more we know Him the more we find out we can walk through anything knowing with confidence that He will never let us down or forsake us.

We will all stand before God one day. No one from the beginning of time until it's end will stand before Him saying; "You let me down, You weren't there for me." Not one! That's quite a record in my opinion.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Candy Christians

I've been giving a lot of thought to 'The Way of the Master' Seminar by Ray Comfort that I attended last weekend.

Evangelism and witnessing is not something I have felt drawn to like some people I know. After attending this seminar and pondering further the subject matter I've admitted to myself that the reason is because I never knew exactly what to say.

I've always approached witnessing as a one on one, individually tailored interaction between two people that have developed relationship through another means. Just talking to a complete stranger about Jesus has never appealed to me. I've done it, but it's not been something I've initiated. Usually it's been the outcome of a conversation started on another subject, or in response to a direct question they've asked.

But after attending this seminar, and now as I read the accompanying book by the same name, I'm getting quite excited about talking to complete strangers about Jesus. I feel equiped, I know where to start and I know where to go from there.

It's a very good teaching and one I completely agree with. The sugar coated church of today in America is producing celophane wrapped candy Christians. (My definition, not Ray Comfort's) They're good to begin with, but once they become unwrapped they only last for a moment. Unwrapping comes in the form of trials, disappointments, and challenges.

He teaches that the reason for this is because we are telling them they are saved "to" something. Life will be easier, you will have a friend in Jesus, all your problems will be solved because you'll be linked up with the greatest problem solver of all time. But then when, not if, times get tough and tribulations begin, as they will for every believer (it's a promise)they turn away saying; "this is not what I signed up for." They feel like they've been deceived, and actually they have.

To the greater extreme you have the "Name it Claim it" (cults in my opinion) telling people God doesn't want you to ever suffer or want for anything. There's a lot of disappointment down the road for them when they can't figure out what they are doing wrong because they have suffering and are not getting everything they want. They turn away feeling as though they've failed at being a good christian.

Ray Comfort contends that if we would switch to offering people salvation "from" something, when the trials and tribulations come they would be able to persevere, knowing that the alternative is much worse than anything we can suffer in this life. Salvation from forever being separated from God, from eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth in the pit of hell. Once a person understands that is the destiny they are choosing by their self-righteousness and their false hope that God is a good and loving God and wouldn't condemn someone to such a fate... which is what many of the walking dead believe.

If you're interested in reading more about the method used to help a person see their need for a savior, read the previous post. If you have any questions about this (I don't know who I'm talking to here, I'm the only person that reads my blog! LOL), email me. Let's talk.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Have you ever told a Lie?

I attended a video seminar by Ray Comfort today. It's called 'The Way of The Master'. Instead of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) His teaching looks at WDJD or What Did Jesus Do? His premise is that Jesus, instead of getting drawn into social issues, controversial or theological arguments, went straight to the Heart of the Issue... He went directly to the conscience of the person confronting Him.

Mr. Comfort finds it a waste of time and energy to argue these issues but goes straight for the heart of the matter and asks; "Can you tell me any of the 10 Commandments?"

I found it quite revealing that out of all the clips they showed of people answering that question, almost every one of them (well of those that could think of any commandment) quoted Thou Shalt Not Kill. I'm fascinated by the fact that a person that would argue adamantly that they are not a sinner, but believe themselves to be a very good person goes first and foremost to the one commandment that they feel no guilt about. Do you think that says, on some level, that they know they have broken the law and are guilty?

Anyhow Mr. Comfort then asks them; "Have you ever told a lie?" Some attempt to answer no, many say they have but they don't do that any longer, but everyone eventually admits they have lied. "So what does that make you?" He asks. The only answer can be; A liar.

Next he asks; "Have you ever stolen anything?" It was interesting that the majority of people said that they hadn't until he defined stealing as taking anything, even a paperclip from work. "So what does that make you?" A thief

"Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have commited adultry, have you ever looked at a woman lustfully?" No one argued that they hadn't done this. "So what does that make you?" An adulterer.

"Have you ever used the Name of the Lord as a cuss word?" Again no one said they hadn't. "So what does that make you?" A blasphemer.

"So you've just admited you are a liar, a thief, an adulterer and a blasphemer. When you go before God to be judged do you think He will find you innocent or guilty?"

It was pretty amazing how many people said they believed that God would still find them innocent. Once again Mr. Comfort quoted the scripture that no liar, thief, adulterer or blasphemer would be allowed into Heaven and asked again. At that point most would say "Well, guilty I guess." Then he would ask; "So if you are guilty do you think you will go to Heaven or Hell?" Again, amazing how many said they thought God is a loving God and didn't want anyone to go to hell. He would let them into Heaven.

It was quite an interesting approach to evangelism that personally I had never seen before. Very direct and hard hitting, letting the hearer know what it is they can be saved from. It's Mr. Comfort's contention that America has developed a sugar coated evangelistic style that does nothing but raise up large numbers of false christians by telling them becoming a christian can make their lives more enjoyable. Then when things get difficult they fall away because they wanted to be saved to something instead of saved from something.

I admit I have to agree, and look very forward to trying out this style of evangelism.

Some Friends are Friends forever!

I have a friend that I've known for about 20 years now. For me; someone that moves around alot, changes hats often, and doesn't let any moss grow under my feet, that's a long time.

She moved about 4 hours north a few years ago so I haven't seen her much lately. But we met for breakfast this morning and it, once again, amazed me how some people in your life can disappear for long stretches, and yet when you see them it's like no time has passed at all and you just pick up where you left off. It was good to catch up with her, when you see someone like that it makes you realize how much you miss them.

I'm excited about a couple of things today. The first is a Seminar we're going to at our church (Red Rock Cowboy Church). It's called 'The Way of the Master' by Ray Comfort. I'm expecting to glean lots of good information from it.

The second is that I've been accepted to train as a Customer Service representative for Carnival Cruise Lines. It's been my hope to work for Carnival since I began working from home and now it looks like all things are coming together to make that possible.

Last year I entered a course for Sears Customer Service at this same time of year. We finished the training (and I call it that very loosley) right before Christmas and then were set loose on our own to handle mobs of angry and frustrated customers. It was a nightmare and I promised myself I would never, ever start a training course right before Christmas again. And yet, here I go.

The Sears training was totally inadequate and prepared us for nothing. We were put to work not understand the programs we were using or the job we were doing. I lost count of how many people told me I was personally responsible for ruining their Christmas.

I'm putting my faith in the belief that there's no way I could get terrible training two times in a row. We'll see!

Well, I'm off to 'The Way of The Master' and the challenges that will present.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Still Alive and Kicking!

Hello, it's been a while. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the last time I was here. If you wish to know exactly what I mean by that statement read this article I wrote and you'll get my meaning. Can Man Ever Be God.

I just went back and read the last several entries. I'm glad I'm writing this blog because I can look back and see what God has done. Anyone that says; (this is a quote from my mother) "If God wants me to believe in Him He needs to make Himself more obvious" needs to open their eyes. It is a miracle to me that God can hide Himself in plain sight from those who wish to be their own god.

I know you're sitting on the edge of your seat wondering how many Twitter followers I have. As of this moment I have 361 followers. I feel like my world has become so enormous! I can wake up in the morning and say "Good Morning World" and mean exactly that. I have followers from all over the world. This is an amazing time we live in. In more ways than one. Our world is changing faster than we (I) can change with it.

I only go to Twitter a couple of times a day. I've figured out, as stated in an earlier post, that the more I tweet the faster the followers accumulate. Problem is I've linked my tweets to my facebook and I'm afraid that if I tweet all day my facebook friends will find me annoying. I can't figure out how to unlink them so I'm keeping my tweets to a couple a day.

I've become a bit scattered and then a recent email reigned me in. A fellow writer, (oh I loved saying that!) told me I need to stay focused on my book. He even said I should consider not even entering the weekly challenges. Ouch! But does he know how much fun they are? He's right though, I know he's right. The weekly challenge has kept me from writing for my book and even kept me from this ever popular blog! How my fans must be fuming! (Note: at this time I have 4 followers, one is my husband and one is me... and he never reads my blog).

My new writer friend has really encouraged me to press on and I feel inspired. His name is Perry Perkins and, as he pointed out, we have a degenerate friend in common. Visit his web page at Perry Perkins Home Page. He's got books that have actually been PUBLISHED. Imagine that! I can only! LOL There's lots of links on his website; to his blog, to writing opportunities, twitter aids. It's a good place to visit, often. I told him I want to just be discovered like Lana Turner who was sitting on a stool at a soda fountain of a Hollywood drugstore, his response was that I had a better chance of winning the Lottery. Alrighty then, excuse me while I run down and buy a lottery ticket.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back There AGAIN?

Last weekend we went camping for three days. I call it camping but we actually take our 18 ft. travel trailer, with most of the comforts of home, 20 miles down the road to the State Park, and hang out there. We've had people ask us why we keep going to the same place, and don't we get tired of it?

Maybe I just need to stop calling it camping and instead say; "We're going Retreating" because that's what we do. When we leave home we shake off all of the things we "should be doing" and look forward with anticipation to long conversations with God and each other, prayer, reading and music. As far as we're concerned the park just down the street from us is the perfect place for that. It doesn't take us half a day to get there and we make the most of our time off by getting there quickly.

This week while we were Retreating we spent part of the time visiting some friends from our church; We'd never been to their place so we were looking forward to seeing it.

They have a wonderful business that they work as a family; Dad, Mom and 2 kids. They provide dutch oven, country cooked meals for events, are equiped to give horse drawn carriage service for weddings or special occassions, hay rides in the fall... there's so much they do you just have to go check out the website yourself. If you're ever in Southern Oregon, you'll definitely want to contact them and be blessed by an experience of a lifetime. You can go to their website and check their calendar to see where they'll be, or schedule them for an event of your own.

They cooked us one of their dutch oven meals and it was so very good. Good doesn't begin to describe it actually but, well, it's one of those things you just have to experience yourself.

We had so much fun and really appreciated our time with them. They've carved out a small piece of this world and turned it into a little slice of heaven and we felt blessed that they shared it with us for an afternoon and evening.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lannie Sees Red

The faith challenges are back! Yay!!

I'll explain for anyone that might stumble in here, read this and not know what a faith challenge is. The website has quarterly writing challenges. For 10 weeks they post a subject on Thursday mornings and you can enter by writing something within 150 - 750 words that captures the subject. It's fun, it's challenging, and I really have learned alot about disciplined writing from these challenges.

The most amazing thing for me has been my apparent inability to write something that is on topic. I get an inspired idea, It sounds on topic to me, I write it out, and submit it with joy only to realize after the stories for the week are available for review... I'm sooooo off topic. What is that all about?

So this quarter, my goal is to stay on topic. We'vd had two weeks off between quarters and I've been reminding myself to focus, focus, focus as I wait for the new topic to be posted. So the new topic gets posted and it's "Red." My mind went everywhere. Red is such a vague topic. The last quarter was on all the seasons; seasons of life and seasons of the year. Red, where do you go with Red? Everything from traffic lights to bullfighting ran through my mind.

I finally settled on my story and I'm quite happy with it. But then I always am... before they get posted. I don't see how I can miss on this one though. I mean Red, as long as it has the color in it in some fashion it has to hit the mark, right?

Once the stories get posted (Thursdays at 7 am PST) anyone can go in and read the entries, but you have no idea who wrote each one. We have what we call "little gold boxes" that everyone covets. When you see a story you like you can leave the author a comment and it is displayed under their entry in a "little gold box." They are delicious, we all love them.

There are four levels of entry. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master. In order to move from one level to the next (on the first three) you have to win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in the judging or be chosen as one of the 10 Editor's Choices. So far the best I've done is place in the top 40 twice and once received honorable mention. I'm still plugging along as a Beginner, but I gotta tell ya the competition is stiff! You become a Master by invitation only.

This really is great fun, so if anyone should stumble into this room and actually read my blog, head over to You'll enjoy it.