Thursday, August 28, 2008
After weeks and weeks of preparation, MidLink began last night. Several of our publicity pieces were delayed just a tad and we didn't know how many had checked the website for information. I am a contact point and the past two weeks have I fielded a lot of calls about classes and what's being offered. Over 500 people were served dinner in MidLink Cafe. There were 140 kids for High Five (children's choir). At 7:00, The Link, is a Bible study in our Fellowship Center. This semester Curtis Jones is teaching it. His subject, the life of Elijah. Because of being all things to all people last night, I never got a chance to go back to my office to pick up my Bible and notebook. I will not make that mistake again. There were so many things I wanted to write down and the only implements I had were brownie crumbs and a table cloth. Since I am not McGiver,I couldn't make it work. I do remember this, the desert. How we go there either in obedience or disobedience to God. God can uses the desert to bring about transformation and lasting change in us. Curtis' observation about gratitude received my heart attention too. He talked about supernatural provision by God gets much praise and gratitude from us. His example, someone leaves groceries on the front porch, and we thank God for His supernatural provision. But we are less likely to be mindful of being thankful when going to the grocery store and paying for the groceries. One last thought, when Elijah was being fed by the ravens as he sat by the brook and there was no rain in the land, he watched the brook dry up...was his trust in the provision of see able water or in God. His teaching along with what I have been reading in Psalm 16 and then what I heard last weekend at LPL is mixing around in my spirit and I'm able to see some things I have questioned going on in my life in a different perspective, in a bigger picture God perspective. Come join us next week, you'll be blessed.
OK, a totally different line of thought. Once again more objects de arte at HFBC.
The above picture is on the second floor of HFBC. It is one of many painted by the same artist that line the hall. One day my friend Marsha asked me if I could find out of all the pictures the son of a plumber. Each time I walked down the hall I studied the pictures, but due to lighting I didn't pick out the obvious choice.
Here is a close up from the above picture that shows you the son of a plumber. Diaper riding a little low just like some plumber's pants do with a tool belt or when he is bending over. While we were laughing about that I began looking around the picture a little more.
Unless you know the person I am about to name, this isn't going to mean a thing. But doesn't the brunette have some simiularities to Mary Ann? I'm just saying...
I have more art to bring you , but this is enough for now. Really, too much of a good thing...or soemthing like that.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
on my left, CourtneyS and Peggy on my lap. Peggy should have a blog.
But before we made it to San Antonio, we made a stop at Buckee's and ran into Kimberly who works at LP. She was making us laugh very hard. It is a good thing the bathrooms are legendary for cleanliness. As the roadside sign says, "you have to pee to believe it."
Amy posing in the restroom. She is on staff at HFBC and on the Houston Praise Team for Tuesday night Bible study. She is also my friend and we share great reads with one another.
Peggy and me on the same bench posing in the Buc-cee's bathroom.
Uh, this picture speaks for itself.
Peggy and I left her house around 10:20 and we headed to San Antonio. We have been friends for over 20 years. We always have a lot of laughs when we are together. When we go to Tuesday night Bible study she sits in the balcony and you will find me sitting next to Lisa P down on the main floor. Peggy and I decided to stay out by La Contera in NW San Antonio. On Friday night we had an unexpected scenic adventure trying to get out of downtown San Antonio. We made it back and even saw several Siestas staying in our hotel.
I have several more posts coming, but wanted to get some pictures up tonight. I hope we get to do this again very soon!
Can I tell you how blown away I was on Friday when I read Psalm 16 on the screen. I wondered is this what Beth is going to teach on? I have been asking the Lord for a word this weekend and to prepare my heart I had been reading Psalm 16 for the last week and a half. Blown away!!!! Blown away by God's faithfulness and goodness.
I loved putting faces and names with blogs. I loved getting to meet blogging buddies in person! I loved that whole time we all got to spend together. The worship that Travis led us to, incredible!
And the extra time that my friend Peggy and I had in San Antonio was joy filled!!! We shopped at La Cantera, ate at The Nord, visited Border's Books, went to Marble Slab, and finished the evening cheering on the relay teams at the Olympics. After having an evening to think and process through all that we had seen and heard and with the help of our french toast breakfast at Mimi's, our drive home was filled with remember...wasn't that good when...I had a blast...God is so good...I wrote this down...my heart was stirred when... Top that off with a visit to Buckee's and all in all I say...good weekend! Great God...His presence, people and property.
I think it is so interesting that this morning when I came to work at HFBC, the staff was given the opportunity to see all the names that have been written on the floor of our Worship Center yesterday of friends, countries, loved ones, and celebrities that we want to come and know the Lord. Soon those floors will be covered with new carpet but the names will be prayed over time and time again. One person's name was written yesterday morning by a family member and that person was able to come in last night and write by his name, accepted Christ today. Wonderful, holy and sacred. God stirs and we respond to his stirring.
What a wonderful and memorable weekend this will be for me. And I can say most assuredly more than this,
"I went to San Antonio for a LPL conference and all I got was this Siesta Fiesta t-shirt." Got a great t-shirt and much more.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Went back to work yesterday, but didn't spend the whole day there. Still felt a little queasy and the fumes were not helping that feeling.
When I get back I'll post pictures from my brand new camera.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Buddy didn't appreciate being shut out of the bedroom for that long. I finally let her in and she settled on my arm. We both slept peacefully. A little before noon, I got up and she followed me purring and climbing up the leg of my pajamas so I would pet her. Gave her a treat and I sat down to sip a Diet Coke and munch on a saltine or two to check my refunding condition. Buddy climbed onto my lap wanting to be petted. I obliged willingly when out of the blue she attacked my arm and hand. I picked her up like Roy does to quiet her down and she flayed even harder. She went for both sides of my face. I went for the squirt gun and after showering her with precise shots, I went back to the bedroom and shut the door. When I came out she sat there looking repentant. I thought we were making up when she came at me again and caught her claws into my hand. That hurt like the dickens and I started crying. To tell you the truth I am not a big crier but when I do cry I figure to get something out of it, so I think of all the stuff that has hurt me in the past few weeks and what I hate that seems to be an unanswerable portion of my life right now. All that to say, I had a loud and great cry. Buddy sat there staring at me cause I rarely cry. She was so moved, she jumped on the bed and went to sleep. That is where she is now. That cat can go months without any kind of a temper and boom, she is wild cat for about a day.
I did get a spiritual lesson out of all the above. Yet it reminded me of the cycle I seem to be in right now, surprise attacks in what seemingly feels like a time of peace.
After meeting a friend for dinner last night, I ran to the Kroger to pick up a few things. Roy had stayed late at the office and then walked at the CLC. I so wish he would have been with me to witness the checking out experience. My few things did not fall under the 15 items or less category, so I went to the only open check out for regular shopping. I noticed the lady in front of me was a little bit strange and odd, but who isn't after a full day of work. She unloaded her cart and loudly announces to the checker and bag boy and about half of the store, she would be packing her own groceries. This is where it turned strange...she sang very loudly while she did this. Not whistle while you work, or she works hard for the money or take this job and shove it. No, she sang a tune that she had made up and her groceries played the supporting cast. The paper bowls sang to the celery, then the celery sang to the bag of apples. You get the drift. The checker, bag boy and I just starred. What else does one do? If the bag boy tried to help she just sang louder, I pack my own groceries. Meanwhile the line behind me is growing longer and longer by the song. She puts the bags in the cart, sings a tune while using the debit card and left silently. Show over. The checker looked at me and I questioningly looked at her. She said, oh she comes in once a week and gives the same performance. Wow! In the parking lot she was loading her groceries singing her songs when she accidentally set off her car alarm. She stopped loading and came to a full stance and yelled, it's OK, I set it off, no one was hurt in the alarm accident...then she went right back to loading and singing. I shop at the strangest yet most entertaining Kroger in the city.
I think I have a roommate for HFBC's Women's Retreat that I wasn't planning on attending in October. Funny how that works. We are both semi committed to not attending everything on the program. That is how I roll at most women's retreats.
Peggy and I are going to the LP event in San Antonio on Friday. We are really looking forward to the trip. I look forward to meeting blogging buddies and she is looking forward to some time away. We are both looking forward to hearing God's Word. I am asking the Lord to speak directly to what seems to be my life right now. I am asking God to do a HUGE thing in all of our lives as we worship and learn in the Alamo Dome. This seems strange after what I wrote about women's retreats, but that is what I love about Beth Moore. She cuts out all the fluff, gets to the point, you learn, God speaks, transformation takes place and you laugh while some of the above is taking place.
Well, I am going to see if a few more crackers won't be refunded. Then check on Buddy and see how our reconciliation is going to happen.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
With my mind and days consumed with Milestones, MidLink and cool give aways for both, oh my, I have totally forgotten some happenings from the last week. With Cheryl mentioning the term sunset fatigue from John Ortburg's book, The Life You Have Always Wanted, I have been aware of how much sunset fatigue I am experiencing. Re-reading that book and then couple that with the much anticipated release of the book Mad Church Disease in February, which is a book about burnout in ministry, maybe I have some advice and help coming my way.
Last Friday I drove out to Sugarland for my haircut and afterwards stopped at the nail salon a couple of doors down. Oh my, the pedicure was just about as relaxing as The Nord's but my callouses were actually given a little more attention and those babies are just about gone. No use of the blade was needed. Whew.... I was mesmerized by the process (I am easily entertained). While we were talking it came up that I had just been to Emmanuel and I asked her if she had ever been to the new massage place next door? No, but she met everyone when the fire alarm had gone off earlier in the week. So people were standing out there in the parking lot with sheets wrapped around them. You know that triggered all my thoughts and irrational fears I have mentioned before about that happening at The Nord.
With new pink polish and smoothed out callouses, I ran a few errands and then stopped by my parents. I took my DVD player to show them the DVD my cousin Becky made from slides she found after her father's death. Becky did a lot of hard work putting it together with some beautiful music. When I viewed it the first time and saw pictures of my mom laughing and so carefree in her early twenties...well, I just started crying. While watching it with my parents my mom said several times...is that me? There is one picture and I agree with her, what was she thinking with the hairstyle? It was bad. I am happy that both my cousins are now on Face Book and maybe we will keep up better with each other. Hey Becky and Lois!
Last Sunday, I took Dena to the airport for her flight to London. It is my belief if you travel outside the country, you should be taken and picked up at the airport. It is a good welcome home. I made mention last Sunday after her adventurous trips around the world, that London seemed rather tame and pedestrian. I shouldn't have said a thing...her plane was really late in taking off, the jet way was broken in London and they were going to deplane the old fashioned way and her flight to Scotland was late as well. Nothing tame and pedestrian about those happenings. *******Update**** Dena's flight was just diverted to New Orleans. Couldn't land due to weather at Bush. Note to self, never comment on flights again. I hope she is saying, it is what it is, right about now. They are supposed to land at 2:00 in New Orleans.*****Steven W has Murray Mints on his desk and I am hooked on them. They are from England. I emailed her on Wednesday and asked if she would bring some home to me. Good News, she found them and likes them too. They are butterscotch and mint flavored, but on the wrapper it says may contain whole sesame seeds. What??????
I have had NBC on this morning to watch the Olympics. Track and field is beginning. I will now begin adding track and field terms to my already expanded Olympic vocabulary. I love speaking in my inside voice all the time. It does seem to make things more dramatic.
Roy is prepared to leave for the office. He picks up his briefcase in one full movement. That is his signature move. Oh, 3/10 of a point deduction, he tripped over Buddy. I have watched him all week and he has avoided that mistake. This is going to cost him now when it really counts. He has done a full turning twist to the door knob, what extension...what height as he picks up and throws the paper into the entrance way. It has landed perfectly, he missed the lamp and purse sitting on the hallway table. Here comes his dismount...closing the door, Buddy rushing toward it...oh very close but he sticks the door shutting complete with locking the door in record time. Major deduction, he forgot to kiss his wife goodbye. This will certainly effect his score. No chance for gold, maybe not even a medal in the competition. Tonight he will be competing in the floor exercise, picking up his shoes strewn through out the home.
They interviewed the two American gymnasts that won last night. It is refreshing to see that competitors can be good friends. They ran that piece about Phelps giving his spot to his friend and competitor in the last Olympics.
Well, I better complete my own floor exercise. Then onto the vault as I jump over and successfully land over all the junk that has piled up in my closet this week. I'm going for the gold! Cue Olympic music as I go to my next event in this rotation.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I guess it was my way of rewarding myself of several days of non stop work. Non stop, hard work. And to add to my burden, some of it was in Excel. I have a love/hate...no a hate/tolerate relationship with that spreadsheet. Please, when your Milestone and MidLink pieces come in the mail, take some time to look at them. Lots of hard work there. Or go to the HFBC website, houstonsfirst.org to see it online. It's not there yet, but it will be soon.
We have a fun weekend planned. We are going to see Tuna Does Vegas on Saturday. Bill and Peggy are meeting us there. Roy and I are going a little early to do some shopping on the Strand.
At the right time today, Lisa P came by. She and I had a couple of very hearty laughs. I am so glad she is my friend. Some times it is difficult to believe she even works at the same place since she is so far away. Doesn't anyone stay in one place anymore. It would be so fine to see her face at my door... oops, Carole King just popped into my brain.
One more unrelated and random thing. There are some potent fumes coming from the Worship Center. Yesterday, almost everyone had a headache and scratchy throats. We all sounded like we were 2 pack a day smokers. I wanted to answer the phone...Ministries, this is Nancy. Let me put out my ciggy and see what I can do you for. Today the fumes made us high which made most of us turn silly by the end of the afternoon. Good grief, I was throwing a cupcake candle at Cindy P. I threw it at her 3 times but not hard. We have a stress ball that looks like a rock, I threw it at her too. All in fun...
Well, Roy just called and is bringing a pizza home for dinner. Buddy is meowing at the front door. I am ignoring her.
As always, thanks for reading.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I don't know if you have someone like this in your life, but if so, you know they are time drainers. Like wild animals I am constantly on the run not to be caught only to be caged or tamed into the person they think I should be. My keeper thinks I should only be funny and perform at their behest. No one should know that there might even be a serious line much less a spiritual thought expressed out loud from me. Fortunately, right now they can't contain me in print. Now you might think me paranoid, but my tamer slips subtle hints to others that I might not ever be a good choice, unless you want funny. Sometimes funny doesn't even get the recommendation. My battle of running includes their constant obsession of comparison and contrast, how might they get the upper hand, do better than me. I delight for them to do better and have all the friends, stuff and wanna be junk they could ever desire to have and experience. Just leave me alone. My keeper has taken away a lot from me, mostly time and energy. When they are around, I cannot move, exist or show any natural gifting or spiritual gifts that the Lord has given. I've been trapped in a corner and they are just waiting for me to go into the box of their choosing in order to control and understand me. Ha, I might be stuffed in a corner, but so far success is mine of escaping the box.
The Bible says I know the voice of my shepherd, I follow Him only. At least in recent times I have slowed down enough to hear His voice in the daily. Nothing they say to me or suggests to me sounds like the voice of love I know only to follow. A zoo keeper knows what to say to make the tapes play from long ago hurts and words. Their thought is for you to give in to that, but don't do it. Read Ephesians and know what Jesus has done for you and who you are in Him.
Many times a lion tamer wants you to be sad, ill or complacent. There is control in being the benevolent benefactor. Don't give in. They'll tempt with rewards that aren't truth or don't last. I will say this, don't grow weary in doing them good. The Bible says, you'll reap a harvest. It isn't easy and the choice of making decisions in the flesh or letting God's strength uphold and encourage will be at times moment by moment, if not second by second decisions. Boils down to wanna be... Do I wanna be like Jesus or do I wanna be a lion tamer?
Time is not permitting me to give more thought and time to the thought of thought and time. Roy just called, he'll be home in a few minutes. I have to go help him make noise and keep Buddy away from the front door. Yep, we are the crazy cat people.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
We took our time getting ready to run all our errands and mapping out the details. A trip to the bank, church, cleaners, lunch, fill up the car, and grocery shopping all got done with time to spare. Roy even had the chance to order some non book stuff from Amazon.
While he was doing things here, I met Dena and her family for a quick bite to eat later in the afternoon. She is a traveling whirlwind these days, so it is nice to catch up on all the happenings. I was invited to go to The Nord with them, but I decided to get on home. There are a couple of books that keep calling my name.
Roy is at the Texans game tonight with a friend from the office. His name is Joe. I watched a little bit of the game and then turned off the TV. I have a book to read.
Thanks for understanding my last post. Nothing has changed except my attitude...which is the best thing to change. Seems like everything I have read this week has been about waiting, reaping a harvest, suffering in silence (OK, I already blew that one) and praising God when I don't feel like it. All the points were driven home. So far the points and lessons have been chocolate free. That makes me a happy camper.
There are other things I want to blog about, but for now this little update will have to do. There are thank you notes to be written and have I mentioned I am reading two good books????
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Nancy, you exhibit an even balance between left- and right- hemisphere dominance and a slight preference for visual over auditory processing. With a score this balanced, it is likely that you would have slightly different results each time you complete this self-assessment quiz.
You are a well-rounded person, distinctly individualistic and artistic, an active and multidimensional learner. At the same time, you are logical and disciplined, can operate well within an organization, and are sensitive towards others without losing objectivity. You are organized and goal-directed. Although a "thinking" individual, you "take in" entire situations readily and can act on intuition.
You sometimes tend to vacillate in your learning styles. Learning might take you longer than someone of equal intellect, but you will tend to be more thorough and retain the material longer than those other individuals. You will alternate between logic and impulse. This vacillation will not normally be intentional or deliberate, so you may experience anxiety in situations where you are not certain which aspect of yourself will be called on.
With a slight preference for visual processing, you tend to be encompassing in your perceptions, process along multidimensional paths and be active in your attacking of situations or learning.
Overall, you should feel content with your life and yourself. You are, perhaps, a little too critical of yourself -- and of others -- while maintaining an "openness" which tempers that tendency. Indecisiveness is a problem and your creativity may not be in keeping with your potential. Being a pragmatist, you downplay this aspect of yourself and focus on the more immediate, obvious and the more functional
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Then there are times I am glad Roy isn't very musical and conversations like the one we had today after church can happen. We were on our way to lunch when Roy mentioned to me that I needed to address a situation. I agreed but I really didn't like his tone. So, I got a little miffed on the inside about that. He has a saying that he has said since I have known him. When he thinks I need to take action or if he thinks a circumstance or someone is taking advantage of me he says, "You need to speak to it." All this means with him is, take care of it.
Since I had a twinge of miffed going on I said to Roy, well the battle is the Lord's. And we began that kind of teasing conversation back and forth; about speaking to the problem and me taking care of it or letting the Lord handle it. Now he agrees the battle is the Lord's but he knew what I was up to when I said that, mischief from the miffed. He knew it was all about the tone of voice he took.
We are almost finished lunch and we have so enjoyed our conversations since the "talk to it" and I could not resist saying the following....
Me- Roy (I've) been talking to myself and feeling old. Sometime I'd like to quit. Seems like nothing ever seems to fit.
Roy-Are you talking about quitting your job or shopping for clothes?
Me-Hanging around nothing else to do but frown.
Roy-Are you upset? Don't frown.
Me-Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
Roy-that's from a song isn't it.
He just busts out laughing and well I do too. Ain't nothing like some cheesy Carpenter lyrics to end Sunday lunch on the right note.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
This week there have been some tough conversations for me, both real and imagined. Sitting here on this hot but beautiful Saturday I cannot help but think that God would have liked me to direct some of those conversations His way in prayer.
Last Sunday after church Roy and I went to The Nord for lunch and to return a shirt he already had. The Bistro on Sunday is not very busy and quiet enough for conversation. We arrived to half of the place taken up by a group celebrating something, but hard to discern what exactly brought them all to this place. People arriving and used to quick seating where not thrilled with a wait. I have a friend who wonders and ponders groups at restaurants and doing my best imitation of her, I asked the waiter about the group. It was 75 celebrating a graduation. Never got a sense of who was being honored. After lunch Roy bought 4 pairs of shoes...unheard of any time before in all our shoe shopping days for Roy. He has a difficult foot to fit, 13 A.
Thursday night I had dinner with a friend and she was the ever so lucky one to get a rambling conversation with me about choices and decisions I need to make in the immediate future. I think I needed to say some of it out loud to get a bit of clarity and organization of my thoughts. The Bible says to not grow weary in doing good and I am wearied, but I also make the choice of choosing joy. Well, most of the time, sometimes joy is a distant third in the choice range.
A couple of weeks ago, this was my devo for the day...Results of Waiting, by Charles Swindoll. Wow, God used Chuck's words with His Word to calm my anxious thoughts.
- Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
Being reminded that while I think God is invisible, He is at work. That is the beauty of His invisibility , He can be moving in a thousand places, moving a thousand pieces, working in circumstances that are beyond our control. During a waiting time God is not only working in my heart but in other's hearts. All the while giving added strength. Chuck says first we gain new strength. We exchange our weakness for His strength. Second, we get a better perspective mounting up with wings like eagles. By soaring like an eagle we get perspective. Third, we store up extra energy...that part of the verse is future tense. Extra energy will be ours to use because when we encounter the thing we have been dreading, we will encounter it with new strength. Four, we deepen our determination to preserve. All the above happens while we wait.
I will be honest with you, none of that was my mindset on Thursday evening in our conversation, but I am being reminded of God's truth today. It is good to have a friend who is a safe place to ramble, complain and vent. And best of all, she still likes me and more importantly praying with me as I struggle with waiting and resulting then in tasting to see that the Lord is good in this situation.
This is getting long, but I will wrap this up with a conversation yesterday. Yesterday was my last massage with Stacy at The Nord. Next Friday is her last day. She will be going to a new place and I will be following her there. We were laughing that tomorrow will be our 4th anniversary as therapist and client but we celebrated even more the fact that we became friends through this business relationship. Sometimes the table can be as soul to soul talking as one will do when getting a haircut or highlights. We reminisced as she worked the knots and tension out of my back of all we had gone through both good and bad in our individual lives. We were grateful that we had come through and thankful for the friendship that helped in some of the bad times. I am the only client whose tight and knotty shoulder ever made her break into a sweat working on them. I am very proud of that honor. She remembers the first time she began to work on my left shoulder. Y'all that shoulder does some really loud creaking and popping. She was a bit alarmed never having a client with such a sound. I told her don't worry it is nothing. It feels better when you pop it. I remember her telling me I would love her treatment and I would be back. Yep, those words proved to be true. It was strange not making follow up appointments for the weeks and months ahead yesterday. She and I were a bit misty over the closing of this season but thrilled with the beginning of a new situation. I left relaxed and very thankful for Stacy.
Oh, there are so many more real and pretend conversations I have had this week, but thought I would share just a few with you.