Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Cheesecake Brownies

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar



DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare the brownie mix as directed by manufacturer. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on box. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Swirl together using a knife or skewer.
3. Bake according to manufacturer's instructions. Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then cut into bars and serve.

Memories gone by


I loved dressing up when I was kid. I think I had that some costume as Sara, I bet she invented it. My aunt would take me trick or treating while my dad handed out Almond Joy and Mounds (mmmm...). It was so fun. I only remember being a clown, a bride, and a witch.

When Phyllis got old enough to trick or treat we would go to Aunt Shell's house and trick or treat. She's been a Power Ranger, a witch, a ballerina, a firefighter (I think this was my favorite), a Cinderella Princess (not to be mistaken for Cinderella-don't know what that was about but she was NOT Cinderella), Sandy from grease, Princess Lea (that was a hard costume to get), a glamour girl, and this will be her last year of trick or treating, she is an "80's Girl".

I loved carving punkins (not to be mistaken for puMPkins) and made punkin seeds.

I think back to all those years, and how much I enjoyed them. One year I got out of work late, and trick or treated in high heels because I didn't have enough time to go home and change my clothes. I've taken her trick or treating, and then gone back to work and worked until Midnight because I didn't want her to miss trick or treating. And you know, those sacrifices weren't all for her (but don't tell her that), they were for me too. I could have sent her trick or treating with her aunt shell or her g-pa, but then I would have missed out. I love doing things with her. Life is to short to be distracted away from our kids. God gave us them to teach them His way, but He also gave them to us to enjoy them, and all the blessings that come from Him, through them.

Have a blessed and safe Halloween. Go buy some GOOD candy. But don't eat too much!!

Phil 4:5 (KJV) 5Let your moderation be known unto all men

Monday, October 30, 2006

You've got accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.


God is in control. He loves me. And living in His light is best. Like how many times does He need to show me? How many times do I need to see it before I will truly believe it?

It is amazing to me how He shows me a miracle and I say “yes, I believe” and not even 24 hours goes by and my attitude is one of negativity. You will see that yesterday I had an awesome day with God at the Adrian Training Facility, and what an honor it is to serve God there. I had another part of my day on my blog, but it’s deleted now, it was very negative, I went to bed, prayed about it, and so I wanted to release the negative energy and anger.

I came into work, and this guy who is very hostile and negative asked to speak with me. UH! I thought. It was negative. I talked to my boss who told me this morning, God is in control, He owns it all, let Him drive. Surround yourself with the white light of Jesus Christ. And she told me about Joel’s message. Did you know that you can watch Joel via the internet? Joel today, Pastor J tomorrow. I got to see about 30 seconds of it and Joel said “If we praise God for what we have, God will take care of what we don’t have”. If you know the story of my ups and downs of the last two weeks, you know I got my “old” boss back. See, right on time. I praised God for her even when I wasn’t necessarily happy about my job situation.

I am really diligently working on my finances. I figure if I have 10 things I could save $10 each on, that’s $100/month. I saved $30 on my internet service… I am shopping for car/home insurance. I spend a ridiculous amount a month in insurance. RIDICULOUS I tell you. My dad gave me a name of a guy, so I thought I would work on my car insurance because I didn’t have my Declaration for my house… I was looking for some papers and found it (I really have no idea how it got there, I never pull it out of the envelope). I told Michelle, that it was weird, she said “it’s a sign”. I submitted all my stuff to the insurance lady, she gave me the number – it’s $600 less a year for my home and $500 less a year on my auto. I kept saying “no way”. I asked her if she was a Christian, she was… I told her my story about the “sign”. That’s $90/month in savings!!

I know that when we praise God, through some drizzle, through a storm, through anger, sadness, it has a positive impact on our lives. When we praise Him for the things we have, He indeed takes care of the things we don’t have.

I am in awe of how much God loves me. I know that my problems may seem minor, but if you know me, even the least bit, you would know that the little things can eat away at me like a cancer. I have to fight EVERYDAY to put it away, to let God take the negative and give me positive.

2 Chron 20:6 "O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you?”

Psalm 44:3 3 It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.


oh, and look over at the scripture for today...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday...

So here was my Sunday…

Remember I went to Adrian Training School in September, they asked us if we would be willing to come to worship with the girls. My sisters in Christ along with another church go on the 5th Sunday of any month that has 5 Sundays. 10-29-06 and 12-31-06 are our days to bring Glory to God in that church.

So I got to pick the songs to sing, Kim lead worship (because Lord knows, I can’t sing), & Marilynn talked to the girls about communion, April (from another church) was going to preach, Kim close in a song… and we are done. That was our plan.

HA!

At 10:30 Service was to begin. At 9:45 we got a call from April (she missed the exit and was in Battle Creek – that’s 1 ½ hours away). What to do oh what to do? First… pray… We decided that we all had a testimony, so if April didn’t show up, that’s what we would do. Music is done, no April. We decided to give our testimonies. After I was done, in walks April. God’s timing.

Again, I’ve learned, it’s His plan, not mine. All I have to do is step out in faith. It was a great service. I don’t think I could have seen it in my mind any better, that God, He really knows what He’s doing…


I got this recipe from Kraftfoods.com, I always made Dirt cups instead of cupcakes for Phyllis for birthdays... This recipe is a take off of that. I have put in Kraft's picture and mine... can you guess who's is who's??

Ghosts in the Graveyard

15 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, crushed.
3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 tub (12 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
Assorted Decorations

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Let stand 5 min. Gently stir in 3 cups of the whipped topping and half of the cookie crumbs. Spread evenly into 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, decorate creme sandwich cookies with decorating gel to resemble tombstones. Set aside until ready to use.

INSERT decorated cookies into top of dessert just before serving. Add candies. Drop large spoonfuls of the remaining whipped topping onto dessert to resemble ghosts. Cover and store leftover dessert in refrigerator

Long Way



Do you remember that post Sara did about not fitting in? I feel like that all the time. It’s like she said, you can tell me… blah blah, it doesn’t change the way I feel, one bit.

As a child, I never felt good enough. I wasn’t like anyone I knew. NO ONE I knew didn’t have a mom. No one I knew cooked and cleaned. They all seemed to have way more clothes than me… no one had a boat either. I could go on and on…

I had to move to Lincoln Park. Trust me, by no means was this my choice. My poor dad. I was such a snot. Again, I didn’t fit in. Truth be told (I love that saying!) I didn’t want to fit in. I wanted to go back “home”. LP people were weird, because Dearborn was COMPLETELY diversified. Moving to Lincoln Park was reverse culture shock.

As I have grown, it seems to me that I don’t fit in. I didn’t get married, then have kids. I had a kid and am still not married. I work in a place where they need Jesus more than they know, and I think they know He’s there just waiting but they are too busy to see His face.

I went to a church that accepted me for all my yuckiness, but I never felt like I fit in there either. They love me, but it’s time to go somewhere else. I am not sure where I am going to fit in there, I know I am called to serve, and God has great plans for me, even when I don’t think I fit in. I know that my weird shaped puzzle piece will be placed in the right spot.

I wasn’t lucky enough to know of God’s grace growing up, I have experienced it, I just didn’t know what it was. I made a lot of mistakes before I came to Jesus.

I was watching “Storytellers” on VH1 with the Dixie Chicks. They opened with a song I had never heard before. “Taking the Long Way Around”. It reminded me kind of myself, I take the long way around, God keeps trying to teach me the same lesson, but He has to keep trying over and over until I take the long way around and get it.

I’m so very thankful He never gives up on me.

Hebrews 13:5 …God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”

Deut 31:6 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."


Saturday, October 28, 2006


I got this recipe from Tom aka Bruiser from work (it's his mom's recipe), since I make like 14 different kinds of cookies for Christmas, he & Jason (another guy from work) asked if I would make these. They are also known as 'Buckeyes' but in UofM or MSU territory, you never say anything resembling "oh how I hate Ohio State"...

1 lb peanut butter (that's 16 oz)
1 1/4 stick of butter
1 lb Powder sugar (16 oz)
1/2 bag of semi-sweet choc chips

Melt together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar, mix well.

Make into small balls (about 1"). Put on cookie sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.

Melt choc chips. Dip balls with tooth picks to cover 3/4 of ball.

Place on wax paper or parchment paper until set (I usually stick them in the fridge).

Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

why we have to pray for our enemies


Do you wonder why God asks us to do certain things? He doesn’t NEED us to do anything. For Him. I think sometimes He asks (tells) us to do things. For US. You know that whole pray for your enemies crap. I hate that. I mean it’s not like I can pray “Lord, would You mind sending a lightning bolt down, smack in the forehead” though sometimes I wish I could, and I wish He would listen. But darn it, He doesn’t. You know I never pray “give them what they deserve” either. Because I don’t want anyone to pray that for me. I don’t want what I deserve, thank you very much. I want Grace.

When we are praying for our enemies or at least someone we are not too fond of, we end up changing our hearts, don’t you think? How can ice form on a heart that is praying for good things to happen? How can satan get behind us when God is all around us? It’s so much easier to forgive when we get a little closer to God in prayer.

I have had a lot of people hurt me in my life, intentional or not, it’s happened. Sometimes on my own watch, sometimes when God even warns me it’s happening. But one of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t hate if you pray. Prayer is part of worship. Worship part of loving God. God is love. It’s like the easiest algebraic mathematical equation solved.


God = love

Thanks God for giving us prayer. Amen.

Psalm 18:3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

Matthew 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Luke 6:27-28 27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Friday, October 27, 2006

spaghetti casserole

This is a great meal if you are having a group of people over. Put it together and just pop it in the oven.

1 – 1 ½ pounds ground beef (I use ground turkey OR you can replace with zucchini or spinach or mushrooms)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
¾ box macaroni, shell, or mostacolli noodles
1 can Durkee onion rings
8 oz mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven 375*

Brown ground beef, drain fat. Add spaghetti sauce.

Cook noodles.

After noodles are cooked, add to meat/sauce mixture.

Put half mixture into casserole dish

Spread half can of durkee onion on top of mixture

Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of mixture

Repeat layers.

Bake until cheese melts and onions get brown (15-20 minutes)

Two Friends

TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT. DURING SOME POINT OF THE JOURNEY THEY HAD AN ARGUMENT AND ONE FRIEND SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE IN THE FACE. THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED WAS HURT BUT, WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING, WROTE IN THE SAND:

TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.

THEY KEPT ON WALKING, UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS, WHERE THEY DECIDED TO TAKE A BATH. THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING, BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM. AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM THE NEAR DROWNING, HE WROTE ON A STONE:

TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.

THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND ASKED HIM, "AFTER I HURT YOU, YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW, YOU WROTE ON A STONE, WHY?"

THE OTHER FRIEND REPLIED "WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN IN SAND WHERE WINDS OF FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY. BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US, WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE WHERE NO WIND CAN EVER ERASE IT."
LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BLESSINGS IN STONE.

Let me tell you a story, of two women. Christie got married, I stood up in her wedding, after a lot of wrong perceptions, the two women were no longer friends… Each woman still cared about the other and missed the other. Both the women were very hurt.

Christie sent the other this message. It killed me because I missed my friend so much. I told her not to send me this kind of stuff unless she wanted to be friends. She was afraid to call. She was afraid I would… Oh, I don’t know, with me there’s no telling. After a lot of years of being hurt, I have a really loud bark. REALLY LOUD. I am really nice, and can be wonderful, but when I start barking, holy moly, call the dog pound.

She sent an email to me. I think I answered it in like 5 minutes, maybe less. We miss each other. We both said a lot of things, we might have meant them at the time, but we really didn’t mean them in the long haul. People say and do things all the time that hurt us. It says in the bible that we will be forgiven the same way we have forgiven others. We talked today, for awhile, I could have talked to her ALL NIGHT.

There is a song by Audio A, Ocean Floor. How our sins are on the ocean floor. God doesn’t dive in and bring them up. They don’t wash up in high or low tide, they are gone, never to be heard from again. I will tell you, I can forgive someone for hurting me, but I have a hard time forgetting. The title of my blog is “There’s a lesson in everything, sometimes it takes us awhile to get it”. It’s not “us” who take a long time, it’s me who takes along time to get it. I will tell you this, this has been some baggage I have been carrying for months, the things I said and did. I was wrong. I wasn’t the only one who was wrong, but I don’t remember… it’s one the ocean floor, never to be heard from again.

Thank You dear Jesus for taking away my sins. Thank You dear Father for sending Your son for me. Thank You for keeping Christie in my heart and in my prayers. Lord, I thank You for ridding me of my sins, I thank You for forgetting them, for giving me a clean slate. Thank You for loving me that much.

Ocean Floor - Audio A

The mistakes I've made
That caused pain
I could have done without
All my selfish thoughts
All my pride
The things I hide
You have forgot about

They're all behind you
They'll never find you
They're on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten
They're on the bottom
Of the ocean floor All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They're not a pretty sight to see
But they're wiped away
By a mighty wave
A mighty wave, mighty wave

They're all behind you
They'll never find you
They're on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten
They're on the bottom
Of the ocean floor
Take them away

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Artichoke Dip

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach

1 can artichoke hearts

8 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Prayer Changes Things


A lot of people have events in their lives that they ask me to pray for them. I look at it as a huge responsibility and a HUGER honor. The problem.... I'm always afraid I will forget. I have a long list of prayer that already goes up. So my solution, I set an alarm, if I am at work, it's on my calendar, if I won't be at work, I set my phone. If they ask for prayer, even if it's for tomorrow, I pray today, and then set my alarm, just in case.

I've prayed for all things, great and small. Parking spots, life and death, strength to get through a project at school, and Phyllis. I have two instances that stick out in my mind.

One day I think I had just had it with Phyllis's arthritis, and I had prayed a million times to take her pain from her and give it to me. This time, I think I was just angry, "this is it God, give it to me, give me all You got, but no more on Phyllis". I was mad, I was tired of seeing my baby sick, and you know, I don't think I really understood at that moment, how much He could have crippled me, what the heck was I thinking... but He took it from her. I was desperate, and He knew it. And now, she's in remission. How about that? It's my favorite miracle, and I've seen a lot of them.

then a couple years ago, I was very stressed out about my job, my engineers did a late change, and changed some parts (don't ask me what they were, I'm not an engineer) and no one could find enough of these parts anywhere in the US to make the boards I needed, because we had to start testing, and they didn't think they could get them here quick enough overseas, and they had already checked. There were 8 different components I think at the time. I took it to prayer meeting, and looking back it seems kind of silly, we pray for health, and sanity, and here I was, praying for car parts. Do you know, those parts showed up in the oddest of places, someone's back room, Spain (they even got to us in time), and 6 different odd places. I was so relieved and somehow I got the credit (and all I did was tell people there was no option in getting the parts or not). I said it was all God, I prayed, and they came. Tell Him thank you, not me.

I know those are just a few stories of things that have happened to me. I have a million more, and I am sure you do to. God is listening, go tell Him what you need, He already knows, but He wants to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I have a favor to ask...

Normally, I write something that God has planted deep within my heart, or an issue I'm going through, and sometimes it's something silly and self indulgent.

I have a favor to ask you tonight. Yesterday I talked about the altar and how Jesus meets us where we are. So today, if you would grant me this wish.

I would like you to stop where you are, well, after you are done reading this. And pray. Our little Gracie girl, who technically is not mine, she's Jim and Tonya's and they let us love on her is having a bunch of tests on Halloween. I need for you to lift her in prayer. She's having some tests for Celiac's disease and she is going to be meeting with a Pediatric Rheumatologist to check her out for arthritis. Both diseases are autoimmune diseases (I did some homework- God bless the internet). I know A LOT about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis since Phyllis is now in remission.

I am asking you to 1) pray for Grace's complete healing, there is absolutely nothing that God can't cure 2) if it is His will that she will not be completely healed right away (because we know she will be healed) that the doctors have wisdom, and patience when treating our Gracie Girl 3) I know this sounds like a strange request, but hospitals are filled with Christian Doctor's & nurses, those who lift their patients in prayer, let's pray from some of that too, and lastly (I never just ask a small favor- get used to it) 4) please give Jim and Tonya peace, patience, & wisdom in dealing with the days ahead.

So please, use whatever you want as your altar, just please pray. I know prayer works in amazing ways. I wish I was a great prayer like Sara, but God knows my heart when I just don't have the words.

Dear Lord, I come before You with our Grace, and most importantly Lord, Your Grace. Lord, I ask for complete healing for her, I ask that the doctors and nurses that You send to heal her, know You and love You. Lord, I ask that You give them knowledge and wisdom in treating Grace. And Lord, please take care of her parents, they are Yours too. Lord, I ask that You give them rest, and peace, and a love like only You can. Thank You, Father, in advance for all these things that I pray in Your Son's Mighty Name, AMEN!

Shephard's Pie


I know some of you have seen this recipe before... but I wanted to put it on here... it's so yummy and easy!!

I got the recipe from Rachel Ray 30 minute meals... I have updated the recipe with my adaptations...




1 lb potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
3 T sour cream
3 T butterSalt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
~1 cup frozen mixed veggies (usually I pull them out when I am cooking so they thaw a little)

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Add the butter & sour cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add oil to hot pan with turkey or beef. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain if necessary. Add chopped onion to the meat. Add mixed veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Preheat broiler to high.

Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sorry for the picture, but I thought it was hilarious!!


I believe this is a Paula Dean Recipe, it's one of my tried and true. People love it!! If you take it anywhere, take copies of the recipe too!


It's better than punkin pie


Ooey Gooey Punkin Cake

Cake
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 T butter, melted

Filling
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
15 oz can punkin
3 eggs
8 T butter, melted
16 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat 350*
Cake: Combine cake ingredients and mix well with electric mixer. Pat mixture into bottom of lightly greased 13 X 9 baking pan
Filling:In large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and butter, beat together. Next, add powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread punkin mixture over cake batter and bake 40-50 minutes, be sure not to over bake, center should be gooey.

Altar


Growing up Catholic you learn a lot of crazy things, I have nothing against the whole Catholic thing, but truth be told, I can’t imagine ever going back. I’m far too rebellious and questioning to be Catholic (not that there is anything wrong with being Catholic) because it seemed that in my 30 years of being Catholic it was about rules not relationships.

When I was making my sacrament of confirmation, I had to go to some classes. One question was “what is the one thing that you must have in order to have mass (service)?” The answer: an altar.

Going to church all those years, in every church, Jesus on the cross (or just a plain cross) is in the center of the front the church, there is a big altar. My first thought going to Metro was “where is the crucifix and what kind of altar is a high school stage?” I had soon forgot that as soon as Praise and Worship began, and Jeremy spoke. But still it was always in the back of my mind… Until…

The first time I took communion at Metro. Because I have taken communion a gazillion times before (in the Catholic church we did it every week – sometimes twice a week) it sometimes lost it’s impact. I am sorry to admit that in my outloud voice. But it’s true. Just like sometimes eating everyday losses it’s impact unless you’re really hungry.

I was really hungry for a communion that meant something. Not all communions had lost their impact, but the time I had it at Metro I was pretty hungry to be emptied out of the pain and filled with the body and blood of Jesus.

“Where two or more are gathered…” I’ve come to learn (through Sara and Jeremy) that God meets us where we are, it could be in a grocery store, in our car, or in the gathering of a bunch of people in a high school who are in need of the love and grace of Jesus. He doesn’t have to be there hanging on the wall to be the center of our worship, His spirit abounds.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Updated blogs

I started a new blog with recipes. I was asked the other day if I share my recipes and the answer is yes, I think it's dumb not to share, food is part of tradition, of times past. Who doesn't remember when their so&so used to make their favorite? And why wouldn't you want to share?

So look over to the side, http://yummy-stuff-from-margie.blogspot.com/ and if you have a great recipe, let me know, and I will put it up there, if there's a story behind it, type it up with the recipe and I'll share. If you have a great weight watching recipe... let's share that too!

Also going back to being accountable on the road to health... going to get where I need to be.

Love and prayers and GRACE to you all!!

In Him,
Margie

Italian Wedding Soup


Italian Wedding Soup

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef (I use ground turkey)

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
5 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 cups thinly sliced escarole (or 10 oz pkg of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out)
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
DIRECTIONS
In medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into 3/4 inch balls.
In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling; stir in escarole, orzo pasta, chopped carrot and meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.


Oreo Cheesecake
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a 9-inch silver springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Finely crush 30 of the cookies. Coarsely chop remaining 15 cookies; set aside. Mix crushed cookies with butter. Press firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies. Spread into prepared crust.

BAKE 55 minutes to 1 hour or until set. (If necessary to prevent top from overbrowning, tent with foil during last 15 to 20 minutes of baking time.) Cool completely on wire rack.

REFRIGERATE at least 4 hours. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; remove side of pan before serving.

Cheesecake


1-3/4 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling or frozen strawberries - thawed (optional)


PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add sour cream. Pour into crust.

BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn off oven. Leaving door slightly ajar, leave cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan; top with pie filling. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Taco Chili

Taco Chili

1 can black-eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can chili with kidney beans
1 can garbanzo or pinto beans
1 can stewed tomatos (used Mexican style if you like)
1 can corn
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 tsp red pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2/3 cup TVP (Soy meat crumbles)

Combine all ingredients, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

This can also be put in the crockpot!!

Serve with Salsa, corn chips, and sour cream

I got this recipe from Angie Sturgeon, a good friend of mine who is a vegetarian. It's super yummy. I also make the leftovers and add rice and cheese to it.

Sunday Christian


I don’t like being a Sunday Christian. In Acts 1:8-11 it tells us that Jesus is going to come back. As Julie says, “don’t just look busy, get busy”. That’s not my issue. I can serve all day long. I love to serve, Soup Kitchen, roll silverware, roll cords, send cards, emails, you name it, I like to do it, I love to help out, I love to spread the love of Christ – to others. In that respect, I am an everyday Christian.
Acts 1:8-11 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

I have an issue reminding myself of the grace that God has given to me. (I’m stealing a lot today) Sara said in her blog that we are forgiven before we even commit the sins, all by the blood of Christ.

I was going to write about something completely different today (sorry Julie- look tomorrow). Yesterday I learned about why it’s ok that I don’t fit in, don’t be a conformer like King Saul. I learned that I am good enough, that I am worthy, and in Christ I am forgiven, I just need to work on forgiving myself and not letting the world give me value. I, like Pastor J, am glad God is forgetful. I wish I was so forgetful. I wish I could be a little more graceful to myself. I need to stop checking on myself, I need to stop doubting myself. I need to really close the door, and leave it closed, not just on Sundays.

John 8:32-36 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants[
a] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Door closing


I had a rough week last week. I cried, I cried. Not too much laughing was involved.

When I was a kid we had that “Footprints” saying on our wall. I always understood it. But I never believe that God really carries me so there are two sets of footprints. I always imagine Him holding my hand.

Sometimes we walk along, holding hands like two people who totally love each other. Everything is good, kind of swaying our hands back and forth. You know, kind of being silly.

And sometimes we walk along, just holding on, having some great conversations, some serious stuff. Just holding on, because I know He is there.

Sometimes, we’re not walking along at all. We’re sitting on my bed, Him right across, and He’s got ahold of both my hands, holding them, and comforting me in whatever is ‘ailing’ me at the time.

Sometimes, we’re not holding hands though, sometimes He has me wrapped in His arms, sheltering me from whatever storm I am going through at the time.


Today, Pastor Jeremy was talking about how we are free IN CHRIST. We no longer have to hold on to what is behind, but we can move forward in what God has for us. I am sure that Pastor J’s sermon touched a lot of people. But honestly, I know that God had that very sermon intended for me. I need to shut the door on what is behind in order to accept lovingly what God has in store for me, ahead. God could shut it for me, but sometimes I think He wants me to do it for myself.

Hayless Hayride


We took the kids last night to a Hayless Hayride as part of Driven. I kept thinking 'Sweetest Day, no boyfriend (or husband), no flowers, no candy, and I am hanging out with a bunch of teenagers, great, I need a life!' But that's the way the 'world' thinks, Sweetest Day isn't a real holiday, it was made up by Sanders.

Then it occurred to me, who needs cut flowers when I get to see each one of these flowers bloom in God's love everyday. Duh! So I thought I would share (I took over 100 pictures, these are just a few). It's amazing to me when I just change my perspective on things how God shows me how much He loves me. Sometimes... i wish I wasn't such a dope.


It wasn't a normal hayride, it was horse drawn!!













This is Phyllis and Ryan, her "boyfriend" that lives in Fraser!












The girls love Justin!!













Randy & Hunter - what cutie pies!!













Shawn & Liam a couple more cuties!!













Hannah, Mark, & Nikki













Look at these beauties!!













but look at these hotties!!













SMORES!!!! YUMMO!















Alyssa and Justin














Time to go home :(

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Music of my Heart


I love music! It speaks to my heart on so many levels, I was going to do a top 10, but I couldn't. I had a hard time narrowing it down to 20... Maybe I should do like Casey Kasem's weekly Top 20 or something... And these are in no particular order.

1. In Me - Casting Crowns

2.When the Rain Comes – 3rd Day

3.Imagine Me – Kirk Franklin

4.Enough – Jeremy Camp, David Crowder, Barlow Girl, Chris Tomlin

5.Famous One – Chris Tomlin

6.Never Let Go – Matt Redman

7.You are Worthy of my Praise – Big Daddy Weave, Jeremy Camp

8.Sanctuary – Jaci Vela

9.You are Mine – 3rd Day

10.Brave – Nicole Nordeman

11.Big House – – Audio A

12. While We Were Sleeping – Casting Crowns

13. No One Else Knows – Building 429

14. You are Mine – 3rd day

15. Move – 1000 foot Krutch

16. I’ll Fly Away – Jars of Clay

17.I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me

18. Letters from War – Mark Schultz

19. Come to Jesus – Chris Rice

20. I Gotta Feeling – 3rd Day

Psalm 96:1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I was reading Sara’s blog about getting on the bus and never being satisfied or rather that God is never satisfied where we are in our walk. She’s right, we get to a higher ground and we want to stay there. We worked pretty hard to get there (most of my work is done resisting change) and so we want to stop, smell the flowers for a minute. But then it’s time for a new adventure. To get to the “next” higher ground. Time for God to do a new work in us. Time for God to have us reach someone who needs Him. Time for God to teach us something, to bring US something that we need.

He’s never satisfied to where we’ve stopped.

And we shouldn’t be either. I don’t know about you, but I love to learn.

A new lesson, something like finances, or statistics, or work in the house. Or even how to cook something new. I love to find a scripture verse to fit my blog or a feeling I am having and google it and find a bible lesson someone already did to help me grow and expand my knowledge in the Lord. Sometimes I look back and think “I wish I would have had that then…” but alas, it was a lesson I wasn’t supposed to learn that way, but in retrospect, God gave me the scripture when I needed it. Because in the middle of the mess, it might not have meant as much to me at the time.

I was not so excited about the changes that are going on in my life (well, I was excited about the Metro thing) but not really all the other stuff.

I am hoping that these dizzy spells that I am having are just stress (and yes, I am going to the doctor)… You could pray though, that might help.

I am going to embrace all these changes. I am going to remember that I am EXACLTY where I am supposed to be, because that’s where God wants me to be, at His mercy, and in His love. It’s a new lesson…

1 John 2:5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:
2 John1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I cry!


I can’t help it, happy, sad, grumpy, glad. I cry. I hold it back, I push the feelings down, but once the dam breaks, look out, here comes the flood.

I cried from Monday at 5pm – all night – and into part of Tuesday. People thought someone in my family died. That’s how much I cried. That’s how awful I looked.

I couldn’t help it. Yes, I have faith, I know that God is the one to depend on. But it still hurts when people are jerks to us. It still hurts when people tell you they care aobut you, but do mean things to you.

It sucks when your whole life is in the air, and even though you know God will never let you fall, you are on your knees pleading for the tornado to stop.

I cried so hard I gagged, people in the post office asked me if I was ok (I had to get something mailed out or I wouldn’t have went), my poor daughter kept asking me if I was going to be ok.

I think maybe I was holding so much stuff in that it was like I kept putting my finger in the dam to hold the water back that once it broke loose, that was it.

I really haven’t stopped crying, I just do it in the car now where no one can see me. If you know me, you know I cry at everything, songs, movies, commercials, when someone has a great accomplishment, when someone is telling me something terrible.

Tears are good. I don’t care what anyone says.

Psalm 6:6 I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rising Up


Did you know that to look bigger or be bigger/better, it is not necessary to push someone else down?

A lesson that many still need to learn.

Rising Up 101
Have you ever had a bad day and you almost can't shake it, and someone walks by and they look especially nice, so you tell them. They smile, they get a little extra kick in their step and instantly you feel better. Maybe not all better, but a little sunshine has pushed away the dark cloud.

Rising Up 201
You work with someone who is unexperienced. For whatever reason. This could be in your church, at your job, in your family. So instead of telling them they can't do it, their are not smart enough, good enough, etc, you show them how to do it. You improve their knowledge. Little kids are like sponges when it comes to learning things, adults are sponges too, sometimes it just takes a little longer to absorb. The cells are not as reactionary as they used to be due to fear, and other dumb things that hold us back.

Let me tell you about someone. Her name is Michelle. She was my boss from 1999-current with the only exception of the past year and 3 months while she was on maternity leave with her 2nd cutie pie.

Michelle has taught me more things about work than I could ever put on paper. But more importantly, Michelle has taught me life lessons, and we're way more than co-workers, we're friends. We've been through a lot together. Sometimes I feel like she's all I got.

Michelle never, EVER knocks me down. As my boss, if I needed to learn a hard lesson, and needed a talking to, she kicked my tail right back into place, but I KNEW it was for my own good. When I have the days of self doubt, she reminds me that I am smart, and that I can do anything. Yesterday we were talking, and I truly think that a lot of people underestimate me. I underestimate myself for crying out loud. They don't think I'm smart. I am smart, and Michelle as my boss and friend, don't let me forget it. She NEVER pushes me down to make herself look better. She never says "I could do that better - you just sit there, I'll do it". Michelle hands me the project (or whatever) and says this is what I want you to accomplish, if you need my help, I am right here.

This my friends is how to succeed in life. Lift people up and you'll be lifted too. At the end of the day, Michelle has taught me more things than I could tell you. She's lifted me up, and in doing that, she's elevated herself as well, because she's a better boss and friend. "Getting ahead" (for lack of a better term) doesn't happen when you knock someone out of your way or when you're a butt kisser, it happens with hard work, with doing what's right, and helping others grow as well, someone needs to fill your old shoes before you can get new ones. Otherwise, why would people work so hard to be mentors?

My true hope is that others learn this lesson. Michelle has mastered it. By the way, she is the best boss I ever had, and I'd follow her anywhere.

1 Thes 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Who I am


In the past few days, I have felt sad. I have felt like I've been kicked in the gut. I have been up and down, right and left, but never out of the sight of God. With a lot a decisions to make, I've gone back to the core of who I am, and that is a child of God. And as a child of God, how can I fail? God gives me wisdom when I am dumb, He gives me strength when I am weak, He gives me grace and mercy when I don't deserve it.

I am strong
I am smart
I am a survivor
I am a conquerer
I am loved

All these things, in Christ Jesus.

I am not going to listen to the world, and if I do, please turn my ear piece down.

John 1:12-14 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent,[a] nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[b] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Casting Crowns - In Me

Cause when I'm weak, You make me strong
When I'm blind, You shine Your light on me
Cause I'll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don't need me
So I'll stand on Your truth, and I'll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me

If You ask me to run
And carry Your light into foreign land
If You ask me to fight
Deliver Your people from satan's hand

To reach out with Your hands
To learn through Your eyes
To love with the love of a savior
To feel with Your heart
And to think with Your mind
I'd give my last breath for Your glory

Monday, October 16, 2006

shhh... I gotta secret


I’m not really afraid of change. I’m afraid of failing.

I’m broken. Only to be healed by Christ. As I take the steps towards wholeness, someone kicks me down the stairs and reopens old healed wounds. And as gross as this sounds, I figuratively pick the scabs so they don’t heal. Christ is the permenant healing.

Issues from the past bleed out uncontrollably. In my heart, and even in my head, I don’t know why I fear failure. I know that each thing that I go through, is a lesson of learning and growing, but I am still afraid. I wonder, maybe I just don’t trust God like I think, otherwise, why would I be so afraid? That sounds awful, doesn’t it?

James 1:2-5 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

I always say that most issues come from someone needed to be loved and supported. And I know I am, both of those, but I am still afraid. Maybe it’s my own insecurities that hold me back.

I’ve been listening to “Imagine Me” by Kirk Franklin, over and over the last two days. It’s really hitting home…

Kirk Franklin
Imagine Me
Imagine me

loving what I see when the mirror looks at me cuz I
I imagine meIn a place of no insecurities
And I'm finally happy cuzI imagine me
Letting go of all of the ones who hurt me
cuz they never did deserve me
can you imagine me
Saying no to thoughts that try to control me
Remembering all you told me
Lord can you imagine me
over what ma mamma said
And healed from what my daddy did
And I wanna live and not read that page again
[Chorus:]Imagine me, being free, trusting you totally finally I can...
Imagine meI admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like mebut finally I can...
Imagine me
Being strong
And not letting people break me down
you won't get that joy this time around can you imagine me
In a world where nobody has t o live afraid
Because of your love fears gone away
Can you imagine me
[Bridge:]Letting go of my past
And glad to have another chance
And my heart will dance
'Cause I don't have to read that page again
[Vamp:]Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Learning something...


I was on my way to Metro today (let's give a shout out to T-fab and Dean - great Praise & Worship today), I always go down Fort Street, turn right on Gibralter Road... and on my merry way... except today. I got right on the freeway and got off at Jim & Tonya's exit. DUH! So I decided to just take Huron River to Telegraph... it was GORGEOUS! If you are thinking about going up north for a fall color tour, save your gas money and just head down to Huron River Drive. I think I was meant to go that way today. Wish I had my camera with me though...

I will be honest, I went to Metro because I need to talk to a friend about a battle he has and today was about addictions... So I thought Jeremy might have some words I can use. What does it say in the bible about that whole splinter/plank thing?? Oh yeah... so I realized that plank sticking out of my own eye, the addiction of food. And how I use that addiction in my life as a crutch. I was glad I went.

Something else I struggle with? I really think that Metro should be my home church. I really do, but I struggle because what if the people at my now home church don't talk to me anymore. Changing churches means I have to give up my "youth leader" roll at my current church. I don't know if I am ready to do that.

I have a lot of praying to do. I am looking for an accountability partner for my food addiction in case Tonya really doesn't want to do it. I need help. I hate that I am this large, this fat. I am going to do what I can do. But I need help. Seriously.

2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Favorite Days


1. Phyllis's Birthday
2. My Dad's Birthday
3. Spring Days when the flowers are just starting to peak through
4. Thanksgiving - Turkey, mashed 'tators, punkin pie - what's not to like
5. Sundays
6. Easter
7. Any day on the boat, even the rainy ones
8. Days spent with friends doing silly things
9. Vacation Days
10. Days like today when the air is crisp, the sun is shining, the sky is a blue that only God can paint.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Reaching Out

This is the second time I am writing this blog today… UGH!

I have the day off. It was supposed to be a day off to go to The ‘Muth, but plans changed, and I decided to keep the day as a vacation day anyway. I am glad I did. I took Phyllis to school and my dad invited me to go to his gym with him, he has free passes. I love to exercise, I just don’t have the time or money to get to the gym. I actually forgot how much I loved it until I was on the elliptical. For the past 2-3 weeks, I knew there was big change coming at work, I HATE change, and more than that, I hate uncertainty.I think this stems from worrying as a young child that my dad would die, and I would be an orphan.

I’ve been very stressed out lately. It’s my own fault. I shouldn’t worry, but I do. I know in my heart that God will not leave me or forsake me, it’s just that… I’m an idiot, that’s it.

I never go to the gym without music. I’ve been having a hard time praying for my own needs lately. I know that God doesn’t need words, He knows my heart but I need the words. Does that make sense?? I decided on my 3rd Day CD that I made that has a lot of my favorites. It ended up being the conversation that me & God had today. It seemed that the CD (from old songs to the newer) was just what I needed to say to God, and what I needed God to say to me. From ‘Sing a Song’ which I just wanted to tell God, that I want to live a life for Him, one that He is proud of to “how do you know” because I will have new job responsibilities and I wasn’t really asked if that’s what I wanted to do, I was just kind of assigned them. Which is fine, I do it well. I guess I just wondered how come they thought I should do ‘this’ instead of ‘that’… I prayed that the leaders of my company would follow God’s will, so I have to trust that they did. I know that wherever I end up, God will be able to use me in mighty ways.

This day that I took off, I needed it. I needed a day to take a journey with God, to rest in Him, to reach out and hold His hand. I feel like lately, I’ve been walking in the valley and through all of it, I will stand, holding the hand of Jesus, on the Mountain of God.

I know that I am not the only one out there who goes through times when we just need to stand in the love of God and ask for Him to take our hand. He’s right there, just reach out.

Deut 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fear, Love, Trust

You know, I'm reading that book, kind of going about it slow. I read it when I have time to soak it all in, and sometimes I only get to read a page or two... but I am soaking it in like a sponge. (And remember, these are my thoughts, not yours & maybe even not the thoughts the author intended me to have)

So, I got a couple of questions for you... you can answer them in the comments or not. They are mostly to think about...

1. Do you really believe that the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is gracious and He cares about you?
2. Do you really believe that He is always, unfailingly present to you as a companion and support?
3. Do you really believe that God is love?

So the book goes on to explain that we should not be afraid because if you answered Yes to all of those questions, you know that God loves you, and really if God is on your side, there is nothing to fear. Jesus didn't come to make us fear, the bible says in John 10:10 that He came to give us a great life. Now, that may mean that we need to surrender to Him, because after all, it's not about US. It may mean that we need to step out in faith so we put our trust in Him. But just as we love our children, we know that they need to learn lessons, and we will always love them. Because we have the grace of God, no matter how bad (or even how good) we are, God will always love us, He is open to have a relationship with Him.

I've been thinking about the last few weeks. I've been stressed about losing my job, stressed about what my new job will be, I've even been stressed about "him" and after reading all that, I was thinking "you dope, what were you worried about?? Has there ever been a time when God didn't make sure you were taken care of? God always loves you, even if you think no one else does" And I started thinking about the Beatitudes and all the things that the world tells us are yucky, God turns around and tells us how we will be blessed.

Well, I'm going to be blessed, because in my heart, I can answer "YES" to all those questions. I know that God loves me, I know that I can crawl into His loving arms and cry if I want to, and rejoice in all the goodness He brings to me.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes
1
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Last Year's Birthday Present

Last year, I got this gift. It wasn't wrapped in fancy wrapping paper and it didn't have a big fancy bow, but it did look nice. And it was surely a gift from God, revealing wisdom, grace (two kinds), and a wonderful gift of friendship.

I met Tonya on 12-31-05 at Riverside Cafe before the Thor Ramsey-Metro Event (this is before she was the event coordinator). I was invited by her mother-in-law because she thought me & Tonya would be good friends. She's was right. But the story, that will not be revealed here took a crazy twist.

Tonya and I started emailing, she invited me to P&P with Sara. That was kind of nutty, but it was good, and somehow I like Sara from that moment. Then she invited me to LifeGroup, and they still can't shake this "non-belonger".

Tonya and I talked almost everyday on the way to work in the summer. I don't know how it started, but as soon as I went back to my regular schedule, I missed it.

Tonya has become a great friend, last week, I don't remember which day it was we talked on the way to work, and I got out of my car and thought "I really miss her" and Friday she called, and I invited myself (with Phyllis is tow) over and we met for dinner (jokingly argued about tipping the waitress, but that's another blog) and watched Curious George twice. It was a silly, uneventful evening. But I am thankful for it.

I was in the bathtub (see BG- you're not the only one) thinking about what I was going to write in my Blog... Tonya came to mind and what a wonderful gift God gave me for my birthday last year.

1 Corin 7:7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mind Your Own Business

I think that people should mind their own business, unless of course information is put out for all those to see. Then it's far game.

I was with a group of people who sat around passing judgement on others for various things. I just was sitting in the back, it was very hard not to roll my eyes, and probably a couple of times, I did it involuntarily. Everyone had an opinion on what "everyone" should do. I sat back and laughed knowing some of the stories in that room. And I thought, "get out of your glass house, it's coming down".

Instead of expecting "everyone else" to do what "they" are supposed to, why don't they do a little, just a little more. Or stop doing a little of what they are not supposed to do.

Put yourself in someone else's shoes for just a minute. One time I was watching 'Prison Break' and they had done an evaluation on Michael Scofield saying he had been through so much, he could actually feel what someone else was going through. Empathy my friends. I know that 'Prison Break' is just TV, I understand that it's not real. But empathizing with someone instead of judging, is real, I truly feel as Christians, we are called to do it. Empathy is identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. We need to help others and realize there are things that we may never understand but we should cut people some slack at least to the point where they need to pull up their big girl panties and get on with it...


1 Thes 4:11-12 11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders

Sunday, October 08, 2006

God has a sense of Humor


Ok, so it's Sunday. I really prayed about my blog yesterday. I really was fine about not being a small group leader. I had my plan all in place, once the singing part of the service was over, I would cut out and go work on the board that we put all our events on...
Yeap, I am out there, just got done putting up the fresh sheets of white paper.
PJ comes up "do you think you could lead a small group tonight?"
Thoughts in my head... "I want to do that board!!"
Answer out of my mouth "sure, if you need me..."
More thoughts in my head...."sigh"

So we go with the first 3 questions after she talks.... uh? did I sign up to be a dentist because it's easier pulling teeth!! The normal small group leader comes over, he helps a little (he's smart!), PJ comes over, she gets them talking a little more...
More thoughts in my head "I REALLY suck at this"...
PJ talks some more about the subject... More questions to the kids, this time the answers come a little easier. THEN one of the kids asks the doozie of all doozies of questions.... "Quick God, I need some words here". The answer came, I don't know if it helped or not, I think it did. But it was a tough one.

After that was all over... I went and finished the board... it looks really good.


And then on the way home Nickelback was on ... And YES i know it's a secular song but the words just hit me...
"Never made it as a wise man
I couldn't cut it as a poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man

I'm sick of sight without a sense of feeling
And this is how you remind me

This is how you remind me of what I really am

This is how you remind me of what I really am"

Isn't that so true, we can't make it as wise men, because without Him, what do we really know? And I could go line by line, but I won't.
But tonight was how He reminded that I am His. When called, I do try to answer. And when I needed Him to help out with a student, to be a vessel so they hear God's words, and His voice, and whatever it is that they need to hear, He was there. That's how He reminds me, I am His.


By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain -1 Cor 15:10


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Left Out


Do you ever wish you had better gifts? Or maybe different gifts?

I am a Youth Leader for the kids of Driven at my church.

I am the only Youth Leader who is not a small group leader. Sometimes I wish I was. I don't have the talent for it. I could be good at it but I would have to work so hard, I might have to quit my job because I wouldn't have time for anything else.
I sometimes like to be the one in the back. The one who drives to the events, who picks up the kids when they need a ride. I like to do the scrapbooking stuff with the kids or make the Monthly Birthday dessert (we only celebrate b-day's once a month) or make food for something... but sometimes i wish I was the one who lead a small group. I know how much my daughter loved Angie when she was her small group leader, I know how much she loves Alice.

I like to use my gifts, but I'm selfish, I want more!

Friday, October 06, 2006

A great boss

I had a fun post this morning... but I just got an email that someone I love (and the guy who hired me) was let go yesterday.

I can't tell you with words how much this breaks my heart. I've seen a lot of people come and go, but this one, it really hurts.

If you know anything about me, there is NOTHING that I can't learn or do (with the help of God). This guy, like many others, has helped me to grow professionally and personally. He gave me a huge chance! He has watched me go from a "coordinator" which I spent 1 week filing Microfiche to Sales, to Program Manager (and without him and his team, I don't think my program ever would have launched). He taught me about folding a drawing correctly, the documentation needed when you make a change. He taught me to respect all disciplines because they have all their place. He kept me from opening my big mouth and let me be mean when I was going threw a lot of crap.

We've had Roma Salad more times than I can count (the next one's on me). I've prayed a million prayers for him and his family. I've watched him love his wife and kids

He's amazing.

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes knowing that I won't hear him say "Hey Baby" in the cafeteria and get a hug better than anyone I know.

This I know, he's had a dream of working in a restuarant or bar, running it. And maybe now, he'll get to live that dream. there is no one with a better personality or nature to do that. He takes care of those he loves, and has a million friends. And maybe in all those times he supported us, now we can help him out.

I know this about God, I know that when He closes a door, I know He has double french doors wide open for us, all we have to do is call to Him, and walk on through.

He would joke that he wanted me to write a blog about him, and now I did. I love you Nagel Bagel. You were a great boss, and more importantly, a great friend.

Psalm 31:9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times

Block's

It’s not really a best kept secret because almost everyone knows about it, especially if you go in the summer or spring…

Block’s Greenhouse.

I love that place.

You can get great deals on flowers in the spring…

And in the summer you can get great deals on fruits and veggies.

They mostly sell whatever is in season so at corn time, there’s a lot of corn… at tomato time… lots of tomatoes… punkin time… you guessed it.

I need some zucchini for a new recipe I am going to be trying for our Secret Sisters Kick Off. Got the recipe from Eliz (remember, I told you about her on her b-day). I was just going to go to Krogers and get it, but it’s like $1.29/lb and that makes me mad because I know most people got more than they know what do with…

I called Kathy, she’s like my favorite cousin in the whole world. I could write a blog about her, and maybe I will someday… but anyway… Kathy has worked at Block’s for so long… it’s amazing. She was running down what they had and so I swung on by – it was WAY out of my way but I will drive anywhere for a good deal! Zucchini was $.89/lb (I bought 3.5 lbs – so that alone was worth it). They had apples – Some basket thing full for $2.50… grapes, cukes (I like the pickling kind – they have the best flavor), tomatoes, broccoli (2 heads for $1!! – Can I get a WOO HOO!?). I ended up with 2 of those big brown bags for $14.25.

And folks, if that is not all… they have punkins for $2.99/each. Buy 2 get 1 free! I didn’t get any though. I only had $17!
I don’t really recommend going there on the weekends, it’s crazy, but if you have time, stop there during the week, you won’t be sorry, and if it’s a Wednesday, ask for Kathy Klimaszewski, and tell her ‘Mugz says hi”.

Oh, and another thing… they only take cash. Don’t even THINK about writing a check!

Sorry, nothing to inspirational today... just a place to get a good deal.