Small steps in faith

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Friday

Today was a mixture of sad/celebration/excitement.
Today was our secretary,Kathy's last day. She is such a wonderful person and due to circumstances in our reorganization at work, she had to take another job. I felt so sad walking into work this morning knowing this would be the last Friday I would walk in and see her in the office. She always had such a calming effect on us...she played classical music...filled the office with plants and just had a quiet organized way of keeping us all from falling apart. We have a temp for awhile until we find the right person to work with all of us :)
We took her to lunch at Benham's (awesome restaurant)to say good bye and also to celebrate National Physician Day with Miguel(Dr.Parilo) It was a nice relaxing lunch with alot of laughter and a good way to say good bye Their Mahi Mahi was the best I've had in a long time and they are known for their cobbler desserts.
Tomorrow is Darrell's last day...they had a carry-in for him. He and I spent tonight looking for a new desk so that he can set up "an office" in our spare room downstairs for tax purposes. He isn't sad in the different from me...I would be crying. It still seems odd to me that he won't have to work Sat or evenings. He has worked every Saturday except for vacation since the first day I met him.
So now I'm doing my favorite thing..sitting on the couch with my computer listening to Genesis "Trick of the Tail"....just glad the week's over.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Downcast" series

I heard another sermon on "Downcast" which I will share

It's based on scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

Alot of times when we become downcast it can be a fear or dread of the future.

A dread of the future can cause you to:

1. Rely on your own strength..You think you can control or fix things....instead you need to rely on the power of God

In order to rely on that power from God we need to
a surrender...give over our agenda to God's will
b. Pray...the power of prayer and that connection or conversation with God is important
c. Scripture...Stay in the word of God is truth
d. Community...Surround yourself with Christians who love and support you
e. Suffering...know that there is suffering's not easy ...but God is with you every step

2. Place conditions on others and yourself that are wrong....The need for agape(unconditional) love is important at this time

3. Make irrational decisions....Self control is important..Don't make life changing decisions during this time

Monday, March 26, 2007

"Taking Steps of Faith" Part 2

As a follow up ....The big change in my life is official
After 23 1/2 years my husband has decided to pursue a different career
He has been a car salesman at the same dealership in Miamisburg for 23 1/2 years which in car sales is rare. It is not without alot of thought,research,and prayer that he has come to this decision. He is not upset with Serra or any of his managers/dealer/coworkers. He is leaving on a very positive note and with the understanding that he can always come back.
If he has to sell cars ...that's where he would choose. If we buy a car..that's where we would go. They have been wonderful to him but sometimes you have to follow your heart and a dream and take risks or you'll live your life always wondering and possibly regretting what might have been.
So after this Saturday ...the journey begins :) Please keep us in prayer

Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's simple

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Taking Steps of Faith

My blog is called "Small steps in faith". I have always been someone who takes small steps at a time. Change usually makes me uncomfortable. If you know my history you can figure that out. I have always lived in Ohio. I have worked at the same hospital for 25 years. The same person has cut my hair since I was 22. When Chevrolet made the Prism...I had 4..different colors..same car.
I have at times made big steps...I lived on my own for 2 years...Marriage was a big step...and motherhood definitely was a big change :) Some of my steps were done with no thought or prayer and they were hard lessons.
As I've grown in my faith..I've felt challenged to take bigger steps. Prayer definitely is the key to that. When there is a major decision to be made...if it's the right step...I feel a sense of peace. I use that as my validation that I'm following God's will for my life.
I say all of this because my life is getting ready to go into a big change. I can't say what it is just yet. It's a step of faith ..a big one...and it's out of my's in God's hands and I do have a sense of peace. Keep me in prayer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A reminder to remember

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw

Monday, March 19, 2007

Storms of life

I have been listening to a series of sermons based on depression called "Downcast"
This past week the scripture from Matthew 14:22-33 was used .
I love when scripture is broken down and I'm able to apply it to my life now

Jesus Walks on the Water

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God.

There were a few points that really hit home with me

24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

1. The Sea of Galilee is one of those places where unexpectedly storms come from nowhere...In our lives storms seem to come from nowhere. If you are a christian you are either ready to go in a the middle of a storm...or coming out of a storm

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

2. Jesus is the "I" of the storm...the eye of the storm is generally calm and peaceful

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."29"Come," he said.

3. Jesus is always there for you

30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

4. The wind is something you can't can see the effects but not the actual many times we become downcast over things that we can't see...that aren't actually there...we blow up situations in our mind

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

5. So many times we allow doubt to creep in and causes us to be downcast..Jesus is there with his hand to reach for us when that doubt creeps in

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

6. Jesus is able to calm the storm if we allow him to get in the boat with us

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kristen at Stratford Heights in Middletown

We went to see Kristen on their last stop before going back to Lee
Still amazing voices.:) Still alot of charismatic worship :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kristen and Campus Choir in Milford

We went to see Kristen sing with Lee Campus Choir last night. It was so nice to see her again and to be able to hear her sing...they have some amazing voices in that choir. The service was different from what I am used to...very charismatic praise and worship....prayers for healing....speaking in tongues...vocal prayers... no snakes :)
We get to see her again in Middletown on Sun night....yeah :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Come and Listen

One of my favorite worship songs is called "Come and Listen" by David Crowder. I was reading in Psalm 66 this morning and I realized that this is where the words from that song came from

"Come and listen, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me." Psalm 66:16

Monday, March 12, 2007

12 Step Program for "Pharisees"

I like the writings of John Fischer...and I found this on his website
Not judging others is so hard to do...I struggle with it esp. if I feel hurt by them or they've hurt someone I love
Maybe we should have Pharisee recovery groups :)...if we're honest...we all need to be members

12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)

by John Fischer

The 12 Steps
1. We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.

2. Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind.

3. Realize that we detest mercy being given to those who, unlike us, haven't worked for it and don't deserve it.

4. Have decided that we don't want to get what we deserve after all, and we don't want anyone else to either.

5. Will cease all attempts to apply teaching and rebuke to anyone but ourselves.

6. Are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character.

7. Embrace the belief that we are, and will always be, experts at sinning.

8. Are looking closely at the lives of famous men and women of the Bible who turned out to be ordinary sinners like us.

9. Are seeking through prayer and meditation to make a conscious effort to consider other better than ourselves.

10. Embrace the state of astonishment as a permanent and glorious reality.

11. Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to others who think that Christians are better than everyone else.

The Introduction
As I have grown to understand the gospel and learn more of God's grace, I have also become conscious of a corresponding struggle with pride and self-righteousness. Like anyone, I want to be well thought of. I am often conscious, as I am even now, of picking my words carefully, like walking through a minefield of impressions, so as to appear honest while stopping short of the naked truth that might implicate me more than I am willing. It is a problem that the Pharisees of Jesus' day sought to overcome by concealing themselves behind a whitewashed religious veneer.

So when a gentleman came up to me at a summer festival at which I was teaching and commented on how he had found my writings to be, for him, like a twelve-step plan for recovering Pharisees, I realized that I had been working on rooting out this problem for quite a while, though until now it had never been the focus of my work. I decided it was time to make it such. His fingering of this correlation struck a chord in me, as did the use of the recovery model as a creative approach to this chronic spiritual disease.

My use of the recovery model in this book is admittedly somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I am not expecting Pharisee recovery groups to spring up all over the country as a result of my discussions here (though it might not be such a bad idea), nor am I expecting people to see these steps as some sort of methodology through which they can accomplish the permanent eradication of pride and self-projected superiority. I am more interested in borrowing the recovery model as a way of unmasking, and potentially freeing us from, the intoxication of spiritual pride and prejudice that continually lures believers away from the grace, gratitude and life of astonishment that the Spirit of God desires for us.

It is my firm belief that the prideful attitude of the Pharisees and their practice of measuring out righteousness are problems that affect not only Christians but e3veryone at some point. They are built into human nature. They even accompany other religions and cults. Pharisaism always seems to show up whenever righteousness is pursued in any form, at any level. Acceptance on the basis of performance was how most of us began our lives, and it's not easy to shake. In biblical history this is called the Old Covenant.

The Old Covenant requires a standard of performance and a reason to be obedient to it. But the standard, in its truest form, is impossible to pull off consistently. It could be argued that this is the whole point of God's dealings with humanity through the covenants. The Old Covenant is there to break us, to show us that we cannot live according to its precepts--that sin and selfishness dwell in us to a significant degree so as to rule out the possibility of following even the clear call of Jesus to love God, self and others. This inability to follow the standard, along with its accompanying humility, qualifies us for a Savior--someone who will fulfill the law on our behalf and grant us righteousness as a free gift. This is God's grace as given to us in the New Covenant through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Pharisees enter the picture as the ones who figure out a way to make the Old Covenant work for them, thus making the new one unnecessary. As official interpreters of the laws of God, they adapt the standard through their own interpretation until the law (actually, their version of it) becomes something that is not impossible to perform but indeed quite possible, though difficult and meticulous at times. The "standard" is set so that attaining it is difficult enough to weed out the undesirables but not so difficult as to become overly burdensome--and that's the key. Armed with this new standard, Pharisees can then qualify themselves for righteousness and judge those who, according to their measurement, fall short. Once this course is entered upon, it can branch into a myriad of avenues of arrogance, judgment and false humility.

What makes pharisaical sin so dangerous is that it disguises itself as a form of enlightenment. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23).

The darkness is great because one is deluded into thinking it is light. You think you are seeing better than anyone else, when, in fact, you can't see at all. This means the idea that you can't see is farthest from you. A blind person knows he is blind. A Pharisee thinks he can see, and this is why the "light" within him is actually darkness. Jesus called the Pharisees "blind guides."

So it is necessary in this darkness we call light to identify our error and get free from our entrapment--exactly the job of all recovery groups. It could even be argued that our churches ought to be more like this. The church should be the most honest place on earth--a place where it is possible to say among friends: "Hi, I'm John, and I'm a Pharisee."

"Hi, John," comes the echo, and we reveal in the realization that this is the meeting place of accountability for equals. These are the Simons who want to come down off their pedestals and join the company of saved sinners at the feet of Jesus, who, like the prostitute anointing his feet with perfume and tears, can't seem to get enough of this grace and forgiveness. This is the gospel for those courageous enough to tear off of their masks of adequacy and self-righteousness and get on with a life of gratitude and love for others. This is the Pharisee recovery group of which I speak, and these are the steps which will lead us out. I know, for I am an expert in the downturned look, the haughty eye, the wagging head--and I've had enough of it.

Welcome to the group.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Things you might or might not know about me

_ Me:
[] I am shorter than 5'4.
[x]I think I'm ugly, sometimes.
[] I have many scars.
[x] I tan easily.
[x] I wish my hair was a different color.
[x ] I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
[ ]I have a tattoo.
[x] I am self-conscious about my appearance.
[ ] have/I've had braces.
[x]wear glasses.
[x] I would get plastic surgery if it were 100 safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
[x ]i've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
[ ] I have more than 2 piercings.
[ ] I have piercings in places besides my ears.
[x]I have freckles.

_ School/Work:
[ ] I'm in school.
[x] I have a job.
[x] I've fallen asleep at work/school.
[ I always do my homework.
[x ] I've missed a week or more of school.
[] I've been on the Honor Roll within the last 2 years.
[ ] I failed more than 1 class last year.
[ ] I've stolen something from my job
[ ]I've been fired.
[ ] I've skipped school.

_ Health:
[ ] I was born with a disease/impairment.
[ ] I've gotten stitches.
[ ] I've broken a bone.
[ ] I've had my tonsils removed.
[x ] I've sat in a doctors office with a friend.
[x ] I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
[ x] I had a serious surgery.
[x]I've had chicken pox.

_ Experiences:
[x] I've gotten lost in my city.
[x] I've seen a shooting star.
[x] I've wished on a shooting star.
[ ] I've seen a meteor shower.
[x ]I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
[x ]I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator
[x] I've kicked a guy where it hurts.
[x ] I've been to a casino.
[ ] I've been skydiving.
[ ]I've been an abuse victim.
[ ] I've gone skinny dipping.
] I've played spin the bottle.
[ ] I've drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[into a mailbox...] I've crashed a car.
[x] I've been Skiing
[x] I've been in a play.
[ ] I've met someone in person from the internet.
[x] I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
[ ] I've seen the Northern Lights.
]I've sat on a roof top at night.
[ ]I've played chicken.
[x ] I've played a prank on someone.
[x ] I've ridden in a taxi.

_ Relationships:
[ ] I'm single
]I'm in a relationship
[ ] I'm engaged.
[x ] I'm married.
[x ] I've had someone cheat on me.
[x ] I've gone on a blind date.
[ x] I've been the dumpee more than the dumper.
[x] I miss someone right now.
[ ] have a fear of commitment.
] I've cheated in a relationship.
[x] I've been the cheatee (you were the person some1 cheated on their gf/bf with)
[ ] I've gotten divorced
[x] I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] I've told someone I loved them when I didn't.
[ ] I've told someone I didn't love them when I did.
[x]I've kept something from a past relationship.

_ Sexuality:
[ ] I've had a crush on someone of the same sex
[ ] I've had a crush on a teacher.
[X] I am a cuddler.
[ ] I love to flirt.
[x]I've been kissed in the rain.
[x ] I've hugged a stranger.
[ ] have kissed a stranger.

_ Honesty/Crime:
[x]I am a terrible liar.
[x] I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't
[x] I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
[x ] I've snuck out of my house.
[x ] I have lied to my parents about where I am.
[ I am keeping a secret from the world
[x] I've cheated while playing a game.
[ ] I've cheated on a test.
[ x] I've run a red light.
[ ] I've been suspended from school.
[ ] I've witnessed a crime.
[ ] I've been in a fist fight.
[ ] I've been arrested.
[ ] I've shoplifted

_ Drugs/Alcohol:
[x] I've consumed alcohol.
[ ] I regularly drink.
[ ] I've passed out from drinking.
[ ] I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
[ ] I've smoked weed
[ ] I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
[ ] I'm a stoner.
[ ] I've snorted cocaine.
[ ] I've eaten shrooms.
[ ] I've popped E.
[ ] I've inhaled Nitrous.
[ ] I've done hard drugs.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[x ] I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem
[ ] I have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
[ ] I shut others out when I'm depressed.
[x ] I take anti-depressants.
[ ] I'm anorexic or bulimic.
[ ] I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
[ ] I've hurt myself on purpose
[ ] I'm addicted to self harm
[x ] I've woken up crying.
[x] I've cried myself to sleep.

_ Death and Suicide:
[ ] I'm afraid of dying.
[x] I hate funerals.
[x ] I've seen someone dying.
] Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
[ ] Someone close to me has committed suicide.
[ ] I've planned my own suicide.
[ ] I've attempted suicide.
[ ] I've written a eulogy for myself.

_ Political/Social Attitudes:
[ ] In general, I don't like people.
[ ] I'm a feminist.
] I'm very outgoing.
[ ] I listen to political music.
[ ] I don't like Bush because he is dumb.
[x ] I don't like Bush with my own reasons to back it up.
[ ] I am for Bush.
[x] I'm religious.
[ ] My attitude is, "If you've got it, flaunt it."

[x] My answers are totally honest

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Go WSU Raiders!!!

I graduated from Wright State with a degree in Nursing in year before they won the NCAA Division ll championship and now they have the chance to play in the NCAA tournament....It could be a divided household if they play Kentucky :)
Go Raiders !!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A beautiful quote

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Miguel or Daniel ?

I love the show Cold Case and I'm always telling everyone that the doctor I work with,Dr. Miguel Parilo looks just like one of the actors Daniel Pino who plays Scotty's the proof :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I really hope that I can learn to be a friend like this...who knows how to balance love and honesty...It's the kind of friendship that can hurt sometimes but makes the friendship real not superficial

No More Miss Nice Girl
Rachel Ryan

Growing up the daughter of a pastor-turned-policeman, I was often told to “play nice” or “be nice to the other children.” Not that I was a menace, because honestly I wasn’t. But still the refrain of “being nice” was spoken over and over. Apparently I listened well, because I was almost always the nice little girl.

As an adult now, I have attended a number of churches that are full of nice people. They talk nice to each other. They pray nicely for each other. Everyone acts, well, nice. But I recently came to my own conclusion that nice isn’t enough. Not for me and not for the Church.

I was sitting in a twentysomething women’s Bible study this past week when we began talking about speaking the truth in love to our friends who were heading down dangerous paths. My good friend, posed the question, “Where is the balance between being nice and just telling the truth?” Her question made me realize how much I dislike the word “nice.”

Love isn’t about being nice. It’s about showing love and meaning it.

When I watch a friend in a relationship that is unhealthy, it’s easy to keep my mouth closed and be nice. But is that what’s best for my friend? No, loving my friend means being honest and expressing my concerns for her. Sometimes that doesn’t feel so nice. Sometimes it feels like I am poking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. Sometimes it feels like I am being intolerant of her life-decisions. So what? Love isn’t always about making me feel good or accepted—it is about loving someone else enough to want the very best for them.

Now before you head off thinking it’s time to tell some people the truth—the cold, hard, brutal truth—wait! We are told in Ephesians 4:15 that we grow as we speak the truth in love. Love is the key here. What’s your motivation? If your motivation comes from something other than love than maybe you will be satisfied with just being nice. Or perhaps telling a bitter truth may be the only words coming out of your mouth.

I don’t think that’s what you want, and that’s certainly not what I want.

Knowing this doesn’t always make speaking the truth easy. Sometimes I don’t speak the truth, because I care more about being liked than loving my friends—let’s get real, most of us want to be liked.

Another girl in this same Bible study has recently become engaged. She was previously married and divorced. This last week she shared how, when the marriage was ending, a friend approached her and told her how she wasn’t surprised at the divorce and, from the beginning, hadn’t expected the marriage to last. Hurt and angered by this friend, the girl expressed to us how much she desires honesty from her friends, even if it hurts at the time. She went so far as to ask us if we saw any warning signs in her relationship now—thankfully, we all heartily approve of her fiancé!

She’s got this friendship thing down. She longs for love in her friendships and gives it in return—the kind that is willing to express the good, the bad and even the ugly but is never willing to settle for just being nice.