Small steps in faith

Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Don't it make your brown eyes blue"

I found the following article really interesting...I have brown eyes, my daughter has hazel eyes and I'm married to a man with the most brilliant blue eyes and I have a son who has blue eyes.

People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research.

A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, so before then, there were no blue eyes.

"Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jesus and "human greatness"

These are my notes from the sermon at Apex.
Matthew 20:20-28
When I first heard the title it somehow seemed wrong but the fact is if we're honest we all want to be "great" at what we're doing whether it's being a great parent,a great friend,a great teacher,etc.
The problem is...when we want to be great..we often do it in the wrong direction and in the wrong power.
In the bible the word "cup" had different meanings

1. cup of position...sphere of position
Psalm 16:5.
Psalm 23:5

2. cup of thanksgiving
Psalm 116:13

3. cup of blessing
1 Corinthians 10

4. cup of wrath
Isaiah 51:17
Revelation 14
Zechariah 12:2
Ezekiel 23:33

The cup of wrath is what is being referred to in this passage and we all would like to avoid this cup.

If you want to be "great" you need to be"

1 Willing to suffer..there is a price to pay

Often we create "Christian Karma"..when things happen we tend to think that God is placing judgment/punishment on us. What you need to remember is that suffering is part of the Christian life. In order to live a life for need to realize you are going to have suffering...Christ never promised that life would be easy. It strengthens our faith.

2 Trust God's control over your position of greatness

Be obedient..let God take are of the position. Our human nature is for us to want to be in control. Even in how we serve...When you are OK with your position in Christ can bloom anywhere..whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you are a trash man.

3 Place yourself under others

Do you want a reputation where you seek the most people or you serve the most people?
Serving others is what success is

How do I place myself under others?

1 See servant hood as something you are not something you do
2 See Christ as your pattern and power for your serving
3 See the totality of your life as purchased..not something you deserve
If you feel you are "entitled" you will place yourself above others not under.

The word for ransom is "lutron". It stands for a specific amt of money for a specific person and in biblical times it was for condemned criminals.
We were the condemned criminals that God gave his son as a ransom .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Being hands and feet for God

Our friends Mike,Bona, and Kendall Griffieth leave for Namibia at the end of this week. They are great examples of how to be hands and feet for Christ. Please keep them in your prayers. I posted her email below:

Just wanted you update my email friends and ask for prayer as we depart on Trip #3 to Africa. Pray for Gods will in our venture and to go with servants hearts and hands.


Kendall drives here Jan 25th and we then go the next day to Charlotte. Flights both ways are at night, which is great plus all seats together and isle for the 2 long legged travelers.PRAISE ! Mike's old boss{kevin and catherine} are taking us to airport there. We arrive in Frankfurt(no Paris this trip) and will sightsee for 12 hours. Then back to plane and to Winhoek, Namibia arriving 3 days later..stinky? Driving by car 2 hours to our destination-Monday.

Our plans are to Be in Gods hands??? but our hands would like to firm up the land purchase (by Mike) for the window screen factory>Buddy is the missionary from old Apex church in Dayton. He is teaching there and has a good core group of Africans who he has disciple. Kendall and I will work at Orphanage, Aids Care and compassion group, and also lead a Bible study...Lord willing.

We have another contact at "The Clay Project" who makes the bricks so we are visiting their project to see the operation there. I think there is a web site, also check out "Christs Hope International" this is the organization that Apex built the Multipurpose center with. We not only want to share the Good News of Jesus but also provide jobs to those so much less.

Then return by way of London Feb 6-8

Our thanks to all who lift us up in prayer..Xo Bona

Hab 1:5

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A sad headline

Sometimes you look at a headline and it takes your breath away. That's what I felt when I read this. How's hard to understand what it's like to live in fame.

Heath Ledger Found Dead at Age 28

Heath Ledger, a 2006 Academy Award nominee for his role in Brokeback Mountain, on Tuesday afternoon was found dead at a New York apartment.

The New York Times reports that Ledger was found in his bed by a housekeeper after she went to wake him when his masseuse arrived. She and the masseuse found the actor unconscious, and called the authorities immediately. By some accounts, Ledger was found with sleeping pills around his body. Law enforcement sources at this point do not think it was a crime.

Ledger, 28, had a daughter in 2005 with actress Michelle Williams. The couple lived in Brooklyn together until they separated last year.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A heartbreaker

It was a good try but just not enough. Green Bay loses in overtime 23-20
There's always next year for Green Bay...and Brett?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Jesus and a contorted spine"

We are doing a series of messages at Apex studying "Jesus and ....."
Last week was John the Baptist
This week is story of a crippled woman who is healed by Jesus

Luke 13:10-17

Take notice of this lady

1 where she is....a synagogue..a place of Jewish worship. They were segregated with the men sitting up front and the women sitting behind a lattice in the balacony. There was usually dialogue that went on between men and the rabbi.

2 her condition... her physical condition is very noticeable but the cause of the problem is invisible (a spirit)
She didn't come to be noticed or to be pitied.
Grace always initiates. Jesus called her forward.

3 her freedom...Jesus heals her

4 her humble joy...she praised God

Take notice of the synagogue ruler.

1 His position.....He took care of the temple and organized the worship...equivalent to worship minister

2 His enslavement...addiction to "being good" had blinded him from Jesus..he missed the point.
If you focus on being good and separate that from Jesus'll dry up.

It doesn't say that you shouldn't work on the says you shouldn't be should be showing acts of compassion.

3 His shame...Ironically the synagoue ruler had the "contorted spine" His mind and eyes are down....just as the woman who was bent over..He's not seeing Jesus.

3 questions to ask yourself

1. Are you suffering from a contorted view of life? cynicism

2. Are you so intent on "being right" that you completely miss the point?
The point...Love others

3. Do you rejoice over the freedom that Jesus wins for someone else..or do you say "Why isn't it me?"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lessons from God

I love when I hear or read words that are so clearly from God to me

This morning I read my "Daily Bread" devotional and it talked about "using the memory boost of music to hide away God-breathed words in our hearts"
I love music and I actually went to hear one of my friends,Kyle, play/sing at a church he leads worship. The church is an older church that is slowly learning that music and hymns can be done in a different way and it's still pleasing to God. I loved the warmth of his church. You could feel the spirit of God as they worshiped. "Hymns are the incense of a worshiping soul praising God!"

The other thing that I read had to do with allowing God to be the potter in our lives.
This is the excerpt"

"The Potter has power over the clay. He can do what he chooses. We humans do have limited free will, but God's will is greater. So even if we try to resist His sculpting hand, He continues to work toward his purpose. The master Craftsman has set out to achieve a particular design in us, and He has a plan to make it take shape.
The Potter works the clay with patience. Since God knows that spiritual maturity can't be rushed, He forms our Christlike character slowly---one experience at a time. That means He must also have perseverance, as human clay sometimes shifts off-center and becomes misshapen. Just as clay can be fashioned only when it sits precisely in the middle of the wheel. Christians must be in the Father's will to grow spiritually. The Potter maneuvers the drifting believer back into position and begins remolding. He never discards His vessels but tirelessly works to perfect them. Our God is a personal Potter. His creations reflect His personality and character. And His Spirit is poured into each human vessel so He can be an intimate part of our life. The result is a work of true beauty---a saint wholly committed to Him."

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Green Bay 42 Seattle 20
'Nuff Said!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


This was the most awesome musical experience I've seen
We were in the 2nd row from the stage center seats..thanks to Darrell finding these on ticketmaster Sunday
Here is the famous pair who made the roles famous..

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"Holiday Detox"

This can be a tough week for people going back to "normal" after the holidays.
I read this article this morning in my email from "Relevant" and it had some good thoughts and ideas. I really liked the gift card one..I know I've had gift cards with small amts left on it before and this is a great way to use them for good.

The holiday season is officially over and that means “coming down” off candy cane stupor, The Christmas Story again and again (and again) and leftovers from the past month or so. To help the process we’ve come up with four ideas to help with your detoxing:

1. Taking a look at your health

As cliché as it may sound, January is a great time to focus on your health. For many Americans, gorging on holiday foods (from Thanksgiving turkey to Christmas sweets) in the weeks leading up to the New Year is an annual tradition. But taking to time to detox can have a dramatic effect on your health, and when incorporated into a lifestyle, may have long-term benefits.

Recently, researchers investigating heart disease found that Mormons have far less occurrences of certain cardiac problems than the general population. And though many Mormons practice “clean living” habits (no smoking or drinking), doctors found that the dramatic information was also due to fasting one day a month. The study found that people who skipped a meal each month had about a 40 percent less likely chance of getting clogged arteries than non-fasters. And it wasn’t strictly a Mormon trend—even non-religious people who practiced occasional fasting had much better health. One doctor involved in the study suggested that by skipping a meal, you force your body to burn more calories by going into fat reserves. If your diet is high in sugars, even just taking a break from them can allow your system to produce less insulin that it requires to metabolize it. But like many practices, when it comes t! o fasting and detoxing, it’s important to exercise moderation and even consult a doctor first in some cases (people that are diabetic should avoid skipping meals).

2. Listening to the silence

Solitude and sabbath are pretty heavy words, but both are practices we should incorporate into our daily routines (ok, weekly) in order for us to grow and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Solitude and sabbath are more similar than they are different and should actually be accomplished together. A sabbath, in its biblical context, is rest from a day’s work and is meant to be enjoyed; it is something we should look forward to. This does not mean shutting yourself up in your room and depriving yourself of interaction with others, nor does it mean vegging out in front of the TV all day watching Mythbusters or Project Runway marathons. Find something or somewhere that calms you, allows you to be silent before the Lor! d and refills your spirit. Solitude finds its way into you r Sabbath almost unknowingly and gives God a chance to catch up with you. Slowing down and making time for solitude and a real Sabbath gives your body a chance to wind down and heart open up—which could be a big reason why resolutions always seem to fail, they never address the root of the problem. We often make resolutions on a whim or after some guilt-inducing commercial, never really listening to our hearts about what needs to change or be realigned. Taking a Sabbath and quieting ourselves gets to the root of our lives, and it was designed for us to take advantage of.

3. The benefits of serving

Finally it seems people are beginning to speak out about serving in local communities. There are too many in need that are routinely forgotten and ignored. But what about the psychological aspects of service? Serving should not be a selfish action, where your only motive for helping someone in need is the satisfaction you feel after, but there are some! benefits to being a seasoned volunteer. Studies have found that those who volunteer regularly have an increased capacity for compassion and understanding. Those who volunteer have also noted that the act of service they took part in exceeded their expectations—they set out to help those in need and ended up being helped, as well. By serving consistently with the same organization, relationships form and those less fortunate feel a sense of belonging. Stories are exchanged; memories are shared. When we serve those around us, it’s pretty clear everyone benefits.

4. Simplifying your surroundings helps others

Despite overall trends that saw holiday shopping slightly down last year,
American’s spent almost 30 billion dollars through online retailers alone during the Christmas season in 2007. The American Research Group says that since 1998, shoppers plan on spending between 859-1,052 dollars on gifts each holiday season. Ano! ther staggering number shows that 83 percent of Americans get unwanted gifts at Christmas. That equates to a lot of extra stuff come January. Sometimes detoxing your own life of clutter, extra stuff and random gifts can not only help you become less dependant of things and consume less—it can also be an action to help others. Here are two organizations that take some of your old stuff and makes sure it goes to people in need:


Goodwill continues to be one of the world’s largest nonprofit providers of
services, education and training for individuals with disadvantages. In
2006, local Goodwills around the country helped provide employment to more
than 930,000 people. Many of those benefiting from Goodwill suffer from
disabilities, homeless or a lack of education. But Goodwil! l is dependant on
generous individuals who donate clothing and other household goods, which
are sold at more than 2,100 retail centers. To find a donation center near
you, users can visit Most local Goodwills even
allow you to schedule a pick-up for large items like furniture.

Gift Card Giver

The National Retail Federation found that 81 percent of Americans received a
gift card last year, and TowerGroup says that the gift card industry has
become a 45 billion dollar operation. With millions of dollars on gift cards going unspent, wants to use them to help others. If you have unused gift cards (or cards with just a few dollars left on them), you can wri! te the remaining balance on the card and send it to Gift C ard Giver.
They’ll distribute them to non-profit organizations that will put them into
the hands of people in need.

Author: Jesse Carey And Elizabeth Sloan

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I struggle to stay positive in winter months so I always try to have something to look forward to. This is what I'm looking forward to this week! We were able to get tickets to the Broadway tour of "Wicked" this thursday at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's time to grow up

Notes from the sermon I heard tonight at Apex

Ephesians 4:14-15
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

Do you know someone who never grew up? Their behavior was immature for their age?
Do you know someone who fell away from their faith?
"I'm good here" In all of these examples, they stopped growing.

God will call you to take the next make a choice.
Where you are in life vs. God calling you to make that next step

What if you say "I don't want to grow up"
The problem is have forgotten the goal
What that moment..something is there to remind us what our goal is.
In our Christian's scripture.

Children are:
1 noncommittal....they go back and forth. If you give them a choice they waver.."I want the blue the green the red one. If you watch a child play, many times they will desert a toy for another one.

2 unable to discern..they wander off. They follow deceivers. They don't recognize when someone has the purpose of harming them.

3 Easily tricked...what it is isn't really what it seems

Adults are
1 able to handle the truth. They are able to speak the truth into someone's life or have someone speak the truth in their life. IN LOVE
"I care about you but what you're doing isn't biblical"

2 Understand the goal....the goal of growth is Jesus Christ..Christ likeness.
Not "I'm comfortable where I am" "Do I have everything I need?"; "Am I content?"
It should be "Am I Christlike?"..regardless of pain and heartache.

False goals
1. Bible knowledge...I know all the greek and hebrew meanings,etc.
2. Postion.."I'm an elder" I'm a deacon"
3. Life long attendance.."I go to church every Sunday"
4. Survival..."I got through"

If you are Christlike....People may never have seen Jesus but they know his appearance and that He died for their freedom through our growth in becoming Christ like.

How do you know you are growing?
The cross...Are you picking it up and following Christ? Is it obvious in your relationships...with your family?...your friends?...your coworkers?...with strangers?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Looking ahead

It's January 1..I'm the only one up...Some things never change:^)

I've been sitting here reviewing changes I've been through this year...some hard..some challenging...some exciting
Probably the hardest was saying goodbye to people in my life...even if it's for a short time.
I left a church that I've gone to for 7 years..and in the process have had to say goodbye to some very special friends who have chosen to move on. Even though I still have connection to them through email,blogs,my space,3rd Place,it's a change. I grew to love seeing them every Sunday and I miss the face to face conversations.

I lost my step father in July. He was my stepfather for almost 30 years..a long time and he was an important person in my life.

I lost a coworker who decided to move on for personal reasons and with our move I lost the connection and conversations I had to some of the coworkers who I saw everyday in my office.

Probably the biggest change was being an "empty nester". Both my kids now are in college at Lee ..6 hrs away. I have been a very hands on mother for 21 years so that was a huge adjustment and still is...they are home for break and that has brought some real challenges in redefining the parent/child relationship :^)

As I look forward to this year I know that there will be more changes but most times change can be good.

New challenges at work..(I'm teaching outpatient classes now as well as inpatient education and training to be a certified pump trainer..insulin pump for those who aren't familiar with what I do..diabetes)

Finding my place in my new church,Apex,and allowing God to use me. Darrell and I have friends who are starting a ministry in Namibia Africa's something we're thinking about.

Developing and growing my friendships..sometimes this is one of my biggest challenges. I've had to learn to step back at times. I've had to learn to listen.
I've had to learn patience and to bite my tongue...hard.

What helps me through all of this is my faith. That's an up/down too. Some days I feel close to God. Sometimes I wonder where He is...but He is there...that I know.

So I'm ready for 2008..whatever it decides to bring me.