Small steps in faith

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Fray

Last night my family and I went to PNC in Cincinnati to see "The Fray". I've been a fan for quite awhile. I'm a Grey's Anatomy fan so when they sang the song "How to Save A Life" I fell in love with their music. The rest of my family was slow to follow. In fact they would make fun of me when I would get excited about their songs coming on the radio. My husband listened to their second album which came out this year and became addicted to their songs :) You always know if Darrell likes someone because you will here it over and over every morning. Then, the week before you go to a concert he will play their music constantly. The day of the concert he will make a CD so we can listen all the way to the concert :) We got there a little early so we walked through Coney Island and ate at LaRosa's pizza. I had to get my t-shirt. I love tshirts especially from concerts. These were pretty reasonable in price.
The concert was sold out. There were a lot of fan's for the opening band, Jack's Mannequin. The lead singer was very talented musically.
I will say that it was pretty much a 20's crowd. I was a little surprised.
The Fray played for about 90 minutes. Very talented musicians and vocals.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Personal relationship with the Holy Spirit

Rob has been in N.C. preaching so one of our elder,Rennes Bowers filled in. He has a great heart. He is one of the chaplains for the Dayton Dragons and is getting ready to do a mission trip at the end of July with his wife to India.
Issac Pittman led worship and did an amazing job as always with Phil Wickham and Brooke Fraser songs. He introduced us to a new song which was beautiful. I'll have to find the name of it when we sing it again.

Rennes talked about the personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is how Jesus comes to us.
In the western church, we are lacking in power. We don't have that relationship that the early church had. We don't have that same trust in the power that heals. In India they are experiencing that power through healing and through baptism in faith. In the 10/40 window they are experiencing that power of the Holy Spirit. They are in a time of harvest.
Many times we don't see the seeds we sow for years...we don't see that area of harvest.
You need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. Every day ask him to show you those opportunities to sow the seeds.
The Christian life is relational.
The power of the spirit of God is unleashed through love relationships.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"I hope he is in a better place or will be"

The death of Michael Jackson affected many people in different ways.
I wasn't what you would call a fan but I did like his earlier music.
I grew up with The Jackson 5 and I own the album "Thriller" in vinyl from the 1980's. My son found it today in our record collection.
When I read the following letter from Lisa Marie Presley it really touched me.
I hope she's right. I hope he is free from his pain.

Friday, June 26, 2009

He Knew.

Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn't predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

Our relationship was not "a sham" as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a "Normal life" found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn't know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson's being or actions.

I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

I was in over my head while trying.

I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cutting back on your calories

I read this and thought I would post it. We try to tell our patients this all the think you're eating healthy when you're actually inhaling a ton of calories.

Scary-Easy Ways to Eat 1,000 Calories

Hungry Girl's here to inform you just how easy it is to rack up over 1,000 calories in one sitting. Don't let this happen to you...

The Sandwich Scenario:
You're in the mood for a sandwich, so you pull out two hearty slices of wheat bread and spread a tablespoon of mayo on each slice. You add a couple slices of Swiss cheese, about four slices of ham, plus some lettuce and tomato. A can of soda and a handful of potato chips round out this pretty basic lunch. As unassuming as it sounds, you just racked up 1,015 calories! Take a look at the breakdown...

Bread = 200 calories
Mayo = 115 calories
Cheese = 212 calories
Ham = 183 calories
Soda = 150 calories
Chips = 155 calories

Hungry Girl Tips: Go for light bread, low-fat mayo, 2% Swiss cheese, and extra-lean ham. Ditch the can of regular soda for Coke Zero. And choose Baked! Lay's instead of regular chips. Now that meal will only cost you about 415 calories. MUCH BETTER!

The At-Work Scenario:
Your boss brought in a pretty nice spread of bagels, muffins, pastries, and fancy coffee drinks for the team. How can you refuse? You grab a large bagel and smear a few tablespoons of cream cheese onto each half. You snag one of the whipped-cream-topped mocha drinks to wash it down. And to keep it healthy and balanced, you spoon out a small cup of fruit salad. Now it's not even lunchtime, and you just downed 1,000 calories. Ouch. Here's how it adds up...

Bagel = 360 calories
Cream Cheese = 202 calories
Mocha Coffee Drink w/ Whipped Cream = 363 calories
Fruit Salad = 75 calories

Hungry Girl Tips: No need to avoid the breakfast spread altogether. Grab an English muffin instead of that doughy bagel, and spread a tablespoon of jelly on it instead of all that cream cheese. Treat yourself to a small nonfat mocha drink without the whipped cream. And enjoy that fruit salad... in fact, DOUBLE the portion! You can have all that for less than HALF the calories.

The Drive-Thru Scenario:
You're craving fast food, and you're pressed for time. So you pull up to McDonald's and order a Big Mac, medium fries, and a medium Coke. That comes to 1,130 calories, without any super-sizing whatsoever. Look...

Big Mac = 540 calories
Fries = 380 calories
Coke = 210 calories

Hungry Girl Tips: Get the Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich without the mayo, an order of Apple Dippers with the Low-Fat Caramel Sauce, and a Diet Coke. Now you're down to 475 calories, and you didn't even have to leave McDonald's.

The Dinner-Out Scenario:
You're at Chili's with 3 friends, and you're craving those Boneless Buffalo Wings. But you decide to get your fix with the Boneless Buffalo Chicken SALAD. (Aren't you smart!) Since you avoided the appetizer temptation, you agree to share that Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with your 3 pals. Hate to break it to you, but you hit 1,000 calories before you even stuck your fork into that dessert. The salad plus your share of dessert comes to 1,468 calories! Here's how...

1/4th of Dessert = 398 calories

Hungry Girl Tips: Instead of that salad, order the Guiltless Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. And get your OWN dessert -- the Sweet Shot Red Velvet Cake. That comes to only 636 calories. NOT BAD!

Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories is packed with TWO HUNDRED easy and delicious recipes, each with less than 200 calories a serving! Check it out RIGHT NOW!!

For a daily dose of guilt-free tips, tricks, food finds, recipes and more, visit and sign up for free daily emails!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


These are my notes from the sermon by Nick Nye at Apex tonight. Nick is a pastor of a recently planted church in Columbus. It's in a "bohemian" area...which he says means they have some strange people.
He is continuing the message in Jude

Jude 1:3-4

Jude is calling Christians to the truth of faith. Be willing to wrestle over the things of God.

1. We are called to contend for the faith..the teachings of Jesus and the apostle.
Why theology? Why can't we just love God.
If someone contends for their faith it doesn't mean if they oppose you that they are a heretic.
There are close handed issues..things that you don't waver on i.e. the gospel,the trinity
There are open handed issues..things that are more style or preference ie how often to have communion, rock music or hymns

The foundation of your faith is the truth of Jesus Christ being crucified for us.
What is true?
Do you wrestle with who God is and the scriptures. You should.
It helps us to relate to others who may be struggling with life issues such as divorce and need to know what the bible says.

2. Why contend?
We need to be able to spot those people who are creeping in to destroy the church
Open hand issues become close hand and close hand become open hand
We need to examine ourselves to avoid making an idol out of our knowledge. Those people who live on doctrine and needing to be right but have no love or compassion are making an idol of their knowledge.

3. Do this in love and grace and humbly
Don't beat people over the head with your bible and theology.
The Pharisees had the same theology as Jesus and they crucified him. They had no love or affection for him. Without can't contend for the faith. It's wrong.
Don't make excuses.

Christian love needs to be accompanied by knowledge.

There are people who know all the scripture and theology but have zero compassion and don't give a "rip" about people.
There are people who think " I love Jesus. That's enough. I don't need to know what it says in the Bible"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Staying Healthy

Staying healthy is a goal but it's an up and down road to get there. I've actually done better with this than I thought I would. One reason is that I definitely have more energy. I have my weaknesses though. Mike Sell's potato chips are my biggest.
I have tried different exercise programs with walking but my favorite are definitely my Leslie Sansone DVD's. She uses weights and stretching as well as walking and I think that's helped change my metabolism.
I watched a show on Oprah today on ten things you need to do for a healthy lifestyle.
Some of them are common sense...some are a change in thinking. Some of them are things we know we need to do but we put off doing.

1. Schedule a checkup

2. Know the 5 ingredients in food to avoid
a High fructose corn syrup
b Sugar
c "Enriched" flour items
d Trans fats
e Saturated fats

3. Add Healthy foods
Antioxidants...5-7 fistfuls..tomatoes,blueberries,broccoli,kidney beans,artichokes
Omega 3..3gm
Fiber 25 gm daily
Olive oil 1 Tbsp daily

4. Take a multivitamin daily

5. Know your numbers
a waist size..should be less than 1/2 your height
b cholesterol... HDL ..above 40 LDL...less than 100
c close to 60 as possible
d blood sugar..80 to 120
e Vitamin D ..commonly low with certain diseases..need 15 min sunlight daily
f C Reactive Protein..increase numbers increase chance of strokes,heart disease
g TSH..thyroid disease

6. Find a health advocate...someone who will ask you get the answers

7. Organize your health info..know your history,meds,

8. Medical tests
Yearly...physical exam Women...yearly pap and pelvic
40...women..mammogram yrly men..prostate exam
50... echo cardiogram,stress test, and colonoscopy
60...hearing test..bone density

9. Exercise..10,000 steps a day 30 min = 3,000 steps
Get your heart rate up...Flexibility 5 min/day..strength..30 min/week

10. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night..not doing this can cancel out the healthy things you do. Decreased sleep = craving carbs. Don't drink caffeine 4 hrs before bed
You should have a dark,cool room TV

Sunday, June 14, 2009

" A Brother's Letter"

These are my notes from the sermon Rob did at Apex last night.
We are starting a new series from the book of Jude. He will be taking a few verses each week this summer until we are through the book.
We sang "Cannons" which I LOVE and Phil Wing's song "I Am" which I LOVE and Jeremy Riddle's song "Sweetly Broken".

Jude 1:1-2


Author...Judas(Greek) Mark 6:3 He is the half brother of Jesus
Written 65 AD
Audience.. new house churches Gentiles and Jewish believers
What destroys churches and organizations are people on the inside..Many times we use the blanket term christian when it doesn't refer to biblical christianity.

If you love must love his bride(the church)
Your commitment to Jesus and his bride will inevitably leade you to communicate issues that are hard in a loving way.
You need to speak the truth in love. Those who only speak the truth..have no friends.
Those who speak in love..are hurting others by not telling them truth.
All of us..not just leaders..are called to admonish and share the confront someone in love.
Rob shared the name of a book..."From Good to Great..How the Mighty have Fallen" by Jim Collins.

When you share something hard:

1. Be clear on where you're coming from
2.Encourage their identity in Christ
3. State your hope in them..what you want to see happen in their life.

Taking each of these and explaining

1 Be clear...
What is your authority?
Jude states that he is a servant of Jesus Christ
Many times we come from a place where we want to be smarter or we want to be more pious.
We need to empty ourselves of pride and people pleasing. Our only reason should be as a servant of Christ.
Because Jude was a half brother of Jesus this may have given him more respect and they were willing to listen.
What authority you have...who your friends are...these are important
Your godlinesss opens opportunities for other to share their faith.

2. Encourage their identity.
Those who are "called" Those who are beloved
When you have a brother or sister in Christ who has hurt you, remember who they are in Christ. Satan loves to use this to create warfare between brothers/sisters in Christ.
When you are called you receive the benefits of Christ taking your sin. You are called even before you are born.
You have been justified and you will be glorified.
Transfers sinners from one kingdom(earth) to another(heaven)
It's the ultimate purpose of your life. From darkness to light.
It takes the ultimate bite out of suffering.
You are beloved..God has built a fortess around you. A pure keeping.

3. Hope in them...wanting good in their life
You want bad things out of their life so they are overflowed with mercy, peace, and love. Don't wish for the bad to happen in their lives. The human side does this and it's wrong.

Are you open to receiving admonishment from others?

Sunday, June 07, 2009


These are my notes from the sermon at Apex this morning.

James 5:7-12
God leads you to a place that is hard.
How you wait and how long you wait depends entirely on what you're waiting for.
If it's temporary or if it's of value and eternal makes a different.
Just because you are waiting doesn't mean God isn't working.
There are certain things that God does in his own sovereignty.

Our lives depend on our waiting because of the fruit that comes from waiting

When waiting:

1 Watch over your heart.
It's easy to develop a bad attitude when we are hurting and waiting.
Your motives are who you are.

2. Watch your mouth.
When you are impatient and hurting it's easy to grumble and verbally attack others.
God will judge you for what you say. You need to live as though he is coming back and right at the door.

3. Watch over the past
Perspective....think of Moses in the desert for 40 yrs, David,Noah,400 yrs between old and new testament.

4. Watch over your promises. With waiting.we make promises and choices that God doesn't want us to make because we want the waiting to be over.
"Lord if you do this, I promise......"

Waiting is always a test of our belief that God makes good on his promises.
God has grace and patience but there is an end..He is coming back.
Waiting does produce fruit. Waiting ends well. It ends looking at the face of Jesus. Revelation 21 Galatians 6:9 Romans 2:7

Good news on waiting at Apex...Phil and Amber Wing have found out after a process of waiting that they will be adopting a 7 month old little boy from Ethiopa. Yay!!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

A carrot, and egg, and a cup of coffee...which are you?

I was reading through a breast cancer survivor blog this morning and found this story.
I thought it was a great visual..I'm a visual learner and teacher :)

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of
coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how
things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it
and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed
as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed
ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots
out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a
bowl.Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her
daughter,she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and
noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg
and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter
smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it
mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity:boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in
strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer
shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the
boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were
unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they
had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your
door,how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain
and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff
spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the
very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases
the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their
worst,you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate
yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an
egg or a coffee bean?