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Tickled pink!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter P!

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God is so cool.

The other day I was sitting in my office in my HUGE office chair. I’d bought it because it was sturdier than chairs I’d bought in the past and was hoping it would last longer.

And while I did admire its sturdiness, it was just too big. I couldn’t turn it around in the little crawl space behind my desk.

My office area is tiny. “Lord,” I casually whispered. “I need a smaller chair.”

A few days later, Mr. Himself found this PINK CHAIR WITH DIAMONDS on sale at a furniture store marked waaaaay down!

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Squee!!

Apparently, there isn’t a great demand for pink, blinged-out office chairs!

Now, Mr. Himself knew nothing of my prayer. And when I’d prayed for a smaller chair, I didn’t have anything this dramatic in mind.

But God is the God of delight. He loves giving us the desires of  our hearts. I had no idea I wanted a pink office chair with diamonds. (Okay, so they’re not real diamonds. But still–they sparkle!)

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So sparkly!

Pink is one of my favorite colors. Without meaning to on purpose, I tend to choose pink accessories:

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My pink iPhone case

My pink kindle sleeve

My pink kindle sleeve

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“My” pink “Frozen” (the movie) cup. Okay, it’s actually the granddaughter’s but I use it so the cat won’t drink out of it.

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My pink walking shoes.

My pink planner

My pink planner

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Would you look at that? My book is pink, too!

My love of pink is obvious. But pink’s only my second favorite color.

My first favorite color is purple–and it also starts with P!

I have a purple coat, leather jacket, kindle cover, purses, earrings, shirts and blouses. I usually write with a purple ink pen. I even shop at a purple store!

But today, I’m tickled pink about a chair I had no idea I’d be so happy to have. I’m thankful to a God Who hears all our prayers and exceeds our expectations! (P is also for Prayer!)

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Tweet this: I’m tickled pink about the goodness of God!



 

 

L, M, N, are probably not going to get me noticed in search engines. O Well.

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When my computer crashed, I missed the weeks of L, M, N in our A to Z blog hop. Horrors! And now it’s already time for the letter O!

So here goes.

L

L is for lazy. I had a very lazy Christmas holiday. I slept tons. I mean, I never knew it was humanly possible to sleep as much as I did and still be alive and breathing. If there’s such a thing as Christmas Coma, I invented it. I was utterly and completely exhausted. For this reason, I’m sure God had a plan for my computer crashing and burning. And I’m grateful. My life is a steamroller of expectations and responsibilities. It’s something I’m working on changing.

M

M is for movies. I was going to watch a bunch of them over the holiday, but L for Lazy interfered with that.

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N is for noshing:

noshI did far too much of that this holiday and while I don’t really know how much weight I gained, I know that I did gain a few pounds simply because of the way my clothes feel. (The scale is broken. And I hear you laughing. No, I didn’t break it. “Not me” broke it. “Not me” also starts with the letter N.) Now my stomach feels all rumbly and icky and while I promised to detox from sugar after the holidays were over, I’ve yet to make the complete and final leap. (See letter L.)

Finally we come to this week, which is brought to you by the letter O.

O Well

O is for “O Well.”

I’ve been using this phrase a lot lately. Living three weeks without a computer taught me a few things about submitting my day to the Lord and going with the flow.

Admittedly, I have had more opportunities to learn how to go with the flow as the mother of twins with autism and the caregiver of a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s. (Did I forget to mention the son with bipolar and the husband with ADD?)  Going with the flow should have been something I mastered long, long ago.

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But there’s still that rebel inside of me that wants what I want when I want, how I want. There’s that ornery little imp that kicks and screams and throws a fit if things don’t go her way.

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What, me? Rebellious? Nah.

Instead of throwing up her arms and saying, “O well, that must mean God wants me to _________.” She stomps her foot and says, “Fine. Then I’m going to play 55,000+ games of Words with Friends and pin 783,278+ pins on Pinterest via my phone.”

O Well would lead me down the path the Lord has lit for me to walk. As in, “O well, my soul is O so very well, and God has a better plan.”

But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

Why is it so difficult for me to submit to the O Wells in my life?

I believe that anything that is a strength, is also a weakness when it’s used incorrectly. God has given me a stubborn streak that serves me well when writing books, finishing college courses as a full-time online student pursuing a degree. I have the tenacity of a bull dog when it comes to the goals I believe I’m to pursue.

Tenacity is good,rebellion is not

But that same ability to hang on to a dream raises its head as rebellion when I’m asked to diverge from my plans.

God can’t bless disobedience. Why can’t I get that through my “N is for noggin?”

God has my best interest in mind. If I keep that at the forefront, I’ll be able to say, “O well, this is the way God wants me to go today, and it is good.”

Psalm 37 (KJV) has a lot to say about God’s best interest for us:

Psalm 37:3-7; 23-25

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass…

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread…”

O WELL O WOW!

If I obey, my steps are ordered of the Lord. How much more relaxing it would be if I’d simply walk peacefully in those steps instead of stomping through them.

What frustrates you the most when things don’t go your way? Am I alone in this submission thing? Weigh in!

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Tweet this: Beware: Your strength is also your weakness

 

 

 


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

 Find more info about the A to Z meme here.



C is for Church

the-shepherdess

I love this painting. I have a copy of it my mother gave me when I graduated with my degrees in theology. It’s a beautiful symbol to me of a pastor’s wife.

As you may already know, Church is a huge part of my life as a pastor’s wife and associate minister. (Yes, I’m an ordained minister. I don’t crow about it much because I enjoy my role as a pastor’s wife and more people identify with it.)

There are a lot of people missing out on church these days and guess whose fault it is?

Those who go to church.

Yup.

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Here are some statistics to chew on regarding church attendance from Thom Ranier’s book, The Unchurched Next Door and other sources:

  • “Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.”
  • “Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.”
  • “A study including more than 15,000 adults revealed that about two-thirds are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member and 56 percent from a friend or neighbor. The message is clear that the unchurched are open to conversations about church.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research

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  • “Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Clearly we can encourage Christians to pray that the unchurched would sense God calling them back, but God works through His people.” “The survey showed that many would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance (41 percent), their children (25 percent) or an adult family member (25 percent).” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research

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  • The issue of affinity also surfaced in the responses. Thirty–five percent indicated that they would be inspired to attend church ‘if I knew there were people like me there.’” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Much to the surprise of the ‘Chicken Little’ crowd, people are still going to church. And more people would attend if given one simple thing—an invitation.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
  • Most people come to church because of a personal invitation.
  • 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church in their whole lives.

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  • The top “rational” reason adults seldom or never attend church is they don’t agree with organized religion or what they preach (24 percent).
  • “Perhaps one of the most underestimated reasons people return to the church is that someone simply invited them back.”
  • The U.S. Church is in a general state of decline, with fewer than 20 percent regularly attending church. This suggests that 7.9 million people may be leaving churches annually–that’s 150,000 each week!  Thom Rainer/Sam Rainer –Outreach Magazine

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  • The study revealed that 63 percent of Americans are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member, and 56 percent are willing to receive it from friend or neighbor.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
  • A majority (66 percent) of Americans are unwilling to receive information through an e-mail message, and 70 percent say e-mail would be ineffective in getting them to visit.
  • “Americans wanting to find out more about God look to the Bible first (33 percent) but are willing to engage Christian friends and family members as well to discover more about God.” – Philip Nation

Ask yourself this question: why don’t I invite more people to church?

Here’s a hilarious video that addresses the issue of inviting our neighbors. It’ll make you giggle. I think giggling makes us less afraid.

So, do you see yourself or others in this video? I’d love to share the chuckle with you!

Take a step of faith this week and invite someone to church!

twitter29sepiamsallTweet this: Why don’t we invite more people to church?

 

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.


Y is for Yentl

Today’s A to Z Meme is sponsored by the Letter Y!

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Y is for Yentl. Yentl is my favorite, favorite movie of all time.

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Source: Wikipedia

Disclaimer: I do not at all agree with Barbara Streisand’s politics. Also, this movie does have some “hiney” nudity.  Yes, I’m a prude when it comes to watching such things in a family setting. This is not a family movie in my opinion.

I’m more fascinated with the story of Yentl  than with the movie itself. (Although, I must admit, I’m a huge Mandy Patinkan fan from way back and he’s sooo handsome in this movie.)

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Yentl (Pinterest)

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Princess Bride (Bing free use image)

My love for this movie stems from my love of learning and books. I can’t imagine living in a time when girls weren’t allowed to read books except for fiction storybooks. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fiction writer, and I love the craft of weaving a story. I love reading stories, too. But I also love my nonfiction books just as much.

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iPad wallpaper click for source

Yentl lives in a time where girls aren’t supposed to know anything about the Talmud or Torah and her father is a rabbi. Every night he closes the shutters and teaches her. When he dies, so does her life with books and learning. So she decides to dress as a young man and join a yeshiva where she can learn. In fact, she’s at the top of her class, and she falls in love with her mentor (Mandy Patinkin).

But since she’s dressed as a young man, she of course, can’t do anything about her feelings.

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Yeshiva

In the meantime her mentor’s girlfriend’s father rejects him and he is not allowed to marry her because his brother committed suicide. This is considered dangerous breeding. So he talks Yentl into marrying her. What a mess this all becomes!

Eventually Yentl has to reveal  that she’s a woman and writes to her “wife” and family and explains the situation. Mandy Patinkin gets to marry his girlfriend after all and Yentl goes to America. The End.

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Tweet this: I think if I were Yentl, I would have risked the same thing to get to read.

I would have hated looking at a future without books. All women had to look forward to in her culture was being a wife who cooked, cleaned, and raised chickens and babies. For many women, this is their dream come true, and I admire them for it. But for me, like Yentl, I think I’d have been miserable and would have found some way to get my hands on more books.

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Free use Bing image

I’m grateful I live in this time of knowledge at my fingertips. It does pose its problems, though. It can get confusing. It can challenge my faith. It can easily lead to doubt. One must always temper knowledge with the Wisdom of God’s Word.

What say you? Are you like Yentl or more like what she should have been? Was she wrong to pursue knowledge the way she did? Or do you think women should just accept their lot in life whatever it may be?

R is for Rain

Heavy DownpourMy favorite sound in the world is rain. Sprinkle in a tiny bit of thunder, and I’m in moody heaven. Rain helps me think. Rain makes me want to curl up with a blanket and a book and read. Some people listen to Pandora while they work. And I do, too, sometimes. But my favorite go-to sound for drowning out the world is rain.

Fortunately for me, there’s a website where this beautiful sound is available: http://www.rainymood.com/.

You’re welcome.

What’s your favorite sound for getting work done? (Tweet this.)


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.