Thursday, December 1, 2011


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 1-4

Papa Elf: "And where do the reindeer get their magic from?"
Buddy: "Christmas spirit, everybody knows that."
Papa Elf: "Well, silly as it sounds, a lot of people down south don't believe in Santa Clause."

Papa Elf: "And every year less and less people believe in Santa Clause. I mean we have a real energy crisis on our hands."
Buddy: "Oh."
Papa Elf: "I mean just see how low the clausometer is."
Buddy: "That's shocking."

The movie, Elf with Will Ferrell has become one of our most favorite Christmas movies. The kids even made snow flakes and paper chains to decorate our living room like Buddy (Elf) does in the movie.

It seems all the great classic Christmas movies have a similar theme, whether it’s A Christmas Carol, A Wonderful Life or A Miracle on 34th Street someone concludes life is better with faith, hope & love.


Even The Grinch decides; “Maybe Christmas….doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Buddy the Elf epitomizes child-like faith. Of course you know I’m not going to suggest you believe in Santa or even trust the people around you because even the best of them will fail you. However, Jesus said if you humbled yourself as a child and trusted Him you would be greatest in the kingdom. (verse above)

Walter: "So, go on."
Buddy: "Go on with what?"
Walter: "Are... Are you gonna sing a song or something or can I just go back to work?"
Buddy: "A song? Uh, yeah. Anything for you, dad. (starts singing) Um, I'm... I'm here with my dad. And we never met. And he wants me to sing him a song. And, um, I was adopted. But you didn't know I was born. So I'm here now. I found you, daddy. And guess what? I love you. I love you. I love you!"
Walter: "Wow, that was weird."

Buddy has unconditional love for his newly discovered, "daddy", even though his dad rejects him at first, that doesn’t stop Buddy from continuing to reach out to him. At one point Buddy’s brother Michael, says to his dad, "Buddy cares about everyone, all you care about is yourself." So, of course, in the span of just a few weeks his dad has a change of heart just like Scrooge and the Grinch. Things in movies have a way of working out in 90 minutes, but in real life they may take a little longer. So, I say we should love God and those around us and trust God with the outcome. I’ve heard it said you can have JOY, if you put Jesus first then Others and then, lastly, Yourself.

Gimbel's Manager: "Why are you smiling like that?"
Buddy: "I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite."

My quotes came from: Moviewavs

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Me saying the One Minute Sermon 2

I redid it! This goes with my post on addictions. I wanted to wear the Marilyn Monroe earrings my sister sent me for my birthday! I mention Marilyn in my speech. I don't think it's "better" really, idk what do you think? I was tired when we did this one. It's different anyways. Should I do over the do over? lol

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Me saying the "One Minute Sermon"

I may redo this because I'm better at it now but for now here it is.....
This goes with the September 2010 post on Chains. 
This was recorded in February 2011.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cliff Hangers, Pot Stirrers and The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27

Anyone who reads anything I write knows I’m very fond of analogies and/or metaphors. Jesus was also. He said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He compared Himself to bread, water, light etc. He is portrayed as our bridegroom, the lion of Judah, a lamb lead to the slaughter etc. Christians are compared or described as salt, light, sheep (unbelievers as goats) etc. So, with that in mind, here we go again......

The Itsy Bitsy Spider!

10-18-11 Oh the irony! Well, this itsy bitsy spider made the most beautiful web ever and he WAS IN the house not outside...

Some months ago I had a dream. I was in a house, it wasn’t like my house but it was just the same. You know, you’re in a totally unfamiliar place in a dream and your like “This is my house” Weird huh? There were cobwebs everywhere! What a mess, so I had to find the spider. I hate spiders! I have to agree with Ron Weasley here; I would prefer to follow the butterflies any day! (Just thrown in for the other Harry Potter fans out there). So, I found the spider on the web and knocked it down and it ran off under something. You know what I hate even more than bugs and or spiders? Squashing them! I mean, that’s what I got married for! “Bob! Bob! There’s a spider… can you come kill it for me?” Incidentally, in this dream, I called Bob and waited and he didn’t come, so I knocked the spider off it’s web and then I woke up! Before I woke up though, I remember thinking, “Well, that did no good, the spider is still alive and he’ll be back and he may grow even bigger- ugh! I can handle the itsy bitsy spider by myself but big spiders? Yuck: I’d rather not” This was one of those dreams that definitely meant something and I woke up and knew immediately what it meant. I had a situation arise and I didn’t want to do the unpleasant task of “squashing it”, so I knocked it off it’s web perhaps- I wouldn’t even say I did that actually. More like I gave it a few flies to eat! Anyways I did not deal with it properly. I should have got the unpleasant task over with and squashed it! I even asked a friend about this “problem” guess what she (figuratively) said? “You’re gona have to squash it” But, no, I’m too much of a wimp for that. I want to keep the spider as a pet, why? why? I hate spiders! Which brings me to my next analogy. I have been too fond of cliff hanging!

Cliff Hangers

When my kids were young they used to watch a show on PBS called "Between the Lions". "Between the Lions" is a very clever and I thought funny show with muppet type characters, designed to promote reading. When we ended up with our first two feral cats I named the girl one after the mama lion on the show. It fit “Cleo” because she was golden like a lion! There were/are different segments on the show like: “Chicken Jane” (a spoof of “Dick and Jane”) The segment I want to talk to you about is called, “Cliff Hanger”: “Cliff Hanger is a cartoon lantern-jawed outdoorsman usually featured hanging off the side of a cliff, holding onto a branch. Each episode presents Cliff with a preposterous situation of some kind, which he attempts to use to his advantage by reaching into his backpack, pulling out what he calls his "trusty survival manual", and following the instructions provided there….The cartoon then ends with Cliff's baleful catchphrase: "Can't -- hold -- on -- much -- longer!"” (From Wikipedia)

I consider cliff hangers to be people who want to do right (i.e. Christians) but instead they do “just enough to get by”. They see how close to the edge of the cliff they can get without falling off. Like in the movie, “Crazy Stupid Love” there’s a recovering alcoholic in a bar! Hello!? Like a person on a diet going by the bakery to “browse” ! NO, no, no, no! You get the point? This is why I encourage teens NOT to date exclusively or get real serious with one person. If you want to wait until you get married to have sex, why find a person your attracted to to “go steady” with, so you can be around temptation more frequently? So you can “make out”? See how far you can go without “going all the way”? It’s just asking for trouble- it’s “cliff hanging” “Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.” (From

But I really can’t point the finger about “cliff hanging” because I did this myself but I didn’t have a wise older person guiding me, like you young people that I hope/pray are reading this and taking it to heart do! Please learn from my mistakes! I beg you, then they will have seemed to have some purpose (besides making my high school years miserable!) If you want to read more about my experiences see my September 2010 blog post titled, Average Girl

Bob and I didn’t get married because I was pregnant –I just didn’t know I was yet (pregnant with Sarah when we got married). Mercifully, it was almost 9 months exactly after we were married that Sarah was born, so she “seemed” a “honeymoon baby”. If I could go back and change anything; I would have Sarah really be one of those “honey moon” babies, I wouldn’t change WHEN I had her, even though it was hard being parents so young, it was well worth it. Bob says Sarah is a beautiful young woman because of me, which is sweet although he did have a little to do with it, but really? It’s all because of God! We couldn’t have done it without Him!

Cliff Hanger has a “Trusty Survival Guide”- you know? The Bible is like that to us! We need to follow it's instruction! “Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Some other examples of “Cliff hanging” are; when you’re trying to get out of credit card debt but you still have that card in your wallet, “just in case”. Again, I am guilty here. Gee, I wish I had more examples of what you should DO than NOT DO. If you really want to live for God and you don’t read your Bible, pray and go to church regularly- that’s cliff hanging! How about you want to live a long healthy life, yet you smoke? I do this with my dieting, how many carbs can I eat- how many times can I “cheat” and still lose weight? Or not gain? I’ve fallen off that cliff a couple times! Do you have a temper and get into these stupid “debates”? Oh yeah! “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.” 2 Timothy 2:14 Do you want to be a faithful husband and yet you look at pornography? Watch out! You "Can't -- hold -- on -- much -- longer!"

What about flirting when you’re already “taken” (or flirting with someone who is “taken”?) “Why does your heart carry you away, and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?” Job 15:12-13 You say, “Oh but what’s the harm? I’m not doing anything wrong.” You’re just “flirting with disaster”! I’m usually fine if the man doesn’t start flirting with me (or if he’s old or ugly-ngl), if he starts flirting with me, then I want to flirt back, where is this going??? Nowhere that I really want to go! And a note to the single guys: girls like to be flirted with but they don’t like a “flirt” who flirts with every attractive female he sees! You need to CHILL! I actually have a “what to do” example when I stopped it before it started! I was in Dollar General with Lydia once and I saw this man come in, I don’t want to give my “type” away so lets just say he looked a lot like Bob :- ) He was wearing a suite (Every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man!) So I say to myself, “Susan, don’t even look at him again…don’t see if he’s looking at you!” Job 31:1 says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a woman (man)?” Way to go! Thank you Jesus! Victory! It happens once in a while, hopefully more often all the time. Don’t let victory go to your head, though, again been there, done that. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12

Pot Stirrers

Pot Stirrer ; A person who feels it necessary to try and create more drama in regards to a situation/argument/debate in which they are an outside observer. Usually by way of a comment or statement.

Now I come to my last analogy; the “Pot stirrers” the “Pot stirrers” are the bad influences that encourage the “Cliff hangers” in their “sport” and many “Cliff hangers” are also “Pot stirrers” they like risky behavior and “living on the edge”. I confess to having done this also. My teenage daughter who’s somewhat anti-social appeared to be interested in someone and I confess I started stirring the pot! Me?! The “Don’t date when you’re a teen” woman? Thankfully my “pot stirring” was unsuccessful. What a hypocrite I am! Thank God for REPENTANCE and thank God for FORGIVENESS Otherwise I’d be SUNK. “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land….” Isaiah 1:18-19 Drinkers often have a “drinking buddy”, overweight people have “eating buddies” etc. This is why we should be careful who we hang around! Don’t hang around people who encourage you to sin! If you’re a Christian why would you want to encourage others towards sin? Jesus had some pretty harsh words for people who do this: “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones” Luke 17:1-2 (Amplified)

I want to encourage people towards God, towards obedience, not away from it! Like this verse in Daniel I quoted in my “Light” post: “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to STIR up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

Lord, I confess to You that I’ve been a “Cliff Hanger” and a “Pot stirrer” and squeamish about squishing spiders. Please forgive me, help me put my armor on (Ephesians 6) and “fight the good fight” 2 Timothy 4:7 because I want to be Your “Warrior Princess” and “Warrior Princesses” aren’t wimps! Amen

Friday, September 23, 2011


You put the light in me, The Spark, the shot to the heart
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark You let Your love shine down So that the world could see You put the light in me…..Brandon Heath

A number of things in my life recently have put “light” on my brain. First off; Bob and I work in Sparks –it’s a part of Awanas. Awanas is a church program for kids where they have fun (like games and stuff) while learning Bible verses. Sparks are the K- 2nd graders and Bob and I are leaders with the 1st graders. The Sparks are represented by “Sparky” the firefly.

There are many verses in the Bible about “light” These in Matthew usually are the first to come to my mind especially as I think of “Sparks” : You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:14-16 Part of the “Sparks” song says, “We are sparks to light the world…”

In the Disney movie “Tangled” Rapunzel is drawn away from the evil witch who she thinks is her mother by the lights she sees every year on her birthday. They are lanterns released by her parents who are the King and Queen! You can draw the parallel to Christ (our King) sending out His light of the Gospel to us while we are still in the clutches of the Devil.

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 Amplified

Last Monday morning I didn’t jog, so I jogged that evening. As I jogged around our circle and was headed home I saw the full moon rising and it was beautiful! I was reminded of how the sun is what makes the moon shine, the moon doesn’t make it’s own light. In the same way, we are to reflect God’s light in our lives. It is said that when Moses went up on the mountain and talked with God, when he came down, “his face shone” (Exodus 34:29) “Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

Last Tuesday after I picked up Lydia, I took the recyclables. While I was there I met a really neat lady named Joan and found out she’s Ian’s friend's grandma. She invited me to the monthly “Womens Aglow” meeting which was the very next day. It’s a Charismatic women’s group that meets once a month. It was an awesome meeting, I was late but it was still wonderful.I even made it back to Lydia's school just in time to play my flute for the 1st graders music class! There it was again! The reference to light. These women are “Aglow” with God’s Holy Spirit!

I just finished reading a book by Marilyn Meberg that’s called, “Tell Me Everything; How to heal from the secrets you thought you could never share.” It’s about how it heals us when we’re able to confess our sins and bring them to God (and to a trustworthy person) and receive God's forgiveness. This is step 5 in the 12 steps, by the way and I know many would not agree with this but the 12 steps are in the Bible and they are for EVERYBODY! We are all powerless over the sin in our lives and we all need to surrender to Christ because He is THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE US! Not just any (inferior, little, FAKE) “higher power” will do!

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3: 18-21

These words from a “Tenth Avenue North” song come to mind:
Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us “Healing Begins” –

Marilyn Meberg talks about Lazarus and says, “Breaking out of our tomb means repenting of our sins. The key to an abundant life in Jesus is to open up our grave of secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) sins, confess them, talk about them, repent of them and let the redeeming light of His love burn away the infection they have caused.”

But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

I have a journal I got at Hobby Lobby called “Everyday Blessings: Spiritual Refreshment for Women” It has a short note on every page on different subjects. I was just at the page that was titled, “Righteousness” It had the verse above (Proverbs 4:18) Then it said, “God knows where you’re going. As you journey on the road towards God’s purpose and plan for your life, the light of God’s love grows brighter with each step, bringing you closer and closer to Him. The more you know Him, the more quickly you know His will and His ways and can more assuredly step out in faith towards His righteous cause. Your steps are sure because your path is well lit with the goodness of God. You’re on the right path.” I thought that was pretty awesome because it was like “just for me” God can also speak directly to you in any way He chooses. He knows who you’ll listen to, who will grab your attention. The question is: ARE YOU LISTENING? DO YOU WANT LIGHT? OR DO YOU WANT TO STAY IN THE DARK? THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

The word “Light” is in the Bible almost as much as the word, “Peace”! Here are a few of my favorites:

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. Psalm 43:3

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God. Isaiah 50:10

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. Matthew 6:22

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. Matthew 10:27

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:4-5

From November on my Mary Engelbreit calendar and it says on the bottom, THERE'S A CRACK IN EVERYTHING-THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN. LEONARD COHEN

Here's some other posts about the opposite:
 Trust Him in The Dark
Whose Afraid of the Dark?

Friday, September 9, 2011

2001: A Story Odyssey:

Seeing as it's the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 I decided to post this. 2001 was an unforgettable year for the Storys and our nation! Bob gave me my website for Christmas 2002, so the 2001 letter is not on there. The last letter I wrote was 2008s about heaven- mentioning my brothers deaths had made my Mom sad- I hadn't meant to because I was talking about our hope of heaven- then in April 2009 Mom passed away- so there have been no more Christmas letters but last July I started this blog- so.......the story goes on....

These Christmas letters were a painstaking process! I would start thinking about what to put in them in August. But many times God would lead me in a totally different direction by December which was the way 2001 went. I have had “long versions” and “short” which are the ones I would usually send out. I’ve actually become pretty good at editing. Interestingly, by the end of 2002, our family and Chris’ had both joined Karrie's church! These are the two new friends I mentioned in this letter. I never would have imagined it but that is the way 2002 went! Also, on a somber note, I never would have thought I would be sharing the verses at the end of this letter in less than a year at my brother’s memorial service.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only forgotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!” Claire, 5, quoting John 3:16 as she was learning it for Awanas.

Dear friends and family,
We hope this letter finds you all well. We’d like to share with you some about 2001: A Story Odyssey:

By far the high point of our year was January 28th. That was Lydia Ellen’s birthday: she weighed 10lbs.1 oz. and was 221/4 ins. long. It was the longest labor I’ve ever had: starting Sat. [Bob and I were sent home in the middle of the night!] and finally ending Sun. evening. I know all the prayers helped us along , it was announced that I was in labor Sun. morning in church! Lydia has been our first bottle fed baby. The children all enjoyed feeding her and I still nursed her occasionally.

Another high point of our year was July 21st. This was moving day! Yep, that’s right, we are FINALLY IN our house! Many thanks go out to all our friends who helped us move [it was a BIG JOB!] and those who came to help us CELEBRATE. It has taken awhile to get settled and unpack. We’re still working on it!

Sarah and Teddy BOTH earned the privilege of going to Awana Scholarship Camp this Summer. Sarah also went to youth camp again. The topic was “Fearless Faith” and the verse on her T-shirt which she wears frequently is Gen. 50:20-21; “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good …Therefore do not be afraid…” It’s what Joseph says to his brothers who sold him into slavery, so that many bad things happened to him in Egypt. But in the end Joseph is a leader in Egypt and saves his family and everyone else from the famine. I believe this verse says so much: to me personally about this year and to our nation about the terrible tragedies of Sept.11th : Let me explain, what was a terrible day for us all, has bound our great nation together: “United We Stand”. We have been called to prayer by our own President. I also hear that many Muslims are rethinking the terrible ERRORS of their FALSE RELIGION. That these men were so deceived to think that they would go to Paradise for “destroying the enemies of Allah” killed thousands and themselves shows the power of the LIES of SATAN. Too bad they did not follow “the one true God, Jehovah and His Son, Jesus Christ” His word says, “Thou shalt not murder”. When all is said and done, the TRUTH will prevail!

I was exhausted again when Fall came this year! Last Summer I lost my break to morning sickness, this year to moving! Sarah started at Peach County High School on August 8th as planned. I was beginning to desire some relief, so I considered putting the others in school also. I did not have any peace about putting them in and we had not yet found their birth certificates so we couldn’t. We kept them home. I felt a great peace about that decision . I found help from an old book I have by F.B. MEYER called “The Secret of Guidance”. I had read it awhile ago, but went over it again to make this decision. So we tested Teddy and Ian [they did very well!] and sent for everyone’s books.

Meanwhile the other decision to put Sarah IN public school has been going smoothly: So far she has never missed the bus, which leaves at 6:50 AM every morning for the 30-45min. trek and she made the honor roll! Soon we will find out if she got in the gifted program which she was tested for. [She knows that regardless of what they say she’s still gifted in our book!] Still most of her friends from church go to different schools, she is learning to bloom where she is planted, and I do believe it’s where God wants her to be for now. She came home from school one day and was singing: “Come and go with me to my Father’s house, come and go with me to my Father’s house…It’s a big big house with lots and lots of rooms, a big big table with lots and lots of food, a big big yard where we can play football, It’s a big big house, It’s my Father’s house.” It’s a song by a Christian rock group called, Audio Adrenaline. She said “Mama, I want that CD, it’s their ‘best of’ album.” [called “Hit Parade”] I thought I’d get it for her since she was working so hard for her good grades [hard, especially when they put her in Algebra II Honors!].

In October my parents came to visit us and see our new house. I enjoyed shopping with my dad for an electronic piano. While we were out I got Sarah her CD. I also enjoyed shopping at our antique mall, here in Byron with my mom. I found more great antique books. Book collecting seems to end up being the homeschooler’s favorite hobby and I do often end up reading some of these books I find to the children for school. We are now almost done with the Christian fiction [The Story of Reuben Inch] I found while out with mom that day. Also in October we had “The Children of the World” at our church for a concert. This is a group of children from different countries who are traveling around raising money for World Help. World Help provides food, clothing, shelter and an education to many poor children in 50 different countries through child sponsorship. We, in America, DO NOT know what “poor” is, yet these children do. What we call “poor” over here is “rich” over there. I was supposed to be in the nursery that night, but they didn’t need me. Bob stayed home with the others and Sarah and I went as she has Awanas after church on Sunday night. We were so blessed by their singing many songs we hear on Christian radio and Sarah’s new CD: “Come and go with me to my Father’s house…” Their accents and hand motions made it even better!

It only took us 9 years to finally get Claire her lessons!

Sarah played soccer again this year, of course. Teddy , Ian and Claire started Karate in September in a class for homeschoolers. The boys have already earned their yellow belts! We’ve been very blessed to meet more homeschoolers: We were at Karate that morning of the 11th as in tears I watched the towers fall and prayed with Karrie. Another new friend from Karate, Chris was going to have “The Children of the World” at her church and needed more people to house them. So on November 13th and 14th we were pleased to have Leonard and Mark from the Philippines and Moon their chaperone from India. I just can’t help but remind myself that if I had put them in school I would have missed the opportunity to meet Karrie and pray on the 11th and Chris and house these children!

Well, maybe you’ll come to my house sometime. If not , that’s OK, I hope I’ll see you one day in My Father’s house. ( AGAIN the IRONY; I know I sent a copy of this to my brother Paul who was in prison unable to come visit us. He passed away August 24th, 2002 and I WILL SEE HIM ONE DAY in My Father's House!) Jesus said “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Thomas said “Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way.” Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life . No one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14: 2, 5-6.

Yes, I did put the 2000 Christmas picture in the 2001 letter!

Merry Christmas! May God Bless you all! Love, the Storys [Bob, Susan, Sarah, Teddy, Ian, Claire and Lydia]

P.S. If you would like to send a tax deductible gift to World Help, here’s their address: World Help, P.O. Box 501, Forest, VA. 24551. Here's their website:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crazy Love- Stupid Lust

Love is patient. I Corinthians 13:4

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Ephesians 4:19

I just recently finished reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. Perhaps I’ll blog more about that at a later date. I saw a movie a couple weeks ago, same two words, with the word “stupid” appropriately put in the middle. July 31st was Claire’s 15th birthday and we all were going to see “Captain America” with her on the 30th, but Sarah had already seen it- So Bob and Ian, who refused to see what Bob called “The Crazy Stupid movie” ( My boys are SMART), took Lyd to see “Captain America” and Me, Sarah and Claire saw “Crazy Stupid Movie” uh I mean “Love”. In hindsight, I should have said, “Sorry Sarah but we’re going together to see, ‘Captain America’- just come again”

People have really given that word, “love” a bad rap, I mean it stinks? It’s a battlefield? Now it’s crazy and stupid too! Well, I guess Francis Chan agrees with the crazy part and so do I; God must be CRAZY to love all us STUPID people! The Bible says, “God is Love” (I John4:8) I wrote about the dead poet Charles Bukoski who wrote, “Love is a Mad Dog From Hell” which also isn’t true! They really should have called this movie, “Crazy Stupid Lust” That’s what always makes what they call “love” stink. What’s “love” got to do with it anyways? Right? Cal (Played by Steve Carell) is a great father and has only “been” with his wife, he’s so sweet the babysitter has a crush on him! But enter the stupid wife (really, does she have to be a 44 year old redhead whose been married 25 years?) who wants a divorce because she’s slept with someone at work and she’s having a mid-life crisis. Really?! I wish someone in the movies could have their mid-life crisis without the affair and divorce! Believe me, it can be done….but only with God. He gives us the “fruit of the spirit” and one of those fruits is “Self-control”! Then there’s Jacob (played by Ryan Gosling- yeah, OK he’s very cute), the 30 something womanizer who has to come in to “fix” Cal! Hello!? There was nothing wrong with Cal! OK I know, "nobody's perfect" lets just say his faults are less than his wife's- too bad it doesn't stay that way! So, then Jacob “fixes” him by getting him to sleep with various women. It would have been great if he just dressed him up, got him to start working out, even got him going on a date, but, as usual Hollywood goes too far! I’ve always had trouble with the steamy car scene in “Titanic”! Come on! In 1912? I don’t think so, it would have been more romantic (and realistic) with out that and the nude painting-IMHO, why not paint a picture of Kate Winslet’s beautiful face? There was something that I found amusing and made this crazy movie not totally purpose or moral less (it does have a “moral” as in “the moral of the story” but not “morals” as in “standards”): It was how Hannah (Emma Stone) kept calling Jacob, “the hot guy from the bar” and he says “My name is Jacob” - the tables are turned! How does he like being “objectified” like he does to women? So, Jacob realizes by the end of the movie that all along he wanted what Cal had! And Cal also realizes that what Jacob taught him wasn’t that great, after all. This is really tragic! But, as always, Hollywood really downplays all the bad consequences of wrong choices, in fact they call what God calls “evil” “good” and the “good” is “evil”. In the book of Isaiah God pronounces “woe” to people like that. (Isaiah 5:20) Into everything in this movie that could really be called “love” they insert Satan’s counterfeit: lust. I’ve heard it called “Loves Opposite” which is so true!

Into Cal and Emily’s marriage; infidelity, Cal’s 13 year old son, Robbie is “in love” with the babysitter, Jessica- could be a sweet innocent crush, until she opens his bedroom door unannounced. The babysitter’s “in love” with Cal- at least they tastefully have Cal oblivious to it (even if he was aware of it, it’d probably be best to ignore it), but untastefully she takes nude photos of herself intending to give them to him. This is only because she hears what a “ladies man” stupid Jacob’s turned him into! This is why women succumb to being the pornography- they think that’s what they have to do to get a man’s attention, which is very sad. Neither women nor men should just “settle” for Satan’s counterfeit! Hold out for God’s best for you! Why doesn’t Jessica realize that if he responds to her pornography, that it’s not love and he’ll no longer even be the one she loved. She tells Emily that their kids are the only ones she baby-sits who “want to stay up to see their Dad when he gets home” If he has an affair with the babysitter they’re not going to want to see him at all! Why can’t Jessica just think, “Someday, I want to marry a nice handsome man like Cal”? But, no, Jacob has to step in and ruin him! At least Cal realizes he “messed up” before the movie ends and says to Emily, “I should have fought for you.” But there are no signs of Emily (played by Julianne Moore) ever repenting at all.

Plugged In  says,

“(Cal) realizes his fault in the crumbling marriage and sees that he should have fought like everything for their relationship. He's loved Emily every minute of every day since they were 15, even when he's "hated" her. And through his overly familiar inattention, we see the importance of nurturing a relationship at all stages, with both small gestures and large displays of affection.”

Jessica, the babysitter, does by the end of the movie “give up” on Cal but Robbie doesn’t give up on her and says, “You like my Dad and in a few years I’ll look like him….I’ll wait.” Awwww….wait but….Hollywood HAS TO ruin it: Jessica gives him her nude pictures to “get him through high school” Oh please!!!! Pornography does NOT “get you through” it weakens you! It lures you in deeper and deeper until “having lost all sensitivity, you give yourself over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” (Ephesians 4:19) I met a woman named Melody, a while ago whose husband was like that, he ended up having numerous affairs and giving her a venereal disease! What struck me about Melody was: she was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen! She looked like a super model, seriously! So, if you're one of the many women whose husband is addicted to that stuff- don’t think it’s because you’re inferior to the women he’s looking at!

You may ask, “What should Robbie do? While he waits for Jessica?” Well, hopefully she’ll “give up” her “PlayBoy” aspirations! Robbie should play sports, make music, do art, go out in groups, learn about girls by being “friends” with them- protect them by not telling dirty jokes about them and not looking at pornography. Did you know you’re objectifying women when you do that? Did you know that’s what the infamous rapists/serial killers looked at? Men are supposed to honor women as “the weaker vessel” not just use them for their own pleasure. True love does WAIT. Trust God and He will fulfill the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37)

I’ll end this with an appropriate quote from Joni Eareckson Tada’s devotional, “Diamonds in the Dust”- it’s title is “LOVE”S OPPOSITE”

“Many would agree that hate is the antonym of love, but consider this: Lust is love’s opposite….Love can always wait to give, but lust can hardly wait to get. Love is never self–seeking, but lust always places it’s selfish desires first. Love is patient and kind, but lust burns with impatience. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. On the other hand, lust twists the truth and delights in whitewashing evil to make it look acceptable…In fact, if your looking for a definition of lust, flip to I Corinthians 13 and replace the words “lust is not” for “love is”….Is there someone whose time, attention, and affection you crave? Perhaps it’s not a person that you grasp for, but position or power. Desire for someone or something (like a substance?) becomes inordinate when it becomes consuming. So ask yourself this honest question, “How much time in a day do I spend thinking about this person? Or this thing? Or this position?” Also, “Where or to whom do my thoughts drift when my mind is relaxed?”….If an extraordinary amount of time is spent seeking this person or thing in your thoughts, then take the advice of Colossians 3:5, ‘Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature….impurity, lust, evil desires.’…Lord, I purpose to set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. Reveal those things in my life after which I lust, and then help me to mortify them in my flesh. May my life reflect love, pure and truthful”

Oh, so what's the "Moral of the story"? Lust stinks! True love is patient and never gives up! Just like it says in the Bible!

Oh hey here's some good reading on the subject:
Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
(This used to be called "Not Even a Hint")
Every Man's Battle by Steven Arterburn (They also have "Every Young Man's Battle")
Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge (They also have "Every Young Woman's Battle")
For teens: I Kissed Dating Goodbye- by Joshua Harris
Blazing Grace is an excellent website!

The story always goes on. For more on this topic (SEX) we all love to hear about:
Sexual Healing  One Thing: Why I Hate/Love Men Who Holds Your Heart?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Warrior Princess (Part 2 He Loves You Snow Much….More)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

Well, trying to finish this before we dive into Summer….End of school party today, soccer banquet tonight and Tomorrow night Sarah comes home!!! But she’ll only be around for a day, because on Monday Sarah and Teddy go to CA to see our (my) family. But they’ll be back just in time for Teddy’s classes to start and his 21st birthday! (June 9th). In July the rest of us will be going to CA.

“The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus is an awesome book, I read back in February, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since. So here goes…..I love this book from the beginning where he dedicates it to his daughter, Mariah, the warrior princess, until the end where Erwin says, “He (Jesus) leads us as warriors of light to risk our lives for the deliverance of others. Again our own weapons are love, hope and faith, and they are our only defense. Yet we above all know that they and only they liberate us and fulfill the deepest longings of our souls.”

Back in January (the 15th) I wrote a blog post entitled, He Loves You Snow Much...More

In this post I told about how I felt God was saying He loved me through it snowing on February 14th, 2010 when I was going through a lot of bad stuff with my Dad. Right after telling someone that (on a Friday) we had a beautiful ice storm the next Monday!

I know people think this stupid and ridiculous of me- but who cares what they think! I know God loves me! As if that wasn’t enough something else happened to confirm it. On Friday January 28th (Lydia's 10th birthday!) I was watching Joyce Meyer (It was probably a recorded program since I record them) and Erwin McManus was on her show and he told a story about a girl he knew in college who lead worship at a Christian fellowship he went to. He said one day she told him about her past life of drugs and living with her boyfriend and then said she didn’t feel God anymore and concluded that He didn’t love her and her boyfriend was coming to pick her up because she was returning to her old life.

When she accused God of not loving her Erwin, a very new Christian became upset and said that if there was anything God could do for her to show her He loved her then He would do it. “For some bizarre reason she immediately responded by saying, ‘Well, then I want it to snow’” It never occurred to Erwin that she would say something like this but he did answer her by saying, “God is going to make it snow for you.” Then Erwin panicked afraid he could be wrong, but he “got down on his face before God” This is a good place to be- I’ve been there a lot lately. Joyce Meyer says we should always seek God like we’re desperate! Where did he live? I’m assuming Southern California because it’s where he lives now, but he doesn’t say. Wherever he was, it wasn’t somewhere it snowed very often. The girl, whose name is Beth, went around campus saying God was going to make it snow because He loved her. Erwin, after praying fervently, went to sleep. He awoke to his roommate walking in saying, “Have you looked outside?” “I remember taking a deep breath just before I pulled open the shades. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but I saw snow everywhere. Evidently it had started snowing almost immediately after I began my soulful conversation with God.” This story is in Chapter 3 of “The Barbarian Way” under the heading, “Mystical and Miraculous”. Erwin says, “Later I would go to seminary and learn that God doesn’t speak like this anymore.” But he says it was too late for him, he had already experienced God in the mystical and miraculous. Those who brought him to faith didn’t take the time to civilize him. They didn’t try to make him like them. “They brought me into the presence of the living God and knew that His presence would both consume me and transform me.”

Perhaps my Father-in-law thought my “Love” story was sorta soft, (I know my sis didn’t like it). One thing my Father-in-law said was, “All we have to do is read about (how) the apostles were used by God and what it has done for people, even though they were tortured and killed.” So, this about being a “Barbarian for Christ” can balance out the other story and funny (ironic perhaps?) that it has a story in it about God showing a girl He loves her with snow! Also ironic is the “flack” I received from a frienemy who I didn’t know was reading my facebook. “Frienemy” is a word I heard that I liked- a combo of “Friend” and “Enemy”- she is a friend who has turned into an enemy. She left some unkind comments on my post about love! Of all the things I write, you would think that the least controversial? God loves you- you have a problem with that? Then I foolishly left those comments up-to show everyone how ridiculous this person is and my sister “likes” them all! OK OK these are people I’ve prayed God would show His love to! So, I can be angry and blow them off now, right? No, I have to forgive them and keep praying for them.

I want to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only…I want my faith to be something I live everyday. Jesus said to follow Him and He doesn’t lead us to what’s comfortable and easy. But it’s what’s better in the end. (In a note from Sarah)

Erwin talks much of John the Baptist who was beheaded as Jesus was going around preaching the gospel. I think people sometimes don’t really see things in the Bible (I know I’m like that), you read it, but it doesn’t really “sink” in. Like I remember when I realized Jesus washed Judas’ feet! Wow, that was BIG- think about it- He knew he was going to betray Him and He washed his feet! So John sends word to Jesus, “Are you the One or do we seek another?” (Matthew 11) Jesus sends someone back to tell John what’s going on, but John still gets beheaded, what gives, Jesus? Erwin explains, “…His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness.”

May 5, 2011 Status: Dear Lord, please help me! I see my need to “get radical”, cut off my hand, pluck out my eyes if they cause me to sin! Help me REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR WORD, take every thought captive, walk in the Spirit and NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh. I’m a “warrior princess” and if I’m not going to be serious about You, I’m going to fail and Lord I do not want that!

This subject brings to mind an old Jill Phillips song called “Live by the Sword”
You stripped me down to basics
You left my heart exposed
There is no pride in times like this
No one said it was easy
No one said it was fair
But nobody’s happy when it is
Lord, I need your loving arms to carry me
When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see
I know you know what I desire to do
So help me follow even when it’s not easy to
If I want to be real in this world
Then I have to realize
If I am going to live by the sword
I'm gonna have to die by the sword

“The original call of Jesus was so simple, so clean, so clear: ‘Follow Me’ He wants us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him into the unknown. And if it means a life of suffering, hardship, and disappointment, it will be worth it because following Jesus Christ is more powerful and more fulfilling than living with everything in the world minus Him. Have we forgotten this? Have we become so refined and so civilized that the benefits of our faith have become more precious and more valuable to us than the Benefactor of our faith?” Erwin McManus

This is a poem I wrote back in September (2010):
The Way
“Do not be surprised” I heard my Savior say,
“Yes there are thorns, but this is the Way
You are not above your Master,
The Way is rough and not faster,
They hated Me
They’ll hate you too
Press on, know what you’re called to do,
Abide in Me, I’ll not steer you wrong,
Although the way is steep, the road is long,
Always stay pliable and sure to bend,
You cannot compare now with then,
Your time is short and soon will end,
Then you will be with Me in glory,
A wondrous end to your beautiful story,
Walk along with Me,
And remember, the best is yet to be!”

Don't run! Stand and fight!

2015: For this and more of my poems get my new- 1st book!  The Seven Story Tree

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Visiting Mom’s

Yesterday’s Facebook status: Dad; “All my stuff is out of there now. It’s all painted, there’s new flooring, it doesn’t look like the same place….” I had a good conversation with him but he was oblivious to my tears! I can no longer return to “Mom’s” :-(

In that mysterious place between wakefulness and dreams I found myself at Mom’s. “It’s not different at all” I thought, “It’s exactly the same!” I walked in the door, there’s the sofas the same way, same carpet, same china cabinet, my senior picture on the hallway wall next to Becky’s , Chris’ and Jon’s. The irony about that was; they were hung there when they moved in the house in ’95 before we lost Paul (2002), Tim (2005) and Mark (2006)- there were just us four left hanging there. Tim and Paul had photos hanging on different walls in the house- Mark rarely got his photo taken, though.

All the sudden I hear a familiar voice, “Sue, can you come in here…I want to talk to you.” My heart skipped a beat, “Mom!” I wanted to give her a big hug, but was unable. “Not yet, Susan, we’ll be able to do that later.” Mom was in the kitchen baking, a wonderful aroma rose from the oven. “Mom you look great!” Kinda like looking in a mirror, she was younger looking than I had remembered ever seeing her. “Yeah, I’m finally at my goal weight!” “And your baking!” “Yes, lemon Meringue pie” “Ohhhh my favorite”

“Mom why am I here?”
“God thought you needed some reminders…..Susan, you will always remember our house, it doesn’t matter that it’s different now….You would not believe the places I’ve been up here!”
“Where have you been?”
 “Europe, South America, Africa, New Zealand….”
“Really Mom?”
“Yes, and different times also, Susan…..the house in Sunland the way it was when we lived there so long ago…Tim, Mark, Paul and I went there last Christmas.”
“Wow Mom really?”
“Susan, this Place is awesome you really have no idea, you wouldn’t believe all the things I’ve been doing! I didn’t go to Europe with Dad but I went with my Dad!”
“Really Mom?”
 “Yeah and Tim, Mark and Paul came too. We had a great time!”
 “Grandma didn’t go?”
“She already went and you know she was always a ‘home body’”
“Is Grandma's house Here too?”
“Of course, every place is Here.”
 “Wow, that’s cool”
“So Mom what do you think of Ninnette?” (my Step Mom)
“I think she’s great…that’s why I picked her.”
“You picked her?”
 “Well, I guess that explains a lot” Mom smiles.

“So do you have any more advice for me Mom?”
 “Yes, I do….Remember what you write, Susan, you have to ‘live it’ also, otherwise it’s useless and it’ll all burn up”,
 “Like in I Corinthians 3?”
 “Exactly…and Susan don’t give ALL your secrets away. Sometimes Jesus even said to people, ‘See that you tell no one’”
“OK Mom. I’ll try to do better”
 “Don’t ‘try’ Susan…trust…trust Him…He won’t steer you wrong…He wants you to have victory, remember that. He has some great plans in store for all of you”(Jeremiah 29:11)
“That’s great to hear, Mom, Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day!”
“And to you too Susan”
“Bye Mom!”
“Good bye, Susan, we will see you again!”

Here are some of my other posts on Heaven and  Death and Dying

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


From A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall

There was the story about the delightfully naughty little boy who squeezed toothpaste in neat zebra like stripes across the back of the dozing cat, then added insult to injury by shaking all the apples off the trees in the orchard, and whacking off a sleeping barber’s hair.
In the movie cartoon from which Peter derived this little gem, the boy was required to go back and put everything right- and did. “But” said Peter, “in real life, boys and girls, you can’t do that. Life has certain finalities. You know, you can’t fasten apples back on a tree and make them grow. There is nothing quite so final as the barbers’ scissors. And say, have you ever tried to push toothpaste back into a tube? It just can’t be done. I’m a Scotsman, and I ought to know! It’s just the same with the unkind things we say about each other. You can’t take them back. All we can do is ask Jesus to forgive us. Then ask the person to whom we said the unkind things to forgive us, and try never to say them again. But the best thing is not to squeeze the tube in the first place!”

I wrote Part 2 to this and it's abit longer but worth the read! I called it, Hope For A Tree

To buy my book on Amazon go to "The Seven Story Tree"

To get a signed copy e-mail me at 

Soap Box

Went to Proctor CRCTs again today. Mrs. Fishers class missed me yesterday. I had an appointment with my Thyroid PA (Physicians Assistant). I found out my Synthroid (artificial thyroid hormone) dose affects my moods; hypothyroid (what I became when they burned off my thyroid with radiation) = depression, weight gain etc Hyperthyroid= an elevated mood (i.e. mania), anxiety etc. So this is another testament to the fact that I have a medical (not spiritual) condition! Not that I don’t often have a “spiritual condition” (I still sin- unfortunately) but when I do I go to Jesus in repentance and He takes care of it. I hate it--- I mean ABSOLUTELY HATE it when Christians say, “Oh God healed me and I don’t take medication (antidepressants) anymore” Like if I got right with God (like them) I could go off my antidepressants and mood stabilizers also. Don’t tie heavy burdens on people like that! I know people who have caused so much pain cause they insist there is nothing wrong with them and refuse treatment for their BiPolar and don’t want to take any medicine because they’re too proud to admit they have a problem, even when everyone around them knows they do! I spoke with a Christian artist who was at our church who gave a “testimony” about being diagnosed as Bipolar like his mother and then “being healed” and getting off his medications. Well, I had a little chat with him after and said, “OK it’s fine how you share your testimony but God doesn’t heal everyone the same way (I’m not saying that some people may be) and you could just add that you met a woman in Warner Robins Ga. who God healed through the use of medicine.” Unfortunately, I don’t think he took my words to heart. I , however, took his wink to mean: He may "come around" eventually!

I read in my “Letting God” when I was at school this morning. I think this goes right along with this:
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
Mark Twain said, ‘Tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.’ More than that, it will save your soul. Nothing is more important to recovery than honesty and the whole truth…..What we fear is not the truth but rejection. We fear the emptiness of abandonment. We are terrified that if we are discovered we will be deserted. Thank God, our Lord does not work that way. He knows us and embraces us anyways. Thank you Lord for loving me even though you know the truth about me. Amen. A. Philip Parham”

To read more about Bipolar Disorder, follow the links: An Unquiet Mind

 2015: Get my new book of poetry on Amazon here:  The Seven Story Tree

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Can O’ Worms

“Susan what do you see?” “I see a can of worms, Lord” “So what happened?” I hung my head and replied softly, “I opened them Lord….I’m really really sorry! I didn’t mean to. Please forgive me.” “You know I forgive you…but have you learned anything?” “Yes Lord…I should never open the can o worms, even if they’re gummy worms and they’re calling my name.” “So what do you know about the can o worms now?” “Lots Lord” “Well go on tell Me” “ Number 1: Don’t let what the can o worms says go to my head! You say I’m fearfully and wonderfully made! You died for me on the cross! Why do I care what a can o worms thinks? You’re the Awesome God of the Universe and you love me! Number 2: Do NOT in any way shape or form flirt with (or encourage) the can of worms. Lord I’m usually better about this one!” “Do you know what happened, Susan?” “Yes Lord, I was Hypomanic” “Don’t use that as an excuse but be aware that if your Hypomanic your more easily swayed. FLEE! Avoid the places where your tempted. Avoid every appearance of evil” “And what’s number 3?” “Number 3 is tell the can o worms about You.” “Susan you are really great at number 3, you are always talking and writing about Me and that pleases Me.” “Thank You, Lord!”
“Uh and Lord?” “Yes?” “What do I do with these gummy worms? Can I put them back in the can?” “No Susan, you can’t” “What do I do with them then?” “Give them to Me” “But what are you gona do with them Lord?” “Well, what else do you do with a can o worms?  I’m going fishing”

Here's a past post about BiPolar: An Unquiet Mind

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh The Irony!

For truth is always strange; stranger than fiction. Lord Byron (Our town is named after this famous BiPolar Poet!)

For more on Lord Byron see this post!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how ironic life can be sometimes and sometimes God makes me lol (you know “laugh out loud”). Sometimes it's Satan's irony because he counterfeits everything God does! So it may be sad or perhaps just weird but I’m not one who thinks it’s a coincidence- no- everything and I mean everything happens for a reason! And the timing happens for a reason also! Like my brother Tim going into the hospital on the 3 year anniversary of my brother, Paul’s death. Tim died 7 weeks later. Was that Satan or God? I'm not sure but I do think my parents seemed to "know" what was going to happen because of it and perhaps they were better prepared? Who knows?

One Friday I went to eat lunch with Lydia at her school. I’ve been reading at school ever since my kids started regular school in 2003, first to Claire’s class (until 4th grade) and now to Lydia’s. Except for last year when Claire and Lydia were homeschooled with Georgia Cyber Academy. So after I went to sit down to eat with Lydia, Kaitlyn who had been in Lydia’s class before said, “I know why you’re name is “Story” because you like to tell stories.”

Once upon a time there was a princess. She lived in Boca Raton. She didn’t even know she was a princess. Well, long story short…she kissed a whole lot of frogs! And all along while she dated frog after frog, the handsome prince lived next door! True story! Perhaps I’ll tell the kids that one sometime?

I answered Kaitlyn with, “I also like to write em” Well, I couldn’t very well explain God’s ironies to a 9 year old, could I? Maybe…One of God’s ironies is He uses the foolish to confound the wise. (I Cor. 1:27). “Out of the mouths of babes…He has established strength” Psalm 8:2 But what came first? The chicken or the egg? Perhaps one reason I married Bob was that I liked the last name, “Story”? So, I simply answered, “Yes, Kaitlyn, that’s true”

As I thought about this I thought of so many examples of ironies everywhere, there are too many to share them all. They’re in the Bible, like I already mentioned; For instance; Jacob deceiving with a dead animal skin to get his brother’s inheritance; then being deceived himself by his son’s with a dead’s animal’s blood (they said Joseph was dead) (Gen. 27&37) How about the bad guy getting hung on a gallows he made to hang the good guy! That’s in Esther 7:10. What an irony the apostle Paul was! He was killing Christians before he became one himself! But I want to tell you some ironies that have happened to me, recently…

The very day I first shared Tamara Lowe’s “One Minute Sermon” with Lydia’s class was Friday, September 3rd, I shared it after sharing with them about my brother’s deaths and the “chains” of addiction. (a shortened version) The point I try to get across is “Don’t even start” because once you’re chained; it is so difficult (but possible with God’s help) to get free. I shared with the kids that I had a brother who was in prison as the result of his addiction (I did NOT share with these 4th graders that his addiction was sex).

That morning I had an appointment in Macon (actually with my therapist) and found out that an acquaintance I knew there’s daughter was hospitalized because of an over-dose. She was an addict and had attempted suicide So, I left there promising to pray for Margaret.

One part of Tamara’s sermon says,
If you're looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil you can shop non-stop or pop a pill …. Little did I know (same day!), Sarah (at home with a month off before leaving for the Dominican R) turned on Dr. Phil! To her surprise there was a couple from our old church talking about how the woman “fell in love” with another woman and left her husband, who was there with her. She said she was confused and thought she’d be ostracized by her “Church community”! No Joke! True story! I’ve been praying for her ever since and I have even been trying to get up the courage to call her and invite her to my new church where I know she would NOT be ostracized.

Speaking of which, that brings me to my next irony: my old church; basically I was kicked out of there- no lie-but it was NOT all their fault- part of the fault does lie with me. That said, In 2008 it had been 6 years since I left there- and I never, never thought I’d ever set foot in that place again (being “escorted” out of someplace is pretty humiliating) but…..There was an author and I got on his mailing list and I said to him, “Tell me if/when you’re in the Middle GA area---I want to come hear you speak”) I had his books, his mother was also an author and I was a fan of her too. Of all the churches in Middle GA (let me tell you- this is the Bible belt- there are lots of churches!)—guess where he came to speak? You guessed it- my old church! I had to pluck up a lot of courage and Bob was out of town, so I found a friend to go with me. After a few surprised stares (especially since I had also lost 40 lbs), I was welcomed back. I may have turned a few heads and it was a very good message.

To read more about my old church and my new church, see: My Church Story and Cat Fights, Canines and Confrontation

I had gave this author a letter about all this and a couple of my articles to read. I did particularly want to let him know how much his mother inspired me. But, later when I thought about it, and became anxious about “What would he think of my writings?” I realized I had wrong motives. I had wanted his affirmation, why? I already had God’s, I knew God had lead me to write everything I wrote and I didn’t need a man’s approval. One of the article’s was very personal about my struggles, ironically, it was a lot to do with wanting man’s approval and the fear of failure. It’s called, “What if I Stumble” after a DC Talk song. In it I share how I made my self accountable to three different women friends when I went through this and how they helped me through. I also said that sadly, I was out of touch with all three of these women for different reasons; one was/is a missionary with Trans World Radio in Guam, one was on the opposite side of my church disagreement that I already mentioned and the one whose beautiful note (encouraging me to be true to my family! Oh the IRONY!) I quote in the article had left her husband and children- I was in touch with the husband and oldest son, but they were unable to get me in contact with her. This, of course had baffled Bob and I.

I have since included parts of that article I gave him in my posts: Love Story and Seven Steps to Victory but What If I Stumble?

As it turned out when the author finally sent a note back to me, he didn’t even mention my writings at all but only thanked me for saying his Mom inspired me. Then months later I was reading his commentary on the book, “The Shack” and he mentioned a woman he met recently who was “loaded down with fears of various sorts” and he went on to psychoanalyze her and said she was that way because she didn’t have the right kind of father in her life and that she didn’t feel God’s love. (This is loosely based on I John 4:18) How judgmental, even if it wasn’t about me at all- it was wrong. I was devastated and sure he was talking about me. I laid down on the bed and cried, it was not long before the phone rang and it was my Dad saying my Mom had passed away that morning! (April 14,2009) This was the day I cried the most of my life, so far, I hope I never cry so much again. God, Why?! Why do these things happen on the same day?! I think that something’s going on here. In the book of Ephesians it says; “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Remember when I posted about our Enemy whose out to “kill, steal and destroy”? (The Police Car and the Cone of Shame ) But my tears are in His bottle (Psalm 56:8), and God was about to take me through some “trials” with Dad down the long and winding road to forgiveness.

For another example of the enemy’s irony: I know you are going to laugh- Did someone say Christians had to be serious all the time? Every time I have a fight with my hubby, Bob (which was like everyday when we were building this house) Not long thereafter----wait for it----along comes some cute young guy who starts flirting with me! Seriously all I have to do is get in a fight with my hubby! It happens every time! Before I lost weight, right after having Lydia….etc. In 2009 after my Mom died I had an awful Summer (except for a great visit I had with Dad and my family in July), I was still grieving, and Bob and I had had an ongoing difference of opinion (about one of our five children) and I knew I was right and his attitude was wrong, so when that happens, we go for counseling, so we can go in there and they can tell Bob he’s wrong and he can repent and we can get on with life! The wise (old?) man we spoke to- (just kidding Bro Jerry!) very gently said, “Susan, I think you are trying to change Bob” Well, duh, brother Jerry, he’s wrong!!! I’m sorry to say it took me all Summer to learn to accept Bob and the way he felt and stop arguing with him and trying to convince him and not too long after the situation changed and I was like, “I ruined my whole summer arguing and worrying about something that God just made disappear!” When will I learn?

I’m always just going along minding my own business (I’m toting the baby to the grocery store, the kids to soccer practice, picking up a movie at BlockBuster, doing chores at home etc.) when out of the blue- BAM There’s a good looking young guy looking at me (and you know “the eyes are the window to the soul”) and saying stuff like; “Is that your sister?” (about my 13 year old daughter)“Are you happily married?” (that was a soccer coach) uhhhhh What?! “Is there something wrong? Cause I’m studying to be a counselor” (That was a bag boy I later found out could not even read!) “Your back! I missed you!” (checker at BlockBuster) “You’re forty- something! We thought you were 29!” and I think my fav was simply, “You're beautiful” (The guys selling meat that Summer of 2009 and I purchased the meat just to annoy Bob- cause he hates frozen beef- the guy started saying these things after he took my check) Lord have mercy! Is it getting hot in here? Boy, don't stand so close to me! In fact, just go home! I can pretend not to notice—to be “aloof”- but inside? It used to drive me nuts for days! I would usually try to “witness” to the guy---I used to pass out copies of my testimony all the time. Jesus did say, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17) haha After that, the best idea, is to “Flee!” (2 Timothy 2:22) In 2009 with these guys selling the meat though I was really depressed cause of my Mom and the arguments with Bob, so I simply said, “Thank-you” and they left, never to be seen again. Later on though, I felt really bad to not have even gave them a gospel tract or my web-address card or anything. I always always tell Bob about these things. He’s really sweet about it and he trusts me. He’ll say, “Well, he can’t have you…your mine” :-) Proverbs chapter 31 is about a “virtuous wife” and says, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.” (10-12) this is the type of woman I want to be. There are verses that describe the opposite also, the woman I don’t want to be “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5 . The prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament describes the Nation of Israel as an unfaithful wife (this analogy is used throughout the Old Testament) “But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.” Ezekiel 16:15 I certainly don’t want to be that! I want to have that “incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4 Well, we’re working on that!

So what about that author whose opinion I was so concerned about? What’s the irony? Well, I started looking into him. I thought I knew all about him from his Mom’s writings---well, I didn’t. I found out he was divorced. Whoa! That was surprising but what bothered me more was that it seemed he was trying to hide it. There’s tons of divorces in the church these days. Sad but true. Even among pastors. I was reading this man’s commentaries and he often went on about meaningless stuff, attacked conservatives (why shoot someone on your own team? It’s just stupid) So perhaps he didn’t like my article because it convicted him? Perhaps he was divorced because he had an affair? Idk Joyce Meyer says maybe there wouldn’t be so many problems in the church if we would speak more openly about these things. I love Joyce! She’s hilarious! “All the unmarried people are sad…all the married people are mad…the unmarried people all want to have sex..the married people don’t…we have got a problem!” There’s a big problem with pornography in the church. This is not setting a very good example to lost people! Neither are all these divorces and remarriages. Do we aspire to be as glamorous as Liz Taylor? If Jesus is the answer, why can’t He help us keep our families intact? I was gona show this man! So I started a letter….that never got sent. I just kept praying about it (IRONICALLY in a prayer diary written by his Mom!) and never finished the letter.
In early September (2010) he suddenly died….

My last irony: strength from weakness : His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
What does this mean? I think it means that when we can be humble enough to admit our weaknesses, He gives us His strength! Apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15) God says we are to come to Him humble as a little child, admit our weaknesses and replace them with His strength. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
I see this working in me all the time. God is always working on me! I have admitted I’m BiPolar: I wrote about that here.  and on my website.

Gee, now I’m “labeled” Who cares?! We’re all labeled. We’re all human beings. We’re all sinners. So I go to the Doctors (Psychiatrist) and also a Therapist from time to time. Yes, I take meds! And I could write a book about all the pain caused by BiPolar people who refuse to! The result: I’m (mostly) pretty sane now! I just talked to my therapist about being kinda manic.(Hypomania) Which means I have more energy, sleep less, I’m kinda hyper, I’m losing weight! Yeah! and I I asked my therapist, “Should I go to the Drs?” She said “No, you’re fine”

Vulnerability. Humility. Accountability = Victory! How IRONIC!

Note: A mild to moderate level of mania is called Hypomania. Hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it and may even be associated with good functioning and enhanced productivity. Thus even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings as possible BiPolar Disorder, the person may deny that anything is wrong. Without proper treatment, however, hypomania can become severe mania in some people or can switch into depression.