Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Am Falling In Love With My Church and It's People

I have never felt this way about a church before. I have always had a relationship with Jesus, but have never had fellowship like this. The people welcomed me with open arms. They say hello to me by name, this is a new thing. I've been a member of 2 big churches in Orange County and been anonymous except in the smaller bible studies groups or evening classroom studies. I did attend a smaller church right after we moved to Arizona but was ignored by all except by the person who brought me.

I chose Valley Baptist church out of the local church directory in the newspaper. I was fearful to go to a new church for the first time, but the Lord helped me push my fears aside. I was welcomed and said hello to by several friendly people. It's a small church, just about 100 people on a packed-in Sunday--it's been less this summer, due to people being on vacations.

I have been going since July, but last Sunday I officially joined the church. I go to the Sunday bible study with church services afterward. I go to the Wednesday evening bible study and the Thursday ladies luncheon bible study. This is a good way to get to know people who have the same morals and values as myself. When I walked into this church for the first time, it felt like home. What a marvelous feeling!

The pastor works full-time at a secular job at an IT Manager. He also does church counseling at another church and still manages to deliver a meaningful sermon on Sunday and facilitate the Thursday bible study. I respect him and admire his love of God and how much he cares for the congregation. His wife, Linda is a wonderful woman, humble and caring. She opens her home for the ladies Thursday bible study and provides iced tea and snacks for us. We usually stay for several hours and she is a courteous and caring hostess.

As I get to know more people, I am getting more joyful. Since my friend, Julie, died last December, without realizing it, I had pulled back from people. I felt isolated out here in the middle of nowhere. Going to this church, I have met lots of people who live in Tonopah. They are an independent bunch. They like living in the wide open spaces, but are friendly when you get to know them.

Oh and yesterday, thanks to my husband, we finally met some of the neighbors. Two sisters who both work, so we don't have much of an opportunity to socialize, but I intend to invite them to dinner soon. They are close friends with some other neighbors, so we will maybe meet them too.

Things are going great, since I have begun to engage in life. Praise the Lord for bringing me along at my own pace, setting aside my fears and giving me fellowship. Today is a day of JOY!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday is not a day off!

Working, working, working........

We had to do the rest of the snake fence (1/4" mesh, 4 ft high) on the other side of the patio. Since we were doing that, we decided to move the lattice fence about 10 feet closer, giving the dogs a smaller area to go potty, but giving the lizards and birds full access to the stunned bugs that fall from the bug zapper. It is now outside of the fenced area.

We had just finished getting the mesh installed over the 13 feet of fence, when big clouds snuck up on us and wrung themselves out. We had a deluge for about 20 minutes. I was on the outside of the fence, so I had to run all the way around the patio on the outside and then back in. I was as wet as you would get by jumping fully clothed into a swimming pool!

When it finished soaking the dry desert....Oh I'm not complaining about the rain, we needed it. We went back out and put the lattice back up on the fence. That's what you do here, wait it out and keep on working!

It's dinner time already, so have to go and feed the dogs. Then cook the spagetti noodles and heat up the sauce that I made the other day. Make a salad and we will be eating too.

I've got sore muscles cause we moved a bunch of castle blocks that we had lining the edges of the patio. Look up castle blocks at Home Depot if you don't know what they are. Those things are heavy!

Praising the Lord for a beautiful day, beautiful rain and the sense of accomplishment at a job well done.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Factoids Just for Fun!

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U. S. Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. In any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested ?
A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulle d on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
~~~~~~~~~~~ AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
Try and read this even though it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty Uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The Phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the Ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihn g is that the first and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Amzanig huh?
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on televi sion has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Live Here

This isn't the best picture of the house, because I haven't taken any. This was taken to document the concrete that we had put in. But what I have to say isn't about a house or garage or concrete.

See, here's how it is. I live here. Up until today, in my mind, I didn't live here, I was only staying here until we moved back to where I had lived my whole life before we came to southwest Arizona. Even though Phil and I have lived here for 1 year and 3 months, I realized just today that I didn't consider this my home. It was a house that we were living in.

I hadn't really made any friends locally. Oh, a couple of acquaintances, but no one to do things with, to call up and just have a friendly chat. I didn't want anyone like that, because I didn't really live here. Maybe we would move back to Orange County or maybe we would move near my Mom in Yucca Valley, but this place in Arizona--it was only temporary. Up until July, I hadn't really found a church. I watched church on television. I figured that was enough.

About that same time, my friend and I began praying earnestly to know God's will for our lives and to read, pray and obey His word. I picked a local church out of the church listings in my local paper and went there. From the first time, it felt like a home church to me. The people were friendly and welcoming. After attending several Sunday services, and then 2 weeks ago, starting at the Women's bible study, last week going to the Wed night bible study, I decided to make a commitment and join the church. At the altar call, I went up and told the pastor that I would like to be a member of this church. He prayed with me and then introduced me to the congregation. They all clapped and came up after service to welcome me into the family.

After service, when I came home, I finally realized that what has been missing in my life here is commitment. That's why I've been so temporary-feeling. That's why I've been unhappy. I was pretending that this life I've been living for the past year & three months was only temporary and we'd be leaving soon.

I didn't even know when I was praying to know God's will for my life that this was what I was praying for. I live here. I have a church family here. My husband is here and I am by his side. This is my home.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen--I know I'm late!

Carol at She Lives got me thinking about why we don’t eat out very often any longer. It might make me sound like a food snob, but the food in the greater west valley area of Phoenix just isn’t as good as the food in Orange County California where we came from. I can’t come up with 13 good places to eat here. I can’t even come up with 5……so I thought I’d list the 13 places that we thought were awful!

1.Friends of ours had been raving about this Chinese buffet(unnamed for good reason) in Mesa for 6 months before they took us there. The food was lousy and the restaurant was dirty—I could hardly find anything to eat that didn’t make me want to gag. Don’t people notice when restaurants are grubby?

2.Mexican restaurant where our friend’s daughter had worked for 10 years. The food was passable, but very greasy—not that I don’t like greasy Mexican food, but with my cholesterol problem, the guilt was overwhelming.

3.A new Chinese buffet in Avondale called Bamboo Palace. The food was excellent at first, but has gone downhill. Some of the food is not hot now, and we all know how dangerous food can be if it isn’t kept hot enough! Danger of food poisoning. They’ve also cheaped out on many of their dishes, so they are not good any longer.

4.Another new Chinese buffet in Buckeye right by the grocery store we go to. Don’t remember the name. We waited in anticipation for it to open, because it was a lot closer to home. My husband and I love Chinese food. It finally opened, we waited a couple more weeks for the crowds to thin out and guess what? It was awful! You know how good real Chinese food tastes? Well this tasted like the poor leftovers that had been kept in the fridge for days and reheated.

5.Chili’s is one of my least favorite places, but the one we went to in Goodyear was really awful.

6.Cracker Barrel in Goodyear. Home cooking? No way, I don’t cook this crap. It was greasy, tasteless and over-breaded and salted.

7.In N Out Burger in Avondale—the only good In N Out is in Corona California—I haven’t found one anywhere that can beat it!

8.Subway, at least the one we tried after seeing a commercial for their Tuscan Chicken sandwich advertised on TV, was hideous. On a foot long, I got 4 tiny pieces of chicken breast and the “roasted vegetables” were 3 or 4 slimy overcooked pieces of bell pepper. The bread was like—I don’t know how to describe it—puffed up and dried out. A complete waste of money. I moved everything to one spot on the sandwich and threw the rest away.

9.Don’t ever go to the Olive Garden and think you are going to get good Italian food, or to the Red Lobster to get good seafood. One visit to each of those resulted in a vow never to step foot in them again. Both of those places serve food that tastes like TV dinners at best. I like Macaroni Grill (aka Carrabba’s Italian Grill) for Italian and several places near the ocean for seafood. I will say that I did get a good piece of wild caught Coho Salmon from the Fry’s fish counter last week. I poached it and it was good hot as well as chilled the next day.

10. I never, never eat at Denny’s. Even though the food is not very expensive, it isn’t worth ten cents. Really, I’m not a food snob, I’m just careful with my food dollars and I know what I like. I’ll try someplace once, but if the food isn’t good, I’ll never go again.

11. I will rarely eat at Applebee’s. I learned the hard way that I must remember it is a coffee shop, not a fine dining establishment. Regardless of how good those specials look that they advertise on TV, don’t believe it. Stick to burgers, sandwiches and salads if it’s the only place in town to eat.

12. Fast food joints with drive-thrus are on my hit-list. McDonalds always gives me heartburn, but it’s a safe place to stop and go to the bathroom when you are traveling. Wendy’s—love their chili—hate everything else. At Arby’s never eat the roast beef (pieces/parts molded into something they thin slice—ick)! But their market sandwiches are quite good, with lettuce, tomato and fresh bread. If I’m gonna spend money, I’d rather wait and go to Baja Fresh, their food truly is Fresh and delicious and low-fat too!

13. No one should eat at truck stops. Truckers have the worst taste in food. Most of them smoke, so their taste buds are deadened. So they like the over-salted, over cooked, greasy spoon food. I travel from AZ to CA to visit my mother and am never tempted to stop. I bring my own snacks for the 4.5 hour drive.