Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Number 14 on my list has me to meet 30 new people, and tonight I met my first one. As the next 14 months progress I'll keep this list (and other updated). So here it goes. . .
1. Sandy (02.27.08) - Met her at church. A very nice girl, she's in the Navy like I was. I just wish that I had been feeling better when I met her as I had a very upsetting day. I'm happy that I was able to look outside of my own issues to take advantage of the opportunity that the Lord gave me. It was nice to pray with someone different. I'm not sure if she's saved or not, but she seemed happy to be visiting with us at BBC and I hope that she continues to come out to church.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I'll let you know when it comes to fruition, until then take a look at my 31 x 30 list, a list of 31 tasks to complete by the time that I turn 30. Ok actually it's 30 tasks, but #31 is to celebrate the completion of the list. I will keep everyone updated on my blog as to each task that gets completed and the experiences that brought the completion about.
Let the adventure begin:)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Italian meaning: Strong
English meaning: Song of happiness/joy
A variant of Hannah
Hebrew meaning: Favor or grace/gracious
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I was born into a Roman Catholic household on May 1, 1979. My childhood was very typical. I took ballet and piano lessons, participated in Girl Scouts, sang in the school choir, and I received okay grades; but, in spite of achievements, I was always afraid of what lay ahead. My home was unstable as I grew up as well. My Mom often left me alone to tend to my younger brothers while my Dad worked to make ends meet. As a result of this stress, I felt my life was no longer worth living, and at the tender age of 13, I tried to kill myself by turning on the gas to our stove. Shortly after that incident I was diagnosed with dystymia , a very severe form of depression. It was also around this time that I started to raise questions about “my faith”.
What was it that I really believed? Was “the church” really teaching me about God? Did I believe in Catholicism because I wanted to, or because I was afraid my Dad and what he would think of me if I didn’t? I would sk my Dad to explain the doctrines of Catholicism and ask him questions about why we believed what we believed, but all he would tell me was, “ We believe what we believe because the church tells us to”. Now, I believed in the fact that God was “out there”, and I knew that Jesus was the Son of God. I had also been told that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, but that wasn’t me (at least I didn’t think so). Sinners were murderers, pedophiles, or drug dealers; these kinds of people did horrible things to hurt other people. I wasn’t a sinner. So I did what I was told; I went to church on Sunday, made the sign of the cross, shook hands, said the Lord’s Prayer, and waited until after communion so we could leave: all the while waiting and hoping that, someday, the motions I was going through would make sense.
I was also confirmed into the Catholic church I high school. This was an especially tumultuous time between my father and I. In my search for the truth about God, I had asked more questions than anyone around me could answer, and in doing so had also alienated my Dad. The issue escalated one night while driving home with my Dad from catechism class, when I spoke to him about my hesitation in going through with the conformation into the church. My dad was not happy, to say the least, and a few weeks later, in a last minute effort to ease the tension I my house, I waved the white flag of surrender and went through with the conformation . . . causing the void in my heart to get even bigger.
I made it through high school, but not without much trepidation. In that time I managed to develop a second language (cursing), get caught shoplifting, give away my virginity, cheat on numerous tests, take up smoking, and watch my parents get divorced, all of which slowly, but surely, chipped away at my self esteem and hardened my heart towards God. So I found other gods and bibles to worship. My gods and bibles were as follows: TV and TV guide, the movies and their time listing in the newspaper, astrology and horoscopes, country music and magazines that followed that suit, just to name a few. After high school, I decided to attend the local community college. However, I gradually started to drop out. I told myself I’d just make the class later, or make excuses as to how I didn’t like the teacher enough. Eventually I ended up working in a job a hated and indulging myself in one illicit relationship after another; one of these men was a convicted felon who was emotionally abusive, only causing my self-loathing and insecurity to increase. I was living on a string of borrowed tomorrows.
I tried starting over in Maryland by becoming a nanny, but that ended after only a few months when I got into a car accident.
Then in a feeble effort to rid myself of the emotional guilt that was hanging over me, I decided to join the United States Navy. Sitting in front of the TV one night, watching their recruiting commercial, I saw a ticket to a new life, a fresh start. Actually, looking back, I was trying to run away from myself. I thought I could become someone different and that somehow I would be special and would find honor in my life because I was sacrificing myself for my country.
I left for boot camp on January 19, 2000. I spent my first six months in the Navy training, which included boot camp and A school. Then, upon graduation from school, I received orders to Sicily, where not even I could have guessed what would be in store for me, both bad and good.
I was excited to be living overseas, but I was also sad and lonely, emotions which would soon manifest themselves I even more self-destructive behavior. Soon I was again exploiting myself with men; and this time because I was 21, I took advantage of every opportunity to indulge myself with the poison of alcohol. Most nights, including weekdays, I don’t remember; but the ones that I do remember involved me either stumbling back to my room or leaving the bar with whomever m fancy fell upon for the night. I slowly started to realize that my life had no honor or pride, and that I had not changed. Each day waking up to this truth only added to the imminent evil that shrouded my life, leaving me with the aching question of why, why was I here? The answer to that question was closer than I could have imagined.
While I was stationed in Sicily, I spent most of my time working in the security department on base; and it was there that I met Brian. One night God saw fit to put me in the direct path of Brian’s enthusiasm for the Lord. Earlier in the evening people began to try and talk me out of standing the post that he and I had been assigned, citing the fact that Brian was a Christian and all he would talk about was God all night. This was their chief reason for me to not go to the post with him. I was intrigued by Brian’s zeal, and had never stood a post with him, so I didn’t listen to their persuasive speech, and he and I took the same watch that night.
The evening began uneventfully, and as I stood outside the guard shack, Brian opened up his Bible and began to read. I looked out of the corner of my eye at him and waited for him to give me his standard speech. I stood there for what seemed like forever, but he didn’t say anything to me, so I said something first. I looked at him and asked, “So, what is it that you really believe in, Brian? I know about God and how Jesus was crucified. I don’t really see what’s so different about our beliefs.” Brian looked at me incredulously. What must he think of me now, I wondered. His reply was slow and steady as he asked me what it was that I believed in. I talked to him about my lack of understanding in the way that Catholicism taught and told him the story of me and my Dad, but I never stated what it was that I exactly believed in. I told him that I knew I wasn’t perfect, and that I had sinned, but I didn’t think that I was deserving of Hell, because God loves everyone. Brian agreed with me, God did love everybody, but he also said that the only way to ensure that someone would go to go to Heaven was if they were saved, because that’s why God sent Jesus to earth, to die on the cross. I still didn’t really understand what he was saying, but I knew that I wanted to know more, so I accepted his invitation to church.
A few weeks later, as I sat listening to the sermon, I began to realize that the works of Catholicism had no salvation and assurance of heaven in them. I saw that the life I had been leading was not worthy of heaven, but that God loved me in spite of my sinful nature, and the reason He had sent His Son to die on the cross was so that those who accept Him as their Saviour would be covered by His blood as payment for their sins. The alternative was eternal separation for God in Hell. As I sat there, I wanted to know how I could accept Him as my Saviour. I realized I didn’t want to be separated from God. I finally saw myself as a sinner and greatly in need of a Saviour. The sermon closed with a call to the alter for anyone who didn’t know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. I was nervous and hesitant, like this first time you meet someone new. I almost didn’t go up, but then the Pastor asked this question, “Is there any good reason that you shouldn’t ask Jesus to be your Saviour today?” And, as I searched my heart, I couldn’t come up with one, so I walked forward. That morning I this prayer, “Dear God, I know I haven’t done very much in my life that was good. I know that I’m a sinner, and that I deserve to go to Hell for the wickedness that I’ve let plague my life. I see now that your purpose in Jesus’ death on the cross was so that he He could shed His blood to cover my sins. I accept the gift that you have given me. And I now ask you to save me from the sin that has shrouded my life. Amen.”
It’s hard to believe sometimes that that was 6 years ago, but today I have different words to describe what the Lord has done for me, like Friendly, Outgoing, Happy, Joyful, Giving, Kind, Understanding, Hopeful, Confident, and Saved. These are all words that describe me as I am now-not for my glory, but for God’s.
Friday, February 15, 2008
By Pastor Rick L. Stonestreet
At Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield
Feb 8, 1998
The Bible explains true love and illustrates it in the lives of God’s people. The greatest chapter on love is First Corinthians 13/ The Apostle Paul wrote these words under divine inspiration to a church, which was living in a perverted culture. Corinth was filled with fornication, immorality, and all kinds of fleshly sins. Nobody understood what love was to be. Even today, man cannot understand true love until he meets Jesus Christ. At that point, God begins to teach us the true meaning of love. In this chapter, God gives us some guiding principles about love.
First, love is unselfish. Love is never that which is centered about self. Selfish love will be that which always insists on pleasing itself rather than the other person. The best demonstration is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 John 4:19 reads “We love Him, because He first loved us.” When man did not or will not love the Lord, He loves us anyway. God proved His love to us by dying on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8). The Bible says “even while we were yet sinners” He loved us. This means we did not love God, care for Him, or even want Him in our lives. God’s love reaches beyond all of our unloveliness in grace and mercy to save us from our sins.
Secondly, love is a continuous commitment to the other person. This commitment is that which is internal and will not be moved by the various circumstances of life. Finances, pressures, difficulties, and even sickness will never harm Godly love. In fact, it will strengthen it. This commitment to a person means that we will love them all our life.
A selfish love is seen in a shallow, outward self-centered love, which demands something in return. Teens and young adults often make their decision based on outward conditions. Do they look good? Do they make us Happy? Are they there when I need them? This type of love will not stand the test of time. Godly love means that our commitment to the person we love is in the heart and will go through life growing deeper in its commitment. Married couples need to examine their love and see if their lives are centered on an internal commitment or external conditions.
Thirdly, love is durable. This means that it will last when all else fails. We can guarantee that this commitment to love will stand through the ages. The same love that God had for His disciples and His church in the first century is the same love in the 20th century. This is not some fleeting emotion for a time but it is that which carries man through his life and into the next life. God’s love makes heaven available for anyone who trusts in Him. So many wrongly think that they will go to heaven because they are good, yet only the love of Christ will take you to heaven.
As we consider this Valentine’s Day, why don’t you think about the real valentine present we have from the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God is far greater than we can even comprehend, but God wants us to receive His love. God loves you and gave Himself for you. Have your received Him as your Savior? If you have, you have the best valentine of all.
If you're interested in finding out more click on the E-life studies link on this screen.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It took seven rings before a Doylestown, Pa., 911 operator answered Brenda Orr's emergency call Jan. 29.
Orr, bedridden with multiple sclerosis, was calling for help as flames engulfed her bed.
Then Orr, 53, was placed on hold. It took 27 seconds before a second operator finally picked up the call. Orr died in the fire.
Those crucial seconds could have helped responders save Orr's life. Now the operators in that 911 center are under investigation.
Here are excerpts from the 911 call:
Operator: Thanks for holding. 911, what's your emergency?
Caller: 911! The bed is on fire!
Operator: Are you still in the house?
Operator: All right. Well, you wanna get out of the house?
Caller: No. I'm disabled. The bed is fully inflamed.
Then Orr went silent.
For the remainder of the recording, the dispatcher is heard trying to talk to Orr and asking a co-worker whether she should stay on the line, according to The Intelligencer newspaper.
By the time the emergency response team arrived at the scene it was too late. Orr, who was smoking in bed, died in the fire.
County officials launched an investigation, and disciplinary action was taken against some members of the Bucks County emergency communications staff.
"They weren't paying attention to their job. They just were not doing their job properly," said Brent Wiggins, the emergency communications director.
So do you know what goes on in you 911 office?
Monday, February 4, 2008
For those of you who like extreme sports,
we have frozen trees for you to climb. . .
For those of you who enjoy a more relaxed pace, there is plenty of sitting room available for you to enjoy the beautiful day. . .
For your convienence we have many trash recptacles available for your use. Please keep our city pretty. . .
The commute is great! There is very little traffic congestion. . .
All in all, We hope that you enjoy our wonderful town and way of life! Please come again soon!!!