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Thursday, January 29

Random ~ Current Events Wrap Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

Ok, I’m going to be perfectly honest here, I feel like crud! I have for more than a week now, and my creative juices, and my intelligent ones, just aren’t flowing. So this post will be a bit different than previous CEWU posts. So this is going to be a list of current events I’ve been doing some thinking about.

~ I feel like crud (that’s my own personal current event).

~ President Obama’s illegal alien aunt attended inaugural ball (for more info on that click here). How’s that for snubbing your nose at U.S. law?

~ The economy is being blamed for the murder of five precious children from the Lupoe family and maybe the mother too. No, it was the act of a selfish and disturbed man who would rather his children be dead than cared for by anyone else (for more on that click here).

~ From the stupid criminal file, two men handcuffed together at a courthouse in New Zealand, escaped and ran, only to be apprehended by a light pole. These two men each attempted to go on opposite sides of the pole, apparently forgetting they were cuffed together, and consequently looped the pole and slammed into one another (for more info on that click here). This one just makes me smile!

~ Much to the dismay of the cultist global warming group, the earth continues to be in a cooling trend, with extreme winter storms abounding, but you have to give ‘em credit for their tenacity (for more on that click here)!

~ The Arizona Cardinals have made it to the Super Bowl, causing speculation that yes indeed, pigs are flying and hell has frozen over! GO CARDINALS!

~ I am also now a guest author for The Cypress Times!

Wednesday, January 28

Choose Your Thoughts Wisely

I am very excited that my Choosing Life column for Take Root and Write is now being published twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday of each month. As such, I’ll republish my article here, within a day or two after it posts on my column there. TRW is a wonderful place to read amazing articles from over 40 different columns and women. I encourage you to check it out – I’m sure you’ll find something there that you’ll enjoy very much. You may even decide to become a guest contributor yourself!

Note: This is actually a slightly modified version of one of my first Choosing Life posts, here on my own blog. If you’ve read it before, you certainly don’t need to again, but of course I’m pleased if you want to!


“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” ~ Deut. 30:19

When God created us, He gave us freewill – the ability to choose between right and wrong, life and death, blessings and curses. There is much power in choice, power we have for the life we live. Every day we choose the direction of our life by what we think, say and do, by the relationships we’re in, and by the attitudes we hold. All of these choices lead to life or death. Choosing life is a journey, not something we do once and it’s finished. It’s ongoing. It’s powerful. And, choosing life, or death, is up to us.

I believe our thought life is the beginning of this journey. The manner in which we think leads to how we feel, what we say, the way we act and the relationships we establish. It is imperative we have good, life-giving, positive thoughts. That’s not to say that we never have negative thoughts, because that’s natural, but rather we don’t welcome negative thoughts and entertain them. For some of us, this comes easily. For others of us, it’s far more difficult. The good news is we have the power of Christ to control our thoughts and change them. But we have to be proactive in this, it doesn’t just happen. This is addressed in Rom. 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Let’s be honest, it’s a tough world out there. We are constantly hit by a barrage of words, images, attitudes and expectations that imply we are not good enough, thin enough, rich enough, smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, etc. Many of us have experienced this onslaught since we were children. Since this has been our experience, we often adopt and internalize all of this and begin the harmful process of attacking ourselves and others with it. Our thoughts are then naturally polluted by the garbage that has been swirling around about us. Whether it is depression, bitterness, envy, anger, hurt, malice, hatred, obscenity, a victim mentality or sense of worthlessness, thoughts like these lead to destruction and if we entertain them, ultimately they lead to death. It doesn’t matter if these thoughts we think are about ourselves or others, either way we are choosing death.

In order to have a thought life that is life-giving, we have to understand where it comes from. Everything good comes from God (James 1:17). It is He who gives life, and everything that leads to life. And He has given us His Word and Holy Spirit, to guide us on the path of life. When we study, and personalize the Bible, we come to understand who we are in Christ. When we know who we are in Christ it is easy to recognize thoughts that enter our mind that are not of Him. It says in 2 Cor. 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When we recognize those thoughts and take them captive, rather than letting them run free, we are choosing life.

Whenever we have negative thoughts we need to overcome them and put them to death, by replacing them with positive thoughts. If we find ourselves thinking, I’m ugly, we need to stop, take that thought captive and say, No, I’m beautiful. Or if we have the thought, I’m not good enough, we need to counter that by saying, I am good enough, God made me good enough. When we got saved, we received not only our salvation, but other things too. One of the additional “benefits” we received was the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). The only way to know the mind of Christ is to know Christ, through the Word, through worship, through prayer and through relationship. What does He say about us? How does He relate to others? What would He do in this situation? And then we should model ourselves and our thoughts after Him.

We must be diligently aware of the thoughts we think. We must get the Word of God inside of us. We must learn what God says about us. We must choose incessantly, to think the thoughts that lead to life. We are admonished in Phi. 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” This is how we choose life in our thoughts.

If you are in Christ:

You are blessed and highly favored ~ Luke 1:28
You are made in the image of God ~ Genesis 1:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalms 139:14

You are a child of God ~ John 1:12, Romans 8:16-17
You are more than a conqueror ~ Romans 8:37
You are a citizen of heaven ~ Philippians 3:20

You are chosen and adopted sons and daughters of God ~ Ephesians 1:4-5
You are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might ~ Ephesians 6:10
You are holy ~ Ephesians 1:4, Colossian 3:12

You are righteous ~ Romans 3:21-24, 2 Corinthians 5:21
You are anointed ~ 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
You are a saint ~ Psalms 52:9, Romans 1:7

You are forgiven ~ Ephesians 1:7-8, Colossians 1:13-14
You are free ~ John 8:36
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood ~ 1 Peter 2:9

You are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ ~ Romans 8:17
You are God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
You are the apple of His eye ~ Psalm 17:8

You are His delight~ Psalm 18:19, 149:4
You are the one he died for ~ Romans 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:10
You are loved ~ John 3:16, John 15:12-14

Tuesday, January 27

Celebrate with Song ~ My 200th Post!

“Celebrate good times, come on, let’s celebrate.” Ok, so maybe it’s not worthy of a Kool and the Gang serenade, but I’m excited and celebrating my 200th blog post. Has it really been that many? I have loved blogging and even more, I’ve loved the amazing fellow writers and bloggers I’ve met. You guys are the best!

When I hit my first 100th blog post, I chose to list 100 of my favorite Scripture verses, and that was awesome! This time, because I love music sooo much, I’ve chosen to list 100 of my favorite songs! Now, be forewarned, I like lots of types of music from multiple decades, and I’m particularly drawn to 80’s music, because after all, I am an 80’s girl. Well, 80’s music and country, anyway. So here are 100 songs that I really love (by the way, it was really hard to narrow it down to 100)! They are listed in alphabetic order by song title. Let me know if any are songs you love too! I hope you enjoy!

1. Aces ~ Suzy Bogguss
2. Africa ~ Toto
3. Against All Odds ~ Phil Collins
4. Agnus Dei ~ Third Day
5. Amarillo by Morning ~ George Strait
6. Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) ~ Chris Tomlin
7. American Pie ~ Don McLean
8. Angel ~ Sarah McLachlan
9. Anyway ~ Martina McBride
10. At Last ~ Etta James
11. Awesome God ~ Rich Mullins
12. Babe ~ Styx
13. Bang a Drum ~ Chris LeDoux
14. Believe ~ Brooks and Dunn
15. Beth ~ Kiss
16. Black Velvet ~ Alannah Myles
17. Blaze of Glory ~ Bon Jovi
18. Blessed ~ Martina McBride
19. Born to Run ~ Bruce Springsteen
20. The Boys of Summer ~ Don Henley
21. Brilliant Disguise ~ Bruce Springsteen
22. Bring on the Rain ~ Jo Dee Messina
23. Broken Road ~ Melody Crittenden and Rascal Flatts (This was our wedding song)
24. Brown Eyed Girl ~ Van Morrison
25. By His Wounds ~ Brian Litrell, Mac Powell, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Hall
26. Call on Jesus ~ Nicole C. Mullen
27. Can’t be Really Gone ~ Tim McGraw
28. Coming Around Again~ Carly Simon
29. Concrete Angel ~ Martina McBride
30. A Country Boy Can Survive ~ Hank Williams Jr.
31. Crazy ~ Patsy Cline
32. Crazy Love ~ Van Morrison
33. Creed ~ Third Day
34. Cry Out to Jesus ~ Third Day
35. The Dance ~ Garth Brooks
36. Desperado ~ Eagles
37. The Devil Went Down to Georgia ~ The Charlie Daniels Band
38. Don’t Close Your Eyes ~ Keith Whitley
39. Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone ~ Cinderella
40. Don’t Speak ~ No Doubt
41. Don’t Take the Girl ~ Tim McGraw
42. Dream On ~ Aerosmith
43. Drift Away ~ Dobie Gray
44. East to West ~ Casting Crowns
45. El Shaddai ~ Amy Grant
46. The End of the Innocence ~ Don Henley
47. Enough ~ Chris Tomlin
48. Every Rose Has it’s Thorn ~ Poison
49. The First Cut is the Deepest ~ Sheryl Crow
50. The Flame ~ Cheap Trick
51. For Such a Time As This ~ Wayne Watson
52. Good As I Was to You ~ Lorrie Morgan
53. Grace Like Rain ~ Todd Agnew
54. Hard to Get ~ Rich Mullins
55. Hard to Say I’m Sorry ~ Chicago
56. Hazard ~ Richard Marx
57. He’s Alive ~ Dolly Parton
58. He is Jehovah ~ Re:Zound
59. He Stopped Loving Her Today ~ George Jones
60. Held ~ Natalie Grant
61. Here I Am to Worship ~ Phillips, Craig & Dean
62. Hold Me Jesus ~ Rich Mullins
63. I Hope You Dance ~ Lee Ann Womack
64. I’m Movin’ On ~ Rascal Flatts
65. I Will Survive ~ Gloria Gaynor
66. If You Could See Me Now ~ T. Graham Brown
67. In Lonesome Dove ~ Garth Brooks
68. In Your Eyes ~ Peter Gabriel
69. Iris ~ Goo Goo Dolls
70. It Must Have Been Love ~ Roxette
71. Jesus Freak ~ dc Talk
72. Joy to the World ~ Three Dog Night
73. Killing Me Softly With His Song ~ Roberta Flack
74. Life Goes On ~ LeAnn Rimes
75. Listen to Your Heart ~ Roxette
76. A Little More ~ Jennifer Knapp
77. Little Rock ~ Colin Raye
78. Losing My Religion ~ R.E.M.
79. Made to Love ~ Toby Mac
80. Me and Bobby MaGee
81. Mercy Said No ~ Greg Long
82. Nobody Wins ~ Radney Foster
83. November Rain ~ Guns N’ Roses
84. Peace Train ~ Cat Stevens
85. Poison ~ Alice Cooper
86. Praise You in This Storm ~ Casting Crowns
87. Probably Wouldn’t be This Way ~ LeAnn Rimes
88. Proud Mary ~ Credence Clearwater Revival
89. Remember When ~ Alan Jackson
90. Ruby Tuesday ~ The Rolling Stones
91. Say ~ John Mayer
92. Seven Year Ache ~ Rosanne Cash
93. Shout Unto God ~ Hillsong
94. A Soft Place to Fall ~ Allison Moorer
95. Something to Believe In ~ Poison
96. Something Worth Leaving Behind ~ Lee Ann Womack
97. Superstar ~ The Carpenters
98. Suspicious Minds ~ Dwight Yoakam
99. Sweet Child O Mine ~ Guns N’ Roses
100. Testify to Love ~ Avalon

And because I simply couldn’t whittle it down further, here are a bonus 20 other songs! :-)
1. Thank You ~ The Katinas
2. This Cowboy’s Hat ~ Chris LeDoux
3. This Woman’s Work ~ Kate Bush
4. Through the Eyes of Love ~ Melissa Manchester
5. To Make You Feel My Love ~ Garth Brooks
6. Total Eclipse of the Heart ~ Bonnie Tyler
7. Turn the Page ~ Bob Segar
8. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad ~ Meat Loaf
9. Unwritten ~ Natasha Bedingfield
10. Wanted Dead or Alive ~ Bon Jovi
11. We Fall Down ~ Chris Tomlin
12. Welcome Home ~ Shaun Groves
13. What a Wonderful World ~ Louis Armstrong
14. When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues ~ Martina McBride
15. Wicked Game ~ Chris Isaac
16. Wild World ~ Cat Stevens
17. Wonderful Tonight ~ Eric Clapton
18. You Are My King (Amazing Love) ~ Newsboys
19. You Are So Beautiful ~ Joe Cocker
20. Young Love ~ The Judds

Thursday, January 22

Freedom of Choice Act ~ Current Events Wrap Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

Once again, with SO much going on in the world and nation today, I had to really search my heart to determine what I, and God, wanted me to write about. And once again, God led me to where He wanted me to go. Right now there is a battle being waged to end the slaughter of innocent lives through the barbaric act of abortion. Make no mistake, this is a battle between light and darkness and good and evil. And there can be only one acceptable outcome – protection of the lives of the innocent unborn.

Barack Obama is now officially the President of the United States. While campaigning last year, he made a promise to Planned Parenthood to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. In fact, he stated in that speech, that it would be his first order of business. Thus far he has not signed it and we need to pray that this is a campaign promise that he does not keep.

Some of you may not be aware of exactly what FOCA is. The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would eliminate every restriction on abortion nationwide. This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support, such as:
· FOCA will do away with state laws on parental involvement, on partial birth abortion, and on all other protections.
· FOCA will compel taxpayer funding of abortions.
· FOCA will force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.
· FOCA will remove requirements that women be given information about the risks of getting an abortion.
· FOCA will allow other than licensed physicians to perform abortions.

Perhaps you may not even be aware of the history of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Liberals would paint Margaret Sanger’s history as that of a caring and passionate nurse who fought for the reproductive rights of women. What they don’t mention is that she was very racist and a Nazi sympathizer. She was a strong proponent of forced sterilization and elimination of those she deemed inferior or unworthy. This would include anyone not white, poor, and mentally or physically disabled. Sanger was a proponent of eugenics, a social philosophy which claims that human hereditary traits can be improved through social intervention. Methods of social intervention (targeted at those seen as "genetically unfit") advocated by eugenicists have included selective breeding, sterilization and euthanasia.

This is not about choice, because proponents of abortion do not give vital information or facts that would allow an expectant mother to make a choice other than abortion. Since we now have a pro-abortion president, it is imperative that the fight continue. We must choose to get the facts, get involved and make our voices heard.

There are countless websites that give information on all types of abortion, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, etc. Support those who are on the front lines of this battle –Jill Stanek (former nurse), Gianna Jensen (abortion survivor), National Right to Life, Pro-Life, Americans United for Life, and Crisis Pregnancy Centers to name a few. Right now you can get involved by going to the website and sign a petition, and support financially, to fight the Freedom of Choice Act. Together we can win and save lives.

Wednesday, January 21

The Fullness of His Grace ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit The 160 Acre Woods, home of WFW.

If the only blessing He were to give me was His grace, then that would be more than I deserve. And yet, He has blessed me with so much more. Thank you Lord, for the abundance of blessings you’ve given me, day after day, Amen

Tuesday, January 20

Martin Luther King Jr. ~ Character Counts

It was really easy for me to choose who my first profile would be on. Given the specific timing I thought it would be appropriate. Today, America will be celebrating the inauguration of our first African American President. Whether I voted for him or not (I didn’t), this is cause for celebration. And no, I’m not profiling Barack Obama. But I’ve no doubt that Obama would not be where he is today without standing on the shoulders of giants. This first post of mine is profiling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King certainly did not fight the battle of civil rights alone, but without a doubt, he was a leading general and a powerful force in it. His legacy is rich and far-reaching, with people from all walks of life and around the world considering him to be a hero. He was even voted as the 2nd most widely admired person of the 20th Century, in a Gallup list. But his own history and character is what helped to shape him into that powerful force.

In 1929, King was born to the Reverend Michael and Alberta King. He was named after his father and both were known as Michael until the family took a trip to Europe in 1934 and visited Germany. Upon returning home, Michael Sr. changed both of their names to Martin Luther King (Sr. and Jr.) in honor of the great Protestant reformer Martin Luther. King Jr. grew up as a preacher’s kid and became a preacher himself. He was a Godly man and his love of and service for God was what propelled him to become the man he did.

It was his experience as a preacher that made King such an exceptional communicator, whether writing or speaking. He was a man passionate about freedom for all and equally passionate about the power of peace. With hate and violence all around him, he responded with love and peace. There was great strength in his activism because he truly believed that love covers hate, good overcomes evil and light pushes back the darkness. With that in mind, he organized non-violent protests and marches, which drew much media attention that exposed flagrant segregation, discrimination and horrid indignities suffered by the black community everywhere, but particularly in the south.

His work in the civil rights movement had much to do with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His belief in his life work was so strong he was willing to die for it. He had a dream for equality and inspired countless others to fight for that dream too. King also believed that character makes the man and lived his own life accordingly. Service was a part of his life and quoted Jesus in saying “he who wants to be the greatest among you must be a servant.” He also said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

For his life work, King has been awarded numerous awards. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He’s been awarded at least 50 honorary degrees from colleges & universities in the U.S. and elsewhere. Time Magazine named him person of the year. In addition, he has been awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Oddly, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded King the Margaret Sanger (founder of PP) Award for "his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity,” which is ironic due to the well-known, lifelong, racist and pro-Nazi views of Ms. Sanger. On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King and it was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.

On April 4th, 1968, King was assassinated. The assassination ended the life of a great man, but it did not end the movement and life work of that great man. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life of service and passionately fought, peacefully, for something greater than himself, freedom and equality for all.

Now, forty years later, his legacy and his dream live on. Now, forty years later, America has her first African American president. Have we reached the promise land he so eloquently spoke of? I don’t know if we have or not. But I am reasonably certain he would be pleased that this highest of milestones has been reached. Martin Luther King Jr. was a good man, a man who understood that character counts.

Quotes from MLK Jr.:

~ A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

~ I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

~ Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~ If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

~ Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

~ Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

~ He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

~ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

~ I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

Monday, January 19

Introducing Character Counts

I am really excited about this new series that I am beginning called Character Counts. It is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now. By and large, society is suffering from a serious deficiency in character – even within the church. People are celebrated and even idolized because they can perform well in sports and all forms of entertainment. For most, their skills may be enviable, but their character is not.

Most of those who are heralded as heroes today are not – they’re just celebrities. What I want to do in this series is focus on people who are true heroes or men and women of good character. Those who understand sacrifice for a greater good, who live a life of integrity, dignity and honor. Some you’ll all probably know, while others you may not. Some may be living, and others may be long dead. Regardless, in my opinion, all who are featured here have made the world a better place.

Oh, and one more thing. I really think this is bigger than me and am open to participation from others. If others share this vision of celebrating people of character and would like to participate, I would be happy to make this into a twice a month meme. I will be posting Character Counts on the first and third Tuesday of each month, so my first personality will be featured tomorrow. Be sure to stop by and see who I've chosen to hightlight. Thank you!

Thursday, January 15

Don't Ask, Don't Tell ~ Current Events Wrap Up

Ok, I’m still excited about this new weekly meme that is being hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. But I forgot it was Thursday! The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

Like I said, I forgot it was Thursday, so this will be a brief post because I obviously haven’t had time to really focus in and write the way I would want to. That said, I do know what I want to write about. President-Elect Barack Obama is overturning the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about gays serving in the military.

Are you kidding me??? No, I’m not happy about this at all. Of course, we wouldn’t even be dealing with this issue if Bill Clinton hadn’t done his best to decimate the military (through various means) while he was in office in the 90’s, but for Barack Obama to take this to the next level is just wrong.

While there may be some in the military that it truly doesn’t bother, I’d venture to say that for most this is both extremely disturbing and distracting. And distracting can actually be worse in a war zone, which we have going on two fronts. This is not a matter of lifestyle choice. In the military, people live, work and socialize together in very close proximity to one another. Privacy can be difficult to come by.

It is a shrewd move though. What better way to placate the rabid liberals who became enraged at B.O.’s invitation to Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration? I shudder to think what this is going to do to our military and national security. But I guess I should be happy that he has not yet made good on his promise that his first order of business would be to pass the Freedom of Choice Act to make it even easier to murder innocent babies. May God help us all.

Wednesday, January 14

Stay the Course ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit The 160 Acre Woods, home of WFW.

For my first WFW of 2009, I decided to focus on the Scripture picture I created for my 2009 theme. This is my focus for the year, to Stay the Course, Look Forward, Press On and Receive the Prize. To persevere in my writing and in my struggles. I know that I can cross the finish line victoriously, if I just keep my eyes on the prize and stay close to Him.

Tuesday, January 13

Foundational Fitness ~ Choosing Life

I am very excited that my Choosing Life column for Take Root and Write is now being published twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday of each month. As such, I’ll republish my article here, the day after it posts on my column. TRW is a wonderful place to read amazing articles from over 40 different columns and women. I encourage you to check it out – I’m sure you’ll find something there that you’ll enjoy very much. You may even decide to become a guest contributor yourself!


“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” ~ Deut. 30:19

Ok, so it’s the beginning of a New Year and that means we’re talking about fitness – Foundational Fitness, to be exact. I’m not one who typically tends to make resolutions, because frankly they just don’t work for me. But I do think it is important to reflect, assess and adjust. In order to continue Choosing Life, I have to reflect on where I’ve been and where I am. I have to assess the situation by basically looking for cracks or other flaws in my foundation. And finally, I have to make any adjustments, corrections or improvements that may be needed to move forward.

Of course, my foundation is my relationship with Jesus. How can I really choose life, if I’m not giving the appropriate attention the life giver? I believe it is important for every believer to take time periodically to really focus on their relationship with the Lord. How often is up to the individual, and hopefully allowance is made for the Holy Spirit, but it should be done.

When we take the opportunity to examine our own hearts, to examine our prayer time, praise time, worship time, quiet time, etc., and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us areas we could or should improve in, He will. When we really observe the movies, books and music we keep in our homes, are they all ok for us, or do a few of them give us a check in our spirit? If we do get that check in our spirit, what do we do about it? Do we ignore it and hope it will go away (because eventually it will) or do we take action and remove it from our presence?

This is not about a list of rules. We each have things we struggle with and things we don’t. I will not attempt to try to make someone do this or stop that, because that’s not my job. That is the job of the Holy Spirit and if we are in tune with Him, He will convict us. And if we’re willing, He’ll also help us to do or stop doing whatever it is we’re feeling conviction for. But only if we’re willing.

A moment ago, I mentioned that if we ignore a check in our spirit, it will eventually stop and go away. That’s what it is to harden our hearts to the Lord. And it is choosing death. Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit when He joined the Father in heaven to help us live this Christian life. He knew we were still in the world, even if we were no longer of the world, and He in His good grace and mercy, provided us with a Helper while we are yet here. But it is up to us to accept the help our Helper can give us.

The condition of our foundation, or spiritual life, is completely in our control. We can choose to make any changes that are necessary to make sure that it’s sound. If our prayer life is shallow, we can choose to go deeper. If our quiet time is not what it should be, we can choose to make the necessary changes to improve it. If our service to God and to our neighbors is lacking, we can choose to make it increase. All of these things are how we choose life in our spiritual lives.

That said, I think it is important to acknowledge that there are times that our spiritual life may be weak because of a specific situation we are in. For example, when I first had my baby, I simply was not concerned with the quality of my prayer time or quiet time or service, etc. Nope, I was too busy trying to learn how to be a mother and take care of this newborn, recover from surgery and frankly, I was just doggone tired! But I knew that was a specific situation, for a specific time, and God’s grace and understanding covered me. However, those situations are only for a time, and then, when the time has passed, we should be mindful to get back into our spiritual routines. Again, that is choosing life in our spiritual life.

It really is in our best interest to make sure our foundation is secure. In Matthew, Jesus talks about the importance of making sure our foundation is built out of something that will last, such as stone, so that when the storms come, we are anchored and secure and can weather the storm. To the contrary, if our foundation is built out of temporary things, such as sand, the storms that inevitably come will destroy us.

In this theme, imagine a sand castle. I’ve seen some pretty impressive ones, built several feet high, with great detail and structure, but in the end they’re still just a pile of sand, which is evident if wind, water or another force comes into contact with it. On the other hand, think of a real castle. I’ve seen some pretty impressive real castles too. I had the privilege of living in England for a couple of years and never failed to experience a sense of awe when I saw these amazing, massive structures that had been around for several hundreds of years! Which one of these castles would you rather live in?

It’s the same with our spiritual foundation. I want to make sure my foundation is strong, built on the Stone that is Jesus and know that through Him I have the strength to come through any storm. That is choosing life!

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” ~ Matt. 7:24-27

Thursday, January 8

It's Here ~ The Current Events Wrap Up Meme!

Ok, I am SO excited about this new weekly meme that is being hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. In the weeks leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, Julie became a part-time armchair political pundit wannabe (I think those were her words), and many of us thought she did a fantastic job! Much more fair and balanced than the Mainstream Media, I thought. There were, I think, several of us who wanted her to continue (and I think she did too), so here we are. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave her for continuing on in a similar way. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

As I said, I was really excited about this because… well, frankly, it’s because I’m a news junkie and I believe that it’s important to be aware of what is happening in the world. And to be honest with you, I am passionate about some things, like America, conservatism, anti-abortion, freedom of (not from) religion, etc, and I’m opinionated I sometimes like to share my opinion.

While I was really excited about this, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write on. Seriously, there is so much going on! The Presidential transition, the economy, the war on terror, the war between Israel and Palestine, the persistent bullying antics from Russia, not to mention the fact that Brittany Spears actually seems to be getting her act together for the moment, and the list could go on and on. Well, I was watching the Today Show this morning (for research, really…) and one of the guests was the always controversial, love her or hate her, Ann Coulter, and that was it! I had ‘my story’!

For anyone who may not know, Ann Coulter is an ultra-conservative political pundit, who is proud to have the title of the ‘Most Hated Conservative in America’. She is a former attorney, has written five New York Times bestsellers, is the legal correspondent for Human Events, and writes a popular syndicated column for Universal Press, which can also be read on her website,

That is her bio. She’s also a Christian and has been named as one of the top public intellectuals by federal judge Richard Posner. Ann is an unapologetic very anti-liberal, very in-your-face and tell it like it is, take-no-prisoners kind of girl. She truly is one of those individuals that people tend to either love or hate, with not much in the middle. I personally love her. Her wit is razor-sharp and her sarcasm is both biting and brutal. I love to listen to her, and read her column and books. Honestly, she makes me laugh. A lot.

The reason I wanted to write about her though, is in relation to the interview she did today with Matt Lauer. They talked about her new book, Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America. Matt said something to the effect of, she made a lot of good points (and some he didn’t agree with) about societal issues in her book, but that the way she said it would really turn people off and didn’t that worry her. Of course, she said, no, and they went back and forth. But that particular exchange really got me thinking.

As I said, I love Ann, but I totally get why other people don’t. She’s brilliant and passionate, but she’s also very controversial and extremely acerbic. The way she says the things she says, really offends a lot of people – even other conservatives. Of course what she says offends liberals, regardless of how she says it, but the point is, to me anyway, she’s saying it. She talks about, and offers tons of documentation to verify, the things people don’t want to talk about.

On a regular basis she writes scathingly about the ACLU, NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood, vicious criminals and the liberals who love them, corrupt or immoral politicians (Democrats and Republicans, though she’s not as hard on Republicans because she knows the liberals and MSM will take care of them), abortion, global warming, evolution, feminism and emasculated men, etc. Very often, she makes great points in what she says, but like Matt, I wondered if her style damaged her substance?

Then I came to the conclusion that no it doesn’t, because she creates controversy. And controversy sells. And controversy gets people talking. And the people who are talking are making others aware of what they are talking about. Ann discusses things other people don’t like to, or want to, or even know anything about, like NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) which incites members to "rape male children" and "serves as a conduit for an underground network of pedophiles in the U.S. and is being defended by the ACLU (for more info on this click here).

The point is Ann Coulter gets people reading, listening and talking by creating controversy. That’s her job. And when people talk, when there is more awareness of what is really happening in the places us nice folks don’t go to, when we learn of the depths that some factions of society have sunk to, then we can become outraged. And spread the word. And get involved. And fight to take back our country by praying, voting, talking, and supporting those who are on the front lines in the culture war (and war on terror, by the way) battling for us.

Yep, I like Ann. And it’s ok if you don’t. She’s certainly not going to win any popularity or Miss Congeniality contests. But I also think she probably doesn’t care. I hope you enjoyed this, my first contribution to the Current Events Wrap Up meme. Be sure to check back next Thursday and see what I come up with. And Julie, thank you so much for hosting this!

Tuesday, January 6

Blog News

It is a new year and with that often comes new things. As you’ve already seen, my blog has undergone a makeover and now has a new look. Also, for the first time, I have a new theme/scripture for the year. There is a precious friend and her daughter, who are working on a couple of blog buttons for me, which will also be new. And I’m also working on some new content for my blog. Oh, and one more thing, new focus and goals. Yep, lots of new.

As I mentioned, and you see, I have a new blog look and soon to be revealed blog buttons. There will be one for my actual blog, Seed Thoughts, as well as one for my ongoing series/column ‘Choosing Life’ and a new series I’m working on called ‘Character Counts.’

I’m very excited about this new ‘Character Counts’ series which will include mini-bio’s on people who’ve lived lives of admirable character, who’ve overcome great adversity or who’ve otherwise become heroes. This will be based on their character, not celebrity status.

Another new blog content thing will be participating in the ‘Current Events Wrap Up’ meme, hosted by Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. This meme, as the name suggests, is to discuss current events, whether at a local, state, nation or world level. It could be political, natural disaster, news events, school board – whatever is a current event for you. I’m really looking forward to this one!

Of course I’ll still be participating in the Word-Filled Wednesday and Thankful Thursday memes as well, though probably not every week. I’m sure there will also be other random posts – devotional, informative, personal, and maybe even a Fiction Friday here and there. The book reviews are sticking around, and I am absolutely continuing the His Princess letters every Monday!

On the thing I’ll be focusing on much more is my fiction writing. If I loved it before, having successfully completed NaNoWriMo, I’m now addicted. I’ll be working on editing my novel from NaNo, A Little Rain Must Fall, as well as write more. I’m very excited about this venture and also plan to seek representation later in the year.

Aside from my Seed Thought blog, I will be posting more to the team He Said, She Said blog that I write with Jeff. And my Choosing Life column at Take Root and Write will now publish twice a month, rather than once a month.

As you can see, there’s lot’s going on in my writing life. And I’m truly excited about it all. I will disclose details as things progress, so be sure to look for more info to come. Thank you for reading, commenting and encouraging me! I really do love my bloggy buddies and I so enjoy reading your blogs too (even if I don’t comment every time anymore)!

I pray you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009 and look forward to seeing where we all are at the end of the year!

Monday, January 5

More From 'He Said, She Said'

Hi Everyone! Just in case you're interested, Jeff and I have each published a new blog post on our team blog He Said, She Said. We're kicking off the New Year together here. We'd love to know what you think! Blessings!

Friday, January 2

Never Again List

I have been struggling just a bit with what to do for my first blog post of 2009. I mean, you only get one ‘first’ of the year post. Such pressure! Just kidding – sort of. I really didn’t want to do a post about goals, resolutions or any of the typical New Years things, but at the same time I really do understand the desire to focus in on change, because after all, that’s what a new year is, right?

What I’ve decided to post is a list I recently came across, while doing some end of year cleaning. This is not a list that I compiled, but I like it very much, and so I’ve decided to share it with you. It really is an appropriate list to begin a new year. I know that I will fail in keeping this list completely, but it will serve as a reminder to renew my mind daily and take my thoughts captive. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Never again will I confess “I Can’t” for “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Phil. 4:13

Never again will I confess “Lack” for “My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil. 4:19

Never again will I confess “Fear” for “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of sound mind.” ~ 2 Tim. 1:7

Never again will I confess “Doubt and Lack of Faith” for “God has given to every man the measure of faith.” ~ Romans 12:3

Never again will I confess “Weakness” for “The Lord is the strength of my life.” ~ Psa. 27:1

Never again will I confess “Defeat” for “God always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus.” ~ 2 Cor. 2:14

Never again will I confess “Lack of Wisdom” for “Christ Jesus has made unto me wisdom from God.” ~ 2 Cor. 1:30

Never again will I confess “Worries and Frustrations” for “I am casting all my cares upon Him who cares for me.” ~ 1 Pet. 5:7

Never again will I confess “Condemnation” for “There is therefore now no condemnation for those which are in Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 8:2

Praise God and Amen!