Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Contemplating Job

I have done a great deal of reading in the Book of Job in the Old Testament. [For some odd reason ;) ].

I was reading it again this morning, and specifically contemplating Job's answer to the Lord in the last chapter:

Job 42
Job's Confession

1Then Job answered the LORD and said,
2"I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?'
"Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."
4'Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.'
5"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
6Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes."

[Notice how the words: "You suck God! How could you do this to me?!" are NOT part of his speech? LOL!]

Many people over the years have compared my life to Job [which is ridiculous really - Job endured trials far beyond my ability to endure - for example, if my children all died there would not be one shred of sanity left within me].

But I think people don't read to the end of the book.

The story of Job is actually a *Comedy* [in the classical sense], NOT a *Tragedy*.

Job perseveres. He loves the Lord no matter what befalls him. When he has lost everything and even his own wife is telling him to curse the Lord, he perseveres.

The book of Job ends with the above prayer and then with a final bit that tells of the many gifts the Lord bestows upon Job for his faithfulness - Job becomes twice as wealthy as he was, twice as prosperous, he is widely respected. He has seven sons and three daughters who are beautiful above any other women in the land. Job is, incidentally, one of the only men in the Bible who gives an inheritance to his daughters [and not just to his sons], and his daughters are some of the only daughters mentioned by name in the Bible: Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-happuch.

The book of Job ends like this: "and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren. Then Job died, old and full of years."


The story of Job is not a sad story about some pathetic guy who loses everything - it is a story of hope and beauty, about a man of character and courageous Faith who remains steadfast and loving in the face of terrible adversity. A man who, in the end, comes face to face with his God and is blessed beyond measure.

The next time someone makes a tongue in cheek comment about my life being the life of Job, I will smile broadly and say "Thank you!!!".

Today I Praise God for all the good in my life, for the hope found in the Book of Job, and I look towards the next chapter in my own Comedy - with much Hope and Gratitude and Love for God.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts on Twilight??

[spoiler warning: if you haven't read those stupid Twilight books and you plan to, there are spoilers below so skip this post].

Public school is going great for us now - it is actually a good experience most of the time these days, and I'm so happy about that.

I haven't seen near the negative pressure from the other kids at school that I was expecting - over all, the kids at my children's school are very nice children. [The one that was bullying and ridiculing my oldest so badly the first few weeks of school had the courtesy to move away. Wasn't that nice of him? LOL!]

We do have one issue that is coming up though: the Twilight books.

According to my oldest child, "Everyone" in her 5th grade class has read them and she's just devastated that she hasn't and doesn't know what they are talking about. [And she has the added handicap that she's my child - the idea that there is a book out there that she can't read is just beyond bearing. Books MUST be read! LOL!]

I have a HUGE issue with this one though.

I read all four of those books in about 4 weeks [which is about 2200 pages of book...ugh!]. Other issues aside, they are just poorly written - they stink. I feel that the author had some very good, fairly unique and interesting ideas, but her actual execution of the books is just miserable.

The first book in the series, "Twilight", is the best of the four I believe [and it was bad IMO], and they go dramatically down hill from there - culminating in book 4 which is one of the worst books I've ever suffered through - I hated it.

Poor writing aside though, I think these books are bad because of the characters involved.

The main character, teenage Bella, is pursued by a Vampire named "Edward" who is an obsessive stalker. Seriously, if he was human and not a "sexy Vampire", he'd be in jail. He is *insanely* possessive and controlling of Bella's life and a really, really sick model of a "romantic character". And teenage girls the world over LOVE this character now - he is THE model for what they are looking for in a man - which scares me half to death. I was once engaged to a guy much like Edward - only not a Vampire ;) - and it is NOT a romantic thing, it is a living hell.

Then there is the other main character, "Jacob", who is a Native American Werewolf who also loves Bella. In my opinion, she uses him badly [he is my favorite character in the books though, so maybe I'm biased] and breaks his heart over and over just so she won't be lonely while she waits for Edward. Then, in one of the most bizarre twists of any plot ever, he instantly falls madly in love with Bella's infant daughter in book 4 and waits for her to grow up so he can be her husband .... which was just stinking creepy IMO.

And let's just talk about book 4... because that's really where it gets too bad to read. The one good thing I can say about the series is that there is no pre-marital sex, however - TEENAGE Bella does marry Edward in book 4 and the first part of the book is a soft core porn romance about their honeymoon - no vivid details, but definitely enough steamy-ness to get every teenage girl on the planet going places she shouldn't in her mind.

Then, TEENAGE Bella becomes pregnant instantly, is extremely sick while pregnant [she DOES forbid an abortion of the baby, which was actually cool], and is dying in childbirth until Edward has to "turn" her into a blood sucking Vampire to "save her life". [Bella has been BEGGING him to turn her into a Monster for the whole 4 book series, she finally gets her wish].

Then the baby is some sort of bizarre human/Vampire half breed who has super powers and... gosh, it just gets more and more bizarre....

I just don't want my 11 year old reading these books....

What are other moms doing? [And I know some of you will disagree with me because, obviously, these books are EXTREMELY popular and well loved by millions].

I am not one to ban books, and I will be comfortable with her reading these later [hopefully after she's 16 or so ... even better, after she's 21 LOL!].

Comments? Opinions? ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Quote of the Day:

"Happiness Is A Choice" - Randy Disher

I needed to hear this tonight. It is very true, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Happens In Heaven

This is not a deep theological piece, but a very "dead on" piece that was emailed to me by a friend. I think we could ALL benefit from reading this. Hope you like it as much as I did:


I dreamed that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, 'This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.'

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth..

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed." How is it that there is no work going on here?' I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments"

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked..

"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."

"And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."

"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. "

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... You are ahead of 700 million people in the world."

"If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world."

"If your parents are still alive and still married ..you are very rare."

"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair......."

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you care to, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

ATTN: Acknowledge Dept.
"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people with whom to share it. "

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallow's Eve 2009

We had such a fun Halloween!!! It was a very busy day - pretty exhausting but sooo much fun!

We started early. The Monkey Aunt came over in the morning and we went to the children's elementary school at 10am for their "Fall Festival". They had Jumpy Jumps there for the kids, a rock climbing wall, games and "fair" type food. The kids had a lot of fun.

Then we left and spent the afternoon taking the three older kids to their Basketball and Cheerleading orientations. I was very impressed with the program - they seemed very positive with the kids and very well organized. I think it will be a success and the kids are really excited!

After that, we came back to our house to prepare for Trick or Treating. I carved two pumpkins with the designs the kids drew up [really fun!]. The kids and the Monkey Aunt had decorated our house extensively on the outside of our house - it was soooo cool looking.

Both of my parents, Sister, and Brother all came over to "do" Halloween with us and it went so well.

We got the kids into their costumes. They all looked so cute.

Here is Monkey1 as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz:

Here is Monkey2 as "Commander Cody" from Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

Monkey3 as a "Kitty Cat":

Monkey4 as a "Sorceress" [which, as far as I can tell, means "Witch in a fancy dress" LOL!]:

Monkey5 as a Lion:

And here is Monkey6 with me. Monkey6 was going to be a kitten, but I lost her little hat with her cat ears, so we decided she was a "Scottish Fold" kitten [a type of cat where the ears fold in toward the cat's head and you can't really see them LOL!]:

We did end up really missing our old neighborhood when we started Trick or Treating. In our old neighborhood, it was a really fun community event - at least half the homes gave out candy and we used to go through the neighborhood in a big group with several families from our cul-de-sac.

Not so much in our new neighborhood. I almost wonder if it is because of some big push from some of the Fundamentalist Churches around here, but most homes did not give out candy - I'd say one house in 10 or 15 maybe. Which meant we walked a LONG way and the kids had almost no candy. Finally my Sister and Brother decided to load the kids up in the car and drive them around [we live in a HUGE subdivision] so that they could trick or treat more homes than we could walk to since they were so few and far between.

The kids ended up having a great time and so did the Grandparents, Aunt, and Uncle and I. We had a TON of Trick or Treaters at our house [hundreds - I've never seen so many!]. I had bought $50 worth of candy and ended up running to Walmart about 7:30 to buy more because we had run out!

All in all, it was a very fun day. It ended with several of the children having their obligatory "I ate too much sugar and food dye and I am exhausted" melt downs around 8:30 when they got home, but by 9:15 everyone was in bed asleep - so that's a good night in my opinion! LOL!

Hope you had a Happy All Hallow's Eve yourself!