Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A "Perfectly Normal" Update

Here's the newest ALL update that I received today.......a follow up to the one I posted earlier this week. Does anyone else find this kind of stuff infuriating and irritating??? Why isn't there more uproar over this??

It's Perfectly Inappropriate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – "How can anyone claim that this book is appropriate for 10 year olds?" asked Jim Sedlak, vice-president for American Life League. "First, pixilated images and excerpts of the book were rejected by a state prison, and now video-streaming sites are censoring the content of a video containing those pixilated images as well."

Sedlak was referring to the Planned Parenthood endorsed book, It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris. A few months ago, a Washington State Prison rejected a letter that included censored images from the book for being "sexually explicit" and "obscene." Last week American Life League posted a video report on several streaming-video sites exposing the content of the book, which is aimed at 10 year old children. The video report was removed from .., sharkle.com, and hi5.com for "inappropriate content," and flagged on metacafe.com for viewers over 18.

"What an irony that censored content from a book intended for 10-year-old children is rejected by a prison, removed from video-streaming sites, and flagged for viewers over the age of 18," said Sedlak. "We actually have no objection to the actions of the online sites and the prison. We agree that this is not appropriate content."

"We are calling for libraries, schools and parents all across the country to take similar action," Sedlak concluded, "Planned Parenthood should be denied access to our children at all times. The material it promotes is totally inappropriate and could be harmful."

American Life League's video report can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuUmsZYWnrs

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do You REALLY Want Your Kids To Read This Book?

It never ceases to amaze me how God crosses my path with such wonderful people!! I say this because I was recently contacted by Mr. Michael Hichborn of American Life League. He asked if I would be willing to post their news alerts and videos on my blog. ALL is an organization that I have notably promoted in my blogs for quite some time (and will continue to do so!) so this was a proposition I most certainly couldn’t refuse and I gratefully and humbly accepted!! I am very honored to partner with an organization like ALL in order to keep fighting for life!!

So, before I get to the subject matter of the alert and video, I would like to urge all of you that if you don’t already know what American Life League is all about, please check out their website (and donate if you can!!). They need all the support they can get - especially this time of year!! Remember, your gifts are tax deductible and with tax time rolling around soon, that would be yet one more deduction for you to claim!! But, above all else, donate because God places it on your heart - not because I or anyone else told you to or to get a benefit from it. And, if you can’t donate money right now, just consistently donate your prayers!!

Also, there is another way you can donate to American Life League and that is through a special website called iGive. It is a website that gives your selected charity financial contributions when you shop online through their site. Registration is totally free and you get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped your charity with every order you place through your favorite online dealers!! All you have to do is sign up through the link provided, pick your designated charity - like American Life League (or even your local crisis pregnancy center!) and then start shopping through the site!! That’s it!! Oh, and when you sign-up through that link, you will get an extra $5 towards your designated charity when you make your first purchase within 45 days of joining!! How cool is that???

So, can we flood American Life League with tons of donation checks from iGive and make their Christmas a very merry one?? Organizations like American Life League, Americans United for Life, and local crisis pregnancy centers need every dollar they can get to keep fighting the good fight!!

Ok,…..now, please take a look at this all important video from American Life League and read the news alert below. Man, it’s enough to make you sick!! Do you want your children reading this book? If not, make sure it’s not in your local library and that the schools aren’t handing this out to YOUR child!! If they are, RAISE A FUSS, band together as concerned parents, and make a difference!! God bless you!!!



American Life League releases video report on children's sex book

WASHINGTON, D.C. · November 19, 2007 / PRNewswire / – "Parents need to know what Planned Parenthood has in store for their children and this report is an excellent starting point," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. "The book 'It's Perfectly Normal' is obscene and offensive to Christians."

American Life League's second video report exposes the contents of the book "It's Perfectly Normal." Recently, a Washington State Prison rejected a fundraising letter that included censored images from the book for being "sexually explicit" and "obscene."

American Life League released the report as a part of its continuing effort to educate the public on Planned Parenthood's activities.

"This video report is just the beginning," said Sedlak. "We will continue to use this new media to expose the nation's largest abortion chain and we call on Christians across the nation to join us in putting a stop to tax payer funds for Planned Parenthood."

For the truth about Planned Parenthood, check out these related links:

Protect Your Children - exposing Planned Parenthood's war on childhood innocence:
http://www.clmagazine.org/backissues/2006mayjune_30-33protectyourchildren.pdf

Sign our petition to end tax funding for Planned Parenthood:
http://www.stopplannedparenthoodtaxfunding.com/

Get the Wednesday STOPP Report:
http://www.all.org/stopp/report.htm

Help us continue with these releases:
https://secure.entango.com/donate/L28th6e4EnB

See the ad information that a Washington State Prison rejected:
http://www.all.org/db_file/1050.pdf

The Blessing of Thorns

I read this on a myspace bulletin and I had to share this.......

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole that from her.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come for the holiday. Then Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. She has no idea what I'm feeling, thought Sandra with a shudder. Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? She wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her.

"I....I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving "Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."

Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Just then the shop door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara, replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest. And she left with her order.

"Uh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uh....she just left with no flowers!

"Right, said the clerk, "I cut off the flowers. That's the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery." "That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk, "and for the first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and never questioned the good things that happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask questions! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others." Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her.

"I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving Special....12 thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said. "It's all too...fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first." It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for your roses; thank him for your thorns!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Susan's Adoption Story

My best friend, Susan Stafford, has just made a very beautiful and touching video of how she gave up her son for adoption when she was in the sex industry all those years ago. She has since been totally transformed by the love of Jesus and has been out of the industry for years and shares her testimony with the world! However, she still grieves for the child that she gave up all those years ago. That is why she decided to write her story and make a video for the Mark Shultz contest which is now accepting votes for the best written story and video. So please, check out this video and please take the time to register on Mark Shultz’s website and vote for both her written and video testimony. Also, be warned: you WILL need tissues!!!! (Yes, I bawled like a baby!! It totally touched my heart!!)

Let’s support Susan and give all the glory to God!! If she wins, it will remain on Mark Shultz’s website for 60 days and will be a great opportunity for others to learn of Susan’s testimony.

So please, vote for BOTH the written version here (she’s story #1) and for the video version here (she‘s video #2). Just post a reply on the message board that you are voting for Susan’s testimony/video. That’s all you have to do to have your vote counted. And, if you would, please forward this information to your friends!! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU!!!

He Has Restored Me!! :)

If there ever was the perfect message to hear, today was it!! I'm not kidding!! Make sure you listen to today's message on our church's website when it is made available!! I can't emphasize it enough!! Today changed my life!!

So, what was so powerful? I'll tell you what, it's GOD!! It's GOD working through people to do miraculous things!! It was GOD using Tom Felger, the president of The House of Hope, to share a profound message of impact today!! I've got to tell you that when I saw he was preaching today, I was SO EXCITED because I KNEW that God would have a word for me and that this would be a pivotal and life-changing day for me.

Tom talked about surrender. Yeah, I thought that too……."oh no…..not SURRENDER!" That is a TOUGH word!! It's HARD to know what that means and what it looks like. Bit by bit, I have begun to understand, but it truly got driven home even deeper today.

Tom talked about his surrender; about how Jesus has always been his Savior, but never really his LORD. He said that he had it all together; he loved his job, family, his life, everything! Yet, he still felt like there had to be more (just like this song/video reminds me of - please check it out and really listen to the words! I've been singing it a lot lately). So, anyways, he said that he was given a book called "Prison to Praise" by Merlin Carothers. It's a very short, powerful, book - and only 106 pages! In fact, this book was also given to me (and I think by the same person - though Tom didn't mention names. I started on it, but haven't made it all the way through - but I will make it a priority to finish it this week). Tom said that he was told that the book would change his life - and it did!!

Tom said that after he read that book, he started thinking about how he just wanted more of God; to go deeper. He talked about how he realized that "your ability to TRUST God is largely defined by your IMAGE of GOD." He began taking God out of the "box" and began looking at Him in a bigger way. He also realized that he had to have a relentless pursuit of God and go after Him with all he had and surrender daily.

Surrender is a lifestyle. (Oh boy is it ever!! WOW! That really hit home for me!! I never thought of it in those exact words before!). And, how do we surrender? What does it mean? Here is another thing Tom said that really opened my eyes wide: "TRUST is the fuel for SURRENDER." Can anyone say, "WOW!!"?

Tom pointed out that we really have to TRUST in Jeremiah 29:11 which says: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us and when Tom said, "Do you believe that what God has is better than what you can come up with?" THAT really spoke to me too!! We don't always know what is best for us - even when we think we do. It takes that daily surrender and seeking of the Lord for us to KNOW exactly what He wants for us and from us. The bottom line being that above anything else - even of all the good blessings in our life - Christ is our highest calling. He should always be our number one allegiance. "Above all, I serve You," he said.

That principle is what really got Tom to thinking. He said he was reading his Bible outside one day, and the page kept flipping over. He kept turning it back to what he was originally reading, but that page kept flipping over. When he realized that it couldn't be the wind, or coincidence, he stopped to think for a moment. He said the Lord told him, "Why are you resisting me?" So, he thought to himself that if that page blew over again, he would read where his eyes fell. Well, of course, that page did turn again, and his eyes fell on these words: "…. do you truly love me more than these?…" - John 21:15 He said "THESE" really jumped out at him and got him to thinking what his "THESE" were.

What are your "THESE"? That is some heavy fuel for thought!! Do we really love Jesus more than "THESE"? Do we love Him? Do we TRUST Him? Tom pointed out that you can't love without trust. Indeed!! 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." So, how can we love God, or anyone, without trust?

Tom said his trust was really tested when he was miraculously healed of a disease that doctors said would pretty much cripple him as he got older and that there was no hope for him. He had dealt with it a long time, but God totally set him free from it!! He was prayed for, and he said that he just felt his whole spine come into alignment and he had no more pain. The doctors are absolutely stunned!! And, he said that when someone told him "When it tries to come back, don't accept it." he was a little mystified. But then, he saw what she meant because it did try to come back. Satan doesn't want us to be free and he wants us to doubt our healing. But, he said when the pain did start to creep back, he would just put his hand on it and pray over himself and the pain would leave. He also said God called him out on the fact that he was still keeping his pain pills. So, he finally took all of them and threw them away.

He also said that he began to get frustrated that it didn't seem like "total" healing because it kept trying to rear it's head again. He said he "had it out" with God and was out in the field on his knees praying and crying out; wondering why it didn't seem complete. He said he was distracted by all these birds, and a rabbit hopping around and all these creatures that seemed to be invading his space as he prayed. He said that he remembers God distinctly saying: "If you don't praise me, they will!!" (Oh, man!! I sure don't want birds, rabbits, or even STONES doing my job!!!).

Tom described prayer and praise as our offensive weapon. "Praise even when it doesn't make sense," he said. RIGHT ON!! There are ups and down in our life; it's NEVER "smooth" (and if it is, buddy, you've got a problem!!)

Thankfulness and praise is the key to getting through EVERYTHING!! If you allow yourself to be angry and bitter, the doubts will set in, and things will be all the tougher. No one knows this better than I!! This was definitely something I needed to hear, because I allowed my faith to be weakened in these last few months. It's like Kent always says, we got to persevere! We got to "face the fire, feel the heat, and find the gold." There IS gold!! God refines us!! All the good stuff - and maybe even more so, the BAD STUFF - refines us and makes us stronger!!

I decided that I wasn't going to let myself be "down" anymore. I wasn't going to be like a friend I knew who always allowed her bondage to come back. Every time she was set free, she would be drawn right back into it by refusing to accept her freedom completely and permanently. That would not be me. I KNEW that today was the day where I was going to receive my miraculous breakthrough - the final piece to all the breakthroughs that I have had this week (which I will not disclose at this time).

I was scared about going forward at the end. I knew I had to, but like so many times, one wants someone "else" to go first. But, I felt like God was saying that sometimes, we have to be the ones to step out first. I couldn't wait for someone else to submit before I did - because what if that would never come? So, I took Mitch, Phil, and Cindy up front with me, and they prayed for me. Then, Tom came down and prayed for me as well; along with his wife, Patrice, and a few other people.

By the time we were all finished, I felt such a release!! I am SO THANKFUL for all the friends I have that have carried me through this and helped me to resolve so many issues for me today!! I am even more grateful that I asked Tom to pray for my neck and back - which gives me a lot of pain (my neck especially). I can't describe it either, but my neck really feels different!! The surging pain that plagues me so often is not there now!! And, if it tries to come back, I will do what Tom did and I will place my hand on it, pray it away, and not accept the pain again!! I am just in such a state of amazement!! I mean, usually, I am always turning my head, cracking my neck and trying to get relief. Now, I feel like my neck and spine is straighter and it totally feels different too!! I move my neck side to side or downward, and I don't have that pain!!!! It feels like I had the best chiropractic adjustment ever, and I DID!! It was from JESUS; the GREAT PHYSISIAN; the MIGHTIEST HEALER OF THEM ALL!! I just can't get over how different I feel!! I had learned to live with it and had never thought of asking for prayer for it until now (it had been getting REALLY bad and unbearable!). PRAISE GOD!!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

There is so much more that I could say about my personal healing and progress today, but I won't. I was encouraged just to let God give me the words and timing and most importantly, to "rest" right now. So many times, I am in "overdrive" mode and my friends know just as well as I how much I can go on, and on, and on, and on……LOL So, I won't do that today. There's a time and season for everything. All anyone needs to know is what one of my best friends once said about me: "Satan, beware! World, behold!!" That's right!! It's ME!!!!! MELISSA IS BACK AND READY TO ONCE AGAIN WAGE WAR AGAINST THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS!!!!!

I just had to share today's message, as always. DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE!! When they upload today's sermon on our site, PLEASE make it a priority to listen!! Tom is SO ANNOINTED BY GOD and today's message brought so much freedom to me - and to others, I'm sure!! GOD BLESS YOU TOM!! THANK YOU GOD FOR HOW YOU USE TOM, AND PATRICE TOO!!!!! WHAT A TEAM!! You and so many others have been the loyal brothers and sisters in Christ that I truly need!! I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!! May God bless you and may God bless all those who read this!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tis The Day Before Thanksgiving

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and there is so much to do! So, this is going to be pretty short and sweet. All I want to do is catch up on a few things that I haven’t had time to blog about.

First off, I wanted to remind everyone about the movie “Bella.” I mentioned it some time ago. It’s a pro-life movie; a movie Hollywood doesn’t want you to know about. In fact, it took some time to even get it out in as many theaters that it’s in right now. But, despite the fact that it’s in limited release, Yahoo shows it as the 13th top grossing movie of the weekend! I made sure that I was one of the ones to support it - so that they will release it in more theaters. Tabitha and I went to see it on Sunday. We really enjoyed it. It was beautiful!! Everyone applauded as the movie ended. It was a piece of work!! So, PLEASE go out and support a movie that is worth watching!! Send Hollywood a message people!! If we want quality and meaningful movies to keep being made, we got to support them!! Drive up the market for morality!! Money talks, and if Hollywood sees that people truly do care about watching clean and good entertainment, we will see more of that and less of the smut that is out there!!

Moving on…….

Another thing I wanted to be sure to make everyone aware of was the growing Huckabee momentum!! I have some really great stuff to share with you!! One being that he has gotten more endorsements! Ric Flair has just officially endorsed Mike Huckabee! (For more information on that, you can read about it at the link provided). And, whether you are a wrestling fan or not (and I’m not! LOL) you can certainly appreciate the boost that this will give to our man Mike!! All I got to say is, “wooooooo!!” ;) LOL

And, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the best political ad you will ever see!! LOL This is an ad with Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris!! Nice to see a candidate who can be serious, but have a sense of humor as well!! You will love this one!! It’s funny!!

Now, on to a video that will make you cry!! Watch the new video that my best friend Susan made about giving her son up for adoption. She made it for a special contest (and to share her testimony with the world). I’ll let you know when you can vote for her video on Mark Schultz’s website.

Well, take care everyone!! Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!! I know that it will be especially meaningful for me. I have SO MUCH to be Thankful for!! I can’t even begin to describe how glad my heart is!! Praise GOD!! I am so grateful for all I have - namely my family and friends…..all those true blue and loyal people who have been such an anchor for me (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!). I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! OXOXOXO

Give thanks, everyone!! Be safe and have a great day of thanks tomorrow, and every day!!
Take it easy all you black Friday people!! LOL Enjoy your family for Pete’s sake!! Does anyone else ever see just how silly it is to camp outside a store to buy gifts for the very people you are missing out on being with on Thanksgiving Day? Sheesh! LOL Opt for cyber Monday instead!! LOL GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monkey Wrenches In Your Plans

It's funny how things work out. So many times, things don't work out the way you think they should. Yet, even when things are different than the way you thought they would be, things can still be ok! After all, " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28.

This has been a good (but busy!) weekend!! Friday, we had to take the van in to get looked at because the engine light came on. EVERY YEAR at this time, we have a car repair!! No joke!! I mean, we thought we would finally escape that once we traded in our ailing Taurus. LOL But noooooooooooooooo!! LOL Anyways, yeah....got to take it back in on Tuesday to get something fixed. At least the good news is it won't cost a totally insane amount of money like in years past - though it's still enough to be a pain in the butt!! Now, we just have to wait for our furnace to break down so we can get that fixed again. As with the vehicle, our furnace ALWAYS breaks down every year at this time. LOL Strange isn't it? It always has to be around Christmas time when things are already busy and tight. But, I guess what better time...because right after the holidays is tax refund time; which enables us to pay off whatever we rack up. Although, it would be nice to have ONE TIME where we could use our tax refund for something else other than just credit card debt and other bills. That's life isn't it? LOL Yeah...I can laugh at myself. It isn't so bad. It could always be worse!!

Ok.......anyways. Saturday, Susan's husband, Steve, and their daughter, Tabitha, made it up here safe and sound from Florida. That was a loooooooooooong drive for them!! Yep, all in one day too!! EEK!! LOL (Thank you GOD for keeping them safe and give them a safe journey home as well). Anyways, we are trying to enjoy the brief time that we have with them. They're busy trying to look around at houses as they prepare to move up here in a few months. And, today was a busy day for me as well. Oh, it was chaotic!! LOL

So, that's where the monkey wrenches come in just a little bit! The plan was that while Steve and Tabitha went to Huntington, we were all going to go to church, as usual, and participate in their blood drive, and then I was going to take Mitch to work (yep, he has to work today because of having Thanksgiving off this week) and then drop the kids off at our friend's house while I went back to the church to rehearse for the Christmas musical. Easy enough right? Ha!! You would think!! LOL

So, we went to church and dropped the kids off at their classes. Then, we went to the gym to get ready to give blood. Giving blood is a piece of cake for Mitch, but not for me. I do it because it's a good thing to do, and I try and bear it as best a possible. As you might have read in a past blog, I have trouble with my iron being a point low sometimes - which then disqualifies me. I also have a problem giving blood because I get nauseous and dizzy and it takes FOREVER for me to give a whole pint!! LOL But, I didn't have to worry about that today, because yes.....I was DENIED!! ONE POINT LOW for my iron, so I couldn't donate.

I was a little frustrated. I made sure I had a good meal the night before (lasagna as a matter of fact because we have company and that is my specialty dish!!) and this morning, I had a good breakfast as usual. So, I didn't figure I had to worry because I had done an especially good job (better than most times in fact) of making sure I ate well. However, even my best efforts weren't enough!!

Sometimes, life is like that. No matter how hard you try to make something good happen, sometimes, it just doesn't go the way you planned. You can try and try and try, and your best still won't cut it. That's ok; you just have to keep trying. And, if you ultimately fail, then you will know that you did the best you could and that you can bow out gracefully and begin to adapt to the outcome that you got rather than the one you didn't. That's what I had to do today. Even though I didn't do what I thought was the best thing, it STILL turned out GREAT - just in a different way. I didn't personally give blood to save a life today, but I did help to save a life by enabling someone else to give blood. Our friend, Bruce, asked me to pick up his grandchildren from class since he obviously was going to be there a while. Now, if I had been giving blood as well, who would he have had to do that for him? So, I still played a part in the process; just not the role I thought was intended for me.

So, I was thrilled, in a way, that I didn't have to go through the unpleasant donation process today, but I still had an equally unpleasant time NOT donating because I had Bruce's grandchildren, plus my own children, to try and keep track of while we were waiting on Bruce and Mitch to finish up their donation time. LOL So, there I was; holding Dakota, my bottle of water, two diaper bags, and a few winter coats. All the while, I was trying to shoo Casey and Gianna away from the library where the doughnuts were so we could go to the other class to pick up Tori. However, the kids weren't listening, and I was utterly powerless because I am not an octopus. LOL So, praise God, there were people to come to my aid!! They stayed with my stuff, and my kids, in the library while I took Dakota with me to get his sister.

Even when I got back, I still had my work cut out for me. It's not easy trying to clean up four little kids with sticky doughnut fingers. It's also not easy to get them to stay in one spot and "wait." LOL And, it's especially not easy to deal with a little drama queen who throws herself on the floor when you tell her that one doughnut is all she gets. And, it's REALLY REALLY hard not to lose your mind when your newly potty-trained son (or so you thought) wets himself and waddles around in damp pants. LOL So, about that time, I was thinking to myself just how much better it would have been to be sitting with a needle in my arm, rather than being in the situation I was in. However, I will still doing a good thing either way, and I managed it well. Had I given blood, I could have helped saved a life. But, even when I didn't, I still helped to save a life because Bruce was able to give his blood because of my willingness to help and sacrifice. Either way, the Red Cross was only getting one pint between the two of us. LOL Plus, I was able to be a blessing to Bruce as well.

Once Mitch was done donating, he came to the library, and we rounded up our kids and left. Dakota and Tori stayed with another friend until Bruce was finished, so it all worked out.

As chaotic as things seemed, I was able to see the purpose (and the humor!! LOL) in my situation,. I also had the support I needed from some good friends who stepped in to get me through it. No problem!! :) Either situation would have been hard, but with the right attitude, and WONDERFUL FRIENDS, you can make it through anything - good, bad, or worse!! LOL

So, after all that, I took Mitch to work, and then came home to wash up my son and put him into a new outfit. Then, I hurried them through lunch, loaded them back up in the van, and took them to our friend's house so I could go to rehearsal. (THANK YOU PHIL AND CINDY!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!)

So, what else could possibly go wrong? Ha ha!! Well, we just found out that we will be performing three Christmas Eve services instead of just two (how lovely!!). :p But, we made it through rehearsal (got to do the singing and dancing today!) and tried to keep focused on why we were doing it in the first place. Yes, it's going to be a hard sacrifice - because many people have Christmas Eve get-togethers - but it will all work out. It's not how we had it "planned" in our minds, but we have to "adjust and adapt" as Mr. Tatman (my English teacher) always said.

So, now, I have picked up the kids and come home to write all this out as I ponder the amazing insights of today!! LOL I would be writing out the sermon notes, but I only got to see the last part of the service as I was coming out from my "rejection" at the blood drive. LOL So, I don't have anything to really write. I would have brought the bulletin home with me that had enough stuff in it to summarize it, but it got lost in the shuffle of children, diaper bags, and coats. LOL Sorry everyone!! Basically, all it was about, was directing people to Jesus through any means necessary. And, it doesn't have to be "stand up on your soapbox" evangelism either. You can lead someone to their next step towards Christ in even the smallest of ways; just by being a friend, talking to them, or leading them to someone else who will help move those "road block rocks" out of their path too. So, if you want to learn more about today's message, you can always listen to it at www.missionoflife.com whenever they get today's message on there.

Well, that's all I got for today (oh yeah, is that all Melissa? You wrote a book here!! LOL). Sorry! Blogopotamus!! He he. Anyways, yeah....that's it!! I'm going to wait for Steve and Tabitha to get back to see what they want to do next. I was going to take Tabitha to Fort Wayne to see the mall and go to a movie, but since I found out that Mitch isn't going to get home until 8:00 (yep, that's right!!) I don't know if Steve would want to stay here by himself with my rugrats for that long. LOL I guess we'll see what happens!! Sometimes, you just have to know when to close the book on something and accept the curveballs you are thrown and deal with them. You can chase after things and have the "don't give up" mentality all you want, but there are times where you have to let go as well and quit wasting time on dead ends. Things can still be great even if they aren't how we thought they would be - or would like them to be. It's just a hard thing to figure out sometimes isn't it? LOL (Yeah, insert the famous "serenity prayer" here!!)

Ok........ TOTALLY done now!!! LOL Have a great day everyone.......even if it's not as "great" as you planned!! ;) Be thankful and deal with whatever comes!! God bless you!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

MUST SEE VIDEO!! :)

Now THIS is a video worth seeing!! The good stuff starts at 3:00 so you can skip the first three minutes of it. Please watch as Mike Huckabee is interviewed on "Face the Nation" and gives some very intelligent, and even humorous, answers to Bob's questions!! Way to go MIKE!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!! :)

Keep supporting and praying for Mike Huckabee!!!

A "Rocky" Road

Today, it was Craig Cortright’s turn to preach. He talked about “the other John” in the Bible. As most of you may know, Chad’s “House” series (all five parts are now available online, for you to listen to, at our church’s website) revolved around John 3:16 and was written by the disciple John. So, now, Craig decided to talk about the other John in the Bible: John the Baptist.

Craig talked about John’s bold faith and how he prepared the way for Jesus’s ministry as referenced in Mattehw 3:3: “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Craig showed us a nice illustration of how one prepares the way for the king. He said when a king goes out into his kingdom to survey his subjects, there are often many objects and bumps in the road that his horse will have to veer around. That is why, they would often send a servant to prepare the way and make it straight for him to travel on before he goes on his way. That’s what John did for Jesus. He began preparing the hearts of people to receive Jesus and His ministry and all that He would do for the world. It reminds me of how all of us are working to prepare others to be ready for Jesus’s second coming!!

That is why, next week, Craig will be talking about how we can minister and reach people. But, this week, he talked about the rocks and obstacles that are in our way between us, God, and the people we are working to minister to. We all have personal road blocks in our way that need cleared out. He encouraged us all to take the stone that we were all given at the service and come forward and throw it into the little pool of water that they had on stage.

We all have rocks that need clearing out!! I know that this particularly spoke to me, because there has been a lot of “rockiness” with me lately (which my close friends and family who are reading this will understand). So, I need a lot of prayer to get rid of my “rocks” so that my path can be cleared and I can better serve and minister in this world again. It’s crucial to get the rocks out of our lives, because the world needs us. We may be the “one” person in someone’s life that makes a difference, and if we are being held up by those rocks in our way, they are going to suffer just as much as we are by those roadblocks. The obstacles in our way don’t only halt our progress, but others’ as well because they are missing out on what we have to offer when our impact is lessened. So, if we think that we are the only ones being affected by our own personal problems, we are mistaken. Everyone will suffers - it‘s the ripple effect. The whole kingdom is robbed of us and our gifts when we allow ourselves to be robbed. We cheat ourselves, and others, out of blessings by allowing ourselves to be held up by the rocks in our road and failing to live up to our full potential.

This totally cut to the heart of me because I know my attitude, and other things (if not fixed) will punish myself and others if things aren’t made right. So, I am really hoping and praying for a big change of heart in my life and that I will have a renewed desire to change and do better. I guess we all have spiritual lows sometimes. I’m sure it’s nothing I won’t eventually overcome and that the tough stuff will only make me stronger. And, I’m sure it will enable me to help others in new ways that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise if I hadn’t gone through it. There is a purpose to it all - even if I don’t know or see it yet.

Anyways, I have reason to hope. Things are starting to get better, and the coming year also shows much promise for progress and new beginnings. (Here’s to hoping that the holidays come and go quickly and that stress is minimal!! LOL) And please, if you don’t already know what my “rocks” are, please don’t ask me. Just remember me and pray (I have no doubt that that is what is sustaining me and helping me). It’s intensely personal and stuff that I only share with the people who know me best. If I haven’t told you about it, there’s good reason for it. It’s personal. But, I can definitely tell you that as open book as I am, I will likely reveal it in due course at the right time. We don’t go through trials for nothing. As I overcome my “rocks” it will make for a very good story of victory that will obviously be able to help someone else someday. I know that anyone who is reading this and has no clue what I am talking about is probably immensely curious and/or concerned and worried. So, let me just tell you not to worry; just pray. ;) I’m not drinking or doing drugs or anything like that, ok? LOL God will get me through this - He’ll never give up on me; even if I have felt like giving up on Him. My true friends won’t give up on me either. No matter how rough, I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lose faith!!

Anyways, back on topic…….. LOL

John the Baptist also realized that as he prepared the way for Jesus, Jesus would start becoming greater and he, John, would have to become lesser. John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Well said! We must never forget who this is REALLY about!! We must have the humility to realize that this isn’t about us and our glory - it’s all for HIM and the Kingdom!! People need to see JESUS, not “us.“ It’s not about making ourselves look good, it’s about making HIM look good and bearing HIS NAME well!! We are CHRISTians, not “Melissans” or (insert name here)ans. It’s a shame that so many, including MINISTRIES, have lost sight of this!! It’s very spiritually immature and very frustrating to people who do have their hearts in the right place and are trying to make a difference. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to comfort my friend, Susan, because she has been hurt and wounded by so-called CHRISTIAN ministries; ministries that she thought were all on the same team as her and trying to build GOD‘S KINGDOM rather than their OWN! Real nice, people……..really nice……..NOT!!!! :p Seriously…….FOCUS!! Quit cutting the legs out from under your team mates!!! That’s what it is…..a TEAM EFFORT!! (Or at least it’s SUPPOSED to be!!) Do you want to save souls or don’t you?!! Knock off the jealousy and self-promotion!! It’s disgusting!!!

Ok, had to stick up for my friend there because SOMEONE has to stand strong for their Christian siblings and fight for them!! She is wearied from having to put up with so much senseless behavior among “Christians“, and so, there’s my word on her behalf. Of course, it’s no surprise that she would come under so much fire. People really do fear the anointed; though if they are supposed to be on the same page as you, you would think they wouldn’t be jealous of the same Spirit they are supposed to have working in themselves. I guess that’s saying something isn’t it?

Ok, bottom line………have a bold “John the Baptist” faith. Get the roadblocks out of the way, pave the way, and be Kingdom bound!! And, work together with your Christian brothers and sisters - not against them. If we all network together, my gosh do we ever make a difference!! There’s no room for jealousy and division. We need to pray for and encourage each other and be “cross” eyed - not “green” eyed. Are you hearing me people? I’m drinking up my own words today, everyone, because this is preaching at me too!! I’m not too proud to admit that I need work on myself. It’s when you think you got it together that you are really screwed up!! So, I admit that I am a screw up. Always have, and always will be because I will NEVER EVER be perfect…….PERIOD! I will do my best, but I am human and I will fail sometimes. That’s the honest truth. But, it’s not about being knocked down, it’s about getting back up.

God bless you all!!! I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU - especially my extra close peeps who have always been there for me (you know who you are!!!!). OXOXOXOXO

Friday, November 9, 2007

Going Green Has Me Seeing RED!!

I don’t know about all of you, but I am soooooooo tired of all the “green” talk lately. It especially been thrown into our faces this week on television - namely NBC’S “green week.” Ohhhhhhh, it just makes me SO SICK!! So, that’s ONE WAY of making me green!! LOL In all actuality, the only thing greener than my queasy face is the money trail supporting this agenda!! :p

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for conservation; or, more simply put, common sense. I think we should recycle and try to reduce our waste. I think we should all do our part to reduce the amount of energy we consume and just try to play it smart and not be so wasteful. However, I don’t think it warrants an all out “save the earth” campaign as if “mother Earth” were somehow a bigger priority than life itself. First of all, it’s not even “mother Earth” at all, it’s GOD’S Earth; the Earth HE created. Yes, we should be good stewards of the place He created for us to live on, but when that becomes more important that so many other things in this world, we’ve got a real problem.

I guess my biggest complaint is this: when was the last time they had a whole week devoted to something TRULY important? When was the last time they had a “save the babies” campaign? Um…….never!! Nope. You won’t see a “save our children and society from abortion and the evil Planned Parenthood” or “chastity” week on television. That’s “controversial.” Is it now? Would someone tell me WHY protecting and valuing our very LIVES that LIVE on the very planet we are so busy saving is not worth our time? Would someone tell me WHY a TREE is protected MORE than an unborn child? Would someone tell me WHY there are lunatic celebrities crying over a dying whale or dolphin, and yet, no one is crying over the loss of a baby that is dismembered in its own mother’s womb? While we are all out saving the world from the farce of an agenda like global warming, a REAL agenda to exterminate our offspring and population of America is going on right underneath our noses!! AND NOBODY CARES!!!!! MILLIONS OF BABIES HAVE DIED BECAUSE WE ARE OUT SAVING TREES INSTEAD OF CHILDREN!! What good will saving the world do if there are no people left to live in it?

Well, at least we do have a glimmer of hope for change. That change resides within us. We have the power to make a difference and start caring. WE can stand up and say, “YES, WE CARE!” I have no doubt that a revolution is beginning to break out, and it will only get stronger as we march forward into 2008. Next year, as many of you know, the movie “Horton Hears a Who” is coming out in theaters. This movie carries the vital message of “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” I have no doubt that will plant seeds as we get ready for the all-important presidential election.

Speaking of the election, the primaries are getting closer and closer. And, the tension is building!! It’s truly getting exciting!! In the past few days, we have seen and heard some amazing (and even perplexing) news stories come to light. Most of you probably know what I am talking about…….ahem, the shocking and disgusting endorsement of Rudy Giuliani by Pat Robertson (WHICH IS INSANE!!!). But, I don’t think I’ll rant about him. I would rather talk about the REAL news which is the fact that Donald E. Wildmon, of the American Family Association, has endorsed (you guessed it!!) MIKE HUCKABEE!!!!!!! Talk about a much needed boost!! And, combine that with the endorsement of Chuck Norris and the “almost” endorsement from Rick Warren, and you have got what I would like to call “the liberals worst nightmare.” That’s because now, the “evangelicals” that they so wish would drop off the face of the Earth, are going to become aware of who the best choice for the Republican nominee is and support him all the way. I’ll bet they are just wringing their hands in fear and wondering how in the world they can possibly keep the “evangelicals” from being informed about this man of character and principle. It would TOTALLY ruin their plans if Huckabee were to be our next president. That would mean that baby killing would soon come to an end, our freedoms and our faith wouldn’t be jeopardized, and the world would be a much better place with a godly man like Mike Huckabee as our leader. So, if you’re thinking, “Well, what’s so bad about that? Isn’t that what we want; to be safe and protect ourselves and our children? Why wouldn’t the liberals want this world to be a better place.” Well, my friends, I have those very same thoughts and to be honest, I cannot answer those questions. There’s no way I will understand the twisted mind of the liberal agenda that wants to strip us of everything we hold dear.

There is also speculation that Dr. Dobson is going to endorse Mike Huckabee; but those rumors have been recently denied. However, it has made for some good discussion and suspense in the blogging world!! So, let’s hope that Dr. Dobson will, in fact, endorse Mike Huckabee. People heed the words of Dr. Dobson, and his endorsement will be a steak in the heart for the liberal vampires! LOL Mike Huckabee would then skyrocket into the spotlight and quickly become the man to beat!!

So, if you haven’t already, spread the word about Mike!! Check out his website, and if you are a myspacer, add him to your friends list and make him a top friend!!! Also, check out my links on this page!

Let’s keep fighting the good fight!! Don’t worry about going “green.” Rather, go “red!” Get mad!! Get passionate!! Stand up and fight for what’s right!! Don’t be pushed around!! Let’s fight for faith and morality in America!! Stand with me as I stand for Mike Huckabee. He’s our only hope!! God bless you and may God bless America!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

King of the Sand Castle

Ok, everyone, we are back to the “House” series at church!! We had a nice two weeks of Mike Gerber’s messages; and now, we are back to Chad’s “House” series. I think this may have been the last installment of this series today. But, if it isn’t, look forward to more! And, as always, I will continue posting my sermon notes. You can also listen to the sermons online at our church website - or download the podcasts if you have an ipod. You’ll DEFINITELY want to hear today’s because Chad told some REALLY good stories. He was pretty funny today as well. So, check that out once it gets uploaded to the site, because this is one message I don’t think I will be able to articulate as well as Chad did.

Anyways, in case you haven’t been following the series, you might want to go back and read parts one, two, three, and four so that you will understand the flow and what I’m about to talk about next. So, let’s jump right in!!

Today, we come to the “Kingdom” door inside the house. Often times, we think of “Kingdom” as being in the future tense. We think of it as in being the end destination - the Kingdom of Heaven when we die. But, God’s Kingdom isn’t just “later” it’s NOW!!

The definition of “Kingdom” needs a little bit more expansion. Chad says there are two Kingdom realities: realm and rule. Sure, we have God’s Kingdom of Heaven where He rules and reigns, but His Kingdom is also HERE on Earth where He indeed rules and reigns. Also, HIS Kingdom is warring with another kingdom: Satan’s kingdom. Just like in the parable of the sower, this world is a crop of wheat and weeds. In that sense, the “Kingdom” is future because in the end, the wheat and weeds will be separated. The good wheat will be harvested and the weeds will be uprooted and tossed away.

So, what do we do in this present Kingdom while we wait for the ultimate Kingdom? Well, for one, we endure. As was mentioned, this is a world of both wheat and weeds. We can’t escape the weeds right now. So, we’re just going to have to grow alongside the weeds for right now and try to flourish despite the weeds all around us. We mustn’t allow the weeds to choke us out!!

So, what does it mean to be wheat and to be concerned with God’s Kingdom now? Well, we all have our kingdoms. Does it line up with God’s? I know that for one, I was thinking of this song by Casting Crowns when Chad was preaching today. Watch this you tube music video and take in the words:

American Dream
By Casting Crowns

All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul.
But he’s moving on full steam
He’s chasing the American dream
And he’s gonna give his family the finer things

Not this time son I’ve no time to waste
Maybe tomorrow we’ll have time to play
And then he slips into his new BMW
And drives farther and farther and farther away

So He works all day and tries to sleep at night
He says things will get better;
Better in time

‘Cause he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin’ crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

His American Dream is beginning to seem
More and more like a nightmare
With every passing day
“Daddy, can you come to my game?”
“Oh Baby, please don’t work late.”
Another wasted weekend
And they are slipping away

‘Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
He tells them things will get better
It’ll just take a little more time

He used to say, “Who ever dies with the most toys wins”
But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
I’ll take a shack on a rock
Over a castle in the sand

Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It’s not getting any better
Looks like he’s running out of time

‘Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you

Profound message isn’t it?? ;)

There is so much more I would like to say about today’s message. But, like I said, I don’t think I can put it into words the way Chad did today - especially with the funny and unique stories he told. You’ll have to listen to it for yourself. ;) But, I will leave you with this quote he gave us from C.S. Lewis: “Faith is not hearing what Christ said long ago and ‘trying to carry it out.’ Rather, the real Son is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as himself. He is beginning to inject his kind of life and thought into you…”

Yeah, that is just like the mixing bowl illustration Chad told us. They are all nested in each other. The little bowl of the Holy Spirit working in us rests in the bowl of us working in the church/community, and rests in the bowl of the bigger picture of the Kingdom. How profoundly interesting!! I like that!!

Anyways, I loved this “House” series!! My kudos to Chad!! I can’t wait to see what’s next!! And, I’m looking forward to our Christmas musical production - which I am participating in!! So much fun!!

God bless you everyone!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Jackie's Story

Dear Friends,

In case you all didn’t know, it’s once again that time of the month. No, no, no!! Not THAT time of the month!! LOL I’m talking about the time of the month for the call for life!! Yep, that’s right!! It’s time to e-mail and/or call the president, governor, senators, and congressmen, and (if you got the guts!!) and abortion clinic. I will be calling the clinic momentarily, but first, I wanted to post this blog and remind all of you to do your part today!!

In an effort to help all of you understand what we are all fighting for, and just how precious life is, I would like to share with you a story from a friend of mine who is bold and brave enough to open her heart to the world. She sent me her testimony for me to post, and I would like you to read this. Here it is in her own words. Read and be blessed!! Have a great day and don’t forget to participate today!!!!! God bless you all!!

Jackie’s Story

I was 18 years old in and a Sr. in High School when I first thought I might be pregnant. I asked the father to take me to Planned Parenthood because I heard they would do free tests for people that didn't have jobs and no money. I was led into a makeshift room where I laid on an examining table with a woman that coldly told me to put my feet into stirrups. I had never had a pap smear….I was terrified and shaking. I now know that she wasn't gentle in her examination I don't think she was human anymore.

The father and I were in the waiting room when I was called into another woman’s office alone. It was there that I found out I was pregnant and that I was 4 weeks along. I hear that and my heart sings.... a baby!! Then she tells me that she will schedule me an appointment with the doctor and can I pay $5 now? I was confused so I asked her if I could find my own doctor and she said oh sure but the procedure is paid for if you use ours. Procedure? What procedure?? She looked at me point blank and said "To terminate" I said "oh no.. .I’m not having an abortion I want my baby." Then the scare tactics came into play. She told me that the statistics showed that if I chose to have it (yes she said IT) that I would make less money and be at poverty income level. That I would be in the system and need assistance. That I wouldn't go to college that the child would probably not graduate High School because most low income children drop out. She also told me that I would be a single parent that the father wouldn't stick around. I kept telling her that I didn't want an abortion I kept telling her that I was a Christian and didn’t believe in it.. she was relentless. Every time I would say something she would have a rebuttal. She kept acting like she was disappointed in me... and there was a strong STRONG insinuation that I was doing wrong to the baby by letting it be born.. She told me it was child abuse to bring a child into the world in those circumstances.

I don't know how and why but I finally asked her why was she forcing me to kill my baby?

That shut her up. I seriously left that building within minutes of asking that.

I told the father I was pregnant and he told me he wanted me to have an abortion. I wouldn't and told him that me and my baby didn't need him or anyone so yeah he left and I was a single parent. I dropped out of high school. I didn't go to college. I was on assistance for awhile and Ive struggled to make ends meet for the past 17 years. BUT.... My daughters name is Jackie and this is HER story! She is almost 16 years old. She’s an honor student and a sophomore in High School.. She is so smart and she is so talented and she loves Jesus so much. She sings like an angel and glorifies Christ with her music. She is my daughter and my dearest friend in the whole wide world. I don't care how hard it has been ..every minute of every day has been worth it and how absolutely blessed I have been to have her in my life.