My Beside Table

Besides the bible there is a book that is a constant on my bedside table. It’s called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I was reminded of the book today by a friend who posted the four agreements on Facebook. If you are a reader I recommend this book. It has practical wisdom for living your life at peace in today’s world. The agreements are these:

1. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-doubt, and regret.

Date Abuse In Teens

This is a best of TLC4Women from 2007. I thought it was worth reading again! Parenting-Resources/

In a 2005 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the statistics show that 1 in 11 high school girls are victims of physical abuse. While other experts say this statistic is low and could be as high as 1 in 4. Reporting can be spotty since most girls keep it a secret. On the surface it’s hard to understand why a girl would go through this when she has her life ahead of her and her choices are endless. Only the problem with this type of thinking is that we forget to think like a teenage girl whose completely infatuated with love and having that cute boy at any cost.

As with adult women in abusive situations these men are often quite apologetic after their abuse. They cry, they send flowers or gifts, the promise that it will never happen again. They swear that if she hadn’t have angered him so much he wouldn’t have done it. If a grown woman falls for these lines time after time then what can we expect from our teenagers?

At TLC we are studying Fight Like A Girl by Lisa Bevere. It’s an excellent study and through the discussions we are tackling these very issues. What does it mean to fight like a girl? What does using our strength look like and if we as the women God has placed to lead our girls don’t know then how do we think they respond? A question I asked last week to our youth girls was, “What does showing your strength as a woman look like?”, it was met with blank stares. I then asked the women, “Why can’t the girls that we mentor answer this question confidently?” and it was boldly answered by one women, “Because we don’t know either”.

We must empower our girls to know that they are the Crown of Creation. There is a way to treat a woman and that must be taught. I know you are reading this and thinking we have to teach our sons but the fact of the matter is that you as a woman need to understand how you should be treated and not accept anything less than that. I have to admit I saw that we aren’t doing our job with our daughters when I heard a young woman of 17 say, “A woman shows her strength by being tough, showing a man she can do it by herself you know? They can’t hurt her.”

A woman doesn’t show her strength by being tough. We weren’t designed to be physically tough. We were designed after everything on the earth was created. God didn’t create anything else after he created us. We show our strength in our nurturing, we show our strength in our ability to be relational, we show our strength in our love. Teen girls are being abused because they don’t know their strength, they don’t know their worth, they don’t know their possibilities. So they think being abused is as good as it gets and that saying sorry fixes it. We need to elevate our worth to a higher standard.

Just because a male is good-looking, charming, popular, smart or a jock doesn’t mean he has character and integrity. A person can be smart but that doesn’t mean they are decent humans. Just because he says he is sorry doesn’t mean we take him back. We are worthy of so much more than this! How will our young women know these things though if we aren’t teaching it? How can we change these statistics unless we speak out and have dialogue? Stop for a moment as you read this and think about it. Have you talked to the young women in your life about abuse in dating? Are you watching for the signs?

We must learn that our strength is in our ability to think for ourselves. Our strength is holding ourselves to a high standard of morality and worth. Our strength is in not following the crowd. Our strength is in the ability to discern right from wrong. These things only happen when we are able to truly know who we were created to be.

A Hand-Crafted World photos/mariix/ 234033956/

Psalm 8:1. God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.
2. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs That drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.
3. I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
4. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?
5. Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden’s dawn light.
6. You put us in charge of your handcrafted world, repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
7. Made us lords of sheep and cattle, even animals out in the wild,
8. Birds flying and fish swimming, whales singing in the ocean deeps.
9. God, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world.

The Secret To Ending Poverty

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote this excellent article in the New York Times that we can’t ignore. We’ve always known it, we speak about it but now what are we going to do about it?

Bottom line, get an education, get a better job. It’s that simple and yet the process seems so complicated. I wish my Latino culture would get this on a bigger scale. I wish they’d learn English and break poverty barriers that have hindered us for far too long. I’m praying, I’m speaking out, the church is starting a story hour for children weekly and handing out vouchers to choose a book in the thrift store, and there is so much more that needs to be done!

Author Unknown

Got this email that is truly worth sharing. Take it from someone who knows this first hand!

One day a woman’s husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom,

the wife was struck with the pain of learning

That sometimes there isn’t “anymore.”

No more hugs,

no more special moments to celebrate together,

no more phone calls just to chat,

no more “just one minute.”

Sometimes, what we care about the most

gets all used up and goes away,

never to return before we can say good-bye,

say “I love you.”

So while we have it,

it’s best we love it,

care for it,

fix it when it’s broken and

heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage …

and old cars,

and children with bad report cards,

and dogs with bad hips,

family and aging parents and grandparents.

We keep them because they are worth it …..

because we are worth it.

Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce….

There are just some things that make us happy,

no matter what.

Life is important.

We only have one.

We only have one mom, one dad,

one unique brother or sister or friend.

I received this from someone who thought I was a ‘keeper’! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way.

Now it’s your turn to send this to all those people who are “keepers” in your life, including the person who sent it,

if you feel that way.

Suppose one morning you never wake up.

Do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking……..I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling

or three words needing to be said.

Let every one of your friends and family know you love them.. Even if you think they don’t love you back,

you would be amazed at what those three little words

and a smile can do.

And just in case GOD calls me home …. . .


Live today to the fullest

because tomorrow is not promised

Do You Ever…

look at your life with such amazing gratitude to God for what he’s brought you through and what he’s done for you? Today was one of those days for me. It made me look ahead in anticipation to what’s next!

Bought With A Price IPC%20Pages Calendar.html

Dear Pastor Susan,
My girlfriend and I live together and when we asked to serve at our church, we were told that we couldn’t until we got married. With the economy the way that it is we can’t really afford to do that. What is the policy at your church and why do churches say they need help then turn it down when it’s offered?

Thank God for bible believing churches! We believe the same as your church. You got to get this part of your life settled, then you move into position. Since you’re a believer, I won’t throw scripture at you but here is the best way I can explain it.

You see, Jesus came and bought you with a price. He laid his life on the line for you. He still gave you the choice to follow him or not but you chose to follow him. That carries with it a certain responsibility. It means that when God says if you love me keep my commandments you agreed to those terms. So since you know his commandments and you took the deal you can’t then say that you receive the gift of salvation but refuse to follow the lead of the Father. The two conflict, as well they should. I know that you said it’s not doable right now to get married due to the economy but I’m unclear why. Marriage is a license at city hall and your Pastor conducting a covenant ceremony.

You don’t get to rent a woman and she doesn’t get to rent you. You don’t get to rent Jesus for just a part of your life. In all cases it’s all or nothing. Don’t be deceived by the message that says it’s all good and you can repent for it later. God put these boundaries in place to save you from heartache and the pain it causes. 2 Corinthians 6 (okay, maybe just a scripture!) says we should not take the grace of God in vain. Yes, you are right the church always needs help but it’s working through a process of perfection (meaning maturity).

I’m really glad to respond to this right now. We are learning all about this in our bible study and I’ll write more about that in a future post. In the meantime, we are praying for you and all of those who find themselves in your shoes. I hope you will do the right thing!

Holy Rollers Unite

March 20 we had our annual Holy Rollers Tournament. It was fun as we all converged on the local bowling alley, rented out 14 lanes all to win a trophy declaring one the Holy Roller 2010.

Our models posing for a picture.

A few members of The Back Pew Crew (yes that’s our youth group!) pose for a picture.

Let the fun begin!

And the Holy Roller award goes to:
Angie who represented God’s Squad

Art representing Kisses (X) No Hugs (0)

Steve “My trophy case is full” representing Faith 2 Spare!

John representing the over 40 crowd Aches and Pains

Looking forward to next year!