Friday, October 20

Lessin's Landscape

Well I thought I was fully inspired, but I then received an email from Dayspring with Roy Lessin's latest poem "Landscape" right after I was blessed with the good news I was waiting to hear for my serenity prayer time. So here you have it!

"Our lives are the brush, His blood -- the paint, this world -- the canvas, our ministry -- His masterpiece. We at DaySpring invite you to celebrate the masterpiece of ministry by enjoying Roy Lessin's new poem entitled 'Landscape.'

By Roy Lessin,
Co-founder DaySpring Cards

Your life's like a landscape and God has the brush.
The work is in progress, He's not in a rush.
Each stroke has a purpose, nothing's by chance.
To see all His wisdom takes more than a glance.
Notice the sunbeams that shine on the dew --
Even the clouds can't keep them from view.
Look at the pathway that turns at the hill --
Its course will reveal what's next in His will.
The stream that's flowing with water so blue
Is bringing down blessings meant just for you.
The trees that are planted close to the stream
Will bring forth more fruit than you've ever seen.
The bird in the nest with mouth opened wide
Is just a reminder that God will provide.
Now look at the sheep in the meadow that's near
And notice the Shepherd that keeps them from fear.
He's brought them to pastures which give forth the best,
That cool and refresh, and keep them in rest.
The eagle above, that soars o'er the gale
Is God's way of saying, "My strength will not fail."
That part of the painting which now seems unclear
Will take on new meaning with each passing year.
So trust God to work in His own perfect way
And rejoice in the beauty He's painting today.

And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. Philippians 1:6 NLT"

Thursday, October 19

Waiting....God's Choice

Well continuing in the same vein, these words of inspiration ...

you will also find at my desk asking me to remember.
I’ve had them too for some time as well, the paper coloring reveals.
Yet the encouragement is timeless, especially in 'serenity prayer' time.

One is by Irving D. Larson
(whose work with effort can be found on the internet)
and the other by Roy Lessin

Wednesday, October 18

Lord let me ...

I've had this inspiration from an Amanda Bradley card for umpteen years now. I can't remember the inside sentiment for I only have the cover, nor the ocassion; but even today, I still love it- it remains an assuring source of comfort for me. Maybe you will too.

Tuesday, October 17

Did I say FoxFaith?

Just in...

this email (we get their newsletter) from titled It is time for FoxFaith? This is another resource for Christian movie information - they have 'sermon illustrations, Bible studies, discussion guides and free resources from major movies'.

From the email:
Some might see these early releases and conclude that we are headed for another round of “Jesus junk” films – post-Passion of the Christ movies, like the latest installment of the Left Behind series, that are preachy and poorly made. Even though such films might be able to scare up a little box office, they are not the stuff you want to build a new brand around.The question Christians need to ask is, "Where should we set the bar for success?" If Christians insist that all films coming from FoxFaith meet the standards represented by movies such as Chariots of Fire, Shadowlands, and The Passion of the Christ then we are setting them up for failure. If that was the general litmus test for all studio releases, theaters would get about five or six films a year. Christians need to recognize that not every movie will be a blockbuster. Imagine if we used the same kind of standard for sermons. Let's face it, not even the best pastor hits it out of the park every week.

Fishing for Faith Film Fare

Speaking of Christian movies, there are those that say 'I would watch them, but there just aren’t any' but, while we might have to work a little harder to find them, they are out there. There are also those who would consider them substandard fare but, contrary to that thinking, there are some excellent ones out there such as the one's in other posts.

Here are some resources for other such films: - has reviews of DVDs and theater releases – addressing the makers as well as the films, and as a list of other resources, also featuring Christian TV stations for regular viewers and other channels such as these:
Christian Spotlight on the Movies has an overall review on movies including secular from a Christian perspective and expands into cartoons, games and the like.’s look at Christian movies.
ChristianFilms.Com features the Christiano Brothers who make Christian films. I happened upon one of their films on a satellite channel, The Word Network (which labels itself the urban religious channel), and was quickly captivated by the movie, End of the Harvest.
You can even find them from foxfaithmovies.

Hoping you can find some great film experiences to enjoy!

Monday, October 16

the Worship Gathering

Oct 22 - Night of Worship in Southern Cal - From

As part of our mission, we also sponsor and actively engage in select events to encourage worship in local, regional and national settings. Our next event is happening in your area in Southern California. I wanted to send a note inviting you to "the Worship Gathering" at Corona, CA on October 22. Sunday night at 6pm we will be having a night of worship at the Inland Vineyard. We are looking forward to leading with Carl Tuttle and Trey Tatum. The event is free and is open to all.

If you want more details on it, you can find them here.

If you want to print off or download some postcards, posters, or flyers/bulletin inserts for the event, you can get them here.

Sunday, October 15

One Night With the King

I saw previews and here is a trailer on One Night With the King, based on the life of Esther. It's has come to theaters October 13th.
Christian Coalition of America encourages everyone to see "One Night with the King" ...
The performers were on TBN tonight talking about the movie, and describes the movie:
Based on the best-selling novel Hadassah: One Night With The King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen, this dramatic big-screen adaptation chronicles a young woman’s rise from peasant to princess, her courageous role in the redemption of her people from destruction and death, and her winning of the love of the most powerful man in the kingdom -- by seeking his heart rather than the riches of his kingdom.
Here are some other sites related to the movie: I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy and support this film. It might be well to do as a church group. It sure looks like one that will become part of our library.

Thursday, October 12

Reformation Day

Once upon a time way back when, in the 1500's, the Christian belief was centered around priests who conveyed what the Word of God (deliberately maintained in Latin) was to the believers which had over time drifted into schools of thought and practices that expanded upon the original scriptures. So people were believing things like they had to earn their way into Heaven, even earn the way for their relatives that had passed on before them. A method of earning the way was called 'indulgences', which generally involved money from which the Church gained a vast portion of its support (as if we could buy a way into Heaven).

There was a man who became a monk and an excellent student of the Word of God. He realized that if salvation was based in Christ alone, these and other practices were incorrect based on the teaching of the Bible. One day, that particular October 31st, he nailed a paper to a wall that explained this for everyone to see. This was the beginning of a reformation of the Christian religion as it was then known, and only the beginning a enormous change now known as The Reformation. That day has become known as Reformation Day. In the church it is celebrated on the Sunday closest to it. This man, Martin Luther, went on to painstakingly translate the Bible so that all could easily read, study, and understand for themselves - not rely on the opinions of others for what it said (like so many of us depend on commentaries, pastors, prophets, radio/tv evangelism today)- as one of his many accomplishments. The freedom in Christ that he and others brought to the religion of the day came at the price of many, many lives.

PBS has indepth coverage of Martin Luther including some video clips and book and movie resources, well worth checking out. The movie Luther is an excellent, vivid, and interesting portrayal of the man and the times; I highly recommend it. From the movie:

"I cannot renounce all of my works because they are not all the same. First are those books in which if I have described Christian faith and life so simply that even my opponents have admitted that these books are useful. To renounce these writings would be unthinkable for that would be to renounce accepted Christian truths... The second group of my work is directed against the foul doctrine and evil living of the Popes, past and present... Through the laws of the Pope and the doctrines of men, the consciences of the faithful have been miserably vexed and flayed. If I recant these books, I will do nothing but add strength to tyranny and open not just the windows but also the doors to this great ungodliness... In the third group I have written against private persons and individuals who uphold Roman tyranny and have attacked my own efforts to encourage piety to Christ. I confess that I have written too harshly. I am but a man and I can err. Only let my errors be proven by Scripture and I will revoke my work and throw my books into the fire."

"So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!""

marriage ABCs?

Let's see A, B, C, D ...
It begins

Abandon Selfishness and Be Open to Change
Bestow Praise on One Another
Call Home if Running Late
Dream Dreams Together
Here's the rest - practice your alphabet!

Wednesday, October 11

Serenity Prayer time

Lord, what am I supposed to be learning here?

Three weeks ago, I requested a loan (from a reliable borrow from myself type set-up - I've done it before; would do it again) which was supposed to be processed in two weeks - the computer said so at the beginning and when it was finished repeated it in bold red letters! So, the husband and I go look for a purchase that would be financed by a portion of these funds and, after a week, settled on our selection. It was going to be ready in two weeks (a weeks leeway now).

I check the online access to the loan and call in occasionally and all is going well, but nearing the end of the 2nd week, we're getting antsy. I've spoken to the counselors by phone several times by this point and getting 'everything's fine' and 'it's in it's final stages'. There was one glitch though - a week after submitting, I saw 4 loan requests in the same amount - not just one. So I called in and the counselor advised to delete 3 of them; okay, done.

Well come to find out that the loan request was cancelled, by virtue of following those instructions everything was killed. But none of the subsequent counselors conveyed this nor even bothered to look into it far enough to discover this, as they gave their 'good tidings', until today (now into the 3rd week). Beset with frustration, anger, and a huge desire to dissolve into a puddle of tears, I was told that to rectify things I now must start over completely (which includes getting faxed a newly notarized document from spouse - of course that involves time!) and only as soon as they have that (not possibly before 4 hours after its sent) can they start over again and attempt to expedite it (a term which they did not define).

So, I did and actually had all that done by noon (a little more than an hours time - so the countdown began) working around a staff meeting even. Meanwhile the purchase is up in the air.

This might actually be 'whining;' sorry son. *sigh*

Lord nothing happens that You don't know about. You were, are, and will be. I pray that You would be in this situation; Your will be done.

Saturday, October 7

Beyond the Average 'Fare'

There are several versions of "An Affair to Remember" - you perhaps recall as far back as the 1957 one with the classic Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and may be familiar with "Love Affair" with Warren Beatty and (his wife) Annette Benning in 1994; BUT were you aware they originated with the 1939 film "Love Affair" with the even more ever classic performers Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. I like each of the movies in their own right. Although today, the older ones seem to go so so slowly. Cinema has changed so much. But, then, people had time for a movie.

Still in a unique class of its own and so very captivating is "A Fare to Remember". If you like any of the three above, this is a MUST SEE, but don't go rushing to purchase it - its a rare find; I've only seen it (every chance I get!) on cable/satellite TV programming. Out of the countless movies we own, we have yet to acquire this one. This re-make veers from the films above, stealing mostly just from the title. It stars Malcolm-Jamal Warner (of The Cosby Show fame with subsequent shows that reveal his maturing talent that resounds in this movie) and a less known actress/producer Challen Cates.

My common thread: to be true (really true, not simply what we've defined as true) to one's own self. Sometimes we go adrift, off-track. But hold fast to God and let Him straighten your path. When you recognize your mis-step what are you going to do? Make the best of things? Or correct them? Don't allow life to make yourself into something you're not; but allow God to mold you into who you should be. Selah :-)
A Fare to Remember takes place around Christmas time, making it particularly sentimental, and I particularly like seeing it around that time of year. Another Christmas movie chock full of romance (in a It's a Wonderful Life sense) to get a glimpse of is 'the family man' with Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni and a wonderful part for Don Cheadle! Yet these movies are great to watch absolutely any time of the year. Enjoy!

Friday, October 6

Theirs, yours, mine, and ours!

  • a list of resources for stepfamilies. The site itself is devoted to the subject.

  • CNN Money did an article on Kids who return home that's relative even to kids who don't leave home.

  • Marriage recommends an approach to solving problems.
  • With theirs, yours, mine and ours considerations present in my marriage, I continue to look for resources. It takes prayer and work to be a modern eight is enough with the eight consisting of blended families. Sometimes the going really gets rough. We have to keep the sleeves rolled up. There's a movie, and I can't recall the name right now - the husband would, where one character says "Scooby Doo, we've got work to do!" (no I don't mean the Scooby Doo shows on which the quote is based). ;-)

    UPDATE 10/7/2006: I found it! The Scooby Doo quote is from the movie "Dreamcatcher" based on the reknown writer Stephen King's novel.


    I told the eldest son that I had a blog the other day. He said 'I hope it's not whiney'. Hmmm...

    Tuesday, October 3

    Hiding Hatred

    Yesterday's Daily Scripture was He who conceals his hatred has lying lips.... Proverbs 10:18

    Hiding (covering up, concealing, trying to not let be seen) hatred - not just 'hating' is unacceptable. There's an insight.


    Sleepers is a dark movie with an all star cast (including Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt) that deals with circumstances around a group of boys who are sentenced together to a boys facility to serve time for a crime they committed - another movie that just tears at the heart. One particular scene that never leaves my mind, even after many years, is the crime, itself. They, as a general habit, used to harrass a hotdog vendor by giving him a hard time and stealing his goods to eat for themselves. On this occasion they caused him to fall down a flight of stairs, his cumbersome, heavy metal cart careening after him. The man dies. They are shocked and horrified about what has transpired, but there is no turning back the hands of time. One of them says, I believe during their trial, something along the lines of "I never thought of him as a man before". They had caused the death of a man who supported his wife and children by selling hot dogs, a man who had a life.

    UPDATE 10/9/2006:
    Story Line Correction! I watched the movie last night - the boys teasing the vendor held his cart teetering over a flight of stairs. When they couldn't hold onto it, it careened down the stairs killing a man below who happens to step out into the way. They knew that the one man died because of what they were doing to the vendor. The quote wasn't at the trial, but shortly after the incident.

    I was reminded of this scene Sunday when I happened to be watching a 60 Minutes segment on the current craze teenagers call "bum-hunting" of torturing, at times to death, the homeless. What kind of mind/soul does such a thing?!? Obviously these boys who thrill to do such a thing do not see their victim as a person with a life, even such as it is. What is that saying told to bullies -"why don't you pick on somebody your own size?" Well come to find out that this concept was most likely made popular by a show called BumFights, the maker of which has made a lot of money and professed no responsibilty for the fallout or collateral damage from his program. This is all truly, truly horrifying.

    While I would never do anything even remotely like this, I was again reminded of the movie last night. The husband, being a former planning commissioner, and I (spouse) were asked to have dinner and with the developer of a nearby commercial shopping center. We want to have a nice caliber sit-down restaurant there (none exist near by) which was part of their agreement. His company felt they might not be able to do that. Okay, so I was all prepared to fight for my restaurant - had the game face on and wasn't going to like him one bit. Only to leave Juanchos, a smaller place to dine in the self-same center, having met a person with like faith, a nice family, who has gone to great lengths to get a such a restaurant in there and hadn't given up - but given the dynamics of the demographics, didn't expect to be successful.

    He became a person; a person to discuss an issue with - not the issue itself. I didn't have it in perspective. How often do we put on our proverbial sunglasses armed to dim the glare of what we choose not to see. It was such a small thing, but sounds to me like hardening the heart. I can't imagine the hardening and whatever other process that makes teenagers like those above. If it is not a person we interface with, our witness is diminished.

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12

    Lord help me to trust your protection and see things as they are and act according to your will rather than sleep-walk through life according to this world.

    Monday, October 2

    on Yom Kippur

    The dahli (under my "Bloggin Buddies ..." in the left column) has a post on Yom Kippur that is well worth the read - check it out. All of the Jewish feasts point to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Another good site is Biblical Holidays; enjoy!

    Diary music

    Revisiting Diary, the final songs sung by Tamela Mann, Father Can You Hear Me and Take It to Jesus and the whole surrounding scene just brings me to tears - everytime I watch it (yes I have frequent viewer - FV - miles) - sometimes I start it right where this scene begins.

    A similar movie that also always gets me that way is the singing Maybe God Is Tryin' To Tell You Somethin' (don't you feel that way sometimes - somethin' that really needs to be heard) by Suge Avery as she enters the church a sinner reconciling with her self-estranged minister dad in Spielberg's The Color Purple (Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, to name a few) based on the book written by one of my favorite authors, Alice Walker - but I won't get started on all of that. I will say this movie was chock full of stellar performances; and it was robbed of the 'Oscar' that year. Still The Color Purple doesn't get as many FV Miles because it hurts the heart so to watch - there is so much pain in this movie.
    I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it.
    Can you imagine? We walk by God's creations of beauty obliviously all the time - even when you count the times you notice.

    Sunday, October 1

    little things looming large

    Dummy that I can be, mid-August I left my wallet (all my worldly belongings) in a shopping cart at the market. About now you are saying 'how dumb is that'? Well, who know where's my mind was, but I anchored my shopping cart up on the curbing near my car - reached in grabbing the grocery bags and stepped back to the 2nd row seats to put them in the minivan. Since my keys were in the car door, I simply removed them and went around to the driver side and drove off. Well, my wallet (did I mention my life) was still in the shopping cart. I realized all of this far too late, and the wallet disappeared 'off the face of the earth' without a trace.

    Today, (long since any hope had died) I have picked up my wallet from someone who lives nowhere near where I left it, which seemingly was tossed by someone as 'good riddance' - and while the money and credit cards (reported missing) were gone - some of my life was still in there.

    What was I supposed to learn from this besides 'keep track of your stuff'? I learned a lesson being taught to me all week. 'The Lord is still Lord'. His time is not mine. What is important to me, is it really so important? Where are my treasures? (I guess that is more than one lesson). I'll close in saying it was a very favorite wallet, providing me more organization than I've had since; and I am blessed to have it back in my possession. Finally, God IS in the little things.
    "I never did mind about the little things," from Point of No Return.
    My life has order again. Good night!

    Fitness Footnote

    'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey