miracles are not a thing of the past!

so the past three weeks at church we've been having services nearly every evening. while we are ending the extra services now and going back to the sunday am, sunday pm, and wed pm services, we are still seeing God do some amazing things. every service has been different. some have been peaceful.....good quiet one on one God time for people, and others have been flat out parties with people dancing EVERYWHERE (those were fun...whoever thinks church is boring HAS NOT been to ours!!) but one thing has been consistent in all the services - God's presence. just to feel His presence is amazing. we have seen people saved, healed and set free at all of the services. it's so cool to see people get healed. the look on their face as pain leaves is priceless. we saw many people run through our church after having legs healed. or reading something after their eyes were healed. or having people whisper in their ears after being healed of deafness, just for kicks. one lady had uneven arms (not the same length after being in two car accidents) and we saw her arm grow three inches.
but today was the kicker for me. there's a lady in our church who is such a sweetheart. she is so quiet spirited and so generous all the time. i greatly admire her. she received a "dental" miracle. meaning her teeth were filled with gold where she had cavities. by God. not by a dentist. she had gotten prayed for on friday night for other reasons and then went on her way. this morning is when she noticed the gold. she was going to floss and realized her teeth were all shiney in the back when she saw her reflection in the mirror. so she came to church this morning totally amazed, showing everyone her teeth...me included. i have never seen a shiney, purer gold in all my life. it was totally lining her back teeth. she said she had one small filling before and a few old white ones....but to see this gold for myself was amazing. i had heard stories like this before but i had never seen the results with my own eyes. it gave me goosebumps to see this heavenly gold in her mouth! i mean, it was SO shiney! i kept on saying...."open your mouth...i wanna see it again!" and she's like "aaaaaaaaaahh." i have never seen her so happy. she said she can't wait to make a dental appointment just to see how her dentist would react!
so my point....God is still a God of miracles. and He cares about each of us individually. He cared enough about Diane to fill her mouth with gold. oh how much he cares for me and you!


unconditional friendliness

who would have thought that an infant has so much to offer in the way of life lessons? i have learned so much about life from my almost 5 month old baby daughter...who cannot speak a word...but who's innocent example speaks volumes. one of the things i have learned from her is that i should be friendlier to ALL people. she smiles at anyone and everyone. she tries to talk to anyone and everyone. now, while i will have to have many talks about "strangers" with her in the future, for now i am learning something from this. she does not see race. she does not see age discrimination. she doesn't judge someone because they look different, or aren't dressed as "normal" people should. for example, yesterday i stopped at wendy's on my trip back home from indiana. an employee was washing off tables, and this man had a very obvious mental handicap. he looked funny. he would be someone i wouldn't really try talking to or smile at. but there's my sweet daughter, staring at him and smiling...trying to talk to him. now, addie is to innocent to notice certain things about people at this time in her life. but what a lesson to learn from her. she is friendly to everyone. she doesn't judge a person by how they look. shouldn't I be more like her? shouldn't we ALL be more like her? what if we stopped staring judgementally at people who are dressed a certain way, or act a certain way, or look a certain way...and instead went out of our way to be kind and at least smile?
i think that would make a world of a difference!


cbs, what were you thinking?

so many of you may be aware, or saw, the new television show on CBS entitled "Swingtown." i heard they were going to air this new show...all about like in the 70's and the swinging lifestyle...but i honestly didn't think this show would make it to air. was i surprised! the season's first episode aired last evening, and i watched it. the first and last time i will do that. you see, i watched it partly because i was in disbelief, and partly because i wanted to be able to complain about the show without being ignorant of it's content! :)
this new show, broadcasted on primetime network television, shocked and sickened me. it portrayed a married couple with children, who were moving across town, as a bit unhappy, unsatisfied, and ho-hum. upon their arrival at their new house, they were approached by their neighbors to come to their party. at this party...as swinging party... the couple decides on the spot to become swingers. this after the new neighbors tell them it is the oposit of cheating, because everything is on the table.
without sparing you the nasty details, this tv show depicted open drug use and swinging relationships as, well, normal. like that's all the 70's were all about. the images i saw pass through my tv set were awful. i could not believe this was network television! in addition, they depicted some old neighbors of this couple who moved, who declined the invitation to become swingers, as totally unhappy, uptight, angry, sad individuals. it made them look, well, stupid for chosing not to join in.
is anyone else upset about this?
i went to cbs.com and filed a complaint (this trait i get from my ma...let your voice be heard!). in addition, i joined the swingtown message board. and let me tell you, the amount of comments against the show are far out numbered by the people praising the show. i wrote a comment just to have it completely attacked by numerous people...and i suddenly found myself in the middle of a heated debate i could not stay away from (i seem to always do that...).
but anyhow, if you hold the same beliefs as i....that this show is contributing to the demoralization of our society, that it's unnecessarily bringing what was in the dark to light, that it's normailizing this behavior, that it's creating more interest in this lifestyle (don't believe me, check out the message board!), and that it plain doesn't belong on network television, i urge you to file a petition to cbs to get the show off the air. i know it may not do much, but at least we're letting them know how we feel!


ahhh, siesta....

last summer kirk and i took a bunch of our teenagers on a mission trip to madrid, spain. there were many cultural differences we noticed between spain and america, one of them being the wonderful siesta. for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a period of rest, relaxation, and sleep that occurs each day...i believe from about 2 to 5pm. buisnesses shut down, streets become vacant, and everyone temporarily stops their tasks for the day to simply rest. we absolutely loved siesta-ing. we were actually required to siesta. it was quite lovely!
so yesterday i was at the grocery store at about 2pm with addie. she was in her carseat, propped up in the cart, clutching her blankie, sucking her thumb, and sound asleep. we passed another mom whose daughter was sound asleep in the cart. then we passed another cart with a toddler boy sluped over the side sound asleep. and i though to myself...man, kids and spaniards know what's up. this siesta idea is fantastic! while us grown americans hustle from place to place and work our butts to the bone everyday, we could be embracing this wonderful time of rest each day. yeah, i know it's easier said than done to make room in busy schedules every day to sit and rest. but wouldn't it be worth it to try?
ahhhh, siesta...


I was a bit skeptical...

...but that's all changed. skeptical about what, you may ask? well, on a last minute notice we booked a "healing" evangelist to come to our church. when i heard about this i must admit i rolled my eyes. you see, i was already imagining the hype that would come along with the visitation of this evangelist. everyone at church would get all super spiritual, and the place would be packed out far more than usual. and i asked myself, "why do we need some 'special' person to visit our church to pack the place out and to get people to dive into what God has for them." so i showed up at church this morning wearing my skeptical pants today. and i kept them on for quite a while.
yes, there were more people than normal at the services today. and yes, there was a LOT of hype. but this evangelist was genuine. and after watching him and listening to him, and then SEEING people healed, i burned the skeptical pants. it is true that we should not need someone special to visit our church for us to let God move, but i guess that's what it takes in some people's case. but today's services were fun, and alive, and interactive. it was what church is truly all about...seeing the power of God move in people's lives.
God is not all about eloquantly spoken pastors, rituals, duties, intellegent sermons, or perfect worship. God is about rocking people's lives and creating true change in individuals. and that is what we saw today. we saw a blind person healed....hearing restored in several individuals...and much much more. and we are holding a few more services this week as well. it's fun! GOD is fun!



this past weekend kirk and i went to Milwaukee...where my parents live...so kirk could help my dad do some work on the house. the house my parents live in is the house i grew up in...since birth. they haven't moved, although they've wanted to for quite some time. it's an older house that needs quite a few updates, and my mom will be the first one to tell you, they'd rather torch it than fix it up. to anyone else looking through the house it would seem small, a bit outdated, and just an average home. but to me it's much more. eventhough my parents don't like the home anymore, i love it there. maybe it's because my daughter sleeps in the same room i did as an infant when we visit. or maybe it's because the walls of the home have basically watched me live my whole life up until i left for college. maybe it's the scent of the lilacs and lily of the valleys that fill the whole house every may. or maybe it's swinging on the swingset outside that stood there since i was a child. eventhough i have grown up and moved away, and have created a new comfortable home with kirk and addie, there's just something about the home i grew up in that has so much charm to me. it's safe....it's still home. many people never had the experience of growing up in one single home their whole childhood. but i am glad my parents never chose to move (well, not yet at least!). i still get to go back an visit...and be reminded of all the memories that home holds. i simply love it!