Monday, August 27, 2007

Praying the Slots

As a Christian, I have certain convictions about what may or may not be appropriate behaviors for myself. I believe that we all have a responsibility to look hard into our relationship with God and decide how he is calling us to live. What might be appropriate for you may not be for me. What might seem legalistic to you, might be a dearly held conviction to me. It's not for us to judge one another, but to obey the call to live holy lives, imitating Christ while we draw near to him.

OK, that being said, I'm not really the type of person who feels compelled to gamble. I would much rather take my money to Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond or Barnes & Noble than feed it to a slot machine. I'm too much of a tightwad. However, my Mother-in-Law is an antique dealer and happens to have an antique slot machine in her living room. It's very cool and the family, myself included, plunks quarters into it whenever we wander into her house.

The other day, I pulled a quarter out of my purse and gave the slot a pull. I won five quarters. Of course, when the coins hit the metal dispenser, everyone in the room knows you've won something and if there are any around, all the kids come running up and ask for a portion of your winnings (which they proceed to put back in the machine and lose...so much for your profit. Hence, my earlier statement that I'd rather go shopping) Anyway, my son comes running over and begs for a quarter, which I give him, and he puts back in the machine. But he doesn't immediately pull the handle. He's just standing there looking at it.

"Pull it." I say.

"Wait," he says, "I'm not ready."

"Why aren't you ready? What are you waiting for?"

"Please, God let me win! Please, God let me win. Please, God let me win! Okay, Mom, now I'm ready!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

As Unto The Lord

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…it is the Lord Christ you are serving.” - Colossians 3:23-24 NIV


I started this blog for fun. I still write this blog for fun. Any article I’ve ever read on the topic of “Blogging for Dollars” completely eludes me. Believe me, I have a job and this ain’t it. This is my hobby. I completely enjoy letting the writer in me peek her head out of her shell. She’s been in there a long time…since high school creative writing class with Mr. “Dimple” Dan Clark, who has the biggest cleft in his chin I’ve ever seen on a real person…since a summer day in 1983 when I tortured and provoked my little brother and we were both sent to our rooms for the day and I spent the hours writing a story to pass the time…since third grade when I won runner up in the Young Author’s competition at my elementary school. I hadn’t really stopped to think about it in a long time, but it came to me last year and whopped me upside the head just like the two by fours we were using to build our new house. I really like to write. I can hide behind my computer screen and pour the words out without facing anyone. It’s both liberating (I can say whatever I want) and terrifying (what if someone reads it?).

A couple weeks ago in church, my husband mentioned from the pulpit that I have a blog. He said it was great and that people should check it out. It was terribly embarrassing, yet very sweet because he knows how much I enjoy writing and wants to encourage me to not let that inner writer go back into her shell for another 20 years.

However, I noticed that after he made that announcement, I suddenly felt the covert pressures of quantity and quality. I had better blog something good, and I better do it often. It’s so like me to immediately go there. Darlene Schacht, who is the founder and editor of Christian Women Online Magazine, described the pressure to blog like this, “I feel like I’m dating all of you and if I don’t phone every day, you will break up with me.” If I were “Blogging for Dollars” maybe those pressures would be real, but that’s definitely not the case here. The more I thought about it, the sillier it seemed.

Even though I usually write stories of everyday life that don’t always appear overly spiritual, (or spiritual at all, for that matter), my main desire is to write for Him…the One who gives me that daily life and sustains me through it. So, even though I write this blog for fun, I also write it as an act of worship. I’m humbled if someone takes the time to stop by and read, and I hope by getting a glimpse into my little life, you can see that you are not alone in yours. We both have a friend who is closer than a brother, a counselor to be with us forever, and He is the one we live and work for.

So whatever I write and do in my life and whatever you do in yours, may it be as unto the Lord.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tech Troubles

My internet is down. I know, you’re asking, “If your internet is down, how can I be reading this?” I’m a computer person. I know these things. Trust me. It’s down. I have a service called Wild Blue. It’s a satellite service and I’ve heard other customers complaining that when the weather is bad, the satellite signal is lost. Up until this time, I really didn’t believe them, nor did I care much. (It’s funny how things really don’t become important to you until they affect you personally.) I’ve been hooked up with Wild Blue since early spring and have gone through summer with reasonably little trouble. Tonight, though, we’ve had a change in the weather. The sky is dark and tumultuous, it’s been raining off and on all day, and apparently the Wild Blue satellite is not happy about it. I, in turn, am not happy about the satellite being unhappy. My internet is down.

My family spent the weekend in Seattle watching the Mariners play and tromping around the Woodland Park Zoo. We saw amazing animals, stood in awe at the size and magnitude of Safeco Field, shared funny moments and each other’s company. We laughed at the penguins, cheered so loud our voices hurt, and ate french fries with so much garlic on them that I can still taste it and everyone around me can probably still smell it. We paid five bucks for diet Pepsi and 25 bucks to park our car. We got three Raul Ibanez bobble-head dolls, a keychain with my son’s name on it and a Mariner flag for his bedroom wall. He got to pet a millipede from Africa that was the size of a snake (I wouldn’t touch the thing) and watch a hippo open his mouth so wide he could’ve fit right inside and I really wanted to tell you all about it, but…um, my internet is down

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shopping Discriminations

I like to shop. I guess I come by it naturally, because when I was a kid I can remember my Mom letting me skip school to go on shopping trips with her. I also remember cutting a day of school during my Jr. year of high school to go to the grand opening of the mall where I lived. That one, my Mom didn’t know about. However, when I showed up at home wearing a “Grand-opening-of-the-mall” T-shirt, I think she began to suspect something had gone on.

Yesterday, I did some “Back to School” shopping. I suppose actually, it should be called “Going to School” shopping because my son is just starting school this year. He did attend pre-school last year, but this is his first real year of required lists of school supplies, new school clothes and shoes, figuring out bus schedules, etc… By the way, I’m having a complete meltdown over this, so you can expect a tear stained blog entry after the first day of school.

Anyway, because I fancy myself a bit of a shopping aficionado, it’s taken some getting used to for me to come to the realization, that sometimes when I leave JC Penney’s, there will be nothing in the bag for me. Bummer. Yesterday I had a coupon for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more. I love that coupon! How can you get any better than that? So I ran to Penney’s on my lunch hour to spend my money. The coupon expires on Saturday and I won’t be home, so I figured I better get spending if I’m to do any saving.

I decided I better be a good mom and look at some clothes for my son. He needs some new things for school. I wandered to the kids department at the back of the store. As I passed through the girls section, there was an ocean of girl clothes. Rack upon rack of cute little jeans, any sort of shirt you could possibly want (some I’d love to have should they make a much larger size!), there were winter coats, sweatshirts, you name it, they had it. Then I entered the boys section… There were two racks of shirts and a small shelf with some jeans in completely picked over sizes. Yes, you heard me TWO racks of shirts. What is up with that?? My choices were Lightning McQueen T-shirts (we already have an abundance of those) or polo shirts in strange colors. How am I supposed to work with that?

If I’m expected to Back to School shop for the next 12 years, the Penney’s in my town is going to have to make great strides in improving their boys department…either that or I’m going to have to cut work and take a shopping trip.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pride Goeth Before A Pasting

Toothpaste seems to be my arch enemy the past few mornings. Yesterday, I was running late. Well, I wasn’t actually late, but I was afraid I was going to be, so I was rushing. It was about 7:00am and I had been up since a little after 5:00 (Gee, what a virtuous woman) I only add that so you understand that it was perfectly normal that I had already had several cups of coffee and it was a slight possibility that my hands were shaking (only a little. I promise.) So, I was brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush, which is the last step of my “getting ready” routine, and somehow, it just jumped out of my hand. It was still powered on, so my bright blue Crest gel was launched all around the bathroom, including all over me. Naturally, I was wearing white.

This morning, however, was a little different. Again, I was all ready for work and brushing my teeth. But while I was brushing, I was admiring my hair in the mirror. Yes, you heard me right. I was admiring myself. You see, when you have naturally wavy hair that has a mind of its own, it’s rare that you have a hair day that you are happy with. Today was exceptionally good, if I do say so myself. And, I was…saying so…to myself, I mean. So, yes, I was thinking something along the lines of, “Girlfriend, you are lookin’ good today”. In hindsight, this was not a bright idea. As a matter of fact, as I stood there and admired and brushed, and just about the time it was dawning on me that I was acting a little prideful, a huge drip of toothpaste and spit went rolling right down the front of my shirt. It was totally disgusting. Any previous thoughts I had about how great I looked were immediately eradicated. Pride problem solved…at least for today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Filthy Feet

My family and I recently attended "Family Camp " for our church. The weather was hot and everyone spent the weekend in shorts, T-shirts, and sandals or flip flops. I brought jeans and sweatshirts and they never even came close to making an appearance. They were thrust to the bottom of the suitcase or the back of the closet in our little travel trailer.

Each night before we climbed into bed, I had to scrub my son's feet down because they were caked with the dirt, grime, and black sandal residue that comes from spending countless hours running around in hot, sweaty sandals, barefooted, or a combination of both. Talk about disgusting. But, as I silently observed, I noticed many others with black, yucky feet. Kids, men, and yes, even...women. Eew. Upon further examination, my own feet didn't look so great either.

This got me to thinking about Jesus demonstrating servanthood and washing the disciples feet. Of course, this is a story and principle about Christ that I have heard since I was young. However, I always tended to think that, sure, the disciples must've had some dust on their little piggies, but it wasn't that bad of a job. I took the meaning to be more in the imagery of the act of servanthood, than the fact that the feet needed washing. I mean, come on, I've changed some diapers that required a full body HAZMAT suit. Feet can't be that bad. But after seeing the Family Camp feet I know that they were that bad. I don't even like to wash my own son's stinky, dirty feet, let alone another full grown human being, but Christ stooped down as an example to us of how to serve, and not just a token example, but a "need-to-scrub-between-the-toes" example.

I have a new appreciation for the fact that the King of Creation would kneel down to wash feet. My feet or yours...if we had been there. Next time I'm called to do a distasteful task, I will remember the feet and the example Jesus set for me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

FeedBurner Update

Good Monday Morning! After some checks this weekend, it looks like FeedBurner is working. That means that, if you'd like, the "subscribe" links on the right, will keep you updated on with new posts. Please leave comments if things don't seem to be working correctly (or even if they do, I'd love to hear that, too.)

Also, I've changed the address of this blog to http://marriedtothepastor.blogspot.com, so if you have it bookmarked, please update your bookmarks. For those of you that arrive here via www.carijohnson.com, you shouldn't notice any difference. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 03, 2007

FeedBurner

I'm sure you've noticed that every now and then the color scheme and theme of my blog change. There's a couple of reasons for that. The first one is that I get bored easily, but the second one is probably closer to the real reason. I have this great idea of what I would like my blog to look like, but I'm definitely not a web designer, so I'm forced to use the canned blogger templates that are offered. Every now and then I look through the collection of templates, hoping that I will find something that resembles the idea in my head. I haven't found it yet, but in the midst of my searching, I usually find something new to try for awhile. If anyone reading this can design custom blog templates...please contact me!!

You'll also see on the right hand side of the page there are two new links you can click on. I've signed up with Feedburner, which is a service that let's you subscribe to my blog and get posts delivered to your email or your "Feed Reader". Check out either link to see what it's all about.
P.S. I'm using this post to make sure the subcription features are working. Don't worry...if they're not, I'll post an update.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tick Me Off Tipping

I've mentioned my love/hate relationship with Starbucks before. My love for coffee drives me there, but I'm often annoyed at the price I pay for my addiction. Okay, addiction sounds a little strong...let's not call it that. Let's change that to "passion".

Not long ago, we got a second Starbucks in town, and this one has a drive up window. Now, my love for coffee really does drive me there. So the other afternoon, I drove through and ordered a latte. My drink was $2.86. I drove up to the window. The lady handed me my drink. So far, pretty standard procedure. Now, I hate tipping for a $3.00 cup of coffee, but of course I will often play their game and give them the 3 bucks, letting them keep the extra change. However, this lady takes my money, tells me thank you, shuts the drive up window and walks away!

Oooh, that really frosts me. If I'm going to give someone a 14 cent tip, I want to do it of my own accord, not because they assumed I would. I'm really mad and threatening to not go back, but who are we kidding here? Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to justify my next drive to Starbucks and this time I don't mean justify in the "text-alignment" sense.

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