Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's your Passion?

On Sunday we had a typically under-attended church business meeting to go over ways in which we could improve our church. There were many good ideas; it is just a shame that so few attended. One of the goals we came up with was to develop a program that will help to keep the youth/teens/pre-teens in church. I know that this is a problem for a lot of churches. I am not sure if we just don't have a lot of them in my local church--the fact that my youth sabbath school tends to have an average of 1-3 people each week is my basis for this--or if they are all hiding. Anyhoo, I was volunteered to work with the pastor's wife on this project. I know that this was brought about because I am involved in the youth class. But I have a secret: Ministering to the Youth is not my passion. I'm not really sure if I have a true knowledge of what my passion is, but at this point in my life it is not Youth. (I've been spending a lot of time up front at church and church related programs...maybe that is my calling? Scary thought.) Why then am I so involved? While it is not my passion, I still care. I believe that due to circumstances beyond their control the youth are often dumped on, ignored, or spoken down to. I have seen this at the Raleigh church with the former youth leader and his/my supposed assistant leader. That is one reason I stepped up and started preparing a lesson every week instead of just my one week a month. Thankfully, starting in November the Pastor will be leading the class more often than not. It will be refreshing to have a break. I kind of have a hard time relating to Youth. I don't have kids. I haven't been a youth for over a decade and when I was I went to boarding school. During high school and college I thought (and often still do) that Sabbath School class was one of the best parts of the whole church service so I don't understand their current mindset. I am trying to figure out what teens these days want/expect out of their churches. What do they like to do? Are they apathetic about everything at this age? Do they even know what they want?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A couple of firsts

Last night I did two things for the first time. One of which was turning on the heat in my house. I have two thermostats--one upstairs and one in the bedroom. As it is getting to be freaking wet and cold all of the time I really had no choice. I'm thinking that I may need to find a way to close up the huge hole in the bedroom wall (shutters or glass or something) to prevent all of the heat from escaping. We'll see what this change does to my MLG&W bill. If I have my way, a new water heater will be the next purchase instead. I can cover the cost with my gift card, but am not sure about the cost for install, delivery, & take away. Cross your fingers. The other first from last night was buying decaf coffee. "How can this be a first?" you ask. I didn't just buy a cup of decaf or some coffee singles. I bought a whole can of decaf coffee grounds. (On a side note: Dunkin Donuts ground coffee can now be purchased at your local Memphis SuperTarget. I can stop being a coffee mule!) Why on earth would I do this? Well, I like coffee for the taste, not the caffeine. I don't have any other caffeinated beverages at the house, so I figured I don't need regular coffee either. Mom is always mentioning that I should cut back, so I am going to try. Now if only we brewed decaf at the office.... Oh yeah, GO RED SOX!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something to Think About

Most who know me know that I don't often go around quoting Ellen White, but this passage really struck me. In Sabbath School we are studying Israel's wanderings in the wilderness and their conquests of Canaan. The lesson plan provided by the church recommends readings from Patriarchs and Prophets for added insight. Since I am leading out, I'll take all of the insight I can get! (Side note: I once got an F in my elementary school Bible class. I never did like homework.)
In their contest with Og and Sihon the people were brought to the same test beneath which their fathers had so signally failed. But the trial was now far more severe than when God had commanded Israel to go forward. The difficulties in their way had greatly increased since they refused to advance when bidden to do so in the name of the Lord. It is thus that God still tests His people. And if they fail to endure the trial, He brings them again to the same point, and the second time the trial will come closer, and be more severe than the preceding. This is continued until they bear the test, or, if they are still rebellious, God withdraws His light from them and leaves them in darkness. The Hebrews now remembered how once before, when their forces had gone to battle, they had been routed, and thousands slain. But they had then gone in direct opposition to the command of God. They had gone out without Moses, God's appointed leader, without the cloudy pillar, the symbol of the divine presence, and without the ark. But now Moses was with them, strengthening their hearts with words of hope and faith; the Son of God, enshrined in the cloudy pillar, led the way; and the sacred ark accompanied the host. This experience has a lesson for us. The mighty God of Israel is our God. In Him we may trust, and if we obey His requirements He will work for us in as signal a manner as He did for His ancient people. Everyone who seeks to follow the path of duty will at times be assailed by doubt and unbelief. The way will sometimes be so barred by obstacles, apparently insurmountable, as to dishearten those who will yield to discouragement; but God is saying to such, Go forward. Do your duty at any cost. The difficulties that seem so formidable, that fill your soul with dread, will vanish as you move forward in the path of obedience, humbly trusting in God.
p. 437 (emphasis mine.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is it really that bad?

There are some times that you just have to laugh. My not-in-a-relationship status has been much talked about lately (I have not been on a date in over a year and a half). And not just by Nanny and my mom. My local married friends, all in good fun, are quick to point out any male with a wedding ring free hand. I often join in the fun. There have been a couple of "you should meet So-And-So" discussions and even get together attempts, but nothing has come of it. What I think is really funny--or is distressing the right word?--is that one of my youth class members has joined in the fun. The 15 year old called and told me that her neighbor had some questions about religion and wanted to know if I would talk to him. At first I thought it was one of her friends (a fellow teenager), but come to find out it was her single 26 year old neighbor who is looking for more than answers to religious questions. A little warning would've been nice :) I have yet to decide what I want to do with this situation as he is very anxious to start a relationship of some sort (friend, romantic, etc). So the question I have is: Is it really that bad to be single? I have spent more of my life out of relationships than in them. This is largely due to the fact that for some reason or another my relationships don't stick. I don't any long term relationships in my dossier and know that I haven't been in one serious enough to lead to love. I am comfortable being single and am quite versed in my independence. Maybe too much so. For the most part I know what I want, what I need, and what I think. This can be rather off-putting for some people. Don't get me wrong, there are many times when I think that a helpmate would be nice. But I want the person I end up with to be a compliment for me and my personality. I do not need anyone to "complete me." That is a Disney Princess idea that I consider harmful to all who embrace it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Memories of Youth

As you may know, one of my guilty pleasures is reading Pink is the New Blog. When I read today's title, "Pip, Pip Hurray", I was overwhelmed with memories. As a child my parents had records of the Eric B. Hare stories. And yes, I do mean on vinyl. We had a combo 8-track/record/cassette player in our dining room. Anyway, when I read the title all I could think about was Pip, Pip the Naughty Chicken. I don't know the last time I thought of those stories. They were much loved and much played in our house. Something has to be said for hearing stories read by the author. Maybe I'll get some for Dean's upcoming 5th birthday or just get copies for myself for my ride to church.

Spoke Too Soon

That beautiful but dirty long haired black and white cat has not been around for several days. I've been keeping some dry food in a baggie in my car just in case it shows up. I noticed that once I started to put out food for the pretty kitty so did the neighbors on each side of me. This shouldn't bother me since the cat was really thin, but I admit to being a little put off. I wanted to be the one of take care of it. The cat would follow me to the door as if it wanted to come inside. I wish I could let it. My only hope is that someone else took pity on the cat and saw how good of a pet it could be and decided to let it into their home (the only thing that I wouldn't be able to promise this cat would be visits inside my home). I did try to see how O'Malley would feel about this new possible pet. I left the door open so that O'Malley could watch this new kitty through the glass door. There was some hissing from O'Malley, but I expected as much since they couldn't smell each other. Then she just watched this new cat eat and rubbed up against my legs to show the outside cat who I belonged to. On a side note, O'Malley been more affectionate since she saw the cat. She's back on the bed at night and even spent Snooze Time on my stomach yesterday morning purring so loud I almost couldn't snooze :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

And then...

I had a nice relaxing weekend. I made a 7 Layer Salad for potluck since we had communion this week. The deaconesses prefer a cold menu when potluck and communion weeks overlap. The service was just what I needed after last week. Some time to reflect and try to seek out the ability to forgive those who do not ask for it (even when they should). I may have an outdoor cat in addition to O'Malley. There is a beautiful black & white long hair cat that has been coming around. It craves attention and has been thrilled at the food I've left out for it the last couple of days. If only I knew that it could get along with O'Malley then I would bite the bullet for the vet visit and bring it inside. I would love another cat, but it's O'Malley's house. I spent the rest of the weekend down at Lake Bud Isaiah in Mantachie, MS. Don't worry; no one else has heard of it either. I got to spend time with E's in-laws and enjoyed the 5 month old. It's amazing how quickly an infant changes. E's in-laws have been quick to adopt me into their family. It is a nice feeling. In not so amazing news, I was once again welcomed to work by an issue I had no knowledge of. The details are the same as always: Mr. Boss Man promises something to someone without getting all of the facts and I have to sort out how to make it work. But, even through the mess I have a reason to smile today. I approved an invoice today for some yard work done around one of the towers: "For fixen fence along street..."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Good & Bad

Good: My boss swears that he does not intentionally not communicate with me, so I shouldn't take it personally. He also swears that he respects me and wants me on his team. Corp has also told me to hang in as there is hope for things to get better. Bad: I still don't trust him and do take it personally. The benefit of the doubt has an expiration date. About an hour after his proclamation that he is not doing this on purpose, I discovered yet another situation where I am having to pick up the pieces because he didn't tell me something. ARGH! Good: Terminix is now my friend. They came yesterday afternoon to help me with the Palmetto bug problem. It is working already. Bad: I can tell it is working by the number of dead and dying bugs I disposed of this morning. I'm not looking forward to coming home after work. I didn't realize how many bugs and bug types I had until they started dying.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If I Could Do It Over

I have come to the conclusion that if I could do it over I would not have bought my house. (Maybe all of the mishaps with closing were God's warning and I was too stubborn to listen.) And no, I don't feel this way because of the mega-huge Palmetto Bugs that want to live inside. If I didn't have the commitment of a mortgage and only had to worry about breaking my lease I would ask for a job transfer effective immediately. I am thoroughly disgusted, discouraged, and disrespected by my boss at work. It is my honest opinion that my boss is purposefully choosing to NOT communicate or to miscommunicate information to me that is essential to my job performance. I believe that he is trying to push me out. He knows that I have worked for many years with this company and have built up professional relationships. He knows that he would have an uphill battle (because I am a female and have 7+ years of service) in an attempt to fire me. As a result I can only conclude that he is attempting to make me miserable in the hope I will resign. Why would be do this? Because I am not a Yes Man and stand up to him when I think he is not working in the best interests of the company or our Market. Sadly, I think it may be working. Like I said, right now it is my brand spanking new mortgage that is keeping me there. NOTHING MORE. I love my company and am very loyal to them. I just can't take much more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Be Bad This Week

I couldn't get the photo link to work, but check out the Banned Book Site. If you are looking for something to do this week may I suggest picking up a banned book. Click on the link for a list of the most challenged books of the century (or just 2006!). I don't know about you, but the book "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler sound interesting.