Thursday, April 30, 2009

Winner of Office Supplies!


SUSAN REINHART!!!Congratulations, dear Susan! Please email me your addy, and i will zip this beautiful package of office supplies to you right away. I'll be glad to get rid of the temptation to eat all those Milk Duds!

In case you didn't notice Susan's name on the comments, she is a follower of my blogs, but for some reason the bloggyspace police have disallowed her from commenting! She did email me and ask to be entered in the contest.Thanks to all of you who entered; i appreciate your support.

P.S. My dad is now in rehab, will be there at least 10-20 days. They are doing an MRI to determine if he had a stroke, since he's unble to talk intelligently. Thanks for all your prayers. His name is Joe, and my mom is Doris.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

God Isn't


    v Worried
    The Good Shepherd is not afraid that if the economy fails, He won’t be able to supply your needs. His provision is based on His riches (Philippians 4:19), not what is happening in the world. There is no recession in Heaven. If you are His child and you’re a tither, He has obligated Himself to take care of you. And He won’t be mad if you are bold enough to remind Him of that fact.

    v Tired
    When you come to your Father and ask for the same favor for the three thousandth time, He doesn’t say, “Oh, you again? I’ve got more important people and things to deal with.” He longs to have pity on you and show you favor. He rises to have compassion on you (Isaiah 30:18). It compliments Him when you ask for His help.

    v Offended
    The Master of the universe doesn’t get His feelings hurt when ungodly people take His name in vain, refuse to believe in Him, or twist His Word around to suit their narrow perceptions of Him. It doesn’t distress Him if people try to explain creation by theories or attempt to prove He doesn’t exist. In fact, He laughs at them (Psalm 2:4). But, I do sometimes wonder if He cringes when His kids act worse than heathens, fighting among themselves. That may tick Him off…

    v Stupid
    The God of all Wisdom knows more than all of us put together. I know it’s laughable when you see it in print. You think, “Well, duh!” Then, why do we seek His guidance as a last resort? Why do we trust people’s word over His? He has all the direction we will ever need. When we ask, He promises to share (James 1:5). And don’t think He only speaks in church on Sunday morning between 9:30 and noon, and only through a preacher. Open your Bible some Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning and see what’s happening in His heart.

    v Religious
    The Lord of creation loves to surprise us by doing things His way, rather than how we’ve figured it might go. He used a pimple-faced, sweaty teenager to kill a giant that an entire army was terrified of. What unconventional method might He use to fix your problem?


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sermon Quotes from today

Who Do YOU Say That I AM?

“People will not change for principle--- because it’s the right thing to do--- but they will change for a person. The person in our lives is Jesus, who never changes.”

“The question Jesus asked the disciples in Matt. 16: “Who do you say that I am?” is the same question He asks every person and will ask one day at His throne. Are you ready with an answer?”

“When Peter says, ‘You are the Son of the Living God’ he is saying that Jesus is the essence of God, that He IS God.”

“Finals are coming up, not just this Spring, in our schools, but in all eternity. There is just one question on God’s final, and your eternal destiny depends on your answer.”

“When you rest your life here in Jesus, nothing you have in Him can be taken away in the next life. Death cannot prevail against it.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another Look At The Beatitudes, part 5

Matthew 5:10-12

10. We are persecuted because we are like God. We draw the same fire He draws.

This is for the sake of righteousness. It is not because we’re stinkers. This is a high calling.

The kingdom is reiterated. There’s nothing more God can give. This is repeated from verse 3 to show that we’ve come full circle. We are not lacking anything we need from God.

Could this have been said of those under Moses that they had the kingdom in this sense? Adam started out with it, but He didn’t get it back in this way. This is an absolute possession, not one we can lose if we don’t pay the property taxes. (We can, of course, throw it away, but that is another issue on another topic. The point is that what we have from God cannot be taken away from us by any external force of the devil, man or the world.)

Theirs – it is theirs and theirs alone. God never acts arbitrarily giving things to those who don’t have faith or this character. Even Paul had to believe and be baptized, regardless of what God wanted to do with him.

11. The blessing doesn’t come from being reviled, but from the fact that we are identified as being with Jesus and a part of Him. MY NAME’S SAKE.

God is not interested in any masochists.

We can get it all: revile, persecute, say all evil. Jesus gives us ample warning of what might come if we follow Him.

12. We can rest in God when this comes, rather than feeling we have to defend ourselves. Jesus puts us in the same class as the prophets. I wouldn’t mind being associated with Isaiah.

Reward = eternal life.

It’s in heaven where no on can tamper with it and where it can’t be lost.

It’s great, not a “consolation” prize. We are not “Also Rans” in the spiritual realm if we run with Jesus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another look at the Beatitudes, part 4

Matthew 5:8-9

8. Pure = 100%. There is nothing there but what should be there.

The heart is the center of our being. Too many people look good without being good. A look at the news will verify this statement.

This purity comes from the righteousness bestowed, but it continues through our participation in it.

We can see God. This is something Moses couldn’t do in his lifetime. This is to live in the presence of God. It is to have freedom, boldness with regard to him. There is no blessing beyond this.

9. Peacemakers covers the outward reach. It’s not that we are diplomats, but evangelists. The only peace we can really make is introducing people to the Prince of Peace.

Still, there ought not to be contentions in the church or in our families. The Christian should be the FIRST to act in conflict.

To be labeled as sons of God is to be designated as those with the nature of God. No higher name can be given. Again, this is not something that comes until the earlier characters have been developed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Office Products Drawing!


I was going to wait until the end of the month to post my drawing for the Office Supply Extravaganza, but I can’t wait til then! This week has been a little challenging, with my dad in the hospital with pneumonia, both my guys at home sick, and me having a hard time motivating myself to write anything worth reading, so I have to do something joyful, and for me, that means giving away stuff!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!
You will love this, I promise.

It contains:

Mechanical pencils and refill leads
Brightly colored sticky notes
Tot stapler with staples
A mini-notebook
A chartreuse tape dispenser
Refill roll of tape
Recycled paper clips
Various colors and sizes of rubber bands
A mini hand sanitizer
A roll of dry erase tape, and finally…

All packaged in a darling “country lane” motif desk organizer. All you need to do to enter is comment on this post, giving your email address in this form: Jeanette(at)gmail(dot)com, so spammers cannot grab your real email address. I will keep the drawing open for one week, and announce the winner on Thursday, April 30th.

To add to the excitement, if you comment on both of my blogs, I will enter your name twice! My other blog is: Audience of One

Blessings on all who enter! And tell your friends,
P.S. I would be so thrilled if you'd pray for my Dad and Mom, Joe and Doris Kidgell. Not only is Dad sick in the hospital, but Mom's car has broken down, and she has to rely on friends to drive her the hour and a half to go visit Dad. They live in a remote area in No. California. Thank you!

Another Look At The Beatitudes, part 3

Matthew 5:6-7

6. Since we have the gentle character we want more. No one character of Jesus of God sums it all up.

This needs to become like a physical appetite. We realize that we are devoid of righteousness and can only get it if we get it from God.

Justification allows us to:
Enter heaven in the end
Pray now
Be done with guilt
To be able to really “play” the piece of the Christian life (to use a musical metaphor) as it should be

In all this satisfaction is guaranteed. We won’t be looking for other spiritual resources, either in ourselves or in other religions.

7. Merciful is something else. We might expect that the righteous would make everyone toe the line as they only think they have done. That is not the character of the Father, and it is the very character we acquire here. Mercy doesn’t require others to “get it right” before it is dispensed. It is given precisely because they don’t have it right, and never will apart from the extension of mercy.

As with God, absolute righteousness in us disposes us to mercy. This should govern our every interpersonal interchange. This, like forgiveness is a gift you get when you give it. We originally get it from God when we are saved, but we operate in it as a total way of life now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Look At the Beatitudes Part 2

Matthew 5:4-5

4. Jesus pronounces a blessing on mourning. Why would he do so on such a negative thing, and what exactly is the mourning referred to?

I don’t think this can be limited to repentance over sin, although that is a species of mourning. The fact is that every Christian who has been justified and cleansed is still plagued with holes in his life. Every hole inside of us can be filled by God. That’s what the blessing is, but it won’t come to those who are trying to fix themselves. Comfort comes to us when significance is shown (of ourselves and what we are going through) and when we receive resources to move ahead despite the agony

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Jesus does!

Mourning is a deep-seated lack expressed in such a way that it’s not covered up or over. If you try to cover it up yourself, Jesus can’t reach down inside the hole to fix it. We have to be passive in this so He can fix it. If however, we’re in denial that there is nothing to mourn, we’ll never be able to receive His comfort. To mourn is to do so on a healthy open level, not to indulge in obstinate despair such as Jacob did when he swore to go to his grave in tears.

We go from being saved (i.e. inheriting the kingdom) to having our very real inner needs met.

5. In gentleness we come to the golden mean. Here we acquire the character of Jesus who would receive the children yet was able to drive out the moneychangers. There is skill here.

This is as positive character inside us. Again, there is a sequence. We can’t get this if we’re proud and controlling our own emotional fates. Thus we have to mourn and empty the whole bag out for Jesus to deal with it. Then he replace the holes with something better: His own character.

This is the opposite of the world’s way where the proud get it all. God is in control. He sets the rules. It’s not what we see now that counts, but what’s at the end of the game. God doesn’t change the rules to keep us from winning, either.

Inherit is dependent on the will (both in terms of personal volition and testament) of God. No one can coerce Him to give them this.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Look at the Beatitudes part 1

For the next several days we’ll be looking at a section a day of the beginning of the most famous sermon of all time. Even though we’ve all heard it and memorized it, some of us more than once, there is truth there we need to continue to get hold of. Here are some observations that came to me during my weekly men’s journaling group.

Matthew 5:1-3

1. Jesus sat down. He was not interested in being “seeker sensitive”. His message was adjusted to no one’s needs. So, we need to get where Jesus is.

2. It says that Jesus opened his mouth and taught. Some of the newer translations skip over that mouth business, but I think it’s important. This is a Hebraism, a repetition of the same thing in different terms, but it’s more than that. Why did it say this?
To show that this came out of Jesus: source.
To show that it was personal.
To let the truth out. He keeps nothing back from us.

3. Theses are all pronouncements. There is no “if” connected with them. They are not wishes or guidelines, but PROMISES! It’s character and action which are blessed. There is no blessing in a vacuum. Those who have this character get more of it. Further, we see that these are a full circle with no chinks left open for anything other than the character of Jesus to be ours.
To be poor in spirit is not to be haughty or puffed up. We begin by recognizing our spiritual need, not our accomplishments. Nothing, however, comes to us without our engagement in it. Spirituality is not like nationality or gender.
The kingdom is the totality of the God-life, the totality of everything from God. This is because of adoption and inheritance. This is not a flippant statement, but a reality borne out by the truth. We don’t control the kingdom, but we have freedom and access to the totality of it. There are no classified levels to the Christian, no security clearances required that keep us out of some places. We have the whole mind of God.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quotes from Kevin's sermon today

“When you start talking about what Jesus is doing, that supersedes what is happening in the world. The supernatural will always overcome the natural.”

“Concentrating on Jesus will give us what we need.”

“You can tell what’s really inside a person when they come up against adversity.”

“We always get into trouble when we act apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit and apart from prayer.”

And my personal favorite

God’s Spirit is not limited and His hand has not shrunk. We can ask God to do the same things in our day that He did in the book of Acts.”

-- Jen

Friday, April 17, 2009

A survey

As many of you know, my day job is in an office supply store. So, I decided to have my next giveaway be a treasure basket of office supplies. Here is what I need from you, so I can fill the basket with all things that delight a writer:

What tools do you most use? Post-it notes? Red pens or pencils? Yellow legal pads? Sharpies? Pens? Chocolate?

Please tell me what you’d like to receive if you won this super duper office supply basket. I will post the contest soon…and thanks!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


While chatting with Grandma, three-year-old Esther’s reasoning made perfect sense: “Mommy says we can have a pet as soon as baby-Ron is old enough to help me take care of it. I decided I wanted a kitty instead of a puppy, because kitties cover up their poops!”

We have had cats in the family ever since. In fact, I have had cats since I was a tiny sprout.

Because he was pure black, I named my first cat Bee Bee. He was only a member of our family two years when he disappeared for several days. By the time we found him hidden under a bush by the back door, Bee Bee was severely dehydrated and weak, his back leg mangled from a fight. The vet thought it best to put him to sleep. Bee Bee’s leg would need to be amputated, and the vet believed no cat could climb trees or defend himself with just three legs. I sobbed all the way home after telling Bee Bee goodbye, but in 1964 my single mom could not afford a second vet’s opinion.

Years later I read stories of both cats and dogs who had survived and lived full lives with only three limbs. If only we had known…

But, this isn’t a story about cats and vets and my regrets. I don’t think of Bee Bee too often, other than to wish I’d had the spunk to say, “Let’s try to save him, even if he just has three legs. Let’s not throw him out, just because he isn’t perfect. We’ll love him all the more.”

Is this our attitude with people, relationships, churches and jobs? Does our desire to be perfect and appear to “have it all together” cause us to throw away what could be useful, given a little loving help?

I wonder how many disciples Jesus’ would have been left with if He’d required perfection, or at least the image of it.

Peter would have been the first one thrown away—he was always shooting off his mouth and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. When Jesus told His followers that He was going to suffer and be crucified, Peter had the audacity to argue: “Oh no, Lord, this will never be!” That stupid comment caused Jesus to verbally slap him upside the head and say, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Then there was Thomas. He was so downhearted about Jesus’ death that he refused to believe his friends’ witness and Jesus’ former testimony regarding the resurrection. He said, “My faith can only be based on what I see, not on Jesus’ word or what you tell me.” Jesus rebuked him, too, saying that we who believe in Him without seeing are more blessed than the prideful, proof-requiring Thomas.

None of them were perfect followers. Nor are we. Jesus refused to give up on them, however, simply because they were immature or foolish or beset with bad habits. He won’t give up on you or me, either.

This resurrection season, take home some hope in Jesus’ willingness to love, help and heal us, no matter where we are on our journey with Him. Missing leg, big mouth, failed faith or broken heart, His love makes up for our lack.

In this world of throw-away everything, Jesus calls all of us His keepers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Audience of One

Lovers of all things literary, writers, readers, and wannabe writers, please hop over to my new blog, Audience of One. I will be sharing my writing journey, tips and links to help writers and most importantly, book and writing tool giveaways! Yippee Dippee!!!!

We will still post on this blog regularly, but the new one is more focused. Please take a peek, and tell your writing and reading friends...


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quotes from today's sermon

"When we go to (Jesus') graveyard, we do not find tears and sorrow. We find power."

"Think not only about encouragement in Jesus' graveyard, but encouragement in your home, your home, your job, your finances. For you see, Jesus did not stay in the graveyard-- He got out. There is no trouble so dark that He will not turn it to light."

"Today (Resurrection Day, 2009) is the Day of the grace of Jesus Christ."

"When we pass from the Cross of Jesus Christ His resurrection, we are making a statement that is world changing!"

-- Jen, from Kevin's sermon

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Winner!

Congratulations to T. Anne, the winner of the Joyce Meyer DVD set!

Stay in touch for more contests; next time I will be giving away an "office treasure" basket, full of fun tools for all you pen and post-it note freaks out there!

Happy Resurrection weekend,

Friday, April 10, 2009

In The Middle Of A Meal

Last evening I took our youth group out to eat. There were only two who could come, but they were still our youth group. I deliberately chose to take them out to eat on that night because it was the night in our celebration of the Passion week when Jesus instituted the Lord's supper.
During the middle of the meal I stopped everything and brought out my communion kit and spoke of what Jesus had done. We so associate this time with a worship service that we think it began in a Sunday morning service, but it didn't. It all began in the middle of a meal.
I asked the kids if they were going to have another meal or more tomorrow. Then I shared with them the significance of Jesus in putting this reminder in a meal. We may not go to a religious service every day, but we all eat every day. We should remember Jesus whenever we eat, or by extension, whenever we do anything.
Remembering Jesus is not a dreary weekly duty, something we "have to" do. Instead it is a daily opportunity to go on a joy ride with Jesus and let Him liven up everything we do with His presence.

- Kevin

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do Your Own

As a child I heard about the Passion Play in Oberamergau. I said that when I grew up I was going to go see it, but so far that hasn’t happened. The next best thing was to write and direct my own production at San Jose Bible College in 1971.
We did our presentation over three sessions – Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday morning (while traditional “Passions” end with the crucifixion or entombment I felt the resurrection to be absolutely necessary) - each one encompassing the gospel events connected with those particular days so as to give it a sense of “You Were There”. It was very effective, especially the torch lit procession of both the cast and the audience from the scene of Pilate’s judgment hall to the site of the crucifixion where we used full size crosses made out of real wood. Some things, however, didn’t go according to plan.
I had wanted to present the garden scene as a very moving time. The audience saw the bragging of the disciples who would undergo anything for Jesus, their puzzlement over what was taking place and their lack of endurance in falling asleep though Jesus had asked them to watch and pray. We showed all three times when they tried, but failed, to continue in prayer. Since I played the apostle John I was on stage and couldn’t understand why people started laughing every time we fell asleep. What was intended as a moment of grand tragedy was being taken for comic relief. The audience saw it for what it really was, a failed attempt to do it ourselves.
Like the disciples, our own efforts don’t put us over the top. But our failing is not the end of the story. God brings righteousness to the darkest sins through Jesus. All we can ever do, then, is to give thanks.

- Kevin


(I know it’s going to be hard to believe, but these are the same cats Jeanette wrote about.)

Cry until you get your way.

By the way, there is only one way, your (that is the cat’s) way.

Houses aren’t often big enough for two cats.

There is a boss, and I’m not it (I, Kevin, don’t claim to have learned this lesson or any other listed here, but that this is what they have attempted to teach me through their attitudes and actions).

Carpets and door jambs need to be re-configured.

When people leave you behind to have a good time, you go ahead and have a good time yourself; trash the house.

If there should be more than one cat, agree to come into the room one by one at meal time so that the providers keep getting out food and then you have a chance for extras.

If another cat doesn’t eat his food, eat it for him. Then when his food is replaced, eat that food, too.

Cats just do better on the table than on the floor at human people’s meal times.

When you sit down on a person, first walk all over his stomach, then extend your claws into his skin to wake him up so he can reposition himself to be where you want him to be. If he throws you off, come back immediately. How else will he learn who’s boss?

You have to be bilingual to survive in the present day world. You speak pitiful cries to humans and hisses to other cats.

Leave half eaten mice, birds, lizards and moles all over the lawn. It gives people something to pick up; they need exercise so badly. Even if they’re in good shape, they might need to brush up on anatomy.

When they come home from being gone for a long time, immediately crawl all over the car or jump into it so they will see the injustice of their wandering ways. Make it hard for them to get you out. Remember, their way doesn’t count; yours does.

Go where no human has ever gone, then make them follow you there.

Hairballs only do any good when strategically placed where someone is sure to step in them.

Live dangerously.

- Kevin

Things I Have Learned from My Cats

  • v If you fight with the family cats, you won’t have energy left to ward off enemy cats

    v It’s okay to have whiskers and pointy ears

    v Naps are cool

    v Don’t be picky about your food, or the one who fed you may regret it

    v Purring will get you everywhere

    v Master the “Shocked and Innocent Look” if someone laughs at you

    v Naps are fun

    v Pretend you know what you’re doing even if you haven’t got a clue

    v Convince those around you how blessed they are to have you

    v Naps are refreshing

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So Happy You Cry

My friend, Blair excitedly told me of witnessing seven people come forward at church yesterday and give their lives to Jesus.

“I was so happy, I cried!” she said.

Wow. She’s only twenty, and she’s already figured out that there is nothing more important than dying to self so you can have real life in Jesus.

With all the darkness in the media nowadays, I thought it would be fun to share some joy.
What makes you so happy you cry? So excited you dance? So joyous you laugh?


Saturday, April 4, 2009

My First Contest!!!

I’m so excited to be giving away a brand new 4-DVD set of Joyce Meyer’s teaching called “Armed and Dangerous.” The titles are: Doing Spiritual Warfare God’s Way; Dressed for Battle; How to Have Power and Authority; and Armed and Dangerous. I believe you will be greatly blessed by this teaching.

Joyce is a dynamic, humorous Bible teacher from the St. Louis area. She travels all over the world teaching the Word. Her numerous mission outreaches are phenomenal: feeding orphans, rescuing prostitutes, planting wells, building schools, helping hurricane victims, etc.

You have one week to reply. Just leave a comment on this post, with your email address, to enter the contest. I will draw the winner on Saturday, April 11th, and post your name on my blog. Please tell your friends!!!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Love Me!

Her hug was no different than usual, her tanned arms and spindly legs wrapped around my neck and waist like summer vines. It was her words that surprised me this time.

Jenessa had always said “I love you” as sweet as a grape popsicle when she hugged Kevin or me, parroting the words we’d told her since she was born 4 ½ years ago. They were the same words we’d spoken to our own two kids, words every child deserves to hear frequently. But this time as she snuggled against my neck she said confidently, “You love me.”

“Yes, I do!” I laughed, embracing her tighter. I was pleased that she felt secure enough to not ask me if I loved her, but tell me. Was she reassuring herself, or reminding me?

I had corrected her right and left for the last week while her 2-year-old brother, baby sister, mommy and daddy stayed with us for the week of Vacation Bible School. “Don’t tell me you want a banana; ask ‘may I please have one?’; “Swallow your food before you tell us something; we don’t want ‘see food’ at this table; “Sit still, Honey. I can’t read to you if you keep wiggling the book!”

But I’d also cuddled and kissed & teased her. I played in the sandbox with her in the blistering heat. I watched endless episodes of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and read countless ‘widawary’ books. I even shared my favorite Schwann’s frozen yogurt with her! So she took my correction in stride, knowing that my love was the supreme motive for everything I did.

God corrects us, sometimes more than we like. Perhaps He convicts us when we think poorly of someone, have a stinky attitude, even when we’re hard on ourselves. He’s never harsh or unkind when His still, small voice whispers in our hearts, but we know He wants us to come up higher, so we’ll be happier.

Then there’s His fun, loving side. He makes our tomato and zucchini plants grow tons more than we’ll ever need, so we can have the joy of sharing. He sends us people who make us laugh when we’re in a tough situation, or lets us meet someone worse off than we are, so we’ll be thankful. He puts us in a family called a ‘church’ so we don’t have to bear our burdens all alone. His Holy Spirit to comfort us. His Word to renew our hope. His blood to forgive us. All proof that His supreme love is the motive behind everything He does. Even correcting us.

What else can we do but climb into His lap and tell Him, “You love me!”