The small, insignificant, day-by-day things that happen in my life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I just finished reading “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks. I have mixed feelings about Sparks’ writing. There is no question that he writes emotional stories – I can’t recall a time I’ve ever read a story of his and didn’t cry, but his writing is so simplistic, it’s almost insulting. I’m reading “The Scent of Scandal” by Carole Matthews now. Matthews is pretty entertaining’ I’m looking forward to it.

I have a skinned knee. Do you know how embarrassing it is, a grown woman, to walk around with a big, ugly scab on her knee? Here’s what happened: Kevin removed the ramp to his office and stupid me forgot that little tidbit. I was carrying my computer chair into his office for his boss (who comes over twice a week, though that should change now that Kevin is driving – they are going out to lunch tomorrow) so he could use it while talking to Kevin and since you have to step down into Kevin’s office (he converted our screen-in back porch), I put my foot out there fully expecting to step on a ramp, only the ramp was gone and I stepped into nothingness, lost my footing, and fell onto the concrete floor (that has been covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting because we’re fancy like that), and went to my knees. I had a pretty nasty rug burn on my knee and the side of my foot. I suppose I should be thankful that I didn’t break a bone.

Every morning, at 9:30 in the morning, I go into Dude’s room to wake him up. I turn his fan off, pull the covers off his skinny body and then turn his clock radio on – to an old-time gospel station. I laugh because the music is quite annoying to begin with, I can’t imagine waking up to it. And judging by Dude’s reaction each morning, he’s not too thrilled about waking up to it either.

I bought an external hard drive today. I got it at Wal-Mart – 320 gigabytes for $60 bucks. And it’s purple. I have a purple external hard drive. That makes me happy, for some odd reason. (I’m also determined to buy a pink laptop next time, just you watch me). I can’t wait to use it. I need it because I’m constantly making backups and burning DVD’s drives me nuts. I have two DVD cases full of backups. Though I will continue to make DVD backups, with an external hard drive, I won’t have to make them quite as often. And it’s purple, I mentioned that part, right? I’m such a geek.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

I reformatted my laptop today. I both love and hate reformatting. On one hand, it’s like a BRAND NEW COMPUTER! when I’m finished. On the other hand, it TAKES NEARLY ALL DAY to wait while it updates and installs things. *sigh* Reformatting my laptop is a heck of a lot easier to do than my personal computer. The Internet, for example, practically installs itself. Since it’s WiFi, it just looks for WiFi hotspots and that’s it. (Well, I had to put our WEP code in, but you know what I mean). Whereas my personal computer, I have to go to “My Network Places”, set up the workgroup blah blah blah. But I mentioned it’s like having a brand new computer when it’s all said and done, right? (I just transferred my entire iTunes library over and the whole process was smooth as butta).

I took the boys to buy school supplies today. They both love those trappers that have the handles on the outside. It always amuses me whenever I see Dude walking to my car after school, carrying it like a briefcase. Hey, if it helps him take school a bit more seriously, then I’m all for it. I’ll gladly fork over the $20 bucks needed to buy the thing. (*gulp*) We didn’t buy much else. When your kids are in high school, the school supply list consists of trapper, paper and pencils, and that’s about it.

We headed to Shoe Carnival afterward. I actually dislike Shoe Carnival because of the non-stop jabbering about hot deals and so forth on the intercom, it all seems so cheap and tacky, but they have the buy one, get one half price thing and since I have to buy two pairs of sneakers, I usually save about $30 bucks going there. Jazz found his pair right off the bat. Dude took about thirty minutes to finally decide. I have made so many of Dude’s decisions for him when he was growing up, he has sort of gotten into the habit of stepping back and letting me decide on stuff. I don’t do that any more. I sat down in a chair, crossed my legs and simply said, “Let me know when you’ve picked something.” He kept gravitating toward a pair that he really liked, only the tongue is a bit rough around the edges and I’m concerned they will end up rubbing the top of his feet raw. We went ahead and bought them, but I have a feeling we’ll be monkey rigging those things in the near future.

I wish I could say the boys and I had a good time today, but I would be lying. I always look forward to doing things like this with them and I’m always disappointed. They both HATE to shop and what can I expect? They’re teenage boys, not girls, it’s sort of in their nature to hate it. Plus, we’re getting ready for school, and if I haven’t shared with you all, my boys LOATHE school. (Well except for Jazz, he likes it only because of band).

I followed a twitter link today to a really bizarre and disturbing news story. It was one of those stranger than truth stories and I loved it. So much, in fact, that I’m using the idea for my National Novel Writing Month story in November. It feels really good to already have something in mind for that writing project. It will be my sixth time participating in the program. I’m glutton for punishment, apparently.


Friday, August 6, 2010

What an emotional roller coaster day.

The day started out pretty quiet. I spent most of it on my laptop, installing my programs, tweaking the settings so that it was exactly how I wanted it. I also ran across a really nifty (and FREE) writing program called yWriter. I haven’t had a chance to really dig into it yet, but I plan to after I finish this entry.

Kevin and I had just gotten back from the UPS store (he needed to have a document notarized) when I got an email from my mom – my grandmother passed away this morning. (My dad’s mom).

We all knew it was just a matter of time, she’s been suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia for a number of years, but still, it was shocking. I took a moment to absorb it before telling Kevin and the boys. Jazz could see I was pretty upset and he hugged me.

“It’s okay, mom.”

That somehow made it worse, though I appreciated his kindness. I’ve been crying off and on all day. I have so many regrets when it comes to my grandparents (I wrote about those regrets) so I’m sad that she’s gone, I’m sad that she suffered so much these past years and I’m sad for my missed opportunity, an opportunity I blew, on my own and all by myself.

I wanted to call my dad, but I wasn’t sure he would feel up to talking. I think my mom is on vacation this week on account of the fair, so hopefully she’s with him. It bothers me to think he might be home alone. I can’t imagine how my grandfather is coping right now.

Her funeral will likely be on Monday, though no definite plans have been made at this time. Jazz will be at band camp, but Dude should be there with us. It will be Dude’s first funeral.

A couple of Dude’s friends dropped by today, but Dude wouldn’t let me answer the door. He didn’t want to see them. When I pressed him as to why, he told me that when he spent the night over at his buddy’s house a few months back, they smoked pot. He said they offered him some and he refused – I believe him.

It doesn’t bother me so much that he was exposed to that, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and I’m proud of him for refusing to succumb to peer pressure, but it bothers me that he held that in all this time. We’ve always told the boys that if they ever found themselves in an uncomfortable situation with their friends to call us – no questions asked. No lectures, no explanations needed; we would talk about stuff later. So the fact that he didn’t call and stuck around all night sort of bothers me. I hope he wasn’t too scared to call us, and I hope he’s not too scared to call us in the future, if it happens again. (Which it probably won’t with these particular friends. Not only does he not wish to be friends with them anymore, I’m not sure we would allow him to hang out with them anymore).

So, my emotions have been all over the board today – sadness, regret, grief, surprise, shock, worry, anxiety, a touch of anger. I’m ready for this day to end.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

It was a quiet day. I battled yet another caffeine headache; I seem to be getting a lot of those lately. I have to ration my caffeine intake. I have one cup of coffee in the morning and then every other afternoon I have either half a cup of warmed left-over coffee, or a Red Bull. If I drink too much caffeine in the afternoon, I inevitably get a headache that lasts for DAYS. It’s annoying. I found that if I drink more than 8 ounces of Red Bull, that seems to trigger these headaches, too. Excedrin Migraine usually knocks these headaches out of the park, but they have aspirin in them, which does strange things to me, so I have to ration how much I take of that, as well. I’m complicated, what can I say?

Nephew came by and mowed our grass today. We’ve been paying him to come mow our grass every week until Kevin can get back on his feet. I feel a little weird with this arrangement considering we have two teenage boys who could do that job, but Kevin likes how J mows our grass and he doesn’t feel like fighting with the boys on making them do it right. (Though it would be good for them, but it’s his decision).

Found out when my grandmother’s funeral is: Tuesday. My mother-in-law wanted to go, but I feel uncomfortable with that. I know her heart is in the right place (wanting to support me), but she didn’t know my grandmother and I’m going to have my hands full with keeping my own emotions in check while trying to offer support to the rest of my family. I just don’t have the energy to try and put on airs in front of her. She’s a sweet lady and I appreciate the offer, though.

We bought an external hard drive for Kevin. He wants to get rid of an extra computer in his office. In fact, he wants to simplify our lives, period. With his grandmother’s death, my grandmother’s death and his accident, his entire view on life in general has changed. He doesn’t want to leave a lot of crap behind for our sons to sort through. We’re also going to set up our wills and start a payment plan on plots of land for our burial. I know that all sounds morbid, and I’m not exactly comfortable talking about such issues, but they are real-life issues that need to be taken care of. You just never know when life will throw you a curve ball.


I’ve been using Oh Life to record my daily events. I love it because they send you an email at 8:00 p.m. every night asking you how your day went. You reply to the email and it automatically posts to your Oh Life account. I’ve been wanting to record the day-to-day happenings in my life because, well, I forget this stuff. I realize it may be pretty boring and worthless to you all out there, but to me? They’re precious moments.

These entries are raw, immediate and from the heart. You can expect to see these updates every Wednesday and Sunday (or thereabouts)

Thanks for reading.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Civil Government: God’s Design for Peace and Justice

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

(Video: Part One of Six)
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(RSS Readers, there is a video. Please click over to watch).

Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, peace, justice, and security have been very scarce upon this earth. Adam and Eve had not been out of Eden for long when “Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him” (Gen. 4:8). Six thousand years later, this earth is still a very dangerous place. The Bible tells us that it will remain so until Christ’s Millennial Kingdom comes, when the promise of Isaiah is fulfilled.

Isaiah 32:18
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

So, is peace and justice now impossible? Has God made no provision for security in society until Christ’s Kingdom comes? The answer to both is no. Since Genesis 9:6, God has commanded that the safety and security of the people in a society is the responsibility of the government of that society. After the Flood, God commanded Noah and his descendents to govern themselves and protect themselves from evil people. This was the birth of civil governments that have the God-given authority to protect the innocent by punishing evildoers, up to and including the death of those who are guilty of capital crimes.

But, in general, mankind has abysmally failed to obey God and strictly enforce the civil law modeled in the Bible. Societies have often been extremely dangerous places, wherein the average person becomes tempted to act as “judge and jury” and avenge himself when he is threatened or wronged. But, at best, vigilante action fixes the problem only temporarily, and eventually leads to the ruin of the society.

Understanding and supporting God’s design for social order is the better path to take. In John 19:11a, Jesus recognizes Pilate’s godly role as civil governor, and affirms God’s hand in the design (“You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…”). Romans 12:17-13:7 simply reaffirms for the Christian Church the authority of civil government and the need to honor that authority and be subject to it. It reminds us that the way to live in peace in this world is not to avenge ourselves, but rather to give place to the wrath of God as it is executed by civil authority.

Throughout Church history, many Christians have not believed that Romans 12:17-13:7 refers to civil authorities. They point to the occasional atrocities of the civil governments that have existed through the ages, and assert that this section of Romans must be speaking about authorities in the Church. This article has two purposes, to show that Romans 12:17-13:7 refers to civil government, not Church government, and to establish from God’s Word that God’s design is for civil government to punish evildoers so that the general population can live peaceful and secure lives.

Because Romans 13:1-7 is often taken out of context, we must begin our exegesis at Romans 12:17. It is unfortunate that the translators placed a chapter break (Ch. 13) right in the middle of this subject, because it makes it harder for the reader to see the continuation of the subject matter from Chapter 12. Chapters were not part of the original God-breathed Word. Major breaks, chapters and paragraphs were added to the text through the ages, and the chapter breaks that appear in modern Bibles are from the 1200s AD. Although the translators usually appropriately marked the subject changes with chapter breaks, Romans 13 is one they misplaced (Gen. 2 and Isa. 53 are other examples). The actual context begins in Romans 12:17. Christians are exhorted to not avenge evil with evil, but as much as possible to live in peace with everyone and to “give place unto [God’s] wrath” (12:19). (Note: we will be using the King James Version unless otherwise indicated).

Romans 12:17-21
(17) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
(18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
(19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto [God’s] wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
(20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
(21) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Several things immediately become clear from these verses. First, they contain instruction regarding proper Christian behavior (v. 17). Second, they refer to proper Christian behavior toward non-Christians as well as Christians. How do we know this? By asking the question, “If the words ‘no man,’ and ‘all men’ used in verses 17 and 18 refer only to Christians, would the verses still make sense in light of the rest of Scripture?” In other words, “no man” and “all men” must refer to some group of people. If it does not refer to all human beings, then to whom does it refer? “Christians” would be the probable answer (and the only answer if you are trying to make the case that Romans 13 is dealing with the internal affairs of the Church). Therefore we will see if it makes sense for the “all men” to refer to Christians (our comments are in italics).

Romans 12:17 and 18
(17) Recompense to no “Christian” man evil for evil (This does not make sense, because it would be implying that it might be okay to return evil to a non-Christian). Provide things honest in the sight of all “Christians” (It is okay to be dishonest to non-Christians?).
(18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all “Christians” (Is it okay to return evil to a non-Christian? Christ taught that we should love even our enemies).

It is readily apparent that the uses of the word “all” in these verses do not refer to a subgroup of human beings. God never wants us to do evil to anyone (Rom. 12:21; 1 Cor. 13:5; 2 Cor. 13:7, and especially 1 Thess. 5:15). We can properly conclude that the section immediately preceding Romans 13 refers to proper Christian behavior toward all people, and it is speaking of living in peace with them. In light of that, we need to reexamine verses 18 and 19.

Romans 12:18 and 19
(18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
(19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

The Bible and history both testify that Christians (and non-Christians) have been victimized by both non-Christians and unscrupulous Christians (any survey of prison populations will show clearly that a significant percent of those incarcerated are professing Christians). How is the godly Christian supposed to protect himself from these evil people? How is he supposed to “live in peace” with them? By avenging himself? No, because Romans 12:19 says, “avenge not yourselves.” Can godly Christians get protection from these evil people by calling on the authorities in the Church? Hardly.

Church authorities have only “charismatic influence,” and lack the ability to protect the godly from the ungodly. This is just as true today as it was 2,000 years ago. Anyone who has been in the pastorate knows that if a Christian under his or her care is assaulted, raped, robbed, or worse, the best the pastor can do is comfort the victim and pray for justice. That is not very helpful to the one who wants a way to live in peace in our evil society. There has to be a satisfying answer to the question, “How can a Christian live in peace with evil people without protecting himself by avenging himself?”

The satisfying answer we need, and the way a Christian can live in an evil society without avenging himself, is by “giving place unto [God’s] wrath.” That sounds good, but what does it mean? Does it mean that a Christian who has been horribly wronged should simply wait until God strikes the wicked person dead or punishes him in some lesser way, such as giving him the measles or perhaps breaking his car or computer? No, because God does not work that way. God is not actively punishing criminals on the earth today. [1] In both the Old and New Testaments, God commands people to punish criminals as the agent of His wrath. [2]

It is humans who execute criminals (Exod. 21:12-17), levy fines (Exod. 22:2-6), inflict corporal punishments such as beatings (Deut. 25:2), and who build and incarcerate others in jails (Gen. 39:20). What makes punishment “the wrath of God” is not that God directly does the punishing, but that it is carried out according to His will and laws. The phrase “wrath of the king” means the king is directly doing the punishing. The phrase “the wrath of the king” appears three times in the Bible (Esther 2:1; Prov. 16:14; Heb. 11:27), and it is clear that the king did not directly execute his wrath. Rather, the king gives commands, which are carried out by his servants, his army, etc. So when the king’s army carries out the will of the king, the action is called “the wrath of the king,” and when the will of God is carried out by people against those who oppose God’s laws, that is “the wrath of God.”

Some have argued that the wrath of God in Romans 12:19 is the wrath that sinners will face at the Final Judgment. However, that belief is even less satisfying to those who want peace here and now than believing that God will directly deal in this life with evildoers. There will be wrath from God at the Final Judgment, but that is not the wrath that is being spoken of in this context, as is seen by the direct reference in 13:4b to someone or something being the one to execute God’s wrath now (“he is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” NIV). Yes, there will be a Final Judgment, but that will not keep society safe now, or help Christians deal with the injustices of this life and live at peace with all men.

In this context, we should expect to see a concrete way that Christians can live peaceably in this evil world, a way that the wrath of God can be wielded upon those who unlawfully and immorally afflict others. That way of peace is through civil government, and that is exactly what is set forth in the opening verses of Romans 13.

You can read the rest of the article here.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

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