Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Monday, July 25, 2005

And so I go

In a few hours I will need to be at the airport. Am I done packing? NO! Will I get any sleep before having to be there at 4:30. Probably not - maybe an hour or so. I am stinking tired and want to sleep. I know I most likely won't much, if at all. I have a 3 1/2 hour layover in Phoenix before heading to Reno. I'm afraid of falling asleep and A) missing my plane or B) getting robbed while I sleep. Unfortunately caffeine and sugar don't work on me. Never have. Never will.

I just dropped my darling Emily off at Matt's for the week a little over an hour ago. It is the most difficult thing I have done - driving away from her tonight. The last two years weren't so bad. This year, not so good. What changed? This year she is aware that I am going away from her, she is old enough to understand that I am not going to be there to sing her her bedtime songs like "Baby Mine" or "Amazing Grace" (Yes she loves listening to that song at night). She knows I won't be there to sing the "Big Bulldoooooooog" song to her when I go to drop her off at Matt's in the morning before going to work. She is aware that I won't be there to be silly with her or love on her or tickle her or whisper in her ear that she is the very best part of me or that I love her with all my heart. She knows. And even though she seems ok with it now b/c she is going to have a week long "slumber party" at daddys, I know that tomorrow night she'll be asking him when am I coming back and maybe start to worry on the second night that I'm not going to come back to her at all b/c her imagination is just wild and crazy like that. I promised her I would call her every night while I was there and even sing to her over the phone if she wanted me to.

It was the hardest thing letting her go tonight and driving away. A large part of my heart was left behind with my sweet little girl and I know my heart and I won't feel whole again until I'm back home Sunday night - where I belong.

"Oh my baby, little one,
the hardest thing I do
is hold you tight
then let you go
and walk away from you...

But even when I'm far away,
this love I have will stay
and wrap itself around you
every minute of the day...

So blow a kiss and wave goodbye -
my baby, don't you cry.
This love is always with you,
like the sun is with the sky...

It stays beside you always,
through everything you do.
And you might be surprised to know,
this love is with me too...

But oh my baby, little one,
the sweetest thing I do,
is sweep you up and hold you tight
and come back home to you."

excerpted from Oh My Baby, Little One
by Kathi Appelt

Friday, July 22, 2005

Today's FFT - Welcome to RENO!

As the little ticker shows at the top of my blog, I have 4 more days until I go to Reno for my annual National Writer's Convention for RWA - the Romance Writers of America. Every year it is held in a different city. Last year was in Dallas, the year before was NYC, next year's will be in Atlanta, but I will probably forego that one to go to Scotland. Yes, I said Scotland (with a side trip to Ireland!) One of my dear friends, who is just unbelievably beautiful and outrageously funny and one of the most genuine and kindest women I've ever known is getting married in the town where William Wallace was born and lived and asked me to come. Ladies, she is one of those really DISGUTINGLY perfect women that you would just love to hate but can't b/c she's so damn genuinely nice and endearingly clumsy at times. I will post more about her and the wedding at a later date.

Anyway, this year we are at Reno. I have never been there. Never been out of the 48 contiguous, never been west of Colorado or New Mexico. This will be a real treat for me! Expanding my horizons, so to speak. If any of you have been to Reno, or live near there, if you would like to let me know what neat things there are to do there in the limited time I will be there - little time for actual sight seeing - please feel free to leave your insight in the comments.

This FFT is not an actual Friday Field Trip this week in the same sense of the past FFT's. This week I am going to show you a couple tidbits about Reno and where we're staying. So it's a "virtual" trip this week.

Population: Reno: 180,480

Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World"

Temps for July: Highs in high 80's-high 90's with occasional triple digets, lows in mid 50's - low 60's. Humidity typically is in the teens so my hair should do just peachy!

Housed in the shadow of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Reno Hilton, also known as a Caesars hotel, has become northern Nevada’s most complete destination resort. A stay in one of the 2,000 rooms offers access to premiere restaurants, headline entertainment, a mini-mall, family-friendly activities, and endless recreation. And, of course, there is also 115,000 square feet of heart-pounding casino action 24-hours a day.

There are several cool things to do at the hotel, but I think this just might be my favorite one:

Create your own decorative housewares at our in-house ceramic studio where you can paint each available object yourself. Pre-made housewares and collectibles are on hand, waiting for your inspired finishing touches. Clay Quest provides the paint required to turn these ordinary items into personalized works of art! With plenty of space to stretch out and work, we’re happy to accommodate large groups or craft parties.

Pre-made ceramic objects
Full spectrum of painting colors
Available craft supplies

This one is a little less up my alley, but still cool:

Hop in a half-scale NASCAR replica racer and take 30-mph turns around a 400-foot oval racetrack. Or try your luck in a more traditional, open-topped go-kart on a 900-foot road course. Luckily, it's not all about speed at this piston-friendly park — a family-oriented track is also available where the go-karts go slower and the turns aren't as extreme. So strap on that seat belt and get ready to roll!

3 separate race tracks of varying difficulty
Bumper cars
Snack bar
NASCAR replica racers and traditional open-top karts
Speeds can reach 30 mph

They also have a 50 lane bowling alley:

As Reno is home to the National Bowling Stadium, it’s fitting that we offer one of Northern Nevada’s top bowling centers. Providing 50 professional-caliber lanes, this Adonis of bowling alleys is open around the clock.

Certified USA Instructors are on hand, available to provide private lessons. Fun and full-featured, meeting rooms, a pro shop, a cocktail lounge, and a snack bar are all lane-adjacent, so you never have to leave the game for long. Computerized scoring removes the point-keeping headaches, so you can relax and concentrate on rolling that Turkey!

And, other than the pottery place, the other thing I'm most excited about is JOHNNY ROCKETS! I've never been to one but hear about it all the time on shows, etc. I can't wait to go to this one. One of the specialty chapters I belong to is going to be meeting there as a "get to know you" thing since it's an online chapter:

A burger and fries with a song on the side? The good-spirited gang at Johnny Rockets is known for belting out a few a capella songs while they prepare all of your American favorites.

I don't leave until Tuesday and I probably won't be updating while I'm there unless one of my roomies has their computer with them. Any advice? Suggestions on where to go and what to see while I'm there? Once again please share them in the comments.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Stinks that my 100th post is about more bombings in London

Yet another day where I wake up to hear on my way to work that there have been more bombings in London. I pray that everyone over there is ok. So far reports are that there are no casualties. Please let me know that you are ok if you live there! All I can say about the people doing these attrocities of setting of bombs and doing suicide bombings, not only there but everywhere including Israel and the Middle East is that they are complete and total jerks who deserve to burn in hell, b/c they sure aren't going to heaven. May be unChristian of me to say, but it's the truth.

Monday, July 18, 2005

When 'Denominations' Become 'Religions'

I felt the need to post this today for some reason. I was going to post on my upcoming trip to Reno, but this came up and really spoke to me and I felt the need to share it. This comes from the Omega Letter group that I belong to. Do you belong to a church as described in this article? If so what do you think about what you are experiencing there? What do you believe constitutes the Church or what Christianity entails? I should clarify after some very nice yet mistakenly attributed comments that I did not write this. A very intuitive, smart and insightful Christian man named Jack Kinsella did. He is the editor for the Omega Letter. If you would like to find out more, click the link above for the Omega Letter.
One of the most paradoxical elements within modern Christianity is the sheer number of different denominations, doctrines and beliefs, all derived in some way from the same source Book.

It is at this point that we should consider two things to keep in mind as we progress; the first is that Christianity is not a 'religion' but a relationship; and the second is that denominationalism within that relationship is deliberate.

At Babel, God deliberately confused the languages of men and dispersed them into different nations. The purpose, according to Genesis, was to prevent them from all coming under the authority of a single dictator, as happened under Nimrod.

Denominationalism is the spiritual equivalent, ensuring that one powerful leader couldn't take over Christianity and lead the true Church into error, as the Bible says the antichrist will during the Tribulation Period.

There is an effort by some world church denominations to reverse the process and bring all denominations together under the banner of 'ecumenism' but, because the separation is Divinely ordained, it has been unable to attract those denominations that most closely follow the Bible.

Jesus Himself addressed denominationalism, writing to the seven Churches in the first three chapters of Revelation. Each of these churches is different, both in their doctrine and in the emphasis they place on it.

Thus, we have the Church of Ephesus 'hating the deeds of the Nicolaitanes' (a separate status for clergy and 'laity') whereas the Church of Pergamos is depicted as holding to "the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate." (Revelation 2:6,15)

It isn't the denominationalism that Jesus 'hated' but the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, who developed a complicated hierarchy of bishops, priests, and 'laity' to oversee a Grand Church, as opposed to the Biblical model of local church self-government.

As noted, there is a difference between a denomination and a religion. There are a number of denominations that share the same basic statement of faith, that of the sin nature, the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, the Power of the Shed Blood of Christ to cover sin, the free offer of salvation to all who trust Jesus' sacrifice, and who share the belief that salvation is the product of a relationship with Christ, not a relationship with a church.

How can you tell if you are a member of a Christian denomination or a 'Christian religion'? There are eight sure signs, any of which should make a Bible-believing Christian sit up and take notice.

'Religion' can be defined as man's way of making himself acceptable to God, whereas Christianity is God's way of making man acceptable to Himself through a personal relationship.

'Religion' imparts power to its leaders; Christianity empowers believers and views leaders as servants.

The first sign that a denomination has gone 'religious' is the denial of the true nature of God. The Unitarians deny the Triune nature of the Godhead, for example. Many allegedly Christian religions deny the Deity of Christ, commonly claiming that Christ as God was not an early Church teaching.

A second warning sign is the emphasis on salvation by works. Although many religions include the idea that God's grace is important in the role of salvation, the leader normally emphasizes the idea that salvation ultimately comes through one's own efforts -- as defined by 'the church'.

This imparts power to the religion, since it changes salvation from a gift to wages, and gives the religious hierarchy the authority to act as paymaster.

The third sign is that of exclusive truth. Religions tend to universally identify themselves as the 'one true church' to the exclusion of all others. They will agree that some other denominations have some truth, but teach that full truth has somehow been lost and can now only be found in their 'one true church'.

Fourth, religions prefer an authoritative leadership, some to the extent that they claim to speak directly for God. This is the ultimate result of the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes that Jesus twice said He 'hated'.

The authoritative leadership of the Pharisees and Sadducees came under withering condemnation by the Lord during His earthly ministry. Religions tend to follow the letter of the law -- as they interpret it, rather than observing the spirit in which it was intended.

We'll explain the difference between the 'letter of the law' and the 'spirit of the law' using a secular example. The 'spirit' of the graduated income tax law was to ensure, (in theory, at least) that all citizens pay their fair share of the tax burden.

But by following the 'letter' of the tax law, many wealthy citizens get away with paying less taxes than those living just above the poverty line.

Fifth, religions also tend to impose their own form of taxation as a condition of salvation. Some religions equate tithing with salvation or staying in a right relationship with God.

The Bible imposes no such burden. The Pharisee tithed, loudly and with great pomp and circumstance. The widow, on the other hand, gave two 'mites' -- the smallest coin values of Jesus' day. Jesus condemned the Pharisee, and commended the widow.

Giving is prompted by the Holy Spirit, Whose ministry the true Church belongs to in the first place. 'Giving til it hurts' is a man-made doctrine with an obvious goal that has nothing to do with the things of the Spirit.

A sixth warning sign of a denomination going 'religious' is the threat of loss of salvation to those who leave. One group with such a belief is the Boston Church of Christ, also known as the International Churches of Christ.

The leaders of the ICC teach that there should only be one church in any particular city, which they say is the New Testament model. If you leave to attend another, you leave your salvation behind at the door.

Seventh, Religions also tend to heap to themselves extra-Biblical authority. The ex-cathedra teachings of the Roman Catholic Popes are given equal weight with Scriptures, and in the case of conflict, are considered superior.

The same principle applies to Catholic Church dogma. Catholics are taught that when dogma and the Scriptures conflict, Church teachings and tradition are to be given superior weight.

Finally, the eighth sign of Christianity being perverted into a religion is the offer of unique truths never before revealed. The idea that a hidden mystery or new truth is available through a particular church should be taken as a strong sign that this group is a counterfeit Christian religion.

God has very clearly shown His truth through the pages of the Bible. A new doctrine, new truth, or special word from God suggests that God left something out of Scripture.

But Scripture says that it is complete, so by its nature, if it is some 'new' doctrine or truth, it is contradictory with the revealed Word of God.


Salvation is not the product of religion -- indeed, religion is an obstacle to salvation. Salvation comes by trusting in the Shed Blood of Christ as full payment for all sins.

Religion offers salvation in exchange for putting your trust into that particular religious system.

Salvation is part of an direct and individual relationship with Christ. Religion offers salvation as part of a corporate system of conditions and works.

That is not to say that Christians shouldn't attend church -- I don't want to send the wrong message. It is important to meet regularly with like-minded believers and we are told in Scripture not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

But church is NOT religion. It is an expression of corporate worship by individual believers. The person who thinks membership with a church makes one a Christian is as deluded as a person who thinks standing in a parking lot makes one a car.

The Bible teaches that all men are sinners, and all men require salvation to enjoy fellowship with God. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)

There is only one way to be saved during the Church Age, and that is by accepting the free gift of pardon procured at the Cross and offered freely to all men through Jesus Christ. (John 3:36, 5:24, 14:6)

That the gift of salvation is offered freely to all men is the expressed Will of God, as recorded in 2nd Peter 3:9.

It doesn't matter how bad a sinner one is, Jesus offers salvation to even the worst sinners.

Wrote the Apostle Paul, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life." (1st Timothy 1:15-16) Paraphrased into modern vernacular, Paul's statement boils down to, "If Jesus saved me, He'll save anybody!" All anyone need do is ask.

Finally, the Bible assures us that once we are right with God, no religion or system has any claim to our eternal salvation.

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

My new guilty pleasure

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You can almost hear the music can't you? This is the new SURVIVOR: TATOOINE. A bunch of Star Wars characters got together and decided to do a Star Wars Survivor and blog about their experiences. It is very amusing and I think that it is only going to gain in popularity as time goes on. You can check out SURVIVOR:TATOOINE by clicking the red link. There's a lot of tough competition out there and some not so tough like Jar-Jar. Who do you think will Outwit, Outplay and Outlast in this newest edition of Survivor?

You can check out the individual contestant blogs thought the links on the site.

Friday, July 15, 2005

FFT - Who's blogging in your area?

Today's FFT is a really neat place. I discovered it doing the rounds at Michele Agnew's 3-day Weekend Meet 'N Greet.

You ever wonder if someone in your area is blogging? You can look it up with the Blog Mapper. You can look up your area by zip code. Of course, the only blogs on there are the ones that are registered. It's fun and a good way to read about others in your area. :)

Blog Mapper

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


And it is actually on time this week! I FINALLY have a working computer again! YAY! It has made me happy, happy, happy! As a writer who uses her computer to write (when I have a chance after Em goes to sleep, if I'm not asleep), it am doing the happy dance.

So today's HDQ is:

What is your favorite color and why?

Mine is a particular shade of yellow. (The color of the Daily Wisdom box right below my profile on the right) Bright, friendly, happy yellow. Yellow is cheery and sunny and an optomistic color. It is the color of the sun, the color of some beautiful roses and daisies. It is a warm, inviting color. Yellow is a definite pick-me-up color! It makes me happy, or at least gives me a happy feeling, not necessarily makes me happy, if you know what I'm saying.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Death and Dear Friends

I received word yesterday that a dear friend, Wylie Porterfield, had finally succombed to terminal brain cancer. Last year, after going into seizures unexpectedly, an MRI revealed that he had a fist sized brain tumor. Then came the doubly bad news. It was an incredibly malignant tumor. They did surgery and got most of it and what they couldn't get they wrapped in protective foil so that it would inhibit the growth or something like that. The doctors didn't expect him to live much past a couple of months. Well, he lasted almost a year. He was diagnosed in September of last year. In February of this year, aftar a particularly bad episodde, he was given 24-72 hours to live. Miraculously, he recovered. His prayer had been that he wanted to see his son graduate in May. God answered that prayer and gave his family through May and a few weeks past that even.

Throughout all the pain and human heartache, he was still the same compassionate, encouraging, witty Wylie that many in our group had come to know over the past 3 years. Some in our group knew him even longer - about as long as I've been alive. Wylie was the one who gave me this joke that I posted back in May that amused many of you out there. Wylie was a true inspiration to those who knew him and even those he didn't know. Yesterday they decided to induce a coma b/c the pain he was in had become unbearable. After saying private goodbye's to his beloved family, he slipped into a coma for a few hours and then regained consciousness for one brief moment before he passed away. His lovely wife Renea said that Wylie opened his eyes and one tear ran down his cheek and then he passed on to the Glory of Heaven. Renea said that she believed that that one tear was b/c he saw how beautiful Heaven was and he had to cry b/c the beauty was beyond imagining.

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This is just one instance of how Wylie could smile through the tough times and make the rest of us smile too. He wrote this to us in April of this year:

I have realized that the angels have really have great sense of humor.Since my last episode with my tumor,at which time the doctors told me I had 24 to 72 hours left,shows what they know,I have developed palsey in my right hand. It sometimes has a mind of it's own and just takes off shaking ,over which I have no control. This does have it's advantages,Renea no longer needs to take her food processor from cabinet,just give me ginsu knife,head of lettuce,tomato,onion and step aside. Salad will be chopped and diced in few seconds. Works better than Ronco veg-a-matic.Must remember however to keep other hand out of the way. It also serves as alarm clock.Just the other morning I was woke up by what I thought was Renea slapping me upside of my head,however it was my own hand that was slapping me.However my angel can cause some embarassing moments also.Couple of days ago Renea took me to local Wal-Marts,as fate or my angel would have it,I wound up standing in line at the men's room.As the doctor has put me on water pills,when they hit ,it's a foot race to make it in time.Just my luck ,every urinal taken.The man in front of me was making vulgar jokes ,which could be heard by small boy standing behind me.Finally 3 stalls opened side by side.The man in front of me went to the right ,the boy to the left,me in the middle.As I proceeded with my business,the angel took over.My right hand went crazy.and the man on my right got his shoes wet along with his pants leg.As I apologized profusely I could almost hear my angel laughing.The small boy as we were leaving told me not to worry,he said he used to have same problem before he grew up.
So in conclusion,if I type something really weird or strange sounding,remember , it maybe my angel taking over the keyboard and only God knows what he may do.
May God Bless and keep you all

Renea and the boys and Wylie's daughter Michelle (from his first marriage) and her husband and children are taking it rather hard. My prayers and thoughts go with them now for comfort and peace and the solid knowledge that they will be reunited with Wylie once again in Glory.

Wylie, you are loved and missed my dear friend. Though you have gone on to Glory and though our hearts break, our souls rejoice that you have found your way Home and that we will see you again on the other side of Heaven. You made this world a better place with your presence. I know you will have them laughing up there in Heaven as you had us laughing down here on earth.

Death is not the end, just the beginning of eternity! As my friend from the same group says, "Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church!"

Thursday, July 07, 2005

To my friends in England

You are in my thoughts and prayers during this awful time. I hope and pray that you all are safe.

Friday, July 01, 2005

FFT (Friday Field Trip)

Yes, I know I missed last week's FFT and I will not be updating until probably Tuesday b/c of my STINKING COMPUTER. Having serious computer issues at home so been using the computer here at work during lunch and breaks.

In the spirit of the 4th of July, I have some fun holiday blogs for you to check out! (And don't forget to check out all the delicious recipes in the post right below this one for your celebration cookout!)

First up - CREATE YOUR OWN FIREWORKS. Yes, you too can create your own fireworks display on your computer. I've always loved this one. Complete with sound effects!

Another good site
One of my favorite sites for all holidays

A fun site for the kids!

How much to you really know about the 4th of July? Take the 4th of July Quiz. There are several to choose from.

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend for those of you here in the US.

God Bless America!