Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Pool Party Bubbles!

Right now, there are bubbles and steam --in my pool room --where 4 young people from my church are having a New Year's Party. It was a last minute invitation and many we invited already had plans, were out of town, obligated to family gatherings -which didn't disappoint me. I almost was too tired to open my home! Big day of last minute tax work to do before the P.O. closed today. But my husband helped me when we found that at least 4 kids were coming! They started off with a new game while waiting on Pizza. And after frothy green sherbet punch and pizza, they headed for the pool.

Our church youth group was decimated when about 70 people or more left our church with their big home school families because we ordain women in our denomination--albeit infrequently. They scattered to different churches. A wave of Calvinists had left before these and landed in one church. We had been more of a community church with a lot of diversity --and it was fine for awhile. WE were bursting at the seams and had to build a new worship center. Many good friends were lost from our church after the split. We really felt abandoned --and left with the bills! But we've all maintained these old friendships, nevertheless. Lots of very charismatic/personable people but some had discovered the Bill Gothard home school movement, which was admirable in many ways, but there was a tendency on the part of participants to think they had discovered a new way for how families and churches should be run and it was a little strange as an emphasis to some of us--and it was very male chauvenistic, father as king. I actually think we need MORE of that --more respect by wives for husbands --and more men feeling really responsible for their families.

WE ran our church with male headship largely--and we still do. Though the women are "administrating" all but one Christian Education department--because we have time and the interest. I keep a low profile in my job. And a woman leads worship ministries now --and we actually have had more harmony in that department since --in more ways than one -the harmony, I mean. It's probably because she really knows what she wants musically and knows how to pursue it diplomatically --and there aren't any temperamental male musicians bristling because she's a woman.

In fact, I think our church is at its lowest level of tensions and squabbles that it's ever been, though there was a little stress over new flooring. I think because we are more homogenous --not so much diversity in doctrine and lifestyles. Moreover, our pastor has really preached the themes of love, forgiveness, humility.

We had 21 in our children's Jr. Church Choir for the cantata, 11 middle-school (plus and minus a couple grades)who did our angel/shepherds/Irish dance numbers. I think they probably bonded! We had only a couple of teens singing in the adult choir this year and were glad for their talents and willingness to sing with us old folks.

CLC is booming with about 60 kids in attendance Wed. nights, by busing kids in from Spencer Twp. --counting teachers' babies in nursery, pre-schoolers thru 6th. I have 20 in my Trailblazers' group.

Youth group is small but potentially mighty with neat kids. And the QUIZ TEAM is a really cohesive group of about 10? who get together every Sunday evening to study the Bible and travel to a Michigan church one Saturday a month to quiz other church teams. Our young intellectual coaches are experienced quizzers --and that's been an on-going tradition at our church. We've always had top-notch quiz coaches --like "measureayear" and her fiance.

I have 2 boys and 2 girls in the pool now, ages grade 5 through 9 --3 are siblings.

It's my desire to see our youth build fellowship --where they enjoy being together --as a nucleous for really healthy future youth group. We have 7 in my middle school S.S. class and they memorized verses of the Love chapter and recited them in order for the Sunday School Christmas Program --which was excellent --the best ever in recent years with a signed (for the deaf) Silent Night performance by all the kids who are beginning to sound good --and 5 instrumental solos and one vocal of very good quality --and a wonderful rendition of the Nativity story by grades K-2 (the shepherds, on their own, got in a huddle to decide to go to Bethlehem to see this wonderful thing) And Mary was cute as a button as she "pondered all these things in her heart." And Joseph was a reluctant spouse making many faces. The angels were lovely. Grades 3-5 memorized pieces.

WE are a wonderful small church for children's ministries, I think --and for music. And for really good sermons by our pastor. And we'd love to gain a bass player and more trained-quality soloists --another guitar.

And we don't want to steal from other congregations --except Cedar Creek who says they try to talk their people into joining congregations like ours --as they want to have room for the "seekers." Instead, I think they are just getting the disenchanted from other churches who may just want to observe, rather than participate.

The Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love for each other! as well as all the other loves Jesus taught us. This is the challenge of the church. Each group will think it's right about its different doctrines, etc., but we must maintain our love through all differences. "In honor preferring one another." "Not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought."

I'm no less challenged than anyone else. But I do remember a wonderful experience in the Lord when I was 18 --when the ability to be joyful and loving was indeed new and fresh --like a baptism of the Spirit. I still have it --I'm just tired! Physically that is. Nevertheless, I feel the Lord has opened opportunities to me with kids --and in ministries.

Well, I better go make sure no one has drowned!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Thursday, December 25, 2008

From Human Events --on the Pending Demise of the West

from Human Events email:

Dear Fellow Conservative:

Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a Muslim muezzin. Millions of Europeans already do.

And liberals will still tell you that "diversity is our strength" -- while Talibanic enforcers cruise our cities burning books and barber shops... the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn't violate the "separation of church and state" ... and the Hollywood Left gives up gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.

If you think this can't happen, you haven't been paying attention, as the hilarious and brilliant Mark Steyn -- the most popular conservative columnist in the English-speaking world -- shows to devastating effect in his New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.

Now, for a limited time, Human Events is making Mark Steyn's America Alone available to you ABSOLUTELY FREE.

As Steyn puts it, "The future belongs to the fecund and the confident. And the Islamists are both, while the West -- wedded to a multiculturalism that undercuts its own confidence, a welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence, and a childlessness that consigns it to oblivion -- is looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization."

Europe, laments Steyn, is almost certainly a goner. The future, if the West has one, belongs to America alone-with maybe its cousins in brave Australia. But America can still survive, prosper, and defend its freedom only if it continues to believe in itself, in the sturdier virtues of self-reliance (not government), in the centrality of family, and in the conviction that our country really is the world's last best hope.

Mark Steyn's America Alone is laugh-out-loud funny -- but it will also change the way you look at the world. And it is already the most talked-about conservative book of the year.

It's hard to imagine such sobering reality being written as "laugh-out-loud funny!"
But Steyn evidently has hope that America will pull itself together!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible



He is the Messiah --Annointed One.

He is the King --whose kingdom is not of this world.

He is the Shepherd --to the sheep in His fold.

He is the Sacrificial Lamb of God --who takes away the sin of the world.

He is the Prince of Peace --who taught us to love, forgive, share and be compassionate.

He is the Rose of Sharon--and I don't know exactly what that signifies!

He is the Mighty God, Everlasting Father --"I and the Father are one --you have seen me, you have seen the Father."

He is the WORD incarnate -- "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

He is the Savior --"...that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

"Hal-lelujah! Halle-lujah! hal-le-lu-jah! for the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth..."

"Behold, I go to prepare a place for you --that where I am, you may be also."

"O Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?"

The dead in Christ shall all rise to everlasting life! We are eternal beings with an eternal destiny that need not be feared, because of this Christmas Babe.

No wonder Christmas is the happiest time of the year for the redeemed who put their trust in Him.

John3: 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[a]

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[b] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[c]

We are all condemned to die --and so we do --but we have a 2nd chance at immortality in a happy state --because Jesus Christ died to justify us with a holy God and rose from the grave --and promised the same for all who trust in Him. He did not come to tell us our sins were not sinful --He brought clarity to the Creator's definitions of sin and righteousness; He did not declare any sins to be pleasing to God. He died for those sins; that we might have life and have it more abundantly, starting in the here and now and continuing through eternity. That's why Christians should be the happiest people in the world! We are not under a heavy yoke of meaningless legalism --but Jesus said His yoke is easy; His burden is light. It's not always EASY to resist temptation and take the high road --the narrow road that leads to life. But once on that path, it is a joyful journey--a hopeful journey --a comfort through all the sorrows and difficulties of life. The broad road that many follow, however, will lead to destruction --and the misery does start in the here and now. We have a great choice to make --to follow the Lord Jesus Christ or to follow the enemy of God who wants to deceive and destroy.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MIRACLE 34 --JOY, JOY, JOY -- ONE MORE CHANCE TO SEE IT --Here is a Review from the Stage


I had some complaints and concerns after the final dress rehearsal--felt anxious as though I were the director and aware that lots of things could go wrong. The annual church musical was always like delivering a baby when I used to direct it myself--a labor of love with a lot of anxiety and pain mixed in --I was usually sort of useless domestically during this period and my husband was understanding/long-suffering. It never failed that one or more of my major appliances would fail in December. We figured it was the Devil's oppression and attempt to hinder. This year, the clothes washer is making threatening noises and buzzes --like something is caught in the works. Every aspect of the show except costume and decor used to be mine to administrate --and I was an amateur asking for a level of commitment from other inexperienced people, that they didn't always think was necessary-- but then everything would come together, as though blessed by the Lord, miraculously.

And so tonight, good friend of family Inga said, "Well, we had another miracle! Last night I didn't think things were going so well. I couldn't believe how well the children performed and behaved and how beautiful it was." Inga helps with the children because she values the tradition we have and wants it for her 5 kids. Paul French, music director at a big church near Indiana Weslyan, grew up loving our tradition and this is the first year he's had to miss singing with us. Jon Flory is pianist at the Church on Strayer and we miss him and his family; Lyn Bryant the music director at Heritage Church of God always beautified our soprano section; Sharon Brillhart, music director at West Unity FM --opera singer Amanda Shultz Johnson who moved --they and many others share with us in the memory of musicals at HFM.

We are pleased that Dean Bell of Elmwood music fame sang with us again this year --and Gene Gelsone, a Waterville Playshop veteran, husband of the director at AW, and 2 Sweet Adeline gals Carole Polanski and Shelley Davis, joined us from other churches.

The dream of such annual productions was mine in the early 70's because I had discovered musical theater at the Wagon Wheel Playhouse in Winona Lake, excellent regional theater. I had a friend in the orchestra who got me in free to the dress rehearsals. I LOVED music theater. It was the first I'd seen. And so we try to bring a little of that pizzazz to the greatest story ever told --at our little local church. I also loved the college choir and was never in it. I had a 5 note alto range in those days --but I admired the singers and knew them well. I was a lowly instrumentalist.

When Jon was in med school, I was the main musician for our little FM church plant in St. Louis, headed by a college friend of ours. And I ventured forth to have a Christmas choir there --and since then, we've never missed a year of Christmas choir. It was a good thing that my husband loved to sing and was good at it. WE had no idea how musically fortuitous our union would be --when we gave birth to a soprano, alto, tenor and bass. In that order. Chrissy and Rob can sing high, also. To cultivate their ear and love of music, I rocked and sang to my babies every night, giving the best performances I could muster --including O holy Night--always at least a few lullabyes for bedtime. And the girls, especially, had a repertoire of children's church songs by the time they were 2. They all loved the mic; Rob liked to blow in it for the guaranteed laughs.

TONIGHT ~ The children and the young dancers from grades 4-9 came through beautifully. I was wondering if some weren't cursed with 2 left feet and no sense of artistic grace as they so often stumbled heavy-footed, lumbering on the stage, giggling over errors--and I began to think that what was asked of them was just too hard for the young ages of some of them --but they put their growing pains and everlasting fidgets and giggles aside and did us proud! Grace from the Giver of Grace came out tonight!

And we had a good audience, nearly filling the main floor. 200 of us in the building counting the 27 in the choir, the couple dozen youth and another 8 for the nativity --counting live Baby Jesus --who never rehearsed --not once. Nor did Joseph. Just as in the Bible, his role was supportive and after the fact! And both did fine.

This show was one of the most demanding for the children and the adults --transitions, transitions, transitions --had to be worked over and over -so we would know where to go next, who moves what mic --and so on. It's easier when we just sit in the choir loft and let select people do the moving --but Steph had us working --so that each song is more than just people singing. A few of us have stools --for variety in the staging --and for need. I get to sit. A bench was needed for one of the scenes, so my husband gets to sit in that one. But everyone else is standing throughout --without complaint.

She worked every Wednesday for over 2 months for an hour with these young shepherds, angels and Irish dancers and met the adult choir on thursdays --then Chrissy or I met with whoever could practice Sundays instead of Thursdays. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we started having 3 rehearsals a week (except for Thanksgiving Day, of course) Chris choreographed one of the 2 children's numbers and both women met with the Jr. church kids on sundays --which rehearsals were fun to behold. I observed once. Steph planned the lighting and coordinated the people to do it --something we've never had any expertise for and she wouldn't say she's had training in it but that went well. We would still welcome an experienced light tech to use our state of the art equipment and take the burden off the director.

Sound issues are always iffy. We have dedicated people but the sound on stage is different from the house --and we deal with multiple mics and monitors and a sound track. OUr resident expert in sound tech (did music production for a living for awhile) doesn't have time to do it for the church; we asked his opinion --and he noted that we aren't bringing the orchestra up loud enough in places --especially some solos needed more backup. But we are so afraid to tell Tom to change anything now --lest a smidgeon of change overwhelm the singing. Sound techs are typically more prone to drown the singers and Tom isn't doing that. He's been faithful--even bringing a grandbaby to rehearsal when he had to babysit --who sat for hours in a little play chair (whaddaya call 'em?) and didn't let out a peep --2 Saturday mornings.

The directors got their start with Amy Gelsone and her excellent program at AWHS and Sandy Kellogg as their private piano teacher starting in grade school and occasional voice coach. From there to Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Illinois --where they tested in the top 5% in music theory (yes, Mom is boasting)and were honor choral directors of school choirs-and then Chrissy did her masters in choral performance (direction) at BGSU. Stephanie taught and directed children's musicals and one park theater for 7 or so years in Chicago suburban public school --Streamwood--a school with a history of 6th gr. Jr Broadway musicals with parents and teachers going all out. They made a professional sounding CD of School House Rock which I cherish.

Chrissy taught 4 years in inner city Toledo when she graduated and 3 years at Libbey H.S. and also in some of the roughest elementaries. Then did her masters and has been at Elmwood now in her 7th year, directing 5-12, including the Show Choir, the spring musicals for jr. high and h.s., a madrigal banquet, seasonal concerts and solo-ensemble and choir competitions. She's coordinated 2 department trips to NYC and Chicago. Add to that lots of community musical theater experience for both --including the Rep's Young Rep Road Show as teens.

All that gives our church two free professionals. Stephanie especially is the only one we have now who could run our worship ministries. Chrissy would not have time, nor want to be the pianist. Others who did and could have done it in the past are attending and leading music elsewhere. Our former WMD had to move. Steph is very faithful and organized about it --and for a high-strung person (I think, as her mother), she has demonstrated remarkable sanctification in her temperament, working respectfully with all. If she's made anybody mad, I haven't heard of it. The girls are both way more disciplined, skilled, knowledgeable musically and organized than their mother. And probably more diplomatic.

The Annual Church Cantata/Musical has been a family and church tradition since the year we moved here --when Steph was 2 and stood in the pew by her grandma singing with the choir, "Love Transcending, Love Transcending...." Chrissy was then 6 months old when we did our first cantata at Holland Free Methodist Church. I couldn't have imagined then that they would be running the program today.

The Rohrs Kids' Quartet will hopefully sing their acapella "O Little Town of Bethlehem" Sunday morning at the 10:40 service.

Christmas Eve SErvice 6:00 PM -- We will do the traditional favorite, the Gaither's
"Cherish" --but probably without John, as marriage takes him other directions --where his wife's family is also involved in their church music --so we have to share him. You don't hear that song very often in other churches --because the piano part is a bear with 5 sharps. Once I learned it, I've hung on to it. We've been doing it since the girls were teens.

Now that I'm 62, I'm resting on small-church laurels and waxing nostalgic in reminiscences. If you were my or Steph's friend on Facebook, you could see a lot of photos of cantatas gone by.

The amazing creative costuming and set design by Sue Conklin are also a gift to our church that has made these programs and memories much more special than they would otherwise be.

I know, it's small peanuts in the grand scheme of church ministries --but we are making a memory and celebrating and teaching to children this wonderful story of God's love given in a manger, in a stable --the Living Word Incarnate! Jesus Christ --who came as a baby, fully human--and fully Divine. For our salvation. JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD HAS COME!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama Demonstrates a Tolerance that Liberal Bloggers Don't Seem to Grasp

Obama has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. This has been a sour note for many in the homosexual rights movement given Rick Warren's opposition to the homosexual movement.

"On Thursday, Obama defended his decision to tap Warren. "And I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion. ...

"And that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's been all about: That we're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere ... where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans."


Methinks Obama isn't committed to the notion that anyone who disagrees with the homosexual movement is unscientific and a hatemonger. Of course he could still change his mind and back down cowtowing to the tolerance fascists who want to continue the dialogue with only one side!

CLC PARTY --Christian Life Club --the Trail Blazers

Eighteen children, 3rd and 4th graders, with 3 teachers and my husband as a driver, came to the CLC party last night --in a 90-minute window before we had to get the van back to the church. We had 2 vans and went to the Ridgewood Manor Nursing Home where they said we could carol briefly into hallways--which we did a couple of hallways --and then raced to our house for refreshments. Daughter-in-law Charlotte had prepared rice krispie treats with Christmas sprinkles on them, red cupcakes, frosted cookies --all so delicious --and provided several munchies to choose from and cheese cubes. The kids just oohed and aahed about the decorations and the house --which has taken several days and helpers to pull together for the holidays--and they scarfed down the food.

They said, "You're RICH! Miss Barb!" I said, "Well, if you think so, let me tell you --my husband out there [who was serving the green sherbet punch to them] has worked VERY HARD since 7th grade when he decided that God wanted him to be a doctor. He worked very hard in school and has been working very hard ever since then. He works most all the time. And that's why we have a big house."

One of the girls said, "That's what my Mom tells me --go to college first and then get married."

My house is not unusual but big (5 bedrooms, full walk-out basement), (One realtor called it "toledo colonial"-- no grand foyers or great rooms so popular and grand today, not the most elaborate and grand in Toledo Suburbs by any means, and the decor is fading, over 20 years old the carpet and wall paper, and we own so much stuff --clutter -- music and magazines and mail and catalogues, staitionary, knick knacks --and Christmas decorations galore. We do tidy and fix up for a party and maximize the assets with lighting, candles, colorful accenting, etc.

Most of these children are from new and lovely, though comparatively smaller, Habitat for Humanity homes.

One little girl said, "I feel like a lady here!"

Shivinder said of the lime sherbet punch, "It was this green foamy punch with ice cream in it and 7-up and they served it from a bowl!!!!" (We've done that at church; I don't know how he missed it --it was better this time, for some reason. Maybe it's only ladies' showers, though, when we've had it.)

We did light the candles, played christmas music, and my husband has these white Christmas trees on our porch with neon blue lights --I mean BRIGHT! And I think it clashes with our colonial yellow house lights/window candles/reds and greens --but I quit protesting and he put up three of them and they sure do light up the neighborhood!! I did clean and brighten up the old-fashioned crystal chandelier from the 60's when our house was built. And I showed them the indoor 10x18 pool (which is our exceptional luxury feature for our health --and a conversation piece) and they do want to come back. Some said they wanted to live here. We may try a swim party for half the group at a time later in the year.

They all took more food than they could eat, so I gave them baggies for their leftovers. For gifts they got a Bible Trivia booklet and a CD of Christmas carols by Third Day --and Jon provided big Snicker bars for all. Inga shopped for me.

Jon's van was a little late to the church, and the bus kids were supposed to all stay in the van --but they all piled out and into the church, making their ride home a few minutes later still.

but finally, I assume everyone was returned home. My husband thought it was great to have them in and out as fast as it happened, but it felt too rushed --there were a few crushed M&M's here and there. If I had it to do over, I would've had them keep their shoes on --to save time --as they weren't going to be walking around all that much --but everybody automatically took them off when they entered --as we customarily do. Some little boys were inching up the stairs wanting to see the upstairs which was off limits.

It wasn't a party for much spiritual Christmasey reflection--but they sang some carols and received those on CD --and I hope those lyrics will become as meaningful to them in their lives as they are to me.

Their behavior at the nursing home was excellent --and at my house, also --except for a couple of guys rudeness to each other (2 of our regulars who've grown up in church.) My husband said the van ride was loud and that somebody behind him was asking the various kids if they were gay or lesbian. I tell you, the topic is nationally omnipresent when even the children are aware. We hadn't planned to discuss that in Trail Blazers.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ben Stein on Christmas

Rob, your uncle sent me this for the blog:

Supposedly by Ben Stein:

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit-up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees...I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against
That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get
you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her
'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the
gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand Heleave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists' attacks, school shootings, etc. I think
it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what
he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no consciences, why they don't
know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think
it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried more about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will
know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My best regards, honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Monday, December 15, 2008

JOY JOY JOY! IS COMING!! 34th Annual Musical

This is a delightrul, uplifting musical --this Friday and Sunday at 7 PM at the Holland Free Methodist Church, 6605 Angola Rd, Holland, OH --north of Spring Meadows Mall -east of the intersection of McCord and Angola.

The children and grades 4-9 have a lot of action and singing to coordinate with the adults --so it's been a LOT OF WORK!!! And fun, too. We all had pizza lunch Sunday during rehearsal --and birthday cake for Stephanie our director.

Sue C. has done it again--with nativity costumes, banners, children's colorful accessories, church decor.

And they tell me the choir is sounding good. (Six guests from other churches have favored us with their voices.) I'm one of 2 or 3 using the books on the opening numbers --just to help the one or two others feel better because they are using books, too! (heh heh) We have one pro-guest-tenor assisting us who will need his book, and I am an un-pro alto whose daughter-directors are indulging her because they need that alto part and I probably wouldn't accomplish memorizing both words and part. So Dean Bell and I, at least, will be on book.

We have a few sweet adelines in the group and some really fine soloists/ensemblists who are from our church--some people who are comfortable and experienced on stage with the little theatrics we are attempting as part of the show.

This is a great way to jumpstart your "Christmas spirit," --also entertaining to children --we open singing of Christmas angels all around us --and then Christmas celebrations, family, shopping, parking --the NOISE of Christmas!!! and move from there to the coming of the Child, the joyous announcement to shepherds, the gifts of the magi --and the quiet worship of the Christ child--the traditional story depicted with a real baby, if all goes well. Babies don't always cooperate.

You'll enjoy it. NOt quite an hour --cookies and punch afterwards. Admission free; nursery provided.

Children's S.S. Christmas Program is this Sunday at 9:30 AM! For this, my middle-school class has memorized the verses from I Corinthians 13 --the Love Chapter.



THIS past week, I got one awful case of gastroenteritis --so sick to my stomach --blcch! Had to miss Sat. practice. Jon had had a milder case about 5 days earlier --but it was enough to make him miss half a day of work --which he NEVER does. Anyway, Sunday was Stephanie's birthday and a rehearsal after church until 3 --so she played for church, worked with the children during the sermon, worked with the adults and the children after church; JOn forgot to pick up the birthday cake I ordered even though he made a run to the store for salad bowls and greens --so he had to make another trip. Others sat up the tables and picked up the pizza and subs for the choir rehearsal lunch--then we all rehearsed until 3 --and then 9 of us left at 4 to see the Madrigal Dinner at our other daughter's school where she directs the choral program --excellent solo and choir work --exquisite.

After much merry old England foolishness about men in tights and chastity belt commercials, beggars begging, and so on, the members did the traditional recitation of verses from Luke between sacred choir numbers, including a challenging piece from Catholic Church tradition --"magesterium" something or other --and other traditional carols. They departed singing Silent Night acapella --and the hall erupted in appreciative applause for the exquisite sound in the quiet beauty of the night --and the excellent achievement of the students. Tonight we had the school's show choir (the banquet's royal court) for a party here --and Wednesday we have the CLC group of 3rd and 4th graders. And Friday, the church musical and sunday the S.S. program.

I'm bushed! and Christmas is always like this --and I wouldn't have it any other way --except for the illnesses. I thank God for Stephanie and our friend Camille who helped spruce up the house --as we weren't ready after a week like last week. Pray for Chrissy as she's afraid she's getting a sore throat --and she has such a beautiful solo to sing this week --and we need her voice. Choir is about 30 singers this year and we can't afford to lose anybody --but she's one of our directors, too.

The whole family is in it --as we have done for many many years. We did the first one when Chrissy was a baby --when we moved here. I did not have a choral or vocal background in music, just piano and trumpet and exposure to choirs and I accompanied voice class and voice lessons and learned a little there. But we were all amateurs trying to do a big production every year with about 10 people at most showing up for the first rehearsals --but then we'd pick up steam --and the Lord would give us a production that would tell the story faithfully and make a teaching memory for children --and a family memory for all--and Sue C. and I have enjoyed the partnership. I have people taking my place, but she is still going stronga doing decor and costumes herself. I give advice now and am told, "Got it covered, Mom."

I do have to edit and finish the typed program tomorrow, however. I volunteered. But Steph has taken over all the details --and her sister is doing a lot of directing and working choreographing children, too --while doing her own program for her job.

I love to see them all make music.

ROB R., by the way, has a most beautiful voice --smooth as chocolate. A wide range and a pure sense of pitch, vibrato --the works. a warm high baritone. But no solo this year as he doesn't aspire to perform and his sisters are less apt to twist his arm than his mother is.

Singing is something Rob was more or less forced to do when we let him quit band --and ever since. Because we found out he had talent and we needed him and we don't ask all that much of him in life. And he always gets into the spirit of the thing and has a good time in spite of himself --for the most part. Right, Rob? He studied, too, had a voice scholarship, soloed with the college choir --so while reluctant, he has nevertheless developed his gift and I hope he'll always make it available.

There's just something about music about and for the Lord --it's just beautiful --speaks to the soul like nothing else.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where is Waldo? Look On Site Meter!

Because a fellow blogger thought Valerie from Paris might feel I was harrassing her by posting the supposed location of her ISP, I have removed it --unless someone wants to make more of it than they should with wild accusations of what the post really says. In that case, I'd have to re-post it. The post itself was benign, not unfriendly and not intended to frighten Valerie --as was the case when my actual address was posted in the past.

Site Meter is amazing and does take us all over the world with our blogging.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop --in Europe!

Received this from a church friend today and cannot attest to the truth of these items, but they are surely interesting --food for thought. Do not use them for your termpaper, nor The Barb Wire as a research source. I chat here --and discuss the news, events, views and emails of the day.

When in Switzerland, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the former Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush. He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the
French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a
cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'

You could have heard a pin drop.


Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

'Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.'

The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it.' 'Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!'

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. 'Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Sunday, December 7, 2008



Montana Bd. of Pharmacy

dropped all complaints abainst a Christian pharmacist who declined to dispense contraceptives, including the ...morning after pill...because of his...religious beliefs.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
>ruled that Washington state pharmacists' rights of conscience will be protected while an appeal by state officials who oppose their rights moves forward.

The State of Arizona enacted "Jesse's Law"
--inspired by the ordeal of Jesse Ramirez...; it protects patients who are physically unable to communicate their wishes regarding medical care. His life was saved by ADF legal intervention. He walked out of a rehab facility in (Oct. 07) and continues to recover at home.

So. Dakota's informed consent abortion law
requires abortionists to inform women about the nature of abortion and the risks involved before the procedure is done. The US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit lifted an injunction against that law.

A federal court ruled that "choose Life"
>could be used as a slogan on specialty license plates in Missouri. The state tried to have a statute against the plates, but the court ruled it unconstitutional.

A state statute in Florida prohibited members of the Gideons
, Int'l from distributing Bibles on public sidewalks. A federal court ruled the statute violated the 14th Amendment.

The Deer Valley Unified School Disrict in AZ
prohibited a Christian student club's flyers and PA announcements --because their announcement contained the word, "prayer." The school settled with the club and dropped their ban on the group's equal access to publicity.

US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
reversed a lower court's ruling against an illinois student who wore a T-shirt that read "Be Happy, Not Gay" --while allowing gay students to advocate their choice openly. This student still has a case pending, but the court ruled that the school had to suspend its ban on the t-shirt for now.

School officials in Wisconsin removed their ban
on religious expression in class assignements and artwork. A student had received a "zero" for a scripture reference in his artwork prior to lifting the ban on depictions of "blood, violence, sexual connotations, or religious beliefs." Yet, students who portrayed demon-like creatures in art were not censored.

At Savannah State U., a Christian group
called "Commissioned II Love" was forbidden to exist because they shared the Gospel (called harrassment) and practiced "foot washing" of new members (called "hazing.") So ADF and another group sued and reached an agreement with the school, allowing the group to return.

CA STATE U. system officials restricted speech
at their 23 schools but settled with ADF to restore constitutional freedom of speech to these schools.

After a 10-year battle, a federal judge dismissed an ACLU suit
against a Ky. Baptist home (Sunrise Childrens's Services) that provided social services for at-risk children. The lawsuit claimed the home should not receive partial expense reimbursements from the gov't for its needy youth programs because the home had a religious affiliation.

Thank God, for the Alliance Defense Fund and the attorneys they support.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Hillary is 7.5 million in debt for her campaign expenses. They want her supporters to bail her out. They are having a fund-raiser with seats from $50 to $1000 to retire the debt --and selling a children's book, about her candidacy. If I were worth the millions Hillary is worth, I'd be ashamed to ask people of much more modest means to send me their hard earned dollars. Just send Bill out to make 7 speeches and they'll be almost there --old Bill was worth $700,000 from GM for a speech! Which explains some of GM's problem. If a company's leadership is that stupid to spend that kind of money on ANY speech, much less to hear an old reprobate dispense his wisdom, does that company deserve to be bailed out? Good grief!

CORRECTION: I tried to find on google a reference to $700,000 for a Clinton speech at GM --I found 700,000 paid to Clinton for a total of 4 speeches to Citigroup. Does anyone know if GM also paid him exorbitant speaking fees? I was sure I heard it or read it somewhere. One reference said he asked up to $350,000 for speaking fees.

I'm not saying I am against the loans to these companies, but they surely need to cut out the wasteful, self-indulgent ways of both management and labor.

In the local Mirror newspaper recently, there was a letter from a 4th generation GM employee who rose to lower level management--and she was horrified by union behavior --and how management seemed helpless. She said they worked 5 hours in their 8 hour days, and one fellow went to the bar and when written up for excessive absenteeism, the union saved him his job --with pay for the time he skipped out on work. She told of labor bringing a woman in at noon for sexual favors. I understand that a Jeep employee wrote about similar abuses when she worked for Chrysler. We know that unions tend to be headed by thugs who are just as self-serving as any manager could be.

Do you ever hear of public education teaching a good work ethic?
How employers should not have to pay people for their socializing time when they have work to do. I found a young lady in a dark doctor's office with her feet on the desk and having a personal phone conversation--while she was trying to accrue over-time; she had not clocked out. She was later caught forging doctors' signatures and is no longer wasting any doctors' time and money that I know of.

This is the finding of a recent study reported in the Blade. However, this is not news, really. The reason cited in former studies had to do with religiously observant people often not smoking and drinking and having high risk behaviors. Mormons, e.g., were said to be healthy for those reasons. Certain protestant and Muslim groups also avoid alcohol and/or nicotine.

Another recently reported study suggested that people who were around happy people enjoy more happiness, less depression. Church people in a healthy fellowship have a lot of good times and cameraderie --like our Christmas Choir. We have some very funny people with merry hearts.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homosexuality not Proven to be Biologically Determined

Rob posted this as a comment on Masoni's blog:

Though it may be widely acknowledged that homosexuality may have precursors in biological inclinations, that is, biological influences, it is most certainly not the scientific consensus that homosexual orientation is biologically determined.

Francis Collins, the former head of the human genome project, denies that homosexuality is primarily biological in origin.

In reviewing the heritability (influence of genetic factors) of personality traits, Dr. Collins referenced the estimates of the percentage of various human personality traits that can be ascribed to heredity from the Bochard and McGue research.

The heritability estimates for personality traits were varied: General Cognitive Ability (50%), Extroversion (54%), Agreeableness (42%), Conscientiousness (49%), Neuroticism (48%), Openness (57%), Aggression (38%) and Traditionalism (54%).

Kirk et al. (2000) in their research using a community-based cohort of Australian twins reported a heritability estimate of 30% for homosexuality. Whitehead (1999, 2006) in his extensive review of the research cites 30% as the estimate of heritability for homosexuality as well, though he views the estimate as a maximum.

As for outliers, do former presidents of the APA count as outliers? Yes they do here because they are complaining of the lack of scientific integrity present within the APA citing the homosexual activism and claims about homosexuality.

And this year, the the APA has released a pamphlet that admits that the attempt to find a biological determinant of homosexuality has thus far failed:

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles..."

The claim that Homosexuality is of a natural, deterministic origin and an essential and irrevocable aspect of an individual has the epistemic qualities of dogma rather than something established by science. Science has not reduced the epistemic risk of this dogma.

04 December, 2008 20:07

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Edit by Rob:

Mom thought she would make work for me by copying this and posting it without the original format thus losing the hyperlinks to the articles from whence I got these quotes. Also, I had the articles outlined with "bold" text so you knew where a source began and ended.

I ain't no Microdot as I don't plagiarize so the original post is here with the links to the sources from where I got the info.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Shepherd/Shephard Murders

Here is a story about a 2006 murder of a college student by a homosexual. I didn't hear about it except through the above link. It hasn't been on national news that I know of. Yet, who didn't hear about the murder of a homosexual named Matt Shepard --whose death inspired the "hate crimes bill," suggesting that penalties should be more severe if the crimes were motivated by bigotry toward a particular group, particularly homosexuals? Murder is murder and the same penalties should apply for all murderers. Both boys' deaths were equally tragic.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Gel of our Joints

This is a non-scientific faith article. I had a bump, a perfectly round, tight, growing blister on my middle finger --near the nail. My husband called it I don't remember what. Said it has to do with arthritis and joints. He said they aren't really fixable but he could relieve the pressure as it was getting tighter, bigger and painful. He numbed my finger first and then pierced the blister --as I closed my eyes and looked away. But the numbing spray hurt/burned worse than the "surgery."

He pierced the blister and then told me to look and see the gel that is the lubricant of our joints.

The gel was perfectly clear and sparkly - no pus, no blood --like a fine clear lubricant we might get from a tube. I thought how amazing --part of our design, this clear lubricant for our joints. Mine must be leaking into this blister-like container --(part of the curse of the fall --illness/malfunction--I had injured this finger with a knife a few years back and it affected nerves and all) --but the idea that such a lubricant exists is remarkable to me. We are designed --wonderfully, marvelously made.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible