Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wasted Days, Wasted Time

I'm someone who wants to understand. For some time I've been trying to figure out what people don't like about church. I know why I lost interest as a young adult. But what about those who are now empty nester's and unchurched. Is it church itself, the people who make up church, or God?

Unchurched adults are defined as those who have not attended church services, other than perhaps for a holiday or special occasion such as a wedding or funeral, at any time in the past six months. A Barna survey reported that unchurched adults have risen from 21 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2004. The adult population in the United States during that same period rose about 15 percent. And the number of adults who do not attend church has nearly doubled, rising from 39 million to 75 million.

What's the reason? I know several people who simply find church a waste of time. And most people understand that time lost is time gone. Wasted money can be made back. Wasted food can be replaced. But waste time and it's gone for good.

God stirs the hearts of people. They feel a yearning, often for something they can't identify. In trying to satisfy that desire they delve into a variety of experiences.

I want to know what it would take to make exploring God part of that process. What would it take to make God worth someone's time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Are we home yet?

Four months ago today we left Ohio. Soon after arriving in Payson we made the decision to live here. Actually Wes wanted to live here and I agreed to give it a try. Now I'm thinking this is actually where God wants us!

Settling in hasn't been easy. We decided to rent since we're in this "give it a try" phase and we have a nice 3 bedroom / 2 bath home. Pretty much meets our needs. Wes has been working since June 25 and I started to work the first of July. Finding this part-time job went a long way toward my choice to give Payson a try.

Searching for a church became one of our highest priorities. We have been to several, some more than once and one church six times. It's not happening. And you can about guess where that leaves me - lost and wondering and simply feeling like a fish out of water. I'm just not settled without a church home and none on the horizon.

This is a real challenge. Not having a church home is simply not an option. Being part of church where God is not calling us doesn't work. How many times have I said, "I'm not a church planter."?

As one friend put it, either we will be leaving Payson or we will start a new work. Which do you think we'll do?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Payson, AZ

We left Ohio for Arizona on June 15. Our intention was to live in the Valley - at least mine was. Somehow in the process of getting here and staying with friends in Payson - we now live in Payson! And it seems as if it will be okay. Maybe even a good thing. We found a house to rent and are going about the process of getting settled. Wes started his job a week after we arrived and I started to work too, in July. My part-time position is the Family Advocate for the Gila Family Advocacy Center here in Payson. A new agency, my job entails assisting victims with their rights and through the legal process.

With the rest of my time my desire is to start a small group for people wanting to know and become like Jesus. I can run but I cannot hide - the "call" is still there. I don't know quite how to go about this or how it will turn out but I'm am looking forward to it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm Back!

It's been a while and much has happened since my last post. Stay tuned for details!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thanks to the Many

Wes had his surgery Monday and all is going well. Dr. Selman said we will get on with our lives and soon "have this behind us and the pain will be forgotten!" Yeah!

We couldn't have made it through without all of our friends and family praying for us -- I came across the following in my reading last week:

"...we were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Thanks to the many of you for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Waiting Room

April 25, 2005
The day Wes was diagnosed with bladder cancer. First you think - well, you don't know what to think.

When we made plans in the past it has been with the attitude of "if this is God's will". One of Wes' favorite passages of scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."

Waiting is the hardest part. Waiting for the results of a biopsy. Waiting for the doctor's recommendation. Waiting for the day of surgery. Waiting to see how well you recover. Waiting to stop thinking about it at least every minute of every day.

The outlook is good. Surgery is scheduled - the tumor will be removed - he will have future monitoring but it is realistic that this will take care of it. Of course, to know that we have to wait.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reinvent Myself

A few days ago I had a rude awakening...I stepped on the scale at the health club. Bad. Worse than ever - and I've been on a string of worse than ever for about a year. All of which makes me say 'enough' - but will this time be different? Will I say 'enough' and mean it long enough to make a difference. And what is it anyway that causes me not to do what I intend to do?

The Apostle Paul puts it this way: "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me..." Romans 7:21

I was talking with a friend last night about this self-sabotage thing -- I even came up with a book idea -- "Self Sabatage- How to Screw Up a Good Thing Today & Every Day!" -- thing is most of us already know how to do that! What I want is to stop it.
Thus -- the need to reinvent myself. And when I get that figured out, I'll let you know.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

It's official - We're Moving to Arizona!

We're going back! I know many of you are saying "you never should have left in the first place" - and you may be right! But we operate on the premise that no one knowingly makes a bad decision and coming to Ohio for 7 months and 8 days (and counting) was by no means a mistake! We have been closer to our families and friends that we missed so much and are counting on them to travel west where we will be enjoying sunshine and dry weather.

It all came about because nothing seemed to be coming together for us in Ohio. (I know..."that's because you never should have left" as Auntie Linda is so fond of saying). Our job searches came to naught and Wes has been in the process of starting another law practice. His heart just isn't in it and we no sooner decided we would expand our search area when he reconnected with his friend Tom -- someone he worked with early in his career.

Long story short -- Wes and Tom will be working together for the same company once again. Wes is excited to have a new challenge with a young growing company that he can add value to while benefitting himself. Backbone Communication (www.backbonecommunications.com) is a leader in educational software implementing solutions for Kindergarten through 12th Grade students including skills development, enrichment, remediation, Special Education, English Language Learners, and more.

I'm thrilled at the prospect of living in the greater Phoenix area with a population of nearly 4million! That should provide the variety and options that I'm always looking for. We'll know more soon....meanwhile, praise God with us for providing just what we need when we need it!

Havasupai Falls

It's never too soon to plan a trip, particularly one that involves hiking at least 16 miles in two days. Which means, it's time to start training. Wes and I would like to hike the Falls and do it with some of our friends! We know that all of you are at varying levels of fitness, hence, the advance notice. How does April 2008 sound? If you want to join us - let me know. You can find out more about Havasupai Falls at a variety of websites such as www.havasupaitribe.com, www.havasufalls.net, www.arizonahandbook.com/havasupai.htm
Check out the sites, let me know you're available AND START TRAINING - we don't want to do this alone!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


It gets away from me - blogging, that is. I seem to have ideas of what I want to write about, mulling them over in my mind and then --not writing.
That is the problem with intentions, they either get done or don't. And the outcome is no secret.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

'24' - What's all this with Chloe and Morris?

I've just caught up on a couple of '24' episodes and I'm wondering where all this is going with Chloe and Morris. Personally, I think she and Jack are going to end up together this season....did you notice a couple of episodes ago when Chloe told Jack, "I'm glad you weren't hurt today."? Jack gently reached out and touched her arm. Subtle, I know, but a forecast of where things might go?
I hope all the emphasis on Morris' drinking and Chloe's covering for him leads somewhere...it's getting old. And how does she get any work done? She has her eye on Morris constantly, runs to his workspace every few minutes to ask how he's doing, to fix something he hasn't done correctly...who gets to work like that?
Personally, I'd like to see more Jack action and less Chloe and Morris. But that's just me.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

'24' - And you thought you were having a bad day!

It's been a while since I've blogged about '24' - the tension filled blockbuster featuring Jack Bauer fighting the war on terror. It's not that Jack isn't a team player - the team keeps getting killed.
I kind of feel sorry for Jack.
He cut off family ties years ago and then when re-united finds they were at the root of some of his darkest times. Plots to kill presidents, Jack's 18 month disappearance, 2 years in a Chinese prison, a partnership with terrorists to set off nukes, and his father's threats to kill his own grandson...it could any family.
Well maybe not any family but most families have something that causes wounds. And like Jack, we sometimes live in denial for a while and when confronted with truth....yikes!! And if we could talk to Jack about his family we would likely find disappointment and a deep yearning to connect - a need to fill that void inside.
Maybe that explains Jack's risky lifestyle -- a need for a hero.

Smiles Happen

Thanks to my gigglebox friend Aimme, smiles happen! (See January 5th posting)

Last week Aimee knew I was struggling, fighting discouragement and anxiety and fear. She was on it! Knowing some of the things I am most passionate about Aimee sent a "smiles happen" coffee mug, coffee and treats! Nothing says love like coffee!

Week One - My Heart

Fasting is never easy for me. I tend to think once I get past the first day or so I'll be okay. But no - I keep wanting to bend the rules. Next thing you know moose tracks ice cream will be health food from heaven!
I am finding that even though I am not "perfect", when I am sincere about seeking God -- he knows my heart. My purpose for this fast is to know God more and hear his voice above the rest. I think it's happening! I no longer feel so wishy-washy about what I am doing. By that I mean I was all over the place in trying to "solve" my problems. Wes said I was approaching them "willy-nilly" -- trying anything and everything I could imagine just to be doing something!
God is giving me peace and now I am able to watch him work instead of trying hard to work myself. Kind of cool if you ask me. Want the details?? Stay tuned...they will be here eventually!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The First Day

Today is the official start of Lent and the official start of our fast. Having relocated several months ago things just haven't come together as we hoped. We seek God and follow as best we know how. Every now and then along this particular journey we have wondered if we're on the right track. Thus an agreement between Wes and I to fast and pray so we hear from God. For some people that probably sounds kind of weird - don't you just analyze a situation, decide what you want and then go for it? Yeah, sort of. But our analysis is never complete until we hear God's side of the story. And sometimes, even though we don't see the full picture we wait on what we think we want because of God's plan.
Our choice of fast is to eliminate all junk food, most processed food and animal products. This is our version of a "Daniel Fast" - you can read about in the Old Testament in Daniel Chapter 1.
Spiritual fasting is a time set aside to abstain from certain foods or activities to focus on God's presence in our lives. Sometimes I think of it as saying to God "I want to hear from you - I need you -- and I'm willing to go without some things I find particularly comfortable to focus on that."
And right now we want to hear God's voice above all the rest -- including our own. I'll keep you posted on our progress - both the fast and the hearing from God.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What Will You Give Up?

Regardless of your faith it is pretty hard to miss Ash Wednesday - the official start of Lent. As a child and young adult I struggled to understand the point of not eating meat on Fridays and giving up chocolate. My "thing" with chocolate goes way back. Until recently I would say I still did not get Lent. To me, being told when to fast, what to sacrifice, and even what to "give up" suggests that my mind and body can participate but my heart does not have to engage. If that's the case, it would seem the point is missed.

Ash Wednesday got its name from an ancient tradition of throwing ashes on one's head to demonstrate sorrow for sins. Lent has been on the chuch calendar since the first or second century and by the 7th century, Ash Wednesday became the "start date" for Lent.

Jesus spent time in contemplation and time on the mountain in prayer. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us "there is a time for everything"; the Apostle Paul was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem before Pentecost (Acts 20:16); these and other passages seem to indicate the early Christians observed certain sacred periods. Maybe there's something to that.

Here's what I think - just because the ritual from my youth held no lasting meaning for me does not mean Lent is not worthy of observance. While the Bible does not offer Lenten menus, it does say, "Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:13)

I can get on board with that -- no matter what I'm eating.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"My wheelchair is a blessing"

Sometimes I am embarrassed. I think I have it tough. We don't have a new church home; Wes' law practice is starting slowly and we need income; I don't have a job; when will we really feel connected in Toledo; were really supposed to come "home"?...then I look at people who have real problems.

I've been reading Joni Eareckson Tada's book - "The God I Love" - which should be on your short list of books to read this year - and I am embarrassed. She has a severed spinal column. She has been living in a wheelchair since she was 18. She can say with honesty that her accident and her life in a wheelchair has been the greatest blessing in her life. It brought her closer to God, it has taken her into a life of ministry that is international in scope. She brings awareness and help and hope to the plight of those who are disabled. She glories God.

My problems are real and they are a challenge. But they are temporary! We will find work and have income and find a church home and be involved in ministry again. My challenge now can be what draws me closer to God or away from him. My challenges reveal my purpose -- to know and love Jesus. I can trust God in spite of my problems, because of my problems, or simply because He is trustworthy. Either way I can commit to knowing and loving him more in the challenges I face.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:35-39

The Flu

About the Flu

Help protect yourself and your family from the flu by knowing the facts:
  • The flu is a contagious virus that is spread from one person to another through tiny droplets that are released into the air when a person infected with the flu coughs or sneezes.
  • Sometimes, people can become infected by touching their nose or mouth after touching something infected by the flu virus.
  • Most healthy adults can infect others one day before they begin experiencing and up to five days after they become sick. That means you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
  • A typical case of the flu can last up to one week.
  • The flu can be a serious illness, particularly for mature populations aged 50 and older, and those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.

Now I Lay Me Down to Rest

No longer will I laugh at flu shots. Bring 'em on! I just spent 8 out of the last 12 days on the couch with a revolving docket of symptoms - fever, chills, cough, sore throat, cough, headache, cough, achy body...what a nightmare! Someone suggested it would be nice for me to have some down time so I could rest...read...whatever. Like I didn't already have that 24 hours a day.

Thing is, it was what I needed. I had a different sort of rest - I think God used my couch time as a sort of "rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength." (Psalm 23:2-3)

Those of you who know me know that I haven't worked for several months. If nothing else, I have time. Time to read and think and reflect and do projects and sort of just hang around. And I've done all of that. But this time on the couch...it was different. I didn't just read and reflect. I talked to God. I listened. I had questions to ask and tough answers to listen to and ultimately it led to peace.

Because in recent weeks I haven't felt much peace. We felt God lead us out of Kingman, AZ last summer and we wanted to come "home". Home meant Ohio, closer to family and friends. Home did not come with a job for myself or Wes; it meant moving to Ohio and settling in and not knowing the future. And recently I've begun to worry. There's the bank balance; the law practice Wes is starting veeerrrrryyyyy slowly. The no income and daily outgo and not finding a church home and wanting to connect. And questions - what if's. Coulda/woulda/shoulda -- nothing can change the past.

Last week in the midst of the coughing and sleeping and reading and talking to God I felt renewed. The past remains the same. The future is unclear. But there's peace. And faith...and trust. The God who could raise Jesus from the dead is the same God who cares about me. Maybe he put me on the couch, maybe it was just a bug....but He is the One who can handle my needs he has not forgotten that I'm out here---he hasn't and he couldn't. That's peace.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


"Jack, you're hurting me."

"Trust me, I'm not."

Trust, it would seem, is a matter of perspective.

'24' or Family Ties?

This week we met Jack's family - his brother Graem, "who pulled the strings in last spring's plot by President Logan" (Gary Levin, USA Today). That was quite a surprise. Then there is Jack's father Philip,and former girlfriend Maryland, now Graem's wife. Graem and Maryland have a son...Josh....or is he Jack's?

'24' is not only off to an intense, suspenseful start, it holds the promise of exploring Jack's background. Which I find intriguing.

All of us are shaped by our environment. The good, bad and ugly of it molds and shapes our thoughts, words and actions. Some good and some not so good.

It is kind of like the nature or nurture question. Some of who we are is by nature - our genetic predisposition toward certain traits. But nurture, or perhaps a better word would be shaping, explains the rest and possibly most.

What results is our response to nature and shaping. At some point we can look at how we are shaped and respond by embracing what we like and minimizing the negative aspects of what we dislike.

Future episodes will bring more insight into Jack's background and possibly explain more of his personality, fierce loyalty, and willingness to sacrifice for a cause. Is it because of or in spite of his family?

Monday, January 15, 2007


"It’s not a good decision, it’s not a bad decision. It’s our only option. One man’s life for the rest of us."

Sound familiar? If you didn’t know better you might think that was God contemplating what to do about a world that turned away from him when actually it was a conversation about Jack Bauer during the premiere of the hit series “24”.
My husband and I waited eagerly for the premiere last night and we weren't disappointed. Chloe still scowls and Jack is positioned to save the country. Again.

I casually mentioned to my husband that Jack Bauer is what women want in a man -- handsome, strong, protects those around him, takes risks. All right - so he kills a few too many people in the process.

Bauer had been held hostage for two years by the Chinese. His release was arranged by President Wayne Thompson in exchange for knowledge about a suspected terrorist.

Jack knew his life was being sacrified, “I survived 2 years in a Chinese prison because I didn’t want to die for nothing. I know what’s expect of me and I’m prepared.”

In the first twenty minutes there are so many redemption messages I lost count.
We want and need heroes. We want and need to be heroes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Listening to President Bush last night one message I heard was that we've made mistakes - we're shifting our plan of attack - and we will persevere. Those might not be the exact words but I think it was the intent. And I am not an expert on strategy or politics so I make no claim about that.

What I did hear - and liked - was admitting to mistakes and changing strategy. Our work in Iraq to date is not failure - we need to adjust our strategy to accomodate circumstances as they are now.

It takes boldness and strength of character to shift gears. And the more public the gear shifting - the more courage it takes.

For someone (me) who lived in what might be considered a "failing" church environment I can state with much confidence - I didn't fail! The church didn't fail! We made changes to accomodate new circumstances.

Kingdom work - like war - requires never ending evaluation, analysis and strategy adjustments. Some of the Kingdom work I have been involved in required me to set aside my personal agenda - my personal desire for "success" and do what is best for the Kingdom. I had to sacrifice "what will people think" for the greater good. In the last couple of years Desert Crossroads brought a lot of glory to God. It's final chapter may have been it's greatest testimony to God's work being done - not man's.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sacred Grounds

Today I started a new project - painting. Not walls this time! Artwork. I never knew I had this artistic bent in me until a few years ago when I started quilting. Something happens when I'm engrossed in a project - I just get lost there.

My project today involved painting artwork for my kitchen (the walls of which I will be painting in a few days...) and I selected a coffee theme for my artwork. Not a big surprise there....somewhere in the room will be the words "Sacred Grounds".

I came across an image found during a Google search of a coffee cup with newsprint. This sort of sums me up right now. If I'm not writing, or doing a project, I'm reading. And if I'm doing either I am generally drinking coffee.

I sort of miss my weekly column in The Kingman Daily Miner (Kingman, AZ) - consequently, this blog - and I intend to make some sort of "newsprint coffee mug" of my own. I will use an old column, of course - sort of a nice image, if you ask me!

As for the other coffee themed artwork - I'll post some photos when they are complete. Hmmmm.....now that I think about it I could allow you to consign a signed original for yourself. For a fee. I am out of work, you know.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


So at church today the speaker talked about what it means to accept Jesus. Not much surprise there - it should be somewhere on the agenda every Sunday. But this particular speaker - Glen somebody - from Impact World Tour (www.impactworldtour.com) - said that to accept Jesus is when I lay my life down "so he can live through me".

I know that - I've preached it before! Today I heard it in a bigger way. When I lay my life down so Jesus can live through me -- that means it's not my life anymore! It's a "wholehearted surrender" to God. I want to surrender to God - I think I already have. Somehow this struck me...

Going through my mind was Romans 12:1 "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering." (The Message). That's the Apostle Paul telling us following Jesus is in the details.

When Jesus gave his life for us - when he died on the cross - that was so we could live in eternity -forever - with him.

When I surrender - when you surrender - we are giving up our claims on our life now so Jesus can live in us - today. In the details. What I do; where I go; the way I think, talk, and shop. Not for me but for him.

The speaker, Glen, said there is a battle going on - at the same time the "light is getting brighter, the dark is getting darker." And the battle - "some are engaged in it and some look on".

If you are anything like me we often look for things outside of us to render change. If we choose the right politicians and judges, truth and justice will prevail and the light will increase. Someone "out there" will fix our problems if we just find the right someone.

But it's the details - the details we engage in every day that make the difference. Surrender is sounding much bigger all of a sudden.

Friday, January 5, 2007


I tend not to like women's events. Particularly Christian women's events. My opinion -they aren't particuarly well done, presentation is tacky and the food is generally poor. It conveys to me that since it's "Christian women" quality isn't an issue. I'm generally embarrassed by what happens. Which poses quite a dilema for me since I like women's ministry!

The Arizona Free Methodist world and Emmanuel Pines Camp get it right. Over the top right!

So you're wondering where I'm going with all this....

It had been a long time since I had a good laugh. A long time since I felt relaxed to just let go. And it was time for women's retreat. Great. But since I had to go I figured I would get as many of my buddies there with me. Retreat officially started Friday night but I arrived Thursday night to hang out with Christine and catch up on our friendship. It was blessed relief. Friday morning I met with another good friend - Jacquie. I thought -- it doesn't get much better than this. God knew what I needed and he met that need!

Friday afternoon Aimee & Linda arrive on the scene. We lunched and shopped and got settled into our dorm room at camp. We giggled. Linda very graciously did hair. Aimee's, Janelle's, Jeana's. We giggled some more - most of the night, in fact. (my apologies to the room next door - we did hear you knock on the wall - thus we moved our room the next morning).

Saturday was just as delightful - and giggle-filled.

Those of you who know me probably never thought I would be called a "gigglebox" - but it's true. Deep inside - it's there.

And I attribute it to God meeting and exceeding my needs. It had been years - maybe never - since I giggled. And even writing this some months later I smile. I tear up too because I miss all of you so much.

And in case you're wondering about the picture next to mine -- it is my fellow gigglebox - Aimme. Find out more about her at amioutthere.blogspot.com

I hope you get to giggle soon.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Wallpaper and Johnny Cash

Today I took care of lots of details that go into keeping new year's goals...phone calls, updating my resume, graduate program application, running, praying, reading. Then for year end "housekeeping". Updating check books, gathering receipts and best of all -- giving the pile to Wes to deal with come tax time.

Then on to wallpaper removal. Removing wallpaper gets me to thinking and that got me to listening to Johnny Cash "Live at Montreux 1994".

Some of you probably find it odd that Johnny Cash is on my "favorite music" list. It's true. I think it started this past March when I went on a personal retreat. I know it doesn't sound very spiritual but the first night away I watched "Walk the Line". The rest of the retreat led to many of the changes we undertook in 2006 - but back to the story.

I didn't listen much more to Cash until October. Back in Ohio, with two of our best friends - Chuck and Sue - we watched "Walk the Line" at our weekly dinner and movie night (We alternate turns fixing dinner and bringing dessert. A highlight in my week.)

The following week I happened upon "Live at Montreux 1994" a Johnny Cash DVD - I couldn't resist. We watched every second of it at our next gathering and I've been listening since.

There's something about the music - about sin and redemption. Strikes some chord in me. There's pain and hope and humor. I wonder if the "man in black" ever experienced the fullness of redemption. He said "My music is dark, sort of like my closet when you open it. Like me - if you look inside - it's dark."
All of us are, without God. And Cash sang and spoke of Jesus and redemption and that without it - he would be lost. So I know he knew. I hope he didn't die thinking he was still dark inside.

This is Bailey

Even though it is January 3rd I'm just on my second day of implementing my new year's goals. So far things are going well! How about you?
Bailey's our newest dog - rescued from a shelter about 6 weeks ago. She's nearly six months old and could use a few goals of her own to help her assimilation into the Miller household!

Monday, January 1, 2007

The New Year Journey

This time of year many of us are doing some sort of planning for the year ahead -- I know I am. Thinking about what I need to have happen, what I would like to see happen and want I WANT to have happen. And a little planning goes a long way toward making that happen.

This year I'm a bit more determined than usual. Why? Because 2006 ranks up there as having been one of the saddest and most challenging years. Notice I didn't say worst? It can't be all bad if I'm learning and growing through it. And I refuse to go into survival mode -- just waiting - wishing it would change.

That's why I want to set goals - not make resolutions. Most resolutions are broken by the 3rd week of January never to be resurrected. And that's not going to do me (or you) any good. So I'm taking some time to think and dream and plan and talk to God about what's going on - how I am doing - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually...am I where I ought to be? Are there areas where I am just getting by - just surviving?

That's where I'll be spending the next couple of days - some quiet time - reflecting, talking - reading - praying. Making sure I have a plan to go from simply getting by to actually living.

How about you? Do you set goals? Make resolutions? Do you think - really think - about whether you are getting by or really living?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" Is. 43:18-19