Friday, September 26, 2008

Musings of the Week - Harry Potter, San Francisco, and Contact Tragedies

1. I finally finished the Harry Potter series. I started reading the audio books over a year ago and last week closed the chapter on the story of the young wizard. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend it. I'm not obsessed with the books as some are, but I enjoyed them. If you've read the books, I encourage you to listen to the audio books. It's like story time all over again and they are narrated by Jim Dale, the talented narrator that also narrates the hit show "Pushing Daisies." I think if I read them again, it will be audio book because his storytelling ability makes the words come to life.

2. Last Sunday we had our church services outside due to the after effects of Wind Storm 2008. One service, one location, all of us together at 10:30am. I came to church with my lawn chair and sunglasses and I loved it! I felt like I paid attention even more to the sermon, because the fresh air was rejuvenating. Nothing like worshipping God in the midst of His Creation. I hope we do this more often, sans the week of power outage.

3. Next Tuesday I'm heading to San Francisco. To celebrate a great second quarter of business, my company is having our sales meeting on the West Coast. First off, it's a bit surreal that my company is celebrating great business in the midst of this odd economic world we live in, but I'm counting my blessings and praying for it to continue. The beauty of a business get to stay in swanky hotels that I could never afford, go on fun excurisions, and eat good food. I'm sure it will make for a future blogpost.

4. Monday night I lost my left contact lens. After sixteen years of contact lens-wearing, I lost my first contact my own house. As I took it out in the evening to clean it, I thought it got dislodged in my eye. So I scurried around for the right lighting and mirror to get it out and couldn't find it in my eye. Being the hypchondriac that I am, I assumed it floated back behind my eye, into my brain to cause a future tumor. After realizing I couldn't find it, I shook out all my clothes, rugs, and blankets, but to no avail. I called the doctor's office the next day, knowing I was leaving town in a week, to order a new one. The nurse was great and assured me it would be in by Friday. I picked it up this morning. Oh, and she also assured me that my contact couldn't float behind my eye and into my brain. I'm so glad people tolerate my madness.

5. This being National Stay at Home Week, I've not really done that and with all the new shows debuting, my DVR is overflowing. It may reach new levels while I'm gone next week recording and saving all the shows I want to watch. I have made it through a couple debuts this week...Heroes and The Office. I felt like the old Heroes was back and my favorite villian Sylar is stronger than ever. And, even though *SPOILER ALERT* Jim proposed to Pam, I sense that we'll spend the season watching a thousand obstacles get in their way to the altar. I'm an only child and I love tv.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Being Powerless

What a week in Louisville! It started last Sunday on a blustery afternoon and we had no idea what the winds would blow in. We experienced the effects of Hurricane Ike, what I like to call "Hurricane Ike, Jr." that literally took our city to its knees in a matter of four hours. As I left lunch after church on Sunday, I realized it was extremely windy. I fully expected to see the Wicked Witch bicycling through the air or Winnie the Pooh hanging on to a fragile limb. But, I didn't know the extent of what I was driving in until I got home.

I arrived home to no power and the notification from friends that something harsh was going on. Reports on the drive home were downed power lines, downed trees, and I knew it was bad news when our evening service at my church was canceled due to no power. Therein began my quest to exist like a pioneer. I have a land line in my house, but all are cordless phones, so the only phone that worked was my cell phone, which was losing power fast. I decided to spend the afternoon doing a little Bible study to calm the nerves, but after a while, reading by flashlight was difficult.

I decided to go out to my car to charge my phone and listen to the radio since I was fresh out of AA batteries and my one and only battery-powered radio batteries were dead. While listening to the radio, I realized the immense amount of damage and outage. Winds of 75-81mph were reported in the area causing massive destruction. Nearly 300,000 residents were without power, the police were asking people to stay home, and my power being out and no damage was a blessing many people weren't experiencing. Am I living in Hurricane Alley, or the Ohio Valley?

As daylight ended around 8:30, I decided to get my MacGyver on and figure out a way to get my radio to work. I scavengered batteries from my remote controls (obviously useless during a power outage) and got my radio to work! I was in bed by 9pm and listening to talk radio for the latest city updates. A nice throwback to what many of the older generation calls "the good ole days."

I was one of the blessed homes. At 6:40am the next morning, my power came on. One of my co-workers never lost power and said she suffered from "I didn't lose power" guilt, and I have to say I fared so much better than most and felt that guilt too. Almost a week later and schools have been closed for the week, and 95,000 residents are still without power. It's been surreal. While our infrastructure was in ruins, the weather was absolutely beautiful...a blessing for those who had no power, hence no air conditioning for the week..and none was needed. And our city was preparing for the Ryder Cup with thousands of out-of-town guests arriving for the golf extravaganza. This week has seemed like three weeks in one for a lot of people.

All week, I found myself asking the same question, and being asked this question multiple times...."Do you have power?" "Are you still powerless?" It hit me every time those questions were asked that we are powerless in our lives without True Power. I might have electricity flooding through the veins of my house circuitry, but if I'm not connected to the One who provides real Power, I'm powerless. Act 1:8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you..." I'm so thankful that no matter how strong the winds and devasting the damage, the Holy Spirit never has an outage.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

I am not a political junkie. Nor can I say that I'm well-versed in discussing all the aspects of the debates on war, the economy, or issues in flux on Capitol Hill. But after being immersed in the Republican National Convention coverage this past week, I have a resurgence of excitement that maybe, just maybe, there is a chance of fulfillling history in November's Presidential election....and not by electing Obama.

When John McCain announced his choice of a running mate, Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, most people either gasped and reacted harshly with slanderous comments, or yelped for joy at the possibility of a woman with the right kind of worldview being a heartbeat from the Presidency. I was initially ecstatic and the more I hear of her, and after her history-making speech at last week's convention, I don't know that I've been this excited to vote than when I cast my first presidential vote for the Gipper...the greatest president, Ronald Reagan.

This post won't speak in numbers or stats or polls, but on my reasons for why I love Sarah Palin. When asked about my views on all things political, I start by replying, "I'm a conservative evangelical, so if you want to continue the conversation, let's go!" My CEO has always given great advice to those in business..."always hire people smarter than yourself" Palin may not be smarter, but she brings to the Republican ticket the luster that McCain needed to dissuade the slick-tongued diatribes from his opponent. It's been great seeing the other party trying to deal with this "pit bull with lipstick." Here are just a few reasons I love Sarah Palin...(gee, how many times can I squeeze in 'I love Sarah Palin' in one blogpost)

- She's a mother of five children. That alone gives her every bit of experience needed to run for this office. Anyone that has watched mothers with more than 3 or 4 children know what I mean. It's not an easy job. Add in the fact she has children in a wide range of ages and a newborn makes it even more impressive.

- She's real. Even when the news of her 17-year-old daughter's, Bristol, pregnancy broke, the media tried to challenge her ability to mother. This issue is a real issue that parents face all the time. Down deep, is Sarah and Todd Palin happy about this? I'd guess not. But their unconditional love and support of a child that got herself into this situation shows a lot about their parenting abilities.

- She's an innovative governor. From selling the governor's private jet on eBay to bringing the state of Alaska to a surplus over their budget, she isn't the conventional politician. For those on the other side proclaiming change...she's living it.

- She's bold. Anyone who can walk on the stage at the RNC and deliver a speech like she did without missing a beat and mesmerizing even the liberals watching means she's not afraid of a challenge. Most Moms worth their salt never back down to anyone no matter how much whining and complaining they encounter.

- She stands for what I believe in. She's pro-life and that stand alone speaks volumes. How you value life shapes all other decisions you make. She has been slammed for requesting prayer for decisions she faced as Governor of Alaska. Thank goodness we have a prospective VP that isn't afraid to ask people to pray for the issues in our country. Although there are things in her past that I may not agree with 100%, I realize I won't agree with every candidate on every issue. But I do want to agree with a candidate on those issues that mean the most to me.

- She's a woman. It may not cause all the Hilary fans to run to the right, and we know Obama-lovin' Oprah refuses to have her on her show, but for the average woman in the United States, she is a role model. For Moms, she knows what it means to raise a family and follow a career. For Moms of special needs children, she knows how it feels. For those of us who are career women in the workplace, she is an example of how you can believe in your dreams without compromising your beliefs. I am woman, I love Palin.

As the saying goes...."The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world." I hope that comes true in November.

Monday, September 01, 2008


My friend, Amy, has recently been dealing with loss or the reminder of loss. She caused me to start thinking about that and the word...separation....which is really the consequence of any kind of loss. Webster's defines it as "a point, line, or means of division." The word and definition are bleak.

I pondered on this as my PVD (post-vacation depression) took longer to get over this year, primarily because of the wonderful time I had with the Todds. It reminded me how much I miss them and savor those times, no matter how simple, we have together. That led me to think of all the people in my lives I'm separated from...

...Chad and Georgia ...Alisa...though just in Lexington, it feels farther Alabama South Carolina
...Regina....on the mission field in East Asia Virginia
...a ka-zillion other friends who've left Louisville for places near and far that I rarely speak to or see
...and a plethora of loved ones in Mom, Granny, Granddaddy...the list goes on

Reflection on this made me realize that in the beginning, separation wasn't something we would experience. God's plan for our life in the Garden was to be in communion with Him and each other. A veritable paradise forever. Then sin entered the Garden and separation was introduced to the world. We became separated from God. When I long to have everyone I care for and love present and reachable in less than one hour, I realize that will never be attainable on earth again.

For those who are believers in Christ, I know if I never see them again on earth, I'll join them one day in Heaven. That is one of the many appealing things about my eternal life in Heaven and one of the things that should motivate me to share the Good News much more than I do. And I can have that promise because, even though sin separated me from God, because He loved me so much He sent His Son to die for me, and because of Jesus' sacrifice, I am no longer separated from God.

"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels or rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!" - Romans 8:38-39

It's so comforting to know that one day the word "separation" will be erased from my vocabulary.