Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over (of bitterness)

How long does it take to get over a cold?! It started 12 days ago, and every time I thinl it is over, it starts up again. I have been hacking all day, and thought it was done last night.
Speaking of last night, we had a singles night out planned with a new twist: a fifth person. Cindy, Kristin, Steven, Vern, aka Randy, Cindy and Steven's cousin, and I, met at the Bedford Pizza Hut, then went on to Cindy's place to play "5-man" Rook. A neat twist on the game we usually play with 4 people. For non-Rook players, I will make this simple. Instead of 2 people playing against 2, it is 2 to 3, but it changes every round, and you have no idea who your team mate will be. Whoever wins the bidding, announces that they want the person with the black 1, or green 14, etc, as their team mate. If the person bid high, you sit there and pray that you don't have the card they call!
Sadly, I lost every game. Individual scores are kept instead of teams, since the teams change every round. Everyone but me won a game or more. It just wasn't my night, and I am very bitter about it. Life is so unfair. :-( Actually, I am a good loser - as I proved last night by losing 6 games of Rook. It would have been really, really nice to h ave won a game, but there is always next time. Crazy thing is, it didn't matter if I played cautiously, or recklessly, I still lost! It was a conspiracy!
The night was not without its amusements. It started with one person having trouble getting to Cindy's because she didn't know right from left, but I won't tell who it was......
Then I did my goof: We were halfway through a round when someone noticed I had one too many cards - there are 2 extra cards when 5 people play, they are laid aside and called the "kitty" - I had only laid one card aside, so we had to start over. I don't feel so bad though, later we were all down to 2 cards, the game was nearing the end, when we noticed that Vern had FOUR cards. At some point he had picked up the cards in the "kitty", and put them with his cards, and didn't notice it. So that round got scrapped too.
Cindy and Steven were their usual unbearably proud and boastful selves when they teamed together - someone does really need to take those two down bad in Rook. :-) Please God, let it be me! We had a lot of fun, and did our share of teasing and bragging - well, no bragging on my part, I was the hunble loser........
I have a new author to try: Joel Rosenberg. He has written fiction and non-fiction, but has a Christian fiction series that I hear is phenomenal, The Last Jihad series. My sister Vicki has called me twice about his books, and last night, Cindy's mother was raving about him and passed on his first book for me to read. I actually possess what I thought was his first book, but found out it is actually #3 in the series. Good thing it was on my list of to-read books that I haven't made it to yet.
I do like the 5-man Rook, but it seems my chances of winning are better with 4 people. Maybe not, and last night was just my night to win. If anyone had to lose every game, I guess it was best that it be me. Cindy and Steven would have been weeping and wailing, and we know what a certain other lady did last time we lost bad - it involved a gas stove, carbon monoxide, and a trip to the hospital.........we wouldn't want any repeats. (No, she didn't do that on purpose, but I did tease her about it later that she didn't need to take our losses that night THAT bad....... :-)
Another week lies ahead of us. I always dread a new week, since Mondays, and lately, on through Thursdays at work reek so, but I am trying to keep a more positive attitude. I do have something to look forward to: April 11, some of us are going to go hear the Booth Brothers in concert in Greenwood, IN. I have wanted to see them for some time, as they rank pretty high on my list, but have never got the chance til now. I can't wait. :-) If one hasn't checked into their music, they should. Even my non-Southern Gospel loving friends like their music.
Random trivia for the day, in case you need one: 50 Bibles are sold every minute.
Well, that is enough for this installment in the life and times of me. Til next time!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Is Here!

Today was awesome weather-wise, hitting about 60 here. After I got out of Dante's Inferno (aka Hobby Lobby), I stopped and got some meat to grill. It was perfect weather for grilling, and all day long the image of chicken grilling on the grill played in my mind. Unfortunately, chicken wasn't on sale, so I got a good deal on some steaks instead, which was pretty good. Added to that was the potatoes I fried with peppers and onions, it was a great Spring day meal!

Now I am sure, we will end up getting more nasty weather before Spring actually arrives, but let me enjoy it while I can. :-)

I am finally recovering from a bad cold I have had for a week. The week-end was the worst, I felt drained and exhausted from it, and had it not been Easter Sunday, would have stayed in bed Sunday morning. I have been accused of passing it on to two people, hope no one else. :-)

My sister Pam is often calling me with amusing things my nephews said. The latest one really tickled me. They are having special revival services at their church and have to keep the preacher and his wife, a young couple they know well, at their house. Tonight after church, Josiah (6) was changing out of his church clothes, and the following conversation occurred between he and his mom: "Mommy, we shouldn't let the company see us without our clothes, right?" Pam said that was right, and Joey said "because it wouldn't be polite?", Pam said "well, not that", trying to think of the right word, Joey said, "cause it would be rude?", Pam said "well, not really rude, " before she could come up with "proper", he sighed and said "Moms aren't as smart as dads - you need to go back to college, Mommy!" Pam was still laughing as she told me on the phone.

Speaking of Josiah, they were afraid for awhile that he may have asthma, so they had him checked out yesterday, and he doesn't have it, thank God. The doctor kept having him blow in some device, and he told the doctor he was wasting his breath. :-) You never know what kids are going to say.

Work still has me down, but I try to leave work at work. I just dread going in daily anymore.

This whole election thing is scary. I always vote Republican, not because I am a hard core Republican, but because I am a hard core conservative, and the Republicans usually stand for what is important to me as a Christian, which boils down to picking the lesser of the evils. This election, the evils are not that far apart. On one hand, you have Hillary. I still firmly believe she and her hubby had several people wacked, such as Vince Foster, and she stands for everything I am against. I don't care what church she goes to, or how Christian she tries to sound, she can't fool me. She is pure evil. And can you imagine her in charge of oiur military? That makes me shudder.

Then you have Obama. When you start to read about his followers, it starts to sound like a cult. He won't put his hand on his heart for the national anthem - do we want a president who won't do a simple patriotic gesture like that? I also think he has more Muslim ties than he wants to admit, and it scares me what he could be capable of if he gets in. Islam could very well be what destroys America, and he could play a hand in that.

And lastly, we have McCain, a Democrat in Republican's clothing. He, along with the other two dimwits, is buying into the global warming myth. He is also weak on abortion and other issues important to Christians, but he is most likely the lesser of 3 evils. He is a patriot, and won't hand us over to another country, or sell secrets to other countries.

Thing is, we are getting closer to the end of time, and things are supposed to get worse. Also, America isn't the wickedest country out there - check out Amsterdam, for instance, but we used to be a Christian nation, and we have fallen hard and far from what we used to be. We kill thousands of innocent babys every year. We are trying to remove God from all parts of life. And Christians have sat back and done nothing. Even worse, a lot of Christians have focused on the wrong things - wars, the economy, etc, and voted in evil men who stand for nothing we believe in.

I didn't mean to get political, but this election worries me. We just could get what we deserve as a country in this election.

On a brighter note, I found a celebrity I am actually impressed with: Kirk Cameron. He is one of a very few people in Hollywood who seems to actually live his faith. I don't mean to judge, but I believe a true Christian will live differently, and people will know. They won't sing just any style of music, write just any kind of book, be in just any kind of movie, etc. Kirk isn't in many movies anymore, but is careful about what he appears in, works hard to evangelize, and is outspoken about his faith. I was on the international movie database today reading up on him, and was reading comments left on the message boards, and there were a lot of vicious things said about him on there. Is it any surprise? If we do live a life pleasing to God, it isn't going to bring applause from the world. How many other celebrities who claim to be Christians who don't live it, do you think draw criticism like Kirk Cameron does? I doubt any. And I am not saying I approve of a Christian being in Hollywood, but if they are, things are going to be different.

Well, I am going to crawl down from my soapbox and find something constructive to do. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Last Night

This past week has been Holy Week, and I have tried in all the trials of life and work - mainly trials of work :-), to focus on that. Maundy Thursday (whatever that means!), Good Friday, and upcoming Easter/Resurrection Sunday.
I had one disapointment this year. I like to take in a Passion Play to help get my focus on the real meaning of Easter, but couldn't seem to find one in the area. You would think that in a town the size of Bloomington that there would be a church somewhere that was having one, but that didn't seem to be the case. Bloomington isn't much smaller than Boardman, Ohio, and there were usually at least two churches there putting one on, even using camels and the like.
Since I had no Passion Play to go to, I focused on my Easter music, and no, not Jeff and Sheri Easter, though they rank among my favorites. :-) I have compiled several songs that have to do with Easter on an Easter playlist. "I've Just Seen Jesus", "Because He Lives", "Via Dolorosa", and several others.
A new one added this year has become a favorite, "Last Night", recorded by Karen Peck and New River - yes, Southern Gospel, but is a really good song.

Verse 1

Last night the disciples had supper with Jesus
Their last meal together before He was betrayed
After prayer in the garden He was arrested
Tortured and questioned until the next day
That day the mob cried out "Crucify Him!
The sweet Rose of Sharon was crushed on the cross
A rich man named Joseph took care of the body
While Mary and loved ones mourned their precious loss


Last night they buried the Rose in the garden
The fragrance of sorrow hung thick in the air
Satan was breathing a sigh of relief
While angels were silently bearing their grief
God knew that His Son would arise with great power
But for now He was waiting and counting the hours.

Verse 2

Mary and Martha spent the third morning
Gathering spices and watched for sunrise
The disciples were hiding, defeated and grieving
Too distraught to remember Christ said He would rise
The soldiers were sleeping outside of the grave
Unaware that their prisoner was stirring inside
The stone rolled away, Jesus stepped from the darkness
The dawning of grace had finally arrived

Chorus 2

This morning the Rose blooms in the garden
The sweet fragrance of victory still fills the air
Last night there was weeping with no consolation
But this morning rejoicing in the God of salvation
Today there is hope in the morning light
What a difference God made between now and last night


No matter how hopeless and final the night
It has to give way to the Son of pure light

I cannot imagine the feelings the disiples and others were feeling. Here their hoped for Messiah and Savior was dead, all hope was gone. Talk about your sleepless nights, I am sure there wasn't much sleeping going on that week-end, and as the song says, what a difference in Sunday morning and Saturday night.
This really shows how stupid the devil is. You would think of all that he had seen God do down through the centuries, that when Jesus said He would arise in three days that he could really stop that? Imagine his shock when his evil plans only brought about God's greatest plan: redemption. There could be no redemption had Christ not died and rose again, and do rise, He had to die, something Satan brought about. The very author of evil himself helped to bring about God's greatest work of all - how ironic for him!
I was reading that devout Catholics in the Phillipines are actually having themselves beaten, and some actually nailed to crosses to commemorate Christ's crucifixion. I sure am not going to do anything like that. I will simply sit back, listen to my Easter music, contemplate on the greatest event the world has ever known, and go to church tomorrow to rejoice in a risen Savior - something no other religion in the world can say. Their gods are all dead, but ours lives on forever.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The tale of the green nine

Hi. My name is Mark, and I am an addict. A Rook addict, that is. My friends, the Matlocks, have gotten me hooked on the game. For any non-Rook players, I guess it is similar to Euchre (sp?)

I really am not addicted, at least I don't think so, but I sure do love to play the game. Oddly enough, I never thought the game looked interesting. It is one of those games you have to play to learn and appreciate.

We got together tonight for food and Rook. Kristin and Cindy came up, and we had Papa Murphy's pizza, a pizza shop that makes the pizza on disposable trays, and you take home and bake yourself. Cindy brought a brownie plate and two kinds of ice cream, and I also made a pan of chocolate chip cookies (Tollhouse batter I put in a cake pan and baked). :-)

Sadly, things did not go well for the team of Kristin and Mark. I think I played decent, we just didn't get good cards. We lost 4 out of 5 games. The other team got so cocky, I was sure it would come back on them, but it seemed to spur them on - when I get smug about winning, I start to lose - how in the world does the opposite happen to them?!

Oh well, we had fun, and though the other team of Cindy and Steven need a bog dose of losing to take them down a peg, it was all in good fun, and I can't wait til next time. Sadly, we need 4 people to play, and we all 4 can't get together at the drop of a hat.

I bought a brand-new deck of Rook cards for the night - Steve's deck has one card that stands out, the green nine. It got wet, so you can pick it out of a card line-up. As luck would have it, someone, I won't mention any names, but he is a male, spilled coffee on his cards he was just dealt, and of course one of the brand-new cards that receoved a coffee baptisism, was the green nine. We switched out the damaged cards from my deck for the good cards fro, his deck, but the cause of the new deck being bought, the greeen nine, is now in my deck, and still stands out like a sore thumb. What are the odds?

Work still has me pretty depressed and upset. If I didn't have only a little over 4 months left, I think I would be looking elsewhere. I despise the crafts department that much. In my other department, I would usually get my freight that I ordered all checked in and put out by the end of truck day, unless the truck was late. With crafts, it is going on through Tuesday, and usually on through Wednesday, and that is with someone helping me for a few hours. Plus, doing the ordering process itself took me 3-3 1/2 hours in Home Accents, and in crafts it is taking me 6 1/2 - 7 hours. As soon as I get my order checked in, I have to turn around and start the next order. Added to the frustration, is the fact that I am called up to run the cash register several times in between, it is overwhelming me.

They hired someone new for the other department this week-end. The other lady they hired quit before she started - she said that they weren't paying her enough for all she would have to do. Welcome to my world!

I am not sure what to do. Sunday night before I went to bed, I took a Melatonen, a pill that isn't a sleeping pill, but is supposed to help you sleep, if that makes sense. I was dreading Monday so much that I was awake I think every hour of the night. Mondays are 12 hour days, so when I don't get much sleep, than work 12 hours plus, I am exhausted. I dread going to work more than ever, and even on the shorter days, find myself wore out.

Today, I had an episode with a customer at the register. She argued about something being on sale, then the total wasn't right. Anyway, I admit I didn't act friendly and courteous, but did apologize. She called in and complained about me. My boss was nice about it and said not to worry about it, but how am I supposed to be all cheery and happy while running the register, when I have tons of freight waiting me in the back of the store? I felt like quitting yesterday and today more than anyone can imagine, but I need money too bad. I have to try to save for moving, and don't have a fraction of what I am going to need for that. In addition, I hate to get a new job for just a few short months, if I could get one.

I hate to go negative 2 posts in a row, but I am really discouraged and depressed, and this change at work has made it a lot worse. And the knowledge is there that it will all start over again next Monday. Sigh.

On another note, we are getting more than our share of rain here in Southern Indiana. It has rained all day today, yesterday, and tomorrow looks pretty wet too. At least it isn't all snow. :-)

Well, I have rambled on and on, so I'd better close in case anyone is reading this, before they drop off to sleep! If you are reading this, say a prayer for me, especially regarding work. I could sure use it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Blog

This is a new blog for me. I usually blog on myspace, but am going to try to do both, and will most likely post the same blog on both places.
I got my blog name from a favorite song of mine, "I Don't Belong", originially titled, "Sojourner's song". The idea of the song, is that as Christians, we are just sojourners here - we aren't here to live forever, just to visit, and we don't belong. The more years go by, the more obvious that is becoming. I borrowed the term from the song to refer to myself as a sojourner here, for my true home is Heaven, and it is my ultimate goal to make it there. Song Lyrics here:

I DON'T BELONGwords by Gloria Gaither, music by Buddy Greene
It's not homeWhere men sell their souls
And the taste of power is sweet
Where wrong is rightAnd neighbors fight
While the hungry are dyin' in the streets
Where kids are abused And women are used
And the weak are crushed by the strong
Nations gone madJesus is sadAnd I don't belong

Chorus:I don't belongAnd I'm going someday
Home to my own native land
I don't belongAnd it seems like I hear
The sound of a "welcome home" band
I don't belongI'm a foreigner here
Singing a sojourner's song
I've always knownThis place ain't home
And I don't belong

Don't belongBut while I'm here
I'll be living like I've nothin' to lose
And while I breatheI'll just believe
My Lord is gonna see me through
I'll not be deceivedBy earth's make-believe
I'll close my ears to her siren song
By praisin' His name, I'm not ashamed
'Cause I don't belong

Repeat Chorus
I belong To a kingdom of peace
Where only love is the law
Where children lead And captives are freed
And God becomes a baby on the straw
Where dead men live
And rich men give
Their kingdoms to buy back a song
Where sinners like me
Become royalty
And we'll all belong

Yes I belong
And I'm going someday
Home to my own native land
Where I'll belong
And it seems like I hear
The sound of a "welcome home" band
Yes, I'll belong
No foreigner there
Singin' a sojourner's song
I've always known
I'm going home
Where I belong
Yes I've always known
This place ain't home
And I don't belong