Friday, August 31, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Music of our Soul


I used to take part in a meme called Music Monday.  I loved posting the music that God was singing into my soul.  I thought I would share the song that reminds of God's love for all this week.  I hope you enjoy.

After my last Music Monday post, my hubby and I discovered an awesome Dutch worship leader named Kees Kraayenoord. He is amazing. We have downloaded 3 of his CDs. One is completely in dutch, but since they are new renditions of old hymns we sing along with them in English. I feel the Holy Spirits' presence whenever we listen to his music and know that they are all God breathed.

This week I have chosen one of his most controversial songs. However, at the start of a new year it is a good reminder that God is the God of everything and everyone. In his image are we all created. That no one else's sins are greater than your own and that we are all equal in His eyes. This song is haunting and sings to my soul. I hope you all enjoy it and reflect upon its words as I do whenever I listen to it.

God of the moon and stars
God of the gay- and singles bars
God of the fragile hearts we are, I come to you
God of our history, god of the future that will be
What will you make of me, I come to you

God of the meek and mild,
God of the reckless and the wild
God of the unreconciled, I come to you
God of our life and death
God of our secrets unconfessed
God of our every breath, I come to you

God of the rich and poor
God of the princess and the whore
God of the ever open door, I come to you
God of the unborn child
God of the pure and undefiled
God of the pimp and pedophile, I come to you

God of the war and peace
God of the junkie and the priest
God of the greatest and the least, I come to you
God of the refugee
God of the prisoner and the free
God of our doubt and certainty, I come to you

God of our joy and grief
God of the lawyer and the thief
God of our faith and unbelief, I come to you
God of the wounds we bear
God of the deepest dreams we share
God of our unspoken prayer, I come to you

God of a world that´s lost
God of the lonely cross
God who has come to us, I come to you

 What music does God sing into your soul?  Come share it this week with the Java Junkies. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Reminders of God's Truth


I originally posted this in July of 2009, wow does time fly, but God's truth never does.  I was reading this I immediately was taken back to that time and place.  I was also reminded of some of God's truth and the one thing that God really doesn't like.   I hope you enjoy.

The pastor announced before the end of service that next week sermon would be on lying and that everyone should read Mark 17 to prepare for the sermon.

The next week the Pastor asked the parishioners who had read Mark 17. 3/4 of the parishioners raised their hands. The Pastor quickly stated "Then this sermon is for you!"
I'm sure you've all figure out that Mark 17 doesn't exist and are having a good laugh. But, how many of us have raised our hand, when we knew we shouldn't just so we didn't look silly.

This week, we've had a few discussions regarding lying in our home. Last week my daughter cut her and her brother's hair. When questioned, she didn't lie, she came right out and exclaimed "I cut Thomas and my hair!" I was furious but she told the truth so her consequences weren't that severe (she did lose her scissor privilege for the week). I praised her that evening for telling me the truth and not lying to me. My best friend's daughter was involved in a similar incident 4 years ago and it took her a year to tell the truth.

This weekend we took my daughter's best friend camping with us. I overheard many of their conversations (6 year olds think they have all the answers). At one point the friend told my daughter that little lies were OK. I talked to my daughter later about this and reiterated that lying is not OK. I told Nic that the one sin God doesn't like is lying. In fact he hates it soooooo much that a couple who lied, where struck dead! She was shocked. Have you heard the story:
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price."
Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. Acts 5:1-11 (NIV)

Wow. Just for lying about the amount of money he was giving God. God never asked Ananais for the money. Ananais was giving the money to God, but decided to lie about the amount. If he had just told the truth and said he was giving a portion and not all who knows what would have happened. How many of us have cheated on our taxes or said we tithe our full 10%, on our gross, but actually take it from our net. Same story.

How many times have we each told "little white lies?" I know I have. "Oh I'm sorry I was feeding the baby and couldn't reach the phone. " The phone had been on he nursing pillow and just didn't feel like answering the phone. How many times have we avoided the "truth" or not told the whole story?

Lies hurt. Not just the liar but who we are lying to. Growing up I was lied to consistently by people who should have known better: promises broken; truth surfacing through arguments; and misleading information to make others look better (just to name a few). Trust and respect is hard to get back once lost. How do you trust one who has lied to you throughout your life.

Have you thought about the ramifications of lying?

Luckily we have a God and Saviour who tells the truth. He never lies and is always forgiving if we confess our sins.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.  Come and share some your random memories this week.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Vacation, School & Summer


It's that time of year.  Yes, vacation time for the Slomp family.  We are going on vacation and therefore I will be away from the blog for a few weeks.  I'll lurk about.  Pop in from time to time.  You won't even notice the difference.  I'm not even going to leave you in a lurch if you are wondering what will happen to your favourite Friday meme (OK, maybe my favourite Friday meme).  I am going to post some of my favourite blogs from when I first started blogging.  They may not necessarily be my best posts, but they will be posts that have moved me.  

Now you may be thinking to yourself "Didn't she already go on a vacation?"  Yes I did with my husband in Phoenix and it was lovely.   This is the annual family vacation.  I'm not telling you what we are doing - yet.  We always take the children for two weeks somewhere.  We've taken them to Jasper, Vancouver Island, and Silverwood.  This year it's exciting and it's only in one more sleep.  

You may also be thinking - why aren't her kids in school yet?  Or oh she's waiting to start her homeschool year until September.  It's neither of those things.  We don't homeschool.  The idea stresses me out and school starts here the day after Labour Day.  I know many of you have already started school and for the past 4 years, school has started for us the last week of August.  For some reason, yet unexplained, the school year is starting in September.  When I grew up that was what happened.  You spent Labour Day weekend watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon and then got ready for the first day of school.  I don't know why people would want to start school in August and then end school the last week of June.  I know many of you are done in May, but here the last day is June 28.  Then we get two months off.  I always thought it unfair of the school board to short change us and make our kids start in August.  It just felt wrong.  Now I know we get two weeks off at Christmas and one week in February for "Teacher's Convention" and one week off during Easter.  However, add in all the PD days and I think you owe us some time off when we want it - in the summer! 

For those who know me, I bet you are a bit perplexed right now.  Michelle isn't an outdoor sunshine bathing beauty kind of girl and no I am not.  However, this summer we've done lots.  The two big kids went to camp together.  Nic got to go to horseback riding camp for a week.  They both attended the local library's reading program.  They just spent a week at VBS and had a fun time.   We've had friends come and visit from Saskatchewan.  We went and visited my in laws.  We went and saw some of our Province's attactions - Frank Slide and Dinosaur Provincial Park.  We had some lazy days, some rainy days, and some unbelievable hot days.  It's all been fun, exciting and busy and yes, we are still going on two weeks vacation.  

I hope your summer has treated you well and that you have had as busy summer as I have or that you have had a lazy relaxing summer.  Come and share you summer randomness with us this week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - My Phone


Today the worst catastrophe happened.  No it wasn't a tornado, hail storm, wild fire, or attack of wild animals.  It was worse than all of those.  My land line went down and I had no phone. GASP!!!  

I didn't know what to do.  I was planning on talking with the evil twin while I cleaned bathrooms.  How would the bathrooms get done?  What would I do?  I called my husband immediately and told him.  He was as aghast and horrified as I was.  (This is very sarcastic, as he was not).  I called our phone company and there were no problems in the area and no reason for the phone to be out.  NOOOOOOOOOO!  It was something else beyond my control and the soonest they could have someone come in would be Friday after lunch (if I was lucky).  I tentatively scheduled the service call and called my husband.  He said he would look into when he got home.  That was 5 hours of waiting.........

I called the evil twin on my cell, but it wasn't the same.  I have a Blackberry Torch.  I love my Blackberry.  I love my QWERTY keyboard, thank you very much iPhone lovers.  But you can't cradle your cell phone on your chin and shoulder the way you can a cordless phone.  It fits perfectly.  It becomes part of you (until you get a stiff neck).   My kids even know that the phone is part of me.  When they are little they run around with little fake phones cradled in their necks and gibber on the phone.  There is a part of me that gets very proud at that moment, until the reality sets in and realize I probably spend too much time on the phone.  

Any way.......I managed to survive the afternoon with no phone.  It is a miracle to be sure.  God gave me the strength to persevere through this time.  I also got a lot more accomplished than I ordinarily do - 4 loads of laundry, kitchen cleaned, bathroom cleaned, administrative stuff done, etc...  There were a few things I wanted to do that didn't get done, but they were out of my hands.  

When my hubby came home, he immediately began to set right the wrong.  He immediately realized the problem  (the wiring at the junction was shorted).  He went to the hardware store and found the parts he needed and within a short time (I was very patient, another gift) we had a dial tone.  I was excited.  It was like being given fresh air for the first time (Ok, an exaggeration, but it was exhilarating). 

Now I am sure that many of you are wondering why I was so upset over the phone and so excited about it being back in commission.  If you have been following the blog for a while or/and know me, you will know that my phone is my little "g" god.  If you haven't, you probably think I'm crazy and wonder why you are following me and why you are even reading this blog.  For those not in the know, my phone is a part of me.  It is my little idol that I worship on a daily basis and keep in contact with my friends (aka my little "g" gods).  I did a post regarding my relationship with the phone and friends a year ago.  

We all have idols in our lives.  Those things we lean on for alleged support, growth, rest, peace, etc...  However, there is one thing that can truly give us those things - JESUS.  He alone can support us.  

Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. Job 4:4 NIV84

He alone can give us rest and peace.  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   Matthew 11:28 NIV84

He gives us wisdom to grow and strengthen our relationship with him.

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 NIV84

God requires our attention and obedience.  The first commandment is "You shall have no other gods before me."  (Deuteronomy 5:6-8).  When we cease to focus on God, we become distracted and we drift away.  We become focused and obsessed with things that are not of Him, but are of the world.  We learn to trust others and not Him.  We strive to please others and not please Him.  

As you can tell I have been struggling with this issue for a while.  I am consistently working on my relationship with God.  I also try to go to Him first.  It's a process and I'm growing.  Luckily for me and you there is grace.  He is a forgiving God.  He loves us just for us.  He wants us and will seek us.  He will find us and bring us back.  I love this.  When I am too hard on myself about the time I spend on the phone with friends and family, I am reminded of this.  I thank God for His love and grace.  It is easy to live in self condemnation.  It is easy to live in self loathing and pity.  It's where Satan wants us.  God wants more for us, we just need to be willing to accept it.  

Now if only there was a way to put him on speed dial.  ;)

Do you struggle with a little "g" god?  Have you accepted God's grace or do you live in self condemnation?  

Come link in with the other Java Junkies and share your randomness this week.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Just the Way I am


Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV84)
If you are part of a Good Morning Girls group you will recognize this verse.  It was one of the verses to SOAP this week.   At first glance I realized that I had already done SOAP on this verse about a month ago and wasn't going to redo it.  However, God wanted to tell me something new this week.

Lately, I have been feeling rather large.  That's right large.  The weight I lost earlier this year has somehow returned with extra.  As a result I've felt ugly, depressed, ....ok I'll say it, disgusting.  Why?  Because everyday I'm inundated with images of what beauty should be.

Our world places extreme emphasis on beauty.  It is a multibillion dollar industry focused on clothes, make up, hair, diets, training, etc....  We look at ourselves and compare ourselves with women who are photo shopped to look even more perfect than what we think they are.  We starve ourselves; run ourselves ragged; and cut ourselves in the chase of an extreme that is unattainable.  In fact even if we attain it, its still not enough.  People continue to starve themselves to keep thin and to get thinner.  People keep seeing plastic surgeons after having something small done until what they look like is nothing like what they started with.  Satan has us where he wants us.  We've bought into the lie that perfection is within our grasp if we only work for it or buy it.

God tells us a different truth.  We are already beautiful.  He created us the way we were supposed to be made.  We are each "fearfully and wonderfully made."  God didn't make us to look like each other.  He loves variety.  He loves colour.  He loves shapes.  He loves youth and age.  He created us and He doesn't make mistakes.

What I've been focusing on is what everyone else focuses on - our outsides.  But God doesn't really worry about that unless it's affecting our health.  What God worries about is our insides.  The Message calls us to "cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God loves."  God wants us to be kind and full of grace.  He wants us to help those who need help.  To be forgiving as He is.  To love and help our neighbours no matter what.  To be a reflection of Him here on earth.

We need to "cultivate" this by 1st working on our relationship with Him with as much energy and enthusiasm as we give the latest diet or exercise trend.  We need to be in the word daily learning more about Him.  We need to be in prayer, strengthening our relationship as much as we do with our friends.  We need to be in tuned with the Spirit who will direct us the way we should go.

I know in my mind the way God sees me.  I just need to get my heart on line with this.  God sees and loves me for me.  Just like Darcy in "Bridgette Jone's Diary".  He "loves me just the way I am."  Not skinner, prettier, funnier, or smarter.  Me.  Just the way I am.  He only wants me to be closer to Him.  Why wouldn't I want to when He thinks I am a perfect 10.

Come share your randomness just the way you are.

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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Mini Me





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