Yo! Adrienne!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

He Restoreth My Soul...

Praise God!

I went down to the IRS the other day to clear up this whole levy of my account thing. Everyone in there was so danged nice and happy! I was more expecting the DMV x10, at least. It makes me wonder why I took so long to clear up my back-oweds. They were smiling and laughing and just having a great time working at the IRS office. Go figure.

Anyway, when all was taken care of and payment arrangements were agreed on, the Agent at the window (an awesome lady by the name of Dora Lee) handed me a Release of Levy to take into my bank. There were two boxes for her to choose from - one releasing all property to me and one releasing any new property to me. She checked the release of all property box.

Now, the bank guy and the IRS guy I had talked to last Friday over the telephone both said the $800 that had been seized would go to the Treasury in 21 days - write it off, you're not getting it back. But, looking at the wording of that Release form, I just had to ask again. And, God Bless it if she didn't tell me that as long as I turned the form in to my bank within the 21 day period, the bank was authorized to release the funds back into my account! Please Pass Go and Collect the $800!

God is amazing. I had been praying and working under the assumption that He would carry us through the loss of the money. That is as far as my faith went. I had no idea He would see to restore the funds. Faith the size of a mustard seed, I guess.

My husband and I received $200 in rent from my brother who is living with us and I made sure to tithe 10% of it this past Sunday. My husband and I prayed for a God-centered focus to get through this, for strength and peace. That prayer was answered with a peace that definitely surpassed my understanding. In the face of having absolutely no reason to be able to hold my head up, let alone feel calm, - no earthly reason, anyway - I did.

So, anyway, God Bless, and have a Merry, Merry Christmas! [I know I will.]

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Lord Giveth... and He'll Taketh Away

Alrighty. It's been a little while since I've logged in here to update. I guess I could chalk it up to slow news days. That, and not knowing what form I really wanted this blog to take. News stuff, me stuff, ... I didn't know. But, for the time being, I think I've found the direction this blogging thing is going to take me in.

As I told you in my first post, I am a born-again Christian. I attend church every Sunday. I help out in the nursery during the first service every other week. I'm not so good about reading my Bible daily, but I am trying to make the habit of praying daily. I listen to the local Christian radio station at my desk. A work in progress, you could say.

I find myself reflecting on God's purposes alot during my day. Watching the news, thinking about my life... whatever it is, I'm looking for meanings on a higher plane and how these things relate to God and His Objectives. I'm reading more about God and His Will and Motives. I'm seeming to find more and more people on talk radio discussing matters of faith. It's a hunger that, as you feed it, it gets stronger - more constant.

So, imagine my surprise last Friday (12/17/04) when I learned the IRS had seized my bank account and the last $800 or so that it contained. I was devastated. All of the scrambling I had been doing to keep my family's head above water was for naught. We were dead. Two checks in the amount of $300 each were going to bounce. My car insurance automated payment would bounce. My automated student loan payment was going to bounce. No Christmas presents. ... Every single last breath of air had been sucked out of my proverbial sails.

Imagine my further surprise when it occured to me what God was trying to get me to see in that moment. Those things that I chase (that are not Him), He takes away. Where I don't trust Him to provide for me, He gives me no choice but to develop that faith. And, in a hurry.

It's a pattern I can see developing in my life. Last year, about this same time, I almost lost my husband. Not to some fancy illness or magnificent car accident. I almost lost him to another woman. In the face of what was going on, I had to recognize that I had been chasing my husband under my own power - trying to save my marriage in my own strength. I was ignoring my relationship with the Father and not relying on His promise that "all these things shall be added unto" me if I seek Him first.

So, I got down on my knees and prayed. Every day. Many times throughout the day. I made God my focus and trusted in His promises of restoration. I didn't know what else to do, because I thought for sure I would die and I knew that I couldn't bring Andy home on my own. I'm sure that if God had chosen to not save my marriage that I would have been fine. He would have seen me through it. I thank God, however, that He did see to restore my relationship with my husband and to use that experience to bring my husband back into a relationship with Himself.

Since I've seen what God can do when you seek Him in my own personal life, it's funny to me that I have such a hard time trusting Him with other areas of my life, namely money.

Does it make any sense to trust God with something as important as our salvation, yet not trust Him with the more mundane areas of our lives? I mean, this is the Guy who created the heavens and the earth. The Guy who sent His Son to be born of a VIRGIN. The Guy who raised His Son from the dead. Do we really believe that He can't handle our personal relationships, finances, and whatever else earthly issue we encounter? God's big enough to handle life and death and salvation, but not big enough to handle our day-to-day lives? Silliness, I know. But, it's a trap we have a funny habit of falling into.

This next year is going to be a big journey of faith for me. I'm giving up. I'm getting my butt out of the driver's seat and praying I don't take the wheel again. (Because we all know God will get out of the driver's seat the minute we ask - that whole free-will thing.) This is a lesson I don't want to have to learn again. So, here we go...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Of Cows and Euthanasia

Okay, folks. I've wanted to say something about the Netherlands' newly announced Groningen Protocol concerning the euthanasia of children 12 and under for the past couple of days. I've been reading up, thinking, weighing... all the intellectual stuff we're supposed to. And, today, I wake up to my morning radio show doing a story that's getting a lot of airplay today - the new PETA video taken at a kosher slaughter house in Postville, Iowa.

"Oh, the cows! Look at them suffer! How could anyone be so cruel?!"

Don't get me wrong, people. I love cows. Not quite as much as I love horses; but I really do like cows. [I'm always reminded here of Col. Potter on M*A*S*H mourning his horse (who, IIRC, has become dinner for the villagers surrounding the camp?) talking about cows being stupid, ugly animals that deserve to be eaten, but that horses are beautiful and intelligent and should never be considered food.]

Anyway, I like cows. Along with being tasty, they're cute. But I would think that we, as a society, would be much more up in arms over the hideous practice of euthanizing terminally ill and severely handicapped children in a supposedly civilized country.

So, while cows are writhing on the floor somewhere in Iowa because the shohet (ritual slaughterer) doesn't know what he's doing, little kids - infants within days of birth (and possibly as old as 12, as permitted by the Protocol) are doing the same thing in their hospital beds because their shohets think they know what they are doing.

These doctors think they are administering kindness; concern and tenderness. BUT, [and I did not think this up myself; I am about to butcher Mark D. Roberts' comments from the Hugh Hewitt show the other night.] kindness practiced apart from its Source and Moral Compass (Jesus Christ) falls flat and leads to horrific results.

Once people started saying that something had to be done to ease the suffering of those in extreme, not seen too many times during the year, cases - then they naturally started asking about the suffering of those who don't meet the threshold initially set. Steadily, more and more cases are given an exception and pretty soon, there is no threshold to be met.

Especially when you take the wishes of the Patient and the Patient's family out of the picture. They can consider your wishes and those of your family, but they don't necessarily carry any weight in the professional decision making. Doctors in the Netherlands believe it is too emotional of a time, and people often don't know what's best for them, so - they get to be the final decision makers in who lives and who dies. Patients who have expressed their will to live have been killed by their doctors. Their doctors have not been charged with any crime - because their heart was in the right place when they did it. Parents have been taken to court by hospitals who want to stop life saving procedures - and lost! Their children have been allowed to die because it is "more humane" than allowing them to live.

When we start asking, "What kind of life is that?" we are ignoring that there is an Author of Life. God determines the life we'll be given and we then decide (if we can) what to do with it. It is wrong for us to think that we are the arbiters of what constitutes a valuable life and what does not.

It is equally wrong for us to mourn the painful death of cows and ignore the ritualistic deaths of the unborn - and now the "shouldn't have been born."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yo! Adrienne!

This is Adi, signing on.

30 year old, Californian wife and mother. And, don't be fooled by the 'Californian' identifier folks, ya got yerself a Christian Conservative here. I am also a News & Politics Junkie. I love it, live it, breathe it, wanna talk about it. Sadly, my husband has an aversion to everything News and Politics related [except for me] - so, needless to say, my conversation partners are limited. More often than not, I am reduced to spending my evenings on a heavy news day in the bedroom with Talk Radio and its callers for company.

Don't quite know how this whole blog thing is going to take shape, but I'm ready to run with it and see. I've been participating in Message Board forums, but too often I find that what I want to see posted is not the Subject of the Day - and I often hesitate to bring it up because it just doesn't feel like the appropriate venue - or, if I do bring it up, it slowly but surely drifts to the bottom of the Threads List and dies the death that awaits all neglected threads.

So, climb on board, feel free to comment, and let's just see where this thing takes us.

- Adi.