30 minutes ago

30 minutes ago
I should have heard the familiar squeak of the swing
Even though I’ve told him a hundred times
To come inside and put away his backpack first

26 minutes ago
I wondered if the bus was running late
So I phoned a neighbor whose driveway
Is where his bus stops every day at 3:00

20 minutes ago
My husband drove through the neighborhood
Looking for the bus
Which was running late

18 minutes ago
The bus that was running late
Came to a stop at my neighbor’s driveway
But it was short one passenger

15 minutes ago
My husband was driving to the school
While I was on the phone with them
Asking if they’d seen him

10 minutes ago
I’m still on hold
While the woman on the phone
Does an “All Call” announcement
As I pray that he’ll answer

8 minutes ago
I’m wondering if the last words I told him
Were “I love you and I’ll see you soon”
And I’m praying that he’s safe

5 minutes ago
The woman comes back on the phone
And tells me he’s at the school
And he’s telling his dad
That he told me he had band practice today

1 minute ago
I broke down in tears
Because I realized
How much I take for granted
And I took my first real breath
In 30 minutes

(This post was inspired by true events of Thursday afternoon.)

The obligatory Rob Bell post

I’m pretty opinionated here. Which is why I’m always a little surprised I don’t get negative comments. I mean almost never. In fact, the only truly angry comment I’ve ever received was for this post way back in May of 2008:

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Is it just me, or does watching a Rob Bell video remind anyone else of “The Chris Farley Show” of SNL fame? Here’s what I mean:

Do you remember the story,

when Jesus walks up to those dudes,

and says,

“Follow me,

and I will make you fishers of men?”

and then,

the dudes, like

drop their nets,

and follow Him?…

That was awesome!

Now before anyone shoots me a comment about how Rob Bell is just the coolest, most relevant dude of the 21st century, and shame on me for making fun of him, I’m not dissing the message, just the delivery. I only say this because I once shared this observation with a youth pastor friend of mine and he looked at me like I had just said, “Jesus sucks!” And let’s be honest…he does kinda talk like that! Thoughts?

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Even though I made a disclaimer that I was not dissing Rob Bell’s message, I still got the following comment from your friend and mine, Anonymous:

How can you crack a joke on Rob’s excellent video series if you’ve never even met him or even watched any of them? Maybe you were just having a little fun, but it defies all logic and makes you look like a ignorant babbling fool! I need to get back to my Nooma videos, you know, something that will actually add value in my life!

The ironic thing is, I expected a comment like that. Because some fans of Rob Bell are so completely, rabidly devoted to him that they go around looking to defend him from any and all detractors. At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who believe Rob Bell is the anti-Christ and a heretic leading countless followers to the fiery pits of hell.

And speaking of hell… (Excellent segue, katdish)

Rob Bell has a book coming out on March 29 entitled Love Wins which is causing quite a firestorm. Here’s a video trailer for said book:

“Millions and millions of people were taught that the primary message, the center of the gospel of Jesus is that God is going to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus. So what gets subtly taught sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God. But what kind of God is that? That we would be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good? How can that God ever be trusted? And how could that ever be good news?” – Rob Bell

Predictably, many in the Christian community were quick to challenge Bell’s (presumed) declaration that a loving God would not send people to hell. Justin Taylor penned a blog post entitled Rob Bell: Universalist?, which John Piper tweeted prefaced by the words: “Farewell, Rob Bell”. It pretty much snowballed on twitter and Christian blogs after that point.

I’m not going to defend either side of the argument here. Do I believe there’s an actual, physical hell? Yes, I do. Do I think the entirety of Rob Bell’s teachings should be dismissed because I happen to disagree with him about certain interpretations of scripture? No, I don’t believe that either. Because this is what I know to be true:

Rob Bell is not

Justin Taylor is not

John Piper is not

Francis Chan, Erwin McManus, Pete Wilson, Vince Antonucci, Alan Hirsch, Matt Chandler, Matt Smay, Neil Cole,Tim Keller, Mark Batterson, Brennan Manning, Donald Miller, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Lee Strobel, Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes, John Calvin, Oswald Chambers, Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis…

are NOT

Jesus Christ

And their books and writings may inspire you or enrage you. They may cause you to question your faith or confirm what you’ve always believed to be the Truth, but they

are NOT

The Word of God

The Bible is.

And you have the same access to it as anyone else.

Equip yourselves to defend

The Gospel of Christ

First

“The only thing worse than the joke you don’t get is the explanation that is bound to follow: an explanation that, while it may help you see why you should have seen the humor that you so lamely missed, is little likely to make you laugh. It may provoke you to muster a sympathy snicker so as to avoid more of an already tedious and misdirected lecture. It may inspire a mild giggle of recognition, but it will hardly ever raise a real belly-laugh, which was the original desired effect. And so, here I go — me and a dozen thousand other people — trying to explain a joke that we would do better to learn to better tell. I am setting out to explain again why Jesus is the only true hope for the world, why we should put faith in Him, and what all of that won’t mean. I am collecting the information, selecting from what I hope will be usable as evidence, arranging my findings into arguments, framing it for presentation and recognizing that, while it may be fine as far as it goes, it doesn’t go far enough…

So, here I offer what is possibly the worst thing that can be offered: an explanation of a joke. And, what makes this more inexcusable than the fact that this is that, is the added fact that this is an explanation of a joke you’ve already gotten. I offer it anyway. I offer it in the hope that it might somehow encourage you to live out your lives and, by your living, tell the joke that I, in my writing, so feebly attempt to explain.

Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.”
~ Rich Mullins

Editor’s Note: In case anyone’s interested, I thought I would let you know that I belong to an independent, non-denominational Christian Church. If you’d like to know what we believe, you can find out at our website. I figured if this turned into a theology debate, you may as well know where I’m coming from. Not that I necessarily want this to turn into a theology debate, mind you. Just didn’t want y’all assuming I was a Baptist. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

And the winners are…

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Last night millions tuned in to watch the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, where many well deserving people received awards for a bunch of movies I haven’t seen. Okay, that’s not entirely true–I’ve seen Inception, Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland. And while I haven’t seen The King’s Speech, I loved Colin Firth in Nanny McPhee and Love Actually.

I must confess I didn’t watch the awards.

I figure if I want to see a bunch of overdressed people with copious amounts of plastic surgery and eating disorders, all I have to do in drive into Houston and go to the Galleria.

But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about winning some REALLY valuable stuff, not just some gold, naked bald guy. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

I wonder how many of you actually read any of that stuff and how many just scrolled down to see who the winners are? I see how you are…

Okay, enough already!

The following winners were chosen by random.org. Each comment, tweet, and Facebook status update associated with this contest was assigned a number. These numbers were selected in descending order based on the time and date of the entry. Make sense? Alrighty then.

The 3rd prize of One year of free blog hosting + a standard license for Standard Theme goes to:

Karin Fendick (aka His Firefly), writer of Flickers of a Faithful Firefly.


The 2nd place prize of One year of free blog hosting, a domain name (.com or .net) and a standard licence for Standard Theme goes to:

Ryan Tate (They call him Tater Salad–okay, not really. I stole that line from Ron White), writer of Doorframes of Taterhouse.


And the Grand Prize winner of One year of free blog hosting, a domain name (.com or .net), a standard licence for Standard Theme plus site design by the lovely and talented Peter Pollock of New Blog Hosting and yours truly is….

The writer of the plainest little ol’ blog you ever did see, but one of my favorite writers in the blogosphere…

Kirsten Nilsen of Nilsen Life


Congratulations to Karin, Ryan and Kirsten and many thanks for the overwhelming response to this giveaway. A very special thanks to John Saddington for his generous contribution of three of his amazing Standard Theme themes and to New Blog Hosting for everything else.

Spam by any other name

image courtesy of photobucket.com

I probably get an average of about 150 spam comments per day. Some days more, some less. Fortunately, the spam filter catches them all, but I thought it was sort of a shame that these hard working spam bots never get their chance at publication here on my blog.

Why, some of them are downright poetic:

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Superior Knowledges by Independent Geneva Escorts

Are grateful for present superior knowledges
Your website is definitely fine
I am stunned at the data you which you have
Within this blogging site
That proves exactly how you have this target

Saved as a favorite, these pages
Will come back for further
We, my buddy
Are a blast!

I discovered, merely, the material
I undoubtedly checked pretty much everywhere
And just couldn’t search for it

College thinks
Fantastic web-site!

image courtesy of photobucket.com

праститутки модели by HEWTEEDIADIAF

астраханские проститутки фото
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image courtesy of photobucket.com

Download movies torrent (A haiku by River Darkness)

To watch a movie
Download movies torrent films
Download the movie

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Thanks for Lunch by Tory Burch Handbags

Excellent read
Just passed it on to a colleague
He actually bought me lunch
Because I found it for him (Smile)
So let me rephrase that
Thanks for lunch!

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Guide to dating women by Aletlepen

He also praised supporting cast
Guide to dating women
A secretary is an administrative assistant
Dating fender amplifier
Business office administration
Lemon tonic dating service

And in pacing a song,
Beautiful dating people site
Dylan pauses at certain points, so as to
Lemon tonic dating service
Make two syllables occupy time and space
Guide to dating women
That in the basic scheme of things will be
Native American dating sites
Expected to be occupied by four syllables
Guide to dating women

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Stay on Topic by Spectral DC

Can we get back on topic please?
Everything seems to have gotten off the subject.
Some of these comments are unbelievable.

(Okay, that one could actually be a real comment.)

So how about you? Have any interesting spam comments lately?

Winners of the #NoMoreBlogger giveaway will be announced tomorrow!

The highly anticipated (or not) Twitter update

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Yes, lovely people…

I know it’s been awhile since I posted one of these updates, but I honestly didn’t think I had that many tweets over the past few weeks. That is, until I cut and pasted them all from my profile page into my blog. As usual, I was delusional. I had tweets a-plenty. Hopefully, I whittled them down to a manageable amount here. And I have twitpics!

The best of me (or not) on the Twitter:

katdish.net: from the sublime to the ridiculous (Okay, maybe not so much sublime…)

@fireboy49 I think you can relate almost any life experience to an episode of Seinfeld. (in reply to @fireboy49 @katdish Ah, a fellow Seinfelder.)

@fireboy49 Not that there’s anything wrong with that… (in reply to @fireboy49 @katdish Wow, I have socks just like that! Well, not just like that. I don’t bejewel my socks.)

Just noticed I walked the dog in these flops. I have another pair just like them.

RT @muchl8r What is that wretched smell? Did I step in something? No. That’s what winter smells like….

My son is home sick today. He just called me from his room and asked me to bring him breakfast. Y’all should probably pray for him…

@CassFrear @peterpollock knows he can never really be in trouble w/me because he’s pretty much indispensable.

@dlrayburn Well, hold off on the corner crying. You may do that after I tell you what I think…(in reply to @dlrayburn @katdish If ya got a sec, I would love your input on the color changes. 🙂 RLCBlog.com //If not, I will crawl into a corner and cry.

Getting a pedicure after months w/o one. I think the lady went to the back to find a power sander.

But seriously…there are some TWSS moments that one cannot pass up.

If y’all think I’m inappropriate on twitter, you should see some of my DMs.

My local Kroger has completely rearranged itself. NO ONE consulted me! First PCB, now this…

9YO was watching “Medical mysteries” on TV. She said, “The doctors found a growth in his urinal area”. Snort!

HELLP MEEE!!!

Watching the national news….”I see dumb people…”

Off the grid for awhile. I’ve been given reading orders by @billycoffey, who’s not the boss of me, but I can’t wait to dive into his words.

RT @muchl8r: I still think winter is the stupidest season. My attempt to like it over the past several months has been a sham.

Microwave: 1 Internet Connection: 0

Where is @redclaydiaries? She’s neglecting the virtual world.

@CandySteele Of course I’m mocking you. It’s what I do.

@billycoffey What do you mean survived? I’m delightful. (in reply to @billycoffey @JeanneDamoff Hey Jeanne! Saw that you survived your @katdish encounter.)

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway

RT @fishythoughts How do we not have lightsabers yet? Its like scientists aren’t even trying.

Yawn!!!!

Good Morning!

Because everything’s better with more cow bell.

got an email about praise band practice this week. We have a new member sitting in that plays blues guitar. I asked if I could play cow bell

Someone at the car wash has take out food that smells like B.O. At least I hope it’s the food. Dang.

@kelybreez Oh, like I have to fish for compliments. There are perks to being an internet tornado. (in reply to @kelybreez @katdish Pshaw.)

@kelybreez Am not. I happen to think Twitter DOES look fabulous this morning. (in reply to @kelybreez @katdish You’re just fishing for compliments.)

Good morning, Twitter! You’re looking fabulous this morning.

140 character limit holiday tip: The appropriate abbreviation for Valentine’s Day is V-Day. Not “VD”.

I would be offended if it weren’t for the fact that I suck at math. Even 4th grade math.

My daughter (in the 4th grade) has refused my help w/her math homework. Instead she is waiting for her dad to get off the phone to help her.

Because I’m thinking real angels don’t have curly locks and chubby cheeks. If that were the case, why do they always say, “Do not be afraid”

I need to write a post about how bitterly disappointed people w/cherub angel collections are gonna be when they get to heaven.

But in my defense, I got one of those “pass this email on if you love Jesus” emails. I think I’m entitled to rant.

All of my posts are a little ranty lately. I didn’t intend for the one I just wrote to be, just sort of happened.

Pretty excited that Lady Gaga left a spam comment on my blog, and she “harmonizes with my conclusions”. Wicked.

I call this "Dead dog in dead grass" Note: dog isn't really dead, but the grass is.

I will be posting my anti-Valentine’s Day post at midnight. Yes, I’m unromantic and jaded by commercialism.

Nothing I enjoy more than coming home after spending 3 hours in Houston traffic to have my son ask me to take him to the mall.

Who's got the coolest church trailer ever?

Carne asada & cheese enchiladas

Mmmmm....

Taking hubs to get LASIK this afternoon, but first, Mexican Food FTW. @kelybreez

The Donald for president? I just don’t know if I can get behind a guy with a bad combover.

I’m not sure how I feel about The Donald running for president.

@PeterPollock I read it once. Before I threw it with great force against the wall. (in reply to @PeterPollock @katdish Oh yes. You read it to your kids every night… right?)

Who likes the book The Giving Tree? I’m thinking about reposting my version of it.

RT @andylevy This is the worst resignation speech ever. #mubarak

Man, I thought I was stubborn. #mubarak

Uh, oh. This isn’t sounding like a resignation speech so far. #Mubarak

Reuters is reporting that Mubarak will NOT step down. If that’s the case, this will not end well.

@noveldoctor She’s pasted into the wall with her own paper. The design is of life-sized human bodies. She’s never found.

@noveldoctor I’m writing a novel about a wallpaper designer. She dies at the end, because I hate wallpaper.

RT @noveldoctor If your protagonist doesn’t struggle, you’re not writing a novel, you’re designing wallpaper.

Unconfirmed reports say Mubarek will step down via Fox News

“A good writer is basically a story teller. Not a scholar or redeemer of mankind.” ~ Isaac Singer

DH: I’m going to dinner next Wed. I’ll be back Thurs. Me: That’s a long dinner! DH: DENVER! Not dinner. Me: Oh, okay.

A winter haiku: Winter winds they howl/Garbage cans dance in the street/Sure glad they’re not mine.

Favorite pasta salad ever

Or maybe I’m just devastatingly lazy. Yes. Definitely one of those.

Life's too short to chop your own produce

And now, I must go face my arch nemesis: the grocery store.

Dr Pepper plant burning in Grand Prairie, TX. Observing a moment of silence for @marni71

@CandySteele Birds that grow fur? I think those are bats. (in reply to CandySteele @billycoffey We have birds that grow fur. Seriously, that’s what it looks like.)

My secret shame

image courtesy of photobucket. com

If the Hokey Pokey really was what it was all about, I would be in serious trouble…

I may have mentioned this in passing before, but today I make an all out confession:

I suffer from Left-Right Confusion,

Which in layman’s terms means I often can’t tell my left from my right without pretending to eat.

image courtesy of photobucket.com

It’s more embarrassing than anything else. I’ve called people moments after giving them directions to my house and asked them to repeat them to make sure I didn’t say turn left when they should turn right.

Joey, I feel your pain...

I don’t know if the two are related, but I also have a horrible sense of direction.

I’ve mostly come to terms to my condition and have given up my dreams of ever becoming an air traffic controller. But sometimes situations arise which remind me just how different I am. And not necessarily in a good way.

Such was the case Wednesday night.

I have this amazing book called The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher. I’m sort of at a loss for words as to how to describe it, so I’ll let Amazon do it for me: “Alan Fletcher’s The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutely extraordinary and inexhaustible “guide to visual awareness,” a virtually indescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images, and bizarre facts that offers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life.” It is the big book of awesome, and I mean that literally: it weighs 5 pounds.

Anyhoo, I was looking through the book last night (there’s no beginning or end–you could start anywhere), when I came across an exercise which tests whether you were left or right eyed dominant.

Before I continue, I need to give you a little back story. When I was a young tot first picking up a crayon, my natural inclination was to lead with my left hand. My older sisters, apparently fearing being left-handed would make me more of a freak than I already was, forced me to write with my right hand. I’m convinced I should have been left-handed. I credit them for me being amberdextrous ambidexterous able to do things with both hands. I also blame them for my left-right confusion and the delayed discovery of my creativity. (It’s okay–they don’t read my blog. Feel free to heap burning coals upon their heads.)

Now, about the test. It started with a picture:

If you're right-eyed dominant, you probably see the above figure as a rabbit. If you're left-eyed dominant, you probably see a bird.

I was really hoping to discover that I was left-eyed dominant, which would confirm that I am truly left-handed and right-brained. This is my logic. Just nod and follow along, please. Well that was not at all helpful. I see both, and not really one more than the other.

But wait…there was more! Here’s the other test:

Stretch out an arm, either will do, and point with a finger to a distant corner of the room–keep both eyes open.

Staying in this position, close one eye, then the other. In one case your eye will match whatever you’re pointing at in the corner, in the other your finger will be pointing way off the mark.

If you’re on target, that’s your leading eye.

I took the test.

When I closed my right eye, my left eye stayed on target.

Yes!

I really am left-eyed dominant.

Redemption.

Until…

“Um…what are you doing?”, asks my husband.

“I took a test to see if I’m left or right-eyed dominant. I’m left-eyed dominant, by the way.”

I proceed to read him the instructions I followed to the letter. Then I repeated the test again.

“Which eye stays on target?”

“MY LEFT EYE! See?” (repeats test)

“Kat?”

“What?”

“That’s your right eye.”

DRATS!!!

What about you? Have any secret shames you hide from the world?

This is a safe place.

Talk to me, freaks!

The bucket (of rocks) list (repost)

This post was originally published here on April 9, 2009.

image courtesy of photobucket.com

The following was written by my friend and pastor, Jeff Hogan. He shared this story with us yesterday morning.

The sun was shining, and I was surprised at how warm I was getting. It was not particularly hot, but my load was heavy and awkward. About halfway up the hill, we paused for a moment on the gravel road and I turned to take in the view behind me.

Looking out past miles of pasture and grassland, my eyes met the horizon and fixed on the mountains that stretched out as far as I could see in either direction. Turning back to our burdens, we started again up the hill.

When we had gone as far as the road could take us, we negotiated a small culvert and continued on across country. The buckets made it difficult to traverse the steep incline of the hill, but by now the destination was only a few minutes away. As we neared the top of the bluff, I thought about the objects I was transporting.

I had only chosen a few rocks, but they were significant. Most of them were pretty close in size and weight, but had specific physical characteristics. For example, one was really rough and abrasive- like sandpaper. Another was quite attractive on one side, and black on the other. Every new rock caused me to consider the instructions that were given concerning their selection: “Each should represent a deep hurt someone has inflicted on you; a wound that you continue to carry.”

Every new rock made the lesson sink in more deeply.

My final selection was unique. It was a wound that I had carried around for a very long time. No, it was actually several wounds that were all joined together with the common thread of one relationship. I knew it as soon as I saw it. Large, angular and sharp, this rock was as awkward and unattractive as the hurt that it represented.

“That thing doesn’t even fit right in your bucket,” Tamara said. “Are you sure you want to carry it all the way up the hill?”

She was right. This one rock was as heavy as all the others combined. And since the diameter of my 5 gallon bucket wouldn’t accept all of the lopsided mass, adding it made the whole load awkward and top-heavy. But that was precisely the point. I didn’t want to carry its weight, but I already was.

It was perfect.

We arrived at the top of the bluff, set our buckets down, and peered over the edge of the cliff. The path we followed on our ascent had circled around so that we could see the mountains again. We could also see where we had begun. Ironically, although we now stood 40-50 feet above it, we really weren’t too far away from our starting point. Had we not been carrying the stones, we could easily have made the same journey in less than half the time.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV).”

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:24-26 NIV).”

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12 NIV).”

We just stood silently for a few minutes, looking at the mountains and enjoying the cool October breeze.

Then one by one, we took turns throwing our rocks off the cliff.

With each toss, we expressed to God that we had forgiven the one who hurt us so deeply, and surrendered the burden of the wound to Him.

When I got to my last rock- the big one- I stopped and prayed, “Lord, I’ve carried this burden around for so long that it feels like a part me. But I don’t want it, and I never did. I am surrendering everything about the situation to You, including the person.

After hurling it over the side, I watched as my rock landed on an even larger one at the bottom of the cliff and was broken.

When we can’t forgive, we load ourselves down with burdens that can be much heavier than a bucket full of big rocks. If you’re carrying a weight like this around, take it to the cross and let it go.

Life is better with an empty bucket.

Forgive.

In Him We Live,

Jeff

image courtesy of photobucket.com

One Word Wednesday: Swagger

Okay, y’all. Just for fun…

TV Characters with Swagger (in no particular order):

Jack Bauer (photobucket.com)

Sawyer (photobucket.com)

Seely Booth (photobucket.com)

Raylan Givens (photobucket.com)

Peter Bishop (photobucket.com)

Shawn and Gus (photobucket.com)

Michael Weston (photobucket.com)

I can’t define it. I just know when I see it.

Who’d I miss?

Sacrifice or something else?

Before I begin this post, I feel the need the qualify something. I do believe most of us know the true meaning of the word. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice for noble reasons. And for that I am grateful.

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Sacrifice

Sometimes I think how I view personal sacrifice is akin to my view of humility–the moment I begin to think of myself as sacrificial, I sort of miss the point.

  • My daughter pleads for the latest “must have” and hard to find toy or trinket. I drive all over town to find what she wants, then surprise her with it when she gets home. Later I find this most wanted item tossed carelessly on the floor of her room.
  • My son has a big school project due. He comes home to find that I’ve pulled the garbage cans in from the curb, brought his dirty clothes from his closet to the laundry room and emptied the dishwasher–all his chores–thereby giving him ample time to finish his assignment. Later I find him playing video games in his room. His school project, which is due the next day, lies unfinished on his bed.
  • I discover a great new blog. I put the writer on my blog roll and retweet all new posts on Twitter. I visit and comment on his or her blog at least two or three times per week, but the blogger never replies to my comments nor does he or she ever visit my blog and leave a comment.
  • After making a withdrawl from the bank, I see a man with a sign at a busy intersection–“Trying to get home. Need bus fare. Anything will help. God bless you.” I roll down my window and ask him how much he needs for bus fare. I give him the amount needed plus a few extra dollars. A week later I see the same man with the same sign in another part of town.

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Any of the above scenarios might be considered sacrificial on my part if I perform these acts expecting nothing in return. When I expect in return obedience, gratitude, respect, loyalty or love, the act ceases to be sacrificial and become some sort of unhealthy, passive-aggressive prid pro quo. Frankly, that’s just not the kind of person I want to be.

I’m examining my heart more and more these days, trying to be more like Jesus and less like my wretched self. And if I want to be more like him, I’ve got to love more like him. How about you?

“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” ~ Hosea 6:6

This post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival: Sacrifice, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more on the topic, please visit him at PeterPollock.com.

*******

Editor’s Note: For the record, I’m not in the habit of surprising my kids with toys or doing chores for them. I’m just not that nice of a mom. And if you’re on my blog roll, it’s not because I expect you to read my blog in return, it’s because I enjoy reading your blog and think others would, too. So there you go.

So, you want a blog makeover?

Last Friday, Peter Pollock and I announced that we are giving away 3 fabulous prizes:

3rd prize: One year of free blog hosting + a standard license for Standard Theme

2nd place prize: One year of free blog hosting, a domain name (.com or .net) and a standard licence for Standard Theme

1st place prize: One year of free blog hosting, a domain name (.com or .net), a standard licence for Standard Theme plus site design by @Katdish and Peter Pollock

Total value of all prizes: $775

For those of you who missed it, you can enter here and here.

For those of you who REALLY would like to increase your chances of winning, here’s another opportunity to do so. Write a blog post on your current blog and plead your case, then link the post back here by February 27, 2010.

For your efforts, you will be given 5 additional entries into the drawing.

Best of luck to you all. And as with all my giveaways: Please, no wagering…