Monday, July 31, 2006

Thank God I am not like him!

I have been thinking of a song I heard recently. The music is beautiful, the lyrics somewhat horrific. What struck me the most were the last four lines. As I cringe at the first part of the song, knowing the story behind the lyrics is about a serial killer, it is the last four lines that slay me. In my best behavior, I am just like him. I think one of the reasons I react to finger pointing in the Body of Christ is not that I don't want truth proclaimed and protected, but because deep down inside I am capable of sins just as dark as John Wayne Gacy Jr. My thoughts and heart can be just as wicked. The lyrics that follow are explicit in some ways so read with caution.

John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Sufjan Stevens lyrics

His father was a drinker
And his mother cried in bed
Folding John Wayne's T-shirts
When the swingset hit his head
The neighbors they adored him
For his humor and his conversation
Look underneath the house there
Find the few living things
Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead
Twenty-seven people, even more
They were boys with their cars, summer jobs
Oh my God Are you one of them?
He dressed up like a clown for them
With his face paint white and red
And on his best behavior
In a dark room on the bed he kissed them all
He'd kill ten thousand people
With a sleight of his hand
Running far, running fast to the dead
He took off all their clothes for them
He put a cloth on their lips
Quiet hands, quiet kiss
On the mouth

And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid

I heard another song recently that is in stark contrast to Sufjan's song. Some of the lyrics are as follows.

Grace Unmeasured by Bob Kauflin

Grace unmeasured, vast and free
That knew me from eternity
That called me out before my birth
To bring You glory on this earth
Grace amazing, pure and deep
That saw me in my misery
That took my curse and owned my blame
So I could bear your righteous name.

Grace, grace, grace
Paid for my isns and brought me to life
Grace, grace, grace
Clothes me with power to do what is right
Grace, grace, grace
Will lead me to heaven where I'll see your face
And never cease to thank you for Your grace

So, we all know the sovereignty and providence of God in our lives. Why am I Candy instead of John Wayne Gacy, Jr.? continues to amaze me that He chose me to be his child!!! We can only thank Him for his grace in our lives and point others to the cross. Lest you think that I don't avail myself of finger pointing, here is an illustration of my own self righteousness. My husband asked me recently if I would ever see a Woody Allen movie again. I blustered my way through all of Woody Allen's sins and why I think he is a disgusting person. My husband then pointed me to this article I Thank God I am Not Like Woody Allen

Another interesting article that somewhat goes along with this idea is over at Challies, where he writes about little sins. Even though we may not commit glaring overt sins, we commit heinous sins in our hearts. I also think that while we spend time discussing issues like drinking alcohol or the more obvious works of the flesh, we don't as easily address some of the works of the flesh such as lewdness, idolatry, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, envy,..... and the like (Galations 5:19-21). So, when I say "thank God I am not like him" my heart should be broken. My heart should be broken for the sin in the world that enabled John Wayne Gacy Jr. to commit horrible acts, my heart should be broken for men like Woody Allen who so blatantly step over the line in their lives, and my heart should be broken for my own sins, for underneath the floorboards are the secrets I have hid.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sea Treasures: Final Ocean Pictures

Here are some sea treasures I found in Whaler's Cove. I think I appreciate beautiful seaglass and wonderful rocks more than I appreciate jewelry. See three previous posts for more ocean pictures.

Interesting bird

Please see two previous posts for pictures of our ocean adventure. While in Point Reyes we happened upon this interesting bird. After checking my bird identification book I have concluded that it is of the family Scolopacidae, Genus, Driftwoodius, more common name, Driftwood Sandpiper.

More Ocean Pictures

I don't know why Blogger only lets me post a couple of pictures at a time. Anyways, Bruce and I traveled down the coast after Point Reyes, to Pidgeon Point Lighthouse, where we rented a cottage for the night. This is the front yard with a wee view of the ocean.

I am on the hunt for seaglass. I had my hoodie tied around my waist in case it got cold, which is usually the case at the ocean, but California is experiencing a heat wave, so it was very warm.

Pidgeon Point Lighthouse has a hostel on site so we were able to stay in a beautiful place that we will surely visit again.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ocean Solitude.

My husband and I spent a couple of days at the Pacific Coast. One of my favorite areas is the Point Reyes National Seashore. We went to the light house which is on a rock 10 miles out in the ocean. It was a treacherous place for ships and Point Reyes was a crucial place to have a lighthouse. It is a long lonely road to get to the lighthouse, and a long time ago, it took a lighthouse keeper 7 hours to drive the road to the lighthouse. Parts for the lighthouse came via Drake's Harbor not far away, where pieces were lifted from the boat, and taken the rest of the way by oxen. There are 300 steps down to the lighthouse. Yep, we walked the 300 steps. Look closely and you can see the lighthouse at the bottom of the rocks and the stairs leading to the lighthouse.

This is what the inside of Point Reyes lighthouse looks like. There are over 200 panes of glass, and the wick originally was lit by lard, then kerosene, and finally a light bulb. There is a certain pattern to the flashing light which enables sailers to know exactly where they are. There were more than 150 shipwrecks before the lighthouse was erected.

This is the beautiful Point Reyes coastline.

Bruce and I cast long shadows in the late afternoon.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Don't Defraud my Brother

My husband and I were reading Found: God's Will by John MacArthur and some words really stood out because of issues I see raised on blogs. I notice an ebb and flow in blogs pertaining to hot issues. Duh. One of the sub-headings in the book is titled: Treat Others Fairly. MacArthur states:
No man is to "go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter" (I Thes. 4:6.) In other words, don't take advantage of people.

Some people step on others' necks to get what they want. Some people use others in a sexual way to gratify their own desires. Others use people in a business way. There are many ways to use others. Don't do it for "the Lord is the avenger of all such."
"He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit." If you mistreat people, you really mistreat and despise God.

It is interesting how we might mistreat the name of God!
Did you know for example that Jonathan Edwards came under fire for some of the oddest ideas that his "faithful flock" held? It was a commonly held belief I read, that a woman gave birth to her children on the same day of the week that she conceived. Apparantly more than one of Edward's children were born on the sabbath. It was considered a terrible thing to have sex on the sabbath, and yet that is the horrible deed that Edward's was accused of doing. Poor guy. He sure endured some persecution from his congregation.

MacArthur goes on to state in his book that the critics of Christ look for faults in Christians. MacArthur suggests we eliminate the faults in order to "put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. How do we silence our critics? By living an exemplary life within society." He goes further on to state that "we do not use our freedom as a cloak for being malicious and evil (IPeter 2:16).

So....we are not to defraud our brother in any matter, because if we mistreat others, we really mistreat and despise God and sometimes that looks like maliciousness. Sometimes in our staunch stand for truth, do we go beyond in defending the faith, and really mistreat someone that belongs to God? We sure do need to learn how to have some patience. All of us.

I believe there is a quiet revival going on. A revival and hunger for the Word of God, and for the Doctrines of Grace. I say a quiet revival because it sure is not real visible or sensational. It is just one person at a time and the revelation from God comes and they think...Oh! So this is what the scriptures teach! I think it is our responsibility to extend grace and encourage others in their search for truth. Stand against those who tear down the Doctrines of Grace, don't stand against those who are trying to understand, just because they don't measure up to our understanding, or because they don't grow at the rate we think they should.

All of these thoughts are crammed in because I am going on vacation tomorrow to the coast!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jesus Facing Temptation

Rebecca states the issue of Jesus being tempted, in a clear concise manner. She has worded it in such a practical way that makes so much sense. Check it out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's 100 Degrees Out, Come Hang Out in my Backyard

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nature Walks and Museum Animals

I am sort of busy so thought I would paste a series of pictures from the last couple of days.

I take families and groups on nature hikes from the museum where I work. We were in a small grove of trees and one of the girls noticed some wildlife. In the crook of the tree, you can barely see an owl checking us out. A few minutes later, another owl flew in to its nest.

Boys checking out gopher snakes on our hike.

Back at the museum, checking out Mace's Caracao cat, Chip. Notice the ears?

Shy Yeti won't even look at me taking his picture.

Friday, July 14, 2006

We Were Dreaming, Fridge Poetry, Fewer Adjectives

Hey...I did another fridge poetry but it didn't paste right so I am just typing it out.

We Were Dreaming

Waitresses in secret rows
familiar hometown moviehouses
lonely alleys in morning
gaunt caves and mountaintips
through roadside
Colorado memory
Stolen sunsets but
naked diner nights.

Pondering Poetry

I came across a poet. We used to work for a Christian outdoor ministry and just reconnected. Barb and her husband were involved in Summit Adventure from the start, I think...but anyways, check out Barb at Wordsworth

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Refrigerator Poetry

I got this idea over at Rebecca Writes. Come on Refrigerator Poets...let's see your work.

More on Wolves

If you would like to see more photos of Mace and his wolves, visit here. You can see Yeti, the wolf cub in my previous post here

100 Random Thoughts

I saw this over at Island Sparrow and thought....hmmmm...maybe I should look at how many posts I have done. Well, lo and behold, it is exactly 100. So, I am going to post 100 random thoughts.

1. I am random only in my thoughts. I used to be very spontaneous, but now I like order. I used to be called a "free spirit", mainly due to being an artist I guess, but that has all changed. It changed when I began working with teens. I realized how much order creates calmness.

2. I don't like high heels. Give me easy comfortable shoes any day. But...I do have a bunch of fancy shoes, that sit, alas, forlorn and abandoned.

3. I look for beauty all the time in nature. Today I saw a vole when I was at work, scratching his way through a garden looking for food.

4. I grew up with alcoholic parents. I abhor a victim mentality. I got over my upbringing long ago thanks to God's grace.

5. I have two brothers and one sister. I am in the middle.

6. I love hiking, but my recent marriage has introduced more pizza than I am used to, so I huff and puff a bit more.

7. I really believe in researching exactly what I believe in.

8. I have three children, and they could not be any more different from each other.

9. I hitchhiked to Berkeley California when I was 16.

10. I picked up a knack for art when I was very young. I got lazy about it when life got hard. I am now getting back into it. I especially enjoy watercolor, acrylics and printmaking. My favorite class was a printmaking class where we handset type, illustrated, and created limited edition books of poetry, called chapbooks.

11. I was the best reader in first grade. So much so, that one day I pretended I didn't know the words, just so I could feel what it was like to be like some of the other kids.

12. I enjoy learning all wildflowers on walks, which in most cases I forget over the winter, and have to relearn each spring. I know the more common ones though.

13. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake last year.

14. I used to think God was just out to get me. That was when I was an Armninan. Becoming reformed made me feel like a new Christian.

15. I told people that I had read the Bible before I got saved. The night I got saved and someone said to turn to the book of John, I asked the person next to me what page it was on.

16. I mostly taught myself how to play the piano. I started when I was 15. I have been in two different church worship bands. I hold on to those kinds of things very lightly though. God gives and He takes away.

17. My mother once shaved my head when I was in sixth grade. She was trying to make me look like Mia Farrow, but she was drunk and my hair got shorter and shorter.

18. I try to go out somewhere far from lights during meteor showers, so I can see all the shooting stars.

19. I participated in a black gospel choir that included many different churches.

20. I have lived in over 40 places.

21. I got pregnant in high school as a senior. My oldest daughter is now 32.

22. I was into Native American spiritualiy, Indian spirituality (new age) and just about everything when I was young. I totally avoided Christians. Nothing ever felt right though. The day I prayed for Jesus to enter my heart, was the day I knew I would never be into anything else. I was 21.

23. I actually used to sew.

24. I did without T.V. for many years.

25. When I was a child I loved to sleep outside. My brothers and sister would fall asleep and I would look at the stars half the night and wonder who God was.

26. I am the only Christian in my family (parents, brothers and sister).

27. We stay in youth hostels sometimes when we travel. They are the best deal around, and sometimes the most beautiful historical structures. We are staying in a lighthouse far from towns later this month on the Pacific Coast.

28. Once when some friends and I camped out by some hot springs, the sun started to rise over the far mountains. Birds started singing, coyotes started howling, and frogs started croaking. It sounded like a symphony. When the sun was fully above the mountains, all became quiet.

29. One of the best dates I had with my husband was on a boat, whale watching. We actually heard pilot whales echolocating against the boat.

30. Once I startled a raccoon when I was camping. He must have practically stumbled upon my sleeping bag. He screamed and ran away.

31. My children are absolutely beautiful, and we get in lively intelligent discussions. I am so thankful for their distinct personalities.

32. I used to be terrified of the wicked witch of the west. I had to leave the room when she entered the picture in The Wizard of Oz. I still put a pillow over my face during suspenseful movies.

33. My oldest daughter shares my dry sense of humor.

34. My middle child shares her father's very good and very competitive softball skills.

35. My son shares my artistic bent and my tendency to write poetry.

36. I have this weird desire from God to work with teens.

37. I would rather grow flowers than vegetables. Ideally, I would like to have room for both.

38. I hate to admit it, but Texas can be nice to explore.

39. Thinking about Texas, what's up with the Marfa lights anyways?

40. The best meal I ever had was on a ranch in Nevada. they eat well. Steak, beans, salad, french bread, potatoes, veggies, strong coffee. Those cowboys really needed all that food though for the work they did.

41. Another fun date. Lobster shack in Maine.

42. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only successful book into a movie I have ever seen.

43. I used to be in love with Atticus.

44. Before I was five I lived in tiny mining towns throughout the middle of Nevada. You know the place...America's outback? The mining towns were a few tacky houses stuck in the middle of alkali, scraggly sagebrush, and lots of dust. Buckets moved from the mine to some mysterious place on lines overhead. My brother told me never to walk under those buckets because they would suck me up and I would be gone forever. I believed him. I was about 3 or 4 years old. We left the mining towns when my step-father began to have bad dreams about being buried in the mines.

45. Ugh. I need a second wind on this writing deal.

46. Great date #3. Walk the freedom trail in Boston.

47. I once rock climbed and then rappelled down a 230 ft. cliff.

48. I cooked for a Christian outdoor ministry and hiked more than the instructors who took groups out hiking. Well, maybe I exaggerate a little.

49. Nevada is high and dry and very dark in places. Great place to look at stars.

50. I want to hike around Mt. St. Helen's.

51. When I was a teen I painted my room lime green, soon after, a willow tree began to grow between the wall and the molding.

52. Great date #4. Tide pooling at Plum Island.

53. I fall. Lots of skinned knees in my life. Once some friends out of concern insisted that a doctor check me out. They thought something was wrong because how could someone fall that much? I told them it was my lack of grace.

54. I have never broken a bone.

55. My favorite time to hike is at dusk, but I read a book about mountain lions becoming more aggressive, and am rethinking my hiking habits.

56. I believe more conspiracy theories than I used to.

57. Best coffee ever. Camp coffee just as the sun rises.

58. Best granite ever. Yosemite.

59. Best times of the year...and the shortest. Spring and Autumn.

60. A few favorite scents. Lavender, lilac, coffee, rain, pine trees, sagebrush, popcorn, potroast, woodburning stoves in winter, roses, clothes from a clothesline.

61. A few wonderful sounds. Raindrops, thunder, ocean waves, acoustic quitar, piano, birds singing, coyotes howling and yipping, wind through pines, husband's low quiet voice singing, my grandkids laughing, my children's voices, worship, silence.

62. I work at a museum that hosts weddings. I make sure the place is intact after everyone leaves. My least favorite songs during weddings. YMCA, Macarena, Louie Louie, I Will Survive.

63. I know many people like songs from 1960's-1980's, but my goodness, many great songs have been written since then. I didn't like the top 40 then and I don't now.

64. Most underrated Christian musician: Phil Keaggy

65. Most incredible Christian musician: Phil Keaggy...although for interesting...Sufjan Stevens sure amazes me. He is self-taught.

66. Recent discovery: How much I like gracious, God honoring women bloggers.

67. Traits I enjoy about my husband. He is willing to follow me up trail and down trail just because he loves me. He constantly is searching the scriptures for how he can glorify God in his life. He has a great sense of humor. He is always looking for ways to be a better husband. He loves his kids and my kids dearly. He loves having the grandkids around. He made the decision to have my mother live with us, even though it is very difficult for both of us.

68. Things that are hard to get used to with my husband. He snores very loudly.

69. Water. I need to be near water. I live in a desert after all. Water is wonderful.

70. Resolved: to eat less pizza and fewer carbs.

71. Resolved: to read the Word more.

72. Resolved: to read more Jonathan Edwards and his resolutions.

73. Resolved: to walk more like I used to.

74. Resolved: to pick my battles.

75. Resolved: to be a witness for my mother.

76. Resolved: to be on the computer less.

77. Resolved: to visit British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edwards Island.

78. Resolved: to go to Pastor's College( hubby's desire too.)

79. Resolved: to have a Sovereign Grace Church here in Reno.

80. Resolved: to get to 100 random thoughts.

81. Pet peeve. Advertisements and other venues that state something like...."less carbs" rather than "fewer carbs". If something is measurable in numbers, it is fewer...liquid, for example, is measurable as "less" volume.

82. My car started this weird rattling noise about a month ago. We are financially strapped so we tried to ignore the sound. It got louder and louder and happened at random times. It sounded grinding like a belt was falling apart. We were resigned to take it in to be fixed. My husband in a moment of brilliance happened to check the weather stripping around the windshield. It was loose. We taped it with duct tape. The sound is gone. Whew!

83. My cosmos and bachelor buttons have started blooming!

84. I am presently designing and implementing outdoor education at the museum where I work. It is a great job to have. Unfortunately it is seasonal. I can only work 6 months at a time. I will be interviewing at a Christian school at the Reformed Baptist church I attend. If hired, I will probably teach middle school.

85. I think that at least 100 random thoughts go through my mind hourly, but writing them down is hard. I think I struggle the most with random thoughts when I am reading the Word...I find myself wandering and have to rein myself back in. Does that ever happen to you?

86. Should I give up trying to reach 100?

87. This is like running up Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon or that last push to the summit.

88. Remember to water my plants today.

89. I am considered the low maintenance person in my marriage, and my husband is high maintenance.

90. I am easy to please. A nice hike or a picnic on a shore somewhere is all I need.

91. Prized possessions: A thick lump of cobalt blue seaglass. A jar full of interesting rocks. Handmade books with poems. A very old purple bottle my mother found in a mining town. Family photos. My magnet poetry words. The coffee cups my kids gave me for Christmas. Letters and cards from my kids. A very old beat up table. My mother's old trunk. A wooden bird. My handpainted birdhouses. An old red leather chair I found at a thrift store for $20. My paintings.

92. Of course I include all my books as prize possessions.

93. I start teaching watercolor classes for adults at the local Arboretum this week. It will be great fun. We will bring snacks and the evening light will be beautiful.

94. It never ceases to amaze me that God chose me. I know how vile I am and how many times in my life I have bitterly failed. Grace is so amazing...beyond anything I can comprehend.

95. I have no problem with aging. I wouldn't want to be in angst ridden 20's and 30's again for all the tea in China.

96. Although, I sure would prefer to be in better shape. Hiking is a bit more effort these days.

97. I am scared of heights. One area that makes my husband feel, oh so manly, is when I need his assistance helping me walk across log bridges over streams.

98. Actually, I shouldn't say streams. We westerners congratulate ourselves with calling streams, criks, not creeks, and definitely we westerners do not have BROOKS, for goodness sakes!

99. Which reminds me. I live in Nev...aaaaaa...da, not Nev..awwwww.....da. Get it right! Even though the correct pronunciation in Spanish is the second one, do not insult a Nevadan by pronouncing it correctly.

100. Ok...for the effort I put into this for the couple of people who actually come to my blog once in awhile, thanks so much for perservering through this drivel. :)

Meet Yeti, Wolf Cub

I work in a beautiful museum, surrounded by botanical gardens, and we have this great exhibit right now. It focuses on the environment and includes Attala the adult wolf, and a caracao cat from Africa, and Yeti, the wolf cub. The animals are owned by Mace, who has a ranch north of Reno and lets his 12 wolves and 12 exotic cats romp and play on his land. Anyways, I just HAD to introduce you to Yeti cuz he is just the cutest thing! He is an 8 week old Arctic wolf.Reno Gazette Journal article

Monday, July 10, 2006

Alliteration Alert

Candy, kayaking, and Canadian goose

Monday, July 03, 2006

Spring, July 3 at Tahoe Meadows

Spring can take awhile in higher elevations in the Sierras. Bruce and I walked one of my favorite nature trails up at Tahoe Meadows. The trail was obliterated in some places by snow. Yep. We still have snow in the upper elevations. I enjoy how spring flowers bloom in the valley in May, sprinkle surrounding hills by late May and June, come out of hiding in higher alpine meadows sometimes as late as August.

Alpine Meadow.

Snow blocking our path.