Archives for July 2006

Fruit tree

OK, so I know I’m kind of on a post streak here, but I have one more thing I need to get out.

Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I had another one of those “ideas”. I don’t know really what to call them except that they are usually religious based ideas that may be used later (with a lot of help) as a bible study or illustration. Not all the details are clear to me still about why I was even thinking about this and I haven’t even organized my thoughts but here’s what I remember…

In the bible, the idea of a tree bearing fruit is used to illustrate spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). In my head I asked myself, when someone plants a fruit tree, what do you get? A tree that bears fruit of course. So you know it’s a fruit tree because it has fruit on it. Hence, we can recognize if we are growing as Christians if we are “bearing fruit”. It is of course possible that someone who is not a Christian to see the “fruit” listed above in their life. And it is not only probable but a fact that you will see a Christian with actions and attitudes in their life that are not identifiable with any spiritual fruit.

So in my head I picture two trees. One is a big, luscious, green tree with lots of fruit on it. The other I picture a dark, skinny, almost dead looking tree. And taped on the tree are things that look like fruit. It is possible for the dead tree to appear as though it is bearing fruit but the truth is their is no life in the tree and it is unable to bear fruit on its own. It can tape it up there, staple it on there and make itself look awful pretty, but deep down in its root, the tree will be dead and not be able to bear fruit.

On the other hand, the fruit bearing tree is bearing its fruit from the inside. The source of its fruit comes from the very root of the tree. It is natural for that fruit tree to bear fruit. It is what it is meant to do and it is a gorgeous tree and people feed off of that tree. People are attracted to that fruit, want some of it for their own and if eaten, can literally sustain their life. This of course illustrates the Holy Spirit in us, giving us spiritual life and helping us bear spiritual fruit. And if someone chooses to also believe in Christ and receives the Holy Spirit, they can also begin bearing fruit. The dead tree is taken out of the ground and a new, fruit-bearing tree is planted! (whew, makes me want to shout!)

But that’s not it…in my head, I’m picturing that luscious, green tree taping on weeds and broken branches and just dark pieces of stuff all over the tree. And I can’t help but think WHY is that tree doing that? It is a gorgeous tree that has all this fruit and yet it still wants that dirty stuff all over it. How does that translate? It translates of course to us Christians who continue to desire things of the world and continue to sin when our purpose is to be bearing fruit. We are the temple of God and we do have the Holy Spirit living in us. I just can’t help but think how much fruit we could bear, what kind of people we could be and do if we could just let God do His thing. Quit grasping for stuff that doesn’t belong in us or on us and be who we’re supposed to be. I would like to think I could start bearing enough fruit that it just fell off of me. That it would overflow and people would just be lapping it off the ground. They’d have their baskets in hand, and taking what they could. And it wouldn’t just be one kind of fruit, it’d be all kinds. Apples, oranges, pears, whatever, something for everyone. Anything to make them hungry for what I had. I think God could do it. I think He wants to do it. In fact, I think He’s waiting to do it. I just have to get all the dirty stuff out, quit reaching for it and just be who I’m supposed to be.

Today is Dad’s birthday. Mom came by and got me this afternoon and we took the girls for a last minute shopping trip then headed to her house for dinner, cake and swimming. Man, that’s starting to sound repetitive. And my sister’s birthday is next week, so still another round to go.

Tomorrow Jaynee and family may come over. MIL didn’t get Emma tonight because she’s keeping her tomorrow to go to Skyler’s pageant Sunday morning. So I’m not really sure if she’s getting the girls tomorrow or not. I’m guessing she’ll wait until the afternoon and just keep her all afternoon/evening/night.

Speaking of which, I had struggled about whether to go to Skyler’s pageant or not. I didn’t really think Lexi would do well there but Scott is working and Mom and Dad will of course be at church, which Lexi doesn’t sit through well either. And Sunday is homecoming and the choir is supposed to meet early to practice and we’re singing 3 songs. And S and his mom are going to do a special. And I just didn’t want to miss it. So Wed night MIL says she’s going to keep Emma on Sat night instead of Fri. I told her that’s fine and I was going to go to church with Lexi. She seemed fine with it (which sometimes you get the vibe she’s not fine with stuff!). So I emailed Scott’s sister and told her that I was going to church with Lexi and Emma was going with them and to take lots of pictures so I could see how they did (her son is walking Skyler down the runway). So that is all taken care of without hurt feelings I think.

Tuesday is the American Idol concert!! Whoo Hooo!! I’m so excited!! Of course, my only dilemma at this point is what to wear. I heard somewhere the average age is 15 at this concert! So I will be in sea of teenyboppers. I can’t go dressed like a surbuban mom of 2 but I really don’t want to dress like I’m trying to be 15. And then there’s the whole issue of having the right kind of shoes to walk blocks to the arena. My, my, the turmoil I go through. Yes, I know I’m pathetic sometimes. Seriously though, I’m really excited to see everyone and feel a little like we get a special treat since Katharine McPhee has just joined the tour.

Have I mentioned what an absolutely crazy woman Lexi is in the pool? She literally jumps off the steps to go get stuff she wants. She lays her head back and sticks almost her whole head in the pool. She’ll stick her mouth down in the water, get a gulp of water and spit it out. She’ll jump right off the side of the pool to you. And I don’t mean like lean down into your arms like Emma tries to do. Like 1,2,3 jump! I finally got on a floatie-bathing suit which made it a little easier to keep up with her. But you can not leave her for an instant. Twice tonight I was half under the water keeping her from getting a huge gulp of water after she slung herself off the steps.

http://www.amyjbennett.com/2006/07/28/391/

$459

So yesterday my jaw dropped at the pharmacy checkout line. Your total is $459. I hope your jaw is dropping too. Two months ago I had to start on two different acne creams. I’ve been needing to get on some for years but couldn’t ever do anything until I was “done with having babies and breastfeeding”. So I’ve been living off the samples they gave me since then knowing in the back of my head they must be expensive because the dermatologist actually gave me a rebate for one of the creams. Well, in the meantime, –ok, this is the gross part, so bear with me– my foot has been cracking a lot lately and I appeared to have some type of athlete’s foot althought it’s on the bottom and side of my foot and didn’t itch as much as when it has been between my toes. Anyway, I think I got bit by a mosquito on top of it the other night and then it just got really messy and hurting and OTC creams weren’t helping and I finally went to the dr yesterday. The dr says it does appear to be “consistent with fungus” and prescribes me some heavy duty cream and an oral med to take. I called in my prescription for my acne creams that morning so I could just get all my meds together. Well, when she rang those four meds up and said $459, I was like OMG! The oral med he gave me was $145. One acne cream was $184 and the other was $111! The only consolation I got was that the acne creams which I have to use for like the rest of my life were pretty big tubes of it so hopefully it will last a long time.

And just FYI, I didn’t have to pay that out of pocket. We have a type of flexible health savings account that we can use. We were doing good with our medical expenses this year but that flew out the window real quick.

Are you religious?!

I got a few things to talk about but this one has got to come first. Today we did a group chat with 4 of us from work. One of the guys asks me if I heard about Lance Bass being gay. Here’s a summary of the rest of the conversation (I’m A, he’ll be H):

A: yep
H: was he your favorite?
A: i wasn’t into them too much. during the college years, not much music
H: what?! no music in college? were you religious or something?
A: huh? i was and am. i just meant all i did was school, homework and work
H: really?? i didn’t know that
A: you knew i taught sunday school sometimes
H: yeah, but i thought that was like community service or something you just did. well, not exactly that, but you know what i mean
A: nope, the real thing
H: that’s cool, tho, i didn’t know that about you

OK, he also knew I had been to youth camp, taught in VBS and I think he may have known I sing in the choir. Is it that hard to deduce that someone is “religious” from that? I don’t really know his background, especially religious one, except that he was born in Kuwait, grew up in I think Australia and maybe London in boarding schools, does not regularly practice religion, married an American girl who apparently goes to church but doesn’t believe in organized religion much and I once heard him say he’d basically believe whatever helped him out the most. He didn’t say that directly to me so I don’t want to take it out of context especially if he was joking but that’s the feel I get from him anyway.

So all afternoon all I can think about is what a crappy job I’ve done if someone I’ve worked with for years doesn’t even know I’m religious, much less a devout Christian. So I keep thinking, I’m just going to tell everyone I meet, did you know I believe in Jesus, that I’m a sinner, that Christ died for my sins, rose again and is preparing a place in heaven for me where we will reign eternally? And guess what, I’d really like it if you believed that too. OK, so I really don’t plan on doing that but I think it sucks that I haven’t been forthright enough that someone couldn’t figure that out. Now I hope he’s not recounting every conversation we had and trying to figure out if it all fits.

And it made me think of something. In some ways, I don’t like telling people I’m “religious”. I never wore the WWJD bracelets, don’t care for the fish car stickers, anything like that. I don’t feel “good enough” to broadcast that blatantly just because of the way people start picking you apart after that. But I think it’s sad that a lot of people have a stereotype of Christians or religious people that they think Christians believe they are perfect people. Somehow things you do that are “bad” are like 100 times worse just because you claim you are a Christian. And in reality, the fact that you claim you are a Christian is putting your stake in the ground that you aren’t perfect and need Christ. The first step in becoming a Christian (ever learn the ABC’s in VBS?) is to Admit you are a sinner. And even as I become a more mature Christian the more I realize that the very best we have to offer is filthy rags. So in that respect it’s hard for me to come right out and say it. In my heart of hearts, I don’t want people look at me and say THAT’S what a Christian looks like? Or do a double-take when I screw up and do something “unChristian-like” and then call me a hypocrite and say that’s why I’m not a Christian. I don’t mean to say I purposely hide that I’m a Christian. I openly talk to anyone about any question they have, a unashamedly talk about church and stuff that is going on there it’s just, I don’t take an extra step to show I am without a real connection with a person. I don’t know if I can explain it really except to say you probably won’t find a Christian t-shirt in my closet, you won’t find a fish sticker on my van, my cube at work wouldn’t have a calendar with pictures of gardens and verses on it, I don’t sign emails with or say God Bless to a cashier. Maybe I should, maybe I should take every opportunity to let anyone know I’m a Christian. It’s just some things some people do seem so, I don’t know, empty. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe H would have known I was “religious” if I had done something differently. Or maybe it’s just not something he was looking for and in his ignorance of our culture/habits didn’t realize what all the “clues” meant. I’m just saying it’s made me think about all of that.

Ok, that’s enough for one entry, I’ll move on.

Sloganize

Found this on myspace. Kind of entertaining.

http://www.thesurrealist.co.uk/slogan.cgi