Monday, November 16, 2009

I Bought the New Switchfoot CD....because Chris Sligh Told Me To!

If you don't know by now that I'm really haven't been paying attention. I mean seriously, my name is MELODY for pity's sake. It's kind of a given don't you think? When Ben and I decided it was time to switch churches several years ago, I had two criteria for wherever we were going to attend: A good children's program, and a strong youth group with leaders that I could trust, and an amazing worship team! I didn't care so much about the quality of the singing, just the quality of the worship. I learn the most in church from the worship, not as much from the teaching--although the teaching is a factor as well, I can do alright when the teaching is weak as long as the worship isn't. (Pastor Jack, in case you're reading this, I didn't have to compromise on either when I found both rock!)

At any rate, I said all that to say this... I LOVE MUSIC!

And I'm always looking for new music to add to my collection. I need different music for different seasons in my life. Dennis Jernigan got me through a tough time years ago. Chris Sligh brought me back to the place of wanting to be a vessel that God not only uses, but is pleased with. Mandisa gives me hope and reminds me that God not only loves, but He forgives, and restores.

But I was ready for something new. I was tired, and apathetic toward life. I needed a boost. I wanted to be able to play music that the kids wouldn't think was lame, but would still lift up the Lord. And then Chris Sligh sent out a tweet on Twitter that said, "I just bought the new Switchfoot CD, and you should too."

The last CD I bought that Chris Sligh recommended was really good, so I felt like maybe I should check this one out....besides, I follow Switchfoot on Twitter too, so I'd heard lots about this new album already. And while my daughter and I both love gospel and country music, my boys and my husband are rockers. So I thought perhaps Switchfoot would be something good to introduce them to as they are entering into their teenage know, rock-and-roll-without-the-rebellion. And immediately after Chris's tweet, Kris Allen sent one about how good the CD was, so I took that as a sign from God. :)

So, I bought it. And while I was in the store, I saw the new Carrie Underwood CD...and I bought that too. (See love for gospel and country music above.) Then a few days later, I found Taylor Swift's Christmas CD at a really good price, and since I always allow myself one or two new Christmas CDs each year, I bought that too.

Then this past weekend, I went to the Women of Faith Conference, and Steven Curtis Chapman was there and blew me away. So when I was purchasing my book/music package, I chose his newest CD and Sheila Walsh's newest...because I love her, and we got to choose two!

The last day of the Women of Faith Weekend, Nicole C. Mullen sang...and knocked my socks off--which was tough to do because I was wearing boots. So when I got home, I had to use my Family Christian Stores 25% shopping spree to pick up a couple of her CDs and to order her DVD concert. I needed the DVD so I could show my kids the dancing. And also because somewhere in the back of my head I am hoping that if I could learn to do those dances--in the privacy of my bedroom mind you--perhaps I could look like she does! I mean seriously, we've both had 4 kids...but I actually look like I've had 4 kids...while Nicole most definitely does NOT!
(While I was at the conference I sent out a tweet that I wanted to be Marilyn Meberg when I grew up, but now I need to qualify that statement. I want to be Marilyn with Nicole's arms! ) :)

So, how about you, do you have any new music that has just knocked your socks off? I have decided that I like each of my new CDs for very different reasons, and there are different songs on each one that speak to me, so I am planning to write several different posts over the next few weeks or so, introducing you all to some of my favorites. I hereby declare Mondays to be "Music Mondays" from now until I run out of stuff to say about music! Want to join in? If you are interested, I can post a Mr. Linky and we can all share our music with each other. Leave me a comment if you are interested, so I'll know to invite Mr. Linky along for the ride!

And now, I'm going to leave you with my absolute favorite song from Carrie Underwood's latest CD--Play On. I have reminded myself many, many times since I heard it, that this is not where I's just windows and rooms that I'm passing through...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Talk About a Lost Mission....

I need your help. I dropped a ball. My friends at Litfuse sent me a book to read and share with you, and I totally let it slip through the cracks that are my life. So, here's where you can help me out. Go out and buy yourself a copy of this book, then buy another one to give to a friend (Christmas is coming you know), and maybe even another one to donate to your local library. Then go around and tell everyone that you know that you found out about this book here, and maybe I can redeem myself to those who send me these books! :)

But seriously, let's talk about this book. This book is quite different from most of the fiction that I read. I read a lot of what I call conversational fiction-- books that read like normal, everyday conversations. This book isn't like that. This book is more like the combination of a spiritual journey on an archaeological dig. And you have to pay attention, or you're going to miss the details.

"Lost Mission follows Lupe de la Garza, a simple shopkeeper in a mountain village in Mexico, on a quest guided by her people's greatest treasure: an altarpiece painted by the eighteenth century Franciscan friar who founded her village after fleeing the mysterious destruction of his California mission outpost. When Lupe is distracted by desire for a young minister who rescues her from certain death in the Arizona desert, and when her preaching in a southern California beach town inspires only apathy and laughter, she begins to lose faith in her quest. Then the slumbering evil that destroyed the friar's Franciscan mission rises up again after two hundred years, and Lupe once more looks to the altarpiece for guidance, only to find he true purpose in the midst of her single greatest fear.

Lost Mission was inspired by news of bishops from Africa and Latin America traveling to the United States to offer guidance to churches, and churches in South Korea sending more missionaries around the world than America. Dickson began thinking about what it means to go from being a country that offers spiritual help to other nations, to being a country that needs spiritual help from some of those nations, and thus the idea for Lost Mission was born."
The book tells two different stories at the same time. Two stories that happened centuries apart, but are linked by a spiritual and generational connection. The story is so complex, that it can't be categorized into one label. The press release on this book says that it "Explores Generational Consequences", but it is so much more than that. How do you feel about illegal immigration, and border patrols? What about our relationship with other nations? Could your personal choices today affect many generations in the future? If you aren't interested in exploring those questions, then don't read this book....because this book will make you think about those things. This book will make you pray about those things. And this book will make you truly consider that you CAN make a difference in this world.

The question is, what kind of difference do you want to make?
About the book: What haunting legacy awaits deep beneath the barrios and wealthy enclaves of Southern California?
A billionaire
driven mad by grief.

A pastor
in love with the wrong woman.

An illegal immigrant
desperate to feed his family.
Only Lupe de la Garza can save them from the ancient evil lurking in a lost mission's ruins, but it will take an act of faith beyond all human power. An idyllic Spanish mission collapses in the eighteenth century atop the supernatural evidence of a shocking crime. Twelve generations later the ground is opened up, the forgotten ruins are disturbed, and rich and poor alike confront the onslaught of resurging hell on earth. Caught up in the catastrophe are... · A humble shopkeeper compelled to leave her tiny village deep in Mexico to preach in America · A minister wracked with guilt for loving the wrong woman · An unimaginably wealthy man, blinded to the consequences of his grand plans · A devoted father and husband driven to a horrible discovery that changes everything Will the evil that destroyed the MisiĆ³n de Santa Dolores rise to overwhelm them? Or will they beat back the terrible desires that led to the mission's good Franciscan founder's standing in the midst of flames ignited by his enemies and friends alike more than two centuries ago? From the high Sierra Madre mountains to the harsh Sonoran desert, from the privileged world of millionaire moguls to the impoverished immigrants who serve them, Athol Dickson once again weaves a gripping story of suspense that spans centuries and cultures to explore the abiding possibility of miracles.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Stumped....

I have no earthly idea what to write about today....

Not a clue...

And besides that, I'm sitting here with Jon, trying to blog and help him with his math page all at the same time. He's not a big fan of multiplication or division...or really school in general, so it's a great big love fest over here right now.

On the bright side, The Biggest Loser is on tonight! Yea! I think this might actually be the year that Bob beats Jillian...but knowing this show, they will probably all switch trainers again before it's over, so who really knows. Last week's elimination was a tear-jerker for me, how about you? I loved Abby, and I can't imagine losing my entire family the way she did, but it was so good to see her giving those motivational speeches and to see how much weight she's lost since leaving the ranch. It's so obvious that God is helping her to get through this, and I hope that He gives her back 10 times what she lost...just like Job!

Okay, I seriously have nothing to say, so let's get a discussion going instead, shall we? Let's talk about the new season of television! What is your favorite NEW show this fall? I have been pleasantly surprised by "The Good Wife". It wasn't at all what I expected, and I really like it. However, I'm really liking the new NCIS as well. I've never been a big fan of spin-offs, and I've never seen any of the CSIs except the original, but I do like this new NCIS. I don't like it as much as the is a totally different show, but I do like it. Putting Linda Hunt in the cast as "Hetty" was a great idea. I love her, and I love the way that no matter what character she plays, she invokes fear in everyone around her!

So, what's your favorite new show of the season?

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Really Should Stop Watching the Television....

As most of you know, I'm a bit obsessed with crime dramas on the tv. And if you've been reading here since the beginning, you will remember that I am a little particular about the forensic evidence I have on me...just in case something happens to me, and a CSI team has to investigate.

And if you've read here in the past week, you will know that I also had to renew my driver's license recently.

And here is where the two things collide...

For the past 12 years, I've been able to renew my driver's license online. Which means that they simply take the picture that they already have on file and put it on a new license with updated dates, etc. and pop it in the mail to me....SOOOO convenient!

However, this year I was once again required to show up at the DPS office in person to renew...sigh. So, I spent many, many, hours there last month waiting to renew my license and take my new picture....HUGE sigh. (I really liked my old picture.)

Not only did I have to fill out extra forms because I have been diagnosed with a chronic disease since my last renewal, but I've also gotten glasses. Wearing glasses means that I have to take an eye test there in the DPS office so they know if I have to be wearing them when I drive. That way, they can list "must wear corrective lenses" as a restriction on my license. Well, my glasses are really more for seeing things close-up, and I don't actually need them to drive a car. So, I passed the eye test for driving just fine.

However, it didn't occur to me that when they went to take my new picture, that they would make me take the glasses off. Apparently, you may only wear your glasses in your Driver's License picture if you must wear them to drive.

I know that right about now you're thinking to yourself, "so????" Well here it comes....

One of my favorite crime dramas is "Criminal Minds" -- although I have to record it and watch it during the day, because it's too creepy to watch right before bedtime! So anyway, there was an episode last season where the team is investigating the murder of a man and his wife when they stopped their car to help another motorist. Now, as they are investigating, they look at the man's driver's license and notice that...He has NO "corrective lenses" stipulation on his driver's license, and yet he is wearing glasses! This in turn leads them to the fact that this crime was committed by a serial killer who leaves an item from his previous victim somewhere on his newest victim's this case, the glasses. You can see where this is going can't you??

All I could think of when she asked me to take off my glasses was that episode! I mean really, if someone murders me in my car, the police are going to see my glasses, look at my license and assume that the killer left the glasses! It's going to completely throw off the investigation!

Now for the record, I haven't worn my forensic bracelets for some time. I've had to start wearing a medical id bracelet listing all my medical issues, drug interaction, and drug allergy information, and they don't really go together very well. So, I've had to let that obsession go... and I've been successful in doing so. And I have high hopes that soon, I will be able to get in the car to go somewhere and the first thought that runs through my mind won't be whether or not I should take off my glasses....just in case! :)