Thursday, May 23, 2013

Singing in Church

I read this article today - again:

I have a LOT of 'thoughts' about this. I am going to share a few.

It's suggested in the article that one of the problems is how worship in the church has moved from a book of hymns to an unlimited number of songs with the added technology of projection and access to music. They point to the fact that song familiarity has lessened because of the number of songs in a congregations' repertoire and a leader's lack of commitment to make the song more familiar - more concerned with new music than familiarity.

This isn't an issue of why MEN have stopped singing. It's more of an issue of an entire congregation, minus several individuals, not singing. In some churches, worship has become more about performance than worship. We sing songs in keys that aren't accessible to most of the congregation. Most members of a congregation are non-singers - male and female. Now from a vocal instructor perspective, males are more likely than females to not sing in a group setting. (I could give you the research that shows the numbers and explanations. It is basically linked to childhood and someone telling them they couldn't sing, so they stopped. However, it's becoming a bigger issue among women, as well.)

How do you get non-singers to worship? 
  • -Choose songs with lyrics worth getting stuck in your head - lyrics that reflect sound theology or are based in Scripture. Who doesn't love a song that brings Scripture to mind when you sing it?
  • -Use new songs in your worship services - a LOT - like, until they become old songs. Give people options for downloading the songs, meditating on the lyrics - things that will help increase their familiarity.
  • -Choose keys that allow your congregation to sing with ease - not keys that allow you to show off your 'talent'.
  • -Practice enough before the worship service that you do not have to think about musical stuff and can simply worship - not perform. If you don't get to the foot of the throne, how in the world are the people you are leading going to get there? 
In my honest opinion, a lot of 'worship services' have very little worship taking place. Sometimes we need to strip away everything in order to really worship. Take the spotlight off of worship leaders, worship teams, musicians, instruments and put the spotlight on God. 

How have we complicated something that should be so simple?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Today is the 1st Wednesday in a LONG time that I won't be giving myself an injection for my MS. Instead I will be taking this twice a day. Thankful.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bet You Haven't...

Today was a day for the books - I am not sure which books. I'll let you decide.

My agenda for the day:
Get Ronnie's oil changed at 8AM
Meet with the girl I mentor

Not bad, right?

What actually happened:
I couldn't get in Ronnie's car from the driver's side. The door wouldn't open from the outside or the inside. I load my stuff in the backseat and crawl in from the passenger side. I drive to the shop and beg the mechanic to take a look at it. He does. It's not good. He's pretty sure the latch is broken. The door panel has to come off (I am told it could crack in the process - really? Who cares? I'm currently climbing over the center console.). He calls around to check for parts and then calls the Mazda dealership. I opt to schedule an appointment with Mazda for 1:30PM this afternoon.

Mechanic proceeds to change oil. The car has been making a squealing noise since he replaced the alternator. Mechanic figures out sound is coming from alternator and replaces almost new alternator...again. Noise still there. FAIL. I climb in the car. The door panel is partly off, the window is down. I finally get the window up because I need AC by this point (and a drink).

I have some time before the appointment at Mazda. I decide to make a stop at Target. I climb out of the car (I have this down to a fine art at this point - slide the driver seat all the way back, sling the right leg over the console, move your butt to the console and then to the passenger seat, swing left leg over console. Exit and hope no one is staring at you - but there is always someone). I lock the door, go in and do my shopping. I get back out to the car and realize that the way I normally unlock the door (with the key - in the driver's door - the only place that there is a keyhole - is not going to work. I don't have a key fob to Ronnie's car.) I call Ronnie and while I'm talking to him, I realize that there is a keyhole on the trunk. He tells me there is a seat release inside of the trunk.

Are you following here?

No, there are no pictures - which is sad because I'm certain it was a sight to behold. I crawled through the trunk and into the backseat to hit an unlock button and then I climbed back out of the trunk. The poor lady who was watching me is probably still trying to figure out what in the world I was doing. I opened the back door, crawled in the backseat and hit the unlock button on the front door. I the climbed through the passenger side again to get back to the driver's seat.

I decided on McDonald's for lunch (don't judge me!). I opted for the drive-thru as not to force myself to climb again. I forgot about the window. UGH. I should've just crawled over and got out.

I finally get to the Mazda dealership and crawl out of the passenger side - again. It takes them a LONG time to figure out what's wrong - it's not simple and they don't have all of the parts. I rent a car and head home. I called Ronnie, but he wouldn't let me just trade his in - something about it not being in our budget. SMH!

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and bought brownies. That's what I was supposed to do, right? Bake brownies after a day like today?

I knew it was WAY past time for me to be home when I stopped at a stop light (because it was RED) and I saw a guy 2 vehicles behind me mouthing because I didn't just run the light. I felt the need to get out of my car and go 'chat' with him. I didn't do it, y'all, but I really wanted to. Instead I came home and baked my brownies.

Have I mentioned that I get to go back tomorrow?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dot-to-Dot (not Dot Dot)

So this week has been a little rough. I received 3 notices that I was not chosen for jobs I had applied for, but after this week I've decided that might've been a God send.

It's just been busy. I've had a lot on my plate and trying to budget my energy has been challenging. I'm discovering that no amount of sleep cures or gets rid of the fatigue MS cause. I have a hard time explaining it, but its seriously bone-deep fatigue. I sometimes sleep so that it will extend my I can make it through the day, but sleep doesn't make it go away.

And the headaches...

I had a little vision trouble last Thursday. Once I could open my eyes and see like a normal person, I had a "go home, crawl in a cool dark place or you're gonna throw up" headache. On a scale of 1-10 for headaches, it was an 8.5. This headache and I have had our ups and downs, somedays we get to a 2, but yet it a 6th toe. Good for nothing!

Went to the neuro. He thinks it migraines. Duh. I've had them FOREVER. Got steroids (they're not making the headache go away as he promised...just making me sweaty, nauseous and have indigestion). Got migraine meds. Got an appointment at The Headache AUGUST! I may claw my eyes out by then! And we are switching my MS meds.

Right now I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle of a Dot-to-Dot. Like 15 on my way to 100. I have no idea what the picture looks like. Right now I'm ok with that. I'm curious, but too exhausted with the process to think about Dot 16 much less Dot 100.

And for those of you who are curious, Dot Dot (or Dottie) is my in-laws dog. Clo-Clo (their pastor's daughter calls her Dot Dot). Clo-Clo also calls my mother-in-law Dot Dot. She's 2. It's still cute.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

God's Perfect and Permissive Will

Ronnie and I were talking last night about this and it's still stirring in my head and heart.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what God's will was for your life at that moment? It may have been a job, a relationship, where you should live...but you KNEW that was God's will. God's PERFECT will is why we seek His face.

We desire the best that He has for us, but sometimes 'free will' gets in the way. Free will - you know that thing that God allows us to have so we're not just His puppets? And sometimes, God's Perfect will for our life is thwarted by the 'free will' of other humans (looking at you Joseph - with your nasty mean brothers). We then enter into the territory of God's PERMISSIVE will.

Now, it's one thing when WE make the choices that move us from His Perfect to Permissive will, but it's something totally different when someone else does it for you. As I was reading through a few things this morning trying to wrap my head around this topic, I found the story of "Jack and Jill".

The short version: Jack and Jill knew it was God's Perfect will for them to spend their lives together. Jack proposed. Jill said, "Yes." The day of the wedding comes and Jill becomes a run-a-way bride. Jack is instantly thrown from God's Perfect will into His Permissive will because of Jill's decision ('free will'). What does this mean for Jack? Does he now spend the rest of his life in God's Permissive will? Does he miss out on the blessings that come from walking in God's Perfect will? I suggest not. Mostly because Scripture tells me that 'all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.'

There comes a point when it's simply too late to 'go back', though - the moment has passed. Even if Jill had returned 6 or 7 months later, so much would've changed that God's Perfect will would no longer be God's Perfect will.  It's just sad and disappointing to know that God's Perfect will could have come to pass in a situation and then didn't because of someone exercising their 'free will'. (Selfish) It's frustrating to be the one who feels like you were cheated out of the best God had for you. However, because He works all things for good, you can know that He will redeem the situation.

Jill walked away from her faith and eventually ends up in a not-so-happy marriage. Jack? He's happily married and feels like through it all, God has blessed him and worked all things for good in His life.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hey, It's Ok

I am linking up with Airing My Dirty Laundry, One Sock at a Time.

Hey, It's Ok

To be sad that the weather isn't like Sunday's weather

To be anxious to meet my new niece and currently un-born nephew who will be making his appearance soon.

That I just ate lunch and am still hungry (is that really ok?)

That I have to pee 17 times a day - perhaps you should drink more water if you don't

That I am entertaining the idea of driving 30 minutes tomorrow to buy a sweatshirt. Anyone want to ride along? :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spiritual ADD

Ok, so ADD is no joke, but even less so in the spiritual realm.

Do you have Spiritual ADD?

During your prayer time, do you end up mentally making a to-do list rather than praying?

Do you start out your day with the intention of keeping your mind on heavenly things, then someone cuts you off in traffic and you may or may not utter some unholy word offerings?

Do you have trouble focusing when you read your Bible? OR Do you just have trouble finding time to read your Bible?

Journaling sometimes helps me to focus during prayer time and sermons. How do you deal with your Spiritual ADD?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • -Chicken Broth (48oz)
  • -1 can-Cream of Chicken Soup
  • -1 pod-Knoll Chicken Stock
  • -1 can-Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • -1 can-Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • -1 can-Mild Rotel w/Green Chilies, drained
  • -3/4 tsp-Cumin
  • -1/2 tsp-Chili Powder
  • -1/2 tsp-Garlic Powder
  • -1/2 package-Taco Seasoning (I use Wick Fowlers - you can use McCormick or something comparable)
  • -Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken


  • 1. Turn Crockpot on High.
  • 2. Add broth, soup, stock pod, and seasonings to crockpot. Whisk until thoroughly combined and stock pod has dissolved.
  • 3. Add corn, beans, and Rotel.
  • 4. Shred chicken and add.
  • 5. Stir and reduce heat to Low.

Serve with Mexican blend shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm Sorry. It's a Good Place to Start

Today I posted a link on Facebook about pastor stiffing a waitress. She was dining with a group. Anyone who has dined with large groups of people knows that gratuity is typically added...usually 18%. This pastor wrote (on the check) something along the line of 'I give God 10%, why should I give you 18%?' She scratched out the tip and changed the total amount. I was seriously livid!

Its been on my mind all day long. I'm still upset. I am a Christian and I have been a waitress. I loathed working on Sundays. Church people were frequently RUDE and rarely tipped...forget tipping well. This is just one example of why people shouldn't walk around saying "I'm a Christian" unless they intend to behave that way.

I'm sick of 'Christians' (and I'm using that term very loosely here) who behave like this. I am not perfect. No one is. Being a Christian does not make anyone perfect. However, I firmly believe that when you experience the life-changing love of Jesus it changes you. It is reflected in how you live your life...or at least it should be.

So, to those of you who have been hurt by individuals claiming to be Christians or have been turned off to church because of church people, I am sorry. Please allow me to apologize on behalf of the church. The church is comprised of human beings. We don't have it all together, so we have no right to act 'holier than thou'. God loves you. So do I.

I know this doesn't fix everything, but it's a good place to start.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kid President!

Happy Sunday! Hope this makes your week a little brighter.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dear Employers - I Want a Job!

That's right. I WANT a job. A full-time job. A job where I get up every single day and go do something I like. (No retail. No food service. No sales.) A job where I feel like I am making a difference. A job where I earn my paycheck. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently, yes.

How is it that I am not qualified to do 100's of things that I perfectly capable of doing? What's that, I don't have the appropriate degree? Here's some food for thought: I have spent approximately 7 years in higher education courses. 7 years! That means if I had been taking the appropriate coursework I would be 1 year and an exam away from being a doctor. But here's the thing...I'm not applying for jobs that require me to perform surgery, rocket science, or repair computers. I am NOT qualified to perform those tasks. However, I would be perfectly capable of performing the duties of a bank teller, a bookkeeper, an office assistant, I could supervise, manage, or direct. I was a teacher for Pete's sake...a MUSIC teacher! Oh, and did I mention that I managed to run my own business WHILE I was working full-time? I'm like Wonder Woman and Supergirl all wrapped up in one! 

I'm amazing and you can't get past the fact that I majored in music.

I worked for a government program when I finished my undergrad - nothing to do with music. I went back to school because I was asked to implement a general music program in a school where one didn't exist. I didn't possess all of the skills I felt were needed. I found a way to learn. After 6 years, the school district cut the program. I took that job because I felt as though I could make a difference - and I DID. When they cut the program I knew I would never teach in a public school again. I married and we moved to Ohio. It isn't worth the hassle for me to switch all of my certifications only to once again struggle to find employment and always wonder if that will be the next thing on the chopping block. That season of my life is over and my heart isn't in it.

I am an intelligent woman. I am very organized and detail-oriented. I have many strengths that would serve employers well. So, why have I been unemployed for almost 18 months? That's right...I don't have the degree you seek. Here's a thought: Hire me and teach me how to do the things I can't figure out. You're going to do that anyways - even with the person who has the appropriate degree. Higher education is over-rated. Hire people and train them to do the work you require of them. Hire ME. I want a job!

PS- Why do you call something entry level if you're going to require an MBA and 4 other certifications?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


This week. Well, it has been better than last week. Today wasn't super productive, but there's always tomorrow, right?

I have actually started a food journal this week. A friend offered to be my "accountability partner". So far. So good. Writing down that cherry cordial milkshake was a little more painful than drinking it. :-)

Today I successfully found a "mom and pop's" jewelry store and I am already in love with them. While at the mall yesterday, I was going to have a lady at one of the jewelry stores clean my wedding rings. When she inspected them, she said I had 2 loose stones. Well, I'm not exactly excited about chain jewelry stores (spoiled by Lang's in Cape Girardeau), so I put a message on Facebook and I received a lot of responses (FB rocks for things like that!). I did a little research, made my choice and I have 3 loose stones - not 2 (EEK!) - but I will have the rings back in a week and they will look lovely! I found a beautiful pair of earrings, an awesome ring, and a pearl necklace, that I would happily wear, while I was there (about 15 minutes).

I'm still job hunting...and considering school (bluh) - like medical transcription or something else that's more of a 1 year program. I honestly don't know what God would have me do. I feel like I have many gifts and I could use them in many places, but I just feel so uncertain about the job thing. Thoughts?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken Florentine Soup with Tortellini

Chicken Florentine Soup with Tortellini

(Note: This is a recipe I found all and adapted.)


  • 1/2 package of frozen cheese tortellini (about 9.5oz) - or 9 oz. refrigerated package
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 1-2 pods - Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock (I used 2)
  • 10 oz. Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce
  • 2C - Tyson Frozen Grilled and Ready Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1/2C oil-packed dried tomato strips, drained (I used 3/4 of a 7.5oz jar with a julienne cut.)
  • 3C lightly packed fresh baby spinach (I use pre-packaged from the produce section.)
  • Shredded Parmesan for garnish

1. In a stock pot, cook tortellini according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. In the same stock pot, add chicken broth and Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock and bring to a boil. Once Chicken Stock pods have melted into chicken broth, add diced chicken. Boil for 5-8 minutes (or until no longer frozen).

3.Stir in alfredo sauce and tomato strips. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add tortellini and spinach to pot. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

5. Serve with shredded parmesan on top.


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