Monday, February 28, 2005

Questions for Oscar

Yeah, whatever. That's kind of how I felt about the Oscars. I wasn't excited about a majority of the films nominated so we Tivo'd it and fastforwarded through the stuff we didn't care about.

So here are some thoughts about the event, in no particular order...

1. Was Dustin Hoffman drunk?
2. Who were those abnormally large men who brought in the suitcases? Yikes! (or perhaps it is Chris Rock who is abnormally small??)
3. Is Hilary Swank really from a trailor park?
4. Why were there so many empty seats?
5. What exactly was holding up that hair on Counting Crow's lead singer? It deserved a visual effects nod.
6. Could anyone but Prince get away that outfit?
7. Do any women actually work in visual effects or sound mixing?

and the biggest question of the night - were there no other singers in Hollywood except Beyonce? She's lovely and has a great voice but please, give another gal a shot.

I'd talk about the major awards (Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator) except I could really care less about any of them. The funniest part of the evening for me? Chris Rock interviewing random people in a movie theatre - none of which had ever seen the top-nominated films - but they all thought White Chicks was great. Does any more really need to be said?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Procrastinating Penguins...

I'm supposed to be writing a book right now - one that I am way behind on. However, in the effort to be an equal opportunity procrastinator, I'll share with you what I've been doing instead (other than checking four different weather forecasts for my area).

Check it out. Click on the snowman to get the bat ready and click again to swing. How far can you bat the penguin?

My best score is 303.

I really am supposed to be writing...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

What's on my Tivo?

I got a Tivo for Christmas - my sister talked me into it and my mom bought it for my husband and I. I love my Tivo. We had a snafu with it last week and it failed to record a VIP (very important program) for me, but other than that it's been a great addition to our media center.

So here's my Season Pass List, for better or for worse -

1 - 24 - fabulous show, completely hooked
2 - Lost - also fabulous - okay - who else noticed what other survivor was on the television when Sun and Jin were talking in their apartment on this week's episode???
3 - Alias - I'm trying to still be a fan, but it's not as good this year - more on that later...
4 - Amazing Race 7 - to premiere on Tuesday - the best reality show out there...
5 - Joan of Arcadia - a thought-provoking series
6 - Survivor - yes, count them, that's two reality shows - I've watched this one since day one...
7 - Wickedly Perfect - who knew there were this many uses for an apple? (okay, that's three)
8 - ER - I still like this show, but not nearly as committed to it... (we record Without a Trace on the VCR since it's on at the same time)
9 - Apprentice - alright - I'm a reality junkie - so sue me!
10 - Gilmore Girls - a guilty pleasure - love this show...

I'm surprised I waited so long to get one. Like all new technology, I'm a little late on the uptake, and then totally jazzed to have it...

Despite what it looks like, we don't actually get to watch that much TV - which is why we have a backlog of more than 24 hours taped that we haven't watched. But we'll be ready when the summer re-runs start!

Have a great Saturday:-)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sticking to it

I've not always been the best at sticking with things. Oh, I've got good reasons, lots of 'em, but the fact is - I get bored. There is a Scripture that says "Do not grow weary in well-doing." (I'd look up where to find it if I had the energy.) I'll admit that sometimes I do grow weary in well-doing. Maybe that's why it's so hard to build spiritual disciplines into our lives. Some people are just naturally disciplined - they can incorporate new things into their lives without so much as a ripple. Me, I decide I'm going to do something, and I take off at a 100 miles an hour, and then never finish the race.

I say that because I had my weekly Bible Study yesterday. Sounds very small-town and sweet doesn't it? But let me tell you that this Bible Study is changing my life - from the inside out. I can't even articulate how my perspective has changed about God and myself. But I was under a deadline last week (my boxful of forty books) and I didn't get my homework for the week done. So Wednesday morning came and I thought maybe I shouldn't go. After all, I'm way too concerned about what people might think of me. I didn't want them thinking I was some sort of slacker. But I went anyway. And I'm so glad I did, because that session really, really blessed me. In the past, when I've fallen behind, I'd just give up and drop out of the Bible Study. But this time I'm going to press through. I can catch up - I want to catch up. I don't want to miss out on what God has begun inside of me. I wonder how many other things I've missed out on when I've been sidetracked with obstacles the enemy has thrown at me. And that's who is always behind the testing. The enemy doesn't want us getting set free or really believing God. He can't stop God from calling out to us so he works overtime to distract us - in any way he can, from what God has put before us. I've got to stop letting him win.

Someone once told me it takes ninety days of doing something to create a new habit. I'm not sure if that's true, but I do know the longer you stick with something the more it becomes part of your life. What habit is God asking you to start in your life?

And just so you know - the life-changing Bible Study I'm taking? You can take it too. It's Beth Moore's Believing God.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Simon or Paula - Judging is hard.

I haven't really kept up with American Idol as much this season, but I did tune in to watch a lot of the early auditions. There is something funny and tragic about watching these people get up there and sing like that on national TV. After the William Hung thing, I'm sure some are hoping for his unlikely fame, but I believe that a lot of these people truly believe they have an amazing voice. I don't hate Simon for his blunt remarks because most of the time (there are exceptions) he's just telling the truth. Lying to people about non-existent talent doesn't do anyone any good. But I think watching on TV, we don't get a sense of what it's like to look these people in the face and tell them they can't sing and they should really stop trying. These judges are obviously used to it after several seasons, but it's like executing someone's dream, right there on television.

I am judging a contest right now and have read a boxful of self-published books over the last several weeks. A few of them were delightfully good. A lot of them were, well, not so good. With many I struggled to find something nice to say about it and since I get the luxury of typing my critiques, I thankfully don't have to look anyone in the face to tell them what I really thought. In the reaction my husband gets to listen to, right after I finish a book, I'm more like Simon - I say things like "What were they thinking?" "Who told them this was a good story?" and "I don't know if I can suffer through one more page". That's why the good ones, when I found them, were so exciting. Jeff would come in and I'd say "It's good. It's good!" with complete and utter glee. But as I write my critiques, I am painfully aware that some of these authors have poured many years and many dollars into producing the book I am now reading. It's become their life's passion and now they've seen it realized and sent in their book to be judged. Many of them are sitting at home hoping beyond hope for extraordinary success in this contest. So when I actually write my comments, I'm much more like Paula. She often tries to be encouraging even as she's telling them what's not working.

I'll talk later about some of the biggest mistakes I found in the box of books - mostly because it was the same mistakes being made over and over. And just a hint for you writers out there - yes, there are very famous people who got rejection letters - we've all read the lists, but if you're getting tons of rejection letters for a project you're sending out - there might, just might, be something wrong with your project.

That's what I think is so amazing about all those auditions - it's not just the people who are singing terribly - it's the fact that people in their life apparently told them they were really good. We've all been given talents. Why waste your energy with something you're not good at? Put it towards the things you are good at instead.

Oh well, back to the last two books in my box. Here's to finishing!

Monday, February 21, 2005

A Little Piece at a Time

It was a hard weekend - I spent multiple hours in my mother's home cleaning out my father's office and boxing up the business he ran for twelve years. When someone you love dies, it's not just the death that hurts - it's like you lose another piece of them every time you turn a corner. Losing my father started with a shock - a cancer diagnosis. Immediately, the cancer diagnosis changed him. He was depressed and hopeless. We all lost a part of him that day. But we didn't even have time to absorb what cancer meant for our family because it took only three and a half weeks for the cancer to take his life. But while that blow was the hardest - there have been so many more-

  • the first Christmas without him
  • realizing that my phone wasn't going to ring at nine o'clock so we could discuss the latest episode of LOST.
  • discovering that I didn't have even one handwritten note from him - nothing at all.
  • seeing his December calendar on his desk with his plans for that month - plans he'd never live to do.
  • reducing his entire livelihood to a pile of boxes in a basement closet.
  • watching his dog still waiting at the front door for him to come home.

And they just keep coming. People talk about grieving and loss, but nobody warned me that my entire family would shift - the dynamics are different and I'm not sure where I fit in this new family. Perhaps it's because I have a family of my own, and I haven't lived at home with my parents for almost fifteen years. Still, the losses will continue to come. As my children are raised with only the memory of a grandfather - the youngest won't even remember him. And eventually, I will get to the point where I spent as much of my life without him as with him. That's sad too. Life will move on, whether we want it to or not.

I won't know until I reach heaven whether my dad made it there or not. I'm not sure where his heart was, but I have hope. And for now, that's all I need. Meanwhile, as I face the losses, I lean on Jesus - because I have no strength in myself. He is the One who gives me strength to carry on. "My grace is sufficient for you."

And you.

Friday, February 18, 2005

You Are What You Wear

I watched Oprah yesterday - I like Oprah, but I don't catch the show very often because of well, life but something caught my ear from three rooms away as my kids were flipping channels. Some voice said "Lose ten pounds instantly!" This I had to hear. So I made my daughter wait to put in her Barbie tape until after the episode was over.

I learned that nearly every pair of pants I own should be burned. Yep. You see, in my mind, tapered jeans were good because they at least made my ankles look smaller, right? Not. Apparently tapered jeans make your ankles look thinner, but everything else bigger. And I certainly don't want anything appearing even bigger than it already is. Then there are the baggy sweaters that may cover any rolls but end up making you look like a big balloon, and the need for "Industrial strength" undergarments. I did an inventory of what I owned, and though it's gotten much better over the last few years, there was still a lot of stuff I realized had to go. Cause I don't know about you but I don't see myself from behind very often (and I'd like to keep it that way) so I never even thought about how clothes can make a noticeable difference in how you look.

I imagine that teens who aren't a size zero probably have a hard time finding clothes nowadays - especially when an XL T-shirt at Old Navy looks like it will fit my five year old. And not everybody is built to be able to successfully wear low-rise jeans - even if you haven't had three kids. The big thing I took away from the episode was this: Wear what is right for you. It may be very tempting to wear the latest thing that absolutely everybody is wearing, but if it looks bad on you, you should definitely resist. When we feel comfortable with what we're wearing then we feel more comfortable in our own skin.

I've always had issues with body image, and you don't have to be overweight to struggle with the way you look. I'm all for looking our best and losing weight if it's needed, but we come in all shapes and sizes. I have to deal with the fact that I will never be tiny and look like those paper thin stars on the cover of all the magazines. It's not realistic for me. So the next time you find yourself critisizing yourself or complaining about the way you look, just stop, go look in the mirror and find three things that are great about you. Maybe you have stunning eyes or perfect hair. My favorite feature? I think I have nice feet. It may be silly, but it's always better to think on the good. Then maybe we'll think good about others as well. It's a win-win situation.

Now, if I'm getting rid of the jeans, is it fair to send them to Goodwill where someone else who shouldn't be wearing them might buy them?

I have to go shopping...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

How would Jesus Drive?

One of the areas I probably need the most sanctification is when I am inside my car. Something comes over, or more accurately out of me, that is nothing like my usual demeanor. But is the way I act in the car a more accurate representation of my heart? After all, the car is a safe place to rant and complain - which I did plenty of until I had children. When my youngest daughter yelled, "Move it Dude!" from the backseat I knew I needed to temper my words. They were catching on. But I'm afraid the effect on my heart has been fairly non-existent. I may not say anything out loud but I'm still thinking plenty.

I tend to be a very defensive driver - a result from being forced by my home state to take a defensive driving class before you could get behind the wheel (something that I think would be good for everybody). I leave plenty of room, obey the rules of the road and I use my turn signal - something I think half the drivers in the US don't know how to do (Okay, slipping into a rant...). But because I do endeavor to follow the rules, I get postivively irate with people who don't - they speed, run red lights, stop in the middle of the road because they missed their turn and oh yeah, don't use their turn signal! Add that to the fact that people are often too busy talking on their cell phones to notice that they should go when the light turns green.

I've even spent time thinking of ways to tell people what they should creating hand signals (not THOSE kind of hand signals - like jazz hands to tell people they didn't signal) or a large neon board in the back window where you can type in your message to them - like "You didn't signal!" Should I really be spending my time thinking of these things??

Probably not. Which brings me to my point. How would Jesus drive? If someone cut him off in traffic, He'd probably speak a blessing. If they didn't move when the light turned green, I suppose He would probably wait with patience, marveling at His Father's creation. If someone changed lanes or stopped to turn and didn't signal, He would probably ask His Father to keep them safe and bless them.

I don't drive like Jesus. Maybe if I remembered that everyone in those other cars, no matter how they drive, is precious to God, it would help me. Maybe every time I climb in my car I need to offer up as a sacrifice my own criticalness and judgement. Maybe I need to think of others more highly than myself. Of course, that's what sancitification is all about...becoming more like Jesus in words, in deeds, and in my thoughts. I've got a long way to go:-)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Digging Deeper - Rahab - Part 2

As I was pondering Rahab's life and what was said in my Bible study this morning, I just knew I needed to blog. You can re-read Joshua 2 if you're interested in Rahab's story (and I hope you are), but now also take a look at Matthew 1 - Read the whole thing and then go back to verse 5. Did you see that? Rahab, a former prostitute, is listed in the geneology of the Son of God! What a transformation! We marvel at where she got because of where she came from, however, little do we realize that the same Spirit that transformed Rahab, is present within each one of us who have made Christ our own. An act of faith - protecting the Israelite spies from the King, made it possible for her to go from Prostitute, to becoming part of Israel (Josh 6:22-25), to becoming a wife (to Salmon) and a mother (to Boaz - now that's a great story we don't have time for today) to being listed in the geneology of Christ. How cool is that?

The thing is, Rahab made a hard choice because she believed God was real. She trusted the God of the Israelites more than she trusted everything she knew up until that point. She heard of God's fame and believed. And it made all the difference. Robert Frost talks about two roads diverging in a wood - and choosing the lesser-traveled road. We have a choice to make, too, each and every day. Will we trust God more than we trust our own wisdom and desires? Will we follow after God even if it's not very popular? Will we move towards our promised land, or wander around in the wilderness - accepting a shadow instead of the real thing?

The most extraordinary thing to ponder about Rahab's life is the fact that she could have missed out on all of it. If she had succumbed to fear or doubt, she might have missed the blessings God had for her. God's plan for our lives doesn't happen by default. We don't just float along and randomly fall into it. We will only reach our Promised Land if we follow the Promiser, each and every step of the way, each and every day. What if we have made mistakes, fallen or failed? God is all about redemption. And He is willing to take the things that the enemy meant for your destruction, and turn it into good. It's never too late to get on the right road. It's a simple choice, maybe not an easy one, but simple all the same. Rahab made the choice to trust God and it completely changed her life. What is God asking you to do today? Watch out. It just might change your life. And that's exactly what some of us desperately need.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Without A Hitch

My husband surprised me last night with a date night. This is no small feat considering he had to arrange sitting for the three little ones and make reservations. He's a great guy!

We went to see Hitch - and I must admit I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. It was just flat-out funny. Though there was a bit of swearing, there was not as much objectionable content as in most comedies that are coming out these days. Finally, a romantic comedy that is not about bed-hopping, but real relationships. Having the courage to be ourselves and to really care about someone else.

One premise of the movie, which I completely applaud, is that relationships take work. We have to focus on the other person in ways that don't come naturally to our selfish hearts. Hitch merely reminds his male clients to focus on and listen to the woman he cares about. Simple advice, but how many of us are too busy planning what we're going to say next to actually listen to what the other person is saying?

The movie also makes a comment about how some events in our lives become moments that have defined us - like being dumped defines us as being worthless. The concept is very true. many of us have some wound in our past that we've never gotten past. We let it decide who we are instead of us deciding who we are, and to whom we belong. How long will we do that to ourselves? That is the very definition of bondage - something Christ came to set us free from.

(So the next time an old wound starts bleeding again, try taking it the Master Physician.)

All in all, Hitch is a movie worth checking out.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day - but probably only because I actually have a valentine now. When I was in high school, my friends and I would wear black to boycott the dreaded holiday that seemed to point it's finger at us and taunt - nobody loves you! And indeed, I felt like that through most of high school. I never had a boyfriend and it always made me feel backwards and very unloved. You see, I didn't know then what I know now - that there is Someone who loves me. Even though God doesn't send us chocolates and roses, He sent something even more valuable to us - His Son. He looked at us wandering around aimless and lost and sent His Son to show us the way home. I am so grateful.

So maybe you won't be getting flowers today, or boxes of chocolates or a fancy dinner. It doesn't matter. You are loved. Say it with me now, I am loved! No one can love you more than God loves you and He longs for you to spend time with Him. It's a very simple concept, but one we easily forget. God loves you.

And for a few of you out there who need to hear it : God doesn't just love you. He likes you too. He thinks you're pretty cool.

And what better valentine could we have?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Exercise- my dreaded foe

Alright. For some time now I have felt the Lord's urging to get exercising. My first repsonse is, ew. It's not that I'm against exercise, I hear it's very good for you, but I've never been one of those athletic types you see running outside as the wind and rain whip around their heads. No, I'm more of an indoor girl. I'll often hear those promptings from the Lord and start something - aerobics, workout tapes, etc but then somehow, I stop doing it until I hear those promptings again. Why don't I ever listen the first time around? And why do I lack the consistency to stick with it? Do you have that problem? Sticking with something?

Well, I do. But I'm pleased to say that I am on week 6 of a running program. I've never been able to run this long in my entire life. Right now I'm running on the treadmill unless it's over 50 degrees but I'm still running. I have the $80 shoes and tendonitis in my left foot to prove it. And as much as I hate to admit it. There are some real benefits to regular exercise.

I actually feel better. Just an overall sense of well-being
I'm not as stressed (or I'm handling it better - not sure which)
I'm able to get more accomplished.
My body doesn't feel as achy (minus the tendonitis thing)
My mood is better - just more patient all around (and with three kids, I really need that!)

So whether I want to admit it or not, exercise has been a good addition to my life. It's still hard to be motivated to do it though. This week is the first week I've been inconsistent - opting to turn off my alarm rather than get up and run. But all is not lost and I can still get back to it. That's why I'm writing this post after all - because I need to run today - even if I don't feel like it.

So any of you avoiding something you know you should be doing too? Today is a new day. Get to it, and I will too. Don't grow weary in doing well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dig Deeper - Rahab, the harlot - Part 1

(It occured to me that in talking about girls and God, we should take at least one day a week to "Dig Deeper" into the Word of God. So each Tuesday, we'll dig into our Bibles and see what we can learn and we'll start with looking at some women in the Bible and, because I've been studying Joshua this week, we'll launch this new thing with Rahab - a woman who launched a whole new life.)

I can't wait to meet Rahab. She has a truly amazing story to tell. She went from being a prostitute, to having the honor of being listed in the geneology of Jesus Christ Himself. Talk about a turnaround! Like many of you, I have a past myself. Nothing as dramatic as Rahab, but I had dug a pretty slimy pit for myself before God pulled me out.

We have to go to Joshua 2 to meet Rahab. Read the whole chapter and see what you find.

Here is a woman who is a prostitute, and even thousands of years later, we all know what that means. When the two spies come she has already heard stories of their God - stories that made the whole city of Jericho melt with fear.

The Power of a Testimony

Hearing what God had done for Israel gave Rahab the courage to trust God. She didn't have to hide the spies - she could have turned them over to the king to be killed. Instead she hide them, trusting that God was going to protect her family. She knew God was able because of what she had heard and when the spies left her they gave her instructions on how they would rescue her when Jericho fell.

We all have a testimony - it's a powerful witness of God at work in His people. Not only can God's faithfulness to us help encourage our own faith during a hard time, but hearing of God's faithfulness and power can encourage others to trust God during their own. Rahab reminds me to tell the stories of God. She heard and believed, and we never know when someone might believe because they heard us speak of God's wonderful deeds, mighty power and infinite lovingkindness towards us. In v11 Rahab says, "When we heard of it [the stories], our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." Imagine that. It's like saying, "We heard what your God did for you and even though it really scared us, I believe that He's not only God, but He's here with you." I love the idea that God could show Himself to somebody through me. What an awesome privilege - and a forgotten responsibility.

The Power of Perspective

The other thought I'd like to mention today - and we'll talk more of Rahab next week, but in reading Joshua 2 I wondered what the story of Rahab would be were it written in "The History of Jericho". Indeed, she would have probably been considered a traitor - what she did was treasonness to her own country, she lied to her king - all things that could have cost her her life. Jericho was destroyed of course, and Rahab was saved but like her we often face very different descriptions of our actions.

I don't know how many of you have unsaved family and friends around you that are opinionated about your walk with God. I do. When I first decided to follow God my family wanted to disown me they were so upset about it. Imagine. They truly thought I was making a terrible decision that would cost me dearly. I'm so glad God had a different perspective:-) Just as Jericho and God would never agree on Rahab, there will be times in our lives when God prompts us to do that which seems foolish and reckless, and the unbelieving world around us just can't understand. And I think that's just the way God likes it. After all - without faith, it is impossible to please God.

So. What did God point out to you in Joshua 2?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Finding Neverland

I was so glad this movie got Oscar nominations because it prompted a re-release in the theatres, thus I was able to go see it this weekend after missing it the first time around. So if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil anything for you by reading my take on be warned, in reading further you're liable to find out things about the movie you may not want to.

So if you don't want to spoil anything, stop reading! And come back after you've seen it.

So, Finding Neverland got Oscar nominations for... art direction, costume design, editing, original score, adapted screenplay, best picture and best actor for Johnny Depp.

It was a beautiful film. I was in the musical "Peter Pan" in high school, and although it departs some from the Barrie original, it was such a magical story for me then. So I came into it expecting magical things. The score was indeed amazing because it blended so beautifully with the story being told and didn't draw attention to itself. Ditto for the costumes - it brings you right back to the early 1900's in England (as if we were all there in the first place:-) The editing was stellar for reasons I'll mention below. It earned every nomination it received, in my opinion. I thought the acting was superb all around - Johnny Depp has an amazing talent and even though he looks a little freaky in the Willy Wonka trailers, I think his understated performance here showed true depth.

Now I'll talk about two different things that mesmorized me and will have me thinking about for some time to come. I can't talk about everything because I'd be here all just two...

1- In the movie, Barrie and the four children move between the "real world" and the fantasy world of their imaginations. But instead of it being some stark contrast between the real and the fantasy, they were blended together (through fabulous editing) in a way that, at times, you didn't know which you were in. And indeed, you didn't really care. Two scenes stand out in my mind. In the first, Barrie and his wife are about to enter their separate bedrooms. They don't comminucate well and she doesn't understand him. When she opens her door, she enters her bedroom, but when he opens his door, we see a picture of the outdoors, he walks in and closes the door. Simple, simple moment yet it spoke so much! I love it when films don't feel they have to spell it out and let us imagine the many things that moment can mean. It was perfect. Barrie's imaginary world cannot be toppled by the disbelief of his wife. The two of them, literally, are in different worlds...etc. etc. In the other scene, the four boys, of which Peter is one, are playing a western cowboy and Indian type game and we come upon them in their fantasy world. Intercut throughout the scene, we see they are playing in the backyard and as two of the boys begin to quarrel and fight we rapidly switch between the fantasy world background and the real background of the garden, almost as if their fight is a picture of the wrestling that is taking place within Barrie himself between his real and fantasy world. There is also a wrestling taking place bewteen the grandmother of the boys and their mother and Barrie. The grandmother wants to put a stop to the silly games while their mother and Barrie see it is exactly what they need. It was a brilliant way to show that tension.

2 -If we step back and think about the movie in spiritual terms, it is also a picture of a believer. In the movie, Barrie says that if you believe something long enough and hard enough than it is true. He believes in what can't be seen. His fantasy world is as real as the real world to him. He is misunderstood by his own wife, who cannot believe, even when he invites her to join him. Barrie's own producer thought him mad when he first proposes the story of Peter Pan. He gets opposition from his wife, the boys grandmother, his own producer, but he presses on because he believes. Do you see the parallels in the life of a believer in Christ? What is so real and clear and obvious to us, seems mad, absurd and even dangerous to those who would be threatened by our willingness to just believe. We believe in a spirtual world that is every bit as real as the real world, but unbelievers would not understand that. We invite others to join us and the accuse us of being weak, or simple or naive. We propose the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is waved off as a myth with no true power to save. But we know different, don't we? We press on, believeing, no matter what the costs because we know what we believe is true.

Amazing movie, really. You have to see it to believe it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The 10 Worst Snack Foods?

Okay- I found this on MSN today and was mortified. Here I am trying to change my eating habits and then come face to face with the fact that a lot of the things I like are on this list - particularly donuts (yes, I knew they weren't good for me...) and my white chocolate mocha from Starbucks (does it help if I get it made with nonfat milk?)

So I'll paste here to let you get a look at the horrible, but very probable truth...

And FYI - a fried pork rind has never even come near my mouth...

1. French Fries - Don't be reassured by the fact that McDonald's is changing its cooking oil. French fries are still starchy white potatoes cooked in hot fat and flavored with chemicals and sugar. Possibly the worst snack food on the planet.
2. Donuts - Fried bread. Need I say more? And if that wasn't bad enough, add a sugary cream filling and a glaze of more sugar on top. Any questions?
3. Chips (Potato or Corn) - These are really just a packaged version of French fries (see #1). However, you can do damage control on this one by switching to baked blue corn chips, available in health food stores. It's still not real food, but it beats the 7-Eleven version any day.
4. Soda - And sorry, this includes the diet kind. Absolutely
nothing of any value here, and a whole lot of chemicals to boot.
5. Cupcakes and Snack Cakes - The creamy filling is fake whipped cream, and the rest of it is sugar, flour and flavoring. You've gotta be kidding.
6. Candy Bars - You might squeeze a gram or two of protein out of the nuts in some of them, but by and large they're a sugar orgy and a nutrition nightmare. Again, you can move slightly up the food chain by switching to one of the "energy" bars. Most are just
candy bars disguised as health food but they often have 1/3 less calories, quite a bit more protein and a bit less fat. Don't confuse them with real food though.
7. Pork Rinds - Fried pork skin. Not a good thing!
8. Fat-Free Cookies - These are even more insidious because they pretend to be healthy. Remember,
fat-free doesn't equal calorie free. Betcha can't eat just one!
9. Crackers - Trans-fats anyone? Most crackers are loaded with 'em. Read your labels carefully to find the few that aren't.
10. Pretzels - Surprise, surprise. Remember, just because something doesn't have fat doesn't make it good. This is just white flour, water and sugar masquerading as a healthy snack. Fuggedaboutit.
Runner up: Those creamy, carmelly, coconutty coffee mocha-latte-frappe drinks that are taking over the universe. I love my Starbucks too, but 20 ounces of caffeine, sugar, whipped cream and milk taken once or twice a day does not a lean waistline make!
And yes, the calories you drink count

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

To ponder...

Those who dream by day are
cognizant of many things
which escape those who
dream only by night.

Edgar Allen Poe


Time just slips right on by, doesn't it? I thought I'd get back into the swing of things by mentioning something I've thought about a lot in the past week: Hollywood.

I don't live in Hollywood, and I gather many of you don't either (that is, if anyone is actually reading this thing). But I think Christians need to have Hollywood on the brain. I spoke at a conference in Virginia this weekend called Awaken the Dawn - a cry for this generation to wake up and grab hold. I spoke about Hollywood and why Christians need to think about this subject. I had an interesting assortment of people in my workshop, some pastors, some parents and lots of young people. That said something to me. First of all, just mentioning Hollywood in a workshop title piques an interest. But also, Christians need to be thinking about Hollywood because young people most certainly are.

I won't go on for an hour like I did last weekend, after all, I had a door to close there and you can click off anytime you want to, but I want to mention my main point: Pray!

When people found out about my workshop I had a lot of people that responded - "I just don't have anything to do with Hollywood. It's evil." To which I would respond, "Well, that's a mistake." How effective is our Christianity, or for that matter, our walk with God, if we simply hide ourselves away in our churches and never face our culture? We pray for our nation's leaders and millions of people are signed up to pray for our President, and that's as it should be. But why aren't we praying for Hollywood? When I asked my class who regularly prayed for Hollywood, or had even thought to pray at all, no one raised their hands. Hollywood has a huge influence on our culture and on young people today. And there are Christians living and working in Hollywood who need our support so that they can be an influence there. At you can sign up to interecede on behalf of Christians in Hollywood and find out why Hollywood is a mission field.

So next time you see something on TV that you think is awful...pray!

Next time you walk out of a movie because it's raunchy...pray!

Next time you hear about a young artist wanting to be trained to work in Hollywood...pray!

I just think that we'll never win Hollywood unless we love the people of Hollywood. It's not some big machine that churns and coughs out beauty and filth all at the same time. It's a lot of people all in one place who love film and television. And we can pray for them to love Christ as well. And we can do that no matter where we live.