Sunday, November 16, 2008

Unexplainable Experiences

I have been reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, and I read something this morning that I just felt the need to share. I feel that these words can reach out to every person...

Everyone of us has had experiences which we have not been able to explain: a sudden sense of loneliness, or a feeling of wonder or awe in the face of the universal vastness. Or we have had a fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that our origins are divine. What we saw there, or felt, or heard, may have been contrary to all that we had been taught in the schools and at wide variance with all our former beliefs and opinions. We were forced to suspend our acquired doubts while, for a moment, the clouds were rolled back and we saw and heard for ourselves. Explain such things as we will, I think we have not been fair to the facts until we allow at least the possibility that such experiences may arise from the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind. Let us not dismiss such a hypothesis too flippantly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Ambitions

This is a constantly growing and changing list of my ambitions:

1) Figure out how to develop websites and then build my own Christian resource website for women (it's called
2) Read lots of CS Lewis books
3) Read lots of Tozer books
4) Figure out an organization plan for my house
- read books
- check out online websites
5) Put my new organization plan on my new website
6) Learn how to take great digital pictures
7) Learn how to develop graphics on my computer (to use for my website)
8) Learn music theory
- maybe buy a book or two
- look online for sources
9) Get good at the piano again (we're getting a piano this weekend or next week!!)
- build up playing strength again
- find new, exciting piano books
10) Read the whole Bible again. And again.
11) Do lots of Bible studies
12) Get back in bodily shape somewhat close to what I was in college
- workout regularly
- eat well
- stay involved in
13) Get my anxiety under control
- read books
- see a counselor
- learn to focus on God
- stay involved in
14) Constantly grow into a better biostatistician
- read books
- keep biostats website and blog updated
- teach others through seminars or classes

What Jesus Means to Me

It took me a long time to really grasp the concept of Jesus and salvation through Him. After a lot of thinking, struggling, praying, and reading, I finally arrived at what I believe to be the truth. It has been spinning in my head a lot lately, so I've decided to write it down. I will edit this over time as I think of different ways to reword and explain things. But for now, here it is:

God created the world and humans so He would have people to love Him and glorify Him and also so He could shower His love on them.

In wanting us to love Him, He had to give us free will. For it's not really love if it's forced.

In our free will, humans have fallen away from God. We've chosen to disobey and do things contrary to what God wants. (This isn't very hard to agree with. Take one glance around you.)

Everything we do that goes against what God wants is sin. One single sin, however small or seemingly unimportant, separates us from God and prevents us from spending eternity with Him when we die. God is perfect, and He cannot spend eternity with imperfect beings. (I once had a friend who said, "Why do we have to be perfect to get into heaven? Why can't we just be good people?" My response was, "If we don't have to be perfect, then where would God draw the line? And how would we ever know if we were good enough?")

So then, the next immediate response is, "Oh great, so what you're saying is that since I maybe did one little itty bitty thing wrong, I'm going to hell. Beautiful." But no, that's not what I'm saying. The story is not over.

So, in the Old Testament times, God would have the people sacrifice animals. To us this seems grotesque. (We live in a time when sacrifices are no longer needed, which I'll get to shortly.) But actually, God was being very loving in telling the people to offer sacrifices. Because, God accepted the life of those animals in place of the life of the people who were sinning. In other words, once the blood of those animals was shed, God saw the people as pure and perfect again (until their next stupid sin). Seems pretty nice, huh? If you were given the choice of burning a sheep or going to hell, which would you choose?

Well, ok, let me back up. Those animals didn't exactly completely take the place of the sinning people. But that was because God knew that He was going to provide the world with the perfect sacrifice to cover all sins eventually.

This is where Jesus comes in. God sent Jesus, His Son, to the earth. Jesus was all man and all God, as inconceivable as that seems. Jesus was perfect. In other words, Jesus did not have to die and did not need to offer any sacrifices. But guess what He did. He sacrificed Himself. That's where Jesus dying on the cross comes in. When Jesus shed His blood on that cross, God accepted it as the eternal sacrifice for all sinners. And why could God do that? Because Jesus was perfect.

Then Jesus came back to life. He overcame death. Jesus is stronger than death. Jesus conquers all.

So now, because Jesus died and came back to life, sacrifices are no longer needed and we get to go to heaven. We are all forgiven. We can all spend eternity with God. Every past, present, and future sin of each one of us is forgiven. God found the perfect Way to satisfy His own wrath against sin. He provided Himself, through His Son, as the One to die so we wouldn't have to.

So now, the next question is often, then why do people still go to hell?? Because...although Jesus died in place of us, we have to actually BELIEVE that He died in place of us. And when I say believe, I don't mean "Oh cool Jesus died, yay rah." I mean, BELIEVE. As in, you accept it with your whole being. You absorb its meaning. You feel it to your core and base your life on it. That's what I mean by believe. And if we don't believe it, God's not going to allow us to use it. A starving person who is offered food is not going to live unless he eats the food. If he turns his head away and refuses to accept the gift, it will do him no good. do we accept the gift? We just pray to Jesus and tell Him that we do. We tell him we love Him and that we're so eternally (literally) grateful to Him. We tell Him that we realize we owe him our life and so now we want to repay Him in whatever way we can. Then we start living the way He wants us to to the best of our abilities. Because, if a person is truly grateful to Jesus, the gratefulness will shine from within him. When we truly love someone, it is clear through our thoughts, actions, and attitudes. Same thing goes with turning your life over to Jesus. If you truly realize what He's done for you and truly accept the gift, the evidence of it will overflow from your life.

And then, once you have accepted the gift, you realize how much God loves you. You realize that you can walk in God's will and that as long as you follow Him, your perfect God will not let you down. He will not lead you astray. Suddenly, all the sufferings in life don't matter as much anymore. Because you know that there is a purpose and that, regardless of what happens, God loves you and you are going to spend eternity with Him. Life suddenly has purpose. I can't even express how full my life is now that I'm living for God. I yearn so much to know Him more and to please Him. And the more I do those things, the stronger my desire becomes. It's inexplainable, and I wouldn't trade it for anything or anyone. My Jesus is my All.

So...that's my rendition of Jesus saving the world. Leave it or take it...but I sure hope you take it.

Great Bible Resource

If you read the Bible on a somewhat regular basis like I do and enjoy reading commentaries for the verses, you have got to check out this free program I just found:


online version

downloaded version

There is both an online version and a free version to download to your computer which is FULL of optional goodies. E-Sword allows you to read the Bible in many different translations while having your choice of commentary and a Bible dictionary open simultaneously. Or you can have a concordance open. The downloaded version also has the option of graphics, devotions, a reading plan, study notes, copy and paste features...the list goes on and on. I am SOOOO excited about this!! I will probably send a donation since it's free...I'm sure they need support to keep such a great product free to whoever wants it.

So go check it out!!

Online version:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Night Vision Goggles

So last night I was driving down a three-lane road near our house (Duraleigh, for those of you who live in Raleigh) on my way to meet Dave and some friends for dinner. There were very few street lamps around and the road was very dark. Suddenly, as I was driving in the center lane, in the stream of my headlights I could vaguely see two figures emerging straight in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and stopped just in time before hitting the two figures in front of me. And do you know what the figures were? Two black people, dressed in all DARK clothing, one of which was on CRUTCHES, just moseying across the road. They were not speeding up their pace AT ALL when I almost hit them. I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? What is WRONG with people???? I mean, common, who on EARTH decides it's a great idea to walk across a busy road, in the dark, on crutches, in dark clothing??? Especially when your skin is dark, too??? PEOPLE DON'T WEAR NIGHT VISION GOGGLES WHILE THEY'RE DRIVING!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple way to help others

Looking for a way to help others daily with only the click of a button?

Set the following page as your homepage:

Click to give a free mammogram!
300 clicks means a gift of $20,000 towards funding for a cure!

Please do this. I've been clicking daily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pics I Promised

Here are the pics I mentioned yesterday plus a few extras...

Me and Grandma at the ultimate fields

Ring of Fire (Dave's team)

We're a very serious couple.


Rogan Melaney

Maggie May (see her odd-shaped pupil from the eye surgery??)

Daisy, Maggie, and Rogan...and nope they're not related

Di-oh-gee numero dos

I thought this was a pretty spiffy photo of Maggie (see my photographic talent coming out??)

Rogan is a happy dog

Um...I think we were trying to be sad (?)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today #2

See, once I get started on blogging, I just can't stop!! Second blog today!!

I just thought of a couple things I really wanted to share. They are two websites I've been using a lot recently.

First of all, most people who know me well know that I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). (A good description of what I go through on a semi-daily basis can be found here: GAD.) I also have panic disorder, which sort of goes hand-in-hand with GAD. Essentially, it means that I have regular panic attacks. (Here's a good description of those: panic disorder.) This is not something I normally speak about with people I do not know well. However, I'm starting to realize that this is just a part of who I am, and that if I'm open and honest about it maybe I will find that there are others who will be incredibly greatful to find that someone else is experiencing the same things they are. So...this is my first somewhat "coming out of the closet" with my anxiety.

Anyways, somewhat recently I was feeling pretty frustrated with my illnesses, and I decided to search online for a support group. And what I found was better than anything I could have hoped for. It's called DailyStrength.

It's a massive support website. Every person has an anonymous online profile, then he/she can go and join support groups for just about any ailment you can think of. (I'm not going to go into detail here with all my physical and emotional problems, but if you know me well, you can figure I'm in quite a few.) The website is just great. It's helped remind me that I'm not alone. I've even made contact with quite a few Christians, which is very exciting to me. If you have ANY issues you have diffulty dealing with, mild to incredibly severe...whether it be stress, troublesome children, depression, insomnia, ADD, or suicidal thoughts...there is a support group for you where you can talk with tons of other people going through the same things you are. It's really really neat. I strongly encourage everyone to check it out.

Second, I wanted to share another website I found. It's called SparkPeople.

This is a website dedicated to helping people stay healthy and at their appropriate weight. It's very similar to DailyStrength, only focused on diet, exercise, goals, motivation, and drinking lots of water. You again have a profile, you track your goals and progress, and you chat with other people. To top it all off, you tell the website your age, gender, weight, height, and how much weight you want to lose by when, and it plans out an entire weight loss plan for you. It gives you exercises, the number of calories to eat, and even your meals if you want it to. It's absolutely phenomenol. Oh, and you get points for participating in the website, and then as your points build up you get "trophies" displayed on your page. I'm a big fan of rewards. :) So...check it out!!

(And just for inquiring minds, because I can already hear the remarks I'm going to get from friends...I am not saying that I think I am fat. I simply, after getting married, got a little excited about cookie dough and I don't fit in my pants as well as I'd like to. I'd rather lose a few pounds now than end up buying an entirely new lower-body wardrobe.'s just a daily struggle to maintain weight anyways. Hence my participation in the site. AND, actually, they even have a support group for 20-somethings trying to lose less than 10 lbs. I was pretty excited to find that one. :) )

Alright that's all for now. Hope this information is helpful to someone!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm Back

I'm finally writing another blog. Sorry it's taken me so long!!

For those of you still curious about the personality test, I was actually green, and my lowest score was in yellow. Yes, this completely contradicts everything anyone would think. However, the test also claimed that when in the work place, I adjust the yellow part of my personality to where it's the second most dominant color. Weird, huh? I don't know how much I trust a personality quiz that only took me 10 minutes, but the results are still interesting.

The last weekend in October we went to Sarasota, FL for Dave's ultimate frisbee nationals. It was a good time. The guys did great...lost in the semi-finals. I was proud of them. :)

Since then we've just been getting back to normal life. We're going to Charlotte this coming weekend for another (recreational) ultimate frisbee tournament. It's actually a 3-on-3 tournament, so much less competitive. Good thing, because my husband is still limping through the house from his injuries from nationals. If he could avoid further injury I think his body would appreciate it.

Alrighty well I will be keeping this more up-to-date now. I was going to post some pictures for you but I can't get them to upload to the internet right now. They will be coming soon. :)

God bless!