Sunday, July 27, 2008

Time to bathe the cat!

Our temporary cat, Sonya, has been doing her best to make sure I won’t miss her when she’s gone. Her latest ‘trick’ is to take regular dirt baths.

In desperation I went on-line to learn why and how to break her of it. I found these instructions on how to bathe a cat. (I probably won’t try it, but it was good for a laugh.) If you want a laugh; or if you need to bathe your cat, check out:

Also check out these instructions on how to give your cat, or dog, a pill. I laughed so hard I got a tummy ache.

Sonya's still dirty, but after all that laughing I'm feeling less annoyed. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Learning Optimism

Tonight as I perused the latest Reader's Digest, this quote grabbed my attention, "jamming, like life itself, isn't about perfection but about playing through your mistakes and trusting that you'll get back on track if you just keep up the rythm." So said David Hochman in, "Music Man" on learning to play the mandolin.

It echos something I wrote in my journal this morning. "I can choose to be positive and keep trying and learning--something good is bound to happen if I do." I had been journaling my thoughts about my job. Up till then my musings had been quite pessimistic. But when I wrote this it felt like a breakthrough, because I actually believed it!

I felt energized and hopeful after that and was able to start working on a particularly difficult report that I didn't think I could do. I kept going on it and am nearly done now.

Last year I found a book called “Learned Optimism, How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. Since then I’ve tried to put his ideas into practice to help me learn to become more optimistic. Pessimism has been such a habit for so long, that sometimes it feels like uphill work. But this was an encouragement. I am learning.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shout to the Lord!

Thursday morning the song "Shout to the Lord (of Hosts)" by Kevin Prosch kept going through my head. I don't even like that song. I'm not much of a shouter, not even at football games. (note this is not to be confused with the song "Shout to the Lord" by Darlene Zschech, which I really like!)

Anyway the song kept playing on my mental radio station, especially the line "it breaks the heavy yoke...when you shout to the Lord". Since I don't recall hearing that song recently anywhere, I wondered if God might be telling me something. Like maybe I should shout to the Lord. And maybe it would help me somehow if I did.

I couldn't think what to shout. I didn't want to just make noise. So I looked up "shout" in my concordance. I was surprised at how many verses there are telling us to shout for joy to the Lord. (this wasn't even an exhaustive concordance. Later I searched for the word "shout" in the NIV's website and found 59 verses with "shout" in them.)

I looked up Psalm 47 which starts out, "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy." I read it out loud. Reading the lines "For God is the King of all the earth," "God reigns over all the nations" and "He is exalted" extra loud. Not quite shouting, but getting there. Then I moved on to Psalm 66. Felt led to stand. Even got a few "woo hoos" out. Felt kind of silly--even though only the cats could hear me (besides God I mean :). But God is worth it. Because he really does reign!!

So what happened? Did any heavy yokes break off? I don't know. Some of the "fog" seemed to clear from my brain and I did feel a little more envigorated. Of course physically it got my blood flowing faster (but I had worked out earlier in the morning and that did not make me feel the same sort of envigorated.)

Since then I've done it a couple more times. It seems like I am feeling a little more hope and confidence in God. It is interesting to note that in scripture much of the references to shouting have to do with triumph over enemies. I am reminded that through Jesus we do have the ultimate victory over the enemy. Even if things seem grim at times in this life. The enemy of course doesn't want us to remember that. Maybe that's why it's so hard to get ourselves to do things that help remind us.

Psalm 100
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love
endures forever;
his faithfulness continues
through all generations. "

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Overcoming fear

Lately, in addition to depression I have also been battling headaches. Yesterday Sharon C. commented that I should try rebuking the enemy in case the depression is due to a spiritual attack. So I did. I noticed some improvement. But was still struggling with the headache and depression this morning. So I prayed for wisdom to know how to battle this thing that seemed to be attacking me. 2 Timothy 1:7 came to mind. I wondered if God was showing me that the headaches were being brought on because I have been giving way to fear. So I began to rebuke the spirit of fear; depending as I did so on the authority that I have in Jesus. The headaches subsided right away. The depression also started to lift.*

Several times since they have started to return, but I have again come against the spirit of fear in the authority of Jesus' name and by the power of His blood that he shed for us on the cross.

I have fought successfully against fear in the past and I believe I can again with God's help.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

*Getting past the depression seemed to require some other steps and effort on my part. I prayed for God's help. I was hoping He would just infuse me with a sudden burst of energy and joy, but instead he gave me instructions and helped me to get moving little by little. "Now stand up," when I did that, "now put your shoes on", then "now go get the mail". and so it went. Each little 'accomplishment' helped me to gain momentum for the next and the next until I was finally at my computer beginning to work on the latest report for my job. And since I had not done one for a while and felt rusty, it started again, me asking for help and God giving me instructions little by little. Until I started to get into it more and more.

I can definitely see that for the last several weeks, especially, I have been letting myself get bound up in fear about my job and writing in general. But I think that when I resist the temptation to fear that not only will my joy in my job increase but possibly even my skill and effectiveness will also increase. Not to mention my overall health and well being!

Please God, may it be so!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I wonder if part of my negativity is because I have believed that God's holiness and righteousness is a negative, harsh, judgemental thing.

And while His holiness is uncompromising --he doesn't wink at sin. Yet it is also very much about His character of love. The fruit of His spirit is love, joy, peace, patience.... He is a merciful, faithful, good, kind God and he wants me to mirror that in my thoughts and actions. He has also told us we are not to be the judge-- He will be the judge in the end. And it will be according to His character--not mine.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8