Are You Ready?

So the question is…if today were the day that Jesus Christ came to call His church home…would you be ready?

“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:27

Click on the above link…and make sure that you are ready.

Thank you Jay! Sure makes you think.

GodBlogCon 2006…Blog On

This afternoon I returned from attending the 2006 GodBlogCon at Biola University. It was a wonderful experience…and I can truly say I am humbled to have had the privilege to attend.

2005 was the first year for the GodBlogCon…but I was still a newbie at this thing called blogging. Now I’ve had about a year and a half experience under my belt…and was able to gain and take away some challenges, good information and tips to employ as I continue to use this forum and gift that God has granted me.

The conference was three days…and hindsight being 20/20 I wish I had also gone on the first night…but I am grateful to have gone the following two days. My head is swimming with thoughts, ideas and inspiration that I came away with after spending a couple of days with fellow Christian bloggers. While like minded in many respects…we each had our own vision and sphere of influence that God has given us.

If we are but willing…He will use each of us to reach out to a lost and dying world to win souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to build up the church body. That in itself is a daunting, overwhelming and humbling task, privilege and responsibility. The question is…will I take it seriously and invest myself and time wisely?

It’s kind of hard to narrow down and express what I liked best about this experience. But one thing that struck me from the beginning and throughout is that I don’t meet fellow bloggers out there in everyday life. Of if I do…they are awfully silent and don’t talk shop much. After spending time with my new blogger buds…I find that a little hard to believe. If for no other reason…than the fact that bloggers are a pretty excited group of people. Excited about their latest project…or some comments and feedback they’ve received. Or they want to bounce a few ideas off of you and learn the latest technology to improve their blogs and making posting more interesting, easy and fun.

As I first arrived on the Biola campus…I looked expectantly and nervously for the God Bloggers. After all…I was going to be spending the next couple of days with these folks…complete strangers…but at least we shared a common interest. Would that commonality be enough to break through the barriers inherent when meeting complete strangers?

It didn’t take long for my fear or concerns to be laid to rest as I walked into the courtyard where a pre-conference breakfast was being served. I met Andy Rau and Donald McConnell who were very friendly and approachable. As it turns out Andy was out here from Michigan to attend the conference. Andy is part of a group blogging experience at Think Christian. He also lends his talents to Gospel Com and Bible Gateway…of which the later has become an invaluable resource to me and many, many Christians. Andy appears to be a quiet and thoughtful young man. Donald is the dean at Trinity Law School here in southern California. He blogs at Trinitarian Don and brings a rather unique perspective to blogging that of law and Christianity…a law background not something that your average blogger brings to the table. Thank you Don and Andy for making me feel welcome from the get go!

Soon the days conference was off and running with the first Plenary Panel discussing “Bridging the Christian Divide”. Panelists included: Joe Carter Director of Communications for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (Evangelical Outpost & FRC Blog); James Kushiner publisher of Touchstone Magazine a Journal of Mere Christianity and editor of his new venture Salvo magazine. James blogs at Mere Comments; Mark D. Roberts Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church (blogging at Mark Roberts); and Jimmy Akin bringing up the rear with a Catholic Evangelical perspective. Jimmy’s counsel and wisdom can be found at (Jimmy Akin). Moderating this group discussion was John Schroeder. John brought an unusual mix of a degree in chemistry and a Masters in Divinity to the table. John blogs at his site Blogotional.

The panel discussion that ensued was thought provoking and time went entirely too quickly and soon it was time for our first breakout session. While I didn’t take a lot of notes during this discussion…the one thought that struck me, remained with me throughout these last two days…and what I’m taking away is a challenge posed by Joe Carter.

When asked the question…what will help make you a better blogger? Joe replied…that “To be a better blogger…I need to be a better Christian. Be humble.” Simple, yet profound…and something that will challenge each Christian till the day he dies. Certainly not achievable on our own power. Something we can strive for when our focus is on Christ and not ourselves. When we seek to glorify God. By spending time in the Word of God…being washed in the Word.

As Mark D. Roberts would share on the last day…it wasn’t until late in the game he brought prayer into his blogging posts. Sounds obvious now doesn’t it? A Christian blogger…blogging about Christian issues. Why wouldn’t you pray about what you are writing about? I know personally…on some of my more controversial or delicate posts I’ve sought wisdom from God…and when responding (or not) to some ugly comments…I may pray. But honestly until Mark stated that…I didn’t think about it. Perhaps I need to plant the words from “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” firmly in my mind.

Before we knew it…we were off and running and going our separate ways into the Breakout Sessions. I chose to attend “Blogging as a Winsome Witness” taught by Melinda Penner from Stand to Reason. Not only something Melinda teaches about…but something that she and Greg Koukl and the folks at Stand to Reason live out daily. Long time listener to their radio show…but I’ve also followed Stand to Reason as they’ve continued to grow and use cutting edge technology to help equip the body of Christ.

It was informative and challenging to learn from Melinda as she shared tips on Christian blogging. I also found myself listening carefully to classmates as they shared their experiences. Skye Puppy was very excited as she shared about some of the connections that she’s been able to make…and bridges developed with unlikely people through the world of blogging. All made possible through the net.

Before we knew it…it was lunch time. With that being said…I think I’ll continue on in a separate post as not to make this too daunting to read.

The Tigers Win the Pennant…A Long Time Coming!

These days if you encounter my brother-in-law Pete Silvestri or nephew Scott Silvestri…you’re likely to notice that they are a little more chipper than normal and have a certain swagger to their step. Why?

Not because they had a fun night out with the boys…or because they made a killing in the stock market as it rises in the 12,000 range. No indeed!

Their high is a natural high…that of a devoted and patient fan. Unlike the California fans that turn on their team if they loose a game or don’t make the play-offs…Pete and Scott are the definition of devoted fans.

The Tigers last won the World Series back in 1984…and a lot has happened since that time. Back then Pete was but a young guy…married to his lovely bride Denise and they had one son Scott. Pete didn’t have a gray hair in sight. Scott was but a young boy…and learning the love of sports from his enthusiastic dad.

Today Pete has more than a few gray hairs. But don’t worry Pete…remember guys look “distinguished” as they age. Or so the saying goes. He’s now a father of three boys Scott, Travis and Reed and one daughter Alyssa. He’s also the proud grandpa of two precious girls Liana and Danica. Scott…is now on his way to being an old married man and father of two girls. (Scott…you’d better start saving for those weddings now!)

Pete and Scott are not fair weather fans. So even though it’s been 22 years in the making…they can tell you with absolute confidence that the Tigers are the best team in baseball. If they didn’t win last year…you’d better watch out this year. And this year…just may be their year.

Now first and foremost…I’d pick the Angels to win…my fall back position then defaults to the Red Sox. Now if neither of those teams are in the running…then I have to go with the Detroit Tigers.

Sorry Steve Scanlan…AKA the Audit Man. If the Tigers weren’t in the running I’d be routing for your beloved St. Louis Cardinals. But as it is…I have my loyalties. Not only to the Silvestri clan…but also my very favorite old boss Doug Kuripla. The man’s from Michigan…and remains loyal to his team. You never know…I might work with him again one day and don’t want to rock the boat.

Even though Pete has his faults…like being a Hillary Clinton fan and thinking that she has the best looking legs in Washington DC…I have to side with him on the Tigers winning the World Series. By the way Pete…even Bill may take issue with you on Hillary.

Even with our political disagreements…I’m backing you on this one Pete. Go Tigers! I want them to win in four games straight…a clean sweep.

The Tigers Win the Pennant…The Tigers Win the Pennant! Kind of has a good sound to it doesn’t it?

Shirley Phelps Roper…Your Own Words Condemn You

One of my greatest sources of criticism towards Muslims is when decent, honorable Muslims are quiet when persons of their own faith commit evil in the name of Allah. Muslim terrorists fly planes into buildings…killing thousands of people…and they remain silent. Or when homicidal bombers blow up people at weddings or at the local diner…and it’s considered okay because they “just killed Jews”.

With that in mind…it is impossible to remain silent when I hear the vicious hate filled speech spewing forth from one who purports herself to be a Christian. May I say in no uncertain terms that this woman’s words distort the Word of God and in no way represent what God tells us in His Holy Bible. She does not represent Christianity…nor is she approved of or applauded by those who call themselves by the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Ms. Shirley Phelps Roper…by your own word you are condemned.

Shirley Phelps Roper and the people of the “Westborough Baptist Church” are at it again…or should I more accurately say they are still at it. This time their ugliness and deceit is beyond comprehension.

When I first became aware of this troublesome group…it was when news stories showed these sick, hate filled people protesting at the funerals of slain American soldiers. Not protesting the war…but instead they carried signs and shouted slogans including “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”. Their contention is that God has killed those young men (who sacrificed their lives for our nation’s protection and freedom…my description…not Shirley and gang) because our nation has allowed homosexuals to practice their ways freely.

That message was bad enough…but it pales in comparison to the hate they poured fourth this past week…in the midst of tragedy that is beyond human comprehension.

While the rest of the nation reeled at the events that took place in a small Amish school house this past week…Shirley Phelps Roper and gang geared up to go forth and spread hate, hurt and destruction.

Five precious little girls’ lives were cut short in an act of such monstrous proportion that it defies human comprehension. We will never know why or fully comprehend why God allows such acts of evil to take place. Especially those committed toward the most innocent and vulnerable in our society.

But Shirley’s voice was loud and clear with the message on why she and her hate mongering group believe that this tragedy took place. She made the rounds of TV and radio shows to jump on the band wagon and use this tragedy as a platform to pour forth more lies, hate and deception.

I don’t normally take the time to transcribe TV interviews…but in my effort to defeat this hatred…and let the truth of God’s word be known…I felt compelled to do so. I want to compare Shirley Phelps Roper words to that of scripture. I want her evil ugly words to be slain with the Sword of the Spirit…the Word of God.

Shirley when I hear your words of venomous hatred directed toward those families who are in great pain over the loss of their daughters…I don’t feel a lot of compassion for the events that shaped you and formed you into the hateful person you’ve become. If it were up to me…I would be happy to let you continue on your path to destruction…and let you reap the rewards of your pharisee like, self righteous life.

But it matters not what I say, think or what I believe is the right and just action that you deserve. Only God’s Word…and what He says matters.

Shirley…even as you pour forth hatred…God still loves you and desires that you would turn to him and seek forgiveness from your sins. He desires that none should perish…but all should come to repentance. That “all” includes you Shirley.

As ugly as your words and actions are…I am reminded daily that there have been many that appear beyond redemption. What’s impossible with man…is possible with God. God took the likes of Paul…and turned him from a man who was convinced of his own self righteousness, one who slew Christians into a man transformed by God’s power. Paul went from slaying Christians…to becoming one the most influential Christians ever to walk the face of this earth. He proclaimed the Gospel message boldly to all he encountered. God has continued to use his work be bring people to repentance and a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Shirley if God can change the life of a murderer like self righteous man like Saul (one who has the blood of many on his hands) into Paul…a man of sacrificial love for the lost…what might God do with you? How might God use your life for good…as a powerful example the transforming power of God love in the life of a repentant sinner? How Shirley?

Today is the day of salvation. Shirley I urge you…I implore you to turn from your self righteousness, hatred, ugly, evil ways. God stands ready to cleanse you from your sins…transform your life and use you to further his kingdom.

Below is an exchange that took place on the Fox News I when Sean Hannity and Alan Comles interviewed Shirley Phelps Roper. I’ve also inserted scripture and my comments in some places where I feel Ms. Phelps Roper distorts the Word of God.

Shirley Phelps Roper Fox Interview
Wednesday October 4, 2006
(AC = Alan Colmes, SPR = Shirley Phelps Roper, SH = Sean Hannity)
AC – Welcome back to Fox News. Members of the Westborough Baptist Church have been protesting at military funerals since June of last year carrying signs with anti-gay slogans. Yesterday they announced were planning to protest at the funerals of the Amish school girls shot to death in Lancaster Pennsylvania earlier this week. But they have since changed their plans. With us now from Westborough Baptist Church is Shirley Phelps Roper. You changed your plans because Mike Gallagher has offered you air time on his radio show because you want to get your message out. What is that message?

SPR – The message is that God has put his standard in the earth. He expects his creatures to obey it. If you obey, he’ll bless you. If don’t he will curse you. America has sinned away her day of grace. America is doomed.

AC – You’re giving me what sounds like a bunch of talking points. Why would you cause more pain to this community? The Amish community which is so not even involved in much of what is considered modern day and these families who have suffered. Do you have sense of how much additional pain you would be causing these families by protesting at the funerals of these young girls?

SPR – There isn’t anyway to fix that situation for them. It’s not going to be any less painful if we are there or we aren’t there. They did that to themselves. And you say that they’re not involved.

AC – What do you mean when you say they did that to themselves?

SPR – I mean they sit over there and create their own form of righteousness instead of…

AC – Did those girls deserve to be killed?

SPR – Well they did get killed and they did that. Who controls the hearts of men? It was at the hands of an angry God that those girls are dead.

AC – Did they deserve to die?

SPR – They did deserve to die.

What was Jesus response when his friend Lazarus’ life was cut short at a young age?

“Jesus wept.”

John 11:35.

God tells us that we are to “Weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.” – Romans 12:15.

Jesus didn’t add to the pain of Mary and Martha at the loss of their brother. He didn’t condemn Lazarus as a sinner deserving of death. He didn’t state that God smote him because of his sinful ways. Was Lazarus a sinner? Yes…indeed he was. As are you and I and all of humanity.

Shirley, you intentionally and purposely twist scripture in your effort to pour out your agenda of hatred. The Bible does declare that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23. “There is no one righteous, no not one.” – Romans 3:10. There was only one righteous man that walked the earth…and that was 2,000 years ago. Today he sits at the right hand of the Father.

But God also tells us that through His Son Jesus Christ he sought to save us from our sins. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:17.

AC – How can you possibly make a statement like that?

SPR – Because that’s exactly what happened and it happened at the hand of your Lord your God.

AC – How could you possibly say that young girls who have done nothing wrong, who are innocent, who are just a few years old, who have never sinned, who have never done anything, deserve to die? How could you possibly make a statement like that?

SPR – You told me that you serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…who says that when Adam sinned, all sinned. There are no innocent human beings and their parents….

When the Disciples questioned Jesus about who had sinned causing a man to be born blind…what was His response? “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” – John 9:3.

Were the blind man and his parents sinners? Absolutely…but God sometimes allows things in our life because he has a greater purpose in mind that will bring glory to God. It may have nothing to do with our sin…but instead is the result of living in a sinful world. That means at times there may be adversity in our lives…and we may never fully comprehend its purpose here on earth.

Shirley…you remind me of Job’s friends Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite who initially went to comfort him in his distress. Instead they ended up doing the blame game and were certain that the disaster that God had permitted to fall upon Job was as a result of his sin.

Not only was Job rightfully angry…but so was God. “After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.” – Job 42:7-9

AC – You protest funerals of soldiers. You protest funerals of anybody who it seems dies under any circumstances. Anybody who is not a member of your church is a sinner and hated by God.

SPR – Don’t go to that. That anyone who is not…if you don’t serve God you’re dead.

AC – Who serves God besides people in your church?

SPR – Well you tell me. I don’t see anyone on the landscape.

AC – There’s nobody except people in your church.

SPR – I don’t see that.

AC – Which is basically people in your family.

SPR – I don’t see that.

AC – Members of your family are the only people on earth that serve God and everybody else deserves to die.

SPR – You need to get out on these streets and warn your neighbor that his sin is taking him to hell. Fulfilling the royal law to love neighbor as yourself.

Jesus declared that the greatest commandment was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40

Shirley…Jesus loudest condemnation was towards the self righteous, arrogant, prideful religious leaders of his day…the Sadducees and Pharisees. That is exactly what you’ve become. “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” –
Matthew 3:7. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” – Matthew 16:6.

SH – Hey Shirley, you are really a sick woman. You are a sick, soulless…

SPR – Slight cold, but thank you.

SH – twisted human being. You are…where is your soul that you come on the air here and these young innocent girls here are going to die. And you are going to open up the family’s wounds and pour salt on it. Where’s your heart? Where’s your soul? Where’s your compassion? Where’s your love?

SPR – Our message is for the living and that is the only loving thing to do.

SH – What about the living families that lost their daughter? Who loves their daughter.

SPR – They did that to themselves.

SH – No…because some animal killed them in cold blood.

SPR – Sent by who? Who controls the hearts of men?

SH – Do you sin?

SPR – Who controls the hearts of men? Who controls the hearts of men?

SH – Did you ever sin? Did you ever commit adultery? Did you ever sin? Did you ever lust in your heart? Did you ever get angry? Did you ever sin? Have you ever sinned here Miss Perfect here?

SPR – You’ve got the deck chairs on the Titanic. Well of course you know that I’ve sinned.

SH – You have? So you are a sinner. So why didn’t you die?

SPR – So you’re saying therefore…

SH – Did you deserve to die?

SPR – Well of course all of us deserve to die.

SH – So you sit here…

SPR – But I’m not the one who did die and my message is for those living people who brought that pain upon themselves.

SH – This is what I see about you Shirley…

SPR – They need to obey the commandments of the Lord their God.

SH – Your entire life is now sort of focused on bringing pain to other people. The families of innocent girls who died. The families of innocent soldier who died. God hates fags. You put…

SPR – Innocent? Don’t you throw that word around.

SH – Innocent.

SPR – It has no definition when you get done with it.

SH – Innocent…those children were more innocent than you. They didn’t sin like you admitted doing.

SPR – Those children…those children were killed at the hands of a raging mad God. To punish those families. To punish the state of Pennsylvania because you’ve got a governor in that state that who got on Fox News and lambasted us because we serve God.

SH – And you want to…hang on a second. And you want to do…and you…

SPR – And then you’ve got those people in Pennsylvania who think they can sue us and fix this problem.

SH – So because you didn’t…hang on a second. So because you didn’t like Ed Rendell and what he said, you are now going to protest at the funerals to bring pain to the families. Explain this.

SPR – To connect the dots. To connect the dots from point A your filthy manner of life and your rebellion against God…

SH – What are your sins Miss Perfect?

SPR – and your conduct against the service of God to point B the dead children.

SH – I want to know what your sins are.

SPR – Well I’m not going to talk to you about any of such thing. I don’t glory in my shame like you seem to do.

SH – No…I just find this amazing that everyone is a big sinner except you and you admit to being a sinner.

SPR – How about…you obey the commandments of the Lord your God.

SH – Which ones did you break?

SPR – Obey the commandments of the Lord your God. You don’t fix this by saying two wrongs make a right. That’s what you seem to be saying.

SH – No what I’m saying.

SPR – You may not say what God requires of you.

SH – You know what I’m saying. Although I’m speaking to our audience beyond you, because you’re brain dead. And what I’m saying to you is that you are a soulless, thoughtless, mean…

SPR – Thoughtless?

SH – Cruel human being.

SPR – Thoughtless?

SH – What you are doing is mean.

SPR – We go out here year after year after year on our own nickel to warn this nation that if you obey God he will bless you.

SH – Listen, listen, listen. I’ve got that. Now listen very closely.

SPR – Why don’t you just try it?

SH – Listen to what I’m saying.

SPR – Why don’t you just try it?

SH – Here’s what I’m trying to tell you.

SPR – Obey the commandments of the Lord your God.

SH – Okay I’ve got that.

SPR – And get his blessings.

SH – Now you listen to me.

SPR – There is only one remedy.

SH – Here’s what your remedy is.

SPR – Repent like the men of Nineveh or you this nation is doomed. You think it’s bad so far? You are going to find bodies

SH – You know what you are?

SPR – stacked up so that you can even bury them.

SH – You are a religious nut.

SPR – Then you will obey when God says (unintelligible…talking over one another).

AC – Shirley…we’ve got to run. Do you deserve to die to?

SPR – Well all of us do. Everyone of us.

AC – Since God is going to smite you at some point?

SPR – No I said we all deserve to die. But the mercy of God given to people who serve him is what prevails.

AC – I can’t even get mad at you because you are so pathetic.

SPR – Look hon.

AC – What you are saying is horrible and so mean spirited.

SPR – You can do all that and call me names. It doesn’t fix this. You have got the wrath of God pouring out on your head. You need to fix that by obeying (unintelligible). Repent.

Adventure at the Busy Bee

With my recent job change…it necessitated a little juggling of my schedule.

Whereas before I use to do my laundry early in the morning before work at my apartment complex…I now make my weekly trek to the Busy Bee Laundry Mat after work.

As it is…I already get up before 4 AM…and I just couldn’t see my way clear to getting up earlier to get my laundry done. I would have to get up super-mega early…and that just wasn’t going to fly. So with a little shift in my schedule I now find myself at the Busy Bee Laundry Mat each Tuesday after work.

While it wasn’t my first choice…I find there are always enough washers and dryers and I don’t have to fight to find an available machine…or develop my strategic plan to get the next available machine before the next guy. The Busy Bee offers laundry services where you can drop off your clothes and pick them up later in the day…washed, dried and bundled clean and fresh. They charge by the pound. Being that I’m a cheap son of a gun…I’ve never used their service. Perhaps one day I will.

One thing I noticed early on…is how much better the machines at the laundry mat wash and maintains your clothes. While I like the convenience of doing laundry at home…I like being able to get everything done all at once without a struggle for an open machine.

If not interesting…with the cast of characters…it’s at least entertaining. Especially if you’re a people watcher. There are the regulars…ones I see every week. There is the laundry attendant…who is very quiet…but a hard worker. Normally the owners around and taking care of maintenance on the machines…or colleting the coins.

There is one lady that I noticed when I first started doing laundry on Wednesday nights. It’s not unusual that people have the same schedule…so I didn’t think too much about it. That is…until I changed my laundry night to Tuesdays. Much to my surprise this lady was there on Tuesday nights too. That’s when I realized there was something more to this lady than meets the eye.

After observing this lady…I’ve come to the conclusion that she must have OCD…Obsessive Compulsive Disease…she’s a clean freak. She always brings very small batches of laundry….not a full weeks worth like most folks do. Even if she arrives before I do and her laundry is still in the washer…and my clothes are washed, dried and I’m headed home…before she puts her things in the dryer. While I’ve not actually observed it…she must be washing her clothes at least a couple of times. She always carries hand sanitizer and washes her hands multiple times. She always keeps a paper towel handy to use when she has to lift the washer lid or open the dryer door. She will only do so with a paper towel in her hand.

This lady never interacts with anyone. Not customers or employees. She makes no visual contact and never talks to anyone. She is visibly uncomfortable when people get too close to her. Last week when the owner was colleting the coins from the machines…she waited until the last possible moment then moved well out of the way. Nary a word comes from her mouth and she avoids all eye contact. Her eyes are always staring straight ahead.

When I see the women…I think how sad and scary her life must be…and ever so lonely too. But a life of her own choosing. Walls built by fear…help keep everyone away. I do look for opportunities to say “Hi”…but so far she never lets anyone in.

Then there are other folks I encounter…like the young student from the local university. He was studying away while doing his laundry. When I saw his Bible…I just had to chat with him. Being that I consider part of my duties to encourage other believers…it was my pleasure to pass along some CDs from Pastor Chuck Obremski.

A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting and uncomfortable encounter with some intense love struck teenage heartache. A young girl and her boyfriend entered the business. The young man…or should I say boy…was acting quite an intimate fashion towards the girl in a very public place.

At one point she was trying to tell him to leave her along. That she didn’t want to see him any more. She was trying to be sweet and caring while breaking up…but he would not respect her “no”. When their argument grew louder I readied myself to intervene if necessary…or call the police on the young lady’s behalf.

As she exited…the young man followed her…like a puppy…a rather sick puppy. All the while she continued to try and make him understand that she didn’t want to be around him anymore. But he refused to listen.

Before I knew it…she had entered the building again and standing before me. She asked me for money.

Now normally…I have a rather hard heart when presented with this type of request. But this time I saw something different…I saw a quite desperation in her eyes. I asked her if she needed the money to use the pay phone…and she responded “Yes”. I gave her the money as the boy looked at me like I was interfering or worse betraying him…by helping her get away.

I’m a very direct person…and I can’t restrain myself. For good of for bad…I speak my mind. This instance was no different. I told the boy to “leave her alone…back off…give her some space. She doesn’t want to be around you.”

Oh the pain in his eyes…teenage angst. He didn’t have a clue.

A couple of lessons were crystal clear after seeing this episode of teenage love, heartache and angst played out before my eyes.

One thing that was apparent from watching this couple interact from when they first come in the laundry mat…is that these two had been sexually involved. The way he touched her so intimately in a very public place was what you would have expected to see from a married couple at home in their bedroom.

And to the girl…and all young girls…you have no idea the road you are going down when you make that choice, compromise and give yourself away. Give yourself away to someone who doesn’t respect you…and in a few months or a few years now will only know you by derogatory names. The regret that you will feel…will only grow as the years pass by.

I wonder how much her parents are even aware of the road their beloved daughter has gone down. Are they blissfully ignorant of what their baby girl is doing? Or worse yet…are mom and dad divorced sleeping with their latest fling each weekend? Or do they have a live in boyfriend…all the while…setting a wrong example for their young kid.

And now for an observation about the young boy. He was involved with this young girl emotionally up to his eyeballs. That deep emotional involvement is only made worse and exaggerated by sexual involvement.

His passion towards this girl…was almost to the point of scary. I would not have been shocked to see him turn violent towards this girl. Or come back later on with a gun.

As palatable was his pain was…it was also pathetic. He was begging and groveling and wanting to be with this girl who didn’t want to be with him anymore. It was over.

I wanted to yell at him…“Have some self respect young man. Why do you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? Even if it kills you inside…walk away. Hold your head up high and walk away.”

There is absolutely nothing attractive about someone begging and humiliating themselves in pursuit of love from someone who doesn’t want to be with them. The picture of that boy will stay embedded in my mind. If ever tempted to cling to someone who has rejected me…I will remember.

So each week is an adventure at the Busy Bee. Whether it is people watching, reading a book, listening to a Dennis Prager podcast…or writing an article it’s an adventure. Rather ordinary at times…but an adventure nonetheless.

My Heart’s Desire

A certain wildness,
That can not be tamed.

Maddeningly aloof,
Yet I find myself drawn.

He hears me,
Like none before.

A quite confidence,
Seeks not the praise of men.

At times immovable,
Yet a plea for help will be answered.

Humble strength,
Helps those in need.

Deep beneath the surface.

Scars remain,
Hurt deep within the soul.

Faithfulness and truth,
Ever so rare in this generation.

My heart yearns,
Desires one…such as this.

Once Considered a Friend

There once was a man called friend.
With sparkling blue eyes and an engaging smile,
Who captured my heart.

A thoughtful, kind and caring soul.
Through thick and through thin,
A good friend to all.

Passionate and caring of things of import.
Arguments vocalized with a friendly banter,
Refusal to back down or be swayed from his point.

Then the day came, when rough waters abound.
A cry went out for the help of a supportive friend.
Only to be met with silence.

Confused information with participation.
Choices sent waves of disappointment;
From which he would not repent.

The phone remained silent; e-mails unanswered.
Hurt and withdrawal necessitated,
A decision…to give up.

Decision made to move on.
Eyes fixed forward, must not look back.
In reality…a struggle each day.

Until one day…success.
Conversation…but nary a thought of him came to mind.
Shocked, surprised and appalled!

How could I…what kind of a person am I?
To so easily forget,
One, once considered a friend?


It’s now officially autumn…one of my favorite times of year.

In southern California…it’s an almost invisible change…except as we near winter and our trees loose their leaves. We don’t have the lovely colors of fall like folks in the mid-west or eastern part of our country. Or even like my Canadian blogger buddies like Teresa Shirkie at Canadian Blogger and David Fisher at Pilgrim Scribblings.

Theresa’s been sharing some of the lovely photos she’s taken near her home. I must confess I envy their weather and change of seasons. This girl originally from Colorado…loves the four seasons. While I’ve grown use to and even like southern California…one day I would like to return to a part of the country where I can witness the beauty of God’s creation in the seasons.

But even here in southern California…autumn brings a plethora of apples at the local market. Many different varieties to choose from. With the cooler weather and autumn decorations displayed throughout my home…I get inspired to cook. That coming from a very un-domestic kinda gal.

I do believe the man I marry had better be a good cook…otherwise we’ll be eating out a lot. My repertoire consists mostly of breads, cookies and deserts. My one venture that is different…is homemade applesauce.

When listening to Chef Jamie Gwen’s show several years ago…she shared her recipe for homemade applesauce…done in the crock pot. It sounded so good…easy even for the kitchen novice like me. Done with a little twist…instead of adding water you add a can of Ginger Ale.

So I shot off my e-mail to Chef Jamie…and was quickly rewarded with my new favorite recipe for homemade applesauce.

4 to 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut
One 12 oz can of Ginger Ale
¼ cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for five to six hours. When ready to serve…stir with a fork to gain the applesauce texture. Substitute allspice or nutmeg for cinnamon…or add other spices to taste.

My sister Denise (who is a fantastic cook) gave me the idea to add some vanilla to the recipe.

I’ll tell you…after making homemade applesauce…I’ll never go back to the store bought variety again. It’s just too good to settle for the lesser after having the homemade version.

So while this girl never in her life has made a pot roast and wouldn’t have a clue how to make chicken and dumplings…I do make a pretty mean batch of applesauce.

Whether I eat it solo or topped over cottage cheese or cheese blintzes…I like to keep a supply handy in the fridge. Especially this time of year.

Now if any of you have a recipe that uses applesauce…I’d love it if you would share with this kitchen novice.

Time to break out that crock pot and peeler…and get cooking.