Sunday, March 31, 2013

THE Game Changer

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Happy Easter, Dry Ground friends!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

No Greater Love...

Everything. Motivated. By. Love.

Good Friday, Dry Ground Friends!

(photo by

Monday, March 25, 2013

Motive Matters

I'm a story person, as you know - books and movies, but also television shows. As you also know, I like to find analogies or examples of God's love in these stories. I'm most delighted when I find that love in unlikely places like a simple cartoon or a horror movie.
For all the morsels of God's love I find in stories of all genres, it saddens me to see the many many instances of the misunderstandings of God's love. So often, God is represented as a big meany, unfair, vindictive, confusing, inconsistent, haughty and spoiled like a too-powerful kid with a magnifying glass getting his kicks sun-scorching ants. Countless Bible verses are quoted or mis-quoted or taken out of context to prove such points so that personal rebellion or anger or hurts have a 'legitimate' excuse.
Well, I got to thinking about that this past week after watching one of my favorite television shows during which the bad guy accuses God of being this kind of mean, disgruntled God. And I have to admit, I can see how so many people question God's motives. Because from the world's perspective, which is to say a 'human' perspective, we attribute characteristics to God that are merely human because we are human. And as humans, we are, to our fellow humans, mean, vindictive, unfair, inconsistent, haughty, spoiled. The list goes on... and on...
Be honest. You just thought of a couple people you wish you could use a magnifying glass on, didn't you?
The whole problem with this is that GOD IS NOT HUMAN. Jesus, who is also God, became a human, though He never stopped being God. But God Almighty is not and never has been and never will be. Therefore, He doesn't operate as we humans do. His motives are pure.
The bottom line is, God's every action and word is motivated by Love. We, as humans, can't even come close to saying that, which is why it is tough for us to believe it.
That's where faith comes in.
What if we read the Bible, any part of it from cover to cover, with the 100% belief that every word, every action, every commandment is motivated by Love? Perfect Love in fact.
It's guaranteed to shift our point of view. We'll see God in a clearer, new light that deepens faith, increases peace, opens understanding, draws us nearer to Him. And that's just the tip of the ice burg.
Beware! Implementing this promises to be challenging! You have an enemy whose number one goal is to make sure you never believe God loves you. So be ready. DETERMINE that no matter what you read, the irrevocable truth is that the words in the Bible are backed by Love - and see what happens.
Have a great week, Dry Ground friends! How many of you are on Spring Break? I get some company from OH because it is, so I'm excited. Talk to you soon!
(photo by

Friday, March 22, 2013


1. “Knowing is half the battle.” – 2009 – G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra – sequel Retaliation comes out 3-29-13. (We’ve waited a year since it was supposedly done – let’s hope they give us something entertaining!!)
2. “Give me a scotch. I’m starving.” – 2008 – Iron Man – sequel released 2010, #3 due to hit theatres 5-3-13! (The trailer gives me goose bumps every time and I see it a lot since I work at a theatre…)
3. “You can whistle really loud, you know that?” – 2009 – Star Trek – sequel Into Darkness opens 5-17-13! (Since we work at a theatre, my Daniel ‘gifted’ me one morning a sneak peek private screening of the new trailer for this one *squee*. I love that he knew that would make me smile!)
4. “You will not cry or whine or laugh or giggle or sneeze or barf or fart! So, no, no, no annoying sounds.” – 2010 – Despicable Me – sequel will be released 7-3-13! (It’s so fluuuuuffffyyyy!!!! Still the best line from that one. And love those minions!)
5. “My whole life, I felt like an animal. Then she came along.” – 2009 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine – The Wolverine opens 7-26-13. (Hugh Jackman – ‘nuf said.)

Happy Weekending, Dry Ground friends! 

Lasting Lines – Summer Sequels Edition

TGIF, Dry Ground friends! I hope you have a wonderful Palm Sunday weekend planned.
This week’s Lasting Lines Trivia Challenge highlights the movie industries favorite way to make money – sequels. So, that’s the hint. Each line comes from the original film to which a sequel is being released this summer!

1. “Knowing is half the battle.”
2. “Give me a scotch. I’m starving.”
3. “You can whistle really loud, you know that?”
4. “You will not cry or whine or laugh or giggle or sneeze or barf or fart! So, no, no, no annoying sounds.”
5. “My whole life, I felt like an animal. Then she came along.”

Happy guessing. Answers tonight! Have a great day!
(photo by

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The 'I's Don't Have It

When I was in grade school, my dad gave me a challenge one day - to go as long as I could without saying the word 'I.' Apparently, my focus had been not only introverted but also self-centered and this exercise showed me how extensive my thoughts and words concerning myself really were. Eye-opening (pun intended!)
I thought about this task the other day and gave it another try all these years later. Not sure I've learned much! It was still tough!
I'm glad the Lord is SO patient with me!
We sang this song in church last Sunday. Perfect for a little focus readjustment. Hope you enjoy.

Chris Tomlin - Lay Me Down (Official Lyric Video) from chris-tomlin on GodTube.

Keep on trucking, Dry Ground friends! It's Wednesday!
(photo by

Monday, March 18, 2013

Express Pass

My Daniel and I enjoy watching The Amazing Race. The places they go and the cool experiences the players get to have, let alone as they compete for great prizes, sounds like the perfect vacation to us.
The game incorporates a few twists and turns, like a life-size board game, that make the race tougher or easier. For example, sometimes teams get ‘U-Turned’ meaning they have to do both of the ‘Detour’ tasks instead of just the usual one required. That, obviously, slows teams down.
On rare occasion, a team can win an advantage called an ‘Express Pass.’ It’s exactly what it sounds like – a fast forward to the end of the leg, bypassing all the tasks, winning that leg’s prize, keeping that team in the race. Once this golden nugget is obtained, it is that team’s strategic discretion on how to use it. The logic, however, is that if the team in possession of the ‘Express Pass’ gets hung up on a task that puts them in last place, and therefore in danger of being eliminated from the race altogether, then they use the ‘Express Pass’ to complete that leg of the race ahead of everyone else.
Well, a couple Sunday’s ago, history was made when the team with the treasured ‘Express Pass’ came in last place and were eliminated! Ousted from the race while still in possession of the Pass.
How in the world did that happen? I mean, how can you give up the chance to win a million dollars, keep running a pretty cool race around the world, when all you had to do was cash in the pass and move forward?
It seems to me, from what I saw while watching the show, that the only reason they didn’t use it was to prove they could get through the tasks.
That, my friends, is called PRIDE. And not the good kind, by the way.
Amazingly enough, while the host, Phil, was telling this team they were no longer in the race, they insisted they did the right thing.
Even Phil shrugged his shoulders in bewilderment.
It got me thinking.
We’re all in the race of life. I like to think of it more as a journey, but Paul did encourage us to ‘run the race to obtain the prize.’ In the case of life, the prize he’s talking about is Heaven. The good news is that, unlike The Amazing Race, we don’t have to jump through hoops or attempt near-impossible feats to earn the right to continue. We don’t have to win the ‘Express Pass’ because it was purchased for us by Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection.
And it is for everyone – but you must choose to USE it!!!
Pride keeps us from a lot of benefits in life. Self-dependency is perhaps one of the most dangerous cultural conspiracies of our modern world. It’s much too common for people these days to make their own rules and still expect to win. The team holding the Express Pass doggedly stuck to their pride in their performance, almost ignoring the fact that they no longer had a chance to obtain the goal.
Paul tells Timothy, “…athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.”
The Bible clearly tells us the rules of life that lead to winning the prize of Heaven. It may seem complicated at first, but really there’s only one rule – believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. THAT is the Express Pass. And all you have to do is USE IT.
Don’t find yourself on the mat without having used the pass. Know the Rule. Follow the Rule. Win the Prize.
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends! Happy racing!
(photo by

Friday, March 15, 2013


1. “I don’t want to be a good man. I want to be a great one.” – 2013 – Oz the Great and Powerful
2. “What have they got in there, King Kong?” – 1993/2013 – Jurassic Park
3. “Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.” – 1986/2012 – Top Gun
4. “Kids these days. They just don’t get scared like they used to.” – 2001/2012 – Monsters, Inc.
5. “So, 38 of New York’s finest versus one guy in a unitard? Am I correct?” 2012 – The Amazing Spider-Man

Lasting Lines – Re-dos, Remakes & Re-releases

The hint this week on Lasting Lines is that each comes from a movie released recently that is either a re-do (same subject, rebooted), a remake (same story, different cast) or a re-release (exact same movie in theatres again, often in 3D).
Hope you’ve had a great week full of peace, letting the ‘moss’ roll off as you avoid making mountains out of molehills, and expressing gratitude to the Author of our Faith through praise and worship.

1. “I don’t want to be a good man. I want to be a great one.”
2. “What have they got in there, King Kong?”
3. “Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.”
4. “Kids these days. They just don’t get scared like they used to.”
5. “So, 38 of New York’s finest versus one guy in a unitard? Am I correct?”

Answers will be up later today. TGIF, Dry Ground friends. Happy Weekending!
(photo by

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

We all meet challenges during a typical day - at work, in our family lives, financially - there are tons of ways for life to disrupt peace like the kind I talked about Monday. We might spend ten or more minutes every morning in praise and worship, even take the song with us as we drive to work. But as we all know, the heat of a day can rise quickly, unexpectedly, startling us into a momentary peace-paralysis.
Recently, in the course of my customer-service oriented job, I encountered such a situation. In my attempts to adjust and adapt, a picture came to mind - that cartoon caveman and his giant millstone. Why?
Well, because I felt like the best thing I can do in the annoying situation was - roll with it.
This seems elementary as I write it out. But at the time, it hit me with a powerful wallop. I don't want to be a cube or I'll get stuck on an offense or make a mountain out of a molehill. If I picture myself or the situation as a circular anything - anything that rolls - then I can move on, shake off the dust, keep on functioning.
So, no matter how inconvenient, annoying, or frustrating the day-to-day gets, remember that most of the time, we should just roll. That way, we'll stay connected with the Peace in our hearts.
(photo by

Monday, March 11, 2013

Unlock the Box

Sorry about being absent on Friday. Still adjusting to my new work schedule.
Everything is going great, though, here in the Redneck Riviera – so it’s called and free from the intent to offend. (I kind of like it, actually). One awesome thing is we have already found a church to attend. The pastor is a phenomenal teacher – and this week I’d like to pass on a tidbit from the first sermon I heard from him.
We read the verse: For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17.
Goodness, or ‘righteousness’ in other translations, is the gift from God when we believe in Jesus. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit produced as we spend time with Him.
But peace… in this world, it seems elusive and out of reach. Yet, this verse tells us we have full access to peace because it is the essence of the Kingdom of God, of which we are part.
So why aren’t we more peaceful and why aren’t we the ones to bring peace to the party?
The pastor described the key to peace as… well, a key. Two keys, actually. The treasure, peace, is ours, but it is so valuable, it is as if it is in lockbox – the kind at banks where people keep their most prized possessions.
What does it take to access your lockbox?
First, your name needs to be on the list. If you’ve trusted Jesus as your savior, you’re on the list.
Second, it requires two keys to be turned at the same time. The keys have been given to us to unlock peace, and those keys are praise and worship.
Ever wonder why a really good song just makes you feel better? That’s the tip of the ice burg. Singing praises, or speaking them if you are tune-shy, aimed at the Most High focuses your thoughts on the Prince of Peace, unlocking the limitless storehouses of peace promised to us in His Word.
Try it. These keys will turn in that lock. It works.
The really cool thing, I think, is that we don’t have to go anywhere special to use the keys. I mean, the ‘bank’ in this analogy is not a church building or some sort of sacred temple – the bank in this situation is our own hearts. And the peace is already there because Jesus, the Prince of Peace, already lives inside via His Holy Spirit. But our hearts get distracted, jaded, wounded, tired – and those things disguise and lock away peace from our consciousness and ability to feel it and apply it to our lives.
Cue – praise and worship – the keys.
Always available. Always with us.
Here’s a song to get you started turning that key, unlocking the peace we’ll sure need to start off this week. Sure, it's ten minutes long, but #1 - it's an AWESOME song and #2 - it's been a while since some of us have used the keys and we have at least ten minutes of rust over the lock. The treasure is well worth those ten and many, many more. Agreed?
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!
(photo by yours truly)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Good News/Bad News

I was going to voice my absolute disgust with the news story about the nurse who refused to administer CPR for an incapacitated person who eventually died. The heartbreaking pleading of the 911 operator crushes me as does the emotionless voice of the nurse who called but would not help because it was against her employer’s policy.
Excuse me? Saving a life is against policy???
What a sad day when we choose personal protection, job security and threat of income loss over the sanctity of a life that isn’t our own.
I can allow that I don't know all sides of this story. I am reacting to the highlights from the news, which I understand can be seriously incomplete.
Perhaps, if any good can come of this it is to see the stark contrast of what Jesus has done for us – no greater love, but He laid down His life. And I believe we are called to do the same. ‘Think of others more highly than yourself…’ and ‘Lean not on your own understanding…’ and just depend on the Lord to take care of you as you continue to do right.
It feels bad to highlight something bad. 
I want to conclude on the upswing with this entertaining, LOL video. I hope you enjoy… while keeping in mind ‘do unto others’ still is the way to go.

Happy Wednesday, Dry Ground friends!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Edition of The Adventures of Dan and Lori

For those of you who haven't heard or realized it yet, Dan and I now live in Spanish Fort, AL. Among all the other things to be happy about because of this relocation, we are super jazzed to be in the warmer climate and SO CLOSE to the Gulf. This past weekend, we went exploring. And in less than an hour, we were on Dauphin Island having a blast. Thought I'd share some pics -

I hope you all have a great start to the week! Count your blessings!