Tuesday, October 31, 2006

poor socks

It hurts to have pets.

I blogged about my cats, Socks and Frisky last week. And this weekend, Socks went to kitty heaven. On Saturday, Allison and her BFF, Elizabeth, discovered a very still Socks lying in the wet morning grass, apparently a victim of a cat-hating dog. Did you hear the kids wailing and screaming? The sounds could be heard for miles.

Socks and Frisky were twins, never apart, always wrestling and playing. Here is a picture of Socks with his arm around Frisky about 4 months and 20 pounds ago. To pay my respects to our precious Socks, here is my best attempt at an obituary.

Socks Owings
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC - Socks Owings, age 7 months, died Friday night, October 27 or Saturday morning, October 28 (details are sketchy). Funeral services and burial were conducted at the residence on Saturday, October 28 by the Right Reverend Alan Owings.

Socks was a lifelong resident of North Augusta. He enjoyed wrestling with his twin brother, Frisky. He also liked to torture the boxer that lives at the same residence. Socks was well-known for his loud purring and his love of Friskies Ocean Fish Flavor cat food.

Additional survivors include his mother, Mama Kitty (address unknown) and a half-sister, Gray Kitty. He was preceded in death by another half-sister and brother, Kitty and Kitty Kitty. Socks is also survived by his loving caretakers, Kacie, Allison, and Matthew.

Memorials may be made to the TrueNorth Church Building Fund.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

smoke what you sell

In the past couple of years, I have been approached by several Arbonne International representatives who are concerned about my financial well-being and want to help me make LOTS of money. If I join the “pyramid” (even though they say it’s NOT one), I get to be my own boss, have an unlimited income potential, and participate in a Mercedez-Benz car program.

But they don’t tell me about their product.

Arbonne is a company that sells products related to skin care, nutrition, weight loss and aromatherapy. The products might be outstanding, but I wouldn't know…the reps have never told me. I’m not even sure if they are smokin’ what they’re sellin’!

I was reminded of my Arbonne experience while reading What Was I Thinking? By Steve Brown. This is what he has to say about it:

A friend of mine says that much of the evangelism and witnessing
done by Christians is a pyramid scheme. The purpose is to acquire
the product (i.e., salvation), sell it to others, and then train those others
to sell it…so those others will, in turn, acquire it and train others to sell it.
The problem, my friend says, is that we don't always use the product. We
just sell it.

It can be true with the Bible too. We can spend so much time defending
and “selling” the Bible to others that we don’t use the product very much.
And we can spend so much time articulating our doctrinal position from
the Bible that we forget why it was even important in the first place. We
can be so enamored with the Bible’s truth that we forget that the truth is
to be lived and used, not just acquired and memorized.

Thank you, Mr.Brown for reminding us that the doing is as important as the selling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wally World

I was a Wal-Martian yesterday. I hate Walmart, but I love having one. What would it be like to be a fly-in-the-aisle at Wally World? I wonder how many conversations take place like this one from yesterday, between me and my 10 year old:

Me: Allison, what cat food do you think Socks and Frisky want this time?

Allison: I don’t know, I’ll call them.
(She picks up her airphone).
Hello, Frisky? What cat food do you want to eat for the next month?
Oh, you want FRISKIES!
Ok, there’s a purple bag, a blue bag, and a yellow bag. I know you don’t like the milk pieces in the purple bag, so do you want yellow or blue?

Me, acting like Frisky: What color bag do I have now?

Allison: You have the yellow bag.

Me, acting like Frisky again: Okay, then I’ll have the blue bag with the ocean fish flavors.

Allison: Okay, bye Frisky.

Me: Meow, Mommy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Catalyst 2006 - Guiness World Record Pillow Fight

When the staff and lead team went to the Catalyst conference last week, we participated in a Guiness Book of World Records Largest Pillow Fight with 10,000 other people. Check out the video and check out the song (you may need to click 'play' twice)! It was crazy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

need more coffee

Good morning and happy coffee! I was thinking about going back to bed this morning after the kids left, but the coffee was calling my name. And I will be bouncing off the walls soon.

My earliest memories of coffee consist of old men sitting around the counter at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, reading their newspapers all morning.

Sip and read. Sip and read.

I became a coffee drinker myself while working twelve hour shifts in a pharmaceutical lab. That was nasty coffee. You know, the kind that tastes like charcoal and tobacco. But it got me through some long nights. My favorite coffee moments these days are the mornings I spend at the computer, catching up on the news and my favorite 'net places. Does this mean I am turning into an old man?

Sip and click. Sip and click.

10. You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
9. You can type 60 words a minute with your feet.
8. You can jump start your car without cables.
7. Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
6. You're so wired you pick up FM radio.
5. You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
4. You're the employee of the month at the local coffehouse and you don't even work there.
3. All your kids are named Joe.
2. You chew on other people's fingernails.
1. Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

this ain't right

Ok...so the joke is on me now. I uploaded my picture to myheritage.com to see which celebrity they matched my face up with. I matched up with:

Heidi Klumm(yeah,right)
Heather Locklear(whatever)
are you ready?.....CONDOLEEZA RICE!!!!

This thing is MESSED UP!!!!!!

identity theft

I just had to try it.

I ventured upon myheritage.com, a site where you upload a picture of a deserving victim and the site scans the image. The image is then compared to a database of celebrities to match up the potential likeness.

There is a 55% chance that Steve Davis is really Nick Lachey. That explains everything!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Hi. My name is Laura. And I'm a Sudoku-holic.

The Catalyst folks have a great sense of humor. They must have thought they were really cute by putting a Sudoku game at the bottom of each speaker's note page in the schedule booklet. Because now I'm an addict. And the rest of my family are co-dependents. Our weekend has been consumed with Sudoku challenges.

Sudoku is a game of logic and numbers. If you want to learn how to play, go here. And this is the place that I go to print the games. They have different levels of difficult from EASY to EVIL!

Thanks a lot, Catalyst people!

the clean-up

Alan and I went to the Catalyst conference with the TNC staff and lead team this past week. It was great to get away with the gang again and recharge our batteries. The speakers were very engaging...as well as the music! One of my favorite musical moments was Steve Fee with a gospel choir backing him up, singing the "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" line of the Killers' All These Things That I've Done.

One of the speakers was Rick McKinley, a pastor and also Donald Miller's friend (author of Blue Like Jazz). He had some great one-liners. One of them was: "You don't have to clean up your act to HEAR about Jesus." This has to be one of the main reasons people don't want to go to church...they don't feel worthy because of their sins.

So I got home from my trip and there was a daily devotional in my inbox, which totally applied to McKinley's message. Here is a portion of it:

While you do not need to change your lifestyle before you come to Christ,
once you do come to Christ, your lifestyle should show tangible changes.
If it does not, then one could doubt whether Christ has really come into your
life. The way you live should reflect what you believe. As John the Baptist
said, "Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from sins and
turned to God"
[Luke 3:8]NLT

There is no pre-requisite, no resume, no standard, no criteria you have to meet to come to know Jesus. Tell this to your "fish" when you invite them to church. They don't have to be GOOD enough, just BAD enough. Then they will experience a clean-up like never before!

Monday, October 02, 2006

m-m-m-my jehovah's

I took my friend Melanie to a day surgery appointment last week. We were in a small waiting room (about 10x10) and enjoying our girl talk in peace. Then “they” came in…four people who were apparently connected in various ways to another patient that was having a procedure done. Within thirty seconds, we knew they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Somehow they slipped that piece of information in during our introductions.

Then Mel left me. Alone. With “them”.

I spent about an hour with my Jehovah’s Witnesses. We did not talk about religion. Except I did refer to the fact that I am in a band at my church. I saw them make eyes toward the Bible that was in my lap and then there was silence. And tension. Four of them turned into seven of them as we waited. I was outnumbered big time…more tension.

During our time together in the waiting room, this is what I learned about my Jehovah’s:

1. They like the same things that I do. They watch Saturday Night Live. We talked about Will Farrell and his cowbell, Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations, and other SNL faves. I laughed at their stories and they laughed at mine.

2. They love each other. I got the scoop on the lady that they were all there to support. She was like the “Aunt Bee” of everyone there. I found out that they weren’t all blood-related but “spiritually related”. They took turns going in to see her and were truly concerned for her.

3. These JW’s go on mission trips and are mission-minded. They have a passion for what they believe in and want to share it with everyone.

My fears came from my upbringing that you should avoid getting into a conversation with a JW. When they ring your doorbell, you turn off the TV and all the lights, then call your neighbors and tell them that “they” are coming up the street. They might brainwash you or out-talk you during a debate and have you questioning your own beliefs.

But what began as a feeling of uneasiness on my part turned into compassion for my JW’s. I felt sorry for them because they think that what they believe is true. And I bet they felt sorry for me too, bless my heart. I know that I should not judge them, because guess what Jesus said? Love them. And if the door opens up in the future for me to share my beliefs, I pray that I will put aside my fears and speak the Truth with confidence.