Songonthewind from Heather Christiansen





Sunday, November 27, 2011

RE: A Mormon's respectful response to being called a "Cult" or "not Christians"

 Below is the response to an email that was sent to me by a Mormon lady named Lyn that I sometimes meet at the train station. She knows that I'm a Christian and, one day, she decided to try to convince me that she and I share the same beliefs.

 Thankfully, I'm knowledgeable enough to share the Truth with her.

Lyn and I get on Trax at the Historic Sandy Station but get off at different stops so it cut the conversation short.

Days later I received an email from Lyn stating that I basically "cut her off" from fully explaining her beliefs.

This was my reply:



Lyn,

It's not that I "didn't give you a chance" to share your beliefs.  We didn't really have a whole lot of time on the train, and, besides that, I already know about Mormonism.

The different "flavors" or denominations of Christianity are really most unfortunate. 
Seriously, I don't believe that it's God's wish that people divide the church.
The Biblical meaning of "church" is the body of Christ, which is all those who are His.  "Christians" if you will.

The divisions or "denominations" of the church occur when people argue about little things that really aren't important.
It seems to me that most of the arguments are over end-times "eschatology" i.e. pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, etc; and the right way to baptize i.e. dunk or sprinkle.
Seriously silly.

And yet, even in the divisions, there is agreement on basic Christianity or "Christianity 101".

This is what Christianity looks like:

*The Holy Trinity (The Father is God, Jesus is God, The Holy Spirit is God)

*God did not have a beginning nor does He have an end, because His IS the beginning and the end.

*The Holy Bible is God's Word; He and His Word are ONE.

*Grace is provided free to those who believe; salvation by grace alone is a biblical concept.

*The temple of God is his church "the body of Christ". The veil of the God's temple was torn by God himself when Christ was crucified. God now dwells within His people.

*The virgin birth as explained in the Word of God that the Holy Spirit covered Mary and caused her to become pregnant. Truly a virgin birth.

I can go on and on with the Word of God.

Below is a link that will help you understand more of what Mormons are missing out on by being outside of the Truth.

http://www.sacredgrovesonline.org/videos/unveiling_grace.htm

 - heather christiansen

New Paint


(Key of C)

In the rooms
of my heart
that I keep to myself

There are no windows
and the knob is
on the inside

I'm painting a wall
to hide the graffiti

But the stain
keeps showing through

I hear a knocking
and cringe in the corner
knowing it's Jesus
He wants to come in

But I make myself busy
and keep  on painting
trying to cover my sin

The cracks in the plaster
the chips on the corners
the arch to the entry
that leads down the hall

The garbage that waits
in the pail in the kitchen

New paint
on the same old walls


Oh Father
please come and heal me
help me to
open the door

You already know
what I try to hide
You already see everything



The cracks in the plaster
the chips on the corners
the arch to the entry
that leads down the hall

The garbage that waits
in the pail in the kitchen

New paint
on the same old walls


 Lord I hear you knocking
and calling my name
through the door
with the knob on the inside

Patient love and
healing in Your hands

You already see
everything


The cracks in the plaster
the chips on the corners
the arch to the entry
that leads down the hall

The garbage that waits
in the pail in the kitchen

New paint
on the same old walls

 ....................................................................................

Symbolism of the song:


The rooms of the heart are the parts of life kept from the healing of Jesus.

The door of the heart we open to Jesus, only we can open. Therefore, the knob is on the inside.
Have you really looked at all those pictures of Jesus knocking on a door?  The knob is always absent. That's because the pictures are depicting Jesus knocking on the door of the heart, and it is our decision to open that door.

The graffiti is the sin painted by the owner of the heart.  Large and shameful to the one who put it there.

No matter how hard a person works, they cannot cover their sin.  Only Christ can wash it away.
And although we know that Jesus can heal us, the enemy wants us to wallow in our shame and feel too trapped to turn to Jesus and surrender our sin to Him, even though we know that it's the only way to be clean.

The rooms created are flawed and, therefore, let the sin we try to hide constantly seep into our lives; this is the cracked plaster.

The corners are chipped because of the constant scraping against the attempted compartmentalization or segregation of our thoughts.

An interior archway typically does not have a door. Thus, the archway is an obstructed pathway to the room down the hallway.  The room down the hall is a bedroom which is a vague allusion to sexual sin.

The garbage  is the rotting corruption of sin that is invariably kept in the place that is really meant for God to bless us with life and sustenance.

New paint is the constant wasted effort to try to make ourselves acceptable ourselves and to God.

For God, nothing is hidden.  He sees all.
And He keeps knocking.
Waiting for us to open the door...

Waiting for us to allow Him to heal us.


Monday, November 21, 2011

I caught hand foot and mouth disease...

It's called Coxsackievirus.

Here's the CDC link:     http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/index.html

I'm a public employee so that's most likely whom I caught it from. 

Just an occupational hazard.

When I got home from the InstaCare clinic, my husband said that he had heard of it from a customer of his who has a wife and three children.  The children caught the hand foot and mouth virus, and then their mother caught it.  The youngest child is an infant; she's in the hospital, fighting for her life.

Adults who catch the Coxsackievirus fair much better than children.  Adult usually have the sores in the mouth and throat.
Children will get a rash on their hands and feet as well as sores in the mouth and throat.  Their little bodies have a really hard time fighting it off.


The InstaCare doctor said that he caught it last year and it wasn't fun.  All he could do was prescribe "Magic Mouthwash" for the pain in my throat from a big lesion that the virus caused.  Magic Mouthwash is a "compounding" medication that the pharmacist has to whip up.  And, of course, insurance doesn't pay for it.
 The $42.00 was worth it anyway.

Last week on Wednesday, my throat started to get sore right under the jaw on both sides.  I figured it was a cold coming on so I kept working. By the time I got home from work on Friday, all the pain had moved to the left side and I had a big painful swell halfway down the front of my neck.  Saturday I went to the clinic.  No fever, no sneezing, no drippy nose.  The strep test came back negative (I've never had strep) but instead I was diagnosed with Coxsackievirus.  Ack!

I made some "get well soup" with lots of garlic.  I'm feeling better and the lesion has gone down but it's still there.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Mother's Dagger

My mother has a proverbial dagger.

On one side of the blade it says:  "YOU LEFT"

On the other side of blade it says:  "AND YOU DIDN'T COMMUNICATE FOR 10 YEARS"

On the hilt is says: "WHY?!"

So every summer that I visit my mother at her home and then go up her lake cabin  with my family,
there is always some small space in time at her house when she and I are alone to talk...

That's when Mother picks up the dagger and repeatedly stabs me with it.

When no one else is around to hear.

And Mother tends to say new things to upset me.
About how she didn't know about things that she really did.
And about listening to an ex-best friend of mine with an axe to grind.
And also about things that we had already discussed and I already explained but, for some reason,
Mother acts like she has forgotten everything about past conversations.

I wish Mother would quit picking up that knife.
For her and for me.
I wish she would bury it in the dirt....
forever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anne Puzey and GODSPELL

When I was offered to play the flute in the play GODSPELL, I had the privilege of meeting and working under Anne Puzey,  who was the musical director, conductor, and pianist.

Along with those  "official" titles, she was also vocal coach, mentor/advisor, herder of cats, encouraging and correcting expert in everything musical, and extremely kind to a certain forty-something flute player who hasn't performed before an audience since fifth grade.

I learned many things from Anne.  Things like knowing I could trust her, because of her expertise and experience, and realizing how much of what she does is taken for granted  from an audience standpoint.

All of the cast members and musicians composed their own bios for the GODSPELL program.  Anne Puzey's was the longest.
 
Because she's that good.

Anne's bio tells of  her experience, accomplishments, her prized possessions, and her affinity for the Osmonds.

Just don't let her bio lead you to believe that she is patting herself on the back.

Really, Anne Puzey has a  shy side.  She doesn't like to have her  picture taken; and when she is introduced to the audience, there seems to be an inner struggle between shrinking into her piano bench, and giving a smile and a wave.  Anne could never be a shameless self-promoter like, say, Senator Orrin Hatch.

But, really, that's okay because, in the circles that Anne Puzey travels in, she is known, and loved, and deeply appreciated.

Oh, that every member of every audience that has the privilege of her influence could know just how much they have been blessed.  If only they all could know just how much of Anne's love, and God-given talent, and honest hard work, and stress from caring about quality they are experiencing.

All from a beautiful lady that strives for perfection to deliver the best for people who don't even know her.

Because she is that good.

Thank you Anne, for your guidance, talent, and example to all of us.

You are loved for who you are, just the way you are.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

I've had "A CHILD OF OUR TIME" on my mind all day today.

While I was at Symphony last night, I kept thinking of "the world has turned on its dark side".
The Holocaust was one on the darkest times in human history.

And the world has always been in darkness after the Fall.

I sat there in my seat thinking: This is us.  This is you and me. This is what mankind is.

Despair!  Despair!

How powerful "A CHILD OF OUR TIME" is!
And the incorporation of American music is masterfully done!

I really love "STEAL AWAY TO JESUS".  I must admit that I had never heard it before.

What a very appropriate experience just before Easter Sunday.

Jesus Christ is THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Because how dark the world is without Him.

Dear Lord, I pray, give me the wisdom each day to let you save me from myself.

Thank you, Jesus!

PLAYING TO THE ECHO

My favorite way of practicing my flute is to play along to my favorite CDs.
Moya Brennan and Enya especially.
Not exact note for note. But playing the notes that come into my head that are sometimes the same as the ones in the song, but usually different.

It is compliment rather than imitation.

Like  two roads that are different but going to the same destination.

If you looked down upon them, you would see a kind of dance.

This is what I hear in my head. 

It's the echo of my inner response to the music.

And I didn't even know what it was until last night when I went to Symphony and experienced Michael Tippetts' "A CHILD OF OUR TIME".

It's so powerful.

I went early to catch the conductor's preview of the music.  A local music professor was there to explain the background of the piece as well as the composer, and explaining "point and counter-point"

When I heard the two flutists (love that Erich Graf) performing together, immediately I recognized the point and counter-point. 

The rush was so powerful that I closed my eyes and thought to myself, "Ah, The Dance".

My echo is the counter-point dance!

Eureka!  :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows - BEST ADVICE

Looking for energy-efficient windows or an energy-efficient glass door?

Well listen up because this is an inside scoop about windows, retailers, and also about some scams out there.


Switching out your single-pane windows for double-pane.  The secret is in the space!
Double-pane windows have about a 1/2 inch space between the panes that traps heat in your house, and also helps block out noise.
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4672773_double-pane-window-work.html

Replace double-pane windows that have broken seals. 
Over time, the seal that traps the air between the two panes of glass degrades and fails.
This results in moisture condensation between the glass.
There are tips and tricks out there to temporarily treat the condensation http://www.nachi.org/condensation-double-paned-windows.htm, but only real answer to the problem is replacement.
And remember, because of better manufacturing, today's windows are better than yesterday's windows.


Low emissivity (low e).
Thin film coatings are applied to the surface of insulated glass that reflects radiant  infrared rays.
This helps to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer (and) helps slow the fading of carpets and upholstery.
A window with a low e coating will have a barely perceptible greenish tint.
Low e is probably the most commonly purchased extra feature for windows since it is the most affordable.

Argon gas.
Windows with argon gas between the panes are more expensive than  film-coated low e.
Scam alert!
Do your homework on this one.
Specifically, find out what your altitude is!
I live in Utah.
Unfortunately, there are some retailers in Utah that advocate purchasing argon gas-filled windows that are manufactured in another state, and, unfortunately it's a scam.
When you go 2,500 feet in altitude above where your window was manufactured, the seal fails and the gas leaks out. http://www.ehow.com/list_7443428_problems-argon-gas-windows.html.
Also, even if the window was made locally, over time, the gas will leak out.
Avoid throwing money out of that new window you just bought.

Krypton gas.
This gas is so expensive that it probably will not give you an adequate return on your investment.
Plus the fact that, just as argon gas, there is an issue of leakage over time. http://www.betterlivingcentral.com/Window%20NFRC%20Ratings.htm.

Oh my, where to buy!
Shop around,
Shop around,
Shop around.
Chances are, the best deals will be at home-improvement stores.  Yes, the big ones.
Specialty stores tend to have the highest prices on the products (and) higher installation prices.
And be careful of sales at specialty stores because they may be going out of business soon.
If there is some dissatisfaction after your new window or door is installed, it's really nice to have a major corporation backing you up!
So shop around.

Brands.
This is really important.
Some companies have become house-hold names to the point where the average consumer will look no further.
A possible pit-fall is that a company may invest much in advertising and not enough in quality.
Shop around and look further.

Best advice:
Ever heard of Milgard? It's worth taking a look.
http://www.milgard.com/

Shop around at home-improvement stores.

 An informed consumer is a force to be reckoned with.  :)