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Archive for May, 2008

Meredith, (who’s singing the praises of “crazy cream”; go see!), wants to know how we ended up in an AMiA church.

Like most Biblical journeys, it involved a little faith, some times of waiting, times of following, times of discerning, and times of blessing.

(Warning: long answer begins here!) I grew up Lutheran and was baptized, confirmed, married, and my children were baptized all in the same church in South Carolina. We weren’t necessarily looking for anything new or different after we moved to the Midwest. But God had something different for us. (Warning: short answer begins here) Basically, we just felt at home in our new church, and we’re stickin’ here ’til He tells us to move again.

I don’t have a long list of qualifications or principles that my new church must embody or embrace. We loved that the AMiA grew out of a cross-cultural concern from Christians in Rwanda for the unchurched in North America. We love that sense of grassroots connectedness, that sense that God is and has been at work across the globe. And we love jumping on the bus to join in however we can.

I’m not attached to a particular denomination at this point in my life, but I am still attached to liturgy. (I’m glad God hasn’t asked me to give that up yet. But I think I would have; though there was a point when I probably wouldn’t have. How sweet of Him to let me keep it! He knows what I like, and He wants to make me happy. Ok, end crazy talking…) One of the great pleasures of my newfound Anglicanism is this portion of the liturgy:

Great is the mystery of faith. Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.

That just about sums it up for me. The closer I grow to Christ, the less attached I feel to any one denomination, and the more appreciation I develop for His Universal Church.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Please don’t debate theology in the comments; but if you want to, you can tell me how much you love Jesus. ; )

Meredith, I’m not even quite sure this is a satisfactory answer to your question!

What about you guys? Why do you go to the church you do? Or don’t? … *cough* you know who you are *cough*

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Read about it here.

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Crisis averted

Phew! Now she wants to be an athlete. Hmmm…. wait…. (I must confess this is still slightly less troubling to me.)

Confused?

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When I was last fishing for blog fodder, Emily asked me to write more about mystery shopping. I most likely discovered mystery shopping as the “shop-ee” while laboring away at Blockbuster video when I was a young, wide-eyed, recently-graduated card-carrying English major. It was that job that introduced me to the cold, cruel world of corporate uniforms and scripted conversations. (Really, a part-time job during high school would not have been such a bad idea for me. But NOOOOOoooooo, I was too busy overachieving for such bourgeois activity.) (hmmmmm, wondering if having a part-time job really counts as a bourgeois activity)

Here is an excellent and much more coherent overview of mystery shopping from the Jobslinger website.

I signed up with a couple of mystery shopping companies last February after reading about mystery shopping on some of my frugality blogs. I have to credit Bargain Shopper Lady for suggesting I sign up with Market Force (then Shop ‘n Check). They have provided me with the bulk of my mystery shopping jobs thus far. I am definitely still learning.

I have done mystery shopping for Market Force International and Spies in Disguise.  I would recommend both of these companies. Both companies list a variety of jobs in my area and provide helpful instructions on how to complete the jobs successfully.

I am also “registered” with several other companies, including A Closer Look, National Shopping Service and Kern Scheduling Services, but haven’t yet had a chance to complete a shop in my area.

Some qualities that will help you to be a successful mystery shopper are good organizational skills, attention to detail, and strong writing skills. There is a lot to remember.

Don’t expect to be able to drag the kids with you. Most shops will specify whether you are allowed to bring anyone else along. I definitely prefer to go out by myself in the evening or on the weekend and clear the ole brain cells while making a few bucks. When I go out with my kids, all my brain cells seem to be sucked away making sure my children are not illegally filling their pockets with tic tacs or hurling themselves in front of oncoming traffic.

I like to think of mystery shopping as an interesting new hobby. I sign up for shops that are not that far afield from my normal travels, because often the shops do not pay that much. You might get reimbursed for a purchase and/or paid a small fee.

But, you know I love the small things. And I’m an “every little bit counts” kind of a girl. Also, having worked in public service for over 10 years (after that fateful first job at Blockbuster), good customer service is very important to me. I worked hard to master the art. And I enjoy helping others perfect their skills as well.

So there you go. That’s pretty much the extent of my current mystery shopping knowledge. Anyone else have any experience to share?

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Be a blessing

Today’s small thing:

Walgreens Maxi Pads 12 or 24 pack - $1.99
Free after rebate

Purchase and donate these to a local women’s shelter or group home. I know they are on the wish list at our local community ministry.

Not expensive if you’re not a bargain hound. And you can easily claim your rebate online now. I’m trying it for the first time this month. It looks glorious.

Our God is a creative God. He is not bound by space or time or by our pocketbooks. Be a blessing today.

And my God shall supply of all your needs through His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~Phil. 4:19

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Here are a few of my favorite “God-posts” since I last wrote:

Something on my Mind at Living Proof Ministries Blog — I long to be better at this. Authentically.

Eight Days at YouTube — if you’ve followed the Connor Booth posts, you need to watch this. With a hanky. Bless them for giving God the glory.

A New Song at This Simple Life — I’m convinced that in our “Entertain me” and media-saturated culture, we have forgotten how beautiful it is when we offer ourselves and our gifts beautifully and simply before our Lord. Thank you, Toni.

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. ~Joel 2:13

Thank you all for pointing to Him.

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Today my daughter told me she wants to be a fashion model. When she was four, she wanted to be a teacher. When she was six she wanted to be a veterinarian. Now, she wants to be a fashion model. When I probed further, she let me know that she wants to be a fashion model because rock stars have to study too much poetry “and that’s boring.”

Lord, have mercy, people.

I promise this child does not play with Bratz or watch Hannah Montana. If you haven’t read these two very wonderful and thought provoking posts, you must. It’s real. I’m on my knees.

The Bratz bathroom bummer at My Mommy’s Place — an excellent model for dialoging with our girls about not so innocent fun

Our daughers at This Ain’t New York — slow down the minivan, ladies. The sad part is, I drive my minivan pretty dang slowly. I think pretty carefully about the influences that enter my daughter’s life, and I try to speak truth to the ones that sneak in without my permission. What will happen to all of the other girls?

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