Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you, Daddy!

It's SNOWING!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Some days

There are some days I fear I've been forgotten... have all these dreams and desires been deposited in my soul for nothing? Will they go with me to the grave?

I wonder.

And that's all I can do most days...

God makes us clay pots for all sorts of things. When there is potential to be realized, it makes sense to arise and grasp it. But I'm not sure what potential there is in drafting.

I thought about teaching today. High school physics. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to make a difference in the world, nor do I see anything wrong with getting up and making that move.

How about high school ESL? I love grammar.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Let this serve as a little red thread tied around my finger:

God made me the way I am. He made me to be a bit more moody, a thinker. He made this vessel with more of a porous type of clay so that I'd constantly need refilling. I was made that way. There's nothing wrong with me, or with the constant emptiness I feel without my daily time in the Word of God. Just because the world can handle it does not mean that I should pattern my lifestyle after such a model.

Instead of complaining about my personality, I should praise God for it! For He, in His perfect wisdom, created me just as I am. I bear His fingerprints.

Praise the Lord!!!!

Lessons: One

I have learned that while I may not like my job, I HAVE learned a lot about teamwork. I have learned more about teamwork here than I did in college. I think college prepared me for teamwork in the real world, but here, it's the real deal. There's more at stake. It just matters more when you pull your end of the load. And when you don't.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why me?

J: I want you to love Me first. Above all things.
M: Why me? Nobody ELSE around me is going that far...
J: Because only by loving Me first, will you see the fullness of the grace I have for you.
M: You DO realize what that means? That means forgetting peoples' wrongs. That means not getting angry in traffic. That means hanging out with people who aren't like me, and are difficult to be around sometimes.
J: Yes, and it also means forgetting yourself. Forget you even exist. Forget you have needs. Do not try to impress anyone but Me. But stay far away from slippery slopes at the same time. Stay far away from sin. Still, love the sinner.
M: And what about the fact that no one else is doing this? I have so few models.
J: That is why I say "love Me first." Everything else will fall into place. You cannot be more selfless without my grace. You cannot deny yourself without my grace. Don't look to the world for your models... look to Me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What I'm MOST thankful for is the fact that God the Father teaches me His precepts DIRECTLY... He doesn't ALWAYS use a middle man, though He does at times... But when He does, He's always on the other side of the sermon or book with a supreme lesson, and a "well done, atta girl!" And He's always on the other side of my failures with an "I love you."

Makes me want to be more like that...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

There has been so much going on regarding my job search. But I've learned a few things.

First of all, I'm staying here. I had an interview. And then I was called back to the same place for another interview. But the meeting was called off, and they were supposed to reschedule. But now I'm not so sure it wasn't supposed to happen that way to begin with. If they never call back, I'll be okay with it. I gave it to God, actually. I said in my heart that if they don't call back, I won't pursue it. Because I know I'm supposed to be here. And they haven't. And I haven't pursued it.

This leads me to wisdom. There are a lot of verses in the Bible about wisdom. It is a certain discernment that can only come from God. And the Bible urges us in the book of Proverbs to seek wisdom above all things. In Job, wisdom is compared with a priceless element that must be mined for in the darkness.

True wisdom is not self-seeking, as the verses from James 3:13-18 proclaim. After all, it must be humble!

More on this later...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Selling it all

I can't help thinking I have too much stuff.

I have been here before. And I think I need to address this issue, becuase it will likely arise again. My biggest weakness is my bibliophilia... love of books. I even bought more this weekend, forgetting that I've still got to purchase a bookshelf for the ones that I have.

In my quest to narrow my perspective a bit, I've realized that by focusing only on what the Lord gives me at a particular time I'm completing what the Lord has given me the grace to accomplish. Nothing more.

It's hard to know what to get rid of. Yes, I know I'm an accomplished person. But do I really need my airbrush set anymore? I have had it during more years of disuse than use. And nobody really likes moving my air compressor... it's such a pain. My huge drafting table... while it holds a dear place in my heart, and served its purpose well while I was in college, it is now a behemoth that takes up 18 square feet of my apartment. And there are other items of interest that I don't know what to do with. Several things I have only RECENTLY accumulated, just to feel the pang of buyer's remorse. Not because it wasn't useful by itself, but because I REALLY didn't have use for it. Oddly enough, the smartest purchase I made recently was also the hardest. I thought and prayed hard over the bike purchase. And it's been a dream to have around. I've had such a wonderful time with it. I can't imagine not NEEDING it.

But I have a LOT of books I don't need anymore. But I hold onto them by virtue of their "potential usefulness". It's like potential and kinetic energy... there is more potential energy wrapped up in these books than kinetic energy... and realistically so, too... they would really do some damage if they fell!

I tell myself that at least I'm not buying knicknacks that have to be dusted. I really hate knicknacks. I have one shelf of them, and that's it. They're the most useless things on the planet.

A lot of this comes up as I try to "store" stuff and there's no more room... I think "why am I storing this with the OTHER things I don't use???"

Any ideas?

Friday, November 17, 2006

There has been so much going on, so much to think about, and I just don't have time to write about it all. But I will.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I stole this from a friend's blog, because I don't think he could be more right. I've known this "kid" since not too long after he graduated from high school... I admit, it was a little strange hanging out with someone 8 years my junior. But I got used to it. And I forged an amazing friendship with an amazing person as a result.

And now, here's a word from Captain Impossible:

I often read that people think they can solve social and political issues by human means, that we can improve ourselves. Can we? Here is what I have seen. I have seen fad diets come and go and still every day I watch as more and more people in this nation are diagnosed as obese. I've seen countless self-help books that promise to make you a better person in a certain amount of time, yet violence and depression are on the rise. I've seen conferences, summits, and revolutions to end hunger or poverty or anything else, and I've seen all kinds of statements and promises come as a result, and then watched as absolutely nothing changes. I've seen that the harder we try, the more we fall on our face. Think of it this way. You are trying to remove red dye put in a glass of water. You can try anything from chemical additives to filters, but try as you might, that water is still dyed and it's going to stay that way. It's not until you give up, dump out the dyed water, and ask for a brand new glass of water that you're ever going to see pure water. Everything is broken, and can't really be fixed. That is why all things must be made new.

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Like a Child...

As I've had time lately, I've been diving into different aspects of my faith. I don't exactly have the time to fully explore their implications on what I believe, but I think it's important to know what's out there.

I will have to say this first. No doctrine or theology can dilute the Word or substitute the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and be considered a sound doctrine. I mean, as much as I HATE discussing doctrine (a waste of time IMHO), it's true that no matter what you believe, you hold to a doctrine.

But the reality of it all is that as much as we like to break down the scriptures into their original Greek and Hebrew text (which I find fascinating, really) the truth is that the message is really quite plain. Nothing in the Bible is hidden from view. It's meant so that anyone with the attitude of a child can comprehend the message of faith in Christ. He is so beautiful to those who aren't caught up in their own pride and selfishness. His sacrifice is what we are all looking for. His acceptance of all of us as we are, and His compassionate encouragement for us to be all He created us to be, is what we're dying for.

I was researching dispensationalism, and my head nearly exploded. Now, I love a good friendly debate, and I love researching deeply. But after a while, I felt like I was reading into something that had nothing to do with the message of the gospel. And I felt like all the arguments I was reading for or against were all just men trying to prove a point that had nothing to do with saving a lost soul.

Am I wrong?

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I dare you to move

I've not been one to post song lyrics in the past, but it's been with increasing frequency that I've been hit with a song that made me think. I would love to post something with deep wisdom to knock everyone over with, but I'm honestly not caffeineated enough at this point...

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be


Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Business ideas...

It just hit me this morning as I ate my hot cereal (of mostly crushed grains) that I should open a vegan restaurant that doesn't serve a mishmash of avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and tofu. I mean, that would be on the menu, of course (I LOVE avocado), but what about breakfast? What vegan restaurants are open for breakfast? Where can a vegan get a bowl of hot cereal with soymilk in the morning? Where can a vegan choose how much their grains are cooked? Sometimes I like my rice overcooked, and sometimes I like it a bit chewy. Depends on my preference, I suppose.

I think I'm on to something here.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Sir Elton: Ban organised religion

Who are we as Christians that would make this man (and others like him) feel the heat of hatred from Christians rather than the refreshing coolness of compassion? When will we stop getting so wrapped up in making ourselves happy and self-medicated that we have time to examine our actions toward others? When will we

turn off our iPods?
shut off our TVs?
eject our CDs?
stop going to the movies?
stop mindlessly surfing the internet?
stop checking our email?
put down that cup of Starbucks and cease our self-aggrandizing pseudo-intellectual conversation?
quit communicating uninformed judgments about people to those around us?
stop being "okay" with where we are?
start living passionately?

When will we give God more than just a passing thought during the day? Don't you know He gave us more than a passing thought when He sent His son to die for us?

I was listening to a message last night given at the S. Baptist Convention of Texas meeting. And I checked my Greek to verify it. The word used for "zeal" happens to be where we get the word "canine" from. Our DOGS give us more than a passing thought!!!

For Jesus Christ's sake (and I mean it literally here), when are we going to put down our self-medication and come to the one true Healer???


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Find us Faithful

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

This song was sung on the radio this morning. When I hear it, as I age, I can't help but look at the lives who have gone before me and marvel at their faithfulness. Indeed, these people had no immediate hand in turning me toward the Lord. But their constance and strength and endurance in the race, their persistence, it all comes together to form a picture of who I'd like to be.

I realize that I have much of my life's slate still untouched. There's a lot of the story that hasn't been written yet. There are a lot of opportunities that have yet to materialize. But my one prayer is that as I just do what I'm supposed to do, when I just glorify God with my life, when I let others know through my actions just "what" is most important to me, I hope that my life is slowly transformed into something defined as "faithful".


More wedding photography

I can't seem to get more images to load on the blog, so check out and look under Harris Wedding.



Saturday, November 11, 2006

I love weddings

I was going to do a 40 mile trek from River Legacy Park to the Gaylord Texan Resort with the Lone Star Cycling Club this morning... until I remembered Friday that I had a wedding to shoot for one of my dearest friends!!!

Her father-in-law shot the formal poses, but I was on hand to do candids and from different angles than what most photographers usually get... mostly from inside the bridesmaid area (no guys allowed, you know).

I think I'm slowly growing my portfolio.

I need to go full-frame.

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Friday, November 10, 2006


You know, it is so easy to make people and things into idols. You don't have to set up physical shrines to them, but you CAN do so mentally. Shrines are a place where the spiritual focus is to be directed toward. A shrine for God belongs in the heart. And He is the only One who should occupy that sacred space. He is the only one to whom our energy should be focused. Not on a single thing or person. Not on a job or loved one. Not on an activity or pursuit. If we long to have certain spiritual emptiness filled by something temporal, we will always be disappointed. Furthermore, God will only frustrate those efforts of those He loves. We were bought with a price. And now we belong to Him. He has placed His seal on our hearts. We have no need to wander from our First Love; we have no need to divert our attention away from our heart-shrine.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

When you are not being used for the purpose for which you were created, you are GOING to feel off, you are GOING to be depressed, you are GOING to feel lost...

I was created to eat a certain way. When I DIDN'T do that, I felt AWFUL!!! And when I go back to that way of eating, I STILL feel AWFUL!!! I turn down so-called "whole grain" breads and crackers and other packaged/processed foods with that label because I HAVE to eat the grain right off the plant. Not many foods labeled "whole grain" pass my test. But when I cook rolled rye in the morning for breakfast, it lasts me all day long. I eat beans like they're going out of style. And I'm healthier and thinner for it.

My spiritual diet is the same way. I cannot subsist on a diet of gossip columns, media talking-heads, movies, music and talk-radio that is not uplifting and expect to have a good outlook on life. I cannot expect to be alive for much longer that way. That's junk food for the soul. I just become spiritually fat and lazy. I need three meals a day of spiritual vitamins and roughage. I need long sessions of imbibing spiritual truths from the Bible. And I can't make this an "if it gets done, it gets done; if not, then not" activity, either. If I did that, I'd be as big as a house!!! I'd be looking for the first thing to satisfy or satiate me, which in today's modern diet would be processed foods, fried foods, etc. Instead, I have to prepare my meals. I have to carve out time and put aside other things in order to cook the food that is necessary for me to have a high quality of life. I can't say "if it gets done, it gets done." If I said that, I would likely NOT be committed to this lifestyle. And again, I'd be as big as a house!!! The length and quality of my life literally depends upon this!!!

What do we grab as "fast food" for the soul? What do we fill our lives with that has no nutritional value to it? But what it DOES have sticks with us... the artery-clogging evil of fear and sin that is celebrated and glorified by the world. Instead of spending time with the Lord to meet our nutritional needs, we seek out entertainment that is full of fat and empty calories.

Am I right?

There's within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low:
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
in all of life's ebb and flow.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
stirred the slumbering chords again.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

Though sometimes he leads through waters deep,
trials fall across the way,
though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
see his footprints all the way.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

Feasting on the riches of his grace,
resting neath his sheltering wing,
always looking on his smiling face,
that is why I shout and sing.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

Soon he's coming back to welcome me
far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown;
I shall reign with him on high.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go

Where did I go wrong? When did the focus of my life move away from Jesus? When was the focus of my life ever ON Jesus to begin with???? Why is Jesus such a sweet name? How does He fill our every longing?

When will I just let go and accept all this?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When the honeymoon is over

There comes a point in relationships when you move past hinging everything on the emotional side of love, and start making moves out of the action of love. Now, I'm not sure if it's normal to not really "feel" that love emotion behind the action.

And I am referring to my relationship with God here. We've moved beyond the "honeymoon" stage, but I've expected that to carry me through the growth process, and it's not. The growth process involves me taking the initiative to take certain steps in His direction, which I have not. I've been feeling just so incredibly distant from God lately, and last night during my Bible study, God gently reminded me that we needed to accept that the "honeymoon" was over, and that He and I were at a place where the rubber meets the road.

Now this is a concept I am completely foreign to. I've always been a very selfish person, and continue to struggle against putting myself first. And when it comes to relationships, I expect them to grow without any effort on my part. But maybe my relationship with God would be a bit stronger, a bit healthier and more robust, if I began to look at it that way.

But now I know what it feels like to give up. Now I know what it feels like to have all the life drained from you and to not resist it. It's not a good feeling. It's a very sickly and death-like feeling. And depression arrives on its wings. Is this the valley of the shadow of death?

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TESSA National Storm Conference Announced!

The 2007 National Storm Conference location has been announced! It will again be located in the Colleyville Community Center, Saturday, March 10, 2007 from 9 am to 5 pm. This is the same venue as last year. It's a beautiful building with lots of space. Kudos again to Martin Lisius, TESSA Chairman.

This is the reason I would never leave DFW. Too many storm chasing opportunities here.

If anything, anyone interested in basic storm formation ought to sit through the Super Storm Spotter session in the morning with Gary Woodall. It's free to the public as well. Lunch is usually provided for around $5-10. They always have bar-b-cue... I'm going to have to bring my lunch this year.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


My friend Debbie said that sometimes we just need to shake things up in our life. I feel that this is one of those times. I don't take things seriously enough because not only have I found the groove, I've found the rut.

Please, God, let me out long enough to take a fresh breath. Shake things up a bit. Let me pull the pieces loose long enough to rearrange them correctly with a fresh perspective.

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Want Victory?

24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[b] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Acts 18: 23-26

My Greek-Hebrew study Bible has this word underlined with a reference number to the actual Greek word and meaning in the back. The Greek word used here for "thorough knowledge" is dynatos, which sounds convincingly similar to "dynamite", a powerful explosive. The list of words include:

to be able
have ability
possible (based on power)
the Mighty One

A word that comes to mind is also dexterous.

I like to think that I have a "thorough knowledge of the code". What that means is that I can find whatever I need to find in the code book. It is powerful! People come to me because if I don't know what the answer is immediately, I can open the book and find the answer immediately. I can speak knowledgeably with code officials about their interpretation, and where I find other instances in the code to back up my interpretation of certain sections.

Shouldn't my Bible knowledge be this powerful? How did I get this way with the code? By reading it DAILY and applying it DAILY. The application part goes so far, I can't even begin to extoll its virtues. It's amazing. It becomes a powerful tool in our hands. Mere knowlege won't get us far if we don't learn to apply it.


"when pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all." ---CS Lewis

When will we start applying His Word by showing others the love of God?

We all experience pain. But I have learned that my pain is lessened by the degree to which I show God's love to others.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

He carries our burdens...

I always seem to feel better after pouring my heart out to God. A good sob session. Hurricane Marcia on the East Coast side of the mattress. But I feel better. Physiologically, people will tell you it's the cortisone that is released in our tears that calms us when we cry. But when the feeling of peace lasts for hours, even after the levels should have fallen, I have a different explanation.

He carries my burdens for me, too.

Furthermore, I have a new Proverb. Take it if you like it:

A soul-killing job dries the bones,
but Starbucks makes the heart cheerful.

I had an excellent day job hunting. I wasn't prepared for such a great start. The very first place instantly became a promising position. I would only be happier if I had the job, but that is up to God at the moment.

Regardless, my heart is singing a new song. I will keep you posted.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Corn Chips and Real Life

Okay, let me warn you all. Corn chips are addictive. I can't believe I spent $4.50 on this bag of air-filled corn chips, and now I can't believe I want to spend another $4.50 for another bag. They're like cigarettes. I'm sure there's some unidentified addictive substance in them.

Second of all...

Let's talk about real life. And let me only say that it is slowly becoming not what I thought it would be. I think as children and teenagers we look at adults as some sort of deities who have mastered the ability to make the humdrum exciting. And we get to the event and it's merely humdrum. Nothing exciting about it.

Dreams get dashed pretty easily. Ideas we had are not always reality. In fact, a good percentage of them are not. And I have found myself consumed by knee-jerk reactions lately because life wasn't what I thought it was. God has started taking the reins, but I really can't say I liked where we were heading. There was desert out there. I wasn't sure there would be a drink of water for days. And yet I trusted. But that trust was interrupted by a few brief episodes of reactionary behaviour. I find that I still long for the instant gratification. I am still a card carrying member of the entitlement generation, one who wants her needs and desires and wishes filled RIGHT NOW. And who believes that the only way to true happiness and fulfillment is to make an immediate exodus out of those places in life that ARE mediocre.

But the key is not running from distraction to distraction. Instead it is maintaining a slow and steady pace. I've learned a lot of that through cycling. I had NO IDEA the learning experience I was buying into. I just knew I was dropping a grand on a bike I'd always wanted. See? Instant gratification episode right there. BUT, God stepped in and taught me a lesson with it. He taught me through my rides just how important downshifting is if you want to reach your goal. I can't expect to finish 30 miles on a high gear. There are miles and miles and miles of low-gear riding. I wasn't expecting that at all. I left the gear on my last bike to the highest possible (and probably damaged my knees in the process). I didn't learn about down-shifting until I bought this bike and had 27 of them to choose from. And now I never go 30 seconds without checking my cadence and adjusting my gear if necessary.

And that's what real life is. It's a low gear. It's a constant steady cadence. It will get you to the finish line.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pressure Cooker Update

First time EVER using the pressure cooker this afternoon. I decided to make a bean dip with ingredients I bought last night at the store. Pinto beans, various peppers, cilantro, onion, etc... forgot to add the cumin, though. That might have made a difference. Either way, if you let the beans boil for a moment (and I DO mean moment) and then pressure cook them for approximately 30 minutes, you'll avoid the whole overnight-soak-then-cook-for-2+-hours-the-next-night-if-you-remember hassle.

You DON'T need a pressure gague on the pot, either. Just leave the concoction at medium heat and ignore the screaming steam escaping through the vent at the top.

So glad I had the opportunity to watch a college roommate do this once. I remember she used to tap the pressure vent at the top with a wooden spoon. Yeah, you can bet I had my wooden spoon out just for the occasion... seeing as how I knew of no other way to do it. *grin*

Like the way I fold my grocery store bags into little squares before I store them now. Thanks Pri.


Friday, November 03, 2006


Satan LOOOVES to use tripwire. It's nearly invisible, it's effective, and it gets you completely DOWN, which is where he wants ya.

Such a description is frightening. It's invisible, but not undiscernible; it's effective, but not permanent; it gets us completely down so we can't see anything but what is on the ground with us, and it requires some effort to get up, but it's not impossible to overcome. It just doesn't look too good from where we are at the time.

I think this requires us to boost our technology. Night vision goggles, radar detectors, the whole bit. How do we do this? By staying completely in the Word, through constant prayer (which goes hand in hand with the Word. If you're not reading nearly as much as you're praying, you might want to rethink strategies), and through fellowship.

I've been hit by the tripwire. And it sucks. It's kinda dark, so I'm not sure how far down I am, but I can discern where the tripwire is, so next time I hope I can avoid it.

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