Thursday, December 27, 2007 0 comments

Memories

Well, Christmas celebrations went well. Family behaved (although it was touch-and-go there for a bit) and I was able to spend time with friends. Christmas Eve evening service was beautiful at church. And Chad did a great job for his first "midnight sermon." And Jessica Kayrouz - her voice is straight from heaven! It was great to hear her sing again. Unfortunately, on Christmas day I had a serious migraine. It took all the energy I had to move from the bedroom to the living room. I had to miss out on going to friends' houses! It would have great to part of some festivities that day - but I did get an extra 6-7 hours sleep. And I am seriously shocked that I haven't gained 20 pounds from all the dinners! This Christmas season was wonderful - a welcome change from the past few months - and did anyone notice the full moon? Of course, I've been working hard on a blanket project. It's taking some serious time, but I am determined to get it done this week. That, and paint & decorate my bedroom.
I've lived in my new house for over a year. When Jan Pope told me it would take me years to get the house settled - I laughed. Little did I know...I'm still not half-way through with painting the rooms let-alone decorating! I'm anxious to get my Wonder Woman stuff out of boxes.
So to change the subject...memories. This time of year is sensitive to memories - both good and bad, happy and sad. There's been a lot of loss this year for many of us. And I started thinking about other memories.
My little bathroom has got touches of both my grandpas (Udell and Alfred), and they loved me! So I like just going into my little bathroom to play with the Avon "lazy man" or look at this picture I got from my other grandpa's room. Then I get to thinking about the men they were and the things we did together. They were by no means knights in shining armor. Far from it. But there are still points I admired from each of them. And there are so many memories from each.

Alfred was a former Navyman and a truck driver most of his life. He was actually Mamaw's second husband, her first did of a brain hemmorage (which was my biological grandpa - died when my dad was 13). Alfred loved my Mamaw - and dogs - and food - and travelling. They lived in Texas for years, so I got to spend Summer vacations with them when I was little. He and Mamaw took me on my first road trip when I got my driver's permit - all the way to the west coast and back.


Udell was a Korean war vet and a farmer. He was big and rough - temper that would shake the house - but he loved life. Loved his family, loved the land and animals - taught me to write cursive, make Strawberry milk and to not worry about what the food looked like all mixed together "It was all going to the same place anyhow." This was the same grandpa that would bring the runts into the house to take care of them. This is a picture of him with the twins - my mom is on the left. When we would go see his and Bonnie's parents once a month, we would always stop and eat at KFC in Jasper, IN. (Irony nowadays, I know). This picture is Stella and Burnell Small (Udell's parent), Sherry, Udell, Carry (my mom), and me in the front (happy little child, huh). I may have been smarting-off - shocker that would be! LOL! So anyway, we eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken every trip. And I would always ask mom if I could have one of the strawberry shortcakes. You know, those little "bucket parfaits." Mom's answer would be "no." But before we left the restaurant, grandpa would always get me one. So now, when my boss surprises me with one of these little "buckets" it takes me back to spending that time with grandpa. Grandpas are great...they really know how to spoil granddaughters! Boy, do I miss that...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2 comments

Just one more

I couldn't NOT post this video! If you are liking the choirs - you'll LOVE these guys! Merry Christmas Everybody!


2 comments

Knitting, Kittens, and Dixie

Ok, Ok, Ok...so I like knitting now...I got 4 whole rows done last night! LOL - I still have another crochet project I HAVE to get accomplished before the end of the year. Once that's done - I am SOoo ready for 2 sticks. And Rebecca, you're a great teacher! No wonder those Jr. high girls love you so much.

Last week we had the Women's Study Gourmet Dinner at the Kane's - Chef Jerome is magnifique! He's a really good cook... And we got to exchange gifts, mine came with an adorable bow & bell - just what my Melody would love to play with. But apparently - not what she loves to have tied to her collar! Nor Maestro...Here are a couple of pictures of them with that bow on this year... They refused to look at me!


And just last year they looked like little angels!


Last weekend I took a family roadtrip to Nashville to visit my great-aunt, shop, and look at lights. Well, a trip to the "South" wouldn't be complete without visiting Cooter's Place! It's across the street from the Opryland Hotel in case you go looking for it. For any of you who were 80's children - I was going to marry Bo Duke when I grew up -- and I still plan on having Daisy's Jeep! So you can imagine my surprise when the Jeep was there! And yes, I got to touch it...although I didn't play the General Lee's horn. I just loved those 80's shows!





















Thursday, December 13, 2007 2 comments

Sharing with Christ


Did you ever feel like you couldn't share something with God? Is it hard to confess something you've done, or even your thoughts? I know for me that has been a struggle area. It was almost like, if I said it outloud then everybody would know! Then I realized after reading through John that Jesus already KNOWS (calling Nathanael, woman at the well are just two early examples)! He sees me and knows my thoughts. He knew the thoughts of the Pharisees and called them on it many times (example in Matthew).

Chad brought up the concept in his sermons - would you do something, anything, if you knew that Jesus was right there physically beside you? Well, I think it's even more than that - he knows our thoughts - before we tell him. But what about us knowing his thoughts?
In Psalm 139:17-18, David talks of knowing God's thoughts! "When I am awake, I am still with you..." God does speak to us in our dreams - I think that might be because that's when we're actually being still. I wonder if that's why I have such a hard time waking up - being in conversation with God while I'm sleeping - shoot, I wonder if that's why I'm so TIRED when I get up. I have a lot of favorite passages in the Bible - on this subject Jeremiah comes to mind:

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and
unsearchable things you do not know."

Unsearchable things...Paul talks about that in Ephesians 3:8: "...this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." Isn't it amazing how it truly is all about Christ. And the fact that He takes the time to KNOW me makes me want to open up all of me to Him...might as well, He knows it all anyway!
Monday, December 10, 2007 3 comments

Getting Caught-up

The Holiday Season is in full swing...work is busy prepping for the end of the year, lots of Christmas dinners to go to, mad scurrying to get housework done before guests arrive, catching-up with friends and family, and the cooking! lots of food to go around, and trying to fit-in work-outs to compensate. It's busy. And my biggest craving right now is not chocolate-covered cherries (Cellas are my favorite!), my biggest craving is spending time in the Word.


Ever since the "Get up!" night, I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the Word. I really like the Old Testament. The stories! Oh MY the stories! Day-time drama has nothing on the Old Testament. And it's amazing to see how the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the New Testament. I've even started memorizing scripture. I have the first 18 verses of John chapter 1 - and Psalm 91 (the guardian angel one) down pretty good. I memorize pretty good when I'm on the treadmill. I can get pretty far in a mile! It's exciting. And if you've never memorized before, I encourage you to try it out. Pick some favorite verses and go from there.



Back to the holiday-time - everybody's getting those family pictures done. Now, I did one last year with me and the cats...we won't be doing that again without some help! Although you've got to admit - we're an adorable family. And I love getting pictures from people. It includes me in their world.



The holidays are also a time for reflection: reviewing the past year, friends and family that have passed on, those plans that didn't quite go the way you planned, etc., and past holiday memories. I remember getting ready for Christmas at my grandpa's. He was a farmer - and they lived in a trailer that had a woodstove in the middle of the living room. Every winter there would be some sort of livestock runt that would need to take residence next to the woodstove in the living room to build up strength. I remember sleeping on the couch next to a calf that would wake me up every hour to feed it by bottle. Ever had a calf lick you on the face in the middle of the night? That's an experience. And the Sears Catalog! Eric and I would pick out stuff all year long for Christmas!



My mom recently received a bunch of old pictures from her mom. Pictures of her and her twin sister and me and Eric, my cousin. Eric was the most adorable little boy I had ever seen! (he's the one on the left). And I just love this picture of me (on the right)! These were both from 1977! Look at Eric's little jumpsuit! And my blue shoes!! What were our mothers thinking! LOL! Times have changed, and so have Eric and I. Although, I still have a teddy bear, but I'm positive Eric's given up the bowl haircut!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 1 comments

Chicago

Daring adventure - right! Right now I am in Chicago at KFC meetings - prepping for the convention that's coming up in February. Originally planned for just Tuesday, stay overnight, and come back Wednesday afternoon. Not so now! When I get here, my bos tells me he needs me an extra day. Guess what - I only packed for one more meeting day, and girls you know what that means! SHOPPING TRIP! So pray for me that I don't overspend (or I can at least find a store that I can afford!), and that I really can come home on Thursday. Crazy, I tell ya. And Rebecca, you would NOT have enjoyed the flight up -- and they're calling for snow up here!
Friday, November 30, 2007 3 comments

No more pits!


Last night was awesome. I went to see Rob Bell speak at the Brown Theater. I wish I had a better picture, but for a last-minute walk-up - I had a fantastic seat...right in the middle 6th row. Rob Bell is one of those guys who pushes your thinking about what's in the Bible. He's done an amazing amount of research into the ancient cultures and he can put Biblical events into cultural context. When he started out it was hard to tell where he was going. He talked about a cavewomen and her discovery of her dependence on this plant - and the plant's dependence on the forces around it (rain, sun, etc.). From there he discusses how ancient cultures made those forces tangible personalities, i.e., sun-god, goddess of love, god of death, etc. Then went into the concept of the altar. To please the 'gods' people would give back to them - and the best place to do that was to lift up the offering on an altar. Gets it closer to the gods since they're all up in the sky doing their own thing. All kinds of things were offered up on the altar - even their own children. And a whole "priestly" organization surrounded each region's "gods." And a note to remember - it took violence (killing the sacrifice) to try to make peace with the gods. Well, with this system you never knew where you stood with the gods - you would either give more from your abundance because the gods were smiling on you, or you gave more from your poverty because the gods were unhappy and you needed to do something to make them happy with you again. You could never sacrifice enough - right up to the point that even cutting yourself or giving your firstborn was still not enough. You still did not know where you stood with the gods.

Then along came Abraham. The Lord God - creator of the universe - audibly spoke to Abraham (when he was still Abram). No other "god" actually spoke to humans. He also told Abraham to leave his father's household. That's not just physically leave the house - but the worldview that his father held. Take that step of faith in the one true God - follow me - I'm changing the world here and you are going to be the Father of Nations! Nothing different ever happened in that culture - this was different! And Abram was 75 years old!

Fast-forward to Abraham and Isaac. When God asks Abraham to take Isaac up on the mountain and sacrifice him there. Why was Abraham not surprised? Because that culture of the gods asking for more was all around him...that's what he was used to seeing...and he needed to be pruned...his thinking and his heart still needed to completely change. We all know that when Abraham gets Isaac up there - raises the knife - God stops him and provides him a ram as the sacrifice. Great, Abraham passed the test. But that's nto all. It also showed Abraham that his God - the one true God, creator of the universe - was not like the other so-called gods that require more and more and more. He's the God of provision, not destruction.

Rob goes on to talk more about the altar itself and Leviticus. How Leviticus explains in detail where we stand with God - there is no question. There are sin offerings, and wave offerings, and others, but there is also a peace offering. The peace offering basically is that you share your offering with God and the the rest to celebrate shalom with your family. Big feast! (No wonder pot-lucks go over so well!) And when you took an issue to the altar either through sacrifice or offering, it was left there. It was left there - issue and all. You could walk away in peace.

Fast-forward again to Jesus. Rob brought up the scene in John where Jesus clears the temple (one of my favorite dramatic Jesus moments) and tells the Saducees that if they destroy this temple, it will be rebuilt in three days. They of course didn't get it. Rob goes on to talk about Jesus' path to the cross - very visible. And all along the way, Jesus did not react with violence. Remember - the old system required violence in the killing of the sacrifice. But Jesus went willingly. Without coming back with violence - even when Peter cuts off someone ear with a sword. (That's when my mind started racing!) (my thoughts) Jesus also made the old sacrificial system of violence irrelevant when He resurrected - the sacrifice (Jesus) just didn't stay dead! (back to Rob) It was at that moment - the "culmination of human events" that God changed context again. The culture needed to "follow him" in faith. He in that moment of Jesus' death made PEACE with the world. (my thought) Peace with you, peace with me, peace with everyone through the blood of Jesus Christ! Peace! Jesus already prepped his disciples for that - John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." I gotta tell ya - I felt lighter by the nanosecond. Peace. Through Jesus. Was there a couple THOUSAND years ago and God's just been waiting for me to accept it. He's prepared it for us all long ago - we just have to accept it.

Rob went on to talk about today's culture. We still have those "gods" just with different names - achievement, approval, success, riches, possessions, etc. He even related his own story of getting to a burn-out point (familiar!) and a friend sitting him down and just repeatedly telling him that he didn't have to live like this. He didn't have to live like this. He didn't have to live like this. So I let that sink into me as well. I didn't have to have my boss' approval. I didn't have to have a career of any kind - even in music. I didn't have to be a size 2 (not that my body would ever be that size!). I don't have to have a boyfriend, or husband, or kids, or anything. I don't have to have a dad - that's what God is for anyway! I don't have to have the dishes done in a day, I don't have to have the Christmas tree put up in an hour. I don't have to do anything to please anyone else - it is Jesus I want to please. I started listing off everything that I was giving back to God in that moment, and I am continuing to do so. Literally everything - my truck, my eyes to see, my tastebuds that get to eat favorite foods, my money, my time, my thoughts, my not-so-strong bronchial tree, my allergies, my bad knees, my friends, my family, my whole life. My WHOLE life - past, present and future. And friends, until you get gut-wrenching honest with Jesus about everything, and you are willing to leave it all at the altar, and walk away from everything leaving in Jesus' hands (because he has the ability to forget it all), you'll not really be sure of the peace. Don't block the peace...it's all prepare for you...just accept the gift of God. Love you all! (sorry this was another long one!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 4 comments

Bear One Another

I just want to thank everyone for being around me lately - putting up with me - bearing my burden with me. It's awesome to have such wonderful friends - brothers & sisters in Christ! I have been learning so much in the Word lately and it's awesome! I got this video sent to me and it reminded me of Galatians 6:2: Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. The puppy is really good at sharing the burden!


video
Monday, November 26, 2007 2 comments

Get up!

So yesterday I had another blah day of my own making. One thing set-off another, a domino effect in my brain of negative activity. I took a nap then felt so unmotivated it took all my energy just to lay on the couch and watch a movie. When it got dark at 6:00 p.m., I couldn't take it anymore. I made my cats get off me and I had to do something - anything. When I got bored with trying to figure out what to do and not feeling like doing anything...I got the nagging feeling to just read the Bible.

I talked before about being in the pit...and trying to come out of it. No one else can do that for me. This is all part of my pruning process. So when I cleaned off my desk and sat down to start reading - I started where I left off in my study bible - John 4 with the Samaritan woman at the well. Well...then I remembered what I wanted to study about before - Jesus' attitude. So I started over in John. The first thing that hit me was v 12, 13 - because I believe in Jesus' name - he gives me the RIGHT to become a child of God. It doesn't matter who my father is here on earth - God is my Dad now...by His own choice and He's faithful in that. He's not going to die on me, and He's not going to divorce me, and He's not going to leave me. Pit #1 - gone. It was at this point that I got out of my chair and grabbed my old pageant tiara and put it on. I went back to studying.


I made a LOT of new discoveries. I also noticed how Jesus would respond to people - or start a conversation - and making note of all the "I tell you the truth" phrases. I even pulled out a Strong's Dictionary (has words in Hebrew and Greek) so I can fully know the meaning of a particular word - even got the regular dictionary out. I was REALLY INTO IT last night. I also made a discovery, and if you are even half the drama nut I am, you'll love this. The Word of God truly comes ALIVE when you try and act it out. Stand up - say it out loud - say it like you think Jesus would say it. It becomes a totally different experience. Especially in parts like John's testifying about Christ after the baptizing debate, and what stuck out most to me was thaat God gives the Spirit without limit. Without limit. Without limit. And the subject of grace popped in my head. I was asked recently to extend some grace in a situation. I didn't even know what it meant to do it. I know that Jesus gives grace, God's grace, all that. But to apply it to my own life - not yet. So I studied that too. Grace is basically to give unmerited kindness. Be kind just to be kind. Not because someone did something nice for you - but because you want to do something nice for them. Jesus was full of it. When He went back to Cana in Galilee, a royal offical begged him to heal his son. Jesus extended grace (even after the initial irriating moment). Read it aloud - and remember Jesus was human too, but grace and God's divinity overrode his human nature. Did he sigh and close his eyes before he responded in grace?


So then I get close to my stopping point for last night (after 2 hours). I'm in John 5 at this point. Jesus is in Jerusalem and goes to the healing pool, Bethesda. There a man who was an invalid for 38 years was lying there. Jesus asks him specifically "Do you want to get well?" Well, I gotta tell ya. That question hit me right between the eyes! OF course I did! That's what I've been asking for for months now. So I read on...the invalid guy was a whiner! He wanted to get well, but he was waiting on someone to help him do it - he couldn't get in the pool on his own - someone else always gets there first. Jesus' response? "Get up!" With an exclamation point - read it out-loud..."Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. Now remember, John only writes what he sees...but can you imagine what that invalid mad heard? Jesus hollered at him to get up! When Jesus hollers, do you think it's back up by the host of angels in our heads. I guarantee it. I'm surprised John doesn't write about how the guy wet his pants in the process! Later Jesus found him at the temple....the guy went to worship. That's what I did last night. I got up after Jesus hollered at me and worshiped like I had not worshiped in months! It felt great. And my voice is back. I haven't been able to carry a tune in a bucket lately, and last night I was hitting notes I used to dream about. Talk about a breakthrough - all while wearing my tiara.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 4 comments

Reinforcements

First of all...thank you to all who have sent an email or phoned to just send their thoughts and prayers my way - you are all my rocks and ledges (I'll explain in a bit).


I have been a part of multiple studies lately about building each other up as part of the body of Christ - encouraging each other, being there in times of trouble and victory, praying for one another - all the "one anothers." And regardless of how many people have been loving me lately (which means a lot to me), it really hasn't been as healing as you might think. I've been in a deeper pit than I thought, or cared to admit. I usually just brush it off - do things to get motivated to just do more work to stay productive and think/analyze less. That's not worked - especially since I've been physically sick for a couple months now. I didn't know how to fix this...when I get to that point, the wisest thing for me to do is retreat away from people - so I'm not affecting someone else negatively. But to do that just has a negative affect on those who are trying to love me through all this. I'm not much help to myself.


Last week I purchased Beth Moore's book, "Get Out of That Pit." I thought to myself, 'it couldn't HURT to check it out.' If you've never read Beth Moore - she's funny and relateable - and her style is not the most professional writing style, but that's what makes it readable for me right now. It's as if she's just across the table with a cup of coffee. In this book, she's shared her "pit" experiences, getting in them and getting out. Basically how to embrace God's grace and live free out of the pit. She uses Psalm 40:1-3 as the main theme. She describes different pits listed throughout the Bible and right off-the-bat describes how you feel in the pit. Isaiah 42:22 describes it as being trapped in a pit. TRAPPED! That's exactly how I've been feeling about some things - totally trapped with no way out. She explains that "to the ancient Hebrew, a pit was a literal or figurative reference to the grave - to its threat - or to an anbyss so deep the dweller within it felt like the living dead...a pit is an early grave that Satan digs for you in hopes he can bury you alive." That's EXACTLY where I've been. I may not have cancer, and my house didn't burn down, and I'm not trying to quit an abusive habit, but my problems are still my problems. And I've felt like the living dead, and looked like it too.

Moore goes on to describe three ways to get into a pit - you get thrown in, you slip in, or you willingly jump in. We've all had our share of those different pits - but the most frustrating can be the first - you get thrown in. Like Joseph did by his brothers (read the story here). You have no control and yet you are affected. How do you deal with that? I've had a lot of those pits this year, and I haven't been dealing well. I have to forgive and forgive and forgive -- those who have no idea nor care that I have issues...those who have died without giving me closure...those who have willingly chose to leave my life in a hurtful way...I HAVE to forgive. Joseph did (read here & here). "Forgive them for they know not what they do," and you know who said that.

The other thing to remember is something else that Moore states in her book, "Christ got down next to us in the grave, stayed the better part of three days, and then got up...so we'd have permission to get up too. And start living life."

That's all well and good; however, there's still a process to go through. In our small group study I learned it's called pruning. And as much as I love the support - my "rocks" who lift me up (the people who support, encourage and love me), can only be ledges in my pit. Only Jesus can be my deliverer. I have to get down-and-dirty with Jesus -- completely open up my grave to him because only He can set me free. But in this process, you are my ledges that hold me that keep me from falling into an even deeper pit - and give me a way to cling to the sides, helps me reach the top.


I've also been reading straight from the Bible - going through John to gain some insight on Jesus' attitude -- not his heart -- but how he reacted, his attitude on things. BECAUSE..."Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). I might have a whole study on this!

The other version I'm reading is my daily chronological Bible. Granted, I'm like in June, but at least I'm there! Last night I read about Asa, a King of Judah (a couple of kings after Solomon in the Old Testament). The section (2 Chronicles 15:1-7) has the statement through the prophet Azariah, "The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you...But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." Asa was turning the nation around - tearing down false idols and turning the country back to God. This was a message to him to hang in there...there are a LOT of those messages in the Bible.

What's YOUR favorite "hang-in-there" verse?




Monday, November 12, 2007 1 comments

Dance Reminder

Wonder if anyone can dance like this!




EVERYONE INVITED!
November 16, 2007
8:00 p.m. – Midnight
Stone Rest Inn
8757 Rufing Road, Greenville
$20 per couple
$10 per single


Hosted by Steve & Vicki Meredith
Proceeds go toward those going on the Philippine Mission Trip


Thursday, November 8, 2007 0 comments

DANCE


Please help get the word out!




EVERYONE INVITED!
November 16, 2007
8:00 p.m. – Midnight
Stone Rest Inn
8757 Rufing Road, Greenville
$20 per couple
$10 per single




Hosted by Steve & Vicki Meredith
Proceeds go toward those going on the Philippine Mission Trip
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 0 comments

Adversity into advantage - part 2

Ok...so after I babbled on in my 5-minute ago posting...I finally got around to turning over the date in my Billy Graham-a-day calendar:

"What would you do if you met a lion? You'd probably run, and you'd probably grab any weapon you could to fend him off if he attacked. And that is true in our struggles against evil. When evil and temptation stalk us, our first response should be to flee. And when they still attack, we should use every weapon we have to drive them away. The good news is this: God has provided the weapons! His Word, His angels, His Spirit, the encouragement and prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ - these and more are "weapons" God provides. We aren't in this battle alone - so why act like it?"
2 comments

Adversity into advantage

As a few of you know, I've been kinda down lately. I've mentioned before on this blog about spiritual warfare, and I know my struggle is literally all in my head. Dealing with situations, or not handling myself well in certain situations, or not dealing with anything has lead to a seriously no-fun roller coaster effect in my life this year. I have wonderful friends who listen to me when I break, and I am truly blessed (thank you and you know who you are). I've just finished half of David's message from Sunday. I had to stop. I have to let that part about loving your neighbor "as yourself" sink in. He's right, if I don't love myself, I can't do a good job of loving others. And lately, I certainly don't like myself very much. One of my many faults is that I have a hard time turning a failure into a win. I have had a lot of failures (career, music, marriage, no kids, stuck in a rut, etc.) - to the point that I convince myself that I AM a failure. Leads right into my "I'm not good enough" backpack that is glued to me. Seems like this year has been one failure after another for me, and I have not had a real "win." This message has been coming to me from a few directions lately. I got this story from Matt Fuery as part of an email newsletter today:


When I was in high school I remember getting my ass kicked in a wrestling match. I was crushed afterward and cried uncontrollably. I felt I had "worked so hard" and all I got in return was the pain of loss. In the midst of my despair my father took me aside and said, "I've noticed that you always turn adversity into an advantage. You have a knack for taking everything bad that happens to you and making it into something good." This advice immediately lifted my spirits. I accepted it as true - even though I don't know that it was BEFORE my father said this to me. Last week my son had a karate tournament. I have not pushed him at all in this endeavor as I want it to come from within - and when it does - and IF he ever asks for my help - I'm there. But nothing will be forced upon him - other than a few stories about how people succeed and how they fail. Well, Frank got beat. And he felt humiliated. He cried his eyes out, just like I did back in high school. My wife was worried. Not me. I said: "This is a very good sign. Look at the other kids who lose. They walk off with a 'ho hum.' Show me a kid who hates to lose and his energy can be channeled to greatness. It's the kids who don't care who will never become champions.'" When Frank and I walked outside and asked: "Why do you think you lost?' "Because I'm stupid," said Frank. I said: "No. That's not right and you know better. You lost because you didn't practice enough. Success boils down to proper use of your imagination and lots of practice. If you want to be great, practice more than anyone else. And when you practice, imagine being great. Otherwise you have no business crying. It's all for naught. " That night Frank asked me to help set up the bag for him so he.could practice. I told him I would and walked away. He asked a few hours later, I said I would and got busy doing something else. The next morning he asked again. "Ah, so you're serious?" I said. "Yes," said Frank. "Great." I set up the bag and helped him for 15 minutes. He was thrilled. "If you put in more time than anyone else," I said, "you'll be hard to beat. You may not win them all, but you'll win most - and you'll become a better person because you gave it everything you've got." The next day Frank asked if he could practice again. I said yes. "Anyone can sit around and pout," I told him. "The.champion gets back to training - and while he trains he imagines a different result next time." Frank smiled. Put your time in, my friend, and you'll become great at whatever you do. Matt FureyZen Master of Exercise, Health and Fitness™


I want to be able to turn adversity into an advantage. I pray the Holy Spirit will work in me so I can see how God loves me...and not just the Sunday School answer of John 3:16. I hope that I can spend some time on myself learning about the person God knitted me to be. He took the time and care to make me - now why can't I like me? I know Jesus died because I'll never be good enough to get to heaven on my own...but does that "not good enough" feeling have to linger? This is not humility - this feeling immobilizes me.


I do look in the Bible and fictional characters for inspiration to turn my bad attitude around, or at least relate to someone who did. In the Bible - Joseph is my favorite right now. He is the perfect example of turning adversity into an advantage. I will be returning to Genesis to re-read for the umpety-millionth time. I need to re-focus. Figure out what needs to be set right - what do I need to get rid of - what do I hold onto. Another email message was forwarded to me recently - talked about God leading the Israelites the long way to get to the Jordan river -- right into the Wilderness. Unfortunately, their stubborness and disobedience to God KEPT them in the wilderness until a whole generation of people died-off! I don't want to be in the wilderness my whole life.


I want to believe God has something big planned for my life. I know I'm not Wonder Woman (which is also my favorite), but I relate to her - not so much in the fighting mythical gods and aliens or deflecting bullets with bracelets kind of way - but in her storyline right now, she has been going through her own "who am I" state. The writers who create her character have idealized her as a "perfect" woman, but she also knows better than that. She has worked to know her strengths, and she is aware of her weaknesses and through various storylines has worked on those weaknesses. God is my creator - the Holy Spirit inks me (gives me my color) - and Jesus, well, has written my storyline over two thousand years ago. And only He knows the next chapter and the last one. I know I need to be patient - be still and know that He is God...I just hope He lets me know who I am in the process...and helps me to love me as He does, so I can love others as He wants me to. And a little help on direction would be good too.
Friday, November 2, 2007 2 comments

New Glow stick

Ok....who does this for their kids when going out at night? And who had time to figure this out? totally new way to think about Mountain Dew!

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Thursday, November 1, 2007 0 comments

Support the Troops

Hey all. I found some deployed troops to keep in contact with and have volunteered to be one of their encouragers from back home! I am so excited about this. I've had military members throughout my family and have some friends in the military (and let's not forget our own Private Ryan Larson), and I am a firm supporter of the troops. I think these guys and gals are the real superheroes of the world - along with anyone who works in harms way to keep civilians like me safe (firefighters, police, etc.).

Here's some of the first correspondence - just lets you know who they are are, and I've posted the picture Skip sent me:

> Hi Christy
> Thank you so much for responding. I will definetly pass your info on
> to the other guys in my squad. As you know, I am a squad leader for D
> company, 1/158th Infantry. We are a Army National Guard unit out of
> Az. We are past the half way part of our deployment here in Farah,
> Afghan. The hot months , in whch the temps reached 150 degrees,are
> behind us. Now the cold is starting to creep in, which is a much
> welcomed change. Life here is Ok. The Taliban keeps us busy, but it
> makes the time go by. Thanks again for responding. I look forward to
> keeping in touch.
> Take Care
> SKIP

I asked what they would need in some care packages and I plan to send something in the next week if anyone wants to pitch in. They're looking for entertainment items: dvds, cds, magazines. I told him I'm sending some cartoons -- that's what I have most of! But I think they would appreciate anything we can send.

We talked last night in Joe's small group about encouraging one another - having accountability partners - having each other's back in the midst of spiritual battles. We made a lot of connections to military troops - like brothers/sisters - willing to put their lives on the line for each other and even perfect strangers. By the way, do you think this is the size of the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem?
Friday, October 19, 2007 1 comments

Supernatural Series

If you are not familiar with http://www.lifechurch.tv/ ... I highly recommend checking out the Supernatural Series that Craig Groeschel is doing. This is sooooooo what I needed! With all that's been going on - fighting in my mind - this makes perfect sense to me. All of which I already KNEW, but it helps to be reminded every now and then. I've posted the message video - it's about 35 minutes. Hopefully it'll work here. If not, when you get time, I still highly recommend it!




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Tornado Dining


So last night I was working late to try to catch up on some things and the sirens start going off. It obvisouly was not the normal testing time, so I turned on the tv and saw that we were under a tornado warning - it was in the Shively area and headed my way. Well, I thought I would do the wise thing and not stay on the 10th floor - you know, just in case. So I took my phone and a book to work on and went to the first floor to join others that had been dining at the Korean Restaurant that's on the first floor. Well, after the extension of the tornado warning, the waitress decides to not let that stop her from providing her customers with the food they came to her restaurant for! They brought out tables from the restaurant and put them in the hallway and started serving - and taking orders from anyone else who planned to eat! No panic here! That's spontaneity for ya. How flexible are you in a new situation?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2 comments

Forgive?

Pastor Chad's messages this week have touched many nerves on a lot of people...will you forgive that person when they show up at your door asking for it? And tonight at Round 2 he got deeper -- what if they never ask for your forgiveness? What are you going to do then? The short answer is to still forgive them.


Chad gave the examples of Stephen when he was being stoned and Jesus on the cross...forgive them (they don't know what they're doing). Chad also gave the modern-day example of the couple whose son was killed by a drunk driver, Tom. They forgave Tom - and eventually adopted him as their own son. Incredible.


For me, this is one of the top areas I have worked on in my life. I realized long ago with a father who didn't want me, a mom who called me a mistake and "shouldn't have been" when I was a child, other family members who had only a negative view of me when they wouldn't even have anything to do with me, and later in life with men who didn't know how to truly love, my ex-husband's abuse, horrible job situations with horrible people, friends who turned out not to be real friends -- I realized -- it's my choice on how to think about them...how to forgive them for my own peace of mind. And for those of you that know me know there's enough going on up there I don't need to hang on to unforgiveness and bitterness! So I chose and choose to forgive. And for some, I still forgive on a regular basis. Forgiveness is never EASY - just NECESSARY. It's part of the "loving your neighbor" process.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007 0 comments

Chicago meeting



Last Friday I went to Chicago to meet with my media distribution company, DGFastchannel. DGFastchannel bought out the former little guy, Point360. Now when it was Point360 there was an individualistic quality about the place - each person had their own office and could decorate it how they chose, etc. But now that "corporate" owns them, it's a lot more uniform. As a client, I have been treated to fancy meals and even a Chicago Cubs game - FUN! I have built a few great relationships with my account team up there and I hope to keep it up long past KFC. And Friday night I got a special treat again. They took me to a great restaurant, Keefers, and then Merlin, my account manager, took me and my old CSR, Pam, out to a great Blues Bar (John Primer was the group). It was a lot of fun! But the funny thing was it was located in the gay community of Chicago (Boystown)....which was crazy! In the bar itself I did not even see a gay couple...crazy weird, but the whole area was teeming with black leather pants and black turtleneck sweaters outside. So - what was my take on the whole scene? Tragic I told them....tragic that there were so many gorgeous men around and not a one of them would be available to date me --- LOL!




And it is tragic. Tragic for women like me who are looking around for a great guy to respect and admire. Tragic for those guys who may never know Christ - or chose to not know Christ - or may think they know Christ but do nothing to want to be like Him by denying that lifestyle (just like I have to deny laziness). And tragic for those women who refuse to let real men be real men. Merlin and Pam both know a lot of gay people. And they know quite a few that are gay because that gay person gave up on the opposite sex. A man can not live up to a woman's expectations - because they are not clearly defined. And women get too frustrated with guys too quickly and decide to just do it themselves - be it fixing a leak, or things more personal. That's not the way God designed it do be.




We discussed a lot of different things: raising children (which is always funny to hear a bunch of people who have no children "know" how to raise them!), homosexuals, corporate world, etc. Now, Merlin is not a committed Christian. He's one that has the "every Christian is a hypocrite" mentality. Which is very popular. However, when I told him that I believe a sin is a sin regardless of which one and it's not my place to judge someone else because that too is a sin, (even though sometimes I fail) he was impressed. Seemed simple enough for me. But he told Pam he had never heard a Christian actually say that. So while we were in that Blues Bar it hit me! Kim Kane who's leading our women's study asked us to ponder about "faith without works is dead" and at that moment I figured something out! My faith (inward belief) without my works (outward action) is dead (to others). If I don't live out what I believe, then that hinders someone else from coming to Christ. I'm all talk and no action. "Action speaks louder than words" mean anything to you?




And one more cute note. The next morning while I was waiting to meet Pam for breakfast outside the hotel, there were 4 little girls and the rest of the family waiting to go somewhere as well. The little girls were all dressed the same - ready to go to the American Girl store! It was adorable. Well to pile on the cuteness, a horsedrawn carriage comes around the corner to pick up the girls and grandma and tour the city before going to the store! Don't you know those little girls thought they were real princesses for a day!
Thursday, October 11, 2007 1 comments

Halloween Superhero Time



Well - here's one version of my superhero I've told some of you about!
I seem to always be able to pull things out of my hat at the last minute! Today was no exception!
You would be surprised to find that it's pretty difficult to find 2 portable toilets to be delivered to Campbellsburg, IN by tomorrow for an auction on Saturday --- the same weekend as Harvest Homecoming! Just love the last-minute requests. AND - finding obscure historical Colonel commercials has become a specialty as well as scheduling last-minute trips. Not to mention planning a new meeting for a subcommittee next week in Providence, RI.
Now I don't mind a good last-minute rush every now and then, it's just too bad that I don't have a REAL superhero costume to don when I pull off the win of the moment!
Monday, October 8, 2007 1 comments

Missing it!







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I went to see Eastern Marching Band compete Saturday night - and I SOOOoooo miss being a part of all that! Eastern did a fabulous job and it was easy to see how they advanced to Regionals (this Saturday!). The clip above is the last few seconds of the show - I was so engrossed in the show I forgot to get more! I used to teach some of these bands back in the day. The one I was most proud of was Borden! They have a new director - young and right out of college - and their numbers tripled. Which may sound like a lot but considering they only had about 8 kids in band when I did a guard show a few years ago- that's a great increase! They only had 2 guard members, but those girls looked like they were having a great time and they were in-sync!


I'm going to include some mroe stuff here...my favorite local band has always been Floyd Central. They just have this way of really using volume dynamics to get their point across. Although, I am used to having an in-your-face ending - the kind to get everyone on their feet cheering. This year was a little more avant-guard...softer, very artsy. But when this band comes on the field you know they mean business. I've included a couple of videos of them.


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And then one of my favorite themes - I just wished they had pulled it off a little differently. Henryville did a Riverdance theme...notice the girl coming in from front center - traditional celtic dress even!

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Friday, October 5, 2007 0 comments

My Great Grandma




My Great Grandma passed away September 15. She was 98 years old. I miss her terribly now. I think so much so because I missed the ceremonies of visitation and the funeral. But I sure loved my grandma! She never stopped learning new things. She was always active - had at least 3 blankets she was crocheting, a jigsaw and crossword puzzle every day, and loved that hand-held solitaire game! She was the family geneologist - shoot - she was the county geneologist. That lady knew all the people on her floor - their birthdays, their spouses, parents, kids, and all their birthdays, where everybody lived and what they did for a living. She wrote the history of Oatsville - including drawings of old buildings and maps - just 2 years ago...at age 96! She taught me how to crochet about 4 years ago - don't know why that took me so long! Actually, I do - her stance was "now that you know how to do it, you can make your own blankets." LOL! I have 3 of her blankets! When you look at the picture grandma is on the left (obviously), and my mom is on the far right - her twin sister is in the middle with Felicity (her son's ex-girlfriend's daughter). I just hope I can be like her if I reach 98!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 5 comments

Becoming myself


Today's a special day for me! It's the 7-year anniversary of my divorce being final! It's amazing how different life is now compared to then. I consider my divorce to be a blessing in my life. It's sad and terrible that my marriage to Dan didn't work at all, but if not for that I would never had discovered how much God loves me. He forgives me for that - I am not condemned to hell for getting a divorce. And because I have followed His ways since, He continues to bless me! That's not to say I haven't had my fair share of screw-ups - I am soooooo not perfect. But He forgives them to and I try to never do those stupid things again.
The other thing I am amazed with is myself. Back then...I thought I was worthless - not truly capable of much - totally depressed and almost suicidle (I can relate to Jeremy). Dan was good at keeping me on the carpet - but once I left that - I discovered myself and my dreams again. Yesterday I had the "last meeting" for a new job opportunity. He complimented me highly on carriage, attitude, knowledge, strength, and personality...he thought I was already a manager. I've wanted to believe I could be for a long time and it helps to have an outsider validate that for me. So, like Odie - I got reminded of what I can truly be and I have potential for more!
Thursday, September 27, 2007 2 comments

Flying dream



Ok - so I've spent a little too much time playing today! I found a new site - meez.com - create your own avatar. Don't go there unless you have a little time to waste!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 0 comments

Someone to talk to



As many know, lately my life has been a rollercoaster ride. Lots of ups and downs. my great-grandma passed away Saturday, September 15, on Monday the 17th I was on WLKY morning show promoting the upcoming auction, then in Dallas the evening of the 17th for a national KFC meeting - lots of work to that - late nights and early mornings. Back in town on Thursday for an auction and a 20th Anniversary party of the old ad agency I used to work at. Then Friday I had a job interview and set-up for the 2-day auction that was Saturday and Sunday - and successful I might add!


There's just a lot ... and sometimes it's good to slow down and have some conversation with friends (which I am so looking forward to this week!). But I can always count on my Melody (the calico). She loves to talk, especially when she's asking for running water from the bathroom sink!


And my Maestro -- he's my baby boy and loves to be cuddled! Even though this picture doesn't show indication of that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2 comments

Already looking for new talent!

I wonder if anyone in our GCC family can do this for the next talent show?

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 0 comments

Round 2 - Chapter 1, Volume 1

As most of you are aware by now, Round 2 has started at GCC! It was great last night. And for those of you who were not able to make it - Chad has a link to subscribe to the podcasts on his blog. There were 82 people attending last night! That was fantastic! Even without the high schoolers - I believe we hit a record high for a Wednesday night!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007 3 comments

Above the clouds


As much as I don't like my job, there are certain perks I absolutely adore...like when I get to travel. It's not real often, but it allows for a free plane ride! And I love to fly! I know a lot of people who are scared of it, but I simply adore going above the clouds (especially those big fluffy ones). I love the takeoff - the power of it - and that point when complete engine power is no longer necessary and you are at a high-enough altitude that you seem to slow down (when in fact you're going faster). But the feeling is like going over one of the "seven sisters" (my backroads set of hills that make you come out of your seat when you go over them too fast) When I see the clouds below my feet - I can't help but to think of heaven each time I'm up there. Will we get a taste of that - the clouds beneath our feet? I know plenty of people think above God when they're up there - more out of fear than anything - but I feel tangibly closer to Him when the clouds are beneath my feet.
Thursday, August 30, 2007 0 comments

Directions...Ohhhh the Choices!


Have you ever come to a point in your life where you need to make a choice on the direction of it? Over the past few years I have felt that I made many wrong direction choices. I am certainly nowhere near where I dreamed I would be when I was in high school. Of course, how many of us actually turn out like we think? And it becomes harder the older we get to make direction-decisions...because by now I have a mortgage and 2 cats to consider. I know that God has protected me in many areas since I've been divorced - especially with men, and for that I am beyond grateful. I also know that I am hugely blessed with friends who love me like their own family. But there are still those moments that I think of the way it could-have, maybe should-have, been. I think those moments come more because I don't like my job - I work 2 jobs to get by - that means I have limited time to work for the church, and I don't have my perfect "match" in life to share life with - and I seem to just be spinning my wheels. I have been standing at the proverbial crossroads for quite awhile now... and there are times like now that I think God just wants me to learn to live in the moment and not get wrapped up in my own direction...just let Him take the lead. Yeah...he's definitely leading me...he's just not given me a new nudge along a new road yet.
And if anyone hasn't heard the new Casting Crowns cd - it's totally amazing as usual. I love the last song, "White Dove Rising." It's out of their normal realm, but beautiful beyond words.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2 comments

GCC's Got Talent! Seriously!

The Talent Show was incredible! It felt so good to do a big production again! And of course, it was not all my idea - Bobby Marcum is still the main creative genius that fuels the craziness that's on stage, and Jeremy Kane was just as huge a help, and Barry Smith was invaluable with set-up and sage-handing...and then there's the Wired (tech) guys, Chad McCullough (aka Grumpy Old Man), and Dennis Frankford - who's husband to wife Lee who sang "who am I." They also helped with decorating the stage - and I can't forget the men who moved the stage around - nice to have them around! And everyone who participated - the judges, the singers and actors....it was a fabulous night and I was greatly blessed! Thank you everyone!
Thursday, August 16, 2007 3 comments

Concert Promo 2

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And who wouldn't want this little girl for their very own!


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Good Clean Joke!

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away. They moused. They faxed. They e-mailed. They e-mailed with attachments. They downloaded. They did spreadsheets! They wrote reports. They created labels and cards. They created charts and graphs. They did some genealogy reports They did every job known to man. Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than h-e-double "L". T

hen, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.. Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! "I lost everything when the power went out!" Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work. Satan observed this and became irate. "Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said, JESUS SAVES
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 0 comments

Everything

In case you haven't seen this yet - it really is that powerful!


Friday, August 10, 2007 3 comments

TALENT SHOW'S A-COMIN'

Sunday night, August 26, 6-8pm - there's another GCC concert scheduled. And this one's going to be a doosie! It'll be good to get back to "over-doing" it a little bit!


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Wednesday, August 1, 2007 2 comments

Quote

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle (384 B.C. to 322 B.C.)

Got a favorite quote?
Saturday, July 28, 2007 1 comments

Late night realization

I keep this folder in my files labeled "ego." It's full of old clippings of newspaper articles, pictures, letters and cards, old songs and poetry I wrote in high school many moons ago. And on nights like these - I'm slightly bored, too late to start a project, thinking about life too much to go to bed yet - that I tend to reach for old pictures, or in this case, that ego file.

While reading it, I came across a poem I wrote when I was 15 years old and it amazed me how I still felt the same way about that particular subject. I'm actually disappointed in myself that I have not grown past those feelings in 15+ years. What's holding me back from truly seeing the woman God sees? The woman God painstakingly created - the woman He gave His son to die for...

Psalm 138 and 139 are two of my favorite Psalms. Words like - "In the day I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul" and the concept that the Lord has searched me and knows me (everything about me), and He is there wherever I go - "Though I walk in teh midst of trouble, You will revive me", He formed me inside out (my "self" first, then my body). All this I should focus on, and write an updated song to the Lord to add to my ego file.
Friday, July 27, 2007 1 comments

Jesus is Victor!

I have this Billy Graham "Hope for Each Day" calendar...you know, one of those that you flip each day and keep forever. I had not flipped the pages in over a month, so when I flipped to today it was amazing how much I needed it. So I am passing it along to others I know who need it:

"We need to rely constantly on the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit....It is important that we stand aside and let Him take over in all our choices and decisions. We know that the Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26), and what a comfort that should be to the weakest of us. A vicorious Christian is one who, in spite of worries, inner conflicts, and tensions, is confident that God is in control and will be victorious in the end. Whatever our difficulties, whatever our circumstances, we must remember, as Corrie ten Boom used to say, 'Jesus is victor!'"

Romans 8:26 reads: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
 
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