Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1 comments

Ode to Joy

Ok, I admit it, I'm still a big kid at heart. I tend to be a workaholic and dealing with some big decisions, character growth, relationships, purpose, etc. - adulthood stuff, but I really enjoy the escape being a kid again affords. And I admit it - I'm a Muppet fan. Beaker is one of those characters that need no introduction...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 0 comments

The real reason...

And here's the best...and the reason we should be celebrating this season. REmember to worship Jesus this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1 comments

Rudolf - Raisin Style

For those of you who remember the 80's...

Monday, December 22, 2008 0 comments

The Original Grinch

Saturday, December 20, 2008 0 comments

Some for the weekend...

Just cause I KNOW I'm going to be too busy to post on Sunday, I wanted to put two on for today! This first one is crazy! Ray Stevens classic!



And who has NOT seen "A Christmas Story"...



A commercial for another favorite...


And I don't care which movie or how many times I hear it - Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" is still one of my top favorites.
Friday, December 19, 2008 2 comments

Rudolf

Thursday, December 18, 2008 0 comments

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

After being in New York and seeing Rockefeller Center, White Christmas on Broadway, all the dazzling lights, Christmas Program at church, and Holiday music galore - I think I'm ready. In fact, I've decided to find some of my favorite Christmas movie scenes/songs and post one each day! Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008 0 comments

Another good email devotional...

Are You Ready for the Holidays?
By Van Walton

"What matters is not your outer appearance... but your inner disposition."
1 Peter 3:1 (MSG)

Devotion:
This year I am tempted to keep a close count of the number of times I hear the question, "Are you ready for the holidays?"

What does that mean exactly? If I were to guess what people mean when they ask one another if they are "ready for the holidays," I would say most are not talking about spiritual readiness. I bet what they typically mean is, "Have you made a list of all the stuff you need to do before the 25th and have you checked it off?"

Usually the answer that follows is a long list of to-do's before Christmas day. Baking, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping gifts, hiding presents from the children, or delivering them to neighbors, choir or play practice, preparing for guests, or preparing to travel. My list also often includes planning and attending parties, house cleaning, and finally -- my favorite -- decorating.

I wonder, if Jesus were making a holiday preparations list, what would He include? What if those who were there on Christ's birth day could advise us on getting ready for Christmas? What would be on their list?

Joseph might recommend we listen closely to the voice of God to prepare.
Mary may suggest we ponder the miracles of heaven.
Perhaps the angels would propose we sing about the King.
The shepherds may gently guide us to follow their act of worship.
Possibly the wise men would teach us to give Jesus our most valuable gifts.
The innkeeper may suggest "Hospitality: open your heart and home."
And Jesus' list would likely encourage us to be a light on the hill pointing the way for others to know Him.

Comparing my to-do list to the ones above, I wonder if I lived at that time, would I have missed Christ's birth? Would my busyness have kept me from slowing down to take time to worship in the stable? Unfortunately I have "missed" many Christmases in the here and now because I've not slowed down long enough to bow my knees and experience the miracle.

I want Christmas for my family to be more about an act of worship and awe than a frenzy to decorate, shop, and jump through the world's hoops. I don't want to miss the true reason we celebrate.

A few years ago I set out to purposefully plan the way I celebrate. As a result, my Christmases have become increasingly simpler and at the same time my heart has become increasingly more satisfied.

Are you ready for the holidays?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 0 comments

God and the Spider

I'm sure some of you have seen this in your emails - but it was too good not to post.

God and the Spider

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades.

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.

As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one." Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave.

As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.

"Hah, he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while.

"Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall."

We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget what God can work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways. And remember with God, a mere spider's web becomes a brick wall of protection.
Monday, December 8, 2008 0 comments

The Messiah

I am involved in a choir in Louisville along with a couple people from my church. Every year we perform Handel's Messiah. I'm sure everyone has heard the Hallelujah Chorus - but the the whole thing is simply magnificent! So I thought I would post a little history behind the Messiah work by George F. Handel along with a couple of music pieces.

Handel's Messiah: A brief history

The story goes that after the first performance of Messiah, an enthusiastic member of the audience congratulated composer and director George Frideric Handel for producing such a wonderful piece of "entertainment."
"Entertainment!" Handel replied, "My purpose was not to entertain, but to teach them something."

That was April 13, 1742, in Dublin, Ireland. The previous year, Handel had been approached by the librettist Charles Jennens about a musical oratorio on the life of the Messiah. Jennens' concept was to tell the entire story of the Christ through passages of Scripture put to music. He would begin with the Old Testament prophecies foretelling the ministry of Christ, move to the New Testament's accounts of the birth of Jesus, then forward through his death and resurrection, all seen through the eyes of the writers of Scripture.

In an age when illiteracy was widespread and written copies of the Bible were expensive and rare, Handel became excited about Jennens' idea. Handel pioneered the "oratorio," a musical composition designed to teach the Scriptures by setting them to music. He seems to have immediately understood how important such a composition about the life of Jesus might be, and he set to work on it right away.


George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach. His father wanted him to study law, but when it became apparent that the young Handel was musically gifted, his father reluctantly agreed to let the boy study music.

Handel became an accomplished harpsichordist and studied in Naples, where he became an acclaimed writer of Italian operas. He later moved to England, where he continued to have success writing opera, as well as compositions for the royal court. Handel's Water Music was composed for King George I.
But nothing Handel ever wrote became as popular as Messiah. Using Jennens' libretto, Handel completed the entire musical score in only 24 days. My dog-eared copy of Messiah contains only the piano and vocal parts and runs 250 pages, including 20 choral numbers and more than 30 solos and instrumentals. It is an astounding accomplishment.

That first performance of Messiah in Dublin (a charity event to raise money for a hospital) was a huge success. The piece was not as well received when it debuted in London, but Handel made it a recurring part of his schedule of performances — it became his tradition to perform Messiah annually as a benefit to raise money for London orphanages.

George Frideric Handel died in 1759 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. Messiah is one of his greatest musical creations, and is arguably the greatest piece of Christian music ever written. The Hallelujah Chorus is instantly recognizable, even by those who do not consider themselves members of the Christian faith. It has become a part of our Christian cultural heritage.

In almost every community during this Christmas season, there will be performances of Messiah. It is available in a number of recorded versions. Set aside some time this Christmas to listen to Handel's masterpiece. Learn the melodies. Hum along and let the words sink into your heart.

Handel didn't write Messiah for music historians or classical music geeks. He wrote it to tell the story of Jesus to ordinary people, through music, the language of the heart.


And He Shall Purify


Hallelujah Chorus
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 1 comments

Sad News, Crazy People, and White Christmas

For those of you who were affected by the overturned semi on Hwy 150 yesterday, it turns out it was my ex-step-uncle that was driving the semi. He didn't make it. Please keep his family in your prayers as well as my mom, she's been the one that more a part of that family than I was.


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Crazy people run the world, I tell ya. At these meetings I make sure the room's all ready, food is available, temperature is comfortable, copies and printouts taken care of, and any other requests that come up. Makes for a busy day when you have 17 board members, 4 staff, multiple corporate people, ad agency people, vendors and extra franchisees.

Well, yesterday was a full room day. More local people showed up than anticipated. No big deal - I can get more chairs, the issue? I shouldn't have had to. There were a few selfish people who decided that not only did their butt need a chair, but so did their coat, and so did their laptop, etc. So instead of being willing to put their coat on the back of their own chair, or put their laptop on their LAP...they made other people stand around until I could get chairs hauled in. It was one of those "I can't believe we're still in Junior High moments." A lot of these people certainly do not have servants' hearts.

And they've just been goofy acting - like the world is coming to an end if their need is not met within 1 minute. And I've also decided that just because the 5-carat ring on someone's hand is REAL - does not a gracious person it make. Whew...that dinner was an experience. I got an education in what a "serious social faux pas" is. Turns out to be a hilarious story.

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And White Christmas! I got treated last night to the broadway version of White Christmas! It was more amazing then technicolor. It was very strange to have just gotten the news about the death in the family - then the show started....literally. I even got yelled at by the usher to turn off my phone a minute before the show started. But I have to tell you - this was an absolute blessing for me!

I love the movie - and they certainly do it justice. Although, no one can REALLY replace Bing Crosby, he still did a nice job. They had to adjust the story in a couple of places, but for the most part - it remains true.

It was FULL of music and dancing of course - and the costumes! So colorful! Check out the final wardrobe below.

Then we walked back to the hotel - seeing all the lights and store windows. Having just seen White Christmas live. The tree gets lit tonight at Rockefeller Center - it's big and beautiful! I'm finally getting in the Christmas mood.
Monday, December 1, 2008 1 comments

More from the Palace...

Well - here's the view of the "concrete jungle" from my room. Not too bad. Below is St. Patrick's Cathedral. Weather is beautiful so far today, but unfortunately, I'm stuck inside all day into evening.


Now - I've shared bathroom pictures before from the Bellagio in Vegas - the all-marble one. This one is nice and cozy, very sophisticated. You enter with a vanity area and two cozy sitting chairs in the "lobby" area - then go into the hall of "closets." I really like when a public bathroom seems private. Call me crazy.








Sunday, November 30, 2008 1 comments

What to say...

I hope everyone had a good a Thanksgiving weekend as I did!


Now, I'm in New York for KFC meetings. And since I'm filling-in for the meeting planner, I get a special treat in my room! Check out these chocolate covered strawberries!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 0 comments

Truly Thankful


  • for Jesus - my Savior, Lord, friend and brother in the Kingdom of God
  • for God just being God
  • for the Holy Spirit guiding my life and never leaving me to live it alone
  • for new relationships
  • for genuine friends who are as close as real brothers & sisters
  • for my mom
  • for cherished memories
  • for early workdays
  • for purring kitties
  • for drooly dogs and puppies that still have that puppy smell
  • for babies & their first tooth
  • for my senses - taste, smell, touch, hearing, etc.
  • for my job - even though I don't like it
  • for my truck
  • for my house
  • for my pool
  • for bright & sunny fall/winter days
  • for the first bloom in the Spring
  • for cell phones that "do it all"
  • for 500-count sheets
  • for colors that can only be created by God and not duplicated on the computer
  • for pizza
  • for shoes that don't hurt
  • for opportunities to do the work God has prepared for me to do
  • for impromptu phone calls that light up my day
  • for so much more than I can list here
  • for every breath I take

Monday, November 24, 2008 2 comments

Intervention

Well, yesterday during Sr. High class I almost felt an intervention coming on. The lesson was on "interruption" - being interrupted, taking time to allow interruptions from people who need us, taking time for Sabbath... And we started with writing on a piece of paper things we do in a day. Of course my paper was full and one of the kids beside me said "Gosh Christy - I only have like 3 things on mine." I thought to myself, wait till you get my age kid.

But then, Angelique starts the message with - "Does anyone know what a type-A personality is? Let me show you an example," and proceeds to walk over to me! It was funny, really. She asked me a few questions, and I in true form pulled out my calendar, mp3 player, to-do notebook, journal, file of stuff to do and Bible out of my bag - because I'm always prepared with something to do. And I asked her if this was an intervention. They all laughed, but I got validation out of it of things I've already been working on lately. Slowing down.

My calendar is full - my to-do list runneth over - my house, truck, and desk are in desperate need of purging. But I've started saying 'no.' I have commitments through the end of the year - but after that - I'm not adding anything on without praying about it first. If God is truly leading me to do something, He'll definitely let me know. But in the meantime, I am looking forward to that first Saturday I can sleep in -- or take a nap in the middle of the day, or just hang out with friends without having to do any sort of work related to it. You can't build relationships when you're too busy - and I certainly am ready to get started strengthening a couple of relationships (Jesus and well, somebody) and starting new friendships. It'll be interesting to see who true friends are - if they like me for me, or like me being around because of my work.
Thursday, November 20, 2008 1 comments

Blossoming Relationship

With Jesus...

I got stuck in traffic yesterday morning. And instead of getting bent out of shape, I just picked up my Bible and started reading John 6. I came across a couple of verses that I've overlooked a hundred times:

28) Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29) Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

This struck me funny. To work the works of God - believe in Him. So I asked a friend his opinion. He told me that Jesus invites us into relationship with him. Our belief and faith grows as we take the time to know Him and His character. You would not believe in someone you did not know, and to know someone takes time, effort and understanding. So true. Building a relationship can be "work."

Then today's page-a-day calendar was this:

A young Irishman, Joseph Scriven (1820-1886), was deeply in love with a young woman, and their marriage plans had been made. The night before their wedding, however, she drowned in a tragic accident. For months Scriven was bitter, in utter despair. At last he turned to Christ, and through His grace, found peace and comfort. out of this experience he wrote the familiar hymn that has brought consolation to millions..."What a friend we have in Jesus / All our sins and griefs to bear!" ... Even sorrows turn to blessings when they make us less attached to the earth and more attached to God. Then ... we discover that Jesus truly is our friend - "All our sins and griefs to bear!"

How much time do you spend cultivating a relationship with Jesus? Is He truly a friend that's closer than a brother?
Thursday, November 13, 2008 2 comments

New Background

Man, have I been picky about this blog lately. You don't see anything on the sidebar yet - I'll get there. But just choosing the background - and trying to get them to work the way I want them to is a challenge. I've been getting some errors when I try to upload a new template, so I did wht Rebecca and Lynn have done - The Cutest Blog on the Web site. There are some cute things on there, but I've been trying to find something abstract-y, simple, colorful, but easy to work on. So here's an option...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2 comments

Empty Your Trash Basket!

From my email devotionals....

What's In Your Trash Basket? Gwen Smith
Today's Truth "Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" (John 8:10 NIV)

Friend to Friend A four-year-old girl was overheard reciting the Lord's Prayer, "and forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who pass trash against us." When I first heard that story, I smiled. Then I thought of a conversation I recently had with a girlfriend.

She is a Christian friend. But though she has "emptied her trash basket" of sin before the Lord in sincere repentance, she has not emptied the trash basket of self-condemnation. Not completely. She won't allow it. She struggles deeply to let go of mistakes she made in her past. She holds the trash basket lid on tightly. To be free of that waste doesn't seem fair in her mind.

She is haunted by shame. Haunted by sins that are no longer remembered by God. Haunted by sins that have been cast as far as the east is from the west.

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." (Psalm 103:11-13)

These memories don't live in her past. They live in her now. They haunt her regularly like a spine-chilling horror film monster and as much as she would like to move forward in forgiveness, she just can't find the courage to scare the monster away.

In the New Testament book of John, chapter 8, we meet a woman caught in the act of adultery. The legalistic teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought her before Jesus. They publicly humiliated her in front of all the town's people, saying to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" (John 8:4-5)

Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger as they continued to question him. Finally, "He straightened up and said to them, '"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'" Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground" (John 8:7-8).
The crowd eventually thinned to nothing. The older, wiser men cleared first. Then the younger ones trickled away. When the adulterous woman and Jesus were the only ones remaining:
"Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:10-12).

My sister, do you see that our holy Lord delights to show us mercy? He does not condemn us as we deserve. Time and time again, Scripture reveals merciful pictures of forgiveness. The woman in this story was guilty when she was brought to face Jesus, but as she left His presence, her guilt was forgiven. Her trash basket was empty. When we turn to face Jesus with repentant hearts, our guilt is forgiven as well.

This account of the adulterous woman teaches us a valuable lesson about judging and condemning others. We shouldn't judge others. It's not appropriate and it's not our place. Simple as that.

Toss your trash!

But what does this lesson teach us about judging ourselves? My friend that I spoke of earlier carried around a trash basket filled with junk she threw in herself. Sure, it was accompanied by trash from other people too, but the lingering condemnation came from memories of decisions she had made, things she had done, places she had been, and brokenness she has experienced because of her own choices. In her heart, she accepts the forgiveness of Jesus, but she can't bear to forgive herself. So many women won't forgive themselves.

I've been that woman.

I know that woman.

I know that self-loathing. I've lived it. I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that forgiving yourself is easy. It's hard--and, in a lot of ways, it should be! But I can testify that it wasn't until I prayerfully allowed the stubborn, strong, and unconditional love of Jesus to pry my fingers off the lid of my trash basket and empty the condemning contents, that I experienced true freedom and complete forgiveness.

Is there something for which you have not been able to forgive yourself?

My friend, we need to stop beating ourselves up for sins of our past. We need to stop allowing guilt and shame to chain us to unproductive living. Jesus humbled Himself by becoming human, endured an excruciating death, and then defied the grave in His resurrection so that we could be restored to a place of complete healing. Complete healing.

Second Corinthians 5:21 states that "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." If you are in Christ, the Bible says that your guilt was paid for on the cross of Calvary. Jesus carried the sins of the world on His shoulders so that you would not have to carry them on yours.

If you are holding on to unconfessed sin, the time has come for you to release your grip. God's Word promises that, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Accept His forgiveness.

None of us is perfect, just perfectly forgiven. Take your hand off the lid and allow the Lord to empty your trash basket of every condemning voice, once and for all. Embrace the freedom that

Jesus intends for you to live in.

Let's Pray Holy Father, Your mercy defies logic in my mind. I don't deserve it, and I just don't understand how You could possibly forgive me for all that I have done. Please take my trash basket and empty it. Forgive me today and help me to forgive myself, and others, so I can live freely in Your amazing grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn Recite, write, and memorize these verses: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)
Friday, November 7, 2008 0 comments

Making some changes

There's change a'brewin'! I'm going to take a few days and really change this ol' blog of mine. So please - whoever's actually looking, hang in there. This may change quite a few times since I'll be doing it in my "spare time."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 3 comments

We made it!


Well, we're home!


Aside from some minor logistical frustrations - split crew, not enough materials - the trip was great! Would I do it again - most definitely. Although, I believe there's a new ministry in the works. I'll let you know when I know more from Bill.
We arrived in Louisville Tuesday morning, I got home around 2:30p, on the couch by 3 visited with mom for a couple of hours around 6 then back to bed. I finally got up around noon Wednesday. Jet lag extreme!
And until I get the whole presentation ready, I'm going to post some of my favorite shots from the trip - some turned out pretty "artsy." The top center one is us at Arnold's sister church in Jagna, Bohol. There were so many kids there! The next one is our crew at the Dawis-New Lucena, Iloilo site. We all had such a fun time together!



Here's Joyce being Joyce!

This is Dick, the best cement guy in the Philippines! He and his wife are expecting a baby - it was a surprise - she's 50, he's 52!

Here's a future elephant ear - these things grow like weeds along the roadside over there.

The planks landed totally by accident - so I got the shoot before they used the wood for scaffolding again.



A couple of our little helpers at site 2.

This little girl's not too sure about the crazy white American guys. She was much better when we passed out lollipops!




Steve with a new little friend - a tarshier monkey, the smallest monkey in the world!

Bill overlooking the Chocolate Hills. He was deep in thought way up there, new ministry starting and missing Thomas back home.


Sunrise over the sea!


Thursday, October 16, 2008 0 comments

He's Singing over me

One of my FAVORITE scriptures:

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I can't tell you how much this meant to me when I was reminded of it in an email devotional this morning. I have been a little overwhelmed - that was an understatement yesterday. And my responses to interruptions and aggravations has not been good. And that's frustrating for me because I want to do better as a light in this world. And as excited as I am about the mission trip (only 2 days left!), I've still been under deadlines and a huge load of work that isn't getting done before I go.

Part of me, no - most of me, needs have a sense of accomplishment in a day. If I can't get a certain percentage of my to-do list done, then I've failed. And I have already failed when I wake up simply because I am behind from the day before. And why is that? I used to be able to handle more work than this. And this week I figured it out. I've been putting PEOPLE before WORK. Go figure.

Jesus' work WAS people. My work up to this point hasn't been about people - just pushing papers and planning for people. Lately though, I've been spending actual time with people. And I LOVE IT! But my work wasn't ALL getting done. But the I wouldn't trade the time with my best friends and mom for anything in the world. And I'm pretty sure when my "exit interview" comes in front of God, He's not going to ask me how much "work" I got done.

So while I am still plugging away at finishing some work projects, God's love is what can quiet me. And I love to imagine Him singing over me...can you imagine what that sounds like? Think of your favorite voices and mix them all together (like a rushing river, but as soft as a gentle flowing creek -- the whisper in the wind). I feel better already!
Friday, October 10, 2008 1 comments

My little "man"


I just had to take a few minutes to post this! I'm getting my paperwork ready for the auction in the morning. I watch cartoons - watching Superman tonight. Well, my cat, Maestro, will watch Batman cartoons with me sometimes. And he's found another character he likes - Lobo. Not sure what it is that facinates him, he doesn't watch ALL cartoons with me. So I know it's not just the movement on the screen. But this is hilarious! He watches a good 10 minutes. Although, I'm a bad mom for letting him sit so close to the screen....LOL!!

0 comments

Rounding up ideas!

9 days and counting!!!! And I need all the ideas I can get for games to play with the kids. Catch is - I'm restricted on materials. So if anyone has some cool ideas of things to do with kids when you don't have toys, paper, playdoh, etc...that would be fantastic!

I found these great little horns, well more like flutes since they have holes in them. But with those I can do a lesson on Joshua and Jericho walls. And we have some candy, mini coloring books with crayons, and little plastic rings that says Jesus Loves You on them. I'm so excited! And there's still A LOT to get accomlished in a week. So pray for me please - here's what it's looking like:
  • For KFC: invoicing at least 2 flights of orders, reporting market information for those orders, Pepsi & Dr Pepper mailings to system, prep work for the next round of commercials (that airs while I'm gone), prepping instructions for while I'm gone (cause heaven-forbid the satellite go out or they run out of snacks), etc.
  • For GCC: Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork for the Student Ministries, prep for Talent Show, SOME prep for the Youth Scavenger hunt, important letters to key people, history info, and promo for Christmas program
  • For Brewer Auctions: Set-up for tomorrow's auction tonight, tomorrow auction, Mailers for the 25th auction, 3 print ads, update website--again, settle-up with last week and tomorrow's clients, check church site for filming his daughter's wedding on the 18th
  • For Personal: finish project for a friend of mine, PACK, get rest of supplies, prepare for trip with lessons and music, water plants, love on the cats, get supplies, Italy video (this is a pipe dream I think for before I leave...unless I just don't sleep) -- and have dinner with my mom (I'm thinking Rafferty's Cheese Fries!!!)

Please pray for me to get a touch of God's limitless energy! And don't worry about sleep - I'm saving up for that 16-hour flight overseas!

Thursday, October 9, 2008 0 comments

Today's Girlfriends in God Devotional

I got this in my email today:

October 9, 2008
Making Your Heart Sit Down
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. (NLT)

Friend to Friend

Every minute of every day is either wasted or invested. Since the Bible contains over 400 verses about time, we can safely assume that time management is important to God. In fact, it is a spiritual discipline. We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude.

I once read an African proverb, "Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down". Solitude is deliberately and diligently setting aside time to "sit down" at the feet of Jesus. It is in those still, quiet moments of solitude at his feet that we can more clearly hear God speak and gain strength and wisdom for the journey ahead. In order to practice solitude, we must learn how to budget time.

It's been said that women must balance their time more carefully than men because women don't have wives. The fact is we are all responsible for how we spend the time God has given us. Time is a precious gift! Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use. If we use it in the wrong way, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Un-budgeted time gravitates to our weaknesses, is stolen by others or wasted on the unimportant. We must budget time, just as Jesus did.

Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (NIV).

At the age of 12, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parents for the annual Passover Celebration. When his parents began the long trip home, they did not miss their son at first and when they did, assumed he was traveling with friends. Jesus was found in the temple, teaching. My first reaction would probably have been pride in the fact that religious scholars and teachers were actually listening to my young son. I would most likely have encouraged Jesus to continue, basking in the looming recognition and acclaim. Instead, Jesus returned home where, for 18 to 20 years, he simply grew. Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. In Luke 3, Jesus begins his ministry, the most powerful ministry ever known. In other words, Jesus Christ budgeted his time wisely, resulting in a balanced life of fulfilled purpose. We can live the same kind of life if our priorities are right.

Set priorities: Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that "there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven" (NLT). We either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them.

Schedule priorities: There is a right time and a right way to carry out right priorities. Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, "For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight" (NASB). We must schedule time for solitude. We must set aside portions of each day to spend with God.

Stick to priorities: The apostle Paul teaches us to "make the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 5:16 NIV). Every challenge will either wreck our priorities or affirm them. Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.

One day, we will all stand before the Father and give an account of how we invested our time. Today, examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God. Make a new commitment to invest your time wisely.

Let's Pray
Father, I recognize my need for time alone with You. I lay down my schedule, my agenda and anything else in my life that would keep me from that time. Please forgive me for the way I often squander away the minutes, hours and days of my life. Give me the power to invest time wisely and wisdom to live a balanced life.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Choose to practice solitude - today.
Select a place to spend time in solitude -- today.
Lay down your agenda.
Focus on Him and listen for His voice.
Memorize Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him." (NIV)
Ask yourself these questions and use the answers to shape a plan for regular solitude:
Why am I afraid of silence?
What is the greatest obstacle to solitude in my life?
What steps do I have to take in order to remove those obstacles?
What do I hope to gain from time spent in solitude?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 0 comments

Warrior Spirit

Isaiah 48:10-11

10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.





God is the only one who can do the refining, be it in ourselves or in a church as a whole. God will refine through fire as affliction. It's the only way we can grow - for His sake. And for His own sake He will refine. He will not stand for His glory to go to something or someone else.







I loved Joe's post today. He is right on with it. I personally have been studying being a warrior the past could of months. I've heard it said and have been using it regularly: Christianity is not a playground, it's a battleground. We are called to be warriors for our King. This is a spiritual war we were enlisted to when we decided to follow Christ. If you are truly following Christ it's about more than just learning from Him, it's following our General's commands.


Every warrior has a cause to fight for. Quote from Craig Groeschel: "Until you find the cause in which you are willing to die - you will never truly live." My cause is Christ alone. Philippians 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. I will fight. I will not run from affliction. I will embrace trials for the Glory of God alone. For it is not about me - it's about Christ. I will not hesitate - for "the warrior in battle who hesitates is the most vulnerable warrior of all."


I will trust in the Lord with all my heart - not leaning on my own understanding - fully relying on the work Christ did on the cross for my sins. And because I live under Christ's grace, I will be firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 - "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." No one else can do that. Only CHRIST.


Yes, there has been a lot of drama going on lately:
  • Marriages in our church are under serious attack
  • Kids struggling to gain identity and security in this crazy world
  • Young people dying tragically and unexpectedly
  • Financial struggles everywhere
  • "natural" disasters seem to come on a regular basis
  • The resignation of a gifted speaking preacher
  • Gossip and division
  • Broken trust
  • Confusion, And this is just in my own church - let alone in my own house.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)


There's a lot of crazy negative things going on around us. But what are we going to be determined for? Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 - will you be determined in situations. They determined in advance what their response was going to be -- for God, not Neb's "god" statue of himself. They were thrown into the fire for standing up to the king - but they were saved by the King of Kings. Regardless - their response was determined: vs. 16-18: "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." That's being determined.



Even in the craziness that's going on around us - how will you be determined? What will be your "As for me and my house...." stance? As for me - I will serve the Lord only. Regardless of who's up front. I will take a stand - I will stand in the gap - I will protect - I will not cower - I will not run - I will help advance the Kingdom. Even though I am a woman alone, I will still fight on the front lines in this battle. I will fight beside those who are kindred spirits - we will have each others' backs. I will be armor-bearer to the King only (at least until He may bless me with a husband to fight along side of). Here are a couple of warrior-inspired videos.





The best part starts about 1:50 into this classic!
Monday, October 6, 2008 0 comments

Here We Are!


2 weeks and counting! Here's the crew going to the Philippines: Joyce, Joyce's daughter, Candace, myself, Hank, Steve, Hanks' brother-in-law Chester, Bill, and Sam who's the youngest and the biggest of us all.




I want to put out a huge THANK YOU to the Stephanie's Hope gang. That funding organization is a huge blessing already! And for the first time out this weekend the fundraising event was a huge success. Over 100 lbs. of pulled pork was distributed/sold - pounds and pounds of potato salad & cole slaw -- and the desserts! The band played (I got to sing harmony :-) ), cornhole & volleyball. I believe everybody had a good time. And I am still trying to recuperate from this long weekend.


Saturday was spent getting the Ranch all cleaned up for this event. Well - Steve and Bill and I got to bond all day and into the night. We even watched the latest Rambo movie and a crazy oldie, "Cat Ballou." Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin ... check this out...




Friday, October 3, 2008 0 comments

Overwhelmed yet?

Ok - so there's TWO weeks left until the mission trip. While I am definitely excited, I have a mounding list of things to-do before I leave for 20 days. I've been doing ok, but in the past any time I get too much on my plate I made sure to take the time to sift it into something more manageable. Well, I FINALLY got to do that yesterday. But I think Satan has computer demons.

You see, I finally made the switch from carrying a heavy paper planner to the more mobile Palm Pilot. Cool little gadget. Fits in my pocket and I can still categorize & color-code! THEN, we got these fancy phones at work that has EVERYTHING on it. Windows/Office platform so I have a version of Outlook on my phone - even cooler. So I'm still working on transferring info, but I pretty much have everything in one place now - my phone. I spent some time last night updating my daily list of to-dos, my project lists, some contacts, church scheduling, auction scheduling, KFC scheduling, person scheduling, etc. Felt like I have my big ol workload under control again.

Well, when I came in early this morning - my Outlook (email and my planning software) would NOT open! AAACCCCKKKKK!!!!!!! What was I going to do?!?!? All that work! That's the one positive about paper planners. Well, stay calm...do some other work...call the offsite tech guy...it'll be fine. And like Rebecca, I love to see God in everything. Patience. Wait upon the Lord. My hope and trust is in Him -- not this goofy machine. And what do ya know -- the mail server is up and running again. Just a quick reminder from God that He's in control.
Monday, September 29, 2008 0 comments

TAG!


Lynn TAGGED ME!! Wow - Random/weird facts about myself.
1. I like to separate my m&m's by colors. Oh - and for Peanut m&ms - I bite half of it, pull the peanut out to eat separately then eat the other half.
2. I have over 15,000 songs in my music collection (roughly 400 cds and over 100 lps & cassettes, plus downloads) - that's just not enough.
3. I still twirl my flag and spin a rifle from my marching band days.
4. I color-code my calendar - that may not be weird, but it sure is a random thought
5. I was head-butted by a goat when I was little - maybe that's what's wrong with me. And THAT is random.
6. I can sleep literally anywhere. Just sitting still with nothing to do for more than a couple of minutes tends to put me to sleep.
7. I've been backstage at the Grand Ole Opry - met Grandpa Jones and a few other legends.
Ok- so now I'm supposed to tag a few others.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2 comments

Feed Each Other

I got this in an email today...

A man was having a conversation with God one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what the difference is between The Light of your Truth and The Darkness of Satan? '

God led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the man's mouth water.The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.God said, 'You have seen The Darkness.'

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.The man said, 'I don't understand.'It is simple,' said God. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

MORAL:We need our brothers and sisters in these critical days to help build each other up and stay spiritually strong. We may have our differences, but in order to remain in God's love and continue the flow of spiritual food to ourselves, we have to put aside those differences, resisting our tendency to harbor resentment, and search out ways to help each other. Otherwise, we will become so consumed with only helping ourselves that we may be inadvertently cutting off the only food that can keep us alive in this starving world.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 0 comments

4 Weeks and Counting!




I just can't tell you how excited I am about going to the Philippines in 4 weeks!


First - if I haven't already shared the amazing news - I'll tell it now. My WHOLE TRIP was taken care of in ONE DONATION check! It's incredible! I sent a letter to David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands (the parent company of KFC - and I work for the Ad Co-op of KFC). On a prayer whim. I knew he attends Southeast - so an assumed Christian. And I just wanted to let him know what someone in his system was doing for Christ, and to pray for me & the gang on this trip. Well, I was shocked when Hank showed me a copy of the check last Sunday! I cried - I still cry if I talk about it. Needless to say, I am a little prouder to be a part of this company with a top leader so willing to give to this kind of mission - without even knowing me!!!!


God's just amazingly awesome! Never doubt that He will provide! And like a friend of mine told me - "Now you KNOW God wants you on this trip." I love it when God's obvious.


Here are a couple of pictures from a previous year's trip. Building churches, baptizing wherever there's water (the ocean provides lots of it!), having fun with the kids, loving on people, etc. I will be taking a video camera! Amy did such a good job with her Guatemala trip video I'm inspired.
I'm not sure about having a "heart for missions" yet. But I know I love to serve the Lord - wherever He puts me. And I'm also looking forward to 20 days with no computer. A tech-free season. Pray for me - my life will be changed for sure! In more ways than one I'd imagine...
Friday, September 19, 2008 1 comments

Smallville's Back!


For those that are superhero junkies like myself - it's back - MY favorite show - SMALLVILLE! Season 7. And they've finally gotten Clark a job at the Daily Planet at a desk across from Lois Lane. I can't wait to see where they take this show this season. How true will they stay to the Superman and Justice League mythos? AND I love the way this show has tied in other heroes like Green Arrow (who is more of a regular now), the Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and Black Canary. And there's always the villians - right now Lex Luthor is missing!
0 comments

Walking With God

Where are you in your walk with God?












Wednesday, September 17, 2008 0 comments

The Chocolate Hills

These are the Chocolate Hills located on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Aren't they gorgeous! And I will get to view this site in real life during the trip!

I am so excited!!!! My trip is fully paid for - with extra to be able to give directly to the churches we help build. We'll be able to buy chairs, food, and any other necessities they may need to get started. I know I'm going to take some of Barry's special band music sheets for worship music. I'm sure someone will have a guitar around.

I got to see some pictures of past mission trips, so I will post those when I get them saved from disc. I know I'm taking a video camera so I can put together something cool when I get home. I've been told I will just fall in love with these people - and they will fall in love with me. And if the pictures are any indication, they love to be loved on and show love in return. And the team that is going -- needless to say, it will not lack for entertainment. And I'm sure all the positives totally outweigh the scary points - like bugs and creepy crawlies that are foreign to me. Not that I like the creepy crawlies that are around here! But the sights I'll get to see, and the people's lives I get to be a part of for those couple of weeks! I feel this will totally change my life - yet another way God works for the good! Who knows what'll happen...
Monday, September 8, 2008 1 comments

New Spin on Old Favorite

Ok - fess up...how many used to watch Hee Haw - or the Grand Ole Opry - or use to actually do the dance....clogging? I've never done it myself, but I would love to learn all kinds of things before I go to heaven. Is there clogging in heaven? Here's a group that I LOVE to listen to, Uncle Earl, and their newest video:





And here's the classic clogging I grew up with:

Friday, September 5, 2008 0 comments

Your Last Day

Wednesday night we gave the kids a Behavior Expectation list. This puts in writing what our expectations of them are: no PDA, no underwear showing, no foul language, no drugs - get along, etc. Ryan gave a message to the kids on expectations. And he touched on Ryan S. dying last week in a car wreck (which was very hard to do). Ryan S. didn't EXPECT Tuesday to be his last day on Earth. If he did - what would he have done differently? And that was one of Ryan's points. What would you do differently if you knew it was your last day to live here?

What would I do? Being a single person - my answer would be completely different from you married folks. But I bet there would be one similiarity - spend time with the ones you love. Let them know how much I love them, how much they mean to me. Although, I grasped this awhile back - I try to let people know how much I care NOW - why wait? And some I can only tell in-part, but I hope eventually they'll know in-full how much I care. Of course, I'd love to ride the Rock n' Roller Coaster one last time.


I listened to Dave Stone from Southeast on the way in to work this morning. And he talked about what would be on your headstone when you died. What would be your epitaph in 12 words or less? And I thought about that as well as my dad's funeral last year, and other funerals I have been to. My dad did not live his life for Jesus. He was not a good example of love. He only had 16 people there - 9 of which were there to support me. How many people will show up at my funeral? And how will they remember me? All the work I did - or did they really know me? Will there be flowers? And why can't I get flowers before I die?

But here's a question for you: What if YOU knew it was MY last day on Earth? What would you do differently? What if you knew it was your spouse's last day? What would you do differently? What if you knew it was your parent's last day? Your child's? Your siblings? Your best friend? That "loner" in the corner? The troublemaker? Your enemy? What would you do?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 1 comments

My new Bible is here!


My bestest friends gave me money for my birthday and said let us know what we got you. Well, it just so happened I knew exactly what I wanted! One of the ladies brought in a Chain Reference Bible to women's study...and I loved it! I love study Bibles anyway, and the chain reference leaves out the commentary on the bottom. Because those commentaries can be wrong - we found some examples. And I wanted a meaty translation - something that's real close to the original language (I haven't had time to learn Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek), but I also notice they had some "handy" sizes available. So I chose the Personal Size New King James Version. It's almost exact to the New American Standard which I love. But this Bible is just too cool! Talk about taking a journey in the Word! And it has a topical index which I like, and charts a concordance and maps. When I opened my package today I noticed it already came with tabs. Now normally I'm not a fan of tabs just because I like to push myself to KNOW where it is in the book and not rely on the tabs. But until I get the flow of this particular book down I can get used to them. I love getting in the Word - I've already started a new journey with this book and can't wait to see what's revealed!
Thursday, August 28, 2008 1 comments

The classics

So I've already admitted to being sentimental and romantic, but I also have "an old soul." I LOVE "the old stuff." Especially in music. Classic country - real women singing real stuff (Patsy will always be my favorite), Southern Gospel - no one beats Vestal Goodman! Bluegrass - give me Ralph Stanley singing "O, Death," and I just melt over Bing Crosby's crooning, feel like dancing with military boys to the Andrew Sisters and even Jimmy Durante can inspire me to "Make Someone Happy." LOVE IT!

Today I've been listening to some of this older stuff - Jimmy, Bing, Doris Day, Mae West, Al Jolson (yah, cha, cha), and the rest. And one song came on my "jukebox" that just absolutely delighted me - well, two really. So I found them on ye old youtube for your enjoyment as well. Tell me these aren't adorable and make you feel all sunny inside!




Turn the sound up a little for this one... you only need about the first minute, but Shirley's just cute to watch!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 0 comments

Today's Word

From my Billy Graham's Page-a-Day calendar:

"And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh..." Ezekiel 11:19 (NASB)

"I will give them a new heart and a new mind" Ezekiel 11:19 (TEV)

When a person comes in contact with the living God, he or she can never be the same again. This divin e"fire" either draws in or drives away, saves or destroys, helps or hinders. Accepted and utilized, it becomes a boon and a blessing. Rejected, it becomes a bane and a curse. One dying theif was drawn to the warmth of the Savior; he responded in faith and was saved. The other dying theif turned away and rejected God's compassion; he was lost forever....No, you will never be the same once you know Christ. What difference will He make in your life today?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2 comments

True Love's Kiss



Ok - I admit it - I am a sentimental romantic sap! I love the classic musicals and love stories where there's love at first sight, those that fight for love, and the happily-ever-afters. Love 'em!


My birthday was Saturday, and it wasn't as I would have normally planned, but my friends remembered and that made it special! And that night I watched one of my favorite stories - Cinderella (while knitting with a cat in my lap - how much more relaxing can it get). And I not only watched the first Cinderella, but Cinderella III too.


There's so much I love about these stories. Love at first sight for them both, rags-to-riches for Cinderella, justice to the evil stepmother/sisters, and the value of friendship and standing up for those you love.


Now, for those of you who don't know -- I was married once. Yes, I am divorced - almost 8 years now. God forgave me long ago and so did I. Currently, I am under divine protection in the area of a relationship with a man because I asked God to protect me when I started back to college - didn't need the distraction at that time (and I didn't have a good track record). It's been 6 years since I was asked out on a date (not even from the weird ones). 6 years. Talk about having a low self-esteem in this area sometimes. But I know that God is preparing me for my future love that will be Jesus for me while on this earth. I also know that God is preparing that man to be a real man for me. I'm sure he's getting put through plenty of trials to be able to handle me! :-) And he's going to have to ask my FATHER's permission.. But I digress...


When I watch these stories, there's always the kiss. "True Love's Kiss." And in some stories like Cinderella III and Sleepless in Seattle it was the touching of the hands -- it was something they just "knew." For our very own Steve Meredith - he saw Vicki on the dance floor and just KNEW that was the girl he was going to marry. (Everybody together now...."AHHhhhhhhhHHH").


Plus, I'm a history buff. I love to know where people, cultures, traditions come from. And I thought about that whole "You may now kiss the bride" deal. Wouldn't they have already kissed normally? What makes THAT kiss so special? And how did that start? So I did some research and found that today's wedding kiss is a testament to the newlywed's devotion and love for each other but it had a more practical meaning during the Roman Times when it was used to seal the legal bond or marriage contract. This may be the origin of the expression "sealed with a kiss" and that does not only refer to a wedding. It seems that the Romans are known for their fascination to the ancient art of kissing. They started the passionate betrothal kiss which is said to be the origin of the kiss which was done at the end of the ceremony. That kiss between the new husband and wife serves as a public agreement that they willingly enter into a life-long contract called marriage. The more superstitious ones believe that the wedding kiss paves the way for the mingling of the couples' souls.


Wow - do we really see it that way now? That the kiss is sealing the contract per se. It's binding. Meaningful. It's not just sharing spit all you youngins! How amazingly awesome would it be if two people saved their "first kiss" to be the kiss that "seals the deal" for marriage?


And I love Jane Austen stories - back when being in love was done in its proper form. There was no sex on the first meeting...there was barely looking at each other the first time you met! And to have touched each others' hands...wow...there was real meaning in that. When everything you did for each other had meaning and was not to be taken for granted. Believing in each other, lifting each other up, loving and taking care of each other in the small things (like killing the spiders or sewing a button or even caring for a sprained ankle after falling off a horse). Where just looking at each other from across the room filled your love jar all night! And the dance! To be chosen as the dance partner of the one you are in love with - you would be floating on air all night like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady! Whatever happened to all that?!?!?!?


All I've seen lately is people (young and old) that are quick to jump right to sex. Like THAT means anything. That's just destructive. Not only does it not glorify God, but it destroys you...it hardens you to be able to truly love someone. Your perception of what love IS becomes skewed to only the physical. Love is not sex. "Making love" has been turned into a free-for-all with anyone. That's not good. "Making love" is what a married man & woman do -- not only in the physical union, but in the everyday things...little notes, picking up after each other, reaching stuff on the top shelf, fixing favorite foods, listening, interacting, etc. For me, making love is a package deal. I don't want just the temporary physical feelings - but the whole experience! Anything less than that and I short-change myself and my husband (to-be, hopefully).


And to have a husband willing to fight for me - to die for me...that would be imitating Jesus. Just as He loved the church so husbands should love their wives. Another interesting tidbit about a wedding ceremony: The brides placement to the left— When a bridegroom secured his bride and prepared to marry her, she was placed to his left in order to protect her, leaving his right hand free for swordplay if need be. There was in ancient times when brides were literally fought for!


Needless to say, I love the true romantic ways - not the over-done PDA of today. I love to see true love that shines the love of Jesus to others. Call me a sentimental fool and I will agree!
Friday, August 22, 2008 0 comments

So much to talk about!

Stuff I'd love to write about and don't have the focused-time today:
  • Olympic ribbon gymnasts - wow
  • Warriors in Christ - great stuff - Craig Groeschel's message mainly directed at men, but I got a lot out of it too.
  • My new pool deck
  • Birthday tomorrow
  • Youth Leader retreat tonight-tomorrow - sleeping in the bed of my truck I think
  • No real work accomplished this week - only God-studies
  • KFC Original Recipe strips and Cravin' Filet sandwiches are great additions to the menu
  • Walking with a buddy helps
  • God even protects my wallet when I lose it
  • Dreams can feel so real
  • The Holy Spirit does reveal Truth
  • I love the kids!
  • I need to work on my reaction to being interrupted
  • Prayer doesn't always involve words
  • God is indescribable

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 0 comments

God's Personalized Path

Did you ever contemplate how God's plans are so personalized? I brought this up during Sr. High Sunday - how God being huge enough to create EVERYTHING - yet, individual enough to live inside us. And I went one step further last night while reading "The Barbarian Way."

Erwin McManus talked about following the barbian way when following Jesus - it's not going to be sunshine and roses all the time - it's not fair most of the time. And he used John 21:22 (but in context 17-23). Jesus just talks with Peter about "feed my sheep," restoring Peter. And apparently they are walking - Peter looks back and sees John and asks Jesus, "What about him?" And Jesus flat tells Peter, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you. You must follow me."

What is that to you! Wow. Basically, Peter (Christy), that's not your concern. He (or she) is going to live out their life on the path I've laid for them - just like I've laid your path for you to follow. I will live life in certain situations/circumstances that no one else may have to. And there's one definite I discovered in my life - if I am trying to go in a direction that God has not laid for me - I keep walking into walls - my way is much harder than following God's way.
Monday, August 18, 2008 0 comments

Changing frustration into calm

I just saw a promo on NBC for a new show with Christian Slater, "My Own Worst Enemy." Now, I've heard that phrase more than once in my life - and I tend to agree that I am my own worst enemy. I let Satan get in my head and it makes for one bad day. Like today. Not that today is particularly horrible - just highly irritating and frustrating. Welcome to adulthood.

And being a child of God, I am making constant concerted efforts to pay attention to my attitude and actions. My attitude should like that of Christ Jesus, and my actions should show the love of God to the world. Do I do that? And How? And what does it look like when I don't do such a good job. Am I being a pain in the neck right now because I'm frustrated and feel like the whole office is treating me unfairly? My initial reaction USED to be to go to the bathroom where I had privacy and inwardly scream to God "WHY!?!?!?" "Because your perception is off," was His reply one day. What? MY perception...

That day was a long time ago. There are still frustrating moments and sometimes whole days, but my perception is different. I get closer to God and see things completely different - He's higher up...so situations look smaller...tiny sometimes. And NOT IMPORTANT in the big picture. Just because someone doesn't involve me in areas that will affect my job - doesn't mean it's intentional. It has nothing to do with me - it's not all about me, duh. So what do I do now? For all practical purposes, I do something totally different...like researching youth ministry ideas, or reading mission blogs, or even landscaping ideas, or living on my own island. Today - I listened to Robin Sigar's (from CIY) podcast on David's Mighty Men. Awesome stuff. Never hurts to get a message from the Lord. Plus daydream a little - that never hurts either. Keeps the imagination alive. And watch cartoons, oh wait, I do that for any mood. :-)

All that helps calm me quick and enough to change my attitude about my experience. I don't hold on to it either. Work relations do not accompany me home. WORK does sometimes - just not the office politics atmosphere. I've set up boundaries in my relationships everywhere. Not walls of defense - but strategic reponses to certain situations. For example, if I'm not included on an email that tells of a meeting -- I will not feel obligated to be there. I can spend that time doing something much more productive - without getting my feelings hurt. This method has been fantastic - and helps keep my priorities in check: Jesus first, then others, then me. Make sense? What about you? When you are irritated or frustrated - how do you express it? Is it clear to anyone around that Jesus comes first in your life? How quick can you be not irritated? What do you do to not be that way?
Friday, August 15, 2008 1 comments

Not my talent...

On Rebecca's blog entry today, she talked about people having different talents. Well, it sparked something for me so I found this video. Not the exact one I was looking for, but you get the idea that this is definitely a talent that would be fun to have!

Thursday, August 14, 2008 0 comments

It's off...or at least postponed

So just forget my last posting about the Talent Show....it's postponed. August 24 was just coming up WAY too fast for me and the crew that make it what it is every time - hilarious! And because I want to do all things for God with excellence - the Talent Show is officially postponed until further notice.

But don't forget the cornhole tournament this weekend at the GCC Ranch!!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 0 comments

TALENT SHOW's A-COMIN"!!!

Ok everybody - I need your help on this one. The Talent Show is scheduled for Sunday, August 24 at 6p.m. and I need to get the word out big-time! I'm running a couple weeks behind on preparation for this one - only in the area of promotion. We always run it to the last second on what's really going to happen on-stage!

So - tell everybody you know. Sign-up sheet is up in the fellowship hall. Block out Sunday night the 24th on your calendars! And be prepared to laugh and cry and reminisce a little!

Thanks!
Monday, August 11, 2008 0 comments

Sing me to sleep...

This is about the cutest thing I've ever seen!!!!

video
Thursday, August 7, 2008 0 comments

It's Coming!!!!

RETURNING SEPTEMBER 22 on NBC!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 0 comments

Wrestling with Wait Issues

I just looked at a blog post by Perry Noble titled "Wrestling With Weight Issues." And for me - losing weight is a matter of doing it. But the title really intrigued me and sparked a play on words: Wrestling with Wait Issues. Waiting. That is one of the hardest things to do in life.

I talked with a friend of mine last night about this very subject. It's hard to wait for new jobs, new relationships, situations to work themselves out, change of seasons, the food to get ready, and even other people.

The word wait is fascinating - it is both a verb and a noun.
  • The verb form means: 1: to stay in place in expectation of :2: to delay serving (a meal) 3: to serve as waiter for 1 a: to remain stationary in readiness or expectation b: to pause for another to catch up —usually used with up 2 a: to look forward expectantly b: to hold back expectantly 3: to serve at meals —usually used in such phrases as wait on tables or wait on table4 a: to be ready and available b: to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized
    — wait on also wait upon 1 a: to attend as a servant b: to supply the wants of : serve 2: to make a formal call on3: to wait for.
  • The noun form: 1 a: a hidden or concealed position —used chiefly in the expression lie in wait b: a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy 2 a: one of a band of public musicians in England employed to play for processions or public entertainments b (1): one of a group who serenade for gratuities especially at the Christmas season (2): a piece of music by such a group3: an act or period of waiting

In the Bible there are plenty of examples of the noun, especially lying in wait (a hidden or concealed position). Usually applies to warfare, ambush or treachery. But that verb form: look forward expectantly, hold back, serve, remain stationary in readiness....WHAT!?!?! Wow. Wait is such a huge word. How do you know what to do? So I looked up a few things because what it reminds me of is "Wait upon the Lord."




In Ruth, Naomi tells Ruth to go to Boaz. She does and lays at his feet while he sleeps and in the morning sends her home with barley - he's been taking care of her and has vowed to continue to take care of her. (not to mention he's in love ;-) ) So Naomi tells Ruth, "Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today." How did Ruth wait? We don't officially know because the story goes: "Meanwhile, Boaz..." Sheesh. Ruth must have been on pins and needles all day! I can only imagine what was going through her mind.



And the Psalms - FULL of waiting. Psalm 25 alone has multiple mentions: v3: Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. 5:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. Psalm 27:14: Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. And there are a lot more in the Psalms. And one of the most famous: Isaiah 40:31 - Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up {with} wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.



Now, in my every day life I have to wait for many things. And there are situations in my life, like career or no career, future husband or no future husband, kids or no kids, etc., that I am waiting on the Lord to unfold His plan in my life. My friend and I discussed that at length. And we agree - waiting is hard. But at the same time I don't want to miss out on the opportunities God is giving me....like the mission trip in October, helping with the youth group, organizing a talent show, or even spending time with a friend. So while I look forward expectantly I am serving in the process...I am waiting on the Lord (both for His Word to be revealed to me, and serving for His glory).



And just think about it. All those years Isreal waited for a Savior - the Messiah - to come. And when He did, they did not recognize Him. (But to those who did He gave the right to become children of God - boy, did those others miss out!) And now we wait for the Lord to return.

 
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