Thursday, December 31, 2009

Joke: Dieting New Year's Resolution


2006: I will get my weight down below 180 pounds.

2007: I will follow my new diet diligently until I get below 200 pounds.

2008: I will develop a realistic attitude about my weight.

2009: I will work out 3 days a week.

2010: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!


We didn't send out Christmas cards this year (trying to save some $$$). But that doesn't mean that we don't love and appreciate you all. God has blessed us with a wonderful family and friends. So from our house to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010!







And we didn't forget whose birthday we were celebrating...Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Germ Carriers


Last week I volunteered to help out with my son's Christmas party at school. The entire 2nd grade rotated through the classroom, and we helped them decorate sugar cookies. This sounded like a fun thing to do...until I saw something that made my skin crawl.

First, let me point out that I tease my husband ALL the time about his "germaphobic" ways. I call him "Monk", for those of you who have seen that t.v. show, you know what I'm talking about. I'm sad to say that after 13 years of marriage to this man...he's rubbing off on me! But, in my defense, what I saw while decorating sugar cookies in my son's class, would gross out any parent.

Okay, here goes - there was a whole plate of cookies on each table. Of course the teacher explained that with the flu going around, and in order to not spread germs, you should take the first, and only, cookie you touch. How many know that just because you explain this, doesn't mean that there weren't several kids who had to pick up every single cookie to examine which one was the BIGGEST? So at this point, I'm already grossed out.

Then, they were to spread the icing on their own cookie. They should have each been given their own plastic knife. But no, they used a knife, and put it back in the icing jar. What's the problem with that? Some of the kids decided to lick the extra frosting off of the knife and then stick it back in the icing! There were sprinkles everywhere, icing all over the place, kids licking their hands, licking the knives, licking, licking, licking EVERYWHERE! This was almost too much for me to handle.

Could things get worse? Yes, because unfortunately, my son wasn't in the first class that came through. No, that would have been too good to be true. He wasn't even in the second class to rotate. You guessed it...he was the LAST class to come through. By this time, I'm wanting to go to him quietly and say "whatever you do, DON'T EAT THAT COOKIE!"

After all this turmoil, I mean volunteering, I was convinced that my son would be sick within a couple of days. Not that I'm wishing anything on him - but seriously, every time I ever took my kids to the play areas in the mall, or Chick-fil-a/McDonalds, they were sick within two days - despite washing their hands or showering them down with hand-sanitizer. We finish out the week, and no sickness. I'm thinking, we've dodged the bullet this time.

Then, out of no where, my husband's throat gets scratchy. I play it off and say it's sinuses from the unpredictable weather. A few days later, he's added a stuffy nose & headache to the mix. Today I get a call from him at work asking if I would please bring him some medicine because he can't take it anymore. It's 3 days until Christmas and he has a full blown cold.

How does this all tie in? I'll tell you...

sugar cookies = gross behavior = germs = little germ carriers = give it to my husband = acts like a BIG baby = headache for ME!


It's not that I'm unsympathetic to his feeling bad...it's just that he's a man, who is sick...need I say more? If you don't understand what I'm talking about, consider yourself blessed.

Thanks a lot little 2nd Graders & have a Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer: This was all written in jist...of course I am nurturing my husband back to health with the greatest of love & care. And, I hold no ill will toward my son's 2nd grade class, or their germy little school projects.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hard Holidays


For years I've heard the statistics about how difficult the holidays are for some people, and I never quite understood it. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. However, this will be my third Christmas my family will celebrate without my Mom, who passed away in June of 2007. Yesterday my dad hosted her side of the family's Christmas party at his house, in honor of my Mom. She always loved this time of year, and looked so forward to seeing her whole family. We had a great time, watching the kids play, opening presents, and catching up. We even found a bunch of old pictures and passed them around, laughing at how we've all changed and old hair doos that we now regret. Still, I know for myself, and I heard my brother say also, that even with all the laughter and fun times to be shared, it was still a reminder of our loss. I've come to completely understand how this time of year can be very hard.

My father-in-law lost his sister a couple of days ago. They had her funeral yesterday. My Dad's uncle, who was 88 yrs. old, also passed away two days ago. He will have to make a trip to Alabama for the funeral between now & Christmas. There is no "good" time to mourn the loss of a loved one; but somehow it seems to hit a little harder when it comes right before Christmas. I guess it's because we have a "picture perfect" idea of what Christmas should look like. Everyone happy, no one lonely, hurting, hungry, or without family. Unfortunately this is not reality for many people all over the world. I do praise God that it will be a reality one day for all of us who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

So for all the single people, waiting for that special someone, for all those who
have endured financial, physical or emotional hardship throughout the year, and for those who have lost a loved one who will be greatly missed this Christmas - I pray that the words spoken by the angels when God gave us the greatest gift of all, through the birth of His Son, will gird you up with great grace & strength this Christmas..."glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men" (Luke 2:14)

Monday, December 14, 2009

From Barrenness to Birth

This Christmas season I have been to two different churches, and heard two messages on the same topic. Only to come home and read an article on the same message, and then to hear it again for the fourth time. Have you ever had the Lord speak to you in such an obvious way? He is definitely trying to get my attention. Each message brings the same stirring in my spirit that God is wanting to teach me something BIG so I can move from this place I'm at, to a higher level in my walk with Him.

So what's the message? It's the story of Elizabeth going from barrenness to being the mother of John the Baptist. It's also the story of Mary being a virgin and becoming pregnant with the Son of God. Without going through the stories, let me point out that both women were given a promise, both women believed the Word and both women received the blessing of the thing that was promised, the birth of a child. While one was barren and had waited a very long time, and the other was young, these two ladies had one BIG thing in common...they were both willing to accept that God can do the impossible.

Our Pastor pointed out in his sermon that it doesn't matter how long you've been barren & waiting on God to fulfill a promise, He has heard your prayers, and He's still at work. It was important to point out that barrenness was considered a punishment from God back in those days. It came with great shame & disgrace. It's easy to think that when God tarries concerning our prayers or a promise, that we have sinned or failed in some way. The enemy comes to deceive us into thinking that God has passed us by. But he said that often times, the answer is delayed because God's timing is waiting on something bigger than just our prayer. In Elizabeth's case, God was waiting for Mary to reach a certain age, so that John the Baptist would be the forerunner for Jesus. It's easy to see in hindsight, much harder to recognize when you're in the midst of a trial and you're waiting for your break through.

Or maybe you're young and like Mary, you don't have a clue what destiny lies ahead of you, but you're a willing vessel. The key to going from barrenness to birthing something great for the Lord's glory is found in Luke 1:34-35 when Mary said to the angel "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" "And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'" Our Pastor said we all need the power of the Most High to overshadow us and plant the seed of destiny, so that we will give birth to God's will for our lives.

This Christmas season, I am praying that every area of my life that is barren and unfruitful, that the Holy Spirit will overshadow me and plant the seed of destiny. Then I will guard and ponder it, like Mary did, and I will be obedient to the very end, until I receive the birth of God's ultimate will for me.

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends! I pray it will be a blessed & peaceful time with family & friends.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Praise Report

Last week I posted a prayer request for a fellow blogger's daughter, Katie. Jackie at Fresh oil Today gave an awesome testimony of what God has done for Katie over the past 5 days. If you want to be encouraged today that God is STILL in the miracle working business, go check out her blog. Thanks to all of you who prayed.

Worst Gifts to Buy a Women


1. Never give a woman any kind of household appliance or something that is going to make "housework" easier. For instance, a blender, a toaster, a new vacuum, one of those mops they advertise on tv, anything in a informercial.

2. Any bulk cleaning supplies, "honey, I got you that large box of Tide you have been wanting." "This Windex should last you a while." "I got a good deal on the industrial strength toilet bowl cleaner." All I can say is, be prepared to run.

3. Any sharp objects made by Ronco which slices or dices, or a set of ginsu knives. These may one day be used as a weapon against you in a heated argument.

4. Do not buy gifts for yourself and pretend they are for her. "Honey, I'm sure you'll get a lot of use out of the new drill I bought you." By then she will have put it to good use by drilling a quarter inch hole into the side of your skull for even thinking she would accept such a lame gift. After a gift like this, you probably won't be around for NEXT Christmas.

5. Any lingerie made of flannel, such as a pair of feet pajamas with a trap door in back. A Little Mermaid or Barney cartoon character nightgown. It gives her the idea that you do not consider her the beautiful woman that she is. On the other hand, if you get sexy lingerie, she will think it's a present more for YOU than her, so just stay away from the lingerie gifts.

6. No name perfume which costs you $1.99, such as Eu de Toilet, which actually smells like the bathroom, moldy fruit, or your dirty socks. If you are going to buy her perfume, spring for the brand names.

7. Any type of cubic zirconia jewelry you see on the Home Shopping Network. It will be quite embarrassing when she is showing off that fabulous diamond to her friends and tries to cut glass with it. (We actually test them you know.)

8. Do not give her a gift certificate to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Most men would know better, especially the ones who have learned the correct response to "do these pants make me look fat." If you are one of the poor souls who still doesn't get it and purchased a gift like this, be prepared for the silent treatment for a month.

9. Last but not least, never buy a woman anti-wrinkle cream, or a book on "How to Control PMS." These are not considered gifts, they are considered reasons for seriously injuring the person who bought it and just may stand up in court of law.


(the above jokes came from Aha! Jokes)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

Come for a walk with me down Memory Lane!
And if you have a "Memory Lane" post, head on over to Scottsville to join in on the fun!
Today I'm linking with my friend Erica at Scottsville with a "Walk Down Memory Lane". I recently posted about Past Christmases, so I thought I would post something else today.

I talk a lot about my husband & kids on my blog, so today, I thought I would pay respect to my first "baby" BEFORE the kids! This is a walk down memory lane that only true animal lovers will appreciate.

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanks for the Award!


Thank you Andrea at Arise 2 Write for including me in the "Lemonade Award." I gratefully accept it. That is, after all, my very hope...that I am taking the challenges life throws my way, and making lemonade! I lean on the Scripture in Rom. 8:28 "and we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." There is nothing that happens in my life that if I give it back to God, He can't use somehow for His glory!

I'll pass this award along to all my bloging friends who have posted about your difficulties, and yet have held on to the promises of God and maintained your joy. Without naming any names, I can think of so many of you right now. I hope you'll receive this award and pass it on as well. God bless you all & keep persevering!

Thanks for your prayers


I wanted to thank all of you who prayed for my cousin Hunters' little girl, Sophia. She had her heart surgery yesterday, and they have already sent her home - can you believe it? They will know in 8 days, after the EKG if the surgery was successful. I know that it will be, with all the prayers that have gone up to our Heavenly Father on her behalf. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Christmas' Past

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Prayer request for my cousin's daughter


Please pray for my cousin Hunter's 9 yr. old daughter, Sophia. She has to have surgery on Monday. She has a heart defect called Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Please pray for her protection, healing, wisdom for the doctors and peace for the family.

Prayer Request for a blogging friend's daughter

Please be in prayer for Jackie at Fresh Oil Today - her daughter was in a car accident.

Circle of Friends Award


Hi my blogging friends

I received this "Circle of Friends" award from Andrea at Arise2write. I would like to pass it along to ALL of my blogging friends! You guys are awesome...you always encourage me by leaving your comments and cheering me on when I share my heart, or laugh with me when I post a ridiculous video or joke. Please keep the circle going by passing this award along to your 'circle of friends.'

I guess the rules of the award are that you share 5 things that you love to do. So here goes:

1. I LOVE to spend time with my family (especially when we have "Family Movie Night".

2. I LOVE to go out to eat. Food taste better when I don't have to cook it. My favorite place to eat is Burro Loco at Myrtle Beach, SC.

3. I LOVE to ride around and look at Christmas lights. Something about the decorations at Christmas make me happy.

4. I LOVE to go on Women's Retreats with my "girlfriends" and have fun with no responsibilities.

5. I LOVE to sing. I don't know if anyone loves to hear me, but I do love to sing.

There you have it, 5 things I LOVE to do. I can't wait to hear what things you love to do.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Giving Him My All

I was thinking the other day about how often I do things "half way" or just enough to get by. This has always been a problem of mine, especially when it came to doing my school work. I would procrastinate until something was due, then I would pull an "all nighter" and complete the assignment that I should have done a month ago. I'm not proud of this behavior, and over the years, I've tried to correct it, but I usually procrastinate getting started, and then I don't finish the job.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, the Lord started dealing with me on this very subject the other day. Just like He did with the parables in the Bible, He uses our everyday language & experiences to teach us a valuable lesson. My three lessons were in these areas, 1) cleaning, 2) exercise, 3) worship. How do they all tie in? Glad you asked (if you didn't ask, pretend you did).

1. Cleaning - I HATE cleaning my house and my family knows it. It's something that
must be done, but I have to admit, I only do it well when I know I have guests coming over. The rest of the time, I do just enough to get by. I let things go until I can't stand it anymore and then I get in the "cleaning mode" and go to town. The problem is, I want acknowledgement for a job well done and no one seems to notice when I've done anything. Probably because no matter how much I do, there is always something else they can point to that I didn't do. To make matters worse, my 9 yr. old talks about my friend's house and notices how clean it is. He said her house was the cleanest house he's ever seen. I thought, of course it is, she spends time everyday cleaning it.

2. Exercise - I HATE exercise! I usually stop when it gets uncomfortable. Just at the moment when it is about to do some good, I start sweating and I quit. I look at
people who enjoy running, walking on the treadmill, or going to the gym, and I wish I could join them in their enthusiasm, or at least their discipline. The worst part about it is, exercise actually makes me hungry! How's that for backfiring? So I watch as others achieve the goal of losing weight, something I desperately want but don't push for. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about how I NEED to lose this extra weight, but I feel like a mouse on a wheel, I am stuck in the same cycle of wishing, but never doing.

3. Worship - I LOVE to worship the Lord! However, I must confess, I get busy and I end up worshipping when I want, how I want, and as long as I want. Then I heard that still, small voice say "you stop too
short when you worship Me". I began to explore this thought, and He made it clear to me. You worship until you feel good again, until any heaviness is lifted, until you feel My presence, and then you quit. You don't wait around and quiet yourself to see what I might have to say. Wow! What a revelation. He's exactly right, I get what I need, and I'm on my way. Whoever thought that I should stay around long enough to see how I can bless my Lord?

So, now do you see the pattern of all three things? It's a pattern of selfishness, a pattern of mediocrity. It's a "I'll do just enough, I'll squeak by with the bare minimum" attitude, and yet I still expect great rewards. I want a clean house, but I don't want to work for it. I want to lose weight and get in shape but I don't push myself. I want to know the Lord in a deeper way, hear His voice and know His will, the way some others who I admire do. Those who have payed the price of time, who have learned to discipline themselves to read the Bible daily and to persevere in their quiet time. But I want the "drive through" worship experience, the quick revelation and then I'm off to start my day. I'm not beating myself up, I felt no condemnation or self-loathing. I did feel the conviction of God nudging me to give Him more than "just enough" - for two reasons, 1) because He's worthy of it, and 2) He loves me, and has so much more for my life than just getting by.

My prayer is this, that I would be disciplined in all things, excellent in everything I put my hands to (because I do it all unto the Lord) and I would allow the Holy Spirit to work in me with the fruit of self-control.

I will let these Scriptures be reminders of my new motto in life:

Hebrews 12:1 - "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which
so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us."

Phil. 3:13-14 - "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

2nd Tim. 2:4-6 - "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also, if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops." (The NKJ commentary says that the hardworking farmer must first plow the ground before he reaps a crop, but if he does, he receives the reward of a bountiful harvest.)

I will attempt to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and body. This is my reasonable act of worship.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Thoughts from Larry, The Cable Guy

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 52.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

6. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

7. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

8. Support bacteria. They're the only culture most people have.

9. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

10. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

11. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

12. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

13. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

14. What happens if you get "scared half to death", twice?

15. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, what happened?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stupid things to ponder...


1. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

2. Can you cry under water?

3. How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated
instead of just murdered?

4. Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your
thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going to?

5. Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

6. What disease did cured ham actually have?

7. If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

8. If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

9. Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

10. If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner?

11. Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

12. Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

13. Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

14. Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?

15. Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

16. Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

17. Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

18. In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer when we complained about the heat?

19. How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

20. The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're
okay, then it's YOU.

My First Black Friday

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I haven't been blogging lately because we were out of town. Five days at the beach with my family, it was wonderful. None of us wanted to come home.

Before I talk about my "First Black Friday" experience, I wanted to let you know that the turkey breast I made turned out great.
I cooked it in the crock pot, and it was tender & juicy - I was so proud. I wish I could say the same about my sweet potato casserole, which came out looking like mud and tasted like it too. I ended up throwing it away. I will have to figure out where I went wrong???

Okay, so I had decided to venture out on "Black Friday" for the first time, early in the morning to catch some of those "early bird" specials I'd been reading about for weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. I had my eye on a vacuum cleaner at one of the major stores that was marked down to $9.00. I must confess, it was a Christmas present to ME, I needed a vacuum cleaner.

So, I went to bed early on Thanksgiving night and my husband and I set the alarm clock for 3:00 a.m. Let me just point out that I am NOT a good shopper. I must have stepped out of line when God was handing out the Shopping DNA to most women. I go in the store, get what I want, and leave. I don't browse because it's depressing looking at stuff I can't afford, I don't like digging through baskets of stuff to see what treasure I can find, and MOST importantly, I don't like crowds! I know what you're thinking...what is she doing going to Black Friday? Good question.

The alarm went off at that ungodly hour...I got ready, and we were out the door. It was of course, still dark outside. I decided to take a short cut to the mall, so I went on the new bridge that opened up this past summer. My husband asks if I know where I'm going, and I am insulted at the very thought that I don't know my way around. Yes, I took a wrong turn and we ended up on a dead end road under the bridge where they were doing construction. I tried to play it off like I meant to turn down that road and asked him if he wanted to go "parking". Of course he said YES!...to which I replied, "I changed my mind, I'm not in the mood", so we hurried on toward the store.

We got to the first store on my stop, marveled at the amount of cars in the parking lot, but pressed on to find a parking space. We stepped into the store and I already knew it was going to be tough. People everywhere I turned, bumping into one another. I almost got my head knocked off by some old lady as I was headed to the children's department. I got an elbow to the side as I was making my way down an aisle...I
would have worn a helmet & padding had I known that Black Friday was such a contact sport. Then, it happened, my husband looked at the prices and said "I don't think these are marked down enough". But I have his number, I knew what that was code for...it had much more to do with the number of people standing in line to pay. No joke, the line for the register wrapped all the way around the building. In other words, he wasn't about to stand in that long line to save a couple of bucks. So we decided to leave and go to our next stop.

On the bright side, as we left the store, we were handed a coupon for a
FREE Chick-fil-a biscuit at a particular Chick-fil-a. We had no idea where this Chick-fil-a was, and as my husband pointed out, it was probably not open that early in the morning (it was now about 4:45 a.m.) But wouldn't you know it, as soon as we were headed toward the ramp to get on the highway, my husband saw it...the light on the sign shining like a beacon on this dark morning...Chick-fil-a, and yes, it was open!!! We went through the line and got our two FREE biscuits and were on our way.

We were just about to pull into our second stop when my husband said "look at the line of people waiting to get into Ross" (which was closed & dark). To which I jokingly replied...that's probably the line waiting to get into Target." Sadly...it WAS the line to get into Target. It went from the entrance to Target, all the way down the strip mall, to the end of the sidewalk in front of Ross. The other entrance had people wrapped all the way around the building. We drove by in total amazement as I saw people with their shopping carts & bags all ready for the door to open. Some had blankets and coffee mugs. We saw kids & teenagers sleeping inside the baskets. We looked at the line and I heard my husband say "there is no deal in that building that would make me stand in that line! I would rather pay FULL price!" So we kept on driving, right passed the line of people, back onto the highway, and all the way home.

It's now about 5:30 a.m., we pull in the driveway. All I have to get in the house is the garage door opener, no key. We get into the garage, only to find that my dad had locked the door from the garage to the house. We're locked out! Unfortunately my dad had to unlock the door and let us in at 5:30 in the morning. I went back to bed and tried to act like the entire "Black Friday" events were nothing more than a bad dream. Right before I laid down...I said to my husband, "we're probably the only people in the world who got up this early to shop and came home with nothing to show for it but a FREE biscuit!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Check out my post below called "Let It Rain" and then listen to this song by Hillsong "Holy Spirit Rain Down"

Let It Rain


It's a grey, rainy day here where I live. The air is damp & cold, and before I prayed this morning my mood matched it. Even after praying, my heart is still somewhat heavy with the cares of this life. It seems like when it comes to trouble, "when it rains, it pours" as well.

So, I was reading some of my blogging friends' wonderful posts, and starting to feel encouraged. I glanced out my window, and I could see the creek that runs through the back of our property. I started thinking about the rain a little differently...I love it when the creek gets up high and the water starts to run quickly. I love the way the rushing water sounds. It gets so powerful at times that it carries all the branches & debris right along with it. The creek looks and sounds alive again, not like when the water's low and it looks more like a ditch.

I was reminded of John 7:38 where Jesus said "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" This is my prayer. That I will flow, and overflow, with the Holy Spirit and the life giving power of God, to glorify Him, and to help those in need. What I've noticed about my spiritual life, is that just like the creek when the water is low, obviously it doesn't flow! I must be filled up daily with God's presence, so I won't be dry and live in the flesh.

Another point comes to mind when comparing my spiritual life with the creek is the debris. Life's troubles are like the debris that come along, and when you're at the lowest point, it causes a damn and the water can't flow. When the sticks & debris build up in the creek (like they were a few weeks ago) the only thing that can get the water flowing again, is if we have a nice steady rain, that causes the creek to rise again. I don't know about you, but I NEED to get rid of some of this debris in my life. I NEED to soak in God's presence until I can rise up again from the mud & mire of life.

So now, instead of the gloomy day that I started out with, I say "Let it Rain!"

You HAVE to check this out


There are some things in life that are just too good to keep to yourself. You know how we women are, if we find something we like/love, we have to share it with EVERYONE, right? So, I have a couple of endorsements that I wanted to let you know about because I highly recommend them.

First of all, I went to see the movie "The Blind Side".
It's based on a true story of Michael Oher, who was homeless, and how a generous family took him in and they changed each other's lives. Michael is now a professional football player for the Ravens. I can't tell you how inspiring this movie is, you just need to see it.


Next, our Pastor's son, Andrew, started an awesome company called Mixbook.com that allows you to create really cool books that you can have published. You upload your pictures and then drag them to the ready made templates, or you can make your own pages. There is NO limit to the creative possibilities. The best part is, you can share and even invite others to contribute to your photo book online, AND when it's all done, you can order a printed copy that you can get in either paperback or hard back. It's easy, it's fun and it's addictive. Andrew is a great guy, very talented and innovative, constantly improving on the mixbook website, and best of all, he's a Christian. He doesn't even know I'm doing this endorsement, but I wanted to let you know, because for the month of November, he's offering FREE shipping.

If you hurry and create a book (which I've done in 2 days before), you can have great, unique Christmas presents for your loved ones. I've done over 13 books in the past 2 years - I've mixbooked everything from Christmas's past, a tribute to my mother after she passed away, a book of poems that I've written over the years, all the boys birthday parties, to a book on my favorite pet, my old Boxer dog, Roxy who passed away. Go to the website and check out the "gallery" and get inspired!

And lastly, before I sound like an "infomerical", or maybe I already do...I want to tell you about some crackers (yes, you heard me right, crackers). Sam's Club (if you're a member, if you're not, then I highly recommend Sam's Club to you as well), but Sam's Club has the BEST multi-grain crackers I've ever had! I tasted them just last night, and honestly, I thought I was going to eat the whole box! Okay, for some of you fancy people who probably get the expensive stuff at places like "Southern Season", go ahead with your bad self. But for people on a budget like myself, I would rather have the less expensive GIANT box of Sam's Club crackers any day. Why am I telling you this? Because it's almost Thanksgiving and I figured you might want to give your family something to snack on (crackers & cheese) while they're waiting on the turkey to cook through so they don't get salmonella.

There you have it - my 3 recommendations to make your life more enjoyable. I am satisfied I've done my part in helping make your Thanksgiving week a success.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jive Turkey

Just Say Thanks (by Mark Lowry)


A few years ago I'd just finished a concert and was standing at the back of the auditorium when a little old lady walked up to me. "That sure was pretty singing," she chirped. I said, "Thank you, ma'am." Suddenly, the woman's beauty-shop-blue hair was wiggling, her head was shaking so hard. "Oh, no, son," she corrected me, "don't thank me. Just say, 'Praise the Lord.' It wasn't you singing; it was God." "Oh, no ma'am, it was me." I said. "God can sing a lot better than that."

When I traveled in college with the evangelistic team, every now and then a weightlifter would travel with us. He was one of these big, brawny, bold characters. He used to tell the audience that he wasn't the one lifting weights, but Jesus in his tennis shoes. Some nights he couldn't get the weights up off the ground, and I'd lean over to our piano player and say, "Isn't that something? Jesus can't lift five hundred pounds!"

Another time, I was standing with a friend of mine at Estes Park, Colorado, during the Christian Artists Association's "Singing in the Rockies." My friend was complimenting a very well-known Christian artist about a song he'd sung that week. This person said, "Oh, it wasn't me; it was the Lord." I thought to myself, "Friend, it wasn't THAT good!"

You see, God, who one morning before breakfast, spoke the Word and previously nonexistent worlds began to spin, CAN lift five hundred pounds off the ground.

The Lord, who invented music, surely can out sing the angels and knows notes Beethoven never heard.

And so, no matter how good we are, we would be absolutely flawless if it were totally God doing it through us. Seems to me, then, it's senseless to say, "It wasn't me, it was God."

God gives talents. But just like the parable of the talents says, what we do with them is up to us. God may have given you a beautiful voice, but if it is going to improve, it's up to you.

And have you ever noticed that most successful people are not always the most talented? Talents aren't worth much unless the owner of them keeps plugging.

And then, when you get those compliments, chuck the false humility and shock that person. When folks tell you they enjoyed your singing or your sermon, your weightlifting ability, or whatever, a simple thank you is what that person deserves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rescue

Where Else Would I Go?

When Jesus gave his sermon about "eating his flesh & drinking his blood", can you imagine what must have been going through those people's minds? (John 6:48-68) I mean sure, we have hindsight to understand what he was talking about. But many of the "would be" disciples turned away explaining "this is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

Even the twelve disciples were complaining amongst themselves. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, asked "Does this offend you?" In vs. 63, Jesus says "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life." Simply put - you can't understand the Word except through your spirit. The words themselves make no sense unless you are receiving them not only through your mind, but in your spirit.

This was Jesus weeding out stage, in vs. 65, He says "therefore, I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." In vs. 66 the Bible explains "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." But I LOVE this, in vs. 67, Jesus looks at the 12 disciples left and asks this ALL important question "Do you also want to go away?"

When we hear a hard saying, or God asks something difficult of us, or we just find that this walk with Jesus is harder than we anticipated...between the dying of our flesh to follow Him, and the attacks of the enemy to try to convince us to "go back and follow Him no more"...this Christian life can be a hard road to travel. In these situations, we must answer the question Jesus asked His twelve disciples "Do you also want to go away?" - or maybe we wouldn't think of going away, maybe it would be more like settling, compromising, or becoming complacent. The Bible is clear about this point, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers you out of them all". (Psalm 34:19)

So, here's Peter's answer to Jesus question: vs. 68 "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life". I've invested many years to my relationship with Jesus. Over the past several years, the spiritual battles my family & I have fought numerous battles and they do NOT appear to be slowing down. In fact, they seem to be getting more intense. At times we may feel like giving up, slowing down, or going backwards...but in the end, we always come to the same conclusion as Peter "where else would we go?". A few months ago, when I was praying and seeking God, I felt a quiet voice in my spirit say to me "we're in it for the long haul". I was so encouraged to know that was God telling me, we're a team, and we're going the distance. Some days that means I feel like I can storm the gates of Hell with all the power & authority that Jesus has given to me...and other days, it's all I can do to say "Lord help ME, I feel overwhelmed". I know many of you can relate to this, and all of our troubles are different, some big, some small, but none impossible with God.

Check out the video on my blog of the song "Rescue". It really blessed me this morning, hope it blesses you as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Weather!


Okay, is anyone else feeling confused about the weather or is it just ME? Yesterday I was wearing flip flops & short sleeves, today it's cloudy and cold. I can't keep up with things and the Meteorologists aren't helping. I wake up in the morning, turn on the tv to see what the weather will be so I can appropriately dress the kids. All they want to do is tell me what the weather was yesterday...what the record high and record low was for this day back in 1982, or what it will be 5 or 7 days from now...I don't have all morning to cypher through all that mess to find out WHAT THE TEMP WILL BE TODAY!

I don't know if my kids should wear long sleeves, short sleeves, take a coat, dress in layers & then peel them off as the day goes on...uuuggghh! The problem with the boys dressing in layers is, I'll NEVER get them back once they come off. I can't tell you how many times I've had to say "go to the lost & found at school and get that jacket back!"

Plus, I keep changing my closet around based on the season, only to bring back out the summer clothes. Not to mention (well, I guess I am going to mention it), I have to keep "tan in a bottle" on my otherwise pasty white legs, and make sure my toes are painted, because I can't put away the flip flops. Two days ago, I had the heat on to "knock the chill off". Yesterday it was so warm outside, I was burning up in the house and had to briefly turn the air conditioner on. Today, my house is cold enough to hang meat. Seriously, the windows are frosting over.

Honestly, I live in a state that has seasons, so I expect cooler weather in the Fall, cold weather in the Winter, mild weather in the Spring, and hot weather in the Summer. Is that too much to ask?

Thanks for listening to me vent...I feel better now. I'm going to pull out the Christmas decorations while it's still cool outside.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hosting the Presence of God (by Pastor Bill Johnson)

In an interview with Bill Johnson, Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, the young man interviewee asked him about the revivals that are going on in other countries and that have begun in America; he said in all these revivals, there is a strong emphasis placed on worship. These are some key points (from this interview) that Bill Johnson made about worship. He called it “Hosting the Presence of God”

1. Revival is an invasion of God’s presence on earth – it is most clear when people have a heart for worship

2. King David discovered that God showed up when he worshiped Him, this is where we get the psalm “God inhabits the praise of His people”

3. Hosting God’s presence through praise & worship means to welcome Him into an atmosphere where anything can happen, anything God chooses, we don’t manipulate His presence.

4. Host a guest, they stay as long as they’re honored. It has to be heartfelt. Pay attention to your guest, don’t ignore them. Everything you do revolves around that guest. The Holy Spirit is our guest in our hearts, who takes up residency as long as we honor Him.

5. We can’t use the anointing for personal gain – we don’t do things that draw attention to ourselves.

6. He (the Holy Spirit) comes to rest in a heart that is at rest, a surrendered and yielding heart. Jesus had the Holy Spirit come in the form of a dove and REMAIN on Him.

7. 75% or more, prayer time is strictly worship – stay connected throughout the day through praise & worship. Then at night when you lie down, just worship and give thanks to God. There is a time for petition & requests & intercession, but worship and ministering to Him is the majority of quiet time (it’s all about Him)

8. Acts 13 – fasting & ministering to the Lord…and the Lord said – you can only release & pour into Heaven for so long before God responds! He wants to and yearns to respond to us. Expect to hear from God!

9. Don’t worship “worship” itself – Nehemiah 9 “be exalted above all blessing & praise” – Don’t fall in love with the music & the feeling that comes when we worship and forget about the one we’re actually worshiping. You still have to connect intimately with God during worship.

10. Despise routine without purpose. Live intentionally, not routinely! Even while doing routine things, still activate your faith in communion, tithing, worshipping, praying. If you are doing these things without seeing any benefit, you might have fallen into a routine.

11. Live mighty in private in your alone time with God, and it will be easier to display His might in public. Win battles in private where nobody’s watching and you will display them in public.

12. The harder the attack or trial against you, the more exuberant the praise to battle it! When the enemy brings something that he thinks will shut you down, don’t go in that direction, instead, go the opposite way and give it that much more to praise God and live with a thankful heart! Amplify worship in hard times!

Bill Johnson’s prayer:

Father, I pray that everyone who hears this message (no exceptions) will experience Your power and Your love. I’m asking for the fire of Heaven to settle on people, the fire of Heaven to burn in the souls of people, that the generation of worshippers will rise up and they’ll go places now that have never been gone before. And that you would allow the fire in the soul of people to blaze a trail into the presence of the Almighty God, and to impact nations. And that you would cause our countenance to change because we’ve beheld You, we’ve looked in Your direction and we were changed, Father I’m asking for this revolution to come just like David, a worshiper who was a warrior, I’m asking for that reality to be released all throughout the land. Thanks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Calling All Cooks


I must admit, before I was married, I didn't even know how to boil water! I have learned over the 13 years of marriage, to cook SOME dishes very well, some things so/so, and other meats and things from cookbooks that I can't pronounce or have NO idea what they are, I stay away from. I'm not very adventurous in the kitchen. Honestly, I could write a cookbook on 101 ways to make chicken, because that seems to be all we ever eat.

The first year I was married, and every year after that, up until my mother passed away, I have spent Thanksgiving with my husband's family. Between his Mother, sisters, aunt, and his grandmother while she was alive, I had no need, nor did they expect or want me to come in the kitchen on Thanksgiving! They had everything under control and I was out of my element. I never knew what to do with myself because all the women were cooking and all the men were watching football, and then there was ME...I did manage to help clean up and do dishes after we ate, so at least I felt a little bit useful.

Now that my mom has gone to be with Jesus, I want to spend Thanksgiving with my dad and brother. Last year, it was me and all the guys and we went to my dad's new beach house. I didn't know how to cook a turkey, or make dressing, I ended up making...you guessed it...a CHICKEN casserole! I went to K&W cafeteria and bought the dressing & gravy. Yes, I was in a long line of men waiting for Thanksgiving take out - it was like taking the walk of shame all the way back to my car. I could just feel the eyes of people glaring at me, surely in their minds they were thinking...why is that WOMEN buying take out on Thanksgiving? Doesn't she know how to cook?

In my defense, I did try to get my sister-in-law to show me how to make the dressing (at my husband's request). Which she did, and I came home and made it just like she taught me. I thought it was good and I was proud of myself, only my husband commented that it was good, but not like his sister or grandma used to make. How many of you know that I NEVER attempted to make the dressing again? I know, I can still be slightly rebellious...I might have even uttered something like "if you want your family's dressing, go see if they'll make dinner for you from now on!!!" I might have said something like that, it's all really a blur now...

So, this year, we're headed to the beach again - my husband, my dad, my brother, my two boys - me & the guys again. My sister-in-law, taking pity on me, has agreed to make some extra dressing and send it with me to the beach, Thank you Lord! Now my husband won't miss out completely on his favorite Thanksgiving meal.

Here's where I need help...can any of you wonderful, new blogging friends of mine, send me some easy recipes of your Thanksgiving favorites, including how to best marinate & cook a turkey breast? I was told it would be easier to cook in a slow cooker...has anyone done this before? Please, I need your help!

I would be very "thankful" for any help with preparing the food this Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rules of Marriage (as described by kids)

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?

-You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
- - Alan, age 10

-No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-- Kristen, age 10


2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10


3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF 2 PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8


4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8


5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?

-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10

6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?

-When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7

-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- - Howard, age 8


7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9


8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is .......

9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck .
-- Ricky , age 10

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I thought this blessing over your food was hilarious. I've actually prayed similar blessings over junk food!

True Story of a Teacher who inspired kids to be grateful


Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'

They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you.. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

By the way, this is a true story.

This is a great reminder on this Veteran's Day, that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U.S. Veterans.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Can You Help Us? (a joke from the book "Laugh Out Loud" by Women of Faith

First of all, has anyone missed me? Life has been super busy and I haven't posted anything in awhile. I had the privilege of going to the "Women of Faith" Conference this past weekend and it was awesome! My sister-in-law bought a book at the book table called "Laugh Out Loud - stories that touch your heart & tickle your funny bone". She gave it to me and told me I could read through it and give it back whenever. She thought I might enjoy it because of the title of my blog. How great is that? I'm so blessed. So, I thought I would share a joke with you all.

"Can You Help Us?"
Unknown Author

A man and his wife approach their pastor and ask for his help. "Our boys are always in trouble", they tell him. "We have tried everything, but they continue to break things, steal, lie, and generally cause trouble. Can you help us?"

The pastor agrees to talk to the boys. "Drop them off one at a time," he instructs the parents. The parents drop off the youngest, promising to return to get him soon. The pastor asks the boy to sit in a chair across from his desk.

After staring back and forth at each other for a few minutes, the pastor finally says "Can you tell me where God is?"

The boy just sits there and doesn't answer.

The pastor, annoyed by the boy's refusal to respond, looks at him sternly and repeats the question louder this time. "Come on, son...answer my question. Where is God?" The little boy shifts in his seat, but still doesn't answer.

Losing patience, the pastor practically shouts, "I asked you a question, boy! Where is God?"

To the pastor's surprise, the little boy jumps out of his chair and runs all the way home, up the stairs, and into his brother's room. He shuts the door and pants, "We're in BIG TROUBLE. God's missing, and they think we did it!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pray for those at Ft. Hood, TX


My heart is heavy today, for several reasons, but then I turned on the tv and saw the tragedy happening at Ft. Hood, TX military base. 7 known dead soldiers, 30 wounded, just as they were getting ready to deploy to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were already under pressure, having to deal with saying goodbye to their families, and then this kind of useless violence attacks them on their own soil! Please pray for our troops, for their protection, for their families protection, for wisdom from our government to make good decisions, for the American people to support the troops regardless of their opinion of war, and for peace in our nation.

This is the kind of thing that puts my problems in perspective. I still have to deal with them, but I know that it could always be worse, and once again we are faced with something that causes me to get my eyes off of myself, and focus on praying for others.

This is also one of those days when I don't have much to laugh about, but I still desperately NEED the joy of the Lord. So I will leave you now and go spend some time in praise to my Heavenly Father, who is the "lifter of my head" (Psalm 3:1-4)

"Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, 'there is no help for him in God' But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Watch this funny video by Michael Jr. about not being religious (over-saved)

Check out my new blog makeover!


Can you believe the difference in my blog? I am blown away with how cool it is (thank you Tara at "Blog makeovers by Tara" for designing this awesome new look, and Nan at "Moms The Word" for hosting a FREE blog makeover).

I was telling my husband the day before the contest came out that I really wanted a nice looking blog like so many of the other blogs I've seen. Don't get me wrong, I was grateful for my FREE blogger layout, we had some good times. But now...wow, I feel so official! haha I didn't really have any extra $$$ to pay for someone to fix my blog, and then, along comes a FREE blog makeover. Of course I entered right away and was sure I'd win, because I NEEDED it the most! You can imagine my shock when I was NOT selected for the FREE makeover. So, I did the right thing, I congratulated the winner, and went back to dreaming of the day I'd have a nice blog of my very own.

Low & behold (I don't even know what that saying means...but I've heard it all my life), I get a call from my friend Beth at "I'm Heading Towards My Destiny" telling me that Nan was trying to contact me. It turns out, the winner didn't accept the blog makeover because she wanted to stay with Wordpress or something along those lines. Guess who was runner up? That's right, Yours truly. I have absolutely no problem at all coming in 2nd place in this case.

I went back to my husband, all excited, and told him that I'd won the FREE blog makeover. You know why he was excited? Because it wasn't going to cost him anything. Do you know why I'm really excited? Two reasons: 1) I NEVER win anything, which I think I've already mentioned...I'm mean never. So this was a real first for me. 2) I believe that just like you & I every now & then enjoy blessing our children with something they want just for the fun of it, so my Heavenly Father, wanted to bless ME, His daughter, with something that was my heart's desire. For no other reason than to surprise me and make me happy. The Bible says, "every good and perfect gift comes from above." I would be amiss if I didn't say a BIG thank you to my Heavenly Father for blessing me.

I hope you all enjoy navigating through my NEW blog.

Please Pray for Aaron


Hello dear bloggers,


I was reading some blogs this morning and I noticed one by my new blogging friend, Debby. She was asking for prayer for her son, Aaron. He was attacked by some people and badly injured. I don't know any of the circumstances, but I know as a mother, I couldn't imagine my children being hurt like that! If you'd like to go to Debby's blog and leave an encouraging word, or a promise to pray, please go to http://heavenlyhumor.blogspot.com/. There is great power in agreeing together in prayer. Thank you so much & have a blessed day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm NOT smarter than a 5th grader!


Yes, I have to admit, I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader. Apparently, I'm not smarter than a 4th grader! Which is why I am no longer homeschooling my children, even though they ask me to almost every Monday morning when they don't want to go to school. I want to give a shout out to all the homeschool moms out there, you gals rock!


Okay, here's how I know that I'm not smarter than a 4th grader. My oldest son has always been so smart in almost every subject. My husband and I both admit we have NO idea where he gets it. One of his interests has always been geography. He has such a heart to travel. Unfortunately, our budget doesn't allow for much of that. I keep telling him that someday, maybe God will bless him to be able to go all over the world like he wants to.


In the meantime, he has been accepted to participate in a Geobee at school in December. This is how bad I was in school...I've never even HEARD of a Geobee. I've heard of a spelling bee (I never got to be in one of those either). A GeoBee is a geography bee that tests kids on their knowledge of continents, countries, capitals, topography, crops & industries, and so much more. I was very impressed. I told him, you are already a winner in my eyes for just being able to be a part of something like this.


The school sent home a list of websites that would be helpful in preparing for the GeoBee. This is where I found out my son is smarter than me. I decided to go to the website with him and check it out. (Go to http://nationalgeographic.com/geobee/ and test your knowledge of geography.) We sat there answering the questions on the test (multiple choice answers, so at least I had a little help). My son was getting almost all of the answers correct, while I was blown away with how much I don't know.


Of course if I want to feel better about myself (haha), I can always watch re-runs of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno when he used to do those "Jay Walk" episodes. Have you seen them? It's where he goes out on the streets and randomly picks people to answer some basic questions about politics, pop culture, American history, etc... It's really scary how little these people know! In this case, it's not about your I.Q., it's about being informed.


Never the less, I have a lot of work to do to keep up with my kids. I don't want them to think they know more than their mom...I heard that comes automatically when they are teenagers. (lol) Just kidding. I am very proud of my boys and I'll let you know how the GeoBee turns out in December.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't be a Pharisee



I'm sure we've all met someone in our lifetime that had a superior attitude and acted as if you were beneath them. But there is no more irritating a person as a "haughty" Christian. Really, if we are "Christians, we are supposed to be "Christ-like". Jesus' nature was a loving, compassionate servant, who humbled himself even unto death. He is the Son of God, sent down from Heaven, and yet he was born of humble beginnings, washed his disciples feet, lived patiently with some very imperfect minister-trainees, and ultimately subjected himself to be mocked, stripped, beaten, and killed, all because of the Father's great love for us. So, a "haughty or prideful Christian" is an oxy-moron. You can't call yourself a Christian and think you are better than others. In fact, the Bible clearly says in Rom. 12:3 "...do not think more highly of yourself than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith that God has given you." You've heard the parable of the Pharisee who prayed like this "God, thank you that I'm not like this tax collector here..." (Luke 18:9-14) but Jesus explained how the tax collector would be forgiven because he admitted he was a sinner in need of a Savior, while the Pharisee counted on his goodness to give him right standing with God.

Unfortunately, I must confess, I've been on BOTH sides of the fence before. I've been the humble tax collector, so grateful for God's grace to save me. And, at times in my life, I've been the Pharisee, acting as if God loved me more than everybody else. God has a way of humbling you if you don't humble yourself. That was not a fun time in my life, but I am grateful that I am free from that judgmental spirit. When I feel that ugly spirit trying to raise it's head again, I must quickly confess it and not give it a foothold.

Besides being annoying, there are some real bad affects of a prideful Christian:

1. The world sees them as hypocrites and tends to lump all Christians in the same basket. It's a real turn off to evangelism.

2. It causes a legalistic mindset and is especially harmful to baby Christians.

3. It brings about condemnation, as opposed to the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.

4. It opens oneself up to a divisive spirit, wanting to separate the "holy" ones from the rest of the world & luke warm Christians. Many a church split has resulted in a group of believers who have taken it upon themselves to "get everybody straight" for God or "come out from among them".

Let's always remember that we are all in this together, each member making up a part of the Body of Christ, with our own unique gifting and testimony. Also, we are all on different levels in our walk.
  • We have those who have been born again for years, growing in knowledge & understanding, applying what they've learned (mature Christians).

  • You have those who are learning the Word, realizing they have authority in Jesus name over the enemy, and beginning to see God's purpose for their lives, but are still sometimes led by their emotions and vacillate between being a responsible, mature Christian, and a baby (teenage Christians).

  • You have Christians who are just beginning to find their legs in this walk of faith (toddler Christians),

  • You have Christians who are just born again and hardly know anything but are alive in Christ and determined to grow (baby Christians).

God loves each and every one of these Christians the same, just like we love our kids at each stage of their lives. It's not like we say to our newborn, I will love you one day when you're all grown up, or to our toddler, I can't believe how many times you keep falling down, I wish you'd just run already! So, we must be patient with one another, realizing we grow line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Praise our Heavenly Father for all of His children...



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm on a winning streak!


I can't even believe this...honestly, I usually NEVER win anything, but this week I have discovered I won a free blog makeover (thank you Nan!) AND an Honest Scrap Award (thank you Beth!). I am so blessed by all my blogging friends. So, keep your eyes out for my new blog design that is coming soon. And, in keeping with the Honest Scrap Award, I am supposed to write 10 honest things about myself. Here goes:


First of all, thank you to Beth at "I'm Heading Towards My Destiny" http://bethinnc.blogspot.com/ for honoring me with this award.
Now, 10 honest things about myself. . .
1. I don't eat any kind of beans (except maybe french style string beans, but only in a
casserole).
2. I am very afraid of spiders, even if they're small.
3. I still have to count on my fingers sometimes, I'm really bad at math
4. I buy junior mints because my kids & husband don't like them so I get them all to myself.
5. I've always dreamed of being an author but never had the guts to go for it after I was told
at an early age that I'd never be able to make a living at it.
6. Whenever I watch a good, clean love story, if the characters are fighting and just about to
get back together again, my fingertips start to tingle. I have NO idea why?
7. I've had the same best friend since I was 3 yrs. old - she now lives about 10 miles from me
and our children are good friends.
8. I'm actually an outgoing person, trapped in a shy person's body. I have to push myself to
venture out in social situations. This will be remedied when I get free from my insecurities.
9. I have been a Christian all my life, but I seriously committed my whole life to Jesus in
1990, and I haven't looked back since.
10. I'm really a big kid at heart and sometimes feel like I'm not a responsible mom. I LOVE
going to Chuckie Cheese, I love to play video games, I enjoy playing sports in the yard with
my kids, but I NEVER let them win because I'm very competitive, I run through the house
chasing the kids and I play hide & seek with the dog.
Now, I want to share this award with 7 people, but first, I will explain the rules. 1)You must thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it. 2) You must share "10 Honest Things" about yourself. 3) You have to present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you. 4) Last, you must tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
Here are my 7 people:
Congratulations ladies and thanks for all the inspiring posts. Please accept this Honest Scrap award. If you have time and you feel like participating, that's great. If you're way too busy posting about other things...I certainly understand.

Anointed Songs

I survived the fair, thanks to my "fair prayer", haha. I've been so busy ever since, I haven't been able to write. However, many people wondered how we made out at the fair, so I wanted to let you know that it was actually fun. We were later getting to the fair than I had intended, which probably helped my patience and my wallet. My husband did complain briefly about the cost of parking, but since we were teasing him about how predictable he is, it didn't last long. The kids rode 3 rides, we ate a quick meal, and then it was time for the 1oth Avenue North and Jeremy Camp concert.

My youngest was less than thrilled about leaving the many attractive rides to scarf down a meal and head into a concert for the next couple of hours. Especially since you could see the rides and the lights going on outside of the coliseum. I guess to a 7 yr. old, that was pure torture. So, he voiced his disgust every 10 minutes of the concert, which I must admit, did try my patience. I was quick to point out to my beloved son, a rather important newsflash that will serve him well in life, which is...the world doesn't revolve around him. He didn't seem to agree. As the concert went on, he became more and more impatient and he constantly wiggled in his seat. The others were all enjoying the music and the wonderful ministry time going on. Jeremy Camp was awesome, not only in talent, but his heart really came through.

Just about the time I thought it was rapping up, Jeremy began to sing the song "Our God is Mighty to Save". It was very powerful as the packed auditorium joined their voices and we all sang about how Mighty a God we serve. I looked over at my son, now sitting quietly in his seat, and his eyes had welled up with tears and he was wiping them away with his sleeve. Being the spiritual super mom that I am, what do you think my reaction was? Nope, not even close. I rolled my eyes because I thought he had finally given up on trying to bug me into leaving, and had now changed his tactic to crying. I assumed he was sitting there sulking about how unfair life is for a 7 yr. old boy and how mean his family was for objecting him to such treatment. I think I even mumbled "oh for goodness sake", but it's all a blur now, so I can't be certain...haha Just about that time, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Mommy, I really feel God's presence." Wow...it was like someone slapped me right upside my head! I said, Oh, that is so sweet....and I hugged him...more tears fell.

After the song was over, he was better behaved, but the moment seemed to have passed. Which got me thinking. Are there songs that have such an anointing on them, that it seems to usher in the presence of God? I believe so. I know that there are songs that touch a nerve with me, songs that minister to my situation, songs that edify and build me up, songs that glorify God...but then there are songs that catch you by surprise, and for no reason you can explain, just feel like you are singing right along with the Heavenly choir and you seem to somehow sense God's pleasure with the worship you are offering.

I have always thought that the Revelation song was just one of those songs. It doesn't matter whose singing it, although Kari Jobe is my favorite, but I've heard it by others, and in different arrangements, but no matter what, I always feel God's presence. And no matter what kind of day I'm having, I can hear that song, and it lifts me right up out of my circumstances and into the "throne room" of God!

Out of curiosity, do YOU know of a song that carries a special anointing on it? If so, please share with the rest of us. And may you all experience "God's presence" today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Prayer before the Fair

Yes, we're going to the NC State Fair tonight. Here is my prayer before the Fair...

Lord, please give me self-control to pass by the fried Twinkies,Oreos, snicker bars, elephant ears, and anything else they stick in the deep fat fryer. Help my husband not to freak out over all the germs that will be represented there. Let me have the fruit of the Spirit of patience as we slowly make our way through the crowded, narrow grand stand of people pushing and stepping on my feet. Help me to bare it with a grin, and not be offended. Help us to be protected from the multitude of people that seem to come around just when they feel the urge to light a cigarette and share their second hand smoke with me and my family. May the kids not be afraid of some of the characters that we will see, including the many men and women working the rides, and help us not to judge some of the outfits we're likely to encounter, or the language we're liable to hear. Bless us with a good parking space, even though it will probably cost us $10, which might cause my "thrifty" husband to hyperventilate a little, especially considering the cost of the food & rides once we get in the fair.

Most of all, thank you for the opportunity to go see Jeremy Camp & 10th Avenue North perform tonight. And lastly, thank you for my kids, who I love so much and I will go through all of the above for, and more, just to hear them say "that was so much fun".

P.S. Lord, help me NOT to lose my temper if they don't say "that was so much fun!"

Addictions Come in all Forms

You say the word "addiction" and most people automatically think of drugs & alcohol. Of course there are other bad things people are obsessed and addicted to, but I don't want to go down that path right now. There are all sorts of reasons why a person develops an addiction, and I don't want to open that can of worms today either. What I really want to do...is confess one of MY addictions. Yes, I said one, because I have a few, okay, several...for example, I'm addicted to Blistex. I can't help it, it's medicated and I like the little tingly feeling I get when I know it's working on my chapped lips. I've been using it everyday for the last 20 years or so. Another addiction is Junior mints. I LOVE them, I eat way too many of them, I find eating popcorn without them almost unbearable. Again, it's not my fault...it clearly says on the box "a low fat candy", almost begging me to eat it! There are some other things, but I said confess one of my addictions, so I should get back to the addiction at hand...here goes....I must confess my addiction to the social websites. Even as I sit here typing on this thing, I am taking part in my new addiction.

It all started with email, but that wasn't good enough. I had to get a second email for my Southern Living at HOME consultant business. Now I have two emails to check everyday. Then I discovered "Myspace" and spent hours setting up my profile. But much to my surprise, most of my friends were on Facebook. I had no choice but to switch to Facebook so I could stay in touch, right? Facebook in itself is an absolute, all consuming entity, but then, my brother joined Twitter and urged me to become a member as well. Now I have a Twitter account. Then I read a friend of mine's blog (I'm not holding you responsible Beth, I'm just saying...) and became an instant blog fan! But like any addiction, it wasn't enough to read other people's blogs, no, I had to join them. Now I have a blog of my own (obviously as you sit reading it) that I must attend to everyday. Not only that, but I add almost daily to the blogs that I read because you are all so good at what you do. Have I mentioned how it's not my fault? If you all didn't write such interesting and captivating things, I could probably have a life!

You see where this is going? I rush to the computer in the morning, check my two emails, where I see that I have Facebook messages, so I must go to FB to respond or it would be rude, right? Then, before I can get in and get out fast, like I promised myself I would do, low and behold, someone on FB IM's me! Now I have to spend the next 30 minutes talking/typing to them. I have actually been IMing two people at the same time about completely different topics. It's enough to make my head spin. I occasionally update my Twitter out of the guilt of not wanting to neglect it. I have since given up the Myspace account, simply because I forgot the password and don't care to find out what it was. I am at the point where I need a journal to remember all my usernames & passwords (why I didn't make them all the same is beyond me???) I spend countless minutes a day reading other people's blogs, plus writing them myself.

I'm not complaining, I love keeping up with people. I've come in contact with friends I haven't spoken to in years on FB. I am meeting all kinds of new and inspiring ladies on these blogs. I run a business on one email, and I respond to family and friends on the other, while also using it as a ministry tool to keep up with the ladies from the life group I lead, as well as the prayer requests that come in from church. It is a tool that I need and I wouldn't trade it for the world. The only problem is, I need time management and self-control. Honestly, when I was first learning to set up my blog, I didn't shower all day. My husband came home and there was no dinner, no snack, no trace of food for him to eat. I even went to get a cushion to sit on to make the chair more comfortable as I sat for hours.

Okay, it's gotten a lot better since then. Things I have learned...I am learning that I don't have to write a book every time I answer an email, I am not going to disappoint anyone if I don't renew my blog everyday, and I can ignore some IM's on FB if I don't have time to chat. I limit my FB time to morning and maybe a quick glance at night after the kids go to bed. I check my business email twice a week, and the other email in the morning. My house will be a little cleaner, and I will too for that matter (I'll take showers), now that I've set limits for myself.

But, if they come out with any other social websites, please, I beg of you dear family & friends...don't tell me about it!