Friday, April 18, 2014

Six hours one Friday

I have borrowed this from my good friend Lisa today....



Six hours.  One Friday.

Let me ask you a question:  What do you do with that day in history?  What do you do with its claims?

If it really happened....if God did commandeer his own crucifixion...if he did turn his back on his own Son...if he did storm Satan's gate, then those six hours that Friday were packed with tragic triumph.  If that was God on that cross, then the hill called Skull is granite studded with stakes to which you can anchor.



Those six hours were no normal six hours.  They were the most critical hours in history.  For during those six hours on that Friday, God embedded in the earth three anchor points sturdy enough to withstand any hurricane.


ANCHOR POINT #1  My life is not futile.

This rock secures the hull of your heart.  Its sole function is to give you something which you can grip when facing the surging tides of futility and relativism.  Its a firm grasp on the conviction that there is truth.  Someone is in control and you have a purpose.

 ANCHOR POINT #2 My failures are not fatal.

Its not that he loves what you did, but he loves who you are.  You are his.  The One who has the right to condemn you provided the way to acquit you.  You make mistakes.  God doesn't.  And he made you.

ANCHOR POINT #3 My death is not final.

There is one more stone to which you should tie.  Its large.  Its round.  And its heavy.  It blocked the door of a grave.  It wasn't big enough though.  The tomb that it sealed was the tomb of a transient.  He only went in to prove he could come out.  And on the way out he took the stone with him and turned it into an anchor point.  He dropped it deep into the unchartered waters of death.  Tie to his rock, and the typhoon of the tomb becomes a spring breeze on Easter Sunday.

There they are.  Three anchor points.  The anchor points of the cross.


~Max Lucado Six Hours One Friday: Living in the Power of the Cross

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Frags


Is it really Friday again already?!!!

**My schedule lately has been CRAZY busy and I (the person who hates to be home for long) am feeling a bit overwhelmed and wanting to just hole up in my house for a while.

**I just got back Sunday from my MILs and I leave again this Sunday for my parents.  When I get back, I have 2 weeks and then I leave for a speaking engagement with some time with my best friends on the heels of that.....like I said, crazy!

**my message for my speaking engagement is not coming together easily and I am frustrated.  I know I am over thinking it (mostly my nerves are getting in the way I think)  and just need to allow God to give me the words.  But I am having a hard time getting it from my head to the paper in a cohesive way.  prayers would be appreciated!!

**I have a new grandpuppy.
My son rescued a 7 week old boxer puppy that he will be adding to his fiancee's aussie puppy when they get married.....yes, I think they are crazy!  But he is so very cute!

**I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that my son is getting married.  

**looking forward to tomorrow when I get to keep TWO babies while their mama goes to a foster/adoption conference.  we are going to have so much fun with these cute boys!!

**have I mentioned that I leave Sunday......I have not packed a thing or done one thing to get ready....ugh.  I have a feeling I will be packing the hour before I leave.  Sometimes, ok most times, that is how I role.

**I'm excited to have dinner with some very dear friends tonight.  They are heading back to China this weekend and this will be the last time I get to see them for awhile.  I am sad that life has gotten in the way of me spending more time with them while they were home, but I can't wait to see them tonight, enjoy their company and their sweet baby, pray over them and let them know how much we love them!!
 
**I have been studying Ezekiel since sept.  We are in the last three weeks of the study.  Ezekiel has completely changed me.  I had never really studied this book and God has broken me, in a good way, through it.  He has exposed so much pride in my life.  It has been a somewhat painful process but so beautiful in the end.  I am grateful.

**Ok, time to get ready and go have breakfast with my son and his fiancee (I really enjoy typing that!) before they head back.

Have a GREAT weekend!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good Words this morning..

For those of you who don't read Blackaby, here was his devotion this morning:

Be Reconciled!

"leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:24

It is useless to give offerings to God while you are at enmity with your brother. Jesus said that His followers should be reconciled with anyone who has something against them.  The world seeks reconciliation on limited terms.  Christians are to be reconciled, whatever it takes.

You say, "but you don't know how deeply he hurt me!  It's unreasonable to ask me to restore our relationship." or, "I tried but she would not be appease."  Jesus did not include an exception clause for our reconciliation.  If the person is an enemy, Jesus said to love him (Matt 5:44).  If he persecute you, you are to pray for him.  If she publicly humiliates you, you are not to retaliate (Matt. 5:39).  If someone takes advantage of you, you are to give even more than he asks (Matt. 5:41).  The world preaches "assert yourself."  Jesus taught, "deny yourself".  the world warns that you will be constantly exploited. Jesus' concern was not that His disciples be treated fairly but that they show unconditional love to others regardless of how they are treated.  Men spat upon Jesus and nailed Him to a cross.  His response was our model:  "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do: (Luke 23:34)

If there were ever a command that is constantly disobeyed, it is this mandate to be reconciled.  We comfort ourselves with the thought, "God knows that I tried to make things right, but my enemy refused."  God's Word does not say "Try to be reconciled, " but "be reconciled." Is there someone with whom you need to make peace?  Then do what God tells you to do.


Lots to think about here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It happens so fast....


How did this little guy....



Grow into this young man....


And be old enough to propose to this young woman.....


She said YES!!

We are so excited to welcome Kristen into our family.  She is beautiful inside and out and a perfect balance for our son. And yes, she plays games!  I know y'all were wondering that! :)  Alyssa will now have a sister she never had and the estrogen in the house will now not be out numbered by the testosterone!!! whoop!  

This is one of the new beginnings God has for me this year!!
And we couldn't be happier!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Frags


Friday.....


Trying so hard to get my blogging mojo back but just can't seem to get there..ugh.

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To be honest, I was very glad to say goodbye to 2013.  It was a hard year for me in a lot of ways.
 My theme for 2014 is new beginnings.  I feel like God is closing the door on some areas in my life and pointing me in new directions and I am expectantly looking forward to what He has for me.   
As God reveals them, I plan to share them on here.

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I am SO tired of our weather!!!
We live in the south people...13 degrees is not ok!!!

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I am enjoying my quiet house.
Yes, me the "more the merrier girl" is taking the quiet in!!
I LOVED having all my kids home for the holidays.  We had SO much fun together and every night was filled with some fun game....but I have realized that I have become accustom to the quiet of empty nest and I never thought I would say that!!! 

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So after Thanksgiving, I passed 2 kidney stones.....worst pain in my life.  They did a CT scan and told me they didn't see any more stones in my kidneys....thank you Jesus!  But now every time I get a twinge of pain in my back or a funny feeling in my lower abdomen, I panic.  I am wondering if I will ever get over that...ugh.

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I was introduced to Stitch Fix.  An on-line personal stylist.  
I just received my first "fix" and was very pleasantly surprised at how well they did with my size and style.  A post is coming on this soon!!

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Last year, I read the book "Anything".  And through that book and some deep conversations with God, I told him that I would start actively looking and be ready for things He had for me.  I wanted to be so ready that when they came my way my first response would be YES.  Well, you have heard the saying "be careful what you pray for"?  

ya.....

God quickly brought an opportunity my way......speaking at a women's conference.  My first response was honestly to laugh....I am NOT a speaker.  But as I formulated reasons why I couldn't do it, God gently reminded me of my commitment and prayer.  So, at the end of February, I will be speaking at a women's conference in Florida.  I would covet your prayers that I would be open to God's Words and not my own as I write my talk and that the fear I feel would go away as I trust God to use me!!

Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A new year....

Wow,  I have so neglected this poor blog of mine.

I had hoped to post pictures and tell you about my trip to Ethiopia in October, however, life got derailed a bit for me by the holidays and kidney stones....ugh.

Let me just say that I would rather give birth than have another one....and I say that in all seriousness.  

But being down and then recovering put me way behind and this little blog just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list...not that I had been doing a great job prior to the stones; but any idea of turning that around were gone.

However, there is nothing more motivating than a new year and one of your children ASKING you to blog about something for them!!

If you've been around here for very long, you know that my son Jason is a very talented musician.  He has recently put together a new band that he is very excited about....and y'all they are really good.  They have named their band Lore and this is what they say about themselves:

Lore:: knowledge gained through experience, passed from person to person by word of mouth.
As we started this journey, one of the hardest obstacles we had to overcome was deciding on a name. Fighting through cheesy and stereotypical and sifting through buzz words, we wanted to stamp ourselves with a name that captured the essence of who we all are; and not just us, but those around us as well.

We are stories.

This realization has fueled our project. We all come from different walks of life, good and bad, and we are fully loaded with tellings and tales that have rocked our worlds. As a band, we decided our mission was to unite each one of us through music centered around stories, tradition, and togetherness.

We are Jason, Emily, Jon, and Seth. But all of us,
We are Lore.


Below is their first video that Jason's very talented girlfriend, Kristen, (©Authentiqua Studios) created for them:



It is so fun seeing your kids doing what they love and being so passionate and excited about it.  They would love it if you would follow them on Facebook here!  

So, new beginnings all around...for my son and his band and for this little blog of mine.

Happy New Year!!
 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ethiopia...

I know y'all have been waiting for a post about our trip to Ethiopia...but for 2 days now I have been trying to sort through my 9 days there and find a way to express it in words.  As my friends here ask about the trip, I just seem to fall short with the right words to convey the huge impact this trip had on my life.

I have come to realize that words can NOT express the range of emotions I have for Ethiopia or the experiences I had there.  You just can't feel what I felt without experiencing it yourself.

So, with that knowledge, I will attempt to share with you my time in this beautiful (and sometimes hard) country.  I hope my words do it justice and that my new friends in Ethiopia will feel the love I now have for them and their home.

First let me clarify the "hard".  We (the US) also have our own "hard".  We are just better at hiding it than others and some of our hard is just not so visible (greed, ungratefulness, racism, excess)...but it is still there.

One of the staff at the guest house we were working on asked me one day "What do you like about Ethiopia?"  

That answer was easy......the people. 

 They are the most hospitable,  friendly and beautiful people.  I felt welcomed by most everyone I met. Though you learn to recognize the Muslims from the Orthodox from others by the way they dress, I never saw a separation on the streets.  They all move around together..one people.  I had heard that in some places in that part of the world Americans were openly disliked.  But I never felt, not once, any animosity toward us from the people while we were out.  Most of the time they smiled and waved and came up to us to greet us and have us greet their children.  And the children.......oh, my heart...I fell in love with the children. 

Also, in answer to that question is a resounding....the COFFEE and the food!!  the Ethiopian coffee is amazing. And their traditional coffee ceremony is so special. (more on that later).  I also LOVED the food.  It is very different (also more later), but I loved everything I tried!!!

Then, my new friend asked "what do you NOT like about Ethiopia?"

This answer was both easy and hard.

The easy was.....the Muslim wake-up call every.single.morning at 5am and the traffic.

Each of the mosques had loud speakers on every corner at the top of the building and would broadcast their prayers very loudly every day and sometimes all night.  There was a mosque right across the street from us. At first it was very eery and quickly became annoying. And to be fair, the Orthodox church also broadcasts over loud speakers, they were just farther away from us.

And the driving...well, I just can't explain how crazy and scary it was.  Words do NOT do it justice and neither does the video I got of it!!! I will never complain again about the drive from Little Rock to Memphis....well, at least not for a while! :)

But then the hard.......the very visible poverty.  The very visible brokenness of a people completely oppressed by forces so much greater than themselves, both human and spiritual.

Two images have haunted my mind since leaving Ethiopia...

The first was a young girl we drove passed...her body was so deformed that she walked on her hands, elbows and knees.  She crawled along an uneven, rocky dirt road with what looked like her family.  Dust in her face.  My heart just broke.  I have never seen deformities like that...because in America she would have had reconstructive surgery, she would have had a wheelchair, she would have had help.  But she is born in a place that can't offer those life changing services to her.  So, she has to adapt to her environment....I can't image her strength.

The other is a boy I met at the church we visited the last Sunday.  Children just swarmed us when we got there....holding our hands, sitting in our laps, wanting to play with and have their pictures taken by our cell phones.  Some of these kids had parents there, some were street kids.  A little boy that looked only to be about 5-6 came up and asked to take my camera to play with and I said no.  I wasn't letting any of the children hold my camera.  He at first stuck his tongue out at me and then walked up to me, pointed his finger in my face and very angrily said....f*** you and then ran out.   I was shocked and thought for a minute I didn't hear right.  But then after the service, two hours later, we walked out to the alley and that little boy was there.  He looked at me again with angry, angry eyes and said it AGAIN.  My heart broke.  What has happened in this little boy's life that by such a young age he is so very angry, so aggressive.  And what has he been around that has taught him these horrible words in another language and how to use them correctly? I can not wrap my mind around it and I have been praying for him ever since.  This little boy needs Jesus.  He needs to know he has a Savior that loves him and gave His life for him. He needs to know love.

And that's why we were there.
You can send money...that's easy.  But these people and children need to FEEL love, they need to SEE love.  You can not share Jesus through money....Jesus is shared through relationships.  Yes, they need money and that is good, we need to do that.  But we also need to go if we are led....we need to show them through our actions that Jesus loves them.

to be continued....