Friday, September 30, 2011

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

It's that wonderful time of the year again..........

Football season!

(insert major sarcasm!)

The time of the year when church attendance tapers drastically and folks are at home glued to the television watching all their tivo-ed games or just too tired from being at the game on the previous day! If you couldn't tell already, I'm not a football fan AT ALL! I just don't have a passion for the game like some do. I have such a lack of passion for it, that I don't even care to learn all the rules of the game and "what's what"! In fact, if you sit me in a stadium with thousands of fans, the only way I know to cheer most time is from watching all the crazed fans around me!

This is how some Christians seem to feel about praise and worship to our Savior.

In middle school, high school, and throughout college I was a "band nerd". Better yet, I was the ring leader; the drum major! Beat that! So, as I led the band under the Friday night lights, I was forced to learn the basics of football in order to know when to strike up the band! So, I learned enough to get by, but I still had zero passion for the sport. My passion was the music! I came to football games for the half-time show, and because I had such a passion for music, I grew to understand it more and more and absolutely LOVED to be a participant!

My point behind all of this lies in the analogy I hear quite often in churches all around during this most beloved season; "If you can jump up and down and cheer for a football game, how much more praise are you going to give God?" I've heard it stated several different ways, but you get the gist. Now don't get me wrong, I understand the analogy and believe that we should be able to give an even better praise to our very Creator, however, after pondering this analogy for awhile now, I've finally decided that it truly deals with the matters of understanding and passion.

I don't know about you, but I sincerely have a hard time cheering and rooting for something that I don't have a passion for. Much like football! Even if I didn't quite understand everything about football, a passion for wanting to learn the game is where it starts! Anyone with a passion for the game, is then challenged to understand the game; which in turn, makes them a GREAT FAN! Personally, I get a kick out of those lunatic fans! It's fun for me just to watch them!

Have you ever had a hard time singing the praises of God and truly worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness? I have! It was during a time in my life that I had a major lack of passion. Sure I was a Christian, but it sure was hard for me to offer praise! I also just didn't understand much about who Jesus really was, and didn't care too much to learn, because of my lack of passion!

As for me, I want to give God a crazy praise! Let me proudly claim the title, Jesus Freak! It started with a passion for Him after He redeemed my life, and out of that passion has come a thirst for understanding! Will I ever understand Him fully? No, but by trying to know more and more about Him, my passion grows deeper still, and I absolutely love singing and proclaiming His praises!

I will bless the LORD at all times; 
His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
the humble will hear it and rejoice. 
O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt His name together .

Thursday, September 29, 2011

All Things Coffee...

How appropriate that National Coffee Day would fall on one of my Thankful Thursdays! How very thankful I am for "my little cheerleader in a cup"! I have celebrated all day long! Afterall, "if it weren't for coffee, I would have no identifiable personality whatsoever!" You think I'm kidding! I used to hate coffee, but when the days of parenting rolled around, it has become my closest friend! BFF's for life! 

On a more serious note, there are many more blessings from the week that I would like to give God thanks for. So, here it is; my weekly round-up of thanks!

I'm Thankful for:

31.) COFFEE!!!!

32.) A good report for Bella from the eye doctor. Still a long road ahead, but we are on our way!

33.) what God is doing in and through Bella, as she ministers at school!

34.) Ashleigh A. for surprising my son with the CFA VeggieTale CD collection! 

35.) A husband who doesn't run and hide from me, EVEN on my worst days! In fact, he runs to me and tries to help! (What a great man!)

36.) hearing from some of "my girls" that used to live with us at the HFC! :)

37.) Marleigh has finally taken interest in something else besides opening the kitchen cabinets ALL DAY!

38.) God's Word has been POWERFUL in my life this week!

39.) the individual gifts that God has given us, and the ability to use them for HIS glory!

40.) Calamine lotion! (Poison oak always has a way of reminding me why I'm not an outdoor girl!)

What are you thankful for this week?

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
~ Psalm 100:4 (ESV)!

missing ministry...........

The thoughts in my head are so jumbled today. We left our role as houseparents at the Home for Children just a short three months ago, and............I MISS IT!


I never thought I would say that.

I really don't even want to say that.

Afterall, kids are crazy! They "drive me nerves", as Bella would say! They have problems that have to be dealt with constantly and immediately in most cases! They can be a HEADACHE! Upon leaving, I couldn't wait to fill my calendar with "our" family plans and activities with friends, if I still had any left! LOL For the most part, I have done that, and we have enjoyed our life apart from throngs of children following us around wherever we go.  However, they were my ministry for almost 3 years of my life! It was not a glorious 2+ years, but it was my ministry; my chance to show Christ everyday!   I don't miss the stress, the countless dental and doctor appointments, the fits with hair and clothing (can you tell I was in the girls house?), or the the fear of being at full capacity(which would mean my three plus eight!).

I simply miss...the ministry!

 After reading through the book Radical this week, I have to acknowledge the fact that I'm a bit self-absorbed lately! Shock, right?  For my entire life, I have felt the "tug" of ministry. I began teaching a Sunday School class by the age of 16, and I poured my everything into it. I began teaching children's church shortly after, and LOVED it! I've always sang and adored being a part of leading people into the presence of God. After marriage, we served as youth pastors, and then found ourselves at the Home for Children! All the time still very involved at church writing curriculum, teaching here and there, re-vamping programs,  and always singing! Always doing. Always active. And we sit! 

Admittedly, I feel lost!

I feel... lazy!

Yes, there are great plans for a future ministry, but sadly, my focus has to be on making it through school (AGAIN!) so we can get to that point. So what do I do while I wait? I know my marriage and my family are the two MOST important ministries, and I am also vastly aware of my life ministry with those I come in contact with everyday, but what about the hole I feel for intentional and planned ministry?

In my line of thinking, it's called a STRETCH BREAK!

God, take this time of rest that I have been given from planned ministry and stretch me. Grow my faith to match the size of the destiny you have for me! Prepare me for what the cost will be to follow you passionately. You don't NEED me to do ministry, but I NEED You and want you to transform my life completely while I wait on You to guide our next steps. Humble me and clothe me with compassion for others around me, so that during this time of rest from "planned ministry" I will still be intentional with my day to day ministry You have already mapped out for me! Thank you for allowing me the privilege of ministering everyday to my husband and children, and may I adequately do so.Thank you also for this time! I can't wait to use it wisely by spending more time with You and in the words You have written for me and my specific situations! What a good father you are!
Your daughter,

Look at all those stocking!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And the Winner Is...

It was awesome to be the host of such a great giveaway from Sew Stitched! I would like to thank Ashley again for giving such an awesome gift and for her beautiful talent that she shares with everyone! Thanks to everyone who participated as well! It was a lot of fun and I look forward to hosting many more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!

However, at the moment, I'm sure you are all very interested in finding out who our winner is. I used a nifty random number calculator that I found online to decide the winner.

Drum roll, please...........................

The $25 credit from Sew Stitched goes to...........

Christina Sutherland

Congratulations, Christina!

Christina, please contact Ashley through the Sew Stitched Facebook Fan page to redeem your gift! She is waiting to hear from you!

Although I would have been super happy for any of you to win, I am VERY excited for Christina. Since Christina won, I thought I would take a moment to mention this beautiful lady and how special she is to me!

Christina and I attend the same church and she is currently expecting her second child. (Due in about three weeks!) She will be able to get that sweet girl a precious outfit from Sew Stitched! One year ago, yesterday, her husband's life was spared after suffering through a horrible car accident. And now, here they are getting ready to bring sweet Maya into the world! Wanting to go into labor and delivery specifically, I asked Christina if I could be in the room during the birth of their daughter....and THEY SAID YES!!!! I am so excited! There is just something so thrilling about welcoming "new life" into this world! In Hebrew, the word life means: to go forward. I can't wait to see how little Maya will "go forward" in this world! I also welcome the imagery of all Christians "moving forward" for Christ each day that we are blessed to be on this earth! PJ and Christina, You are both blessed beyond measure to be at the place in life at which you have arrived! GO FORWARD! Live this life! I love you both!