Thursday, December 24, 2009

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe after all we’ve projected
A child in a manger

Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliness hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for?

Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn savior
All that we have whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for his honor and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he’ll suffer
Do you believe, is this who we’ve waited for?
It’s who we’ve waited for

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

All for me
All for you
All for me
All for you

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We're pressed on every side by troubles, but we're not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We're hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we're not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9


I love this verse because it's packed full of promise & hope. It has been a rough December for me. The ole scum dog has really been working hard in my life. Either by depression, business or strife BUT I must remember that Jesus has overcame this world & he has made a place for us with Him.


It's getting so close to Christmas & I'm not ready but I've decided that's ok. I want to stop & remember what this season is all about. Not about parties, gifts, decorations & lights but it's about Jesus choosing to come to Earth as a man & to suffer for each & every one of us. A lowly baby in a lowly stable but such an oh so HUGE God!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Max Lucado must have been thinking about me when he sent this email out. Enjoy!!


A Message From Max
Christmas blessings, Friends!

If we don’t watch out, the holidays can stir the Scrooge within us. We make lists of what we want, drop hints about what we want, tell Santa what we want. This season of economic stress can make us even more tight-fisted and hard hearted. So how can we un-Scrooge our Christmas? Simple: let’s continue the great Christmas giveaway. By seeing Christmas, not as the time to receive, but as the time to give. Let’s imitate the stargazers, the mysterious magi, who went great lengths to give great gifts.

Why does scripture showcase their story? Part of the reason is Herod. If the New Testament has a Scrooge, it is the jealous King of Israel. When he heard that the wise men were in search of a king, he grew suspicious and angry, ordering the slaughter of every child under the age of two.

And the stargazing Savior-seekers? We don’t know much about these men. We don’t know their country of origin or their nationality. We don’t know the size of their caravan. The crèche on the front lawn suggests a trio of magi. But we aren’t given a number. The stargazing element surprises us, as does the fact that these are Gentile astronomers seeking a Jewish Messiah. A curious assortment on a curious journey.

…the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11 NLT)

They made no requests. No favors. No petitions. The wise men wanted only one thing: the privilege of giving gifts to Jesus. What a contrast: hard-hearted Herod on one side, the gift-giving wise men on the other. We’d like to be numbered among the wise and generous, wouldn’t we?

Here are three ways to un-Scrooge your Christmas:
1. Help a needy person in a foreign country. The wise men did. They issued international aid to a peasant family. We can do the same.

2. Extend a hand to the needy in your area. In Bexar County, where I live, 1 in 4 children suffer from food insecurity. That is to say, they aren’t sure about their next meal. Chances are, there are needy in your area as well.

3. Assist a struggling family in your neighborhood. Don’t think for a minute that your neighborhood has no families in trouble. People who have never faced depletions are doing so. People are upside-down in their mortgages, concerned about their careers, anxious about their fixed incomes. You can’t solve their problems but you can be a kind neighbor. You can bake some cookies, bring some groceries…you can be the presence of Christ in your neighborhood.

May you experience the joy of Jesus this Christmas!

Max

P.S. And if you’re able to remember UpWords Ministries in your 2009 year-end giving, we’d be very grateful. Your help enables us to provide, via radio and internet, spiritual encouragement to millions each year. Donate here.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

[AC] Advent Conspiracy 2009 Promo Video

My friend Susan knew I'd appreciate this so she told me to check out her blog and this website. See what you think!! Thanks Susan!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

I have decided that it is true, I am a scrooge.



I really really despise what this world has done to Christmas. It is so commercialized. To be honest I wouldn't care if I didn't even have a tree up. The kids always decorate for Christmas anyway. I put off shopping until the very last minute and the tree and decorations come down Christmas night.



See, I am a scrooge! But as I got to thinking about it I realized that I don't live for this world. The reason I live was born so many years ago on that cold night, in that inadequate stable. It was enough for Jesus though. He came to save the lost, in whatever state we may find ourselves in. So, while I may not be a big fan of Christmas I am a big fan of CHRISTmas!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Found this blog today, check it out as the post was excellent!

http://www.hisfavoritedaughters.com/2009/07/we-are-not-orphans.html
Christ in Me
by Max Lucado

Like Mary, you and I are indwelt by Christ.Find that hard to believe? How much more did Mary? No one was more surprised by this miracle than she was. And no one more passive than she was. God did everything. Mary didn't volunteer to help. What did she have to offer? She offered no assistance. And she offered no resistance. Instead she said, "Behold, the bond- slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

Unlike Mary, we tend to assist God, assuming our part is as important as his. Or we resist, thinking we are too bad or too busy. Yet when we assist or resist, we miss God's great grace. We miss out on the reason we were placed on earth-to be so pregnant with heaven's child that he lives through us. To be so full of him that we could say with Paul, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal. 2:20)

What would that be like? To have a child within is a miracle, but to have Christ within?

To have my voice, but him speaking.
My steps, but Christ leading.
My heart, but his love beating in me, through me, with me.

What's it like to have Christ on the inside?
To tap his strength when mine expires or feel the force of heaven's firesraging, purging wrong desires.
Could Christ become my self entire?
So much him, so little me
That in my eyes it's him they see.
What's it like to a Mary be?
No longer I, but Christ in me.

From Next Door Savior

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Blues

I get the winter blues every year but this year seems worse! As Aimee came in for our nightly talk last night (she lays with me for about an hour, and sometimes just sleeps there!) we got to talking about some things going on in her life and I told her I will miss this next year when she is at college. I honestly think that is most of my problem this year.... this senior year is killing dear ole mom!!








Cole usually walks in and calls Aimee a loser, hugs me good night and off he goes to his room. He spends most of his time in his room. Aimee is usually by my side, so I think I will get a little (hmph) lonely next year!








Cold weather, wind and snow do not go well with me! It makes me want to just stay in bed with my head under the covers. I have dealt with depression in my past and at one point was medicated for it. I was on meds for about a year, I can say I have done well since then but there are still times when I feel the dread looming over me. I fight it off as best I can and with the help of God it usually works. Ed is so sweet about it, he tries his best to make things better when I get down. Usually he just drives me crazy cause I just want to be left alone but he also knows that is when I get worse so that is why he persists and I love him for it!








I am all settled in for the night! I am going to attempt to fix supper, although nothing sounds good, then I plan on watching Kentucky Basketball!!! Ed has to teach confirmation class tonight and the kids have youth so I get some alone time and cuddle time with Chopper!! It is going to get WAY cold tonight so stay warm!!




Chopper




Monday, December 7, 2009

Control

I have been struggling a lot lately with my kids getting older & making their own decisions. I worry that they might not make the best decisions, but today as I was having a talk with my Abba Father, or Daddy I was reminded that it's not about what I want for my kids but what His plan is.

Ouch!

I know His ways are much higher & better than mine but I tend to want to control... Well most everything!! As I was praying & discussing this with Him I was reminded of Moses. I really, really like Moses for a number of reasons. He, like me, argued with God, tested Him & so forth before he just trusted Him. This is something I struggle with! Anyway, God spoke to me & reminded me that when Moses' mother couldn't hide (control) him any longer, she released him into the Nile & what happened??? He sent Moses back to her!


In Exodus 2 it tells the story of Moses birth. His mother hid him for 3 months (i.e. Christy trying to protect her kids & make their decisions for them). When she could no longer hide him, she released him into the Nile where Pharaoh's sister intercepted him. She couldn't nurse him so Moses sister asked if she would like for her to go get one of the Hebrew women to nurse him. She said yes & he was returned to his mother to care for him until he was old enough to go back to Pharaoh's daughter.


I need to learn to let God have my kids & trust that I have instilled the proper values in them to make the right choices. But I choose to pray God gives them wisdom beyond their years to let them know when the choice they are about to make isn't in the will of God. I pray that he directs their steps & that they not look side to side but keep their eyes focused forward.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CHRISTmas

This time of the year both is very joyous for me and drives me nuts!!!


Everyone is SO busy trying to get things ready for Christmas and so worried about what people are calling it that they forget the meaning of Christmas! No, I do not like that they are calling it "Happy Holidays" or a "Holiday Tree" but I also think that we as Christians are supposed to be witnesses buy our actions. While, it is a sad thing we do not have to get in such an uproar over it. We need to just carry on with CHRISTmas as we know it.


The birth of Jesus, our Savior.


I was so overwhelmed when my kids told me they wanted to take a part of their Christmas money and support a child through World Vision, and not to just start the support but to pay for a year upfront. That is 360.00, which is most of their Christmas to be honest. We have support a child through World Vision before. We will sit down as a family and pick a child to support from Africa, because most of you that know me know that I have a heart for Africa.


I hope you all stop and take the time to read the CHRISTmas story this year as a family and spend some time thanking God for His ultimate sacrifice!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

He lives within you

He Lives Within You

by Max Lucado

The virgin birth is more, much more, than a Christmas story; it is a picture of how close Christ will come to you. The first stop on his itinerary was a womb. Where will God go to touch the world? Look deep within Mary for an answer.
Better still, look deep within yourself. What he did with Mary, he offers to us! He issues a Mary-level invitation to all his children. "If you'll let me, I'll move in!"
Proliferating throughout the scriptures is a preposition that leaves no doubt- the preposition in. Jesus lives in his children.

John was clear, "Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them" (I John 3:24 NIV, emphasis mine).

Christ grew in Mary until he had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem, and every day you live will be a Christmas. You, like Mary, will deliver Christ into the world.

God in us! Have we sounded the depth of this promise?
God was with Adam and Eve. God was with Abraham. God was with Moses and the children of Israel. God was with the apostles.

But he is in you. You are a modern-day Mary. Even more so. He was a fetus in her, but he is a force in you. He will do what you cannot.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's in a name?

I had to laugh last night at our Crazy Love study when I asked someone to mark where we left off at so we know where to start at next time. My sister said "Malachi" only she pronounced it Ma-locsh-i. I laughed, & said what?? She said someone had once said it that way. So that got us talking about the "big" words in the Bible.


What do you do when you come across a name you can't pronounce? Andi said she will call them Mr. M (if it was Malachi for instance). I've heard people say so & so. I've also heard people call them by a very common name like Fred. I know for me if I just skim by the name the passage looses something. The names make it personal & are there for a reason! I often hear radio segments where the speakers pronounce names different than what I do & sometimes I have to really think about what they said.


We get so used to things being OUR way that we sometimes don't realize that OUR way may just not be the right way! Well, darn it. I don't know about you but I like things my way. Sometimes a little too much I do believe! That's been a hard struggle for me in waiting on God's timing cause I want it when I want it & how I want it, by golly! But I am learning to "Be still & know that He is God" & although I'd sometimes like to know the plans for me, I trust him to work whatever HE needs to through me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jeremy Riddle - Sweetly Broken / Lyrics

Sweetly Broken lyrics

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of it's suffering I do drink
Of it's work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

Chorus:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

Chorus:

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

7 ways to interrupt the flow of Joy from your heart:

1. Doubt

2. Selfishness

3. Worldleness

4. Critical Spirit
- bitter, negativity

5. Impatience

6. Apothy
- coldness, lukewarmness

7. Rebellion

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well, it has been a very eventful week or so. I knew that Aimee's senior year would be packed full of "stuff", but I never predicted it would be surgery.


Poor girl. Most everyone knows that she has had problems with her shoulder. It has, now, dislocated 3 times. The latest in her basketball game this past Friday against Loogootee. When I heard her scream I knew THAT scream. I'd heard it before. I knew her shoulder was out. The concerning thing to me was that she was wearing her Sully Brace, & didn't really overextend her arm & it popped out again. The first thing in her mind were the words Dr. Love had spoken last year when she partially dislocated it. "Next time it happens you will need surgery".


I am thankful that Will Walker was there at the game Friday. The first one, he said, that he has been to in 10 years. He is the nurse practitoner that she sees at Norris & Love's office more than Dr. Love actually. He came down to the trainer room after Ed & Andy Burkhardt carried her off the floor. He got her Sully Brace off, looked at it & popped it back in. Now the last time she had to have this done it was at Salem Hospital when she was 14. They gave her an IV & pain meds & had her sit for about 30 minutes before they would put it back in place. Will called in some pain meds for her & told us to come to the office on Monday.


As bad as it was when she was 14 to have her mom dress her, fix her hair, & other things that she would rather me not discuss I'm sure. It's probably much worse as an 18 year old. The good thing for me is she slept with me, which put Ed on the couch but, I loved it!


We were in the doctor office yesterday for about 4 hours. Will came in & saw us & then said "I didn't want to tell you this Friday night but I had never put one back in". Aimee & I just laughed & told him how thankful we are that he was there. Dr. Love came in, didn't even examine her, sat down & said well here we are again. Then he reminded us of what he had said last year. He said xrays won't do good at this point but said he wanted a MRI done & said surgery is what he recommends, as soon as next week. We were expecting that but the next part we weren't. He said that at 3 months her arm would be starting to feel better but that 6 months is the target date to be fully released. I saw her mentally adding up the months, when she turned to me & said but that's June... What about softball? It broke my heart, missing her senior year of basketball was bad but softball was devastating to her. She had the MRI at 1230, we will know final information of what exactly they plan to do by noon tomorrow if not before.


While this is a blow to her, she also knows it's best to fix it now. We are so blessed with friends & family that stopped what they were doing to pray & offer assistance. Friday night Andy Burkhardt, Jason Hennette, & Sandy Hovis jumped right in & helped & for that we are thankful. So many others offered help & said prayers, for that we are truly thankful. She has a long road ahead of her but we will make it through.


Tonight I plan on spending some time with Cole, as he has been some neglected in the past few days!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

You're the man!!

What do you think of when you hear "you're the man" today? Probably that someone did something good or just made the winning basket or what not. But I want to look at what it meant in 2 Samuel.


2 Samuel 12 
(New International Version)

Nathan Rebukes David  

1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.  4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."  5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."  7 Then Nathan said to David, "YOU ARE THE MAN,This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'  11 "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' "  13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." 15 After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.  18 On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."  19 David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked."Yes," they replied, "he is dead." 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.  21 His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"  22 He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."  24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him; 25 and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.


Nathan was sent by God to David. He tells him a story & what does David do? He gets angry with the title subject in the story. When Nathan says to him "you're the man".

OUCH!!

Has this ever happened to you? Some injustice gets you worked up only to have God say to you "you're the man". I dare say we all have at one time or another. BUT the story goes on. David doesn't just wallow in his sin he gets up & goes on. He is forgiven from God as we see. I like to read the Psalms because there is such anguish, such true to life crying out to God for strenght beyond ourselves but there is also hope in the Psalms.


Take some time to read this story & also go to Psalms 51 & read what David wrote. Talk to God today, he's a great listener!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pursue the Virtue of Contentment

Pursue the Virtue of Contentment
by Max Lucado

A businessman bought popcorn from an old street vendor each day after lunch. He once arrived to find the peddler closing up his stand at noon. “Is something wrong?” he asked.

A smile wrinkled the seller’s leathery face. “By no means. All is well.”

“Then why are you closing your popcorn stand?”

“So I can go to my house, sit on my porch, and sip tea with my wife.”

The man of commerce objected. “But the day is still young. You can still sell.”

“No need to,” the stand owner replied. “I’ve made enough money for today.”

“Enough? Absurd. You should keep working.”

The spry old man stopped and stared at his well-dressed visitor. “And why should I keep working?”

“To sell more popcorn.”

“And why sell more popcorn?”

“Because the more popcorn you sell, the more money you make. The more money you make, the richer you are. The richer you are, the more popcorn stands you can buy. The more popcorn stands you buy, the more peddlers sell your product, and the richer you become. And when you have enough, you can stop working, sell your popcorn stands, stay home, and sit on the porch with your wife and drink tea.”

The popcorn man smiled. “I can do that today. I guess I have enough.”

Wise was the one who wrote, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Eccles. 5:10 NIV).

Don’t heed greed.

Greed makes a poor job counselor.

Greed has a growling stomach. Feed it, and you risk more than budget-busting debt. You risk losing purpose. Greed can seduce you out of your sweet spot.

Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life. Success is not defined by position or pay scale but by this: doing the most what you do the best.

Parents, give that counsel to your kids. Tell them to do what they love to do so well that someone pays them to do it.

Spouses, urge your mate to choose satisfaction over salary. Better to be married to a happy person who has a thin wallet than a miserable person with a thick one. Besides, “a pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life” (Prov. 13:7 MSG).

Pursue the virtue of contentment. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6 NIV). When choosing or changing jobs, be careful. Consult your design. Consult your Designer. But never consult your greed.

From Cure for the Common Life
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2006) Max Lucado

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Safeguards

Remember back in the old days when castles had moats with fire breathing dragons???


Well, maybe you don't really remember but use your imagination here.


How about large 4 legged animals to "guard" our homes?


What safeguards do you use to guard your heart?? We've been talking a lot lately in the Ya Ya's about Love... Crazy Love to be exact. We've talked about taking our thoughts captive daily to help "safeguard" our hearts.


Also surrounding yourself with Christian friends. Although I caution you on this one because we tend to get in our little groups where everything is all fine & aren't we sweet with our dress on & our patent leather shoes... Man that was a memory from my childhood BUT I digress. We all too often get in our little groups & a few things happen:

1. We want to pretend everything in our life is just so great, nothing goes wrong. It's all roses etc... I challange you to find people with whom you can be completely honest with even if it scares you to death to be that honest cause when you find that group there won't be judgemental attitudes but love.

2. We don't reach out to others. We are in our little group of Christian friends & it's all warm & cozy so we forget about that part in the Bible where Jesus COMMANDS us to Go, to all nations preaching the good news. It's scary to put yourself out there but it wasn't a suggestion. It was a commandment!


Another way to safeguard yourself is to listen to Christian radio throughout your day. Or Christina CDs etc... This has been a big help in my daily walk.


What safeguards are you taking to guard your heart & mind??

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Blindside



I cannot wait to see this movie!! These types of true stories touch my heart in a big way.


Michael Jerome Oher (born Michael Jerome Williams Jr. on May 28, 1986) is an American professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens. He played college football at, and graduated from, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). His life prior to college is the subject of Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and a movie titled The Blind Side, scheduled to be released on November 20, 2009.


High school career
Michael Oher played football in his freshman year at a Memphis public school, but didn't play football again until his junior year at Briarcrest Christian School. His senior year, he took over at left tackle. In 2004, Oher was ranked the No. 1 offensive line prospect in high school, and it was also said that "Michael Oher's ability and his body — the only thing you could compare it to was Orlando Pace's."



College career
After receiving scholarship offers from the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama, and North Carolina State University, among others, Oher ultimately decided to attend the University of Mississippi, the alma mater of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, with whom he was living at the time. His decision was not without controversy. The National Collegiate Athletic Association suspected that the Tuohys had taken Oher in and added him to their will in order to secure his services as a player for their school, but an investigation did not affect his eligibility. Oher's high school coach Hugh Freeze also created the appearance of possible impropriety by taking a job as UM's assistant athletic director for external affairs twenty days after Oher signed a letter of intent with the school. Freeze claimed that the offer was not an example of quid pro quo for encouraging Oher to attend Mississippi, but rather the result of a pre-existing relationship with Mississippi offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The NCAA later ruled that Freeze had committed secondary violations by contacting Memphis-area prospects on behalf of the school before he had officially become an employee.



Oher started in 10 games as a guard during his first season with Mississippi, becoming a first-team freshman All American. He shifted to the position of left tackle for the 2006 season, and was named to a variety of preseason All-Conference and All-American teams. He was named a second-team SEC offensive lineman after his sophomore season and a first-team SEC offensive lineman after his junior season.


On January 14, 2008, Oher declared that he would be entering the 2008 NFL Draft. However, two days later, he announced his withdrawal from the draft to return to Ole Miss for his senior season.


After the 2008-2009 college football season, Oher was selected to the AP All-American first team.

Professional career
2009 NFL Draft
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Oher in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Oher was the 23rd pick in the first round, a pick Baltimore received from the New England Patriots in exchange for the Ravens' 1st and 5th round picks. The Tuohy family was there to witness the moment.


(* represents NFL Combine)

Baltimore Ravens
On April 26, 2009, he was assigned the #74 jersey, which was his jersey number at Ole Miss. On July 30, 2009 he signed a 5 year, $13.8 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. He started the 2009 season at right tackle, but was moved to left tackle after an injury to line-mate Jared Gaither. In week eight, he returned to right tackle. He currently has a listed height of 6'4" and a listed weight of 310 pounds. His 40 yard dash time is 5.32 seconds. Oher has thus far started every game for the Ravens this season.



Personal life
Oher was born to Denise Oher, who suffered an addiction to crack cocaine. As a result, he received little constructive attention during his formative years. He repeated both first grade and second grade, and attended eleven different schools during his first nine years as a student. He also alternated between time spent in various foster homes and periods with no fixed address until he was sixteen years old. Oher's estranged father was murdered while Oher was a senior in high school.



Oher applied for admission to a private school, Briarcrest Christian School, at the instigation of acquaintance Tony Henderson, with whom he was staying temporarily. Henderson was sending his son to the school in order to fulfill the dying wish of the boy's grandmother, and he decided that Oher might as well come along. Although the school's football coach was interested in Oher, school administrators did not feel that he was capable of handling the school's academic workload due to his scant educational background; however, he was admitted after he attempted to qualify for admission through a home-study program that removed him from the public education system.


A couple with a daughter at the school, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, allowed Oher to move in with them and began taking care of his needs after becoming familiar with his difficult personal circumstances. They also connected him with a tutor, who worked with him for twenty hours a week. He eventually brought his 0.9 grade point average up to 2.65. Later, the Tuohy family adopted him.

What do you smell like?

Heard this today and thought it was SO good. Had to share!



What Do You Smell Like?

What do you smell like right now? That may sound like an inappropriate question, but did you know that the Bible tells us how we should smell.

Our sense of smell is given to us by God, and is in large part for our pleasure, to allow us to enjoy the many beautiful fragrances all around us. How much duller life would be if we couldn't smell!

Have you ever noticed that aromas and fragrances were evidently very important to God? In the law given to Moses, he established sacrifices that were to give a pleasing smell and aroma. He gave the formula for the incense to be burned on his altar, a unique aroma that was never to be used for any other purpose.

There's a very interesting passage in
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 about aromas:

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.


You know, perfumes are distinguishable. You can recognize one from another pretty easily. I wear a certain brand, and quite often someone will identify it. They know the smell; it's distinctive. Well, we note in this passage that those of us who are believers also give off an aroma. God intended for us to be fragrant people, with a distinctive smell that can be identified.

You want to know the name of this Christian perfume? It's The Knowledge of Jesus Christ. When you wear this fragrance, it will be recognized. We are to spread everywhere the fragrance that we know Jesus, that he has impacted our lives and as a result, we're different. That he has top priority in our lives.

Are you spreading this fragrance everywhere you go? "Everywhere" has to include our jobs, our homes, our community, our social engagements. Some Christians like to put on their knowledge of Jesus Christ perfume on Sundays, but prefer not to wear it during the week. Obviously God intended for us to smell like his children all the time.

How well I remember, quite a few years ago now before I was walking with the Lord in obedience, when I was painfully reminded that I didn't smell like a Christian. A co-worker and I were chatting one day, and I mentioned that I went to church. He looked at me and said, "Yeah?" I went on to explain that I always went to church and it was an important part of my life. "Gee, Mary," he said, "that really surprises me. I never knew you were religious."

It was like a convicting dagger to my heart, because what he was saying to me was, "You don't act like I'd expect a real dedicated Christian to act." Of course he was right. I was not spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sadly many Christians are in that same boat.

Things are a little different now, thank God. For years I taught public seminars across the country on business topics, and quite often one of the attenders would approach me cautiously, with a questioning look on his or her face, and say something like, "You're a Christian, aren't you?" They smelled the aroma of Jesus Christ, and recognized it because they wore the same perfume. And we immediately shared our mutual love for the Lord and felt that special closeness because we wore the same perfume, the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. It's exciting when that happens.

Do people ever smell the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ on you? Even the strangers you meet for brief moments should be able to detect from your face and your manner that there's something unusual about you. God's been convicting me that often I lose that wonderful aroma of Jesus Christ when I'm dealing with strangers. I need to take time to spread that good aroma through smiles and kind words, going out of my way a little bit to help someone else.

There are many ways we can spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and those of us who go out to a working world everyday have a wonderful opportunity to smell like Jesus because we're there, working closely with people who don't know Jesus personally. Our lives should carry his beautiful aroma to those people we rub shoulders with day in and day out. Ask yourself if you smell like Jesus today.

However, note that the passage says that the aroma of Jesus Christ has different effects on different people. To those who know Christ or are searching to know the truth, it is the aroma of life. But to those who are perishing and who have no desire to live any other way, it is the aroma of death. The fragrance of Jesus Christ will attract some people, and it will repel others.

Now, Paul tells us that God has purposely placed us with this distinctive smell among two kinds of people: those who are being saved and those who are perishing, knowing full well that our aroma would attract one group and repel the other. That shouldn't surprise us because, as we read in this passage, "we are to God the aroma of Christ" among these people. What aroma did Christ have? For some people he was the aroma of life; and for others the aroma of death.

To the man possessed of a legion of demons, bound by chains, naked and mad, Jesus was the aroma of life as he delivered him from his bondage. To Zacchaeus, a notorious sinner sitting in a tree, Jesus smelled like life, and he followed him. To Mary Magdalene, delivered from seven demons, Jesus was the fragrance of life, the first life she'd ever known. To Peter, who left his smelly fishing boat to follow Jesus, he was the sweetest smell in the world.

But the religious leaders found Jesus' aroma quite intolerable. They hated his fragrance. To them it was the smell of death, because Jesus threatened their authority, their influence, their livelihood. He forced them to look inside and see what they were really like—dead men's bones and everything unclean—and they hated his aroma. They wanted to destroy him. It made them most uncomfortable.

I remember a business assignment, which put me for a short period of time in the company of two individuals who were not Christians. That experience sharply reminded me that when we wear the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will have different effects on different people.

One of these two individuals had a seeking heart. She liked the aroma of Jesus Christ that she sensed in me. She asked me questions, wanted to stay in touch, admired the peace I have. I wrote to her several times, we talked on the phone and met for lunch. I think she is one of those who Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 2:15 as one who is "being saved," that is, one who wants to know truth and will accept it when she hears it.

It was a delight to spend a little time with her. I was excited to get to know her and to realize that God had brought our paths together.

However, the other person with whom I spent a couple of days had a different reaction. She quickly found me a bit intolerable and our time together was not terribly comfortable. I believe that I treated her with kindness and hopefully with gentleness, but if you're wearing the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, there's no way you can spend two days with a person and cover up the aroma! It is a strong fragrance; you can't just ignore it. Some of the things I shared with her as to my own experience and beliefs made her most uneasy. I think she was quite glad when our two days together ended.

The first encounter made me feel real good, but I didn't feel good about the second one. Why had she reacted to me that way? What did I do wrong? In rethinking that experience, I couldn't nail myself for anything inappropriate. Finally, I had to realize that for this person, the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ was the fragrance of death.

If you are wearing the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, you will have these opposite reactions from people, depending upon whether they're looking for truth, or whether they prefer to stay in their darkness. So, when you feel rejected by others because of your faith in Jesus, don't assume guilt or take it personally until you check it out with the Lord.

What may be happening—what often happens—is that they just don't like the aroma of Jesus Christ. It makes them uncomfortable because it convicts them inwardly. Therefore, they may react negatively to you, when actually what they're truly reacting to is the fragrance of Jesus Christ which they smell on you.

Now, we have to be very careful that we're not spreading another fragrance and calling it "The Knowledge of Jesus Christ." Sometimes we excuse ourselves by saying that people don't like us because we're Christians, when actually what they're reacting to is another smell, one that isn't Christ-honoring, one that is a result of our self-life and our lack of compassion and love for others.

That's why it's important that we examine carefully the negative responses to our fragrance, and make sure we are not being unnecessarily offensive or combative. The fragrance of The Knowledge of Jesus Christ doesn't pick fights; and it is always kind, even when direct.

How do you wear the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? It comes by spending time in his presence and "putting him on" each day, just as you do your perfume. It happens automatically when you get to know him.

How well do you know him? How much time do you spend getting to know him? If that's not a high priority in your life, then the aroma you are spreading is likely not the aroma of Jesus Christ. If we're not in our worlds, smelling like Christians who know Jesus Christ, then we fail those around us who are searching for truth. God has placed us among these people for the purpose of smelling like Christ to them. If we don't do that in our worlds, who will?

And remember, God has a sense of smell, too. What do you smell like to God? His nostrils are totally accurate; you can't fool Him. He sees underneath the words you say and he smells the aroma you give off. Are you a sweet-smelling fragrance to God? Does your life bring honor to his name so that he likes what he smells? If you're wearing the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, you can rest assured that he's pleased and satisfied with your aroma.

Well, what do you smell like? It's a good question, and one we should be asking ourselves everyday, before we head out into our worlds. You know, friends, this old world isn't here for long. And we will face God some day to give an account of how we spent our brief time while we're here. Don't let the world shove you into its mold and force you to wear its perfume. Use the opportunities God is giving you today to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those opportunities will never come your way again. Don't blow them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Alone time

I've been real bad about working my gate in the mornings then going to get lost at work. Let's just say not everyone that I work with are very caring, jovial people, or let's be honest only a very few are!


So, in order to keep my sanity (and their heads from being bit off) I have, for a while now, just kinda gotten lost. My work days are my time with God really. I have OCD horribly and I have a routine I like to follow. I know what programs are on when that I enjoy listening to on 88.1 or 88.7 and I don't like to be interrupted.


Ole' Francis Chan has really been shaking me up lately though and I have felt convicted about not making myself more available. So, today I ventured out of my comfort zone and had lunch with a few of the guys. I must say while trying as it may have been it was actually nice. We talked, laughed and just enjoyed each other's company.


They all know my stance on spiritual matters and sometimes we get into really good "Jesus" conversations. I dare say I will get out of the woods and make myself more open a little more!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exhalt God always!

Psalm 34 (New International Version)

Psalm 34 Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.  

1 I will extol the LORD at all times;his praise will always be on my lips.  

2 My soul will boast in the LORD;let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  

3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.  

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  

5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.  

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.  

9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.  

10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.  

11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  

12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,  

13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  

14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;  

16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.  

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  

19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;  

20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  

21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  

22 The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him


What do you do when fears come? Do you bury your head in the sand? Or do you put your eyes on Jesus?


As my commentary says: God promises great blessings to His people, but many of these blessings require active participation. He will deliver us from fear (34:4), save us out of our troubles (34:6), guard & deliver us (34:7), show us goodness (34:8), supply our needs (34:9), listen when we talk to him (34:15), & redeem us (34:22), but we must do our part. We can appropriate His blessings when we seek him (34:4, 10), cry out to Him (34:6, 17), trust Him (34:8), fear Him (34:7, 9), refrain from lying (34:13), turn from evil, do good & seek peace (34:14), are humble (34:18), & serve Him (34:22).


Are you doing your part??

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I wish I had some words of wisdom to give to you but I do not.


It seems more and more I get "blogger's block". I have been down in my back since Saturday, I went back to work today. Still not pain free, but I could walk so that is a plus. I am a VERY independent person, so it's hard for me to ask Ed to help me bathe, get dressed and pick up things I may have dropped on the floor. My family has been more than good at helping out where needed. It's also very nice having a chiropractor in the family. Although I have noticed we tend to have some pretty strange conversations.


Anyway, I am up and moving today thanks to Mikey and Susan. Still in pain but slowly it's getting better.


I can't believe basketball season is among us. Aimee's first game is this Thursday and Cole has his first scrimmage next Thursday. My babies are growing up!!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Got this devotional from my Mom. Wanted to pass it on!


A Sacred Interruption
By Leslie Snyder

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


Twentieth century theologian and philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr penned the following prayer, now commonly referred to as “The Serenity Prayer.”

It reads:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Amen

Most people are familiar with the first four lines of this prayer as it has been made into wall hangings, bookmarks, prayer cards and other Christian resources. However, most are unfamiliar with the second stanza, which seems to carry the fuller meaning of the prayer. In a hurried world in which we keep a breathless pace, it feels almost sinful to stop and rest. Every day advertisers plead with us to purchase “security” for our futures. Investors encourage us to plan for our retirement and our children’s education. Every day, thousands of hardworking employees are “downsized” or let go, resulting in chaos, instability and loss of confidence. How then are we to experience this type of “serenity” when our world seems out of control? Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.”A popular bumper sticker says it this way, “I know God and you ain’t Him!” So often we attempt to orchestrate our lives in such a way that there is no room for God to interrupt with His own plans. When we follow this prayer, we create some margin, some sacred space for God to penetrate our over-scheduled, busy, restless lives. As you look over your calendar today, is there room for God to “interrupt”? The Scriptures declare, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)


GOING DEEPER:
1. What can I cut from my schedule today to allow for God to interrupt?

2. Am I open to the sacred interruptions God brings my way?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sidewalk Prophets "The Words I Would Say" w/ LYRICS

Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Last time we spoke,
You said you were hurting,
And I felt your pain in my heart,
I want to tell you,
That I keep on praying,
Love will find you where you are,
I know cause I've already been there,
So please hear these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

From one simple life to another,
I will say,
Come find peace in the Father,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,

The scum dog chronicles

Today I laugh in the face of fear!


Man, that sounds like such a bold statement. But the past couple of days I couldn't have said that. I'm amazed at how the ole scum dog (satan) works. Why do I still say that. He knows right where to get us at & he will pull out all strings.


Today I come boldly before the throne of God & thank Him for who HE is. I thank Him that he's spoken for my heart. Today, I say the devil will not rule in my life.


I'm getting better at that whole "counting it all Joy" stuff that Tami always talks about. I'm learning that I can do ALL things through Christ. But I'm also learning that trials can also knock me on my butt faster than anything if I let them.


The ironic thing is that God works it for good because I have really great friends who are there for me through anything. That being said, I'm also thankful to have those friends who have the same issues that I do. It helps encourage us. Today, I'm in a role reversal with a dear friend of mine. We just seemed to have switched places from where I was the last couple of days. God is good though!


So, today I'm jacked up on Jesus like a kid on Mountain Dew =)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I promise to get inspired to write soon!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who loves ya baby??

God does that's who!!


So, why is it that we don't really get that?? For me, I've always known in my head that God loved me but I'm not sure I really got it in my heart.


Why?


Because all we have to base "love" on is our earthly relationships. Earthly relationships aren't perfect but God's love is..... Earthly relationships will always in some way or another let us down.... God's love will not!



Love, which patient, kind, does not envy or boast, is not proud or rude, is not self-seeking or easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. This consummate Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8)


After reading that verse no wonder we can't fathom God's love for us. I love my family but I am often not patient, kind and I am rude for sure. BUT God loves me and my family more than I can ever imagine!!!


So, who loves ya baby???



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unfailing Love
by Max Lucado

“Love,” Paul says, “never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8 NIV).


The verb Paul uses for the word fail is used elsewhere to describe the demise of a flower as it falls to the ground, withers, and decays. It carries the meaning of death and abolishment.


God’s love, says the apostle, will never fall to the ground, wither, and decay. By its nature, it is permanent. It is never abolished.Love “will last forever” (NLT).


It “never dies” (MSG).

It “never ends” (RSV).

Love “is eternal” (TEV).

God’s love “will never come to an end” (NEB).

Love never fails.


Governments will fail, but God’s love will last. Crowns are temporary, but love is eternal. Your money will run out, but his love never will.


How could God have a love like this? No one has unfailing love. No person can love with perfection. You’re right. No person can. But God is not a person. Unlike our love, his never fails. His love is immensely different from ours.


Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, by their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.


Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us. The love of God is born from within him, not from what he finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.


Does he love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of his goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (1 John 4:10 NIV).


Doesn’t this thought comfort you? God’s love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase his. The lack of your love does not diminish his. Your goodness does not enhance his love, nor does your weakness dilute it. What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us:The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you. (Deut. 7:7–8 NLT)


God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so.He loves you when you don’t feel lovely.


He loves you when no one else loves you. Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you, but God will love you. Always. No matter what.


This is his sentiment: “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved” (Rom. 9:25 MSG).


This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jer. 31:3 NLT).


From A Love Worth Giving

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend over...

Doesn't it seem like the weekends just fly by?!?!?



It's 3:30 on Sunday and we are just getting settled in. Sectional was yesterday, we lost our game to Barr Reeve but I think they played well considering they were playing the #1 team in the state! We ended the season 19-7, which is the best season for many, many years now. Basketball season here we come!! This is my favorite sport season, I LOVE basketball. Love to watch my kids, UK and most any college basketball. hard to believe Aimee's senior year is flying by!! Which also means Cole's freshman year is flying too!!



Wednesday we go to Hanover to meet with Aimee's counselor as well as the softball coach. We are interested to see what all we learn then!! Hanover is a beautiful campus. I am looking forward to seeing it this time of year!



Last night we had a Sunday School dinner with all the other classes, it was so nice! Today we had the Pastor appreciation dinner, the turnout was great. Pam, our youth leader along with Dianna (another youth helper) presented pastor with a prayer shawl, it was beautiful. The youth also wrote essays on a lesson out of the Crazy Love study. It was titled "What will I do with my life before me". I was very proud of Aimee and Cole for what they wrote and how they presented it.



Ed and I went to do laundry and now we are settled in. I already have my jammies on and I plan on not doing much the rest of the evening. This week our Crazy Love lesson is on "Not being lukewarm" and let me tell you, it convicted me. This lesson was the turning point in the book so far for me. It really makes you think. I always look forward to our grouping with the Ya Ya's, not so sure about leading this study but there seems to be ample sharing at this point. I hope for more to step out and share.



Have a great week ahead!!


Friday, October 23, 2009

When You Are Low on Hope


by Max Lucado


Water. All Noah can see is water. The evening sun sinks into it. The clouds are reflected in it. His boat is surrounded by it.

Water.

Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the west.

Water.

He sent a raven on a scouting mission; it never returned. He sent a dove. It came back shivering and spent, having found no place to roost. Then, just this morning, he tried again. With a prayer he let it go and watched until the bird was no bigger than a speck on a window. All day he looked for the dove’s return. Now the sun is setting, and the sky is darkening, and he has come to look one final time, but all he sees is water.

Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the …You know the feeling. You have stood where Noah stood. You’ve known your share of floods. Flooded by sorrow at the cemetery, stress at the office, anger at the disability in your body or the inability of your spouse.

You’ve seen the floodwater rise, and you’ve likely seen the sun set on your hopes as well. You’ve been on Noah’s boat.And you’ve needed what Noah needed; you’ve needed some hope. You’re not asking for a helicopter rescue, but the sound of one would be nice.

Hope doesn’t promise an instant solution but rather the possibility of an eventual one. Sometimes all we need is a little hope.


That’s all Noah needed. And that’s all Noah received. Here is how the Bible describes the moment: “When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!” (Gen. 8:11 NIV).


An olive leaf. Noah would have been happy to have the bird but to have the leaf! This leaf was more than foliage; this was promise. The bird brought more than a piece of a tree; it brought hope. For isn’t that what hope is? Hope is an olive leaf—evidence of dry land after a flood. Proof to the dreamer that dreaming is worth the risk. Don’t we love the olive leaves of life?


“It appears the cancer may be in remission.”

“I can help you with those finances.”

“We’ll get through this together.”


What’s more, don’t we love the doves that bring them? Perhaps that’s the reason so many loved Jesus.


To all the Noahs of the world, to all who search the horizon for a fleck of hope, he proclaims, “Yes!” And he comes. He comes as a dove. He comes bearing fruit from a distant land, from our future home. He comes with a leaf of hope.


Have you received yours? Don’t think your ark is too isolated. Don’t think your flood is too wide.


Receive his hope, won’t you? Receive it because you need it. Receive it so you can share it. Love always hopes. “Love … bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4–7 NKJV, emphasis mine).


From A Love Worth Giving

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tunes

From the corner of my eye
There's a tear I'm trying to cry
But the feeling can't be found

Like a note thrills in a song
When I play it again, it's gone
Cuz it was never in the sound

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like a night is waiting for a dawn

Every prayer I say (a little closer)
To my resting place (a little closer)
Where my final breath
is the beginning
To never needing
And I will find my last Amen

I could swear I have two hearts
[ Downhere Lyrics are found on www.songlyrics.com ]
One to stay, one to depart
This sad, tragic kingdom

And it burns me down to the core
Because I know
there's so much more
It's just a pale reflection

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like an outcast waiting to belong

And while the thrills are fading
The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It's good to be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope
a little more alive

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Ed!!




Today is my Ed's birthday!! Words cannot express what a great husband and father he is. I love him for the little things he does for me like; tucking me in every night, changing the oil on my car, listening to me gripe and whine, helping me and babying me when I am sick (and I am NOT a good sick person), being active in our kids life, going to church with me... I could go on and on but just know this: My life wouldn't be near as blessed without him.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Do for Others What God Does For You by Max Lucado

You and I have the privilege to do for others what God does for us. How do we show people that we believe in them?

Show up. Nothing takes the place of your presence. Letters are nice. Phone calls are special, but being there in the flesh sends a message.

Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it’s sure worth the effort.

Do you believe in your friends? Then show up. Show up at their graduations and weddings. Spend time with them. You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.

Listen up. You don’t have to speak to encourage. The Bible says, “It is best to listen much, speak little” (James 1:19 TLB). We tend to speak much and listen little. There is a time to speak. But there is also a time to be quiet.

That’s what my father did. Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you are thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it is a big deal. Not only was it my second error of the game, it allowed the winning run to score.I didn’t even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn’t say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door. We didn’t speak. We didn’t need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together. Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father’s love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn’t improve, but my confidence in Dad’s love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up.

To bring out the best in others, do the same, and then, when appropriate:Speak up.


You have the power to change someone’s life simply by the words that you speak. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21 NKJV). That’s why Paul urges you and me to be careful. “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger” (Eph. 4:29).


Earlier I gave you a test for love. There’s also a test for the tongue. Before you speak, ask: Will what I’m about to say help others become stronger? You have the ability, with your words, to make a person stronger. Your words are to their soul what a vitamin is to their body. If you had food and saw someone starving, would you not share it? If you had water and saw someone dying of thirst, would you not give it? Of course you would. Then won’t you do the same for their hearts? Your words are food and water!


Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.

From A Love Worth Giving

Friday, October 16, 2009

God in the beauty shop....

Yesterday I had a hair appointment, I really enjoy going where I go because the girls are a hoot and we always have a good time. Well yesterday as I was getting my hair "touched up" I felt God nudging me to talk with them about Him. Well I was a little hesitant because I do not know exactly where they are in their walk. I prayed that if this was of Him that he give me an opening....


Well God never lets us down!


Another customer asked my hairdresser how life was treating her and her reply was "wonderful except I wish I was a better Christian". I thought aha BUT I still waited... man I can be so dense at times! A little while later she looked at me and said "I can't quit cussing, I try but I still do it". I said well it sounds like you are aware of it and are trying. We talked a while about that and then she said "Have you heard of Crazy Love"...


I was like YES!! I said as a matter of fact I have, we are doing it in my women's group as well as Sunday school. I said "This book is changing my life... for a while now I have prayed that God would soften me, make me LOVE more and see people through His eyes". As I thought about it I thought after all He has done for me how can I NOT share Him with others. She went on to say that I always have good things on my facebook and she enjoys them. I went on to tell them there are NO perfect Christians but we serve the one perfect God and there is nothing we can do that merits His love, mercy and grace. We talked for a while and I left feeling good about the day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Creations

John 1:11-12
(New International Version)

11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—


All who welcone Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives are reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Through faith in Christ, this new birth changes us from the inside out-rearranging our attitudes, desires, & motives. Being born makes you physically alive & places you in your parents' family. Being born of God makes you spiritually alive & puts you in God's family.


Have you asked God to make you a new person?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crazy Love

Last week we started the Crazy Love Study. This book is one of the best I have read, although it can be a little convicting. We had 11 women there last week with a couple missing, the more the merrier we say!!



The first sentence of last week's study said: "What if I told you to stop praying". I read that and said huh?!?! But he went on to say that we need to stop before we pray and realize WHO God is and quit talking at him but to him. He challenged us to try to pray the week without asking for anything. Simply praise God for who he is. You might think that sounds easy but it isn't! All too often we go to God with out "shopping list" and rattle off what we need from him when what we really need to do it be in awe of who He is! Here is a couple of quotes from chapter 1:


- I haven’t always felt this way. I grew up believing in God without having a clue what He is like. I called myself a Christian, was pretty involved in church, and tried to stay away from all of the things that “good Christians” avoid—drinking, drugs, sex, swearing. Christianity was simple: fight your desires in order to please God. Whenever I failed (which was often), I’d walk around feeling guilty and distant from God.

- He goes on to say on page 21 that we need to stop giving people excuses not to believe God. OUCH!!! He then goes on to say that: But before we look at what is wrong and address it, we need to understand something. The core problem isn’t the fact that we’re lukewarm, halfhearted, or stagnant Christians. The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it is because we have an inaccurate view of God. We see Him as a benevolent Being who is satisfied when people manage to fit Him into their lives in some small way. We forget that God never had an identity crisis. He knows that He’s great and deserves to be the center of our lives. Jesus came humbly as a servant, but He never begs us to give Him some small part of ourselves. He commands everything from His followers.


Tonight is chapter 2, so as to not give anything away to those attending tonight, I will update about this one later!!



Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Call to Common Courtesy
by Max Lucado

Perhaps you’ve never placed the word courteous next to Christ. I hadn’t until I wrote this chapter.

But you know how you never notice double-cab red trucks until your friend says he wants one—then you see a dozen of them? I had never thought much about the courtesy of Christ before, but as I began looking, I realized that Jesus makes Emily Post look like Archie Bunker.

He always knocks before entering. He doesn’t have to. He owns your heart. If anyone has the right to barge in, Christ does. But he doesn’t. That gentle tap you hear? It’s Christ. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Rev. 3:20 NASB). And when you answer, he awaits your invitation to cross the threshold.

And when he enters, he always brings a gift. Some bring Chianti and daisies. Christ brings “the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). And, as he stays, he serves. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45 NIV). If you’re missing your apron, you’ll find it on him. He’s serving the guests as they sit (John 13:4–5). He won’t eat until he’s offered thanks, and he won’t leave until the leftovers are put away (Matt. 14:19–20).

He is courteous enough to tell you his name (Exod. 3:15) and to call you by yours (John 10:3). And when you talk, he never interrupts. He listens.

He is even on time. Never late. Never early. If you’re checking your watch, it’s because you’re on a different itinerary. “There is a time for everything” (Eccles. 3:1). And Christ stays on schedule.

He even opens doors for you. Paul could preach at Troas because “the Lord had opened a door” (2 Cor. 2:12 NIV). When I asked my dad why men should open doors for women, his answer was one word: “respect.” Christ must have abundant respect for you.

He knocks before he enters. He always brings a gift. Food is served. The table is cleared. Thanks are offered. He knows your name and tells you his, and here is one more.

He pulls out the chair for you. “He raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens” (Eph. 2:6).

My wife has a heart for single moms. She loves to include a widow or divorcée at the table when we go to a restaurant. Through the years I’ve noticed a common appreciation from them. They love it when I pull out their chair. More than once they have specifically thanked me. One mom in particular comes to mind. “My,” she blushed, brushing the sudden moisture from her eye, “it’s been a while since anyone did that.”

Has it been a while for you as well? People can be so rude. We snatch parking places. We forget names. We interrupt. We fail to show up. Could you use some courtesy? Has it been a while since someone pulled out your chair?

Then let Jesus. Don’t hurry through this thought. Receive the courtesy of Christ. He’s your groom. Does not the groom cherish the bride? Respect the bride? Honor the bride? Let Christ do what he longs to do.

For as you receive his love, you’ll find it easier to give yours. As you reflect on his courtesy to you, you’ll be likely to offer the same.



From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado

Friday, October 9, 2009

Forgiveness

So last night Ed says, that is 2 songs in 2 days on your blog. Not fair, I don't want to see songs I want to read what you write. To which I replied, do you even read the words to those songs? He said no. We have had this on going debate for years about music. I hear the words while the majority of the time he just hears the beat etc... Music speaks to me in times when nothing else seems to help. But today I will write my own words....


Paul wrote, "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 3:13-14



A few months ago, well February to be exact, I did something that I am not proud of. I let my emotions get the best of me and let a situation get way out of hand. It was a moment in my life where I went to the bottom and was so ashamed of what I had done. For a while after it I was pretty hard on myself for a couple of reasons. 1. I had hurt people I had once cared about very much and had a good relationship with and 2. It could have caused someone to stumble in their walk, as I didn't portray myself as the Christian that I claim to be.


I don't tell you this to "brag" about where I have evolved to from this moment but I tell you this to encourage you because I had a hatred for a person that controlled who I was everytime I was around this person and the reasons for that are so juvenile. Most of you that know me know that I am a very passionate person and there was a time when I didn't care what I said and who I said it to. I always made it right in my mind by saying "Well, people always know where I stand" or "At least I tell the truth". But to whose expense did I tell those things to? The one thing I left out was I didn't do it in love. I am told that I was a very intimidating person and that I "scared" people. Holy Moly! I had no clue of that.


Anyway, after this incident (that got blown a little out of proportion) I had to evaluate what kind of person I wanted to be and more so what kind of person God wanted me to be. I sat down one day after this incident and emailed the person to which the offense was directed. My apology wasn't taken very well then. Which was something I was expecting but I thought in my mind my part was done. This week while at work I got to thinking about it again and felt led to email them again just to let them know that I intend to uphold my end of my promise to change who I was around that person. Well here is how that conversation went. I will omit names.


With the upcoming season approaching quickly I wanted to let you know that I intend to commit to my promise that I made to you at the end of last season. I call myself a christian & I did not conduct myself in a christian manner & in turn could have caused someone to stumble in their walk. That was a low point for me but I praise God that he has forgiven me & brought me to a new place in Him. Once again I apologize for any actions I have done in the past & vow to conduct myself in a manner of kindness. I know she may not believe it at this point but I have always loved ____ & still do. I want only the best for her & realize that is a relationship that may always be strained by my actions. I pray that God restores it in His timing. Thank you,Christy Farhar

_________________________________________________________________

Christy:

Thank you so much for those sentiments. I stumble around facebook from time to time and have viewed some of the very inspiring things you have posted on various people's pages. I think those things are a window to your true nature.

I too apologize again for my actions which were also not Christ like and made me feel ashamed and disappointed in myself. I wrote a Bible verse and put it in front of my bench nearly every game last year. It dealt with a loose tongue. Some times it caught my eye and made me stop and think before I spoke. Other times, I rushed to respond when I shouldn't have.

I try every year to do better because we are examples to our players, our fellow coaches, fans, officials, parents, etc. I will try again to do better this year. We all stumble and fall short...

Thank GOD for his grace and mercy for we are all imperfect and can never earn our way into Heaven on our own merits.

Let's both start by forgiving each other and promising to do our best (with GOD's help) this year to be good Christian examples to those around us.

Again, thank you for those good words,



_________________________________________________________________________


You have just made my day. I prayed before I sent it that it be received well, & it will have to be with God's help as we are both passionate people. Thank you for your kind words. I will use this as a testament of God's mercy & show people that if Christy Farhar & yourself can forgive anyone can! Lol

________________________________________________________________________



Thank you as well Christy. You don't know how it saddens me to know relationships which once were great, were damaged by the events that transpired over the last 3+ years. I've prayed many, many times that God might heal those. I know what I did and what I didn't do, as does God. I am a Christian, I am also a human being. I make mistakes and I ask God to forgive me and I'm happy you've given me the chance to apologize to you and ask your forgiveness as well.

I hope my current class doesn't see the tears in my eyes as I type this. They are real, I promise you. Certain sermons in church have struck me to the core as well on this subject. I know when God is speaking right at me and it convicts me.



__________________________________________________________________________

Christy,
I will make it a point to stop at the scorer's table at our game this year. We can shake hands or I'll offer a hug if you're up for one.


_________________________________________________________________________

How cool would that be? God is so good. Once again thank you & have a good day. Christy

_________________________________________________________________________

Christy,
My day is going to be great, now!
Thanks for taking the first step. That was a courageous thing to do.



I did leave out a few things involving other people. That is not for me to be involved in. But you see what happened here folks. We both admitted to mistakes but we also both realized our actions weren't of God. I'm not saying everyone needs to go out and find someone they have a strained relationship with and make it right. You have to do what you feel in your heart is right. For me it took lots of prayer on what was right and how to approach it. I talked with Ed about it a lot and he agreed with my decision. I shared the above with a couple of my friends that know the whole situation well and they said to me that it took a lot for me to be able to do that. I tell you friends, it was all God.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

This is all I have to say today.....

1000 Generations - Fail Us Not

Failure doesn't phase you.
Worry doesn't win.
Lost doesn't leave you afraid to start again.
Our sin doesn't shock you.
Our shame doesn't shame you at all.
Mistakes do not move you.
Terror doesn't tame.
Death doesn't doom you to life in the grave.
Our suffering doesn't scare you.
Our secrets won't surprise you at all.
At all.

There is nothing above you.
There is nothing beyond you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
You fail us not.

Hatred doesn't hide you.
Evil doesn't ail.
Despair can't disguise you and tell you that you fail.
Our doubt doesn't daunt you.
Our darkness won't defeat you at all.
At all.

There is nothing above you.
There is nothing beyond you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No, You fail us not.
You fail us not.