Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas as an Angel

As the most beautiful of heavenly creations, the angels played a part in the WHOLE nativity story (foretelling Zechariah and Elizabeth to be the parents of John the Baptist, a few months later appearing to Mary with the news that she too was going to have a son, appearing to Joseph as well telling him of Mary’s pregnancy and reassuring him that it was all part of God’s plan, and then appearing to the shepherds, of course, announcing the Savior’s birth
But have you thought about the fact that they were actually there at the birth of Christ – the point where heaven and earth actually met and collided!
These angels were created by Christ, they were with Him in His heavenly realm and glory, saw what he was giving up… imagine knowing this God who gave you life, created you to be the bearers of His news throughout creation… now He was giving it all up to go down THERE…

As his cherubim and seraphim must they have thought that this was absolute madness! Would they have wondered at the sense of the plan? Ever since they had been brought into existence they had watched Him create - the earth, the universe, witnessed Him spinning the cosmos, creating us with such care and love, now they were to witness Him setting aside His glory, His heavenly home, His heavenly robe to put on a flesh robe, a very costly robe, a plan that would end in His pain and death…

When God decreed that He was putting on this flesh and coming – coming as baby no less – needing diapers changed, needing food, being cold, hungry, alone in their eyes because they as His heavenly host, His army if you will, would not be staying with Him as they had before...
And the fact that He would arrive in a dirty stall or cave where animals lay and ate… that gold and frankincense and myrrh could not compare to all the riches
He would be leaving - what must they have thought of this sacrifice?
It would be easy just to say that they would just think it was crazy – and that may be true – but I think that when they were told of the plan, the cost, the sacrifice,
They then must have realized just how precious we were to Him and how immense the sacrifice would be and that they were more than proud, more than humbled, more than blown away by the fact that they would play such a integral part of that night.
Of all the figures and being hovering and kneeling around the stable at the first Christmas, only the angels knew just how much that Christmas really cost. Not in dollars and cents, of course, but in sacrifice and love. It cost Him everything.

They must have watched the event unfolding with wonder and love for their King… that He would leave their undying worship and love of Him to be with us. I think they thought how much more blessed we were to be receiving such a love, and how their hearts were breaking at the thought of the journey and where it would take Him.

I think those heavenly beings may have even bordered on jealousy for a moment – in my finite mind I can hardly comprehend that could not have been envious as they looked at the love Mary had for Jesus, the awestruck wonder of the shepherds, heard the earth whisper and rumbled on a deep level that only their ears and hearts could hear – that the most important event in history was beginning right then and there before their eyes – and it was all for us… not them, but for us… and they realized we would have the choice to love Him and know Him in a way they never could.

Maybe this Christmas when we look at the birth of Christ through the eyes of the angels eyes we can begin to truly see the sacrifice made only for us, and worship Him in a way only we can.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just sharing someone elses words...

I just watched the video for Steven Curtis Chapman's song Miracle of Christmas on the Billy Graham Christmas Special the other night...

"So come to Bethlehem again and see
The One who's come to rescue us, our Saviour and King
Bring your past, the joy, the sorrow, all your hope to find tomorrow

And the God who spoke is speaking still
And the God who came still comes
And the miracle that happened still happens in the heart that will believe
And we see and receive the miracle of Christmas"

Sometimes looking again at that tiny baby in the manger again, after all this years, can become the equivalent of a seasonal afterthought, in fact we can let it all fade into the background of this Christmas season and find ourselves giving it what can become (if we're not careful) obligatory attention at the Christmas Eve Service at church as we take communion before we rush home, only to forget it all as we began wrapping and cooking and doing all the last minute things to make the family happy...
Might we just take the time, a few moments more than once this month to really think about what that tiny shivering little bundle brought to us all... changing the entire face and destiny of humanity... we literally place all our stuff, our issues, our futures, our pasts, our frailty and our hope not just at the foot of the cross, but on the shoulders of that tiny baby.
Our God, the Great I AM, the One in whose image we were made became the unthinkable -He came down to our level, the level of those who needed the saving... and oh my gracious... that same God still comes to us all over again each Christmas and takes all we have, all over again... shouldn't we be completely and utterly amazed all over again this Christmas?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Anticipating Christmas

Advent: A period of spiritual preparation before Christmas when many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth, of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Typically the advent wreath is one of the more common symbols used to celebrate this season:
1st Sunday – we light the candle of Hope – the hope we have in Christ – hope for more than this world gives us
2nd Sunday – we light the candle of Peace – The peace we find in Christ – when we are at war with life we can find peace in Him
3rd Sunday – we light the candle of Love – the ultimate love we have in the gift of Christ and what He came to earth to provide
4th Sunday – we light the candle of Joy – the Joy we have in Christ – that no matter what we can be joyful in belonging t\to Him
On Christmas we light the 5th candle – the candle representing Christ Himself – that He is the light of the world, that with Him we never have walk in the darkness of fear
I’ve been thinking about Mary as we get into this advent time of year, about the month she spent before Christ was born – thinking about what thoughts and question came to Mary’s mind as she awaited the birth of her son… knowing He was of God, how the emotions must have intensified and the excitement must have been building the last few weeks… what would her child look like? He was God’s – but He was hers too - so would Jesus resemble her at all? Would people know by looking at him something was different? Would he understand things as an infant that most other infants wouldn’t? Would her life be different beyond what every other new mothers was? If so how? Would she be able to be all she needed to be for him? Would Jesus know He was special from the beginning? After all, He was to be a king the angel said - a king whose reign would have no end… Imagine the quite moments she must have spent going over all this in her mind and in her heart… wrestling with the meanings… wondering about the miracle that was coming… how much one on one time she must have spent talking with God…
How much time are we spending in the weeks leading up to Christmas truly celebrating how incredible the birth of Christ really was, really is? Are we being still and quite enough to really let the power of what it all means in? Are we trying to wrap our minds around it all or are our minds too full of wrapping presents and getting our shopping lists done, to think about it at any length? Are we talking it over with God? What do you think God wants to say to you during this time? I can’t imagine that there isn’t something that He wants to share with each of us. This is the birth of His Son we’re talking about!
We have to put ourselves in Mary’s place I think – whether you have ever had a child or not – you can read the Gospels, and as a woman you just can’t help imagine being in that position – awaiting something so special, even the unknown of it would have been not just scary but exciting I imagine!
We have the opportunity during these weeks for our souls to truly anticipate the hope, the peace, the love, and the joy of Christ – to somehow let that Light of the World shine inside us. Let’s take the time to let the true weight of the amazing gift we were given that night over 2000 years ago – take the time to let it settle into our hearts and our souls… let the wave of love truly wash over you as Christmas Day approaches… then get ready to open once again – or maybe even for the first time - the most amazing Christmas gift the world has ever known!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Get rid of them...

We did a segment on the morning show the other day where we asked what words or phrases you are over, that get overused in conversation, that you want to be done, get rid of, do away with...
We had a few that were expected like cool beans, whatever, my bad, I heard that, etc.
My friend Ann's response of a word and a phrase really got me thinking though... the phrase was "politically correct" and the word was "tolerant". How she was tired of them being used... I too hate them being used from both sides of the preverbial line in the sand. I agreed whole heartedly!
They both have a million different meanings depending on the agenda of the one speaking them (including me, inclcuding you)... so they're both relative. So yes, we ALL have an agenda when we use them that skews the definition at the time to what we want it to mean.

This got me to thinking about other words those of us who call ourselves Christians use on what we have deemed as our side of that line. Dare I say words that we wield, in His name, when we feel appropriate (which just comes out sounding most of the time as overly righteous - no matter what our intention). And also words we say we cannot use, but we really just don't understand the words and are afraid of them.
Words like morals, values, conservative, liberal, power, acceptance, and of course tolerance.

I think we have to find a way to not use any of these words in the same way we have, and learm to use those we are afraid to with a foundation understood long before we can begin to discuss grace, forgiveness, mercy and love in the truest sense.

I guess I really don't think our vocabulary has to be completely void of those words that have a history of offending... otherwise I would be guilty of trying to be "politically correct" myself then wouldn't I :o)
I'm just saying we shouldn't resort to using them out of habit, without regard to who we are engaged in conversation with and where they are coming from, and that we shouldn't just use them to throw an opinion out there in the same old way that actually causes more division because we feel justified in using them defined by what WE feel is the true meaning of the words.

And by the way, is the person we are using these words in conversation with someone we have actually formed a relationship with first? Have we earned the right to speak freely even? Do they know we love them no matter what we agree or disagree on? More importantly do they honestly feel we really do like them? If we can't find one thing to like and respect about someone no matter who they are then we cannot honestly expect them to believe anything we say. I heard Donald Miller say earlier this year that "people know when we don't like them". He's intirely dead on. Those you have found yourself in debates with... have you bothered telling them yet that God loves them? That He is not angry with them? That He loves them and why? Did you tell them this first? (more on all of that another day)

Let's just consider saying things differently, thinking about what we want to say long enough to actually not default to those crutches in our conversations, so that they are not the "easy way out" that is not easy to understand or agree on. They mean something different to everyone anyway.

How something is wrong means something different to each person. Why something is wrong means something different to different people.

Who are we to have the corner market on how we approach others about their "condition" anyway. No, we don't have to water anything down to be truthful. But what we can do is form a relationship first though so that those words never have to be used again in the same way though.

Maybe if we approach people differently than we have before, truly seeing them, with a real desire to connect on every level (including on their level), we may just be able to introduce them to the Jesus who loves them more than they realize, instead of driving a wedge deeper and further between them and Him all in the name of Christianity... heck, He just may use us inspite of ourselves :o)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do You Smell Like Jesus?

“ Do you smell like Jesus?”
by Marisa Lykins

I’m sure a lot of us have been in stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works, or a Yankee Candle store… we’re at least all very familiar with the scented candles that those stores and many more sell. Even schools and clubs sell them for fundraisers – everyone, at least all women love scented candles unless your allergies are sent completely into orbit by them…
They have candles with scents and smells for any mood… whether it’s the one you’re in at the moment or the mood you want to be in within the hour, for all situations, and even for different seasons if you will.
It’s all based on aromatherapy concepts:
Some medical research says that “Aromatherapy may produce both psychological and physiological effects. Aromatherapy benefits includes stress and headache relief, sleep improvement, mood boosting, hormones’ regulation, muscles’ relaxation, immune system’s stimulation, blood circulation, skin improvement and even disease healing”.
I say even if it’s all in our head it does make us feel better to get a hint of something that produces nice images or memories in our minds.
Lavender – relaxing
Citrus/peppermint – for energy, to be invigorated
Melon/Cucumber – refreshing
Vanilla/berry – soothing, calming
Vanilla with cinnamon, or oatmeal and honey, may take you back to the cookies your mom or grandma used to make
Cinnamon may take you directly back to Christmas years ago and your home
Scent has the power to change us – enhance or change our mood, our point of perspective, our outlook… scents can leave such a lasting impression that just like the vanilla and cinnamon combination, or the oatmeal and honey, it doesn’t matter if it’s been 25 years you never forget what the scent of those homemade cookies in the oven smelled like and your are instantly transported back to moms kitchen on a Friday night as a 8 year old licking the spoon and trying to eat them before they had even cooled!
The smell of your favorite candles are slight and faint as they are on the store shelves, but what really activates them to truly release their scent is when a flame is applied to the wick. Sometimes you think it smells a certain way when you pick it up in the store but then when the flame is applied they sometimes release that scent on a totally different level.
Did you ever think about the fact that as we travel our daily road in life we leave a faint impression behind as well? We leave faint traces of a scent behind depending on our moods and what we are dealing with, how we treat others and behave around them because our actions always affect more than just ourselves.… but it’s when the heat and flame come, the hard times, the next crisis, the aggravating situation, the unexpected, when the flame is allowed to actually touch our wicks and we feel the heat, how we react then – to that flame - will determine what scent we are really leaving behind and what that says to others.
Galatians 5:22-23 says “The fruits of the spirit are love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control…” what truly heavenly aroma’s

So, does the vanilla scent of kindness and gentleness linger when you have had a disagreement with another because you remained calm and handles it with care? If we became angry, and condescending, how would that smell?
Does the renewing scent of melon and cucumber tickle the senses of that family we just shared our groceries with even while times are hard for us too because we got outside of ourselves for a moment – that would surely leave them with that scent that gave them a renewed faith in human kindness… or would we leave the stench of a lack of compassion trail behind when we didn’t even ask how they were doing even though we knew they were struggling so hard last month, because after all things are tight for us too aren’t they?
What do you think the scent of selfishness smells like? Really, try to conjure up the image of what scent lingers when we turn a blind eye and ear to the person next to us who just needs a little compassion and someone to talk too… but hey, we really needed to get out of work on time that day because the dry cleaning needed to be picked up, and we wanted to get to the video store before it closed, so we put it out of our mind that that coworkers spouse just walked out on her and her two kids the week before… we can always ask how she’s doing tomorrow… right?
When someone encounters us as disconnected and uncaring what does that smell like?
Now here’s a question for you… Do you think Jesus has a scent?
What would he smell like to you? What soothing smell does He leave when He comforts your loneliness, what scent is in the air when He gives you a precious day with your family that was unexpected, or blesses you with just the right song on Love89 just when you needed it?
I think He has many – because He fulfills all needs, right? He’s wants to be our everything, is our everything, so His sweet aroma changes as our needs change!
If we were created to glorify Him, then we should always be leaving faint traces of His smell as we travel our daily road.
As we seek to know ourselves based on His reflection we develop His scent I think. When God created woman He created us not only differently from man, but specifically on purpose different from man. We are I believe created to reflect the emotional relation side of Him on a level that man could not… so we are naturally I think able to be more in tune to His heart of compassion, we understand relationships on a different level… so if we as women find our true identity and freedom He provides from the very beginning of time, if we really tap into that we can walk that daily journey more ready to leave strong lingering scents behind us with all those we meet. We just have let the world for far too long tell us how busy and able to do it all we as women need to be that we lose touch with the ability… it seems hit and miss of not completely hidden at times.

When we understand what He has truly given us in life – in eternal life, in His intention for how we are to live - to be – then we glorify Him. To Glorify God means simply this – to reveal Him.
And if He is our everything, then when the heat is applied to the wick of our lives - when that unexpected death of a loved one comes, when we lose that job of 10 years without warning, when we have that miscarriage, when we are betrayed by a spouse, when the deadlines at work loom and we feel stressed, whatever heat gets applied to our wick and becomes a flame, how we handle that determines how we Glorify Him… if they smell the Jesus they need or an unpleasant odor that is all us – when we take our eyes off ourselves and see the world through His eyes and react accordingly we glorify Him and the scent becomes so strong those around us can’t ignore it and the images they will conjure up for the rest of their lives because of what they experienced in our presence becomes a sweet aroma of being in His presence…

At this holiday time of the year when we should naturally think of what we are thankful for and what has been given to us in the birth of our Savior we still can sometimes let the chaos, the hectic pace, and the anxiety brought on by all those families and friends get to us, then our focus can still get off track of why we should truly just enjoy Christmas for what it is. Now more than ever it’s even more important to leave the right impression and scent behind.
I wanna smell like Jesus!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hand Prints of Love

So today on the show we decided to spin the disappointment some were feeling after the election (since there is always a winner and a not-so-much of a winner... I hate the word loser when not in jest) into something positive, so we asked for folks to call in with their stories of when disappointments in their lives turned into something that God used to change their paths for the better.
We heard about a young 17 year old who was raped and found herself pregnant but after deciding to keep the baby found love, is a fantastic mom, and has since found a wonderful Godly man with 2 children to become a family with.
We learned about illness and death that resulted in salvation for others.
One woman shared how after losing a job unexpectedly after 23 years that she began college and now has a masters degree 30 years after finishing high school and has the career she has always dreamed of.
One story shared was that of a 15 year old that after years of her mother being abused, was abused herself, ended up being removed from her home, living with friends, and was finally being taken in by a loving family - she is now a young lady with relationship with Christ, in church, and wanting to help others.
Oh my goodness, and how a life of alcohol and drug abuse following 11 miscarriages now has been molded into a ministry as a youth pastor.
I am continually floored by my God and the ones He creates... how He restores brokenness... how He not only does that, but how He allows us all to look back through that pain and see glory, see His plan in motion, and see His handprints all over our lives.
But that's not even all... through it all we leave our handprints too you know. On those we touch through those experiences. During and after. Are our handprints the shape of our hand or His?
I pray that I'm more like the strong women we heard from today - that I leave handprints through life on the lives of others in the shape of His nail scarred hands and not my self indulgant one... His gentle hands leave the shape of unconditional love, of joy, of faithful obedience. They hold His love and offer it to all He touches... I want to touch the world like that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So its been awhile...

I haven't written in some time - sorry. But I think I have just been contemplating all going on around me...

Earlier I went to California with Compassion International, saw some of God's creation I never have before, and heard Donald Miller speak for three days... both gave me a lot to consider.
Then I was sick. That gave me time alone to reflect on all I had just returned from, learned, been challenged by, and I also finished reading The Shack... WOW! Again, a lot to consider.
I'm also reading Un-Christian... even more to be challenged by and consider.
He is working on me again. I'm in a time of growth already again... Exhilarating!
Then Sharathon was upon us at Love89.1FM. The first time in years we haven't made the goal by the end of the third day. It's a tough time right now economically speaking and we were not taken by surprise. Neither was God. The stories that have come out of sharathon are mind blowing. The listeners that responded were mind blowing. We are blessed to say the least.
The calls/emails I took personally... of women in abusive relationships turning to us for comfort and advice. Of single parents struggling emotionally and financially and just needing to let us know they are sacrificially supporting us again this year because we are their lifeline to encouragement and hope. The families that have been restored because of His conviction through songs, programming and messages heard daily that broke through the fog of doubt and confusion. We can never underestimate our Jesus (song there somewhere) and how the Holy Spirit uses what God ordains to draw those who need Him closer to Him. Even those who have accepted Him into their lives for the first time!
I will never get used to the idea that I get to walk into the studio each Monday thru Friday morning and greet those who tune in simply looking for a certain song, a certain word, a laugh, a smile, or someone to cry or pray with them... I get to witness God literally creating relationships, change lives, bring hearts together, and at the same time - I get to be changed by it myself.... My God is truly beautiful, crazy beautiful and totally amazing... there are no words...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Central High

Wow. No words really at first. What can we say? How do we process it? A shooting at Central High in Fountain City. FOUNTAIN CITY! Good night.
I guess once I realized we were all asking the same questions I began to try and process it myself.
I know my God is on the throne. I know my God has a greater plan. I know all the church answers. Cam I still question then?
Yes. My God is that big. He knows I will question. He's ok with that. He created me with a free will and a mind of my own. It's what makes life interesting. It's what makes me interesting to Him I think.
I have decided that a 15 year old kid is no different than I am.
They question life too of course.
And they hurt of course.
And that means Satan whispers lies to them just the same.
Lies about who they are - what they are - what they can and can't be - what they can and can't do - lies about whether they are good enough - loved enough - all the same things we wrestle with as adults we wrestled with when we were 15 years old too right?
What makes us think its any different for a 15 year old now, when the world around us is so confusing, challenging, hard?
Some have to fight extremely hard every day to drown out the voice of the father of lies. Some days that voice loses. Some days the lie wins.
The voice of truth needs to be spoken into lives by each of us. When the voices that lie get loud our voices should carry His truth and break through the noise.
We need to be speaking truth into others lives around us every day.
Encouraging, building up, loving, understanding the best way we know how.
Speaking His name - His truth - sharing His love.
I pray we do that.
I pray I do that.
Please God - help me do that.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics - and Me?

Ok - I am totally into the Olympics... I didn't know if it would actually happen. I mean, I was excited at the thoughts of them. Very excited. But once it was time for them to begin I didn't know if I would really be into it. BUT I AM!!!!!!
Here's what I have realized I love about them.
Of course I want the Americans to do well. And the stories of inspiration are there too! But the thing is they are there with all the countries athletes - including China. And not just the athletes... just people in general.
Like the young six year old boy from China who marched into the opening ceremonies with Chinese legendary basketball player Yao Ming. Because the little boy was a hall monitor at school, he crawled back into the rubble when they had the earthquake and pulled two other kids to safety after freeing himself.
His little head still bore the bare patch where the hair hasn't grown back yet from his injuries.
And the talent is mind boggling. Thats where I am blown away again... the gifts and talents all these people possess and to be so passionate about sharing them!
Imagine what would happen if they all knew the Savior... what a completely unimaginable impact they could make through this years Summer Games! If they had that intimate heart knowledge and could inspire others on THAT level... WOW.
Now, if those of us who know that Savior just realized how talented we all are and shared with others the gifts we have been given? To have the confidence to discover those gifts? Whether it was as an athlete, singer, cook, builder, artist, wordsmith, an encourager, whatever that one thing is. What if we who know what that thing is, and know Him, started doing it completely for His joy and glory?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Atlanta and Steven Curtis Chapman equals God speaking!

We (Love89) took a road trip with staff and listeners yesterday to Atlanta for a Braves game and a concert with Steven Curtis Chapman... which would have been great all in itself. But God decided to bless me, us, with a show of His power that had I not anticipated.
The game was a hot and humid one for sure, and I should have realized that might mean a late afternoon early evening pop up shower. But I was genuinely surprised when I saw the dark clouds over the Northwest rim of the stadium appearing. And then not until I saw the lightening and felt the cool blast of air did it dawn on me that He was there. It's funny how you go through your day to day activities and think that He shows up. Hmmm. Totally forgetting that He is always there - everywhere - in everything.
The wind picked up and trash left over in the stands from all the hotdogs, nachos, and cokes began blowing around. My heart quickened - listening. Was this important?They announced that we would retreat under the canopies until it blew over.
And when a huge blast of lightening appeared to be a close as the parking lot, retreat we did!
As we stood chatting together with a young couple of our listeners celebrating their one year anniversary of dating I began to think, feel Him. I suppose I may have seemed at some point disengaged from the conversation for a moment but I begin thinking... He's here, He's here... and we're here... and He's up to something.
As the rain poured down we waited. The lightening flashed, the thunder clapped. He was speaking. "See Me, He was saying, See Me - then worship Me".
When it slowed to almost a complete stop we begin filling the seats again. Then they said it was too wet for anything but an acoustic show with Steven - no band.
Ahhhh, there it is. God desired it to be more intimate, quieter. The sky turned into a beautiful orange and gray mix that was breathtaking. Then it truly sank in, the power He had just displayed with that summer storm was the real beginning of the worship last night! He spoke then, in that way in the storm, because we first needed to see Him, hear Him, feel Him before we begin to worship.
He displayed Himself so that when that unplanned (by man anyway) intimate time with Steven happened it was a truer intimate time with my Father. So that when His whispers in my heart and mind began, they were part of a conversation we were already having even if I didn't realize it!
I had wondered earlier in the day why the trip itself was quieter than I had anticipated. The staff was more low key than usual. The winners and their guests were quieter that I had anticipated.
My mood was not bad in anyway yesterday at all - but I had questioned myself as to why I felt like I was waiting for something, and why was I so quiet but with no feeling like I needed to be otherwise?
I sit here on the Sunday morning after. I did not go to church today. When I woke up this morning I thought to myself, that as crazy as it sounded to me, that I needed to stay home... why? We are called to gather together in corporate fellowship, to be fed, and to simply worship. But also I know that as Steven sang last night - God is God - and when He speaks I am to listen. I don't always you know. Not nearly always.
But I am grateful that I did today. He wanted me alone with Him. I loved my time with Him last night.
In the storm, in listening to Steven Curtis Chapman, and even when He spoke to me afterwards on the bus ride home through the dvd we watched - The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe... I still see and hear things in that movie that are new every time I watch it! Isn't if awesome how it was Lucy and Susan (the women) that were the last with Aslan when he had died? The first to see Him when he returned? Just like the precious account of our Savior - incredible!
I have loved my time with my Father this morning.
He has blessed me, talked with me through His Word and more.
"Yes, as the rain and snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do"(Is 55:10-11).
His rain did not return void in me, His Word did not, now I have shared what He has given me and it will not return void because it is from His mouth to my heart. I hope your heart is blessed today.
He's already here, just see Him.

When I had wrapped up my time with God this morning I went to search for something on the Internet. My initial browser search listed this item first. Please take a look at what God did after a storm 4 years ago and led me to today through this link

Friday, August 1, 2008

What a Week... Whew!

It's already August 1st, my son just turned 22 yesterday, and my daughter turns 21 in 2 days...
Life is moving way fast!
But God is good - so sweet - and so attentive.
My friend Lisa is pregnant and I got to see her today for the first time in a week. She is having a miracle baby. God has created life where doctors said there could be none!
I have a friend Carla whose Dad is dying. Carla's heart is breaking some days. I'm sure there will be times when she doesn't feel her heart is fully alive or ever will be again. But God brings life where there seems to be none.
If we wander through this life without Christ we are not truly alive - but when we know Him, I mean truly know Him, He brings Life, and makes all things new.
What a sweet God and creator of life we have, what a gentle comforter His Holy Spirit is, and what a giver of new life and mercies eternal our Savior Jesus brings... what a miracle we all are!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Busy Saturday...

Today I woke up to rain. That really makes we want to stay in bed, you? The distant thunder, rain on the roof and pattering against the window, Mr Pickles my mini-daschund curled up against the back of my knees... hmm-m-m-m-m-m... but wait, coffee would be great too... ok coffee, yeah.
So I got up being very quite so I wouldn't wake Todd my hubby, let Pickles out for his morning "you know", and while the coffee was brewing and the house was still so quite I stood at the window and thought about all I had to do today, West Knoxville, Sevierville, stops to make, things to do, alot to do...
But wait, look, the rain, it's still falling. Wow, it's really so soothing. So beautiful. Look at the drops sliding down the window. It flows so steadily... like His love. I thought about Him - my lovong Father - all of the sudden... about how steadily He loves us. Yes, times get tough and things so wrong, money isn't stretching as far right now, my heart gets heavy sometimes, even breaks. Things happen to those around me I wish I could make better. People that are so good have things happen that seem so confusing. But see, then the rain keeps falling this morning, the quiet sinks in, and my heart quickens as I hear my God whisper "See, I'm renewing the day. Life. I'm providing water that will flow and bring more life, and more beauty, for you to enjoy. I am also weeping, weeping over those in my world that are hurting. I am sustaining life with my tears, I am listening in this quite morning for your voice too my child - waiting for you to tell me the things you desire, the things you are afraid of, the things that you need Me to hold and carry for you today, to hear about the things you realized I did just for you yesterday - that sunset, those flowers, that friend who blessed you that I placed in your life for such a time as this. I want to hear you say how glad you are for your family, for your very life... and I love you, more than anything"...
Good morning God. Thank you for your new mercies and grace. I do love my family. I do see you moving around me becuase I'm watching for you. Show me your hand. Thank you for all I have, for being a God who wants to spend time with me, and for loving me today. And God, thank you for talking with me this morning. I love you too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Anniversary!

Last Thursday was my 15th Wedding Anniversary and my sweet husband went all out!
I guess it seems Todd still has some surprises left in him :o)
First he hand delivered a vase of my favorite flowers - Daisey's - around lunch time.
That would have been plenty!
Little did I know that he had been planning this for quite some time and had also devised a scheme so I would not suspect a thing.
Now, this is highly unusual since he is normally the kind of person who gives you your birthday present a week early because he can't stand the excitement... I once got a Christmas gift right after Thanksgiving :o)
Anyway - I thought I was going to a business meeting/lunch with Lisa because she emailed me a week before about it.
Little did I know that was a cleverly planned ruse so he could surprise me when I "walked him to his car" with a long white stretch limousine... OMG!!!
I honestly thought it was for someone at the business across the street and was still trying to get to the station van so Lisa and I could make our "luncheon"... it was truly hilarious!
He finally broke through and convinced me the limo was for me. He then whisked me away to a reserved booth at Naples where we dined on delicious food and great conversation - and held hands like we were 16!
We wrote our anniversary note and dropped it inside one of the empty wine bottles that line the inside of the booth that couples sign, date and fill with love letters(the whole message in a bottle idea which I think is very romantic).
Afterwards we drove back to the station, and as he walked me back to my office he informed me that we both had the rest of the day off (which he had also arranged ahead of time)and took me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go... we hit the Farmers Market, went shoe shopping (we both needed a pair), and he even took me out to dinner so I didn't have to cook at all - OMG!!!
I learned that I do indeed have a wonderful husband. Not because of what he spent or bought, but because he actually thought about me - planned things specifically with me in mind - took the time to wonder, ponder, what would she like? What would she enjoy? What would make my wife feel special?
Know what the best thing about all that is? That I was literally in his thought! To pull this off he was THINKING ABOUT ME!
My mind pictures him sitting at his desk at work, pencil in hand, jotting down notes, scanning the Internet for options, asking friends their opinions - THAT is the BEST!!!!!
Isn't that something we all desire? To be in the thoughts of the person who loves us?
now THAT is romance ;o)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ok - I Cried...

I saw a prescreening for the new movie coming out in September called "Fireproof" last night... Sherwood Baptist Church is releasing their third movie - makers of Flywheel and Facing the Giants... If you are married, have been married, are ever entertaining the idea of ever being married SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!
Kirk Cameron is a firefighter (Caleb) married to Katherine. He's got things he is struggling with - big things. He's a hero to everyone but her. She's forgotten what it means to validate him as a man. Their marriage needs a hero. Their marriage is in shambles. They want to give up. They argue, fight, dislike even being together anymore - they have let the stuff of life beat them and their relationship down. All seems lost. Until God steps in through Caleb's dad and a little book called "The Love Dare"...
I won't ruin it for you, check out for yourself (and Fireproof Your Marriage too) and make plans to see it when it comes to Sept 26th. Love89 will host a listener screening on Sept 16th so starting the first of September be listening for your chance to see it for free with us - but if you do, understand you will the be a part of a major grass roots promotional movement... you must tell everyone you know to see this movie!
In fact - just tell everyone anyway...
This is a movie that could be the beginning of healing for a whole lot of couples, and a warning for other couples as they travel the journey together through the years to make sure you don't let the flames burn out of control.
Oh, and bring the kleenex guys. This means you too men, you'll need them as much as the ladies will, my husband did... and he loved it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Quirky Question...

I would like to now why when I'm driving down the road and I come across a shoe in the road there's always only one... they come in pairs... where is the other one? Can you lose one off your foot and not know it? Would someone actually take off one of their shoes and throw it out the window but keep the other one? Maybe they aren't wearing their shoes but what would make a shoe (only one of them from the pair) go flying out of a vehicle by itself? Say you have your pair of shoes in the back of your pick-up truck... why does only one fly out?
Just something I ponder.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vacation in Charleston

Just got back and boy was it beautiful! Not enough time alone though with my hubby Todd since it was a working vacation for him, but great none the less... Charleston is a wonderful historical old town that has a ton of great and fun stuff to offer. A new friend Janet and I spent a lot of time walking the downtown area looking in neat shops, appreciating the architecture, we toured the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, we all did a 1 1/2 hours harbour tour on a boat with a narrator filling us in on the forts/attacks/homes/light houses, etc that was extremely interesting and beautiful. We also ate at some delicious restaurants of course - fresh seafood!
Janet and I ran into a couple from Maryville just walking down the street... he used to work for Mayfields in fact! We all took a drive around the barrier islands of Sullivan and Isle of Palm to check out all the scenery and saw people para sailing, kite surfing, and boogie boarding. Todd and I picked out one of the public beach access areas to return to the following day and had a blast when we did, but Todd got so sun burnt he had to drive all the way home the next day without a shirt on - he looked like a cooked lobster :o(
Its Sunday now and he still can hardly move well.
Why is it men don't listen to their wives when it comes to things like directions, or wearing sunscreen and the like?
Anyway, the day we went to the beach I was laying on a towel near the umbrella we planted in the sand reading a new book I picked up and i got sleepy. I dozed for a few minutes and when I woke up I was on my stomach facing away from the water. As I lay there just getting my wits about me before I went down the water to cool off I realized that as I gazed across to the black softside cooler we had that I could see many grains of sand blowing past me - between me and the cooler. As the wind speed ebbed and flowed the amounts did too. I turned my face towards the water after a few seconds and there was no sand blowing.
As I lay there I contemplated how this was so like us. I was literally laying on the line. The line between where the highest tides go and where they don't go - where the sand is flat, and where it begins to take shape. We walk this line sometimes in life.
We can find ourselves letting the waves and "stuff" beat us down to the point where we are flat, ungiving, unyielding. Todd tried to first plant the beach umbrella there but the hard sand would not cooperate... packed down so tightly that nothing can take root or even give support to something that was made to protect us.
Or we can let God carry us gently where he wants us like those grains of sand I watched flitter by, but not aimlessly. The sand was being purposefully carried along to help shape the dunes farther to my left. Where beautiful things grew like the flowers and sea grasses I took pictures of... We can be a place that yields and holds His beauty for all to see.
I woke up from a restful nap to see God's Glory revealed... that was a good day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fathers Day

Since my Dad died 3 years ago I miss talking with him, especially around Fathers Day. He had Ahlzheimers for 9 years before he died but I still pick up my cell phone to dial the phone number to a house that no longer exists anymore - wasn't even his phone number for 9 years anyway... strange. Strange.
I was a Daddy's girl. Plain and simple. He took care of me, drove my girlscout troop to camp in the summer, taught me to bat, fish, and he loved the Lord. He hardly ever raised a hand to me, was a fantastic preacher, a proud Veteran and Marine, loved being an electrician too, and simply liked helping others. He liked being productive. He was not a "needy" person but relished being called upon and being able to help someone in need. To know he was providing something of value and was adding something to a persons daily life really mattered to him.
He was funny and was just ne of those people you're positive made God laugh as much as anyone else too!
I miss my Daddy... not just now but all the time. Every day.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jammin' at Grassy Valley

Today Todd - the hubby - played with his band at Grassy Valley Baptist Church for the childrens/youth ministry event... a great time! The folks there were so nice!
Thanks to them for such a warm welcome and for being such good hosts - a real blessing!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Todd and I Took a Drive on the Cherohala Skyway

Ok, we were looking for something different to do and today we definitely fit a lot in a short amount of time. We started by driving down to Concord Park near The Cove and checked out the Concord Sailing and Yacht Club (we have a friend with a sailboat there). I must admit, very very cool, makes me want one!
Then we headed toward Sweetwater after a delicious meal at Back Yard Burgers and ended up on the Cherohala Skyway which runs from Tellico Plains to almost Robbins NC (check out the visitors center as you get on - the ladies that work there were so friendly!). When it ended about 52 miles later we ate in Robbinsville at the Smoey Mountain Restaurant (yum) then headed up 129 through The Dragon (Fontana Dam area)towards the back side of Maryville. The Dragon being a famous place for motorcycle riding never disappoints even when you're in a car. There were many great bikes, and watching people ride there is pretty darn exciting.
But I have to tell you - the Cherohala Skyway was gorgeous! In places it was if the mountains went farther than the eye could see once we were at some of the highest overlooks... just rows after rows of mounatins. Dead silence but for the wind blowing, sweet smells of blooms on the blackberry briars nearby, the mountain laurel, and things we couldn't even see... it was such a clean fragrance wafting on the breeze...
There is the Joyce Kilmer Forest (trees almost as big as redwoods if you hike a special trail there), Bald River Falls (150 foot drop) that you can literally drive by and see without having to even get out of your car, campgrounds, picnic areas, and more.
The best thing? Just talking, laughing, and seeing Gods wonderful creation!
Take a drive every now and then...
Here's a picuture below from the drive - just click here to be taken to my Love89 page where you can see a flipbook photo album of all of them!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Even with the short week (with Memorial Day) I still looked toward this weekend with much anticipation... now it's here and I feel like I wish it wasn't!I have to clean house :o(
This is an all too familiar situation I find myself in. Sometimes I seem to either be looking ahead waiting on something, or looking behind me wishing the time had passed slower. I try to live in the here and now but am not always very successful.... here's to being in moment and enjoying the present... each hour, each day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Trip to Morristown Today

Yep - I went to Morriston today... it was cloudy, sprinkling rain, right after lunch time and I hadn't eaten yet. I stopped at Wendy's at the Strawplains Pike exit (one of the friendliest Wendy's drive thru's I have been thru in a long time too I might add) for a chicken sandwich and then got back on to the interstate.
Ok, I admit it... I was dreading the trip, the drive, the weather, I was hurried, a hundred things to do and really wanted to just stay at work and finish my list. Or go home and take a nap :o)
But I jumped in my car, took off for my scheduled appointment and headed to Hamblen County.
I got about maybe 5-6 miles down the road - eating my delicious sandwhich, talked with a few folks who called my cell phone and then realized something. WOW! I'm eating a great sandwich, looking at the cool cloud layers God had provided as a backdrop to my ride, actually alone and able to think, to pray, to just enjoy being with me, and also just see something different than I see each and very day. Different trees, different buildings, different billboards. I met a different person at my appointment, a new person I may not have met otherwise and that I look forward to getting to know a little better over the next few months. I saw a beautiful park I never knew existed - Fred Miller Park in Morristown is very cool.
I had a fun afternoon!
It took awhile but this thick headed gal finally thought about the obvious. God gives us many opportunities each day to see things differently but do we always take the chance to do so? Most times not I'm afraid. I know that I tend to put off what may not fit perfectly in our daytimer... but I can only answer for me.
Next time I will look forward to a trip in the car that may not be the most convenient thing time wise in my schedule - becuase it may just end up being just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day and a few laughs

Have you ever wondered why sometimes the most random things/people come into your life in a day and that they can bring such a smile to your face? I think it's God's way of insisting that your brain take a short break before it overloads...
Like maybe your in traffic and all of the sudden the person in the car in front of you begins dancing in their seat like they have just become the dice inside the bubble thing in the board game "Trouble" and someone else is pushing the bubble down over and over again?
Or maybe a big hulking sasquatch sized guy walks by you in a powder blue tshirt that says "I'm not too big, you're too small".
Both things happened to me on Monday - Memorial Day - while my husband and I were out and I was thinking too much about work on my day off... God works very creatively sometimes to get our attention... He's cool like that...