hot bliggity blog 267

Monday, December 13, 2010

snapshots of my life: no-shave november

You must be my friend if.....you have a birthday between November 2 and December 20. Everyone I know has a birthday during this six week period of the year. Seriously! As if these two months weren’t filled up enough with holidays and celebrations. What were your Momma’s thinkin'?! Ha!


For Will’s birthday we went to a Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara...lots of chips, salsa and quesadillas to go around! I’m not sure what kind of birthday dessert he got but I am sure that I didn’t get any :( Happy Birthday, Will!

Leslie’s Birthday Party was low-key and very fun! A few people met and had dinner at a local restaurant that has a great outdoor atmosphere. Afterwards, several of us girls packed up our blankets and beverages for an outdoor movie at Discovery Green. I had never been there but decided that it is one of the coolest (and free!) things we have here in the city! Showing on the blow-up screen was Shall We Dance? Have you ever observed people after watching a dance movie? I think it is so funny to see everyone get up and dance out to the ending credits! (Myself included)

I was born to shop. And I LOVE pretty things. Unfortunately my shrinking wallet does not allow me to do much shopping right now but that still doesn’t stop me from window shopping. My ‘Want’ list has grown so much that, if Santa had a ‘Longest List’ Contest, it would be definitely be a contender.

I found this chair in World Market. I love that store :) I decided that when I move into my own place and if I have need for a new chair in my new place this will be the one! It goes with my current furniture theme and colors, textures and styles. A true winner!

Moving on to not so pretty things-may I welcome you into our home and introduce you to our kitchen floor!? A few weeks ago (during Will’s party, actually) my mom text me saying ‘Don’t try to walk through the kitchen in the dark when you get home tonight’ accompanied with a picture of what resembled our kitchen floor. Mom and Dad were home, thankfully, when the ceramic tiles started snapping and flying 3 feet into the air. Who knows what type of investigation we would have had had they not been there. The aftermath looked like what I would imagine your kitchen floor would look like if you took a jackhammer to it in search of Atlantis. Or buried treasure. Or a letter to Juliet. The possibilities are endless. Anyways, because we are amidst the holiday season and times are BuSY, the Tetris-like plywood cut-out will have to suffice until the new year! For those of you who obtain a more engineering brain my dad would be happy to discuss with you his theories and education opinion as to what really happened; the explanation involves various atmospheric pressures, compressions, and other variables. All of these words sound familiar and I would tell you what they mean but I don’t like to show-off :) Ha!



So, from the counter-level and up we had a Happy Turkey-(less) Thanksgiving! Every member of our family LOVES our Grandmother’s Chicken-and-Dressing so much that the turkey is often left uneaten. So this year my mom decided to forget the turkey all together by not even putting one on the menu! Instead, 2 pans of dressing joined us for dinner and let’s just stay they didn’t linger too long through the holidays.

Our spread probably looks pretty small compared to most peoples’. But we are a small family (all 5 of us were here!) and this was PLENTY for us to eat on for several days. Not surprisingly, the dressing was one of the first things to be finished off!

The whole family laughed at me (myself included) when we sat down at the table to eat and I told my brother and sister “It’s nice to have ya’ll home with us for the holidays” Ha! I said this with all sincerity, too. I have felt like the mini-mommy this year.


Sisters out for another friend’s birthday! A bunch of friends got together for yet another birthday party! It was fun to celebrate Simon’s, ahem, 21st birthday with him :) 2-stepping; not my forte!


My church has this fabulous event/outreach ministry during the Christmas Season called Angels of Light. It is an entire operation that takes many months to prepare for, the participation of every Sunday School class, and hundreds of volunteers. Every night for the week after Thanksgiving, about 1000 local people and families are bussed in from around the city for an evening of food, Gospel presentation, and people to love on them. Every family is handed a bag of groceries when they taken back to their homes and each child receives a wrapped Christmas present.

As you can imagine this takes months to prepare for: collection of food, clothes, wrapped children’s gifts, etc. Every Sunday School class is responsible for collecting and wrapping toys for specific a specific age and gender and 2 work days/nights. Our class had a work night doing grocery distribution. It was such a blessing. As our pastor said, we did not have the glamorous job of the operation, not even a visible one for that matter. But it counted just the same and I can imagine the parents’ faces when they were handed that bag of food as they stepped off the bus. For some reason I am tearing up right now just thinking about it. I am so blessed!

Being around all of these buses reminded several of us of the week(s) we spent this summer with 1000 high school kids!


This part of the operation looks much like what I would imagine Santa’s Prep-Room must look like. You can’t really tell by the picture, but there were 1000s of toys wrapped and stacked in all of the pews and more being wrapped at the work bench!


As always, it is so much more fun to work and serve alongside friends and brothers and sisters in Christ! I don’t remember it being as cold as we make it look, but living in south of I-10 we don’t get much use out of our long-sleeve winter-wear.


And for the record, I DID shave during the month of November. My blog title is dedicated to ‘male-parts’ cancer awareness. If you want more information on this subject, Google it :) While in undergrad, one of our campus organizations designed a T-shirt to raise awareness for No Shave November. I thought the design was super cute, ahem, manly, and simple (that is manly, right...simple?!). According to the scripture reference it’s Biblical, too!



Leviticus 19:27: “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

B90X wk 10: The Minors

Text covered: Daniel 9, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew 26

Memory verse: Nahum 1:7: ‘The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.’

As you can tell, the bulk of this week’s reading was in the Minor Prophets. My goal for this post is to create a clear overview or study guide; one that clearly points out the purpose and themes of each book. I will quote a lot from the Life Application Study Bible (all denoted with an *), summarizing what is in each of these books and sharing some of my favorite verses. There is some great stuff in here; all of these books I want to go back and study at some point in the future.


HOSEA


Summary: The book of Hosea is a love story-real, tragic, and true. Transcending the tale of young man and wife, it tells of God’s love for his people and the response of his “bride.” A covenant had been made, and God had been faithful. His love was steadfast, and his commitment unbroken. But Israel, like Gomer [Hosea’s wife], was adulterous and unfaithful, spurning God’s love and turning instead to false gods. the after warning of judgment, God reaffirmed his love and offered reconciliation. His love and mercy were overflowing, but justice would be served.*

Main message: The people of Israel had sinned against God, as an adulterous woman sins against her husband. Judgment was sure to come for living in total disregard for God and fellow humans.*

Importance of message: When we sin, we sever our relationship with God, breaking our commitment to him. While all must answer to God for their sins, those who seek God’s forgiveness are spared eternal judgment.*

Hosea 3:1
“The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.’”


JOEL

Summary: Joel begins by describing a terrible plague of locusts that covers the land and devours the crops. The devastation wrought by these creatures is but a foretaste of the coming judgment of God, the “day of the Lord.” Joel, therefore, urges the people to turn from their sin and turn back to God. Woven into this message of judgment and the need for repentance is an affirmation of God’s kindness and the blessings he promises for all who follow him.*

Main message: A plague of locusts had come to discipline the nation. Joel called the people to turn back to God before an even greater judgment occurred.*

Importance of message: God judges all people for their sins, but he is merciful to those who turn to him and offers them eternal salvation.*

Joel 2:13
“Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord you God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.”
Joel 3:16b
“But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.”

AMOS

Summary: Amos begins with a humble shepherd watching his sheep. God then gave him a vision of what was about to happen to the nation of Israel. God condemned all the nations who had sinned against him and harmed his people. Beginning with Aram, he moved quickly through Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab. All were condemned. And then, even Judah, Amos’s homeland, was included in God’s scathing denunciation. Suddenly, however, Amos turned to the people of Israel and pronounced God’s judgment on them. Then, after all the chapters on judgment, the book concludes with a message of hope. Eventually God will restore his people and make them great again.*

Main message: Amos spoke against those who exploited or ignored the needy.*

Importance of message: Believing in God is more than a matter of individual faith. God calls all believers to work against injustices in society and to aid those less fortunate.*


OBADIAH

Summary: Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, is a dramatic example of God’s response to anyone who would harm his children. The book begins with the announcement that disaster was coming to Edom. Despite their “impregnable” cliffs and mountains, they would not be able to escape God’s judgment. Obadiah then gave the reasons for their destruction-their blatant arrogance toward God and their persecution of God’s children. This concise prophecy ends with a description of the “day of the Lord,” when judgment will fall on all who have harmed God’s people.*

Main message: God will judge Edom for its evil actions toward God’s people.*

Importance of message: Just as Edom was destroyed and disappeared as a nation, so God will destroy proud and wicked people.*


JONAH


Summary: Jonah was a reluctant prophet given a mission he found distasteful. He chose to run away from God rather than obey him. Like Jonah, we may have to do things in life that we don’t want to do. Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to turn and run. But it is better to obey God than to defy him or run away. Often, in spite of our defiance, God in his mercy will give us another chance to serve him when we return to him.*

Main message: Jonah, who hated the powerful and wicked Assyrians, was called by God to warn the Assyrians that they would receive judgment if they did not repent.*

Importance of message: Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh, so he tried to run from God. But God has ways of teaching us to obey and follow him. When Jonah preached, the city repented and God withheld his judgment. Even the most wicked will be saved if they truly repent of their sins and turn to God.*


MICAH

Purpose: To warn God’s people that judgment is coming and to offer pardon to all who repent.*

Main message: Prediction of the fall of both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. This was God’s discipline upon the people, actually showing how much he cared for them. Hezekiah’s good reign helped postpone Judah’s punishment.*

Importance of message: Choosing to live a life apart from God is making a commitment to sin. Sin leads to judgment and death. God alone shows us the way to eternal peace. His discipline often keeps us on the right path.*

Micah 5:4 & 5
“He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be their peace.”

Micah 7:18 & 19
“Who is a God like you
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”


NAHUM


Purpose: To pronounce God’s judgment on Assyria and to comfort Judah with this truth.*

Main message: The mighty empire of Assyria that oppressed God’s people would soon tumble.*

Importance of message: Those who do evil and oppress others will one day meet a bitter end.*

Nahum 1:3,7
"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power;
the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished."

"The Lord is good
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him."


HABBAKUK

Purpose: To show that God is still in control of the world despite the apparent triumph of evil.*

Main message: Habakkuk couldn’t understand why God seemed to do nothing about the wickedness in society. Then he realized that faith in God alone would supply the answers to his questions.*

Importance of message: Instead of questioning the ways of God, we should realize that he is totally just and we should have faith that he is in control and that one day evil will be utterly destroyed.*

Habakkuk
3:2, 19

“Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.”

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.”


ZEPHANIAH

Purpose: To shake the people of Judah out of their complacency and urge them to return to God*

Main message: A day will come when God, as judge, will severely punish all nations. But after judgment, he will show mercy to all who have been faithful to him.*

Importance of message: We will all be judged for our disobedience to God; but if we remain faithful to him, he will show us mercy.*

Zephaniah 2:3
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,’
you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you will be sheltered
on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”


HAGGAI

Purpose: To call the people to complete the rebuilding of the temple*

Main message: The people returned to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the temple, but they hadn’t finished. Haggai’s message encouraged the people to finish rebuilding God’s temple.*

Importance of message: The temple lay half-finished while the people lived in beautiful homes. Haggai warned them against putting their possessions and jobs ahead of God. We must put God first in our lives.*

Haggai 2:4b
“Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”


ZECHARIAH

Purpose: To give hope to God’s people by revealing God’s future deliverance through the Messiah*

Main message: Zechariah, like Haggai, encouraged the people to finish rebuilding the temple. His visions gave the people hope. He told the people of a future king who would one day establish an eternal kingdom.*

Importance of message: Even in times of discouragement and despair, God is working out his plan. God protects and guides us; we must trust and follow him.*

Zechariah 9:16 & 17
“The Lord their God will save them on that day
as the flock of his people.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.
How attractive and beautiful they will be!
Grain will make the young men thrive,
and new wine the young women.”


MALACHI


Purpose: To confront the people with their sins and to restore their relationship with God*

Main message: The people’s relationship with God was broken because of their sin, and they would soon be punished. But the few who repented would receive God’s blessing, highlighted in his promise to send a Messiah.*

Importance of message: Hypocrisy, neglecting God, and careless living have devastating consequences. Serving and worshiping God must be the primary focus of our life, both now and in eternity.*

Malachi 3:6a, 10
“I the Lord do not change.”

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

See ya next time for some New Testament action :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

B90X wk 9: walk with me

Text covered: Jeremiah 33:23, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel 8:27

Memory verse: Jeremiah 42:3: ‘Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.’

Ezekiel 34:11 & 12: ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.’

Reading Status: ‘Red’ :0

Lamentations 3:22-27, 32-33, 39-41a
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the on who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

...

Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.

...

Why should any living man complain
when punished for his sins?

Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hears and our hands
to God in heaven

Ezekiel 34:16, 31
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock of justice.

...

You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and i am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.

I was so excited to get to the Book of Daniel! While I have enjoyed every minute of my opportunity to read the Bible through, only so much excitement can be had while reading the dimensions of every aspect of the temple (and I'm an architect!)

Enter Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego. Wow! These 4 young men had such undescribable and unwavering faith. Reading through their story made me wish for more background on these guys. How did they come to such a strong faith in the Lord? Did they grow up together? Meet for prayer breakfast on Friday mornings? Experience a series of lesser tests that assured them of God's faithfulness? I just wonder.

What I do know is that none of them folded when the going got rough and were tested. I long to have the same faith that these young men did.

Daniel 3:16-18, 28
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from you hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.

...

then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who as sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Do you ever feel like the world we live in is one big giant furnace, lashing flames toward us from every direction? The Bible says that when Nebuchadnezzar looked in the furnace where they had thrown Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego a fourth man-who looked like the son of God-was seen in the furnace with them. I think that this very happens when Satan looks at believers; Jesus walking beside you and me everywhere we go. How awesome is that? It reminds me of the incredible poem Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson and would like to end this blog on these beautiful truths:

One night I had a dream.

I dreamed I was walking along the beach
with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.

This really bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about it:
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why
when I need you most you would leave me."

The Lord replied:
"My precious child, I love you and would
never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

B90X wk 8: He's still workin' on me

Text covered: Isaiah 14, Jeremiah 33:22

Memory verse: Isaiah 58:11: ‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’

Reading Status: ‘Red’






Isaiah 64:8 & 9 says, 'Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people.' This verse reminds me of a Sunday School song that has been in the background of my thoughts for the past several months. I am sure you have heard it; it goes something like this:

'He's still workin' on me.
To make me what I ought to be.
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The Sun and Earth and Jupiter and Mars.'

This song has been constantly playing on my inner stereo (heart) this past month. As children this simple song makes perfect sense. At 5 years old, 3.5 feet tall, we can easily see that God is still working on us. However, at this age, we are unable to comprehend the symbolism of what the lyrics are really saying. I bet you thought the lyrics simply talked about what you were going to be and do physically. I know I did. What will I be when we grow up? Where will I be? Will I have 3 kids like Mommy and Daddy?

As adults, we probably do the same thing when we hear this song. We may Ooh and Aah at the Kindergarten choir singing to the congregation because little Billy is screaming at the top of his lungs and sweet little Susie is waving at her parents. We might think, oh how cute....Yes, He does have a lot of work to do in those kids.

What's crazy though is the message, revealed in such simple lyrics, ingrained in our heads from birth is still real even after we 'grow up'. God has done so much in me but thankfully He is not done yet! I feel like I have so far to go and with each new thing that He reveals to me I realize how much more work is still to be done.


A few passages that spoke to me:
Isaiah 53:5-6.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 54:10.
"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 55:12.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the tress of the field
will clap their hands.

Isaiah 59:1
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.

Jeremiah 29:11-14a
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

Friday, November 19, 2010

snapshots of my life: over-load october

I think the camera phone was one of the greatest things ever invented. EVER! Yes, yes there are a few other things that I am thankful for as well: flushing toilets, fashionable lunchboxes, DVR for fast-forwarding through commercials to name a few. But, if your brain functions as mine does, having a camera on your phone has to be one of the handiest outfits. I tend to forget what I ate the day before (most people who use this analogy insert ‘what I wore yesterday’ right here; this usually isn’t a problem for me as my outfits from the past 5 days tend to be strewn about my living quarters of the house. Ha!) let alone remember what all I’ve done in the past 2 weeks. This isn’t to say that I don’t value my time with friends and at events; it’s simply that there is always so much going on in my life and the information gets scrambled from time to time. This is why it always amazes me when I go back through pictures (taken on my phone or real camera) and see everything that I have done and people I have come in contact with.

What’s in your photo log? Mine is a hodge-podge of events, places I have been, covers of books I want to read, design ideas that I think I might like to reference later, bar codes for items I would like to bargain shop for at a later date...You get the idea; it’s all there! So, here are some snapshots of the past 3 weeks of my life:


Starbucks. Yummy, right?! And who is excited that their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte is back for the season?!?! You will notice, though, that I am holding an iced beverage in this picture. It’s still very warm here. I think I have worn socks 3 times this season?! (This is excluding the days that I have to wear socks in my office if I don’t want to freeze to death!)

I have been spending a lot of time at Starbucks lately. I live a good distance from where I work and play and often end up with lulls of time in which I don’t have any scheduled events or available friends. So, I take my handy dandy Bible in 90 Days, grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte (hot or iced) and a seat with an electrical outlet nearby (for plugging in my phone and listening to Pandora) for an hour or more of Bible action. I realized the other day that it’s probably a good thing that I will finish the B90X around Christmas time, right when the Pumpkin Spice Latte leaves the stores!

Shane and Shane led our worship service one Sunday night; how cool is that?! They were amazing, of course, and really funny. After the worship service they gave a free mini-concert. Sorry the picture is blurry....the lighting was terrible for photo opps!


This cracks me up. It scares me a lot, too. These men are doing exactly as it appears: riding down the highway, legs swung over the tailgate riding happily (for now at least) down the road. I passed them as quickly as I could.


Next on the agenda: Halloween. Enter Bon Qui Qui. My talented friend, Heather, captured the entire essence of Bon Qui Qui. From the ‘King Burger’ logo-ed polo and 4 inch nails to her lip liner and attitude she had it down! Have you ever watched someone with 4 inch fake nails put on their tennis shoes??? If not you definitely should. If you can’t find a video, let me know :)


Several of the Sunday School classes joined forces to host a Mystery Dinner Party. It was fun! The whole night I had to walk around in character (a Perfectionist, High School Band Director) telling people they weren’t good enough and trying to figure out who murdered the victim.


Head down to Aggieland and that’s where you will find me next! My parents graciously donated to the Ellen-Has-NO-Pass-To-The-Game Program and gave me their tickets for the Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech game. (They went to Wyoming to see geysers and snow; they were not missing out!)


It was a perfect day for football; the weather was absolutely gorgeous for tailgating and spectating. It was one of those days that I was thankful I had reason to be outside and enjoy the weather.

Flyover: F-16s



Daniel and I had my parents’ seats. To the outsider this may not seem like a big deal but ask any TAMU student or alumni and they know exactly what this means: we got to SIT DOWN!!! Let me tell you this makes any game so much more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is awesome that the 12th Man stands with the team during the 5 hours of play but there comes a time in a person’s life when balancing on metal bleachers and staring into the sun becomes too much and 8 Advil’s are not cutting it anymore! There were several times during the game, however, where I found myself standing alone while watching the game. What if they need to put me in the game?!


Enjoying the game! Judging by our expressions this picture was obviously taken later in the game when the Aggies started bringing it. The first few possesions were downright ugly; it was pretty tense in the stadium. I’m not sure why or how I got this picture turned backwards nor do I know how to flip it around. Ha!


We got the W!!! This was not the final score (my phone died before the end of the game) but it shows the Aggies stomping on some Raiders. The final score was 45-27. BTHO Texas Tech!


I have been spending a lot of time job searching, researching and networking. I read everything I can get my hands on, talk to anyone who will listen and pray constantly! God is good and He will provide. My verses of the year are found in James and Romans:

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’--James 1:2-4

‘Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’--Romans 5:3&4

‘As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.’--James 5:11


My best friend from grad school, Abby, was given some tickets for the Texas A&M vs. OU game! While in school Abby and I went to every game together; she wasn’t always happy about it and we NEVER had time but come every game day I would drug her up with Advil, hand her a frozen water bottle and a clean towel and drag her to the game.


Ok, actually, Abby is the responsible one of our duo so she took her own drugs, froze her own water and washed her own towel; I would usually show up late to our seats and meet her at the game BUT she would not have been there if she didn’t KNOW without a doubt in her mind that I was going to be there soon and talk football with her :) Talking football with Abby is fun and easy: count the number of loose helmets and shoes, count the pieces of trash that land on the field, discuss the flyover and sing ‘Texas, Our Texas’ (She knows all the words!)

It was so good to see Abby and catch up. We have the kind of friendship where we rarely talk to each other but know of each others’ comings and goings through our mutual friends that we talk to almost daily. And we’re okay with this arrangement; we just pick up and talk like we didn’t miss a beat. I am thankful for my sweet friends!

Flyover: helicopters


‘Now forming at the North end of Kyle Field, the nationally famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band’


And we have another W, folks! 33-19. BTHO OU!



Driving down my street the other day I noticed this sign attached to a neighbor's mailbox:

Of course I deemed it photo worthy and am happy to inform you that the stands were returned promptly a few days later.



And that, my friends, is why I love my camera phone :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

B90X wk 7: precious words

Text covered:Psalm 89:14, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah 13:22

Memory verse: Proverbs 16:3: ‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.’

Ecclesiastes 3:1 'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven'

Reading Status: ‘Red’ for almost caught up!

This was a HUGE week of reading!!! No way could my words express the beauty written within the text of the books covered this week. So, I have decided to cut and paste some of my favorites and ones that really spoke to me. 'But', to quote LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow, 'you don't have to take my word for it...'

cry out.Psalms 6:6-10
6 I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed;
they will turn back in sudden disgrace.
refuge.Psalms 9:9&10
9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

father.Psalms 10:17&18
17 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

cry.Psalms 13
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and everyday have sorrow in my hear?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my hear rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.

God's greatness.Psalms 18:1-3, 25-36
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
36 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.

hope.Psalms 20:1,4&5
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your request.

deliverance.Psalms 31:1-8
1 In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

repent.Psalms 51:1&2, 10
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

trust.Psalms 56:3&4
3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

sovereignty.Psalms 86:5-8, 11-13
5You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me.

8 Among the gods there is non like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided hear,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

thanksgiving.Psalms 100
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
5 For the Lord is good and his loves endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Proverbs 27:1&2
1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your own lips.

Proverbs 28:19
19 He who works his land will have abundant food,
but the one who chases fantasises will have his fill of poverty.
meaninglessness.Ecclesiastes 1:9, 14
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

friendlessness.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


As I went back through my Bible, I began to notice a theme among the verses and passages that I had underlined: brokeness, tears shed, hope. Every emotion, trial and season are mentioned and addressed in the Psalms and Proverbs. As I quoted from Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time and season for everything. I wonder what my underlines might have traced 3 years ago? 8 years ago? And what might they show 5 years in the future? 20 years? What do your underlines show you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

your hands

Happy Fall!!!

As the weather here is changing (slowly but surely) I realized that it was probably time to change the design of my blog. Designing the look is one of my favorite aspects of blogging and I spend WAY too much time on it (often to little results. Ha!)

I decided a couple weeks ago that I am getting old and I'll tell you why: I was really looking forward to the Fall's cooler weather this year. Ha! Sadly, Fall has always been my least favorite season. I know, I know, it is most people's favorite. But allow me to explain:

-In the Fall you have to put away your swimsuits and any chance of last minute pool time is gone (to live everyday in my swimsuit is a dream of mine);

-The Fall means that Winter is the next in the Season Line-Up and that means big, chunky, winter clothes;

-Fall means donning gloves and scarves and, while they make nice fashion statements, are just more accessories to keep up with (Grocery shopping in all of this get-up is one of my least favorite things to do);

-Until last year, Fall meant the start of a new school year.
To name a few :)

Don't get me wrong; the Fall has a lot going for it: football, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving, anticipation of Christmas, etc. I think it all boils down to the fact that I am a cold-natured person and trying to warm up is that much more difficult when it's already cold outside. But this year, I have to admit, I was looking forward to the cooler weather; this is a HUGE deal! I can't even tell you why but I can tell you I have enjoyed it! Well, most aspects...Ha!

On another note...

...I love music. Have you ever heard a song, thought you knew the words and never thought much of it? Unfortunately I do this a lot. In fact, I have my very own Ellen version of most songs played on the radio; Ellen's lyrics almost always rhyme and rarely make any sense. Ha!

Have you ever 're-learned' a song; heard it played somewhere where you can focus on the lyrics, meanings and emotions? This happened to me recently with JJ Heller's Your Hands. I have heard this song numerous times and always loved the sounds of it but I had never paid any attention to the words. Unfortunately I had this re-learning experience with this song at a funeral that I recently attended. One of the young daughters of the deceased sang this song in honor of her father. It was beautiful; there was not a dry eye in the house. How she had the strength to stand up there and sing is beyond my understanding, but God used it to touch everyone that was present.

Your Hands is my current most-favorite song. I hope that you enjoy it, too :)



I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

Monday, November 8, 2010

B90X wk 6: strong charcacter

Text covered: Nehemiah 13:15, Esther, Job, Psalm 89:13

Memory verse: Job 42:2: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’

Reading Status: ‘Red’ for almost caught up!

This was a huge week in the scriptures; from the strength of Esther, the tribulations and testing of Job and the beautiful words of the Psalms I have been filled!

Esther: another heroine who's strengths and characteristics we can learn a whole lot from.

*Strengths:
-she was courageous
-she was a careful planner
-she was open to advice and willing to listen
-she was more concerned for others than her own security

What we can *learn form Esther's life:
-God has a purpose for every situation that He puts us in.
-Serving God often demands that we risk our own security.

These are both tough pills to swallow; I would dare to say that these both fall into the 'Easier said that done' category. Would you not agree?! It seems that I find myself asking God things like, 'Why me?', 'Why here?', or even better: 'Why NOT?!

Since the beginning of my unemployed, living-at-home, now working-for-almost minimum-wage season I have seen God's hand at work and have had my eyes open to some of His greater purpose. While I doubt that I will ever know every reason for my time here I do know that I am right where He wants me to be. I have also learned that I may not be here solely for my benefit but possibly others' as well; whether it be my parents, co-workers, people's names I do not know or people I have yet to meet, or never meet for that matter. We are all instruments in His greater plan and purpose. He doesn't promise us all pink roses, all the time; only the security in knowing we have eternal life in Him.


Job: (not to be confused with the J-O-B that I am diligently searching for. Ha!) was prosperous-he had thousands of cattle, sheep and other livestock to fill his pastures; a large , beautiful family that filled every seat at his dinner table. It appeared he had everything. Satan, ever the accuser, presented this argument to God: that Job trusted God because of his great health and wealth; he had never struggled in anything. To prove him wrong, God allowed Satan to bring destruction and devastation to Job. In the following chapters we see Job tested, advised by friends and finally, answered by God.

*Strengths:-He was a man of faith, patience and endurance
-He was known as a caring, generous man

What we can *learn form Job's life:
-Knowing God is better than knowing answers
-Pain is not always punishment
-God is not arbitrary or uncaring

Have you ever found yourself feeling like Job? Whether it be a decline in health, pay cut, loss of a job, loss of a friend or loved one, we have all experienced a case of 'I wish things were the same as back when...'

I found myself in a discount shoe store this weekend. For those of you that know me knows that this has the potential to be a very bad situation. Why not buy more since you are getting such a great deal?! That has been my shopping philosophy pretty much from the day I was born. But, due to my current financial situation, buying more does not save me any money; no money at all.

So now, on the off chance that I allow myself anywhere near new, shiny shoes, I have to stop and think what even a $15 pair of shoes is worth to me. Queen Justifier of any and all purchases has had to take a back seat and let me just tell you-she is not happy child-locked in back there. But, I can tell you that I have learned so much during this period of non-shopping; among many things I have successfully made it halfway through the B90X challenge (and fully intend to finish!) and been able to spend time with both new and old friends, getting to know them all much better.

Not being able to buy a new pair of shoes may sounds silly to you; for some it may be a true problem. The point, though, is not the finances to buy new shoes whenever a shiny pair calls your name but that we all have experienced times of 'What we once had' and times of adjustment. It's what we choose to learn from these periods that shapes us into the man or woman that God desires for us to be.


Psalms: such a beautiful book, I found myself in so many of the pages of this book. While almost every one of the spoke to me I have chosen one that really gripped me as I through it; the entire chapter ended up being underlined in my Bible!

Psalm 13

'1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.'

*Book and character summaries taken from The Life Application Study Bible

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

B90X wk 5: in a pit?

Text covered: 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah 13:14

Memory verse: 1 Chronicles 16:34: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is Good; his love endures forever.’

1 Chronicles 29:10-14, 17: I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All things have I given willingly and with honest intent. and now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.'

Reading Status: ‘Red’ for almost caught up!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine game me 5 pod casts to listen to while driving back and forth from work and church. I guess the Lord prompted her to give them to me as I really needed to hear them. The pod-casts are a sermon series by Mark Batterson of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. In the first podcast, titled Defying Odds: Chase the Lion, Mark uses many references to Benaiah, the man in charge of King David’s bodyguard.

In all of my years of church sermons and Bible study I have never heard of this man or his credentials. But he seemed intriguing. Then, as I got to King David’s story in 2 Samuel, lo and behold, there was Benaiah and his resume: ‘He also went down in a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.’ (2 Samuel 23:20)

Benaiah is listed many other places throughout the Books of History in the Old Testament and described as ‘the son of Jehoiada’ but twice he called out as the man who went down in a pit with a lion on a snowy day.

Have you ever been in a pit? With a lion? While snowing??? A quote from the sermon still sticks out to me:
‘No one asks to be put in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, but it is these experiences that make life worth living.’
Mark Batterson
Think about that; what does it say to you? I realized that I am in a similar type of pit; if job seeking in our unstable economy had a face, paws and roar, I bet they would look and sound similar to that of a lion.

I know I’ve said it before but I will say it again--I know and believe that God has something out there for me, but to get there I must be patient, face the lion and persevere.

What is your lion? How is the weather in your pit? I’m pretty certain that no one reading this can say that their pit is not a pit at all but a beach in sunny California with a sunny and cloudless forecast. If that is you, I promise that the storms will be rolling in before too long. Just remember, we are brought through pits, stormy weather and ugly, giant encounters to build our own strength, character and integrity.

As it turns out, Mark Batterson wrote a book titled In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars. I have not read it yet but cannot wait to tackle it. I will let you know how it is; or, better yet, go read it yourself!

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson

Monday, October 25, 2010

meet me at the disco courts

Ahhhh.....I have missed my blog!!! I have been so busy lately that writing and updating has been put on the back burner :(

So....what has been keeping me busy?! I would love to tell you....The weather here has been AMAZING!!! A few friends got together to play volleyball a few Sundays ago. I had every intention of playing but the weather felt soooooooooo good and I was sooooooooo tired that I found myself passed out in a pool chair while sitting under a pagoda. This was my view! God’s creation is so beautiful!


I went to a Sunday School social one Friday night-70’s Skate Night! It was so much fun and a great work out! Well, it was a good workout for the right leg; we went in the same direction (counter clockwise) for about 2.4 hours and clockwise for about 30 min!


There were some very interesting outfits. Like most decades, the 70s offers a wide variety of options and styles to pull from-disco, hippie, polyester (or, as I like to call them, ‘Brady Bunch’ uniforms) etc. Every style was well, or badly, represented :)


As I was getting ready for the evening I decided that I have good 70s hair. Ha! It grows out fast and hangs straight no matter what I do to it. However, while my hair would have been socially acceptable I decided that I would never have made it had I grown up in the 70s. When Googling images of 70s attire I failed to notice how guys wore their hair in that era; not the wavy locks growing out of their head but their facial hair. I have had a strange sort of hair-a-phobia since the day I was born. I’m not kidding! You can ask my parents and they would tell you that I used to cry and run away from ANY man with ANY type of facial hair. And, to this day, I am still NOT a fan. I don’t know what it is! I do know that the first two guys that greeted me at the skate rink had these silly, shady looking mustache things carved onto their face. Everyone made a big deal about them, saying their ‘staches were awesome and made their outfits. I begged to differ but kept my mouth shut and skated (silently) away. Ok, I’m over it :)

Exhibit A: Scary-n-Hairy


Exhibit B: Silly 'Stache


I was able to find a long sleeve, polyester printed top to wear with blue jeans and my own disco-like shoes. To finish off the outfit my mom lent me her letter man's sweater from 1976! I was disappointed that I couldn't squeeze into her cheer leading uniform from that same year. During my Senior year in High School I got to wear it for a 70s day we had in a Modern American History class. The outfit was a hit! Unfortunately I have put on a few pounds and possibly another leg since then.


Somewhere in here I went to a wedding. It was absolutely beautiful! It was set up outdoors underneath a gazebo. The weather was perfect; if you wanted to have an outdoor wedding that day was the perfect day to do it!


Next up: INTents. What do you get when you put 100 junior high students, 30 tents, 22 pounds of bagged candy, and 2 local Christian rappers on a football field??? A crazy lock-in night of fun! It was a fun, albeit long, night. The kids entered the gates at 7:00 pm Saturday night and held there until 7:30 Sunday morning! On the agenda was hamburgers, a Gospel presentation, glow-in-the-dark capture the flag (did not go so well), s’mores and ‘quiet’ time in their tents. An awesome experience for the kids but one that should only occur once a year!


The student ministry at my church has a good thing going on. I come from a troubled youth pastor past; perhaps that is why I have a special place in my heart for the students. That being said, a few nights ago the church hosted the Worlds’ Largest Dodgeball Tournament! It was quite an operation. 21+ courts were set up on the football field and 1600 students came to ‘dodge’ for the title and first place prizes. They brought in a member of Team Impact to provide the Gospel presentation; 200+ students made decisions for Christ. Praise the Lord!!!


The varsity championship game; the team that won has made it to the final championship every year for the past 3 years but were never able to clench the title. This year, though, they turned a new page and took home a W!!!


Well, that’s the SHORT catch-up version! I hope that you have had a wonderful October and welcomed fall weather!

Sweet friends :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

B90X wk 4: kings and more kings


Text covered:1 Samuel 28:20, 1 Kings, 2 Kings 25:30

Memory verse: 2 Samuel 22:2-4: ‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in who I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-from violent men you save me. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.’

Reading Status: ‘Red’ for very, very behind!

Unfortunately I was unable to keep up with my readings this week :( But I am not giving up!

I did want to share a portion of David's Song of Praise (2 Samuel 22) You really should read it in it's entirety but here is a part that really spoke to me:

31 "As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is flawless.

He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?

33 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stnad on the heights.

35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can ben a bow of bronze.

36 You give my your shield of victory;
you stoop down to make me great.

37 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ancles do not turn.'

It is so easy to say that 'God's way is perfect and so much harder to know that 'God's way is perfect'. We have to recognize that His way is perfect, believe it is perfect, and trust it is perfect. It is my prayer for you that in whatever situation you may be faced with right now that you recognize, believe and trust in Him and that His way is indeed PERFECT!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

B90X wk 3: be like Ruth


Text covered: Deuteronomy 23:12, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 28:19

Memory verse: Joshua 1:9: ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’

Reading Status: ‘Green’ for caught up and on time!


I am so happy to say that I am caught up in my reading! I am also happy to be out of the Books of the Law! I know they are all there for a purpose and are important (God would not have included them if they weren’t) but they can be a challenge to diligently read through.

I am a relationship guru. I love interactions with friends and those around me. We learn so much through these interactions: how to deal with others, things about yourself (both good and bad), what you believe and don’t believe and so much more. We also learn who we want to be around, those we like and dislike. For the most part, we choose to surround ourselves with those who encourage us, share similar beliefs and those who will not be a negative influence on us.

And that brings me to Ruth. I love this book of the Bible. I have never read it from beginning to end until now; if you haven’t you probably should! I had also never let the fact that Ruth was a female sink in. Of course I recognized she was female but I had never considered the importance and significance of this fact. Think about it: she has her own book in the Bible, our guidelines for life.

In no way am I a women’s activist; I believe it is God’s plan for the man to be head of our households (both family and church family). But as a female I know it can be hard sometimes when we read the Bible and hear about all of the wonderful, and not so wonderful, men that God used. We rarely see any women mentioned and it sometimes leaves me wondering ‘Where do I fit in?’. The point is this: females are just as important to Him and He uses each and every one of us to fulfill His plan. Ruth had a story to tell and in just a few, short chapters God reveals to us what a woman of faith, integrity and commitment should look like.

God used Ruth is such a mighty way. Her story seems simple: she becomes widowed at a young age, steals the heart of another good man and said man cares and provides for her for the rest of her years. The outline sounds simple; sure there was heartache but the Lord provided, right? But it is in the paragraphs that fill in the outline that we find that her life was anything but simple. They reveal to us that it was her faithfulness and commitment to God and trust in her relationship with her mother-in-law that carried her through many dark and ugly valleys.

I want to be like Ruth. I also want to surround myself with Naomi’s; women of God who seek Him first and help make His truths evident to me through the long journey of life. Naomi’s who have ‘been there, done that’ and can rejoice in my joy and cry in my sorrow, knowing from experience that the Lord will restore us if we seek Him. Naomi’s who encourage me in my faithfulness and trust in the Lord. Naomi and Ruth were both loved and provided for by God, just as you are loved and important to Him.

I learned a new word this week: kinsman-redeemer. Knowing the meaning and symbolism behind titles such as these in the Bible helps us to see the bigger picture and God’s omni-presence in each and every one of our lives. I am not confident in my own ability to convey to you the meaning and importance of this word so here is the explanation from The Life Application Study Bible (NIV):

‘A kinsman-redeemer was a relative who volunteered to take responsibility for the extended family. When a woman’s husband died, the law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10) provided that she could marry a brother of her dead husband. but Naomi had no more sons. In such a case, the nearest relative to the deceased husband could become a kinsman-redeemer and marry the widow. The nearest relative did not have to marry the widow. If he chose not to, the next nearest relative could take his place. If no one chose to help the widow, she would probably live in poverty the rest of her life because in Israelite culture the inheritance was passed on to the son or nearest male relative, not to the wife. To take the sting out of these inheritance rules, there were laws for gleaning and kinsman-redeemers.

We have a kinsman-redeemer in Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, came to earth as a man in order to save us. By his death on the cross, he has redeemed us from sin and hopelessness and thereby purchased us to be his own possession (1Peter 1:18, 19). This guarantees our eternal inheritance.’

Ruth found her kinsman-redeemer in Boaz. Boaz loved and provided for both Ruth and Naomi, carrying on the name of Naomi’s dead husband’s family. The lineage of Boaz is recorded in the last few verses of chapter 4. Here we see that Ruth was the great-grandmother of David. If Boaz had not taken on the responsibility of Ruth’s family name and property David would not have been born. If David had not been born Jesus would not have been born. If Jesus had not been born our Messiah would have not come back to be our Kinsman-Redeemer. I don’t even want to think where we might be today if the Messiah had not come back to redeem us.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

waiting for my 'Click'

I started blogging for many reasons--one being that I have a story to tell and know there are so many women (and men) out there who are experiencing many of the same heartaches and struggles that I am. One of my life’s goals it to help make a difference in people’s lives. It is my hope and prayer that you may find yourself somewhere between the lines of my story and know that you are not alone!

We all need encouragement, it’s been scientifically proven somewhere I’m sure. Today I wandered from my normal blog sites and came across Amy’s post about how God can change everything in an instant, a ‘Click’ moment; He alone can work miracles. I encourage you to also link up to her blog: http://www.dustyandamy.com or go there to read others’ stories of miracles and hope. My story is different from those on her blog, however; I am still waiting on my ‘Click’ moment. I know there are many of you in the same limbo. So, for those of you who do not know my story (and those of you who do!), here it is:

I was raised in a Christian home--I was that kid who started going to church 9 months before I was born. Like so many I knew the ‘right’ answers, all of the Bible stories and that when the doors to church were unlocked I was going to be there. I ‘knew’ church. I enjoyed it. It was the only think I knew. In no way am I ungrateful to God for putting me in a home that put Him first; the Lord only knows where I would be today if it weren’t for that.

But...

Also like so many brought up in the church, I wandered off for a little while. I went down several roads that I knew I shouldn't, made mistakes that were avoidable and allowed those who did not have my life and well-being in their best interest influence me. I knew better. I was miserable. Isn’t it funny how when we are miserable we press harder into the source of our miserableness and farther away from the One who is our Everything?

Thankfully I had many family and friends who never gave up on me and continued to pray for me. About 2 years ago I had an ‘Aha’ moment where I recognized that I could no longer do it on my own (recognizing that I was attempting to do life on my own was a hard step, too) and I went running back to Him. It wasn’t easy, talking to Him did not come so naturally and making time for Him took practice. And that is exactly what I prayed for for many months, ‘Lord, I want to want You; give me the desire to get to know You on a deeper, personal level.’ And He did! I am so thankful and look forward to everything He is going to teach me.

All those years of wandering and searching I thought I was ready to take on a marriage, a career, kids, etc. Looking back I can see that I was nowhere near ready for a Click moment. God knew what He was doing; imagine that! He knew that I was not ready for any commitments; I couldn’t even commit to Him! I am so thankful! This isn’t to say that I haven’t shed mine and your fair share of tears; none of it was easy. Sometimes God has to shake our world up to teach us.

With all of that said, I am still waiting on my Click. In this past month I have come to a place where I can honestly say that I am at peace with where God has me and am confident that one day, sooner or later, He is going to shake my world up and Click!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

football, greyhounds and junk

I spent most of my weekend with my special friend, Traci, her husband, and family. She and I go way back and I love her to death. (Even though she introduced me to a friend this weekend and said, ‘We have been friends for too long.’ Ha!)


On Friday night we headed out to Adam’s football game (he coaches the defense); I got to ride there with the Water Boy! Traci’s nephew, Henry, is one of the water boy’s for the team. All I could think was how much less Coke 0 I would drink if I had a water boy to follow me around all day!


I thought ringing obnoxious cowbells was just a Mississippi State thing, but apparently not! Traci had all the fixings to make my very own cowbell for the game. Look how cute it turned out! Unfortunately it did not look so cute by the end of the game; mine, of course, ended up broken on the track. That didn’t stop me, though. I quickly downloaded an MSU cowbell app (don’t tell my dad!!!) and was able to participate in the raucous for the remainder of the game. Ha!


After the game we sped home (well, it’s debatable how fast we were actually going; the speedometer was broken!), got into bed as soon as we could and slept ‘fast’ for 2.5 hours. For some crazy, hair-brained reason we decided it would be a good idea to join a bunch of ladies (elementary school teachers!) on a bus at 4:00 a.m. for a day trip to Canton. Oh my! I can only imagine what was going through Adam’s head when he dropped us off at the Greyhound; I love to shop, but 4:00 AM?!?!?!?!?!

4 hours and 52 women later we arrived at Canton with our shopping carts wheeling. It was an awesome day. We walked around Canton for about 8 hours taking in all that we couldn’t afford and getting ideas for the day when we can. Ha!

I got a few little things, mostly stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts. It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start thinking about Christmas gifts and decorations!!! I feel like I just packed up my tree from last year!

A few things I LOVED:

I am so into over-sized, silver flowers right now. I especially like the cube z's and the added dimension; it reminds me of the rose from The Beauty and The Beast!








I thought this chest of drawers was SOOOOO cute! They had several pieces painted to match this set. I'm thinkin' I have chest that is already black; adding zebra stripes wouldn't be too hard!!!

This sign is too PERFECT!

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