hot bliggity blog 267

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!

Friday, October 1, 2010

station of service

While looking for employment in my field(s) of interest I have been blessed with a job at a local company that owns several Shell stations in the area. Normally my duties involve answering the phones, data entry, some light (extremely) accounting (NOT my knack!) and about 17 Excel spreadsheets all opened on my desktop.

Yesterday, though, I took it to the streets, or pumps, I should say! As a promotion for our business and the new partnership between Shell and Kroger we gave away gasoline to those who came through from 10:30 to 12:00. It was crazy! A local radio station, Red Bull, and several others were out at the event as well. The weather was perfect and we got our picture with Kevin Harvick's Nascar car!!!


The station has 16 pumps; so for one and half hours I manned Pump #9. Now I know that pumping gas for complete strangers does not sound like a lot of fun. But I am here to tell you that it was one of the best experiences I've had in a long time. Seriously!

The Lord calls us to serve others and to have a servant's heart. We can serve in so many ways: holding open a door, staying late to help finish a project, reaching out to someone in need, to name a few. And that's exactly what we did yesterday; we served others. Sometimes it is hard, though, to serve others with a smiling face. We've all been there. You go to help someone pick up their spilled bookbag and receive little to no thanks. You go the extra mile to fix a problem only to receive angry customers in return. BUT, you also will come across that person who is in the darkest of places and your simple act of kindness makes their day.

After an hour of pumping I had seen the whole spectrum of customers: expectant, thankful, distracted and cheerful. At 11:32, however, I had a lady pull up in her minivan. This lady made my whole day worth it. With tears in her eyes she told me that she had $60 in her checking account to last her for the week. I noticed 2 car seats in the back and can only imagine what $35 worth of free gas could buy for her family. Another spurt of tears and emotions flooded over when, after starting to get out of her car to pump her gas, I asked her to sit back down and let me pump it for her. I wanted to hug her so bad and just talk to her but with cars backing up I had to let her drive off. Her gratefulness stayed with me, though. See, I had a hand in giving her something that wasn't even mine to begin with and that meant more to her than anything else possibly could have at that moment.

This is exactly how God works. He uses us, His servants, to pass along His free gift of eternal life. It's not always easy, it's not always glamerous, and it certainly isn't always the 'cool' thing to do. But it's the right thing to do; it's what Jesus has called us to do.

Colossians 3:23-24 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an interitance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (NIV)

You never know who's life you're touching or who is watching you for an example. Let's look around and see who we might serve today.

B90X wk 2: perspecitve & meaning

My church is currently participating in The Bible in 90 Days challenge or, as we have termed it, B90X. The challenge takes the Bible and divides it into 90-12 page-a-day reading assignments. Sounds intense, right? I am here to tell you that it is!!! While this is not an ‘in-depth’ Bible study and does not dig deep into any particular portions of truths it does dig wide! I am pretty excited and determined about the challenge as I have never read the Bible cover to cover. To help us in our challenge, the church has organized a class that meets once a week to recap the week’s readings together. So, on Thursdays (the end of a reading week) I am going to be sharing something or some things that I have learned during the week. This will serve many purposes: to keep me accountable, to help me really focus as I read, and to encourage you to do the same thing and read the Bible in it’s entirety.

The Bible in 90 Days : Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day

The first two weeks (we are two weeks in) covered Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus AND Numbers. There is some heavy stuff here! A friend of mine who is also doing the study asked me last night what I have learned this past week. I told him that it is my educated opinion that the author of Leviticus would have greatly benefited from Control+C and Control+V (Copy and Paste) commands. Ha! But seriously, everything is repeated 12 times.

I have learned other, more important things, though. Take the life of Joseph, for instance. While I have not been thrown into a cistern by my siblings (no funny business, you two) I have felt alone and sometimes find myself wondering if God has forgotten me during this season of my life. As it would happen, I am also currently reading Wilderness Skills for Women by Marian Jordan. (If you have not read it, I highly suggest you put it on the top of your ‘To Read’ List.) I just finished the chapter titled “The Wilderness of Rejection’. In this chapter, Marian uses the story of Joseph as an example of ultimate rejection. (Genesis 37-50)

Wilderness Skills for Women, Marian Jordan, Book - Barnes & Noble

In a nutshell, Joseph was hated by his brothers and, at the age of 17, was sold into slavery. The years following this were not so glamorous, either. Joseph was taken to Egypt--where he grew in favor of Potiphar--but was then falsely accused of seducing Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail.

Now I seriously doubt this was the life that Joseph had seen in his future. Do you remember 17? I do...I was starting my Senior year and getting ready for the Homecoming dance. Now granted, Joseph was given a brightly colored and ornamented coat by his father, but I hardly think it was anything like homecoming dress shopping with your mom at Macy’s.

Joseph’s story does not stop in jail, however. After 2 years time, he is remembered by the baker, interprets Pharaoh's dreams, is named Commander in Chief of Pharaoh’s administration and saves his family from famine and starvation. God had a MUCH bigger plan; every circumstance in Joseph’s life was used to play out His perfect plan. And Joseph recognized it, too! Check out his perspective recorded in Gen. 45:4-7:
“4Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’ “
Wow! To be able to recognize your purpose in God’s plan is amazing and I have made it my daily prayer that I am able to do the same thing in my life.

I just LOVE how Marian puts it in black & white on page 44:
>If Joseph’s brothers never sell him to the Midianites, then Joseph never goes to Egypt.

>If Joseph never goes to Egypt, he is never sold to Potiphar.

>If he is never sold to Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife never falsely accuses him of rape.

>If Potiphar’s wife never falsely accuses him of rape, then he is never put in prison.

>If he is never put in prison, he never meets the baker and the butler of Pharaoh.

>If he never meets the baker and butler of Pharaoh, he never interprets their dreams.

>If he never interprets their dreams, he never gets to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.

>If he never gets to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, he never is made prime minister.

>If he is never made prime minister, he never wisely administrates for the severe famine coming upon the region.

>If he never wisely administrates for the severe famine coming upon the region, then his family back in Canaan perishes from the famine.

>If his family back in Canaan perishes from the famine, the Messiah can’t come forth from a dead family.

>If the Messiah can’t come forth, then Jesus never came.

>If Jesus never came, you are dead in your sins and without hope in this world.

What seemed like rejection truly was God’s protection.
Ok, now go read the rest of the book!

Unfortunately I missed last night’s class. BUT my friend Will shared with me some of what I missed. And what he shared. Was. Awesome. I have to pass it along!

Genealogy can be a boring thing to read but for some reason God felt it important enough to list them out in Scripture. So we read:
Adam begot Seth who begot Enosh who begot Kenan who begot Mahalalel who begot Jared who begot Enoch who begot Methuselah who begot Lamech who begot Noah. (Paraphrase of Genesis 5)
Okay, thank you. Now look at these men and their names’ meanings:
Hebrew.........English
Adam..............Man
Seth................Appointed
Enosh.............Mortal
Kenan.............Sorrow;
Mahalalel........The Blessed God
Jared..............Shall come down
Enoch.............Teaching
Methuselah.....His death shall bring
Lamech...........The Despairing
Noah...............Rest, or comfort.
Now, by adding a few articles conjunctions, read the genealogy like this:

Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest, or comfort.

Wow.
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