Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cross Church update

I am going way back to one of my first posts on this blog....click here for full details

Look at this-

my baby was itty bitty and unmobile and hairless

now look at her...

she demands coffee

Charis was 7 mo old when she accompanied me and 3 college age girls to San Diego, CA to help my life long best friend, Becky Graves

here we are then at a ladies event we put on that weekend

the food that day was wonderful, the tea - unforgetable and the weather - unseasonally HOT!

I have listened to Becky's fears and trials and rejoiced with the triumphs, accomplishments and salvation reports from the church God has them pastoring- CrossChurch San Diego.

Sunday night's report was amazing-

Becky's boys, 11 year old twins, went to middle school this year. It was a prayer request to say the least . Fear is more the word. There is little is any Christian influence at this school. Her boys have been embracing the challenge and inviting their friends to their youth group.

They got permission to hold a see you at the pole rally last week- while the principle put them in the parking lot a Christian teacher took them to the flagpole where they should've been-

Despite other  teacher's threats and 7th and 8th grade mockers they continued to pray. Noah led the group. By the end their prayer for 30 was answered and that Christian teacher took note and when she talked to Noah about his leadership abilities he quickly asked to start a Christian club on campus.

I told that story to Silas Sunday night, he then prayed that God would help him live the Christian life when he got older. I ended the prayer time praying he'd see that you don't wait, God wants to use him right now in 4th grade. Monday night he beemed as he recounted the 4H meeting that day when he was elected chaplain of the group. I said, "You know what a Chaplain does ? " He said, "Leads in prayer" When he realized that was what Nate and Noah were doing too he smiled.

Greater things are yet to come at Cross Church. Join me in praying for them....you can visit their website here

tuesday weigh in day-week 3

-1.2 lbs

disappointed but still hopeful

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday weigh in day-week 2

-2. 7 lbs Yes!

This weeks been harder, but results help.

I told you I'd digress more into my history with food.

I came into the world 33 years ago Friday (immediately following OU's game of the century) at 8lbs 8oz.

I have never been called skinny. Well there was a time in 9th grade I wanted to impress a certain person and choose to not eat for 3 months and the weight came off. Then when I made up for lost time, eating large amounts, I decided to throw up. A lot. Through the grace of God and attentive parents I have come a long way since then.

I WILL NOT blame my parents- something I have done before (probably before I became a parent myself) . Something I have realized recently is that they taught me how to fight. The Enemy has no hold on me. But he'll try and tempt me in the same areas my own ancestor's struggled in. So while a good example helps no generation is immune from sin, we are all bent toward evil and selfishness. And the only way we get victory is staying in God's word and keep working it out his way not my way.

So later today I will post all my scripture card verses and digress a little more....

Monday, September 20, 2010

On Being a Musician

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a local pastor if I could lead music at his church Sept. 19th. I received little instructions, translation- lots of freedom. Not sure what he had in mind but we did something.

I am forever a teacher so I took the opportunity to incorporate a student of mine that's capable of playing keyboard. My first thought was I'd lead on guitar and he'd play keys.

 But we wanted some drums.

So last Sunday morning after church service I went up to a drummer friend and asked, "You want to play drums with me next week? " Meet Ricky McCord.

He didn't skip a beat, " Yes" and by Tuesday he had a bass and lead guitar hooked up for me. These guys play together in the band , Eagle Eye Annie.

Meet Greg Solomon and Chris Tugman. (pics off their website, this isn't the church lol)

I have been working with a kid band for over a year now, we've lead music 2-3 times at our church and several times at kid worship on wed. nights. It was in prep for our Alabama trip.

 I've forgotten what it is to work with better musicians than myself. It's intimidating.

Not that I don't want to learn, I very much do. I just was feeling like I should be better than I was. But somewhere in the last 11 years of teaching, 3 pregnancies, house management and pastor's wife stuff and a multitude of volunteer projects- performing and serious practicing haven't been done.

It's time to change. It's time to quit giving mediocrity to the Lord.

Me and the boys did 6 songs Sunday and I pray those who heard them were lead to the Lord not us.

I am a worshipper not a performer but that's no excuse for not playing better.

So I gave it my all- gave God my hands (and sore finger tips) and I played acoustic rhythm guitar in a band. And LOVED it!

But before we played I suffered some serious doubts and pride. I hate that about being musical- the need for human applause. Cody reminded me I play to audience of ONE, God alone. He made me musical and he gets all the glory for what comes out of these fingers/voice.

It's because of his Amazing Grace I can even play.

Greg's rendition of Amazing Grace on harmonica was so moving Sunday- and he's from North Carolina!!

Rocking the Hymns,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Silas's New Bike

Well we thought we'd reward the child labor we have imposed upon our oldest son.

With a new bike

He helped Cody cut wood last winter and helped with some yard work last Saturday so Cody took him afterward to get him a new bike.

The boys around the neighborhood have been riding bikes a lot lately. It's a childhood rite of passage. Makes me nervous, I'll admit but I am learning to trust my baby to Lord. I will forever hate that they are growing up and out of my control but my mother gave me timeless wisdom regarding that-

She said, "If they didn't grow you'd cry your eyes out about that, too"

Yea, your right. Love you mom!

Cody rebuilt his old bike that his dad had kept a year ago. For what it cost to fix up the old we could've bought a new but I tend to be nostalgic too so I didn't say anything. But the old bike's brakes when out and a couple of weeks ago he ran into the life center at church. And we are going through shoes at an alarming rate.

Funny even with the new bike he would still stop with his feet. Sounds human doesn't it. God has given us new lives and freedom through his salvation and yet we still revert to old ways of thinking. He hadn't taken the time to learn all that that bike had to offer. Likewise there is more in Christ if we'll open our eyes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday- Weigh In Day

-3.7 lbs

I needed to see progress, I was getting weary.

Another verse from yesterday's Bible Study-

2 Chronicles 26:5 " As long as the king sought the Lord, God have him success."

A question that keeps entering my mind- Would I be doing this if there wasn't a monetary reward involved? Is God using the reward to motivate me or am I seeking money over him? At this point I don't know for sure.

I feel it's a contest, I've been in those before. Sing your heart out and lose. A couple of years ago I was on stage strapped for cash singing Somewhere over the Rainbow with a ukelele (try and contain your laughter as you visualize that) seeking money not God's glory. The competition wasn't high, I should've won. But I didn't. Lesson learned- do not try to get rich quick.

But this feels like work, it's hard work. So I just don't know.

Another thing that interests me is God's rewards. While we don't hear  a lot about it the Bible is clear - there are rewards for following and trusting him-

God knows who'll win this contest I'm in and I'm gonna rejoice with whomever he gives that favor to because that's Biblical (Romans 12:15). And I will do it with a genuine heart because the money is  not "my why". I'm not doing it to get rich quick. Not that the money wouldn't help out at Christmas time but my God owns the cattle on a 1,000 hills and can provide money for Christmas anyway he chooses-

Just thinking on screen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We got a mac this summer.

Among many other things it has photo booth.

Fun pictures. 

The kids love it. 

Oh my.

There's a couple options that put you in places, it looks like your riding a roller coaster or underwater.

Cady loves this program. 

and today she showed me this one she took a while back....

Oh my.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Why

I entered a competition.

Fit Friends.

I know 2 people out of the 80plus participating. And I am fully convinced I am going to win! lol, I'm very competitive and highly motivated by rewards.

I am #62, this is also a number I follow on the football field on Friday nights.

Here's the link to the "Fit Friends" if you want more info on that.

Last Friday night I sat for 6 hours listening to a forum on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what that means to me. God used the open discussion on repentance to get my attention. The question was asked, " when's the last time you repented." What does or should repentance look like in our churches?

My mind went to the forever fight against my flesh and my lack of self control in the area of eating.

When's the last time I saw this as God sees it- blatant disobedience.

James 4:17
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

The Lord had already been stirring my heart towards self control but I had no accountability. No one would ask me every week, "Are you doing the good things you know you should?" "Are you exercising? Are you eating in moderation?"

It's not that I didn't ask for some help, they just weren't checking up on me.

The next morning I had an invite on my facebook page for Fit Friends. It was exactly what I needed, motivation and accountability. 

I know in my life when God wants to work on a particular area of disobedience he does it lovingly with much grace. A friend told me this verse this week...

Romans 2

 1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance

I underlined the verse, giving you also context.

When I was in Nepal last year and was acutely aware of how much food is wasted and consumed in America it made me sick, I wanted to change. Eat less, give more away. But here in my country/culture food and excess is EVERYWHERE. It felt too big to change. So I did nothing.

One thing our "leader" in this Fit Friends said was define your WHY- when you want to give in take 15 min. to remember your WHY. Why are you doing what your doing? So here's my why....

1. Because it is sin. Sin known and not repented of is like a slap in our Savior's face, he endured great pain for my salvation and I have not lived up to the honor of being the 'bride of Christ" (bride of Christ being those who have excepted his salvation and live accordingly)
2. Because my husband needs to see me taking care of myself for him and our children.
3. Because none of my clothes fit!

And I am sorry, I never wanted to make my blog about weight loss, I have a weird relationship with weight loss. But this is my life and I am here to share it.

What's God telling you to repent of? God in his grace is asking us to make the most of these days we've been given, and he is faithful to reveal it through the Holy Spirit- just ask him

When's the last time you repented?

What does that look like? For me it means change not merely, "I'm sorry"....a changed mind and changed habits/behaviors

I am measuring, eating less than I have, no caffeine, creamer and sugary drinks- and exercising. There's more to this forever fight, I'll digress later....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Answered Prayer & Tote bags

A friend had a need that we prayed about recently. It involved children and grandparents that wanted them. 

When our prayers were answered last Thursday I wanted to celebrate!

So I made these bags to welcome the girls to Velma. 

Another friend donated bows and headbands..

I put a velma comet spin on these make your own design car mugs. 

I also included velma comet t-shirts and visors for the girls. 

Other ideas- add candy or cookies with comet theme, pictures of us, our church family or gift cards for fun stuff around here. 

Living out Romans 12:15, 
the totebag blogger

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cooking through Ruth

I've been carrying this tote around the last 5 weeks.

I am studying the book of Ruth (it's a small book in the Bible). I've shared my adventures, rather enthusiastically, with several groups/people I love. 

1. My Sunday morning girls- we met on sunday mornings and have cried and laughed, smiled and prayed and dug deep....I LOVE these girls. 

2. A friend from college. We've met at McDonald's, the Library, her house, my house, the park....

3. And then I had the bright idea to cook through it. In Kelly Minter's Bible Study
 She has not only great perspective and good writing, it's got music to go with and...... RECIPES!

Here's what we did -

Invited anyone who'd listen to a sunday night gathering in a kitchen. 

I had a simple handout each week, it included the recipes we were cooking, the week/chapter we were reading (there are 4) , additional verses to look up/ books to check out/ further reading and ideas for ministering to others through feeding (working at the Velma food bank, kitchen team, feeding those who've had surgery/babies/deaths, feeding our families/friends)

We stood around a large bar, I enter mixed reading the chapter and discussing it with the steps of creating the recipe. 

week 1 theme- opposite of the famine that Naomi was in- "The bounty of Summer" We made  recipes using tomatoes/veggies and a watermelon ice. 

week 2 theme- " Crock Pot Meals" chapter 2 highlights Ruth and Boaz's first meeting and her incredible work ethic and since some of us were returning to working/school that week we did meals for the working woman 

week 3 theme- chapter 3 ends with Ruth having taken a big risk and then having to wait, we went the opposite with "Quick Meals"

week 4 theme- "How sweet it is" chapter 4 ends with a wedding , a baby and a beautiful display of God's redemption of man (you know he made us then Eve sinned, we needed saving....) And ends not with Ruth but with the Lord - getting the glory he deserves, it's so not about us or her. We did all desserts . And they were all from the book. Here is the one she said we must try...Banoffi Pie from England

you can get more info about the study I did at kellyminter.com and the recipe to this wonderful English pie with homemade whipped cream with coffee , bananas and toffee! Yum (you have to scroll down a bit) 

The website also has videos. 

The ladies simply read the book of Ruth during the week, I was the only one going through the study, I of course invited them to buy it. 

They brought their stories, and they were amazing (one shared of forgiving her mother in law, spending sweet moments with her daughter that just went to college, one made us cry and cheer when she organized her first funeral dinner for a tiny baby boy's family)

they brought things they found online or in their study Bibles, we had some kids join us & we always ate what we made :)

I'd do this as a retreat for other churches,  I loved it!

Us through Cady's eyes

My daughter

Loves food. (showcasing her appetizers in a hallow bread bowl)

Hard to wake up in the morning.

Generally on the grumpy side.


Quite honest.

She brought home a paper from GA's tonight that is classic Cady.

Just call her Olivia.

And call us crazy apparently.

She did well capturing the hair.

This rendition of the family cracks me up and will likely make it to a profile picture.

Silas is yelling, she is mad, my hair is up like always and we won't talk about Cody....Charis' hair is dead on...curls and top not.

Cady has been a surprise at every stage of the game. From her conception to her gender to her blue eyes and blond hair, to her unique personality. God has big plans for this one , who tells me quite often she's waiting for God to speak to her. I know he will. And I will jump up and down the day he does and she says yes! And she will look at me and say, " Would you stop, you are embarrassing me."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Best story I've heard in awhile

My eyes are swollen as I sit here typing away. Cody is watching a sad documentary over a Russian Terrorist Attack. Stories. People's amazing stories. I am in awe.

2 weeks ago I picked up a book in Hastings that rang a bell, (still don't know what bell but it may have been at my brother's house, they did tell me they have the book) Same kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

I didn't buy the book but wrote it down to search for at the library. When I stopped by last week they had it. I had read a chapter here and there, but by page 100 I couldn't get enough. I have cried for the last hour and a half. Only to come into this room and hear more heart wrenching stories.

I think I was gripped most by the surprise recount of his wife's battle with cancer- I was under the assumption the book was about philanthropy work, really didn't think it had anything to do with God either. There was one mention on the back cover and that one mention made me want to read it. But I nearly quit reading it. Oh my SO glad I didn't- it's an amazing, emotional account packed with true faith and Jesus and his saving grace and willingness to change lives- the homeless and the wealthy. I loved that I knew most of the places mentioned in the book. Cody spent several years commuting to seminary there. I even checked out the mission's website and want to take my students down for a service!

Here's the book cover

Click here for a link to some great quotes and a review of the book, you can google it and get others

Click here for the link to the Gospel Union Mission on Lancaster St in Tarrant Co.

And lastly Denver Moore telling us he's a Nobody telling Everybody about the SOMEBODY that can save anybody!

There are many videos on youtube featuring the authors.