Saturday, June 25, 2011

Competition

I am always amazed at what Daddy uses to strike up a conversation with me.  This week it was as innocent as a facebook comment.  It brought the topic of competition to my mind.  I have often thought of myself as a non competitor.  I don't really like to play games of any sort because yes there will always be a loser. 
I really don't think that Daddy is a very big competitor either.  Here's why.  Jeremiah 31:3 tells me He has loved me with an everlasting love:  He has drawn me with loving kindness.  Somewhere out in this blogs history there was a post about whole hearted devotion.  Jeremiah 29:13 says "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all of your heart I will be found by you."   And there are many more scriptures that speak of an undivided heart & whole hearted devotion.  He wants all of me or none of me.  But how many times do I place Him in the middle of a competition?  I choose something over Him? I choose facebook, a good novel, Internet, TV, phone, sun and poolside.  When I do this before time with Him, I am telling Him, He is not important.  I am pulling Him into a game that He really doesn't want to play & then I end  up losing.  My heart begins to show the effects of being dehydrated.  Just like the boys when they play a full game with no water break.  It wears them down until they just can't go on. 

Now as I type this, this image comes to mind:  I am willing to bet I am not the only one who has stood on the side line waiting for two people to pick their team.  You hoped you would be their first choice.  If not first at least second.  But you stood there and watched as everyone else was chosen and you were next to last if not the last.  Hurt didn't it?  Isn't that often times how we do God?  We choose everything else first.  Everyone else first.  He is often the last to be picked.  Or at least that is how it sometimes has worked and sad to say, still works with me.  I take Him for granted because I know He will always be there.  Remember He loves us with an everlasting love. As I have thought on this these past few days, it has made me feel so sad.  Guilty.  To think that my Heavenly Father loved me so much that He gave all He had.  He sacrificed all He had.  My Jesus was so willing to take on my sin.  He was beaten, spit upon, nailed to a cross for me.  And how many times have I made Him stand on the sideline?  Knowing He has loved me with an everlasting love.  Knowing.  I can see Him standing there now.  The look of disappointment on His face.  Loving me. Waiting on me to call on Him.  I think I may not be so quick to choose the other stuff first anymore.  Because I can see Him standing there. Waiting.  So why not pick Him first?  Why not say I love you too?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day D!

Don't you just love that look?  I see it so often.  (I smile)  I would have really liked for the boys to have hacked the blog & typed one up.  You know, kind words about their dad, but then I woke up.  So I thought I would do it for them.  They may not realize it just yet but I do believe they have a pretty good idea of the kind of father they have.  I believe with everything in me this man would go to the ends of the earth for his boys.  I will never forget how happy he was on June 17, 1994.  He had a son.  And then just a couple of years later, another one.  God knew what He was doing. 

This is so typical of him.  Giving them instructions.  Even if it was just putt putt golf.  It doesn't matter if it is golf, baseball, basketball, trucks, or scripture he is always teaching & instructing them. Here he was telling the young one how to line it up as the big one watchs' and listens.   I have to laugh.



Here he is telling him not to cheat on the score card.  One thing they both have in common, neither of them like to lose at anything. 

To the oldest, his dad really did hang the moon.  And if Dad said it then it must be true.

I love this one.  All my boys.  I could have never walked out in this world and hand picked a better man.  He loves his family.  He doesn't believe in just saying the words.  His actions speak more than any word ever could.  And I have no doubts at all that, when these boys are grown, with hopefully their own sons, they will look back and recall all the things their father did for them and they will pass it all on to their own.  He is leaving them with an inheritance that is for sure.  And I don't mean a lot of money.  It is far more valuable than that.  They know without any doubts that he clings on to our Heavenly Father for everything.  And as a mama, if one or both of them said I want to grow up and be like my dad, I wouldn't have a problem with it at all.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!! He's Seventeen today!

I often wonder where this little boy went.  I asked that a few weeks ago about another little boy.  But this one is celebrating a birthday today.   As I type this it is really the sixteenth.  I can't think about the seventeenth without thinking about the sixteenth.  You see this child is also special.  The one I posted about a few weeks ago is our high maintance clown.  He's the one who always keeps me hopping and laughing and yellin'.  But this oldest one, well, let's just say God sent him at the right time.  Here's why:  You see, we had just gotten off of one of the longest, roughest roller coaster rides I think I have ever been on.  We were young & newly wed, just tryin to figure out how to live with each other when my daddy was diagnosed with cancer.  We had been through that and he had gone home to be with our Father in January of 1993.  On October 13, 1993(which was my daddy's birthday) I found out I was having this child.  Then I found out my due date was June 15th.  The date my daddy had had surgery in 1991.  Mom & Dad's anniversary is June 11, D's dad's birthday is June 16.  So any date held some signifigance.  I knew from the beginning what his middle name would be; either my maiden name or daddy's middle name.  He got daddy's middle name.  The 16th started like most days did during that week.  Only a few contratctions.  Then they got closer and the rest is history.  I don't know if every mother is like me, but I remember every detail of that day. ( As well as the second child's birthday too)  We watched the LA Police Department chase a white Bronco down the freeway with O. J. Simpson in it.  And no wonder this child plays basketball, the NBA Finals were on as well. We finally got to see this 9lb 1oz baby boy a little after 2 a.m. on the seventeenth.  Now you know the rest of the story. 
This one was our first.  He has always been laid back, quite, easy going, somewhat of a worrier.  Boy could he ask some questions when he was little.  He came just when we needed him.  God works that way you know.  He filled a void.  He has been a joy to raise. 
I didn't take these first two pictures.  But wasn't he just the cutest fattest lil boy?  See the slobber about to drip off his chin?
Last year I had to do this......First trip on the road without us.  Yes, lil bro is in there but still... Where did time go?

Penny for your thoughts.

I can't believe I'm doing this & I hope they don't, well.... you know.



I couldn't do this post with out one of these:
I don't know what the next few years will hold for him but of this I am sure.  I know he knows the One who does.  That is enough for this mama.  Yes, we have grown up together.  We have learned together.  We have experienced a lot of first together.  Every step we took was a first for us both.  How I thank God for this boy.  The one I am watching turn into a fine young man.  His daddy says I will some day have to let him go.  I don't think that will ever be possible.
Happy Birthday!  We love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

As Gomer would say Surprise! Surprise! We had a party!!!

Ok, I have to admit, y'all got us.  And you got us good.  For those of you in the dark, our church family got together & threw us a surprise "beach party"/"luau" Sunday night.  It was so much fun.  Thanks to some of our members they took the pictures I am about to share.  I am not about to start thanking anyone in particular because I would leave someone out.  So a great big THANK YOU goes out to everyone!
I shared with the ones in attendance Sunday night as well as my Sunday School class Sunday morning that never in a million years growing up did I ever, I mean NEVER EVER dream of growing up &  becoming a preachers wife.  I never ever thought that looks easy or like it might be a lot of fun.  NEVER!  But as I said the other day God had a plan.  And this is part of it.  He placed us with this body of believers.  And I am so glad He did.  You all have no idea how much you mean to me & our family. 
This is a shot of our table.  We had leis, cute plates, napkins, glasses.  Everyone in attendance (except us of course) were dressed for the occasion.  So much fun!


This is what the front of the table looked like.  Yes those are beach balls & a dolphin hanging from the ceiling.

This was our expressions as we walked in. There are very few times you will find D or myself speechless, but this was one of those times.  I had no words.   Yes, the chairman of "demons" as D jokingly calls him was our escort. 

See, D came ready to preach.  But look at the look on his face.

The table was covered with gifts.  


Even the boys got in on the festivities.
                                                               


                                                   And then we all got to play dress up.
                                                                                            When the big boy stood to put on the coconut bra, well, let's just say it was a crowd pleaser.                           







These were just a few of the folks who had "words" to say to us.  Some were kind words others were more of a roast.  I will let you decide who may have said what.






















Pastor appreciation is in November.  But our church usually has so much going on all the time.  So this was their way of thanking us.  But you see, we are all in it together.  God placed us with this family because He knew we needed them & maybe they needed us.  Scary thought. (I smile)  A woman who plays the piano with a husband who just happens to be a preacher with only a high school education hangin' on to God.  A church who just so happened to need a piano player & a preacher at the same time.  Coincident?  I don't think so.  Only God can do stuff like that.  We have been there six years, will be seven in August.  The only thing that we can promise to do is continue doing what we do.  We serve our Father with you in mind.  He leads, we follow.  But you see we all do it as a family. 
As someone said last night we have fun when we go to church.  These pictures are proof of it.  We have fun, we party, we love, but most of all we do it all together.
There's just not much more to say other than:  Thank you for accepting us just as we are.  Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for your willingness to go & serve where ever & how ever our Father leads.  We love you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What we did Saturday

Back a few months ago the "Refuse" program was started.  It is a class that is held on Wednesday nights for boys & girls ages three to twelve.  The name "Refuse" came from the song "I refuse".  In the class the children are taught bible lessons that go along with the months theme.  The first month we had a can food drive.  Some way, some how, it ended up like this.  This is a truck from Second Harvest Food Bank.  This truck was loaded down with food.  And believe me when I say loaded, it was loaded.  Names were submitted by members of our church family.  Those people were contacted.  Given a number and an appointment time.  They came and done their grocery shopping at no cost.  In all, close to 150 families came through and when all was said and done at noon, over 400 lives had been ministered to.  Our church family doesn't want any praise from this.  It all goes to our Father!


Everyone in these pictures had a job to do.  And as you can tell there was no age limit.  We had some as young as six there and then there were those who are full of wisdom. Some unloaded this...

While others did this.....

Like I said everyone had a job to do.  Some made the phone calls to notify the families, some registered them at the door.  Others greeted them at the table & handed them their food.  While others handed out scripture & sent them on their happy way.  Others help them load their cars & said have a nice day with a smile.  Through it all, God smiled down on our church family.  Our church is a busy place.  There is usually something always going on.  But never does it usually go as smoothly as this did. 
We have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to make this happen.  And we do believe it will happen again. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let me tell you about my Daddy!


This is gonna be a busy week.  Lots going on here on the home front.  Stay tuned for blog updates.  I hope to have you several this week.  Saturday was a busy day also.  I am working on that post too.  Then I have to get pictures from last night to share with you all so there's a second post.  We have a birthday this week so there's a post.  But I wanted to give you something to think about this week as we bring Father's Day in on Sunday.  Father's are often overlooked.  We don't see them as busy as the mom's are.  The kids don't really need dad like they do mom.  Right?  Well, as D pointed out to me yesterday my days are numbered.  We have one that will graduate high school in a couple of years, Good Lord willin', & then who knows he may have his heart set on a lil girl & he won't need me anymore.  But he will always need his daddy.  D said he will take the front seat then & I will be in the back seat.  Good point.  But not gonna travel that road just yet.  First things first!  On with my point.  I want to first share a couple of pictures of two men who were & still are so special to us. 



This is D's dad.  He was a Godly man.  He loved to aggravate me.  He lovingly called me dummy.
I don't know where or why that came about but that was my name.  He loved everyone of his grand kids which by the way, are all boys.  I can still hear him say "Hey lil buddy" to these two here.
He liked to fish.  He wasn't organized with his tools. (like someone else I know) But I do believe he taught his son well.  He taught him how to be a good father.  How to love & care for his wife.  How to love & care for his family. 
We miss him.  But we know where he is & we know we will see him again.



And this is my daddy.  One of my favorite pictures of him.  He has on his boots, shirt tail tucked in, glasses, pen, & a lil screwdriver in his pocket.  How I miss him.  My boys never go to see him this side of heaven, but I know with out a doubt he would have loved them just like he did the other three grand kids.  ( 2 boys & a girl)  I always thought I was special when I was with him.  He was & still is the only one who ever called me by my full name.  Mom did but only when I was in trouble.
He too, was a Godly man.  He was a quiet man.  But boy when he spoke, everyone tuned in.  (I didn't get that trait from him.)  He loved my mama & showed me what to look for in my mate.  More or less showed me I should settle for nothing less.  I got it right!  With the help from my Father's.  Earthly & Heavenly. We miss him too & we know we will see him again. It's just a temporary separation.

Now on with our Daddy.  As much as we love these two men & as much as they done for us here on this earth, let me tell you about My Daddy!  You see I am the apple of His eye.  Don't believe me?  Look at
Deuteronomy 32:10.  And He loves me with an unfailing & abounding love. (Psalm 13:5, Ex 34:6)
He owns the cattle of a thousand hills & He is preparing me a beach house in glory! (well, maybe not a beach house, but I call it that) And all of this is just to name a few. 
You see, I can look back on my life with these two earthly father's and I can  name and  see the things they stood for.   Things they did.  Things they taught.  And yes they both loved their families so much. But my Heavenly Father & I have a history too.  I can look back and see things He has taught.  Lessons learned.  Needs that have been met & the only way I can explain them were just that my Daddy met them.  I can look back and see where He gave me the desire of my heart.  I can see answered prayers. 
He is my shelter
My shield
My rock
My deliverer
My strong tower
My strength
My friend
My love
My Father
And I can think of no other way to celebrate Him & His love for me & you than to praise Him well everyday. 
So I encourage you as Sunday comes to slow down and think about what our real Father has done.  No other one has ever given their child for me or you.  That alone should be enough.   But He just keeps on blessing doesn't He?
Yes by all means celebrate with your father if he is still here.  If you can't be with him, call him.  If you are like us & yours has gone home, then relish in the fact that we still have a Daddy to celebrate with.
That makes me smile.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

His Life for Mine (Worship Video w/ Lyrics)


Let's just call this a throw up session.  No, I'm not sick.  Just fixing to spew a little bit.  Let me start by saying that just because I don't post everyday doesn't mean I am not seeking & searching.  You see I can't type anything here unless God says so.  So, let's go.  As I stated in my last post I have had a heavy heart.  For reasons I can't really explain but I think I'm getting there.  You see growing up I think I put some of my pastors & their families on a pedestal of sorts.  Let me be the first to tell you & beg you to please not put our family there.  We are human just like you are.  My boys don't listen to southern gospel music because their daddy is a preacher.  Yes they do sometimes listen to some contemporary Christian music, some praise & worship & some country.  We also know who Kid Rock is not that we listen to him, but I think you get what I am saying.  Yes, we have let them choose their music.  I would be a hypocrite if I didn't.  I love music of all kinds.  Frank, Ella, Norah, you get the idea.  And no, we haven't planted the seed in their minds or hearts that just because their daddy is a preacher it makes us holier than anyone else.  Because it don't! 
Anyway, I have decided that part of my heavy heart has come from some persecution (I call it that) for my belief.  You see someone I highly respected (& obviously had them on a pedestal) couldn't understand a decision I made based on the fact I followed my heart to do what I felt led to do by my Father.  Do I regret it?  Nope.  Did it hurt me & bother me because they didn't understand?  Yes.  But I have to be honest, I didn't give them all the details  because I knew they wouldn't understand. 

God knew when He placed me in my mother's womb the plans He had for me.  He knew when He placed D in his mother's womb the plans He had for him.  He knew when He placed us together the plans He had.  He still knows & I am still seeking.  I have been doing that alot here lately.  In our Sunday School class we have been studying the call of the disciples.  Mainly John.  Jesus knew when He called those guys that Peter would deny Him.  He knew Judas would betray Him.  He knew John would stay. But He still called them. So I have been rolling around His call.  What has He really called me to do?  I think He has shown me again.  I believe He has called me to do just what I am doing.  He called me for such a time is this. 

This may sound selfish & I hope no one takes it the wrong way, but, as this song says, My Jesus gave His life for mine.  Yes it is a universal gift.  But once received it becomes personal. And I take it very personal.  I can't make anyone want it.  I can only live, tell, & show others what He done for me.  If someone is offended because of my faith, my belief, oh well.  I can't apologize.  You see, I had rather offend you than disobey the ONE who gave His life for mine.  I have so much to be thankful for.  We all do.  He deserves so much praise.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Just a reminder

As I said in my last post I've been kinda still.  This morning as I was getting ready for church, with my head in the sink washing my hair, I ask God to just show me.  Show me.  Remind me that You are near.  Just.....
so as I am waiting for everyone to stir & start getting ready I thought I would sit down & read up on a couple of blogs whose writers are on a Compassion trip in the Philippines.  I encourage each of you to go to http://www.chattingatthesky.com/.  I was reminded of so much.  I have had a heavy heart lately.  For reasons I can't even explain to myself.  May be I have been consumed with just my four & no more.  But God reminded me that this really does happen in our world.  These are real people in this video.  I have often asked my mother why in the world she would travel around the world to go on a mission trip when we live on a mission field right here.  Her reply was they appreciate the help so much more.  I am really beginning to see that.  Again, I encourage you to go to the website above.  There will be other links there to take you to other sites of one's on this trip with her.  The pictures & videos speak volumes.  God reminded me.
I have to add this now.  Go to http://www.shaungroves.com/.  Read the post titled meeting the neighbors.  He posted it on June 1.  It is up now.  All I can say is this is POWERFUL!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I've been still...well not really

Time sure flies.  It has just been over a week since I last posted.  Well, to be exact eight days.  I have been busy trying not to be busy but that hasn't really worked out to well.  To be honest, I've mainly just been trying to be still & let God work.  And He has.  But honestly, my heart has been pretty heavy.  For several reasons.  I have been trying to come to terms with the stages that my boys are in right now.  In the process of doing that, God has reminded me of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything & a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born & a time to die, a time to plant & a time to uproot, a time to kill & a time to heal, a time to tear down & a time to build, a time to weep & a time to laugh, a time to mourn & a time to dance, a time to scatter stones & a time to gather them, a time to embrace & a time to refrain, a time to search & a time to give up, a time to keep & a time to throw away, a time to tear & a time to mend, a time to be silent & a time to speak, a time to love & a time to hate, a time for war & a time for peace.  I have to admit that these past few weeks, my attitude has been bitter sweet.  And I have come to the conclusion that I am thankful.  I am thankful for God entrusting them to us.  I am thankful for their health.  I am thankful that they have the ability to absolutely drive this mama crazy!  I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams when it comes to these boys & their daddy. 

I have also felt the sting of persecution so to speak.  It is a long story.  One of which I can't share here.  No, I haven't been stoned or anything like that.  Just my feelings.  Following what God lays on your heart is sometimes a tough road.  But I followed.  He has confirmed Himself over & over since then.  So I have no regrets.  To Him, and Him alone,  I give all the glory & praise. 

In my current state of mind I have mainly been dreaming of somewhere that looks similar to this:
I know all in good time.