Monday, February 26, 2007

days and smiles

This girl so makes me smile every time I see her bright face! Oh my goodness this girl is so cute! :) Thanks Tab for the pictures! She is so precious and full of life.
Well, my first full day as a Re-Floridian is almost over. Ate some chinese food with my Mom, oatmeal at Bob Evans (the pre-Cracker Barrel wanna be) for breakfast, made dinner for them tonight. Halfway unloaded my stuff. Keep looking for emails from my life. Don't know what life is going to look like down here for me except work and parents. I hope God brings something exciting (not just keeping busy) to me.
No, I'm not questioning the move - just trying to figure out what life is going to look like.
But, at least I get to see Vera's smiling face in blog world! :)

Jason and Leslie's wedding

These are some pictures from Jason and Leslie's wedding in Durham on Saturday. It was great to be able to spend my last afternoon with friends and church family. The flower girl and ring bearer are Jackson and Kharis. Then, this is a picture of the bride from the back - I had to mess with the camera or I would have gotten one from the front. Oh, well. Everyone needs to see the back of her dress. Then we have the inside of the church. It was really one of the prettiest churches I've been in. Then this is Jason and Leslie saying their vows with JD cutting in some personal comments through it. Very godly wedding and funny. Special blessings to both of you. Congrats Jason and Leslie!

Friday, February 23, 2007

meeting a blogger mentor

Carolyn McCulley and Mahaney have both been mentors to me in the ministry of a wife, a mother, a discipler, a woman after God's own heart. I have had the opportunity to meet both of them this year. Last night I met Carolyn McCulley, of the solofeminity fame. She came and spoke at Southeastern SEminary and it was my last night to be there as I get ready to move. Perfect timing.
She spoke on how single women can live out Prov. 31 (which is mostly prescribed of wives)
1. We can be smart financially (debts, investments, etc)
2. We can pour into kids lives (be mothers in the Word, mentors, etc).

She said other things too, but that is where I am at right now. I do want to live smart with my money, live simply, that is always a work in progress. Thank you Holy Spirit. I also want to invest in girls' lives, whether high school or college age, or really anyone that God brings my way. I pray that I have ample opportunity to do so in FL as I have been able to do so here and also in FL before I left for NC.

a movie

Tonight was the opening night of Amazing Grace - the movie about William Wilberforce's life. My Mom (how I love her) thought it was about the life of John Newton. He was in it - but it wasn't primarily about him.
But...even though I am sick - (I just wanted to chop my throat and ears off during the entire movie) I was able to think through this provocative movie. I hope all of you have the chance to go view it.
Compassion - this is what "wilber" and his buddies had for the slaves, who created in God's image, were not being treated equally with the white folks. They were brutally treated in trade routes to be put to work. Jesus said when he came to earth - I have compassion on them, they are like sheep without a shepherd. Shouldn't that be the same way with us - shouldn't we have compassion on a world who is dying with Jesus?
Change the World or obey and follow Christ? "Humbly we say we can do both" - Early they hinted that the choice had to be one or the other. But, as the movie went on - you could see that it had to be both. That is why I like people like JD Greear and Brad O'Brien - who, serving their church and college students - challenge them to not only be pastors and college leaders and missionaries - but also to fight a world who is lost and dying and going to hell in Congress, in Hollywood, in MTV, and ESPN, in the "Boston Public" worlds. We need people there just as much as we need people in the uttermost parts of the world and our local churches. I met a girl this past weekend who said her mission field was hollywood. She read people to pray for these people and get an in road to share the gospel - those are the types of people we need (and the Melissa's, the Parkers, and the Dixons and Sarahs).
"I wish I had your faith" - When William Pitt they dying - he said this to Wilber. I do not know the relationship with Christ that the PM had, but his faith was faltering at this moment. I wonder what the last moment of WW's life was like? "The opposite of faith is sight" was a quote from the BS from this past snowquest. I really like that quote? Where is my faith when the going gets tough or I can't see what is beyond the next bend in the road (or in I-95)? Where is my faith in a sovereign God when I don't get the things I pray for and I have to lean on Ps 84.11 and remember that "no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly."

Maybe when I am healthy again and my head quits pounding (or my generic tylenol kicks in) - I will be able to think some more about this movie - but "twas grace, that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home."

Go see the movie if you haven't - bring a non-Christian friend with you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

more of my fave people

In being this is my last month in the state of NC - I thought I would mention some more of my fave people...
This is Tim - wonderful fabulous small group leader extraordinairre and ex-choir leader at Faith Baptist Church. He is now getting set to move his family (his wife and all the kids) to Haiti to work with a medical team down there and equip Pastors. This is the new gift that God brought them in January - they only found out about 2 weeks before getting her. Some of you think 9 months is not long enough - think of only 2 weeks.
I love this family - pray for them.

Best LIVE Sports Day in NC

Saturday was amazing! :) All thanks to Janel Blanchard!

First, I had breakfast with Becky and Cat at my house after we stayed up watching Pride and Prejudice - the real version. That was fun.

Then, I met up with Janel to eat at Boleros in Chapel Hill - a new little Cuban place on Franklin Street. She spent a semester in Cuba so she is the Cuban expert! :) I had red beans and rice with chicken and she had ropa vieja (sp?). We shared some tostones - which RG's were better.

Then the fun started! We drove to University Mall to ride the Tarheel Express to the Dean Dome. Didn't have to sit in traffic or nothing!

Saw Butch Davis (new football coach) as he was going into the game. Introduced to Jim Delany (one of the most influential men in NCAA right now). Then finally got in. From the outside of the actual court the Dean Dome doesn't seem that big - then you get in the court area and it is a see of the 2nd best blue!

What I didn't know going into the game was that they were honoring the 57 and 82 National Championship teams . So, right in front of me and Janel (literally 8 rows, same seat) was Michael Jordan (the best player ever in NBA), James Worthy, Sam Perkins (man walked by me, he's massive - looks more like a football player), Dean Smith. It was incredible. Halftime was great because of the introductions and everything. Then to top it all off UNC won (and got 2/1 biscuits at Bojangles) against an ACC rival - Wake Forest! Anne Graham Lotz was there on the way out. I think that was it of my celebrity sightings!

Then I spent the night watching movies and eating nachos at the Bacons - what a day ender! :)

Janel - you rock! I had so much fun! Thank you for making it special for me! Love you!

Monday, February 12, 2007

New Baby in Florida

Introducing the newest baby in my life: Eli Brian! I can't wait to actually be halfway close in proximity to this one. Congrats Jeremy and Katie! :)

Last Sunday at the Summit

Well, yesterday was my last day at the Summit. It was a bittersweet moment. The last 3+ years at a great church have been both wonderful and painful for me.
Got a parking spot driving a great vehicle that was loaned to me by the best family at the Summit - to me - the Bacons. I enjoyed a night at their house complete with a bonfire, good movie, great nachos, and kids.
Walked in and talked to three beautiful and amazing women of God. No pictures b/c my computer is down - sorry ladies. Julie Forrest - who is a beautiful soon to be mommy (she hopes any day). MG - another soon to be mommy for the first time - but she has more months to go. Vern - a mommy of 2 and looking great as ever. They were talking about maternity styles of which I have no experience! :)
Then went and saw Miss Kelly Pope - a friend from way back at the beginning - now we are both too busy and run in different circles - but I will see her tonight and am thankful for that opportunity!
Talked briefly to the soon to be married Mr. Jason Douglas. I won't get to talk to him at the wedding, but I wish him and Leslie the best in their marriage! Go Floridians!
Sat with Kristin after seeing some of my college girls.
The worship was great, a mixture of hymsn and praise songs. We sang Fairer - which hit me right where I needed - which led to confession and a reconciliation of sorts for which I am thankful! We all need to remember that Jesus if fairer than anything He can offer or that He has created.
Then JD preached a great sermon on Jacob - he's in a series! :) The beginning of which was great to me - because it was just what I needed to hear. Going in depth and pulling out the interesting things of the Word - you know it had to be written by a Perfect Author!
The closing video was one advertising for The Institute - the summer college program at the Summit. It includes missions, interning in ministries at the church, and seminary classes. I was able to go to SE Asia last summer and they went to EA this past summer. This year is another place in the world. It is a great program for college students - to see beyond themselves. Looking around and remembering the things I have done with these college students and what they have done for me - is what I'll take away from the Summit - the most. I love the relationships I have made.
May my community be sweet in FL like the one I have here. Praising God now that I will move around Disney and the beaches so people will visit me!
I love the Summit as a community and a place of worshippers (more and better as Gaynor would say). Praying God's direction and blessings on all of you. May you keep HIM first in all endeavors. Thanks for letting me be a part for 3 years!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Household Question

I posed a question a couple weeks ago to married women on my email list. I actually got an overwhelming response. Thank you for those who responded. These women range from 22-60s. They have no kids, some kids, old kids, young kids (like Dr. Suess). Some have been married for less than a year, some over 30 years. Some work full time, some don't work at all, some work part time.
The question: is there anything that you must have done in your house before you go to bed at night (or you can't sleep)?
Some said random things, but the most frequent answer I got was the kitchen needed to be clean and house tidied. That meant the dishes in the dishwasher, not in the sink. Hopefully the dishwasher running (so they'd be clean in the morning).
Why? This helped their days to run smoother, the days to be less hectic, they would be available to show hospitality to people on a moments notice (especially when you are in ministry).
One good hint was to have a box or basket in your living room that kept all the clutter - then just go through the box every now and then and clean it out. Another - clean out the dishwasher first thing in the morning so you can fill it during day. And, limit your time cleaning - set a clock if you need to or do it during advertisements. Be intentional about clutter (or the lack thereof)
But, the sealer was: your family takes priority. If your husband is ready to go to bed - don't worry about the kitchen - go to bed with your husband. As one pastor's wife said, "a kitchen can wait, cultivating a Godly sound marriage can't."
Thanks ladies! :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Raleigh news and babies

Heard on the news this morning that there have been 2 newborn babies found abandoned in the Raleigh area. They don't know why they were abandoned, one on a back porch and one in an alley or something like that. They were both dead. Who could ever turn away a face like this - or any baby (this is my friend Vera in SC). Babies are so precious. They are loud sometimes, but so am I!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hitting 500

Well, its been a long time, but the two blogs have finally hit 500 views! :) Thank you.
And thanks to Leah - it now has a new, more organized look to it!
Gators and UNC/Duke game tonight. We'll see how the top 25 looks after this evening. There will be some changes.
Only 5 more days of work! Then I get to go skiing, hang out with high schoolers, and pack! I'm looking forward to the next 2 bittersweet weeks!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Colts, Conference, and New Babies

GO COLTS!!! The right kind of coaching does pay off. Now, I'm wondering if the Bucs hated the fact that they fired Dungy!

It is sad though - because now there is no football until August (except the Blue Orange game at UF in April).

The 20/20 conference at SEBTS was great this weekend. Went to an eating disorder session with Dr. Sam Williams and then to the dating/no-dating one with JD. Peter Kreeft is a better writer than he is a speaker, or I just wouldn't have put him first on a Saturday morning. Dr. Nelson was great as always. Speaking TRUTH with all the grace that he has been given throughout his life. The Daylight Donuts were great as well! :)

New babies - my friend Bryan and Debby Pickering had a new baby girl. I love hearing people's beliefs about a Sovereign God come into play when events in life don't go exactly as planned:

We are extremely thankful that God has seenfit to preserve her life; we praise God for carryingus through this very difficult time. We praise Himthat He is always good and that everything He does isright--even when we don't understand or when it hurts. He has been, & continues to be, our strength, ourRock and our refuge.

Here is a picture of little Olivia.
Congrats you guys - I'm praying for you and baby Olivia!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mirroring the World

So, I listen to Z in the morning (link on the side) at work. I love this radio station. But, listening to it this morning, a caller called in and made me have to comment...

A "Christian alternative" to I'm not doubting the fellowship or community of this group, or that it is probably a safe alternative for kids and teenagers. But, why does it have to copy myspace - the world's answer for community blogging world? Why do our Christian t-shirts have to take worldly slogans and icons and make them into Jesus ones? Did God not give us creative minds? Doesn't the world tell us to be different than the world, don't be like the world?

Just some thoughts this morning. A little soap box of mine...