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Thursday, October 30, 2008
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Anyone feeling tired? And insecure? Again... Defeated?
Some days are like that... heck - for some of us, MOST days are like that!
Every once in while (and we're talking once in a GREAT while!), I have a morning where everything goes my way... the kids wake up agreeable and don't fight... and they don't wake me up until after 7AM... I get to Starbucks, and they are serving my very favorite: their pumpkin cream cheese muffin, and I have a gift card with which to buy it... life is good.
HOWEVER, usually mornings do not go that way... Kids are up at 6AM... shooting each other with guns made from K'Nex... I'm exhausted even after a night's sleep... by the afternoon, I've lost all my patience and the "Mother of the Year Award" ... again. "Defeated" is often the word that describes me by dinner time!
These are just everyday trials... small things in the midst of a big world. Some people are dealing with BIG problems - even on a daily basis. But with billions of people in the world - all dealing with their own problems - it's easy to wonder if a big, big God can even hear our issues through the cacophony of angst. That's one of the reasons I love this song by Casting Crowns... it sums up my feelings of inadequacy and gives me comfort that my God is watching out for me with his safety net. That doesn't mean that bad things won't happen in my life; it does mean that God will hold my hand and help me through them... no matter what else is going on in the world - I have his undivided attention... as do you... and you... and you. That's what makes him God of all creation! :)
I also like this song for the refrain - that it's not about what I DO that is important... it's about Jesus and what he has already done for me. Something to remember in my most defeated times - that Jesus was strong enough for both of us. Enjoy the words below - you can listen to this song on Last.FM.
Song: Who Am I?
Artist: Casting Crowns:
Album: Casting Crowns
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Song: Your Love Is DeepArtist: Jami Smith
Album: Wash Over Me
Your love is deep,
Your love is high,
Your love is long,
Your love is wide.
It's a simple lesson, really. God's love for us is deeper, higher, longer, and wider than anything we can imagine. No matter how many times we screw up... no matter how many errors we make... no matter how undeserving we may be... God loves us... each and every one of us.
Little Nut Brown Hare: I love you all the way up to the moon! (Nothing could be farther than the moon!)
Big Nut Brown Hare: I love you all the way up the moon........ and back.
Now, if you have the book at home, re-read it... but substitute YOUR NAME for Little Nut Brown Hare and GOD for Big Nut Brown Hare. Just like the words in Jami Smith's song, no matter how big, or deep, or high, or wide your love is for God, HIS love is bigger, deeper, higher, and wider. You are enveloped in His love... all the way to the moon... and back.
Have a blessed day,
--> Listen to today's Karaoke Tuesday selection on .LastFM!
I also really like Big Stuf's (one "f") version on iTunes - that's the one I play a lot! :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This weekend, I rented Transformers just for me... yes, I'm an adult female - and it's probably not the typical movie that 36-year old Moms usually rent. But I remember the hey-day of Transformers in the 80's; my brother LOVED them, and the trailer for the movie looked amazing. I was so disappointed when it received a PG-13 rating because I just knew that my sons would love it...
Sure enough - the visual effects were fabulous, and the sound effects even better. The voice of Optimus Prime was just as I remembered it from the old cartoons - and the grinding sounds of the robots actually transforming was SO neat! But there were a few completely inappropriate scenes - scenes that could have been completely cut out without messing up the storyline. There was NO need for this movie to have scenes in it that required a PG-13 rating... especially not when boys as young as 6 or 7 could have just loved this movie.
I started surfing around the Internet for some Family Flix alternatives and found a great site: www.goodmoviesonline.com sells original movies WITH an edited version! You can choose among new releases, classics, actions, suspense, comedy, etc. - AND choose whether you want your version edited to a PG or PG-13 level! Best of all, they had Transformers! So I ordered the edited movie and will save it for my son's birthday in February. As soon as it comes, I'll watch it and be able to tell you about the quality of the editing - but for now, I'm just thrilled to find an edited alternative to some really fun action movies!!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Decorations: Hot pink and lime green table clothes on round tables that seated 6-7 people each. We had little pedistals at the center draped with 1/8th of a black plastic table cloth for the different types of shoes. In the absence of a pedistal, you could cover a shoe box - it was just to give the shoes some height.
We were lucky that one of the members of the congregation is in the shoe business and had [i]hundreds[/i] of sample shoes that we could borrow. We separated them into 35 different themes, and I made the table tents ([b]if you email me "mags at magsgraphics dot com"[/b], I can send you the Microsoft Word document. All you'd have to do is print on cardstock, cut apart, and set on the tables). We added other types of shoes too to get to 35 different types - just did an "all-call" in the bulletin for the specific ones I wanted.
I also freehanded 20 huge shoes out of foam core. Traced them in big black marker and used paint and glitter glue to color them in. These lined up along the stage in the gym like a shoe store. Any extra shoes we had went up there as well.
Here were the types of shoes:
ANIMAL PRINT SHOES
BLUE SUEDE SHOES
PLASTER CASTS/FOOT BRACES
Someone put together a Powerpoint presentation that ran in the background during dinner - it was a slideshow of all of these wacky and wild shoes. Really funny!!
Food: This one was catered.
Cost: $10.00 per person - tickets sold in advance
Entertainment: We had our contemporary worship leader to an Elvis impression and sing "Blue Suede Shoes." Another lady did a Nancy Sinatra impersonation and sang an alternate version of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" that was about wanting to own gym shoes for exercising. It was pretty funny.
Testimonials: We had asked four people to speak about unusual life paths they had traveled / interesting shoes they had filled. I was "Hospital Shoes" and talked about my brain tumor. One was "Combat Shoes" and talked about her son in Iraq. One was "Missionary Shoes" and talked about her missionary work. The last was "Squeaky Shoes" b/c she had adopted a little girl from China and had brought back these little shoes that squeaked whenever her girl walked. The testimony was about her adoption journey.
Doorprizes: We had a small prize on every table. Each table voted on who at their table had worn the most fabulous shoes to the event and that person got the prize. We also had some "big" prizes whose winners were drawn from a hat: Gift certificate to DSW, Gift certificate to a pedicure, a flip-flop fly swatter, a pair of chocolate shoes.
After the event, people gathered the shoe decorations from their table and put them all on two long tables. Then as people left, they could pick up the shoes they let us borrow. I only had 3 pairs to shoes to return to people after the event; all of the others were picked up by their owners.
You should try it out with your women's group - it really was a fun time!!
Monday, October 13, 2008
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
“There’s no place like home…”
“There’s no place like home…”
Just as Dorothy discovered through her journey, believers will discover that the best place of all is “home” in the arms of God. Even through all of life’s experiences: the sights, and sounds, and tastes, and thoughts – it is impossible to imagine the greatness and glory of Heaven. Heaven is where Jesus lives! It must be magnificent.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
It’s not a “croc!” God will make changes in your life that will make you a better person and increase your joy in living if you will just hand Him the pruning shears. “Cut the fat” from your life – the things that are un-Christian, the things that clutter your mind. Present your body to Him as a living sacrifice, and your life will bear fruit!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
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.
There are times when life just stinks. Low times … times of great sorrow and loss …. times of hardship and worry. But through it all, God is with you. Take comfort that God is holding your hand as you navigate the dark storms of life … you are never without Him.
Friday, October 10, 2008
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
If you’ve ever watched someone tap dance, you know the amazing and intricate steps they do to create the rhythmic tapping. If you weren’t actually seeing it, you wouldn’t believe it could be done.
Believing in God is the complete reverse of that. We cannot see Him; yet we’ve witnessed the miracles of his existence. We cannot hear Him; yet we’ve heard the symphonies of many of his creations. We cannot smell Him; yet we’ve breathed deeply the Heavenly scents of the garden of life sowed by Him. We cannot touch Him; yet we are touched in so many ways by Him.
We believe in that which we cannot physically see, hear, smell, or touch. That is faith.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Whatever YOU as parents, or teachers, or mentors, have shown our children, over and over again, will be their guide: their beacon leading them down the winding way of life decisions. If you have trained them up according to God's Word, when they grow up, they will not turn from it. These children are on loan from God ... and at the end of this life; you will have to answer to Him on how you raised His kids.
Thankfully, He has provided us with a How-to-Guide: an instruction manual with the best life-guiding principles around. Have you opened your Bible lately and read what God has to say about rearing His children?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Matthew 6:1 (The Message)
Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.
Are you authentic? Or do you put up a façade for the world? Do you speak and behave as an authentic Christian … "real" in your interactions with others and in your heart? While you don’t have to have all of the answers, it is your duty as a Christian to show authentic Christian behavior in your words and deeds. You are a model for others … and a spokesperson for your faith. People should see God through your words and deeds … like the delicate feet housed in glass slippers. And your actions may just lead another to Christ.
Sometimes, a single pair of shoes can change a life… just look at Cinderella.
Monday, October 6, 2008
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Have you taken a moment lately to just appreciate nature’s beauty around you? God’s masterpiece … teaming with life from the smallest buzzing insect to the largest mammal… from the low covering algae to the tallest redwood … the miracle that is Creation is everywhere! Whether traveling by plane, train, automobile, or boat, take a moment to look around. Drink it in. Then thank the Lord for his blessings.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, and profane talk.
Try NOT to follow Nancy Sinatra’s lyrics:
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.
The riches you might hoard here on Earth compare to nothing you will find in Heaven. Remember your priorities, and store up treasures in Heaven.
“We will dance on the streets that are golden,
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man.
From every tongue and tribe and nation,Will join in the song of the Lamb!”
Friday, October 3, 2008
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Heavy work boots remind us to really put our whole selves into whatever we’re doing for God. We’re not to be concerned about whether people notice what we’re doing. We’re not to be thinking about the benefits we’ll receive. Put 110% into everything we do for the glory of God. Put God FIRST… before self, family, or friend.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Comfortable flats allow us to walk swiftly and get where we’re going. Comfortable shoes remind us to keep in step with the Spirit; there are things in life that may slow us down or block our path, but walking with sure-footed steps can keep us closer to the Lord. The Lord gives us peace: peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of Spirit.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Just as children delight in the circus, we should delight on the Lord and the path He has set before us. God promises to have great plans for us – we should be excited for the next adventure He has planned for us. God never intended that the Christian life be one of drudgery. Instead, He intended that the Christian life be marked by joy! Paul said to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Think of all you have; think of all you are in Christ. You are redeemed! You are sanctified! You are forgiven! You are saved for all eternity! Life up your heart and live your life with joy!