Thankful Thursday

1)  I’m thankful for this new relationship!

2)  I’m thankful for two amazing parents!  My mom and bonus dad!  I can’t wait to spend a few days with y’all in Texas!  There will be a ton of laughs and memories created!!

3)  I’m thankful for laughter!

4)  I’m thankful for the AU pool!  My kids and I get to spend time together there and they get to grow in their confidence in the water!

5)  I’m thankful for the relationships and the people and the body of Christ who cared for me while in Fowler.  During that time I saw the church beyond the church walls!  Sometimes it takes going through those times in life when you are knocked flat out and the only thing you can do is relay on others and Christ!

FOUR YEARS!!!!

It’s been quite the journey!  Four years ago I was anxious, scared and most importantly afraid!  I am grateful that I serve a God who is BIGGER than all of that!!!  Four years ago today I was in the trauma OR at Methodist Hospital in Indy, having my back broken because it was at a 109 degree angle crushing my internal organs!  Here are a few pictures to celebrate where I have been!

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This first one is of my back pre-op. 109 degrees!  The second one is of my back post of at 63 degrees!  And the third one is of me a few weeks post op at home!!! YEAH!

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This is the AMAZING doctor that said “I can FIX your back!”, the first time I met him!  Dr. Khairi at Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine and his amazing NP Stacey LaMasters!!!  Won’t ever go anywhere else!!!

New Music Tuesday!

A few weeks back I was watching “Night of Joy” from Disney World online and Chris Tomlin shared a brand spanking new song from his soon to be fresh album “Love Ran Red” called “Jesus Loves Me”.  As I listened to it I got chills thinking of God’s love!  It is now on iTUNES!!!!!  If you can get one song today this is it!!!!!!!

“I was lost
I was in chains
The world had a hold of me

My heart was a stone
I was covered in shame
When He came for me

I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

Jesus, He loves me, He loves me, He is for me
Jesus, how can it be, He loves me, He is for me

And it was a fire
Deep in my soul
I’ll never be the same

I stepped out of the dark
And into the light
When He called my name

I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

He holds the stars and He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope, my everything”

http://www.klove.com/music/artists/chris-tomlin/songs/jesus-loves-me-lyrics.aspx

From Chris Tomlin-Love Ran Red.

You’ll be encouraged, inspired and reminded that JESUS LOVES YOU!!!!  No matter how far you have ran, there is no depth or distance’s that you can run from Jesus!!

Who Do YOU Inspire?

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Last week my daughter Lily shared with me how she had to choose an adult that inspires her and write them a letter.  She says “Mom, I picked you!”  I was surprised!  I thought really?  If she only knew how many days I feel as though I do a terrible job at being her mom.  How I feel at times when she calls me crying and all I want to do is run and scope her up in my arms and protect her.  But then I get a letter that goes like this:

“Dear Mom,

You’ve inspired me.  You inspire me all the time.  You tell me that I CAN when I think I can’t.  You tell me that  I’m special.  You help me get through my rough times at my dad’s with my grandma and dad and Shay.  Do they make me want to pull my hair out or what!

You help me get organized.  You tell me I can!  That makes me feel A LOT better.  You tell me stories about what happened to you.  When I’m upset you make me feel better.

I love you so much.  I can’t wait to see you today!  You inspire me a lot.  I know god gave you a gift.  Thanks for inspiring me!  Please keep doing that!

Sincerely,

Lily”

That letter is getting framed!  Priceless words that point me in the right direction that I AM doing the right thing!!! :-)  Proud to be her MOM!

When God’s In it!

Y’all the past year or so has been an interesting one in regards to dating!  I’ve been on just about the majority of the dating websites from POF to eHarmony to Christian Mingle to others searching for Love.  I’ve met a wide variety of men but most of them had no desire to have a Godly relationship but they were much more interested in Friends with Benefits!  I even had a guy who I really liked and saw for a  little over a month and came to find out he was STILL Married!!!  Back in June/July my best friend Kevin, was like just take your profile down and STOP looking!  I took my profile down from all but one and that was Christian Mingle.  There was a guy who lived about an hour away who contacted me but had NO PICTURE!  Normally I just blow those profiles off and don’t respond BUT, I responded with “Do you have a picture? Here’s my email!”  He sent the picture and I was like okay he’s not some weird guy and we chatted for a few weeks.  We then went to email because my subscription ran out for chatting!  We had planned to meet at a State Park to hang out but he had gotten sick from his kidos.  We rescheduled a second time but God works in ways that we don’t see and he had gotten offered a teaching position down in Indy which is closer to where I work! :-)  He had a week to clean out his old classroom and prep his new classroom AND get ready to coach 8th grade football!  So, we rescheduled again!  This would be a 3rd time! :-)  I was working on a Monday night and he came into the store.  I was on the phone and I thought THAT’S HIM!!  He walked by, and I thought “Dang It! Missed Opportunity!”  So, I went and stood in the luggage department hoping he would walk by again and HE DID!  I locked eyes with him but didn’t way a word!  I went over to the phone and did a credit announcement and he came back down the middle aisle of home and I walked up to him and asked if there was anything I could help him with? And he kind of stumbled and I said “Are you Byron???”  The ice was broken and we chatted!  He had successfully SURPRISED me!!!!!  That is kind of hard to do if you have spent time around me!  Since he is the assistance coach for 8th grade football, I’ve been to a few games because PRESENCES matters!!!!  We got to spend time together on Saturday and I am amazed at when God is in the middle of a relationship how different it is!  Ladies DO NOT COMPROMISE!!! NOT WORTH IT!  So, while we were out and about he opened the car door for me, which is HUGE because I usually open it before any guy can!  And yesterday he bought a book “The Love Dare” for us to go through, which spoke volumes to me because it means that he WANTS to be the leader and that having the BIBLE as our playbook in our relationship and Christ as the foundation is UBER Important to him!!!!!!!!  Stay tuned to see where this goes!!!

Oh one more thing!  I LOVE watching Women’s College Basketball and he’s not a fan of Basketball!  He coaches Wrestling as well and I’ve NEVER been to a wrestling match!  So, he commented that on a Friday night when we were watching a Basketball game after he would explain wrestling to me!  I was completely taking away because to have a guy want to watch Basketball with me was like YIKES!!!! in a good way!!!!! :-)

ANCIENT GATES!

While I don’t have a picture of their latest album, you will want to hop over to iTunes or http://www.alannastory.com to pick up their first ever full length album!  It is beautifully written with songs that will challenge you to grow deeper to Christ. The song lyrics are raw, real and authentic!  They had a release concert last night and it causes you to think about what Christ did for us!  It is all worship, has amazing drums and lots of strings in it!  Check it out!  You’ll be glad you did!  

How Do You Do Ministry?

The other evening I was out with a few friends and we got on the topic of ministry.  I told my friend that I didn’t do ministry the way the church see’s ministry and she said “Well, how do you do ministry?”  At first I was taken back by this question but it challenged me to express how I DO, do ministry!  And this is how I do ministry, I do ministry with people I am around every day.  I do ministry amongst the broken and the hurting.  I don’t do ministry in the realm of 4 walls and expect those broken and hurt to come to me.  I go out where they are.  I love them where they are at and it is with that they will see Jesus through me.  I don’t preach at them, I love them.  That is what Jesus did and that is what he called us to do.  LOVE!  So simple but at times so hard!  We in the church often have these ideals of how a Christian should look, act and talk and that shuts a lot of people off and away from the church.  We need to focus on where they are and how we can help them take their next step towards Jesus not away from him.  We need to judge less and love more.

Thankful Thursday!

Today is not a day to make a list but rather right a generalization!  I am THANKFUL for my amazing job!  I can’t say it enough!  Last night I was to get off at 6.  They asked me to if I could work late!  I said yes, but here’s the deal, I would like a jeans pass, so I could wear jeans on a non jean day, and I would like a lunch.  They said “No Problem!”  I also said, on Sunday my I was hoping to get off earlier to go to a concert at my church, is there any way we can fix that?  A few minutes later, done!  You see I have learned over the past  few weeks that when we pitch in and help and do our part as a team, you also get taken care of in return and for that I am grateful!  

Happy Belated Birthday to my mom!!!

My mom’s birthday was YESTERDAY!  I posted a video on Facebook for her!  I saved her from posting some old old pictures of her from when she was much younger!  

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My mom is 66 this year!  You know how I know that because she is 30 years older than me!  I am grateful for my mom!  She has been by my side through just about everything in life.  She may not have been physically present but she was a phone call away.  I talk to her just about every day and if I don’t she’s in a panic because she can’t get ahold of me!  While we had a few years where it was a bit of rough waters, like my doctor told me having a baby will change that and Lily sure did!  Some random things about my mom:

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  • She showed cattle in 4-H.
  • She would have rather been out in the fields with her dad than in the house cleaning.
  • She gets that people matter more than a clean house!
  • She is one of the most crafty people I know and I am pretty lucky for that because when I need something done, I call her, send her a picture and it magically appears at my door!
  • She loves well!
  • She does NOT know how to take a “normal” picture!  Perhaps when she passes away we will have to have her face funny because that’s how she was.  But I don’t want that to happen any time soon!
  • She loves Christian Music and she loves Jesus!

I am glad she’s my mom!  Can’t wait to spend a few days with you and dad down in Texas in a few short weeks!!!  Love you!

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Thoughts on Ministry

Good Day everyone!  I hope this finds you having a wonderful day off for most.  I’ll be headed into work shortly.  I wanted to share with you some thoughts about an article that I had to read for my Ministry in a New Century course at Anderson University.  This article came from the Fund for Theological Education, . http://theoledu.3cdn.net/bcaf89720711e01d42_70m6vj3id.pdf It is entitled “Faithful to the Call : Reflections on Excellences in Ministry.”  This article has some very strong points but it also fails to mention several concerns as well.  It places an emphasize on having four qualities such as “Life of mind, Life of Justice, Life of Church and Life of Spirit.”(p.13)  I agree with these but I don’t agree with the fact that the church places such heavy emphasize on for example “Life of Justice” but fails to place a higher emphasize on family life.  When I refer to “we” I am referring to the “the church as a whole”.  When we place expectations on our pastors to have these four qualities but fail to protect and encourage a day of Sabbath and protect family time we fail.  If a pastor puts all their time, energy and blood sweat and tears into the call of ministry but fails at his home life haven’t we missed the mark?  We have become a society that expects the pastor to be available at our disposal and not have regards to the fact that the pastor has not had a day off in weeks or has not had an uninterrupted dinner.  Am I saying that the church is at fault 100%, NO but we do play a large part in this issue.  There needs to be boundaries put in place to protect the pastoral family unit and the church needs to step up and say, we can stand in the gap for the next 24 hours so you can take a time of rest.  Yes, I understand that the death of a congregational member or major trauma trumps the sacred time with family but does a pastor really need to be at every church meeting? Something to  think about.  How as a church are we doing to encourage and help protect the pastors family time weather he is single or married, it’s our job to encourage family time.

 

**Disclaimer, in no way shape or form am I an expert on this subject on a scholarly level but I have lived in the parsonage for 11 years and have seen first hand the demands placed on pastoral families, not only my own but others.  As I am in school for ministry myself this is a topic of concern as I read these articles.***