Friday, December 28, 2007

She had to start pouring...

The Sunday before Christmas Johnny preached (in my humble and critical opinion) one of the best -- most likely, THE best -- Christmas sermon of all time. Of course, he preached from Luke 2. I laughed when he said it was the passage quoted by Linus in the Charlie Brown Christmas Show. Under one point in the sermon he went to 2 Kings 4. This is such a great story -- it's about the prophet Elisha's encounter with a woman whose husband died and left her in debt. She had no way to repay her debt. All she had was one jar of oil. Elisha told her to go to all her neighbors and borrow as many jars as she could. In fact, he told her to get a lot. (2 Kings 4:3 -- "do not get a few.") Then, Elisha told her to take them home and start pouring the oil into the jars. So, she started pouring out the oil and it continued to pour out until every jar was full. As many jars as she gathered was filled up. Then the oil stopped and she was able to sell the oil to pay off the debts. God performed a miracle on her behalf but, for her part, she had to start pouring to receive the blessing.

New Years day is quickly approaching. With it, traditionally, we make New Years' resolutions. Valerie Bertinelli isn't making any related to losing weight, thanks to Jenny Craig, but perhaps you are. Isn't that a common resolution -- eat healthy, exercise, lose weight? 2008 is going to be a year of changes for our family. Josh and I will graduate and I will go to work after 18 years of being at home. The most important thing, however, is that I want to receive God's blessing on my life. What will that look like for me in 2008? In order to find out, I've got to start pouring. To some degree, the blessing will be measured by my expectation... just like the number of jars that were filled were as many as were collected, I've got to be expectant and obedient.

In Luke 2:15 & 16, the shepherds had heard the message that the Savior (delivere, rescuer) had been born in Bethlehem. They had to take the knowledge they had and move from where they were to where God was. "So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger." (Lk. 2:16, NASB)

Moving toward God. Following in obedience. Sharing the Good News of Christ. Being expectant. Pouring out.

Serving the King,


Saturday, December 22, 2007

A totally fun and relaxing day

We took the Wildwood (travel trailer) out to Joe Pool lake for a couple of nights along with our regular camping buddies. The last few weeks have been so stressful and packed with activity that I really just wanted to do nothing. So, that's pretty much what I did -- nothing. The entertainment for the night was the guys (not the teenage guys, but the grown-up guys) "experimenting" with the fire. We had a hollow log that they sat straight up and stuffed different things inside. Oh, I could go on about that...

In our culture we are all about doing. We gotta do this, we gotta take care of that... This time of year we shop and shop, wrap and wrap, go and go... it's a frenzy. Sometimes we just need to stop. Last night was cold, but not too cold. It had been cloudy earlier in the day but around 10:00 pm the sky cleared up. The moon was not quite full, but it was really bright. It lit up the ground around the campsite. The fire crackeled and it was really hot -- it had been burning just about all day. We sat and enjoyed the stillness, the quiet...except for the sound of two boys in the trailer trying to get the dog to howl. Perfect...

It was fun time. All that was missing was my daughter who decided to go to her cousin's house instead of with us. And, Johnny and I rocked at bochie ball so that was icing on the cake!!

Rested and refreshed,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The True Meaning...

Two weeks from tomorrow I am leaving on a trip to SE Asia. I am super excited! One of the things we will be doing is participating in a project similar to Samaritan's Purse. We will be distributing boxes (about shoebox size) filled with small presents to children who are in orphanages or other poverty situations. I am filled with emotion as I anticipate the trip in light of how much my own family has been blessed this past year. My kids and husband (and me, too, for that matter) had trouble making a list of things we wanted -- we have so much. We had a mission emphasis in our church this past Sunday morning. Several people got up and spoke about specific mission projects our church has been involved with over this past year. The places we've gone, the things we have contributed to, and the lives we have touched as a congregation. I am overwhelmed and honored to be a part and fully aware that there is much more that we can and should do.

The true meaning of Christmas is the salvation story. "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." He was born by divine circumstance into a humble situation. Our nativities represent that humble beginning that we celebrate. It's more than just the birth. It's the beginning of the story of how God intentionally reached out to the whole of humanity to offer life. Yet, there are those who have never even heard the name of Jesus. Not just a plane ride away...right down the street, perhaps. Our job is to carry on the mission. More than a celebration of one day, December 25th, Christmas should be a celebration of a way of life. Giving, not just wrapped presents to the ones we love, but of ourselves, our time, our talents, our resources, and our energy.

One week from today is Christmas day. So even though I still have shopping to do, gifts to wrap, menus to plan, groceries to buy, I am desperately trying to stay focused on the purpose.

Jesus is, after all, the reason for the season.

Serving Him,


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Glory, Hallelujah!

...and I mean that completely and totally seriously. The highest praise goes to the Lord Jesus Christ for getting me through the last few weeks...the last 2 in particular. Amen and Amen.

Now, finally, I can concentrate on the CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS!! Ho!Ho!Ho!

Ok, I am a bit giddy but also delirious from lack of sleep. Just one more semester...

Yesterday, I was in class and two of my classmates are graduating this Friday, so my professor was asking what each was doing following graduation. One of the women started at the seminary in 1990 so I commented that I started before her. Then, my professor said she started in 1988 to which I, in amazement, said I started before her as well. So, this young woman sitting next to me (as she did all semester...little did I know she would turn on me) said, "Yeah, but they're both finished!" I was appalled! :) ---ok, I really am laughing. It was a good one and she got me.

I really have nothing left to say. My brain is mush.



Saturday, December 8, 2007

The end is in sight

The end of the semester, that is. I've been to the last day of class, turned in my 84-page notebook for my NT class, and I have all the study guides for the final exams. Yep, by 6:00 pm this Wednesday it will all be over. Then, I will be able to focus completely and totally on the Christmas holiday and my family. There have been some veiled comments by my kids lately about how busy I've been. I hate that. My deal with myself is that I only want to work on school when they are at school so I can spend time with them when they are at home. I have been so working on school work for hours this past week. I couldn't even get mad at Josh when he was up til 2:00 am finishing up an English essay because I had set a bad example and WAS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING!!!

What lessons am I learning from all this? Endurance? Perseverance? Don't procrastinate? Yes, yes, and yes. I've told friends several times that this is self-inflicted torture so I really should not complain.

So, here I am, again...sitting in my office with books spread out all over our new desk. My OT textbook is open and my notes are right in front of me. I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn...not just so I can make a good grade on my test (though I hope I do!) but so I might know more about the Word of God so that I may know God more. Check out Exodus 34 -- Moses was speaking and he said, "Let me know Your ways that I may know You." (v. 13, in part) Although I've pulled this one sentence out of its context, the point is this -- by knowing more about God, His character, His actions toward His people in the past, I can know Him more. Not just a factual knowledge like one would study history, but a experiential knowledge. That's what I want. So, even though the end is in sight, instead of wishing the end here I want to make the most of it.

Serving the King (and studying like crazy),


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

I adore Christmas...but I am all about not starting the celebration too early. I don't shop during Thanksgiving week and I avoid anything that even resembles a shopping area the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, as is our tradition, we were camping over the Thanksgiving break and it was a much needed break. Tonight, however, perhaps the greatest animated Christmas show of all time was on, The Charlie Brown Christmas show. I have to say that it is FABULOUS! Jacob wanted to watch it (yippee!) so we did. I love it when all the kids are dancing on stage -- it's great. I love the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. The show first aired in 1965! 1965 -- the year after I was born, for heaven's sake. Johnny and I were talking about it and all the characters and Jacob asked how we knew so much about it. Because we've watched it for 40 years, that's why!! The best part, the very best part, is when Charlie Brown is so frustrated about all the commercialism surrounding Christmas (and the 60's didn't have anything on what's going on in 2007) that he screams out -- wanting to know if ANYONE knows what Christmas is all about. Linus knows...and they still show it on tv and it's still as powerful as ever:

"...And she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn..." Luke 2:7

Linus actually quotes several more verses than that, but when he is done he says to Charlie Brown, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

How did our eyes become so unfocused? I like to decorate my house even though I am not much of a decorator. I like to buy gifts and love to see the faces of my family when the gifts are received. I like the parties and being with friends to celebrate. I like the tradition and the food and even the smells associated with Christmas. I like it all but that's not what it is all about...

It's about the Incarnation. It's about the Son putting on the cloak of humanity in order to reveal the Father to mankind. It's about the Holy One leaving His rightful place beside the throne of God to become the Lamb of sacrifice.

The Charlie Brown Christmas show still moves me, after all these years. It's not Charlie's story, though, even though really I like his sad little tree and I always cheer for him to be a winner when I know Lucy is going to pull the ball out every time. It's the story of the Messiah that gets me everytime.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown/Jeanette Dickerson/your name

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Playoffs against the Permian Panthers

Our high school football team made the playoffs. Our opponent yesterday was the Permian Panthers. Yes, the team that the movie Friday Night Lights was about. We used to live in Odessa and my kids would have gone to Permian High School if we still lived there. The whole time we lived there the Panthers were not that good. This year they are awesome, wouldn't you know it! I decided to just enjoy the day, no matter what the outcome of the game. We got up early (Josh had to be at school at 6:15 because the team left at 6:30 --- that's AM!) took our 3 girls and stoppped at the store to get car chalk and they wrote all over the windows of the Suburban. We got to the stadium about 2 hours before game time. I did get teary when Josh jogged out onto the field for a pre-game warmup. I thought it might be his last football game -- his last time to put on his pads, cleats, helmet, and jersey for Mansfield High School. It was a beautiful, sun-shiny day and my boy was playing in the high school football playoffs. When the game was over we saw some friends of ours from Odessa in the parking lot. We also walked over to the field house and talked to some friends whose son played for the Panthers yesterday. Josh and their son played in the band for the student ministry at our church in Odessa. Josh talked to some of the guys he knew -- some of the guys he played football with in elementary school. Johnny coached a team one year and assisted another year. A couple of his players came over and said hi -- it was pretty cool.

So, another memory was made. Another day filled with a "last." We're cheering for the Panthers now -- hope they win state....

Go Panthers!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disappointments and Expectations

I have been studying for my class I teach on Sunday morning. I love my class and look forward to seeing my ladies every week. They are such an encouragement to me. And, there are just some things you can say in an all female class that you can't in a mixed group!!

This week our lesson is titled, "Persevering Through Unmet Expectations." It's from Genesis 29 but I was looking at a story about John the Baptist in Matthew 11 and Luke 7. (I got this really cool book called Synopsis of the Four Gospels that shows the parallel accounts side-by-side! I can look at one story in every gospel where it is recorded at once!) John the Baptist was in jail. That had to be disappointing. He was, after all, related to the Messiah, the Son of God. The mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins. (KJV uses the word cousin but the translation I usually read, NASB, uses relative in Luke 1:36) The mothers were pregnant with the boys at the same time. I wonder if they grew up hanging out together. I wonder when Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts if the two of them got together. I wonder if that time when Jesus was 12 and His family was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and Jesus got left behind and His parents found Him in the temple when they returned if John the Baptist was there -- did He know about it? Obviously, these are unanswered questions. But, John the Baptist did baptize Jesus in the Jordan River and he did hear the voice from heaven pronouncing Jesus to be the beloved Son of God. Certainly, John's expectation was not to be sitting in jail. So, John sent some of his followers to find Jesus. He just needed to know for sure -- "Are You The One or should we look for another?" The message Jesus sent back was reassurance, "Go back and tell John what you've seen and heard. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached." (My very loose translation of Matt. 11:2-6 & Lk. 7:18-23)

Life will bring disappointments. There's no avoiding it. Sometimes they sting like crazy. Sometimes it seems like the heavens are silent when I want things to change, when I'm screaming and begging and pleading for a different outcome. That's when I go back to what I know to be true. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached. The promises of God are true and He never breaks a promise. He will never leave or forsake (Josh. 1:9)... His grace is sufficient and power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)...forgiveness is granted when I seek it (1 Jn. 1:9)...there is an inheritance (Eph. 1:14)...

This I know for sure...Jesus saves, Jesus saves...
Rescue me.

Serving Him because there is no other,


Monday, November 12, 2007

Mansfield Football Senior Night

I gotta report on Senior was such a proud moment for me. Just look at this handsome son of mine! So here's the scoop - we arrived at the stadium 45 minutes before game time and met up with all the other senior parents in the end zone under the score board. The band parents, cheerleading parents, mascot, drill team, and any other student participating, were all there. Football players went first because they had to get to the locker room. The players were out on the field getting ready when we got there. A coach lined us up according to jersey number so we were at the you might guess when you see Josh's jersey number. So, there we stood on the sideline...Josh came up and gave me the yellow rose I am holding in my left hand. He did tell me I owed him $4 for it, though!! We waited our turn while making small talk with Josh. When it was almost our turn I told him how proud I am of him. I almost cried when we first stepped onto the field...but, they were showing the players and parents walking across on the big screen on the scoreboard and I didn't want to be crying on it. We walked across, got our photo made, and Josh went to the locker room and Johnny and I went to our seats in the stands. Even though it was our last regular season game we made it to the playoffs so there's at least one more game then it's over. Another chapter closed. Something else ended that gets us closer to the end of high school for Joshua. I came home from class today and Jess was watching the CMA Awards show she recorded and it just so happened that Kenny Chessney was on singing "Don't Blink." I've blinked a few too many times...
Another proud moment -- thanks for indulging me!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Graduation Application

I just filled out my graduation application. Wow! When I graduate in May it will be 21 years since I started my master's degree. I feel overwhelmed and excited and unsure -- unsure because I don't know what God has for me after this. Excited because I won't have to write papers like I should be right now. Overwhelmed because I feel proud and priviledged and blessed to be able to accomplish this. ok,ok...reality check -- first I've got to get to graduation which means I've got to finish all my classes this semester and all the ones I just registered for in the Spring semester....

Writing and writing and writing....Jeanette

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Johnny's Adventure

Johnny left this morning for his trip to India. He will be preaching and teaching at a pastor's conference while he is there. I am so excited for him to go. I can't wait to hear what it's like there and for him to share with believers from another culture. It makes me really excited about my upcoming trip to that part of the world as well. It was hilarious, however, when I was helping him pack his suitcase last night. I love to go new places and try new kinds of foods. There have been very few places that had foods that I just could not eat. I didn't particularly care for octopus that I had both times I went to Greece and I had an allergic reaction to something I ate in Italy. However, I once had a hoagie sandwich at preteen camp that I just could not eat...I still almost gag everytime I think about it. And that was in the great state of Texas. Thank goodness for good 'ole PB&J! Anyway, Johnny's suitcase is full of crackers and pop tarts and snacks so he won't go hungry!! I can think of a lot of things I would eat in a foreign country before I would eat a pop tart, though!

So, here I am, sitting at my computer. I have been researching for my exegetical paper and making notes but it's time for me to start writing the paper and putting it together. It's on Mark 4:35-41, also looking at the same story in comparison from Matthew and Luke. Jesus had been teaching, healing, and teaching in parables. They were up at the Sea of Galilee. In Mark 3:9 Jesus told the disciples to have a boat ready because of the crowds. Sometimes He used the boat to teach and sometimes He used it to get away from the crowds. Either way, it was evening and Jesus got into the boat with His disciples to go to the other side of the lake. Jesus was tired, because while He was all God He put on the restrictions of humanity and He needed to rest, so Jesus went to sleep. It must have been a sound sleep because a storm rose up so violent that the disciples feared the boat might sink. When I was in Israel I saw a boat that was preserved that could have been about like a 1st century fishing boat. It wasn't very big and some mighty waves could certainly have begun to fill the boat up with water. The questions of the disciples, "Don't You care?" and then when He had calmed the sea, "Who is this that even the wind and sea obey?" Who is this, maybe they asked, that heals the sick and lame and demon possessed? Who is this that seems to know our needs and answer before we even ask? I am getting away from the text but here's my point: the disciples had already seen Jesus do some pretty amazing things and still they had doubts. They didn't really fully get it until after the resurrection. That comforts me in a crazy sort of way. God has done some pretty amazing things in my life. He definitely knows my need and answers my prayers when I call on His name. Yet, sometimes, I doubt. I don't doubt that He's real or that He's redeemed me or that He spoke and it was or that He is sovereign over all the earth. It's in the little things...that Josh's broken heart will mend, that Jessica's disappointment will be filled with something else, that Jacob will find a way to make a difference in that kid's life, that I will be able to write my paper without Johnny...

So, I better get to it. The paper, that is. Pray for Johnny as you think of it over the next week and a half. Pray for safety and that he will have just the right words of encouragement from the Word to those he will meet.

Serving the King,


Sunday, October 28, 2007

David Crowder playing a modified Guitar Hero guitar

A little study break to share this video...the quality of the video itself check is not that great but chec out what David Crowder is playing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Sunny Again

Sometimes life can just get ya down. The week started that way, but I must inform any that are still reading that I am much better now. It must be because my friend Julie was praying for me. I was really feeling a bit pitiful about the last blog I posted and thought I might delete it until I saw Julie's comment...thanks, Julie! Julie's and my husband served on staff together but we've both gone to different places now. Julie is a creative genius and the mother of 3 adorable sons! You should check her out at -- you can see pictures of the boys and all sorts of creative stuff she does!

Johnny leaves for India a week from today. I just realized he won't be here while I am finishing up my reserach/exegectical paper for New Testament. Yikes! He usually proofreads and makes sure I don't put in anything heretical. (LOL) Nine days all alone with three kids at the busiest time of the semester...

I wish I had something deep or spiritual or meaningful to write. All those words must be saved for my 2 remaining research papers and directed study project I am working on. Until then, this is all I've got...

Maybe you should just check back in December.... Just kidding...come back soon!

Serving the King,


Monday, October 22, 2007

Some days are like that

This has been a crappy day. The weather is dreary and it's Monday. My Old Testament professor promised to give us a study guide for our mid-term next Monday. As we went through the pages and pages and pages of notes, it was easier for him to tell us what's NOT on the test -- only 2 small sections. Jacob's game was postponed due to the inclement weather and grandparents were all set to come from out-of-town. MawMaw even made a chocolate cake -- which is right now in Waco since there wasn't a game to come to today. Jess had a big disappointment and we got some really bad news from another friend. UGH!!

Ok, I typed that all out and I don't feel one bit better. I guess I will get back to my research paper which is due tomorrow by the way...

I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I life.
Psalm 116:1-2

And why does He hear my cries? Not because of anything I have done -- nothing makes me worthy that the Creator of the universe would incline His ear to me. Except that He loved me first.

...and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15

All I can say, write, is Amen and Amen.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Another First and Last

Johnny and I spent the last couple of days looking through boxes and packages (by the dozens) of old pictures. This one is of the first day of school our last year in Odessa. Josh was in 9th grade, Jessica in 6th, and Jacob in 4th. Josh went to a public jr. high where they were required to wear "standard attire." We looked through old pictures to put together Josh's senior page for the yearbook. At our high school parents can purchase all or a portion of a yearbook page, put current and previous year pictures of their son or daughter and publish a few words of encouragement. Our first time to buy a senior page and Josh's last year in the high school yearbook. It was so fun to see all of those pictures and to relive those precious memories associated with them. We did include a picture of Josh on his first day of kindergarten. He went to a private school then and he wore a tie on the first day. I don't have the picture scanned into my computer or I would have posted it here for all to see. He was so handsome then and he is now, too. A year of firsts (because Josh is the oldest) and a year of lasts. My seminary professor told me the other day that she has heard that senior year is hard on the parents and easy on the child and freshman year of college is hard on the child and easy on the parents. I am hoping for an easy year next year because she's right, this is definitely a hard year.
Off to see #87 play some football,

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Gold Suburban

This weekend I got a new car. Well, it's new to me. I should be excited, and I am. I have driven the gold Suburban since 2000 - forever, it seems. Every important trip over the past 7 years has been taken in the gold Suburban. I cannot even calculate how many hours the gold Suburban has spent sitting in the pick-up lines in front of LBJ Elementary, Nimitz Jr. High, Wester Middle School, Mary Orr Intermediate School, and even Mansfield High School - the school and the field house. How many trip back and forth to sporting events -- too many to count. The states that the gold Suburban has been through: New Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Washington, DC, and all over the great state of Texas. It took Josh, Jessica, and Jacob, and me to Georgia the year we went by ourselves because Johnny had to fly out later to meet us. How many friends have been crammed into that gold Suburban? I could never remember...the marks on the ceiling in red marker, though, are a reminder of Jessica's birthday party/scavenger hunt her 6th grade year in Odessa. The first time we brought Josh, Jess, and Jacob to see Mansfield and the trips back and forth when Johnny lived here and we were still in Odessa. How many hours of movies and video games have been played, how many times did I fill the entire back up with groceries to feed the three growing up before my very eyes. They have grown up and that gold Suburban has stayed the same. It's been great -- like a faithful friend. It's only fault is that it gets really bad gas mileage.

So, Johnny thinks I am really silly. "It's not like it's leaving the family," he said. Of course, he's right. Johnny gets the gold Suburban. He says it's an upgrade for him. The white truck (which is actually newer than the gold Suburban) is now "Josh's truck." I guess that makes the Ram Jess's truck. She was only 8 when I started driving the gold Suburban and now she will be able to get her driver's permit next month. Next month, I'll be driving the "new car," but I will never look at that gold Suburban with anything but gratitude for a job well done and precious memories of time well spent.

Serving the King,


Sunday, October 7, 2007

He Gives and He Takes Away

or, "A Tale of Three Mommas"

"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there,
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

I feel myself on the verge of tears. I know three women about to send their children away -- one to the Air Force, one to Bible school in another country, and one to the mission field. All are worthy causes, noble ambitions. Wouldn't one be so proud to send one's child to any of three mentioned places? Yet, I can't help thinking about the mommas. The joy mixed with sadness, the pride mixed with longing.

We went to a party for the one headed off to the Air Force yesterday. He's one of my son's best friends. Family and long-time friends and relatively new friends gathered in his parents' home and ate some good food, looked at pictures of the young man at all stages of life as they passed on and off the tv screen, and talked about memories and stories. We all asked questions about where he's going, what he'll be doing, what he can take with him when he goes. He's a great kid and I think he'll do well. It's right for him...he knows that.

The biggest dilemma facing these moms...facing me in future years as well. We give birth to these blessings of God, we nuture them, pick them up when they fall, make sure they do their homework and clean their rooms, we teach them life lessons at every opportunity, we pray like crazy, and want the very, very best for them. We expect the best. Then they go. Whether it's to a far off country or off to make their own way, they go. We want it, we expect it, we plan for it, but that doesn't make it one bit easier to let them go. Not one bit, I can imagine. The momma of the son going to Bible college told me this morning, "He's going and we're not talking about it." Not because she's not proud or sure or hopeful, but because it's a huge step. In the Lord's plan for his life, apparently, but not easy, nonetheless.

So, fly sons and daughters, out of the nest, off to the great adventure. Your mommas will be here...always hoping, always praying, always expecting the best. I know you'll make them proud.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Field and The Pole

Today is the annual event called "See You at the Pole." I can remember when it started while Johnny and I were first in student ministry forever ago. It's the day where students from all over the country gather at the flag pole at their school campus to pray for their school and their friends. My older son left early today to pick up a friend before he and his sister went to the flag pole at their high school to pray. (It started at 6:30, for goodness sakes!) My younger son asked his football coach yesterday if he could get out of before-school practice a little early so he could pray at his middle school. Tonight is "Saw You at the Pole" at "The Field." Students from different schools from all over our area will gather to listen to some music, eat some food, and talk about what happened at the pole today. The Field happens to be the name of our student ministry, or as our student pastor says, our student mission. I help out in the kitchen serving food to hungry teenagers on Wed. night. I love their enthusiasm. I love how they are so excited to see each other. I love to look out of the big serving window in the kitchen and to watch them talking and laughing and playing basketball and volleyball and throwing the football around. I love the sound of their voices singing praises to God. I love how they want to invite their friends to The Field. I love it that my kids always want to go to The Field -- I would venture to say it's one of their favorite places to be.
The pole is a place -- everyday it's there, in front of the building, holding up the symbol of our nation's freedom. Today, it was the symbol of something far greater. Just like The Field -- it's about a way of life -- living out your purpose every single day. It so reminds me of those living on the mission field. Talk about living out every single day with purpose. Sometimes they leave their families, their homes, their worldly possessions and go to far off places to make the name of Jesus famous. That's what The Pole is for and that's what The Field is for. It just so happens that our mission field is here, at home. And the fields are white unto harvest...
That I might live with purpose every single day...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where, oh where?

Did I ever think planning for my firstborn to go to college would be such a big thing? I guess because I always knew where I would go to college that I cannot remember it being such a big process. When I was young I used to say my blood was green and gold, not red. (Sic'em Bears!) First of all, there's got to be a "short list." Whew, I think we finally have a short list. Johnny and I had for our first choice DBU but, alas, that's not the senior's first choice. We even went to Patriot Day, the campus visit, and filled out the application. I was not even above paying our college interns (DBU students) to try to influence Josh to want to go to DBU. (LOL) I'm over it, though. Ok, so we've got the short list. He's got to take the tests. Yeah, some students took it last year during junior year, but that would require listening to announcements and taking the initiative to find out the info. for the test. He's scheduled to take the SAT the 1st weekend in October. check! He's applied to one other college and, apparently, there's one application he can fill out online once that can go to all Texas state/public universities. There's a couple of those on the list. Then, the biggie - how to pay for it. I spent an hour and a half on the internet last Friday looking for scholarship money. There's lots of 'em. Several will require that the student write an essay or fill out some kind of entry form. I can fill out entry forms but I am NOT writing the essay! Then, will come the wait. Will he be accepted? Will he make the right decision on where to go? Will he get scholarship money? Will I be able to keep up with all of this, keep the house and kids running and on schedule, keep up with my obligations/areas of service at my church, keep up with my school work...make an A on my mid-term on Tuesday??

Too many questions, not near enough answers... oh well, I am gonna be an expert at this whole college thing before the year is over...the next 2 will be a breeze! Maybe I'll write a book...a book what a great idea...I'll just do that in my spare time...

Serving the King,


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Team Captain

Last Friday night was a really proud moment for Johnny and me... Josh was one of the team captains for the night. He walked out onto the field with the other three captains for the "mock coin toss." I never really paid attention before but, apparently, the coaches really have the coin toss earlier so they can set the game plan and the players just go out there for show -- oh yeah, and listen to the ref and shake hands with the captains from the other team. Our team is 3-0 and we have a bye this weekend.

Go Tigers!


Monday, September 17, 2007

If Mothers Ruled the World

I just caught the morning news and saw the report on the big Emmy show last night. Thankfully, I missed the show last night!! The only interest I really have in the show is to see what the actresses were wearing! The morning news showed the actress Sally Field giving a portion of her winning speech in which she was bleeped for the use of foul language but, in essence, what she said was if mothers ruled the world there wouldn't be any wars. Though I know she was making a political statement and this is not what she meant, I, on one hand, agree with her. If mothers ruled the world, perhaps there wouldn't be any terrorists and there wouldn't be a need for wars. Perhaps if mothers ruled the world there wouldn't be any genocide and there wouldn't be a need for wars. Perhaps if mothers ruled the world there wouldn't be nuclear and biological weapons, drug and human trafficking, and the rape and torture and starvation of people all over the world and there wouldn't be a need for war.

On the other hand, remember a few years ago the case of the cheerleader mom? She thought that murdering the mom of another cheerleader would help her daughter make cheerleader. Cheerleading...nothing like world peace. What about the minister's wife who killed her husband and served just a few months in jail? How will that affect those three little girls who lost their daddy? Or, the mom who allegedly set her 3 children on fire this weekend in North Texas? How about a mom like Brittney Spears? Yeah, I want her ruling the world.

All I can think, really, is what a ridiculous thing to say. If mothers ruled the world there would still be different ideologies and cultures and beliefs. There would still be a quest for power and the corruption that goes along with it. There would still be evil and selfishness and injustice -- even if mothers ruled the world.

Love being a mom -- just not out to rule the world,


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am overwhelmed -- already behind in my school work. I don't even know why I am typing this blog because I certainly don't have time. It seems there are so many thoughts swirling in my head that I cannot even turn my brain off for half a second. One of my professor's walked into class yesterday and asked how everyone was doing. We had a paper due that day, BTW, as well as another research project due tomorrow for the same class. How are we doing?? Someone said she was making it, to which most of us nodded in agreement. The professor commented that she didn't think that's what Jesus had in mind when we said that He came that we may have an abundant life. (check out John 10:10) She's right, I don't think that's what he had in mind either. THEN, my friend, Michelle (who is teaching our weekday women's Bible study) read Ephesians 5:15-16 in study this morning. verse 16: "making the most of your time, because the days are evil." I don't feel like I am making the most of my time. Like Michelle said this morning, sometimes I get to the end of the day and I think, "What was the point of today? What did I really accomplish for the Kingdom of God today?" Michelle encouraged us to be careful how we walk, to walk with a purpose. Certainly this all has a purpose because I really don't see it right now... It seems a little hard to walk with a purpose when I feel like I'm drowning...

Hanging in,


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Week Two

We had a week of school then a 3-day weekend and now we're on the 2nd week of school. One of my professors came into class today and asked if everyone had a great weekend and then added that it might have been nice to have that weekend a little further into the semester instead of so close to the beginning. I couldn't agree more...we didn't even have time to gain some momentum before the brakes were slammed on! We will have plenty of time now...we don't have another day off until sometime in October when we will have another Monday off.

All the kids are out of the house by 7:00 am these days. Jacob is playing football and practice STARTS at 7 am and high school starts at 7:15. Jacob's 1st game is still a couple of weeks away but Josh's team won their 1st game, 34-6. It was so exciting!! I missed Jessica's first games last week but can't wait to see her in action this week. Our friends at church said she is the best trainer out there!

It's a time for new beginnings at our church as well. We started a new curriculum for Sunday morning Bible study that begins at, well, the beginning. We are starting where it all started for humanity...God spoke and it was. Not a big bang or a chance occurrence, but the God of the universe, in His divine and perfect plan, took the formless and void darkness and said, "Let there be..." and there was. That's it, He spoke and it happened. The God who took nothing and made everything is the Sovereign God of the here and now. The rain that is drizzling down right now was His plan and His action caused it. I have to admit that I have a little apprehension right now in life. I don't know where Josh will be next year. I really don't know what I will be doing this time next year -- I will be a graduate with a master's degree but still don't know what I want to do when I grow up... I've got to stay focused on the present and the One who controls tomorrow...For goodness sakes, the here and now is way busy and full enough without anticipating next year... for real!

Staying focused -- with eyes fixed on Jesus,


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Senior Year

Our first thing to do as parents of a senior --have our photo made with Josh in his varsity uniform. Later that morning all the moms of senior players got to put on their son's jersey and have pictures made. So, here Johnny and I are with Josh -- this photo was taken by our friend, Hector. I can hardly believe senior year is here. I can remember like yesterday when I saw that boy for the very first time. My first glimpse at that little baby -- the nurses in the hospital said his hair looked like it was "frosted" because the tips were a lighter color than the roots. It's so odd, how he went from 6 lbs. 12 ounces to now, playing varsity football his senior year. It really seems like enough time should not have passed yet.
I am sure there will be lots of updates on the senior year...bear with me, it's my first time. For now, here we are last Saturday -- football picture day.
Serving the King,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Yesterday was the big day for Jess to go back-to-school shopping. Not with me, of course, but she did need a ride. So, I drove to the mall, handed out the dough, and she and her friend headed out. I called once to see if I could meet up with them but she said no so I checked out the clearance racks at my favorite stores. I did make a couple of purchases but really was not in the mood for shopping AND I had blisters on my feet. (My friend and I walked/jogged for an hour and a half that morning and I had on old shoes.) When it was close to the meeting time I found a bench in front of Libby Lu's where I could listen to some tunes -- Hillary Duff, Hannah Montana, High School Musical. The store is for elementary age girls to go in and have their hair and make-up done and buy girlie girl accessories. I went by there once and they were having a style show. Jess never went there but, apparently, it's a birthday party kind of thing to do for young girls. I watched a girl and her mom in the store. (not in a weird, stalking kindof way but just a curious, people-watching kindof way) She was getting fixed up with what looked like a Hannah Montana wig. Not that I have anything against Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus -- in fact, I think she is a much better role model for girls that some of the other young women in the media. Here's the whole interesting thing: the girl and her mom were done and were walking out of the store. In the store you could tell the girl was having fun and was happy about her new look. No doubt, dress up is fun when you are in elementary school. About that time, however, two cute high school age girls were walking by. The Hannah Montana-wig girl put her hand on top of her head, self-consciously, and ducked behind her mom. I've been thinking about that. What does that actually mean about the way girls perceive themselves and the way they think they are perceived by other girls? What does that say about the critical nature of girls? BTW, the high school girls didn't even seem to notice the younger was just the younger girl's idea of what they would think -- maybe?

I guess the second issue is how important appearance is to girls and the culture's indoctrination for girls to place such an importance on the way they look. It's a struggle. And, girls can be mean, even vicious, to each other. Guys aren't generally like that. Girls can be so judgmental of each other. Is that already such a reality to an elementary-age girl that she would feel self-conscious coming out of a store with a long, blonde wig on? Interesting...

It is vital for us as moms to teach our daughters not to be influenced by every whim of culture but it's also so important to teach them to not be judgmental of other girls that are not like them. Especially as Christian young women, our daughters are to be lights in a dark world, a reflection of Jesus. I know He would never laugh at someone for what she wore to school one day...

Serving the King,


Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to School Shopping

I took Jess today to the new Walgreens by our house and bought her a spiral notebook and some pens. She tells me she is going clothes shopping with her friends. Josh went with his girlfriend to the mall today for back-to-school shopping. It's so odd...I guess no one will need a new lunchbox or the long list of scissors, markers, crayons, etc., that we have spent countless days buying in past years. Will anyone even need me to go shopping with them this year??? Am I being put out to pasture already??

Perhaps I am over-reacting. It won't be the first time...

It's not like I don't have 5,000 other things I could be and should be doing. They still want me to do their laundry, cook their meals. I am still in the pursuit of that master's degree. I still want to be a great wife to Johnny and be a part of ministry with him. I JUST HATE THAT SOMETHING THAT I HAVE SPENT ALMOST 2 DECADES DOING IS COMING TO AN END!

Ok, glad to have that off my chest...

Have a great weekend!

Serving the King,


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The End is Near

The end of summer break, that is. It's flown by, just like every other summer since our kids have been big. Tomorrow Jess has her 1st day for trainers. Next week is football two-a-days. I start back to class 2 weeks (wait, can it be 2 weeks...yikes!!) from tomorrow and the kids go back the week after that. I had such big plans for the summer but it seems like this (right this very minute) is the first quiet moment without any expectations put on it of the whole summer. There has always been something to do, something to plan, something to get ready for. Oh yeah, we do have a big event for women's ministry next week (which I am more than excited about!!) but it seems like all has been taken care of by the ministry team while I was away. Oh, and that directed study that I was doing for seminary this summer. I guess I should get to work on that...

This morning, however, has been completely quiet in my house. I was able to spend some time on my personal study of the book of Matthew. I have been studying for months and am just on chapter 5. It is such a great book. Matthew's perspective is Jesus as King. In chapter 5, the King sits down on a mountainside surrounded by a crowd of people. Jesus desires to meet us where we are. They followed Him there why? Some were looking for physical healing, some were looking for answers to life's questions, some were curious -- I don't know all the reasons. I imagine He had a very charismatic personality and people were drawn to Him. As He spoke, it was dynamic and people wanted to listen.

"Blessed are those..." What we call the Beatitudes, verses 3 - 12. Blessed means "fully satisfied." It's not happiness dependent on circumstances, but an inner quality given by God alone. It is a result with a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. It is satisfaction found not on things of this world, but the eternal.

Matthew 5:6 - "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Not a one-time, acceptance of God's gift of salvation, but a continual search and filling for God, to conformity to His standard. And we will not just be full (satisfied) but overflowing. One meaning of the Greek word here is "to gorge." My mental picture is Thanksgiving when I gorge myself with yummy fried turkey and dressing and other delicious side dishes. The past few years we have been camping with my family so I am full from eating and surrounded by family and the great outdoors. That is satisfaction in my book. When there's not one more thing I could eat (literally) or any place I would rather be. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will need not look for filling in anything else...they will not need one other thing... there's no other place they would rather be...

Despite the hectic pace we will experience in our house in just a few days...back to school shopping, registration and schedule pick-up, football physicals and season ticket purchase...making sure every detail is covered so we can all start back ready to roll, I am fully satisfied. It's been a great summer but more than that I am leaning, am dependent, on what it means to really be fully satisfied...

Serving the King,


Monday, August 6, 2007

The Great Adventure - is over

We are home. Two weeks, 3204 miles, and absolutely as many things packed in as possible. If you have not visited our nation's capital you should really consider taking the trip. Wow! We called our senator after we arrived and got to tour the capital with one of her aides. We got on this little subway train in the basement that goes from one building to another. Johnny and the boys got on a train with John Kerry. Jessica, our two guides, and I got bumped for John Kerry. When we caught up with them Johnny said he flashed John Kerry the "W" -- you know, for George W -- but he was kidding!! The closest we got to the President was standing on the street as he went by. We didn't get the White House tour. So, one day we were downtown eating at the ESPN Zone and walked over to Hard Rock Cafe to buy Jess a t-shirt. It's right across the street from the FBI building. The President was there...there were tons of police parked outside. (we asked someone when we saw the police and they told us what was going on) Later, we were down on Pennsylvania Avenue and you could hear the whistles blowing. We knew what that meant because we had seen a smaller motorcade earlier in the week. The police blow their whistles and stop all traffic. It was the President's motorcade and we waved and I took pictures -- I am such the tourist!! One of the last vehicles in the long motorcade (after the van with the Secret Service hanging their rifles out of the window) was an ambulance. Interesting...I guess it's a sign of where we are.

We saw the original Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Amazing! There was also a document where notes had been written before the final draft was complete. We went to Arlington Cemetery and walked about 3 miles. We chose not to take the tour trolley and it's one mile from the entrance to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The changing of the guard was impressive. We also walked to the Arlington House, or the Lee House, and found out the history of how the cemetery was started. Fascinating! Did you know that Lee, the Confederate General, was related to George Washington? I don't think I knew that -- Lee married into Washington's family and the Lee House was originally in the Washington family!! Wow!

We took a night tour of all the famous monuments. Imagine...standing at the Lincoln Memorial, looking back at the Washington monument reflecting on the water with an almost full moon in the background. We also went to the holocaust museum but I didn't think it was as good as the one in Jerusalem. It's a reminder, none the less, of what we haven't seemed to learn -- just referring to current world conflict. I was quite impressed with one of the Smithsonian museums and not so much with another.

I'm glad to be home. Really was great to have the 2 weeks away...great to have the kids all to ourselves (except for the constant texting to friends on the metro and other places) Now, however, there is laundry to be done, tons of it...oh well, life goes on...and on and on and on...

holdin' on to the feeling,


Ok, I just had to add this note to the above blog that I published this morning. This afternoon I was catching up on some blogs that I like to read and was on Vicki Courtney's. She's an author and speaker published by LifeWay. The end of my blog was a very vague reference to a song that all five of us were singing loudly in the car driving through Nashville, TN, Saturday night. Vicki has the YouTube video of the song on her blog...I laughed and laughed...check it out at -- go to her post dated 7/29/07 -- if you can't figure it out!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The First Colony and American Independence

Or, should I have titled this "The Great Adventure - Part 3"? Today was full of history lessons. We walked all around Jamestown and then Yorktown. Jamestown is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the settlers first landing there. It was amazing to hear and read the stories, to see real artifacts, and to find out what life was really like for those early pioneers. Just about 20 miles away is the site where Cornwallace surrendered to George Washington and America's independence was won! It was so interesting to see where the French came into the York River to the aid of those fighting for freedom. Freedom really isn't free ... I guess I am amazed at what so many people were willing to give up, what they were willing to sacrifice to gain something that was worthy of having. Sure, the first British that came over to Jamestown were really seeking to make a fortune in the new world, but what they found was a great deal of hardship. Yet, they kept coming...
Today really was an adventure -- in more ways than one.
Serving the King,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Great Adventure - Part 2

I am sitting in the laundry room at the American Heritage RV Park. I usually would not do laundry while on vacation, but swimsuits and towels full of sand from the beach sitting in a hot Suburban for a week didn't sound like such a great idea. So, here I am...catching up on some email and news and, of course, aboundinhope.

Before I left home I read an article about the new Dallas Cowboys stadium that is currently being built in Arlington. Johnny and I had a chance to drive over there a couple of weeks ago. It is impressive. Here's what gets me...Jerry Jones, the article stated, is writing a check for a million dollars everyday...I cannot even fathom writing checks like that. It's beyond my imagination. The end of the article reported that Michael Irvin asked J. Jones to present him whatever he will be presented with when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. (ok, my details may be a little off, but that's not the point) The article quoted Jerry Jones as saying, in reference to the request, he count on one hand the number of times he has been that happy...on one hand the number of times he has been that happy...

I can barely count on two hands (if two is even enough) the number of times I have been completely and totally filled with joy and happiness since I left home a week ago. Yesterday and today we played football on the beach. It was awesome....I'm not kidding. I am all-time offense because of my skills -- NOT! -- I am all-time offense because that's the only way the teams will be fair. Yesterday we rented a family bike and rode up and down the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. We sat at a little restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and ate lunch. I waterskiied last Thursday on water that was perfectly still -- like glass. We pulled the kids on skis and tubes and fished for hours catching nothing but little brim that we had to throw back. Today we had church in the Wildwood and I preached!! haha!! shh -- don't tell anyone!!

Well, I could go on, but I guess I will get back to the present and check on the laundry... I'll be checking back in with you in a few days. Until then...go have some fun and find happiness in your life and family...



Monday, July 23, 2007

The Great Adventure - Part 1

Well, here we are -- on vacation. Our first stop is in Georgia. My in-laws have a house on a lake on the GA/SC line. It's beautiful here and my mother-in-law spoils us. Her spiritual gift is hospitality and she loves to cook. That's great because we all love to eat!!

To get here, we left our house a little before 2:00 on Sunday afternoon. We are pulling our travel trailer, the Wildwood, on this great adventure. Some of you may know that I have "the list." The list is all the things that I want to do with my kids before they grow up and leave us. That's why we are on this particular vacation. Our ultimate destination is Washington, DC. Anyway, we did something already that we have never done before. Yep, I added to the list instantaneously and marked it off and, perhaps, will never do it again. Then again, maybe we will do it again. We drove Sunday night until we just couldn't go any longer. We planned to stop at the welcome center at the Georgia state line. There's a place in the back where truckers park to stay overnight. It was full!! Not one spot was left and parking overnight is prohibited in the front part of the welcome center. So, we went to the next exit where there was a truck stop. We pulled our little travel trailer right inbetween the big rigs! Yep, we slept in the Wildwood at a truck stop. My sister-in-law said, "You might be a redneck if..." Well, you get the picture!

So, we're here in Georgia enjoying a few days with my husband's family. The kids are already down at the dock and it's about time to go out on the boat...gotta run!



Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I am getting really excited about our big vacation coming up in just 4 days. Yikes...did I just write 4 days? I've got to get busy!!

We are leaving Sunday afternoon with the five of us and the Wildwood. We will head for Georgia to visit Johnny's family for a few days and then we'll head up to Virginia Beach. I've never even been to Virginia so I'm pumped about that. We are camping at First Landing State Park...named because it's the site where the settlers first landed! We leave there to go to Jamestown, Virginia. Jessica wanted to visit there because she learned in American History that this is the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Perhaps you heard that the Queen was over for visit for the occasion. We'll check that out and then we are headed to Washington, DC. We are camping at a private campground in Maryland. Apparently, we will be able to catch a bus at our campground that will take us to the metro transit system for DC. We'll have a few days there and then will head back home.

I've never been to Washington, DC, and neither has Johnny. It's on "the list" of the things we want to do with our kids before they grow up and leave us. I've been reading and preparing but if you have any last minute suggestions of things we don't want to miss while we are there, please leave a comment and tell me what it is!

I think Johnny and I are excited about going new places that we've always wanted to go, but at this point we are looking forward to having our kids all to ourselves. They are so busy with their friends and activities. After dinner last night they all left to hang out with friends. We were cleaning up the kitchen (he's so good to help me!!) and talking about the future when it will be just the two of us...

I guess I better go throw another load of clothes in the laundry!

Gettin' ready for vacation,


Monday, July 16, 2007


I'm about to go out for a run. At least I hope to will likely be mostly walking though I see myself running in my mind.

My brother finished a 100 mile race this weekend. He ran for 100 miles through the mountains in Colorado. It sounds a little nuts to me, but the race started at 6:00 a.m. on Friday and the racers kept running...I imagine you don't dare stop for too long...until they completed the course. Some dropped and some didn't make the cut-off times at the various aid stations. The race ended at 6:00 a.m. Sunday but my brother finished Saturday evening. His time was just under 38 hours and he finished about 45th. The guy who won ran a record time (for that event) of 26 hours and 8 minutes...100 miles running on his feet over the mountains, through the streams, in the snow... Wow!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)

We have not all been called to the same race. I certainly am not equipped to run 100 miles just as I am not called to do certain jobs in the church or in ministry. Life requires endurance. Sometimes serving God requires endurance. Whew! Sometimes being a mom requires endurance.

So run, with endurance, persevere through circumstances and keep it up! The reward is great!

Running the race,


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Well, I still cannot type a title for my blogs...since I am not a techie I have no idea what's up with that...

Jessica and I had lunch today with our student pastor's wife. She's awesome! (: She asked us what our plans were for the rest of the day. Until she asked I had not thought about the fact that I really didn't have plans for the rest of the day, except to pick up Jacob after camp and cook dinner so the teenagers could go to a Video Scavenger Hunt at church at 6:00. Then, of course, I had to clean up after dinner, wash towels and swimsuits from the day at camp, and other "motherly" duties. That's pretty much what I do during the summer...take care of "kid" things.

I was reading a blog the other day that a friend of mine wrote. Here's a excerpt:

Five years ago all four of my children lived at home. This fact may explain fully to some of you (at least those of you who are moms) that only the time that I slept was free from fulfilling my duties. (

You'll have to check out Michelle's blog to get the point she was making, but I can really relate to that paragraph! By the time I got home with Jacob (and a friend, of course) at 4:20, it was a rush to get supper ready and everyone sitting down to eat (all 8 of us, because there's always room for one more) before the big kids had to go. Cleaning up and making brownies (by special request of the 2 left at home when the others left) filled the evening. Now, I am sitting at my desk, watching the sun set and waiting for the big son to get home with the ice cream...also by special request of the younger know, to go with the brownies!

Whether I really had any plans for this day or not, the day had plans for me. Actually, the kids had plans for me and I am soon going to get ready for whatever they have planned for me for tomorrow!

Serving the King (and the kids),


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ok, for some reason I can't type a title for this blog. It's just as well -- this blog is all about leaving things undone...

As I've written previously in other blogs, I have been studying the Minor Prophets of the OT to teach my class on Sunday mornings. I have been amazed how much I've learned, how much God has spoken to me, through the Minor Prophets. This week was Haggai. The lesson title was "Commitment." Before I even read one verse of Scripture, I pondered this question: What am I really committed to? It's not my diet -- I really want to lose some weight but the calling of the brownies is much louder than the desire to lose weight. What else have I given up on way to easily?

The people of Judah had been released to return to their homeland following their exile in Babylon. After the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians, the Jewish people returned to rebuild their homeland. They were supposed to rebuild the temple and they had started the task, but then they got sidetracked. They wanted to build their own homes and plant their crops -- hey, everyone wants a nice house and food to eat and a successful business... The work was hard, they had opposition, they didn't have all the materials they needed. Wow! Sounds like some excuses I've made..."No, God, surely You don't want me to do that. It's too hard. I don't have the time or talent to accomplish that. I don't know how and I don't have the things I need to do it. What will people say?"

You know what God said to the people through the prophet Haggai? "Get to work!" (my paraphrase, obviously, from Haggai 1:8) Stop making excuses and be obedient. Finish the temple just like I told you.

Here's what really got me -- the people did have crops, but not as much as they could have. They had clothes and money and things, but they were not living under God's blessing because they were not being obedient. They were working hard but not receiving their full reward...

Wow! I can hardly type one more word except wow. It's a heavy wow not one of joy or excitement. Not because I want more things but because I wonder what blessing I might be missing...what did I leave undone that I was supposed to accomplish? Did I give all that I could to that task the Lord called me to? Was I obedient every step of the way?

The people repented and got busy building the temple. It wasn't the magnificent temple like Solomon built, which might have caused some sadness for those that remembered what they used to have, what they lost. Haggai tells the people to consider the past -- learn from your mistakes -- but look forward to the future blessings of the Lord.

The easy road may not always be the most fulfilling.

Serving the King,


Friday, July 6, 2007


It's 12:38 am and I can't sleep. I was asleep, but Josh came home & woke me least I know he is home safe. I played some web suduko but that didn't help anything...I am actually sitting here thinking that I really don't have anything to write about. What a sad, sad state to be in...

So, I went to two movies within the last week. I'm not big on going to the movies so this is huge for me. I would much rather rent a movie and watch it at home. You don't even have to go to the store anymore to rent a movie, for goodness sakes! You just rent right off the cable box...what will they think of next? Anyway, we went to see Live Free or Die Hard and Transformers. I can hardly type or think or say the word transformers without adding "robots in disguise." Both movies were pretty entertaining, but I must say that I really liked Die Hard. I'm not a big die hard fan but Johnny is... a BIG fan...from the beginning all the way until now. Somehow he managed to get all 5 of us at the movie together. That's amazing! It was all 5 and only all 5 -- no extra people either!! The movie started and was action packed -- the kind of movie that when it's over you sit back in your seat and go "whew" because you are just worn out. I recommend it. Really, I do, as odd as I feel typing that.

Well, so much for the movie case you are still reading I will spare you any further boredom by signing off...

Sweet dreams...Jeanette

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Well, it happened. There was an accident at our house the other day. It was after VBS -- 2 of my kids were here and they each had 3 friends over. It's ok...we always have extra kids here and we actually love it! The 4 middle school boys were out in the pool & the 4 high school girls were upstairs watching a movie. (actually, after a week of morning and evening VBS I think they were asleep!) I was watching Paula Deen make Orange Brownies on tv. (Which, BTW, I made later that day and they weren't too was the cream cheese icing that won me over!) One of the fellas decided to pull a prank on the girls. They ran inside from the pool and I could see them running around upstairs. I yelled, "What are you doing up there?" To which they said, "nothing!" In a minute, they came running down, headed back to the pool. Down the stairs and almost out the door, one of the boys (not mine) started yelling! I went over to find him in a pool of blood (ok, pool of blood may be an exaggeration) and in quite a bit of pain. I am not a calm person ever so I immediately start giving everyone orders. And, I have an intolerance for the sight of blood... One of the girls called the boy's mom and I had to tell her the bad news. He caught his little toe on the door upstairs and there was a gash between two toes and up onto his foot. Ugh! Mom said, "Is that him screaming I hear?" Oh yeah, it was. There's no doubt that it hurt like the dickens. They live about 15 minutes from us, but she said she would be there quickly and she was...real quickly! By the time she arrived, Johnny was home and he took over the doctor duties. To sum it up, mom did take him to the emergency room & they had to xray because they thought his toes might be broken. Thankfully not, but he did have to have 6 stitches in his foot.

Why, you might be thinking, write a blog about my son's friend's accident and stitches? First of all, I am thankful for friends and fun and summer. There has not been one quiet day yet since school has been out, but there will be lots of quiet when the kids go back. It's a season & a very busy one at that. Second, I am really thankful to have had the privilege to stay at home with my kids all these years. At times, I have longed for a job or a place outside this house to devote my time and energy. One where there's a sense of know, you can finish the laundry and think the job is accomplished until you walk upstairs and it just starts all over's a never ending, thankless job. Not just the laundry...all of it.

To have the awesome responsibility placed on me and Johnny by the God of the universe, who knows way more than I do & is sovereign over it all, to raise 3 mold their lives, to take care of their needs, their wants, their hurts, to experience their joys and trials, to be there when decisions have to be made and to hear what's really on their heart...

We've made it all these years without a friend having an accident requiring stitches while at our house...we've made it through a lot, actually. I'm thankful for it all...I really am.

Serving the King,


Sunday, June 24, 2007


We are studying the minor prophets in our ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship) this quarter. Our lesson today was from the book of Habakkuk. As I studied last week to teach today, I was captivated by the book. Habakkuk was a prophet to Judah at a time of rebellion. Habakkuk cried out to God, "Why?" He obviously had been praying about the situation for a while and it seemed as though God was not answering.

Waiting on God. That's hard stuff. Things happening that you just do not like or agree with and God seems to be silent. Even harder. I went to listen to our Student Pastor last Wednesday night and he preached on Mark 3. In verse 5, God's Word says Jesus looked with anger, but he was grieved at the heart condition of the people. Our Student Pastor, Josh, said He was mad/sad. Josh recounted a time when a friend died and he was mad and sad at the same time. I can relate to mad/sad -- something is going on right now and there's no other way to describe it but to say I am mad/sad.

Why do You let things happen and the heavens seem to be silent?

God said, "Hey, Habakkuk, you're answer is coming, but you're not going to believe it." (my paraphrase, obviously, and following...)

Habakkuk responds with words about the holiness and eternalness of God. Then he says, "I know Your people of Judah have been disobedient, but the Chaldeans? The Chaldeans are way worse than we are." You see, God would allow the Chaldeans to conquer the people of Judah. Then Habakkuk says that he will stop, wait and watch until God answers. Sometimes we need to stop talking and be quiet before a Holy God. We can't hear God's answer over the sound of our own voice...

God's perspective is not ours. His timing is not ours. He has the advantage of past, present, and future. He sees all aspects equally well when we can only see our past and present. He sees the big picture.

The book of Habakkuk ends with Habakkuk's praise. God told him what he was coming and now he had to wait and watch for it to happen. It scared him. However, when it's all said and done, no matter what happens, when everything is falling apart, when there's danger of ruin or hunger or matter what..."Yet, I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation." (Hab. 3:18,NASB) I will praise Him despite my circumstances, in the midst of my circumstances. He alone is my strength...even when I am mad/sad, when I don't understand, when I ache inside because of a circumstance I have no control over...when there's injustice and hurt and evil seems to triumph over good, when the innocent are hurt as a biproduct of other people's actions...

Yet, I will praise the God Most High and I will wait and watch for His answer in His time.

Because He's God and I'm not, I will praise Him.

In humble service to the King,


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Lake House

I've stopped by our abode to start some laundry & run some kids around, but I've been spending the week at our "lake house." Ok, it's really just our travel trailer, "The Wildwood," parked at a nearby lake, but lake house sounds so much better. I have to admit, however, I am not the one to start it. Two other families have their mobile lake house out there & Mary is the one who started calling it that! I like it! Last night was hilarious! We left church with our youngest son & 2 friends. We told the boys they had to sleep in a tent because our beds were full. Jess had a friend and then we had 2 other teenage girls there -- the girlfriends of our other son & his friend. At about 1:00 a.m., the 3 tweenage boys decided it was too hot and sticky and they could not sleep. Being the pushover that I am, I decided to let them come in to the airconditioning. That meant that girls had to double up in beds & a couple of boys in another and one on a pool float on the floor. There were 9 people in the Wildwood last night! I'd say that was a full house! I only wish I had taken a picture! I told my husband this morning -- as he left the lake house to go in to work -- we made a memory that we will laugh about for years.

The more the merrier....Jeanette

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jacob, Me, and Fiesta Texas

Jacob and I went to the big Fiesta Texas on Tuesday. We were there before they opened the gates and, when they were open, we went directly to one of Jacob's favorite rides, the Roadrunner Express. We were the first people there and sat in the first seat. Not too many people had arrived by the time the ride was over, so we rode again -- this time on the back seat. It was a fun day! Jacob got to do whatever he wanted with me tagging along. We usually are budget conscious when we go places like that with 3 kids, but on Tuesday Jacob had 2 Icees, 2 DipnDots, and a charro (sp?). It wasn't too crowded so we got to ride everything we wanted to with hardly any wait at all.

I have to say (or write) that it was fun to spend the day with Jacob. I feel sure he would have rather been in Florida at camp with his brother and sister, though. Next year they all will go to camp together...

As for the SBC -- I didn't get to very much of it. I did get to see a live address by President Bush via satellite (or however they do it -- he wasn't there in person, but he obviously could see a video feed of us as we could of him). He spoke of all the good things we are doing as So. Baptists. It's something to be proud of, actually. We are involved in so many great endeavors to help people in practical and physical ways. I read some information about Mother Teresa recently. Her mission to help the poor, sick, dying, and outcast of society began in Calcutta, India, but her name is known worldwide because of her selfless life of giving. Unfortunately, I don't think that's what So. Baptists are known for but we are accomplishing so much in the name of Jesus. In truth, we can do more when we are working together than each individual or church could do separately, even though there are individuals and churches doing great things. That's the beauty of our convention...our cooperative works together.

Well, I am procrastinating on a project that I must finish today so I guess that's it for now...

Proud to be a Southern Baptist,


Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Southern Baptist Convention

Tomorrow Johnny, Jacob, and I will head down to San Antonio for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. I will not attend all the meetings with Johnny as I will be entertaining Jacob. I can't decide if I will be sad to miss all the fireworks or glad to not be a witness to it. You see, there's some disharmony in the SBC (gasp!) . I've been perusing blogs from a broad spectrum of people in SBC life and I've been rather disappointed in most. It occurred to me as I listened to Johnny's sermon this morning that some So. Bapt. have forgotten whom our real enemy is -- it's not "us" vs. "them" within our convention but it's us vs. the world. Have you heard how people like Rosie talk about Christians? How in the world do we (a general we speaking of SBC people) have the guts to utter one negative breath about people in our own belief system when THE WORLD IS OPPOSED TO US AND TALKING BAD ABOUT US AS CHRISTIANS? How do we do it???? Did you see the news where an actor was fired from a tv show (not one that I watch) for saying a negative comment about a gay person but any bad thing can be said about Christians and it is AOK. (Please don't read anything into that statement about gay people -- I am not saying it was or was not ok for the actor to say a negative comment about gay people, I am just saying some things are tolerated and some are not.) Johnny talked about this morning that when people don't get what they want, when they want it, exactly the way they want it, that's when Satan starts whispering in their ear so they justify their sin. Judas Iscariot was one example...Jesus didn't turn out to be who Judas thought He was so when Judas was tempted by Satan, he gave in and betrayed Jesus. Does everything have to be our way? Can we just tolerate our brothers and sisters for the sake of the Gospel? "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth (or your fingertips, if you are a blogger), but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear." (Eph. 4:29 with my own addition and emphasis)

Whew, with that off my chest, let me just add that Josh & Jess will be off to Centrifuge at Panama City Beach tonight. Johnny and I met while working Centrifuge exactly 20 years ago this summer. I attended Centrifuge as a student, as a chaperone, and as an employee. The summer I went as a chaperone, God got a hold of me and completely altered the course of my life. As an employee, I met Johnny and my life was changed again. I am praying for God to do something awesome in the life of Josh and Jess this week as well.

Serving the King,


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Book Review Part 1

Ok, I'm only a few more pages into the book Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna that I mentioned in my last post, but I'm already under conviction. I think I'm a fairly decent parent and I really want and pray for my children to love God and follow Him. Since they were brought up in church, they know all the "Sunday School" answers. They've heard the Bible stories. My prayer for years has been that it would be heart knowledge and not just head knowledge.

In part one of the book, Barna gives a sort of checklist of parents just like me. A few of the items listed are: provide basic needs, successful in school, good home life, involved in church & church activities, not doing drugs or alcohol, not promiscuous, and without criminal activity. (Barna, 5) That would describe our situation. Here's the kicker -- those are fine standards, but they are as measured by the world's standards. As compared to the world those are really great standards, but they are not God's standards. Our job, as Christian parents, is not to raise our children to "be all they can be" by the world's standards, but to aspire to godly and biblical standards.

Barna goes on to write that we are to raise "spiritual champions." We don't do that by neglecting physical or intellectual or emotional needs, however. Those aspects are vital to the development of our children, but how often do we place those areas above the spiritual aspect? Guilty! Sending our children to church and activities and Christian camps (one of mine went last week & two will go next week) is simply not enough. It's our job, our job primarily, as Christian parents to be the spiritual nurturer of our children.

I'm moving on to part 2 of the book which is the research section. If you are at all familiar with George Barna, you know that's what he does. He researches all sorts of topics as related to ministry and Christianity and then evaluates. I'll be back with more later...


*Barna, George. Revolutionary Parenting. BarnaBooks & Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Jogging in the park...

...and I use the word jogging very loosely! I used to jog/run a lot but have just needed a little push to get my feet moving from a walk to a jog. My friend has been encouraging me and met me today for a jog. It went pretty well, I guess. You've got to start somewhere. The best part, though, besides the motivation, is the conversation. Isn't great to know that other people, specifically other women, have the same struggles as you? Not that they are struggling, but that you're not alone...or crazy...

We have daughters the same age so there's a whole lotta conversations just about that. Swimsuit shopping, for instance. Our student pastor says our daughters need to have one-piece swimsuits for camp. I agree with him, in theory. However, have you been swimsuit shopping with a teen girl lately? It is practically impossible to find a suitable one-piece swimsuit for a teen girl that she will actually wear some other time besides camp that doesn't cost too much. A company could make a lot of money just making "camp appropriate" swimwear for girls that was reasonable in price and appearance -- if that's even possible.

Weight gain -- now there's another popular topic among women. A depressing one, however. I just can't go there right now...I've already talked too much about that topic for one day. Next subject...

Reading. My friend is not a big reader, but I love to read. When I'm in school I get to read lots and lots. This summer, however, I am reading Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna for an independent study I am doing for my degree. I've just read the introduction so far but I think it will be a really good book. The main theme of the book, I think, is that parents are really the #1 influencer of their children and, therefore, should be the #1 discipler of their children. Sometimes parents want to shift the responsibility of molding and teaching their children to some professional or institution. Perhaps I will give an update or book review when I actually finish the book. Look for that later... in the meantime, I need a good book to read on vacation so I am open to suggestions if you've read a fabulous book lately!

Mentoring. We talked about Titus 2 today. Older women are to mentor younger women. Older can mean in age or in spiritual maturity. I read an article recently that suggested that we, as believers, should always be looking for someone older to be mentored by, someone our age to walk beside us, and someone younger that we actually mentor. It's all about relationships. I guess that's the whole point of this blog today. Relationships are important. God never meant for us to live this Christian life on our own. In fact, sometimes it can be stinkin' hard and we really can't make it on our own. It's good to bounce ideas off one another, to talk about crazy parenting things, and what God is doing in our own lives.

So, thanks, friend, for a jog in the park...I'll see you tomorrow!

Serving the King,


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Day of School - ugh!

I am a mix of emotions...I love the last day of school. School time is really hectic & I get so tired of asking, "Do you have homework tonight?" The kids seem to always be gone & on the run. Well, all of us do. Our summers are usually crazy and busy, but it's a different kind of busy. I love having my kids at home & with me. Today, however, I feel on the verge of tears. Johnny and I actually agreed this morning that we couldn't talk about it because we were both not wanting to get weepy. Next school year (just three short months from right now) our boy Josh will be a senior, Jess will be in high school, and Jacob will be in middle school. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN, darn it! I feel the time rushing by. Everyone says that once your kids get into high school that time seems to fly by...everyone is right.

So, tomorrow summer break starts. LAST DAY OF SCHOOL....whoopee!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Paula Deen

Hey, ya'll! That sounds like a greeting I would say, but it's also one used by the famous cooking queen, Paula Deen! If you don't know, she has a cooking show on my favorite network, The Food Network. I'm a fan, I have to say. Last night I laughed my head off because a friend of mine gave me a gift as a thank you for a favor -- TICKETS TO SEE PAULA DEEN COOKING LIVE!! Can you believe it? It is probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. So, in August it will be me & Paula Deen in Dallas, Texas. In honor of the upcoming event, I decided to share one of my favorite Paula Deen appetizer recipes. It's super easy & really good!

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. bacon cut into thirds
2/3 c. brown sugar mixed together with 2 tablespoons chili powder

Once you have the chicken cubed & the bacon cut, wrap a piece of bacon around each cube of chicken & secure each with a wooden pick. Roll the chicken/bacon in the brown sugar & chili powder mixture. (it sounded like an odd mixture to me, but it's really good!) Coat a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray & put the chicken on it, then pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.


Giddy with anticipation,


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I am pondering life and relationships. Relationships can be odd and changing. Even among church folks. It's not a new thing, however. Take, for example, Paul and Barnabas. They stuck together for a common purpose. They were called out and set apart to go on a missionary journey. (Acts 13:2). When it was time for the second journey, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark & Paul said, "No way! He deserted us before!" (my interpretation from Acts 15:36-40) Actually, The Word says there was a "sharp disagreement" between Paul & Barnabas. I don't know about you, but that leaves me to believe that it wasn't a quite little argument they were having. The good news about the separation is that 2 teams were sent out instead of just one. Sometimes separation can be a good thing, I suppose. Paul later reconciled with John Mark. In Paul's last written letter that we have as Scripture, Paul realized his death was near. He wrote the letter to Timothy to encourage his young friend and to remind him to remain strong. In the last chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul requests that John Mark be sent to him. At some point they were reconciled.

The Bible study lesson we had at our church last Sunday was from Philippians 2. Paul wrote that, as believers & followers of Christ, we are to be humble, looking out for others as more important than ourselves, and keeping our focus on unity and our common task. And our common task is what? Bringing others to know Jesus and helping them to be better disciples. That is completely hard to do sometimes because we can really get focused on wanting our own way or letting petty personality differences get us off track.

So, why am I writing this? No, I am not in a disagreement with anyone -- well, not that I know of anyway. I was just thinking about how fickle teenagers can be. Fickleness (I thought I made up that word, but when I did spell check it didn't find it as a misspelled word!) is not limited to teenagers, however. I used to love Diet Coke and now I cannot stand it. Then I started drinking Dr. Pepper, but now I would just prefer to have sweet tea or limeade. Or, coffee of course! I'm fickle, I admit it. Relationships happens. But, from the standpoint of Christ, I am not allowed the luxury of being hurtful towards people that I am in disagreement with and it is not my place to stand in judgment of them. What a relief, actually. Love people, love people, love people. Love God, love people. Love God, love God, love God. Love people. The greatest commandment and the second just like it. Love God, love people. That's it.

Serving the King,


Thursday, May 10, 2007

David Crowder Band's

I found this video on another blog...I love this song!!

Monday, May 7, 2007

What I miss

I saw a video on another blog today that was awesome...I tried to post it on my blog, but obviously I still have a lot to learn about stuff like that! It is one of my favorite songs by one of my all time favorite bands. (I'll try to post a link later.) It reminded me of just about the only thing I miss about Odessa, Texas. Almost exactly one mile from my house in Odessa was a track around the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. It really was a paved road that went around the perimeter of the campus but it was like being out in the middle of nowhere. I used to go there all the time to run...with my headphones on, singing praises like crazy and praying out loud. No one could see me or hear was just me and the prairie dogs, jack rabbits, some different kinds of birds, and the burrowing owls...owls in West Texas that live in holes in the ground. They were a sign to me of God's faithfulness.

It all started when I was going through a particularly rough spot. I used to jog in my neighborhood and I always thought I heard owls whoing. (you know, "who, who") I heard them but I could never see them. I started asking God to let me just see an owl. Then, my friend told me that the sound was not owls but another kind of bird. I was disappointed and stopped looking for the owls. I am very much a creature of habit and will always do things the same way. I rarely make changes, but one day I ran my usual route in the opposite direction. Guess what I owl! Ok, it was one of those fake owls that people put out to scare smaller birds away, but it was an owl. I laughed and laughed all the way down the street...I got the answer to my prayer.

Pretty soon after that I started jogging around the above mentioned track. After a little while, I noticed that the burrowing owls moved in at UTPB. I always thought of them as a little thing between me and the owls were there just for me. I miss that...that special place -- man, the conversations I had out there with God. Perhaps it's not the place I miss so much but the uniqueness of what it meant to me...I long to find that place again.

O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Psalm 95:1-6

In humble adoration of the King,


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I was at a conference in Houston a few years ago and had the privilege of hearing a popular woman Bible study teacher and writer speak. She spoke on Galatians 5, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free." (verse 1, in part) The author of the text, Paul, wrote particularly about freedom from the law. Our salvation is free and is not obtained by following rules or by doing certain works. The speaker used the movie Braveheart as part of her illustration. Maybe you are familiar with the movie or the story of William Wallace, portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie. William Wallace led rebels to fight for the freedom of Scotland from an oppressive English rule during the 13th century. During that time, the English did whatever they desired to their subjects in Scotland...tortured, raped, killed... At the end of the movie, William Wallace is headed to the guillotine and he cries out, "Freedom!" The speaker that day told the story and, likewise, cried out, "Freedom!" I'll never forget the sound of her voice as she cried out the word that is what all people desire.

People all over the world just want to be free. In America, we take our freedom for granted. I know I do. I've been to places in the world where people are not free. They live under oppressive governments that allow horrible things to happen to their subjects. Did you happen to see the movie Hotel Rwanda? It was hard for me to watch. It's the story of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The Tutsis were killed by the hundreds of thousands by the Hutus. The movie is about one man's attempt to save as many as possible. If you saw the movie, you may recall that the people in the hotel thought and hoped that someone, the UN or another military presence, would see the suffering and come in a rescue them, to help them. Remember the part when they found out no one was coming...

That's what's happening in Darfur right now. The people are waiting for international action. There was a recent article about the horrible things that the children in Darfur are experiencing. Horrible is not even a strong enough word to describe it...I am sure my mind cannot comprehend the terror of their lives. They are tortured, raped, killed...

I hear lots of people crying out for there to be something done about the genocide in Darfur. I am absolutely in favor or rescuing as many as possible. This is what I don't get, however. There was a wretched ruler in Iraq who did horrible things to his subjects. They were tortured, raped, and killed. They were oppressed and lived in poverty while he lived a very lavish lifestyle. Do you suppose any of the people that were killed by the madman cried out, "Freedom!" as they were led to their death? Do you not think that the people desired to be out from under the oppressive rule? Do you think any of them were watching and waiting to see if someone, anyone, would come to their rescue? The world watched and we went in. If we leave now, there might possibly be genocide from warring factions just like in Africa. Maybe not in Iraq, but some places in the world see the prosperity of America and wonder why we don't send help. They covet what we have. To those that are given much, much is required.

When the world seems to be going nuts, I know where to find peace and freedom True freedom is found in Christ alone and He is the Author of peace.

In humble gratitude to be born an American and in service to the King Eternal,