Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jackson Hole and Scripture of the Year

The two topics for today are completely unrelated except in a really small way that I'll get to in a minute. Johnny and I have been here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for just over 24 hours. We arrived last night after our flight was delayed a couple of times. The type of room we booked was not available so they upgraded us. They put us out here in a CREEKSIDE CABIN -- by the creek! It is stinking cold out here but, don't worry, THE BATHROOM FLOOR IS HEATED! I opened the curtains this morning to look out at the creek and the mountains -- the creek is mostly frozen but there's one thawed part and 2 muskrats popped out of the water. It was awesome. Oh wait, I gotta back up to dinner last night. We went to this quaint little place called Sweetwater. The inside looked like a cabin and had random pieces of antique furniture. Very rustic, but the food was incredible. We started with potato, cheese, and bacon soup. It was so yummy! Johnny had 3 kinds of elk sausage and I had slow-roasted elk Osso Bucco with sausage stuffing and a raspberry reduction. yum!

Today started slow because we are, by the way, on vacation. We walked around town then went out to Teton Village where we went on a sleigh ride. We saw some moose off in the distance playing around. I was amazed how fast they were. Then we went to a hotel for dinner. Again, we started with soup because it is really, really cold outside. It was roasted red pepper bisque with a crostini, pesto, and queso. Again, yum! Johnny had elk medallions. I had Steelehead, potatoes puree, and brussel sprouts. I didn't even know I liked brussel sprouts but cooked with bacon anything is wonderful! For dessert I had apple bread pudding with pomegranate sauce. Words just cannot describe how good it was.

Tomorrow Johnny and I are headed to Yellowstone National Park for a snowmobile ride. It should be fun. But, I wanted to let you know about my Scripture for the year and to challenge you as well. For the past many years I have picked a "Scripture for the year." It's just a verse(s) to challenge and remind me for a year. Just a few weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a Bible study on Psalm 119. I really love that psalm so I decided to make the entire chapter my Scripture for 2010. So, I decided to memorize the whole chapter -- I can't remember how many verses are in the chapter right now but I have to memorize 3.3 verses every week for the entire year to have it completely memorized by the end of 2010. I started this morning (and that's all my Scripture has to do with Jackson Hole) so I'm off to a good start -- it's not even 2010 yet!!

How about you? What do you think about a verse of Scripture for 2010 for you? What would it be?

Hope to have some pics to post of the trip but, in case I don't get back until I get home, happy new year to ya!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

And the happ, happiest season of all. I was sitting on a bench at the mall yesterday thinking about what a wonderful day it was. Although the corridors were crowded and the stores jam-packed, I was happy to be there. It's our tradition, at the Dickerson house, to wait until everyone is out of school to take our annual all-five-of-us-going-together trip to the mall to do our last-minute Christmas shopping. That's when the kids buy for their cousins and even for each other. It's so much easier now (than when they were little) that they can split up from us or each other, depending on what they are shopping for. A quick call on the cell phone brings us back together. Johnny and I even got a few things done while they kids were off in a different store.

At one point during the day Jacob and I were shopping together but found Johnny sitting on the bench outside Barnes & Noble. Josh was in the store so Jacob went off to find him and I sat down. Jess was hanging out with a couple of friends from school until our predetermined meeting time. Johnny and I were just enjoying people-watching and resting until Jacob came out of B&N and told his dad he wanted to show him something in the store. That's when I noticed it. Something amazing happened since last Christmas. Jacob is as tall as his dad. I remember those days when Josh, the firstborn, grew taller than me and I thought it so odd to be reaching UP to hug that boy that I gave birth to. Then he passed his dad. Now the youngest is there as well.

Our holiday shopping tradition includes a movie and dinner. Yesterday we saw "Old Dogs." It is a pretty funny movie if you like slapstick but sitting between Johnny and Josh, who were laughing hysterically, made it all the more funny. I mean, big, belly laughs that seemed uncontrollable. It was contagious, that's for sure.

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the holiday season. Tomorrow is one of the most favorite days of the whole year. I love tradition and family time and remembering the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. I am anticipating a great Christmas!

So have yourself a very, Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I *Heart* Basketball (not)

My fb status this morning is as follows: After attending 7 basketball games in the last 7 days I am skipping today's game. Does that make me a bad mom?

It's a serious question. I didn't play sports when I was growing up. I do like them, sort of, in limited supply. Mostly, I just love my kids and want to be there to support them in whatever they do. However, we left the house yesterday a little after noon and didn't get home til after 9 pm. Our guys' team is playing in a tournament in McKinney this weekend. By the time we stopped for dinner on the way home it was an all-day event.

The deal is that it's Christmas and there's stuff to be done. Gift shopping (still), wrapping, grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry x5 (cuz the college boy brought his clothes home dirty -- yes, they do have a washer & dryer in their townhome but I don't think he's used it in the last 3 weeks)and a party to attend tonight and I need to make a dessert to take. I know, I know, your list is just as long but the question remains: does all of that precedence over a basketball game?

I'm voting against basketball today. That's my final answer.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review on Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

Ok, I’ll admit it. I started reading the book, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, with a little bias. Just one word written on the book jacket led me to a preconceived negative notion about the book. But, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group sent me the book for free and, in return, I was to write a review of the book. Wanting to keep my part of the deal, I began reading the book. Then I got to the part where the author, Mark Batterson, wrote about missions. I love missions. It’s one of my passions. So, I began to read with interest. By the time I got to the end of the book I was thoroughly convinced that I would recommend this book to anyone who would listen (or read, as the case may be). In fact, I would recommend this be the first book you read for 2010. At the time when you are making New Years’ resolutions and plans for the upcoming year, this book just might be the motivation God uses for you to follow that dream He has put in your heart.

Primal is a book about loving God because He first loved us. It’s a book about loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It’s about loving God completely, with your entire being. Loving that involves compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy. (7) Batterson breaks each of these four areas down in four separate sections of the book. As he explores each area, he includes personal experiences that are relatable to the reader. He cites cases from both history and modern-day where people pursued following God. Many of these were ordinary people that made the choice to follow where God led. People just like you and me.

There were times when the book convicted me. There were times when I disagreed with the author. Batterson even wrote that we will not always agree within the body of Christ. There are the non-negotiables of our faith, but outside of that there is room for disagreement. (105) But mostly there were times when I wrote “amen” or “I agree” in the margins of the book. They were words that I needed to read. Words I needed to challenge me to feel more, think more, imagine more, give more, and do more in my personal walk with God. I loved it that Batterson wrote over and over again about the idea that our faith should be lived out in action. The following line cracked me up, but also got a double amen: “Talk is cheap, and we have cheapened the gospel long enough.” (135)

I hope you'll check out this book. It gives great insight to the Great Commandment. While I hate to be selfish, you'll have to get your own copy. I'm hanging on to this one for future reference. For your own copy you can go here.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog for Books

Check out the new green box below my info. I'm blogging for books now -- cuz I don't have anything else to do with my time. Just don't tell my mom because she seriously thinks I'm too busy as it is. It's just that I really, really like books. I like to read. In fact, I came to the realization this morning while Johnny and I were eating breakfast that I really like words. I have words (you know, like peace, hope, joy) on my Christmas tree, I have words on the shelf in my breakfast area, I have words up on top of my kitchen cabinets. I do like words and I like to write my thoughts. So, I had the chance to sign up to get some books sent to me and all I have to do is read them and write a blog about them.

My first blog is due between December 15 - 22 and it's a pretty good book so far. The author wrote about missions -- my heartbeat -- so you know that sold me! Anyway, I hope you'll check back in a day or two to read my thoughts on my first book blog.

In the meantime, I might just have some really exciting news about a particular book that is near & dear to my heart to report in a few days time as well...

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ahhhh

What a great day! I woke up this morning with the 17 year birthday party behind me, the i68 missions banquet & fair completed and checked off the list for one more year, and a week of Fusion homework to complete before we take a few weeks off for the Christmas break. That doesn't mean we are taking a break from our personal Bible study but our meeting together and working through prepped material will be on hold while we plan, decorate, cook, and gather with family & friends to enjoy the holiday season.

Once I floated outta bed - feeling the weight of things to do off me - I came into the office to ponder Romans 12. Then I went to MOPS where I am NOT a mother of a preschool but a "Mentor Mom." I laugh at the title because I enjoy those younger women so much and am not completely sure that I am mentoring them in any way. But, I got to hold a baby and talk about preschool mother things and life and be a judge for the most hideous Christmas sweater contest. Yes, two of the ladies (at my table, for goodness sakes) went to a resale shop to find their sweaters. I wouldn't say they were hideous except for the fact that one was a runner-up and one was the winner. I didn't vote for them because they were at my table but because they well deserved the title. I'll just leave it up to your imagination to think about what kind of sweater could so receive such an honor.

My awesomely wonderful husband picked me up after MOPS and took me to lunch and after we stopped by the new yogurt shop open in our town: Purple Berri. Hey, Mansfieldites, you should check it out. yum!

So, now I'm home. It's cold outside and a little rainy. I'm in sweats with God's Word open before me and I think I'll go grab something hot to drink. I've got a little work to do today and I am thankful for it. Yeah, it's a great day.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Best Life

I gotta start by writing today a sort of disclaimer. It will make sense in a minute if you keep reading. I have loved being a part of Fusion. I enjoy meeting together with other women to discuss what God is teaching each of us through our walk through the book of Matthew. I have cherished the time of discussion with Johnny as we study and write homework for our participants. I have loved the discipline (not one of my favorite words, BTW) of the work and the things I am learning. Not only is God teaching me so much through the study of Matthew, but I am learning some history as well. On Monday, I had to fill in a blank spot I left when I wrote that day's homework a while back. I got out my handy dictionary of NT background to read an article about the Herods. It was so interesting to see names any of us would be familiar with from history...like Cleopatra! I know, interesting, huh?

I love teaching my life group. I enjoy the prep and the study for it and I adore my gals I get to be with each week. They are a particular highlight in my life. I love how we've grown together and the things they teach me each week as we meet together in the fireside room.

I love God's Word and I truly enjoy the study of it. Here's where I struggle, however. I spend so much time in study to give away sometimes I lack in just sitting still and meditating on His Word so He can speak to me and my life and situation. While He is teaching me every time I open His Word, sometimes I want it to be just for me. Just His Word directly for me - not to give away. Is that selfish?

So, I've been in a study of Romans 12 for a period of time. As I prepared to start from the beginning of that great chapter today I prayed that God would speak to me through it. Again, but something fresh and new. Here's the distinct thought in my head at that moment: life is best lived when we're not living for ourselves. Now that is countercultural. It's not all about me and my happiness and my comfort.

"Therefore, (Paul wrote because of everything he had already penned in the first 11 chapters) brothers, by the mercies of God (because of what He has done and not because of us), I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1)

What is a living sacrifice? What do you think? How does one live as a sacrifice?

In that answer lies the secret of the best life.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Crazies

I'm home for 5 minutes. I want to write a blog about the terrific time we had camping in the Wildwood last week - how God provided absolutely perfect weather, how delicious the fried turkey was, how much fun we had with our extended family - but I don't have time today. I'd love to tell you about my wonderful daughter who celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday. I'd like to reminisce and write something syrupy and sentimental about all that she is and means to me, but not today. I'd like to give you the scoop on the beginning of basketball season or how we haven't started even thinking about Christmas yet, much less shopping or decorating. But, not today. Alas, (alas?) there's no time for any of that today. Nope, not today. I've been working then had a coffee break to sit down with Jess & her friend & her friend's mom to plan the big double birthday party we are having at our house this weekend. I'm off to basketball soon. I'm just waiting for the uniforms to dry because they HAD to be washed after last night's games. Yeah, big weekend coming up -- birthday party & mission fair & banquet all in one weekend.

I hope to be back sometime before 2010. Oh, just kidding. Next week I'm taking a big deep breath and a break. I'll be back. Hope you will be, too!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New i68 Destination

I spent a couple of days this week down near the border of Texas and Mexico. We, my traveling companions and myself, were on a vision trip for our church mission ministry, which we call i68. Even though we were still in the great state of Texas it is a totally different culture than up here in North Texas. We went to neighborhood after neighborhood and our guide told us what possible projects or activities we could do then said these words: and there's no (evangelical) church for this neighborhood. I was astounded. And saddened. There was no doubt among all of us that were there that it is most definitely a place where we want to be involved. I'm excited to see what the future holds in that regard.

So, to all my FBCM peeps reading these words: make your plans to go to Laredo. Details about future trips will be available soon!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Monday, November 16, 2009

50 Days of Fusion

I'm typing the homework for day 50 of our study of Matthew. Wow, Johnny and I have written 50 days of homework. It seems amazing to me. Since 50 is a monumental achievement -- you know, 50 years of marriage is the golden anniversary, etc -- the lesson starts by asking the participant to write what God is teaching him/her at this specific season of life. Hopefully, it will be something He is teaching each person through their personal time of study of His Word. Not some commentary that Johnny or I have typed, not something that we've taught or our people have heard another preacher/teacher say, but something that God is teaching individually, specifically. I hope I get to hear what some of my girls write down.

As I pondered that and wondered what God is teachimg me individually, specifically through the absolute privilege of working through the book of Matthew with my man I wondered if I would be brave enough to share with my girls the answer. Do I even really know for sure or am I too focused on the task to be focused on Him? (ouch!)

That statement has probably been true on some days. Did you see that I wrote that we have written 50 days of homework from the book of Matthew? And, we're only on chapter 13, for goodness sakes! It has been a time-consuming venture.

And, yet, I think the one thing that has been completely true and a growing truth in my life is that I love the Word of God. I love how it speaks life to my soul and answers every question and fills every void. I do believe that with every fiber of my being.

What I don't know is available to be known. What I need is there to be given. What I long for is satisfied. I don't love His Word more than I love Him. His Word just shows me more and more about Him so the depth of relationship grows. The more I know about Him, the more I know Him.

So, my desire for the 50 days of Fusion and all the days that have yet to be typed is that it will bring honor and glory to God's great name. To Him alone belongs all the praise.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Waiting Patiently

I am sitting here with my fb up in another window (or whatever it's called) waiting patiently for the next installment of holiday cheer by the Hip Hop Holiday Crew. I'm expecting it to be posted to fb any minute now. I'm anticipating some festive creativeness, that's for sure.

I was at a friend's house on Friday evening when I realized that Christmas was 6 weeks from that night. (oh.my.goodness...Paula Deen is on Huckabee tonight!!! wow!) I can hardly believe it's that close. I really don't have much shopping to do this year because Johnny and I are giving each other a trip and Josh is getting a ski trip with some college friends. Johnny chuckles when I say that is all Josh is getting for Christmas but I MEAN IT. (Paula is talking about fried turkey for Thanksgiving. We always have fried turkey for Thanksgiving. I love it!) Well, I may have to get him a little something else otherwise I'll have to wrap a note that says "ski" then another one that says "trip" then another that says ... well, you get the picture. (Huckabee just asked Paula what's her favorite dessert to serve for Thanksgiving. She said something pumpkin...that's what I'm talking about! She said some other things as well.)

Well, the Thanksgiving video is now up on fb. I'm feeling in the mood for turkey already. Maybe it'll be on youtube later and I'll post a link. Until then, goodnight and have a super, fabulous week!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Magazine

My Spanish tutor brought a new magazine to my attention. The magazine is called Life Beautiful and the link to the publication is www.lifebeautifulmagazine.com. It's a really nice magazine with cooking (my favorite) and decorating and Bible verses integrated into all of it. Ok, I totally copied this off the magazine's website and it says it better than I can:

Life:Beautiful is a national, inter-denominational, Christian lifestyle magazine that celebrates an active, integrated faith. Built on a foundation of biblical teaching and encouragement for spiritual growth, Life:Beautiful offers relevant information and community for Christian women.

The pages of Life:Beautiful showcase everyday experiences and activities, such as parenting, cooking, decorating, teaching, working, volunteering, resting, traveling and offering hospitality—all of which can be used to share the joy of the Lord.

Hope you'll check it out! My friend found it at Barnes & Noble.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Complete & Total Silliness

I think this is going to be a long night. My youngest just came home with 3 other teenagers. They are quite hysterical tonight. I mean, one of the guys has already had to apologize to me. I didn't make him. I think it was my eyes popping out of my head that made him. It wasn't cussing or anything that I haven't heard before from a fella but I think I was just shocked because I had only met this kid 5 seconds before. He said it with his back turned to me and I don't know if he thought I wasn't there, wouldn't hear or what. They are upstairs now after inhaling the pizza Johnny bought for them. I'm breathing a sigh of relief.

We are used to having lots of kids around here. In fact, we love it and welcome them always. Tonight is no exception and the bonus is that they will all get up in the morning and go to church with us. One of the guys is there every Sunday anyway but I don't think the other 2 are.

Alright, all is quite (for a minute anyway) so my man and I are gonna watch a movie. We'll see how long that lasts...

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sick Day

For the second time this week I've got a kid home from school sick. Jacob and I are watching "Man vs. Food." It's a TV about food challenges. I like to watch just about any show about food -- any cooking show on the food network (except the cake shows), the cooking contest shows, even the ones where the guys travel all over the world eating things Americans would think are a little strange. Mainly I like to cook and try new things so I find it all entertaining. If the members of my family were a little more adventurous we would try many more things than we do.

And, on the subject of food, Jess brought home a sheet with a nutrition plan from her basketball coach. A nutrition plan for high school basketball! Oatmeal was on her sheet so, like a good mom, I made her a bowl of nutritious oatmeal for breakfast. Only, it was plain oatmeal. She likes the packets of the flavored ones. So, she got out the syrup and put it in the oatmeal. Now, that is nutritious (I wrote sarcastically). Either way, she wouldn't eat it. So I treated her like I did when she was little, "Just eat 4 more bites." She's a junior in high school, for goodness sake!

And, on the subject of force feeding, Jacob just about threw a fit when made to take cough medicine today. I know it tastes awful and I, personally, refuse to take it but I made him. It provided me with a good laugh to start the day as he took the medicine and then immediately stuffed his mouth full of Pringles. mmmm, Pringles at 8:30 am.

Enough of this meaninglessness! "Man vs. Food" is over so I think I'll go do something productive...

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Monday, November 2, 2009

Check out this video!

You gotta see this video for a little holiday cheer. It's J-deezy (my daughter) and Creezy (her friend, Chris) and their own rendition of "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer." It's quite original. To see it go here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Live at Peace

The lesson for my life group today was from Acts 5 and the subject was persecuation. I hardly feel we really know what persecution is in our country although I know we face it. Unfortunately, it seems that Christians in America are facing persecutions of some types more and more -- maybe injustice is a better word. It does not compare to the stories I heard while in India, however. I've yet to be threatened to be thrown in jail or, well, other horrible things that I just feel like I won't mention for now.

Anyway, I did a word search on searchgodsword.org this morning for every time the word persecute is used in the NT. In the NASB, it's only 10 times. I don't know why, but I was surprised by that. First mention is in Matthew 5:11but 2nd is Matthew 5:44 "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." But, I really got stuck on Romans 12. Yeah, the whole chapter. It does contain the word persecute but what a great, great chapter. I think I'm going to spend some time camped out there over the next few days, maybe weeks. It's that good.

Verse 18 is getting to me today, though. "If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone." (HCSB, emphasis mine) Something happened today that absolutely unhinged me. Drove me to my knees, quite frankly. I had to literally lay it on the alter this morning. Because, my part is to live at peace. So, if I don't get the last word in or make my feelings known or other things that are completely not fitting for the follower of Jesus then that's ok. My part is to live at peace. God's part is to take care of the rest. (and, besides, verse 19 lets me know that I gotta leave room for God's wrath. If He sees fit to send down some wrath, then that will be ok, too. ok, just kidding...sort of)

If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.

Live your part!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thawing Out

I love me some Friday night high school football when the weather is, you know, football weather. It was quite chilly out there tonight but my honey did go down to the concession stand and bring me back a pipping hot cup of chocolate. ummm! The cheerleaders were awesome, as usual. Especially the last one of the left -- she thinks I stare at her too much but I don't mind what she thinks. I'm quite taken with her!

I started my Christmas shopping today. My rule is usually that I don't shop before Thanksgiving because it's my own silent protest to the earliness in which the retailers put out the holiday decorations. Yes, the mall is absolutely covered in them. I was at the mall today but not to buy the gift that I purchased. Johnny and I went to the mall early today to go to see the movie Amelia Earhart. It was pretty good. I've always been fascinated with her story. The great discovery, though, was that 2 people can go to the movie for $10 in the morning where as it's $9.50 per person in the evening. We were the only people under age 60 in the theater but we didn't mind.

I got off course. Johnny and I purchased a vacation as our Christmas gifts to each other. While our 2 younger kids are off on a mission trip we'll be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, during the Christmas break. I am so excited. I've never been there. We're planning on dogsledding and snowmobiling but if you happen to stop by and have any suggestions then please let us have 'em!

One gift down, many to go, but it's not even Thanksgiving. I'm off to a good start.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How He Loves Us

I am obsessed with the song "How He Loves Us." My particular favorite is David Crowder Band's cover. I play it over and over again...it's playing in the background as I am writing this blog. The song starts with the words, "He is jealous for me." I was thinking about that this morning in relation to my kids. I am jealous for them in that I want the very best for them. I want them to make the team, have great friends, to be safe, to make good moral choices...I could go on and on. I am praying a specific prayer for one of my kids today that seems a little superficial. I am fully admitting that. As I talked to God about it this morning, however, I was reminded that I had a similar prayer for one of my other kids a few years ago. Almost the same silly prayer. But, I was also reminded of how God answered that prayer. I didn't even fully recognize it until later. After the thing happened (when God answered my prayer) I was driving in my car alone and the full weight of how God answered that prayer washed over me. Exactly what I asked and I almost missed it. So, I'm expecting the same this time. Not that I'll miss it but that God will answer.

The chorus of the song is this, "Oh, how He loves us; oh, how He loves us; oh, how He loves us; oh, how He loves..."

He loves us. Deeply and desperately. He wants good for us just like we want that good thing for our own kids. Except His love is on such a greater scale. Beyond our comprehension or ability to even fathom it.

He loves us. He loves you.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How Then Shall We Live

I'm in my home office this morning studying to teach my class tomorrow morning. The lesson, from Acts 5:1-11, is titled, "How Then Shall We Live." The Scripture tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira and how greed and deception cost them everything. How then shall we live when our culture tells us to have more, get more, be comfortable, it's all about us, truth is not absolute...

At our women's conference in India last week we had testimonies by some local pastors' wives. One told of being beaten, another of having all the Bibles in the congregation burned, one of being forced to leave her home. How then shall we live when following is not comfortable, when it is costly?

The last day we were there we had the privilege of watching as over 25 men were baptized. The question asked of them was something like this: if you are called to be martyred are you ready? A pastor from our country stood nearby and wondered out loud what the response would be if we asked that question of those we baptize at home. Are you ready? Enthusiastically, they all responded in the affirmative. Following the men, 26 children were also baptized. It was beautiful. I hope to never forget their young faces or those of the people that gathered around to watch that day.

How then shall we live in integrity before God. Acts 5:2 records that Ananias "kept back part of the proceeds." My commentary gave this meaning for the Greek word nospizo that is in the text, "to put aside for oneself." This note follows: "This couple wanted acclaim without sacrifice and comfort without commitment." It wasn't the keeping of the money that was wrong but the lie, the lack of integrity. What are we keeping back, holding onto so tightly that we are unwilling to let go at any cost? Would we truly be ready to let go, give it up if called to do so?

Though our cultures are vastly different the expectations of our Savior are the same. acclaim, comfort vs. sacrifice, commitment

How then shall we live.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1,000 Toothbrushes

The evening before I was to leave for India my friend, who is a pediatric dentist, asked me if I wanted to take some toothbrushes and floss with me. Of course! She brought them over to my house and I stuffed over 300 toothbrushes into my suitcase. When we got to the conference center Beth and I went over to the medical camp to deliver the toothbrushes and floss. The medical/dental staff arrived a couple of days before us and were already hard at work seeing patients.



I've really never seen someone so glad to see toothbrushes in all my life. I mean, overwhelmed by the goodness of God. As it turns out this precious sister (in the blue) prayed for 1,000 toothbrushes for the dental camp. She told me she didn't really tell anyone (except God) and was able to collect about 500 toothbrushes before she left home. And there I was, with over 300 toothbrushes in my hands. And dental floss! We also had the suitcase in the above picture from another dentist in our church. When we opened it we found 2 more big boxes of....yeah, toothbrushes. There was also a bunch of those little tubes of toothpaste and some other things they needed for the week.

In case you're not sure, God can answer a prayer for 1,000 toothbrushes. God hears, He listens. Ask big. Be specific. Expect great things. Be blessed.

Keep asking, keep searching, keep knocking... (Matthew 7:7-8, HCSB)

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back to Reality As I Know It

Trivia question: How does one go to a country full of poverty, people sleeping on the streets, and a list full of things one is not to eat or drink while there and not lose one stinking pound of weight?

Quick, what is it?

By eating Pizza Hut and McDonalds and drinking more sodas in 5 days than I've had in the last 3 months, that's how. Yeah, Pizza Hut 3 times in 5 days. We found the McDonalds this time. In a mall, of all places. You might know that cows roam the streets freely in India because they are viewed as sacred by the Hindus so you won't find a hamburger on the menu. Well, I think they say hamburger but it's a chicken sandwich. As for the sodas, I don't even drink Coke at home. If I'm going to drink any kind of soda it's usually Dr. Pepper. When we came off that roof everyday and someone extended a icy, cold Coke in my direction I did not hesitate to take it!

And why was I on the roof, you might be thinking. That's where the kids were and that's where the children's camp was held. It was unbelievably hot up there. It helped some when the fans were on. Which, by the way, was not always. I was glad to be there, though. The kids were great. I worked in crafts the 3 days we had with them. It was such a great privilege to sit down and craft with the girls we sponsor through my Life Group. They are so darling - my eyes are full of tears right now just thinking about them. I was absolutely drawn to them each day. I loved it how the kids said "thank you" when we passed out materials knowing full well that the only English most of them know are those 2 words and "praise the Lord." Well, I take that back. On the last night we were there we went up to the roof to practice with the kids (more on that in a bit) and take some pictures with them with their new uniforms. It just about put me over the edge when they sang "I Love You With the Love of the Lord" to us in English. That I didn't break down sobbing at the sound of their precious voices singing that song was only by the mercy of God.

We ended our time at the children's camp everyday by practicing for the kids to do something we call creative movement but is like hand motions to songs for the service at the conference on Saturday night. We did one song last year but this year we did two and Tracy brought strips of cloth for the kids to hold in their hands. The first song Tracy picked was "Revelation Song." She brought the Phillips, Craig, and Dean recording. First of all, it's a really great song. But, to hear PCD singing the words, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come" and to see the kids with their hands and faces lifted toward the heavens was... there's no word big enough... incredible... awesome... I don't know, it's beyond my ability to describe it.

So, I'll leave you with that for today. It's all I can stand. I won't eat pizza today or drink a soda or smile at kids because I don't speak their language and it's the only way I have to communicate with them. I won't be drenched in sweat or fall into bed exhausted because of the heat. I won't drive in a car for 45 minutes to an hour for the unspeakable privilege of sharing my life with those that love Jesus and are willing, if called, to suffer as a result.

I'll just be here, in my home office, thanking God for the great honor it is to go.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tomorrow Is the Day

I'm up early on Saturday morning. I still have a lot to do to get ready for tomorrow. We leave in the early evening to start our journey to India. India is about a half a day ahead of Central Standard Time so it's already Saturday evening there as I am typing this. We have an overnight in Mumbai and will arrive at our destination Tuesday morning, which will be Monday night in Texas. We will have Tuesday to prep with our girls from Tennessee and North Carolina. The action starts on Wednesday for our team, which I fondly refer to as Sybil and the Jets. (It's a long story.)

So, here's what we'll be up to in case you're praying for our endeavor: Wednesday - Friday we start the day at the children's camp. I think there will be about 300 of the Grace Children's Home kids there. In the afternoon we will have the women's conference. We are expecting about 150 women. Some will be there for the conference and some will come over from the city to join us.

The conference center is about a 45 min - 1 hour drive from the city where our hotel is located so when we leave in the morning we don't return til our work is done. The conference center is open-air and it will be hot! It makes for long, tiring days so please pray for our strength, endurance, and good health as well as for what we will say and do!

I am also on the agenda to speak at the big conference Saturday night.

I covet your prayers for us! I will try to update the blog while I'm away but I never know if it will be possible!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Boat of Maturity vs. Swimming in a Sea of Foolishness

I laughed and laughed hysterically tonight after dinner. I mean, so hard my stomach hurt. Johnny got a phone call this evening with a ministry opportunity and he told the caller to send him some info and he would pray about it. After dinner we talked to the kids about it because it is something that would involve them and affect their lives. Jacob was adamantly against it. We tried to talk to him about it and get him to see the possible pros or reasons we should at least consider it. He was so serious that Johnny and I thought it was a little funny. We laughed a little and he said, "I am on a plane of seriousness!" Well, of course, Johnny just thought that was super funny and asked him about flight numbers or something like that. We laughed a little harder so Jacob said, "Why are you laughing? I am in a boat of seriousness and you are swimming in a sea of foolishness!" That put Johnny and me over the edge. Ok, maybe it's not as funny in print but it was really funny around our kitchen table tonight.

I love family time. I love sharing reality with my husband and kids, being open to talking to them about life and God and even the mundane things of life. Laughing is good. It's a bonus. It was the best part of my day.

jeanette

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Heaping Dose of Praise

It's Saturday night and Jessica and Jacob are both home. Johnny and I cooked (Johnny grilled hamburgers in the rain and he has a cold -- I DID say I would cook them inside but he insisted) am especially delicious dinner tonight and had both of the kids who still live here home to eat with us. AND, there was no one else. Extremely unusual for a Saturday night around here. Jessica had to play in a volleyball game 2 1/2 hours away today and, well, they both have had a busy weekend so far so I think they're a little tired. It's nice for Johnny and me. So, we had ice cream. It was nice. The four of us were sitting around the table eating our yummy Blue Bell -- we each had a pint of our favorite. No, no, we didn't eat the whole pint. We just got to have our own favorite flavor. Anyway, Johnny was telling about being at his uncle's funeral and meeting the pastor of his parents' church. He was talking to the pastor and his wife and they asked what I did. Johnny told them and the wife, apparently, asked if I was a missionary. Johnny replied that he never thought about it that way but, yeah, I guess you could say that. Then my kids started to tell what they tell people who ask what I do. I'm a little embarrassed to type it all out cuz I don't want any of you readers to think I'm gettin' a big head but it was quite awesome. Johnny made another comment (one that I will also leave out) to which Jacob responded, "Yeah, now she's gonna write a blog about it." So here it is, Jacob. My blog about eating ice cream with you, Jess, and dad. Yeah, by far, this was the one good thing about my day!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two Weeks

This time two weeks from now I'll be sitting at the DFW airport waiting to begin my journey to India. It seems like our trip is kinda short this time and I mentioned that to Johnny last night. He said that, no, 8 days is not short. I guess it doesn't seem like very long because we only have 4 full days there. Three of those will be really busy -- we'll be at the children's camp in the morning and speaking at the women's conference in the afternoons.

I've been planning the women's conference for weeks. I've assigned topics and speaking times to our team members that are going. I am anxious (in a good way) to see how God is going to use each one of the ladies and to hear what she will say, how she will share with those precious women in India. India is a spiritually dark country and it is much more difficult to be a light for Christ in that culture. Not to mention that many of them are living in physically difficult circumstances. I cannot imagine not having access to clean water. Or, to have to walk to a well and pump water into containers and then carry it back to my house. I cannot imagine living in the heat without air conditioning. I cannot imagine facing persecution and even fearing for my family's physical safety as a result. Yet, these are the very real situations for many we will encounter while we are in India.

So, I covet your prayers for our team over the next 2 weeks as we finish our preparations to go. Please pray that our hearts will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we desperately seek His leadership for the words we will say. Please pray for those we will encounter. Pray for their travel to the conference and the time we'll share together.

I'm sure I'll have more to write about the trip over the next couple of weeks. I'm watching the Rangers right now and they just let Tampa Bay go ahead in the 9th inning...ugh!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homecoming

Tonight was our high school homecoming football game. They had a party at school after the game. I got home at 12:33 and was followed shortly after by a bunch of teenagers. What I mean by a bunch is 21... 21 teenagers and only 2 belong to me. And, to top it off, Johnny is in Georgia. His uncle died and he went for the funeral. I stayed, of course, because of the homecoming festivities.

The game was exciting -- really close and the lead went back and forth between the teams. We were ahead with just a few minutes left but our opponent had the ball and was driving down the field. We held them off and our quarterback was able to just take a knee the last play of the game. whew!

Jessica talked Jacob into playing a drum to help the cheerleaders out with some of their cheers. Since we are a small, private school we don't have a band so it was great for our girls to have the extra sound of the drum.

Ok, there's some craziness going on out there. I guess I'll go check it out. I won't be sleeping anytime soon which almost makes me want to cry.

I guess I'll just wrap this up by giving you one little funny story from tonight. I got out my Mary Kay lipstick to put a little on since my lips were a little dry and my friend asked what color it was. It was dark and, if you're a follower of my blog, you know I have to wear those little cheater glasses, so I couldn't -- I mean, I absolutely could not -- read the lipstick name. I tried to shine some light from my cell phone and my other friend also had her cell phone out. Nope, still couldn't read it. We passed it around the 4 of us and none of us could read it. We finally gave it to the 4th grade daughter of one of our friends and she tried to read it and couldn't. We finally realized she was trying to read the really small print around the edge of the label. As soon as her mom told her we wanted to know what the word across the middle was she said, "Oh, that says Golden." Smarty pants. Just kidding... it's a sad and funny day when 4 women have to rely on an elementary girl to read a lipstick lable for them.

And that's it. One teen just left. I'm down to 20. I think 7 are spending the night so I've just got to get rid of 13...

only 13 more...

Serving the King even when it feels like I'm serving the kids,

Jeanette

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Sad, Sad Dilemma

I got some really great news today and I'm a little giddy so it's been hard to concentrate on my Fusion study this afternoon. I'm teaching on the Temptation of Jesus in the morning and so I gotta get with it. I actually have been reading from one of my all-time favorite books today, The Illustrated Life of Jesus by Herschel Hobbs. Love, love this book. It was given to me at a conference I attended a few years ago. I was sitting in the back and the conference leader held it up as he was talking about it. It was a new book and it looked interested and I simply mouthed, "I want that book." Kinda thinking there's no way he would've seen me but HE DID and he gave me the book! It's a super great book. I'm not kidding.

Anyway, it's Homecoming week at the private school where my 2 younger kids attend. I mentioned that on my blog yesterday. Everyday this week they are having dress up days for the students. Yesterday was nerd day. Jessica looked hilarious -- I wish I had a picture. She had on a skirt and leggings and she wore some of my shoes... She asked to wear them and I agreed just thinking that it would be nerdish because they totally didn't match her outfit. Only thing is, apparently, several kids asked her where she GOT THE SHOES. LIKE, THOSE WERE SUPER NERDY SHOES AND WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU FIND THEM?

I don't mean to yell on the blog but I LIKE THOSE SHOES. I wear them all the time in the colder months of the year. My dilemma is this: now, will I ever be able to wear those shoes again? Will her friends think I am even more nerdy than they already do if I wear the shoes? Will I be super paranoid to wear the shoes? Are the shoes really nerdy and I just never knew it? Fashionista I am not and never claimed to be. I did like to think I had decent taste though. What else am I wearing that I totally should not be wearing?

If you decide you should really answer that question please be kind. Otherwise, can you answer the question about the shoes without seeing them? Do I wear or not wear shoes just because teenagers think they look particularly nerdy?

Enough about the shoes. Back to Matthew 4...

Serving the King and not the culture,

Jeanette

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Regular Week in Sight

The last few weeks (since school started, really) have been super crazy. I had these dreams of the kids getting back and school and I immediately getting into a routine. HA! This week actually looks unexciting and I am thrilled! I had a meeting about future mission opportunities this morning and spent the rest of the day writing and studying for Fusion. I am loving working on this project with Johnny! He is awesome!

My other project is getting ready for the trip to India. We have 3 days with the pastors' wives -- 2 hours each day in the afternoon after we finish with the children's camp. I pulled out a curriculum I wrote for a class at seminary a few years ago that I titled, "Women Teaching Women." I've been picking it apart and sending sections to my speakers to get the sessions lined up. I think it will give us some great continuity for the conference and I'm thrilled with the positive response I've received from my girls that are speaking with me. I'm also working on the day-long conference at the hotel and my spot at the evening conference. Maybe something from Fusion....

The only exciting thing going on this week is homecoming. Jacob actually asked someone to go! Jessica made the mum for his (date -- although that's not what he calls it). Jess is going with her friend and it should be a fun weekend.

Alright, gotta get to dinner. Making Johnny's favorite -- he loves my spaghetti sauce! Just stopped by to say hi and hope you'll keep checking in. I might actually have something interesting to write...someday....maybe...

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Show Goes On


This picture was taken in 2002, I think. See my sweet Grandmother sitting there with my little nephew in her lap? She's in the presence of Jesus now. This was my daughter's facebook status this morning:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will exist no longer, grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed.
I have been sitting in my office much of the day trying to prep for Fusion tomorrow. I'm working on the desktop computer but have the laptop open on the corner of the desk -- it's playing a slideshow my brother made for my Grandmother's 90th birthday celebration a couple of years ago. I've played it over and over again. There are pictures from the time my grandparents were young until recent times. The last song my brother chose to use for the slideshow is a Bruce Hornsby song called "The Show Goes On." I have no idea what the song lyrics mean or why my brother chose that song. But this I know, life goes on. I will miss my Grandmother but she had a great life and leaves a wonderful legacy. I have such great memories; things that I haven't thought about in years until last Thursday and today. I'll keep holding on to those and try to pass some down to my own kids. They never knew my other grandparents or anything about Bluff Vue. All the more reason to live with purpose and to make it count. Life is but a glimpse, a vapor. Now I see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but I long to see face to face. Now I know in part, but Lexie Lou knows fully. Her vision is completely clear. Finally.
Serving the King,
Jeanette

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Waiting

I'm waiting by the phone today. I'm having a hard time doing anything else at all. I talked to my dad just a bit ago. Not much has changed with my grandmother but he feels sure that these are the last hours of her life. All 5 of her children are gathered by her bedside. On the one hand I long to be there listening to their conversation, sharing in their sorrow. On the other it's a time meant for them, in that tiny room, around the bed of the one who gave life to each of them. Their ages span almost 2 decades -- the oldest was already in college when the youngest was born. There are 11 grandchildren. All are grown and married now. My own children are 3 of her great-grandchildren. There's over 20 in all. My kids call her Great Granny and great she is.

"For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. And, in fact, we groan in this one, longing to put on our house from heaven...Therefore, though we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord...yet we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord." (from 2 Corinthians 5)

My grandmother's little tent is just about gone. But soon (let it be soon) she will be perfectly clothed and finally at home.

Waiting in confidence,

Jeanette

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Hard Day

What follows are some thoughts I jotted down in a journal while I was in Waco today:

I am beside my grandmother's bed in hospice care. She looks so small and frail. She didn't seem to respond when I arrived and leaned in to tell her I was here. My mom, her sister, and her brother have gone to my parents' house to make "the arrangements." My grandmother moved her mouth some and shrugged her shoulders a bit after my mom told her she was leaving and that I would be here. I wonder what she was thinking. Was she trying to speak? I'll never know.

Two of my aunt's friends came by. One brought a snack for my aunt but since she's not here I'll make it my own.

The nurse and an aid came in to turn my grandmother. She seemed restless after they left so I opened my Bible to the psalms and started reading to her. She settled down and seems to be resting comfortably again.

That's all I wrote while I was there. I read to her one other time before my mom and aunt returned. Again, she was restless but settled into a more peaceful sleep as I read to her from the Word she treasured. I mostly sat in a chair close beside her bed and thought about all she means to me. I thought about the days when she was young and strong...even though when she was still young I already thought she was old. Now I know better.

I remember being at my grandparents' house when I was young and all the family was there. My granddad would call us into their room and we pile up on the bed and sit all around on the floor and he would read to us from the Bible. My grandmother lost him over 20 years ago -- more than 20 years without him...they were crazy about one another.

My grandmother read her Bible everyday. I'm not sure if she did over the last months as her health declined, but a long time ago she told me she started her day by reading The Word. What a legacy she leaves. She is a beautiful example to me of faithfulness, of courage, of selfless giving, and love.

Today was hard. She'll be in the presence of her Savior in a matter of days. Her legacy, however, and the things she taught me by word and example will remain.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Totally Shocking Dunk in the Pool

For our last anniversary Jessica took some of our really old pictures (like, from our wedding & honeymoon) along with some more recent ones and put them together with the song by Jason Mraz, "Lucky," which starts off "Lucky to be in love with my best friend..." It's a perfect song for Johnny and me. We really, usually, have a lot of fun together. Writing our new Bible study together has been a very interesting experience. I have loved talking to Johnny and brainstorming and studying and searching to prepare our devotion guide and indepth study. Yesterday we went 5 miles on a trail by the river in Fort Worth in prep for the 15k. Let's just say, I've gotta lot of work to do if I'm gonna run 9 miles in 2 months. Today we worked in the yard together. I had to pull some weeds and he came over to help when he finished his other work. When we finished with the weeds, he brought over a big bag of mulch to put in. I sat with my feet in the pool and tried to get the dirt and mud out from underneath my fingernails because my gloves got left out and were soaking wet and I had to pull weeds barehanded. Jessica came out about that time and Johnny said thanks to me (sarcastically) for helping with the mulch. I replied that I couldn't pick up that big bag cuz my back hurt. (stay with me, I'm about to get to the good part) I then walked over and said, "I think the flower bed needs more mulch." He said, "Be careful or I'll throw you in the pool." I looked at Jessica and said, "I'm not scared." Not scared, because never in a million bazillion years did I think he would throw me into the pool. Next thing I know, however, I was off my feet and we were both in the pool. Fully clothed. Johnny still even had his work boots on. He just picked me up and jumped in. I couldn't catch my breath when I first came up because of the shock of actually being thrown in the pool. Once I did, however, I laughed. Jessica went in the house to get Jacob because she thought it was just hilarious.

Yeah, I'm lucky to be in love with my best friend... even if he did thrown me in the pool.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bumps in the Road

Sometimes I feel like I have no control over my life. I don't mean the good kind of uncontrol where God is in the driver's seat and I'm the passenger. I mean, having a schedule and everyone and everything around me sticking to it. I know, I know, stop the whinning. Yesterday I sent a simple email that led to an unexpected appointment that is leading to another unexpected and unplanned appointment. Unexpected, unplanned and I don't want to go.

When I think about bumps in the road I generally think of hard times. Man, I've had plenty of those. Times when things are really out-of-control and I'm doing all I can just to stay afloat and keep my chin up. I had a perfectly good reminder last night that I am blessed beyond measure and God has been really, really good to me and my family. Life is good even if it's bumpy right now. I've just got too many things going on. I have a hard time departmentalizing and taking on only one at a time. Then, the unexpected throws me off even more.

So, time to get off this blog and get to work. Focus, Jeanette, focus.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Football Weekends in Texas

It's back-to-school time in Texas and that can mean only one thing for weekends -- football. Friday night is high school football. We attended our school's game Friday night. We are a TAPPS 1-A school so our team plays 6-man football. They have the 45-point rule. I think the rule basically states that if one team has 45 or more points than the other at the end of any quarter then the game is over. I think the score at halftime was 61-0. Our favor. Needless to say, the game was over.

As fun as that was (and it was fun, BTW) the big fun for the weekend was going to the new Cowboys Stadium. Someone at our church gave us tickets to the Dallas Cowboys preseason game this past Saturday night. We've watched the stadium going up -- it's in Arlington and close to where our kids play basketball. Besides, it's humongous and can be seen from quite a distance. We've heard the news reports about the BILLION dollars spent on it's construction. People we know have paid money to go tour the stadium. It is amazing, I'm not gonna lie. Check out the video board -- it's humongous!
And here we are in our seats, in the upper concourse.
(Ok, I've typed another paragraph to put here at least four times and have deleted it each time. I guess I don't really have anything else to say about football, the Cowboys or their stadium.)
Have a great day! Jeanette

Monday, August 24, 2009

An Empty Street

Today is the first day of school. Tomorrow I will get back to training for the 15k coming up in November but today I just went out for a walk. I seriously have the best conversations with God when my feet are moving and the first day of school is time for heavy conversation. I walked around the neighborhood and saw the oddest thing when I rounded the corner returning to my house. An empty street. There weren't any cars/trucks parked in front of my house. We spent the first 2 months of summer home a week, gone a week, home, gone, etc., but the last 3 weeks we've pretty much been home. And, with Josh home for the summer, someone has always been parked in the street. Then, add all the extra people that have been in and out of our home this summer and our street has been almost constantly lined with vehicles. I am not exaggerating. So, it's a little sad to see the emptiness. The house is quiet -- I thought I'd be glad for a little peace and quiet but they're gone and that makes me sad. School has them for more daylight hours for the weekdays for the next 36 weeks or so than I do.


I've posted the traditional first day of school pictures below. Our private school has cracked down on the dress code this year so Jessica and some of her friends created their own "standard attire." Men's white v-neck t-shirts. First day of Junior year:


First day of Freshman year. Yes, my baby is in HIGH SCHOOL!

This is not the first day of college but here's a picture of Josh and his girlfriend, Michelle, in front of Josh's townhouse at DBU.

Happy first of school to ya!
Serving the King,
Jeanette

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School (Almost)

We moved the college boy back to campus on Thursday. He's been taking a few things over gradually over the last few weeks so he didn't take much the other day. I did buy him some groceries and the ever useful George Forman grill at Target. Me and the three at Target for back-to-school shopping. I was was worn out! Thankfully, we got home and Jess and Jacob took off with Josh to the townhome but I was waiting until Johnny got home to go over with him. I really just needed a few minutes of downtime after the chaos. Josh seemed glad and asked his sister if she would help him "organize" before I got there. She organized and did a great job it's just that there's not enough time to really get that boy organized. I don't know if I really want to ever go back to the townhome. 7 guys, yes, 7 guys in one 3 bedroom unit. They have a deer head on one wall and a big, flatscreen on another. Josh has a poster of Slash on the wall to his room.

Then, we went over to his girlfriend's apartment. I feel like I should change fonts and beautiful music should begin playing in the background. In the girls' apartment they have a Bible verse on the wall. (Have you seen those vinyl letters you can put up? They are so cool!) They also have artwork and decorations and cute framed pictures of themselves and flowers and organization. Quite the contrast from my son's place.

Jessica's high school volleyball team has already been playing games for 2 weeks. They are in a tournament this weekend. We spent yesterday watching volleyball and I am heading out for more volleyball fun today. In fact, I've gotta scoot and get over to Fort Worth.

We're ready for the first day of school. Except for the haircut that's been a long time coming and today's the day for that. The other day Jess asked me if I will cry on the 1st day of school like I always do... we'll see.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Guess the Cheaters are a Sign of the Times

My heading is really about those drug store reading glasses you can buy without a prescription. My eye doctor calls 'em "cheaters." I was using them before my last eye appointment so he changed my contact prescription. He also mentioned that I may get to a point where I needed the cheaters again. The point has arrived. Not only have I had to pull the stinkin' things out for reading a few times (especially when I have my pocket NT with me -- like when I know the pastor is teaching from that particular part of the Bible) but I couldn't even thread the needle on my sewing machine yesterday. Or, do hemming without them. It's the first time I've had to cheat on anything besides reading. BTW, I'm making a curtain (single panel cuz my window is extra small) for my new office. I already bought a bright red shag rug and bright red throw pillows at IKEA. My curtain fabric has bright red and brown squarish shapes on it. Yeah, it will most definitely put some more color in my otherwise dull space.

After I typed the title, however, I couldn't help thinking maybe it could have greater meaning. The Apostle Paul wrote about difficulties in the last days. People will be lovers of self & money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient...well, the list goes on and you can find it in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Down in verse 13 Paul wrote that things would go from bad to worse. Paul's admonition to Timothy was to stay focused on God's Word. I love it that Paul wrote (of course, this is the English version of it as found in the NASB) that Timothy had been taught the Sacred Writings from the time he was a boy -- and those Sacred Writings were able to give wisdom and, essentially, provide all the answers and instruction that Timothy needed.

That's what Johnny and I believe -- God's Word really is the instruction book for life. Not a book for one day a week but an absolutely vital part of the believer's life. So, with that in mind, Johnny and I are debuting a new Bible study curriculum for our church members in just a few weeks. The overall curriculum title is "Fusion" and the specific title of our study for this year is "An Invitation to Follow: A Study of the Gospel of Matthew." I've alluded to the fact that we have been working on a project a couple of times on the blog before. Here's how Fusion is gonna work at First Mansfield: there will be a weekly gathering separately for men and women. In class, the adults will hear a Bible lesson and will be able to pick up what we are calling a devotion guide. It will give Scripture to read for each day and three quick questions to ponder & answer and a prayer primer for the day. For those that desire a deeper study time there will be an indepth study guide posted on our website.

Here's the hope -- that more of our adults will commit to personal Bible study. For those that might be single, or at least participating in the study as a single, the hope is that they will learn what it means to not only be a believer in Jesus Christ, but what it looks like to really be a follower. For couples that are attending (class separately, but studying the same material) our hope is that the study will not only grow individual Christian lives but strengthen marriages and families. That some good, biblical conversations will happen in the home & between the couples.

For me, the drug store cheaters are a sign of the stage of life in which I find myself. When I put the stinkin' things on, though, I can see so clearly. My greatest desire is that there will be some that will see life so much more clearly and that God will be glorified through Fusion.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Friday, August 14, 2009

Worn Slap Out

It's a Georgia saying, I guess. I never said it until I met my Georgia husband but that's what I am. This has been a fun and exhausting week. Fun because we've had teenagers in and out all week and some funny, random things have happened. Jessica asked me a question last night and I was just grinnin' and she asked, "Why you cheesin' at me like that?" "Cuz you're so cute and fun and your question makes me smile," I could've answered but didn't because I had to go to the grocery store at 9:30 at night because I had to leave the house unexpectedly yesterday afternoon and when I returned home I had a house full of teenagers with me that were hungry. Starving, one repeatedly told me. One that belongs to me, that is.

Ok, 2 of the teenagers just left for cheerleading practice. They must be worn slap out, too, because I asked a series of questions to which I got some stares and grunts. I'm thinkin' they stayed up way too late last night. Johnny and I have been sleeping with a box fan on in our bathroom that sort of roars...it's to drown out the noise from the kids.

So, we're headed to the lake today -- Johnny took the travel trailer over yesterday and we'll take the boat out today. It's our own little lake house for the day and, just between you and me, if all the kids go out in the boat I'll be happy to stay in the Wildwood and take a nap, read a book, or just do absolutely nothing. I'm sure I'll be out there with them, though, cheesin'. (whatever that means)

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is This Where We're Headed?

Maybe you'll remember images like the one to the left on the news many months ago now. The monks in Burma were protesting their government. They were attacked, beaten, arrested. They want democracy. There are lots of Americans who support the monks and those like them that are treated harshly simply because they want their voice to be heard. I happen to be one of them.

I think people everywhere just want to be free. I really like the movie "Braveheart" but have to look away during the torture scene at the end of the movie. I don't look away for too long, though, because I don't want to miss Mel Gibson as William Wallace as he, weak from what he has endured, gathers all the strength he has to call out the word that people have died for -- FREEDOM! I have been to places where people are not free. I've seen the longing in people's eyes to have what they think I have when they find out I'm an American.

The current administration of our country wants to silence the voices of those in opposition to them. They want those that disagree to shutup. That's not democracy. That's not freedom of speech. That's not the way we're used to being treated. That's not what our founding fathers intended.

I'm not an activist, I'm not that political. I care about my country and I'm passionately patriotic. I see black and white -- right and wrong. (it has nothing to do with skin color) I am moral and spiritual and devoted. And, I'm fightin' mad. I don't want the government taking over my life or my health care. I don't want lawmakers telling me when to be quiet or how to spend my money.

I still believe I live in the greatest country on the face of the planet. I just want it to continue to be that. For my children and my future grandchildren. For those that just want to be free.

Serving the King and believing that He is Sovereign,

Jeanette

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons

Johnny and I had lunch with some new friends yesterday and they told us about a particularly hard time they had been through just a few years ago. We talked a little about how God teaches us through the hard times. No, I'm not going through a hard time right now. I DID have insomnia last night/this morning and could not sleep because I could not turn my brain off. There are just too many things going on in my life and one particular deadline that's aggravating the life outta me. But, that being the case, I'm reminded about how God has taught me in the past. I almost miss that closeness when I was so desperate that I literally read one particular psalm every single day. God spoke to me through those verses in a real, personal way through a very rough season. Maybe that's why I love the psalms. Even though I'm not getting any comments or any feedback on my Psalm of the Week so I don't know if anyone is out there, the psalms minister to me. It's those times of personal Bible study when God reveals Himself to me that are so precious. It's not for a study I'm writing, for a lesson I'm preparing, or a blog I'm posting. It's just for me. God speaks through His Word in times of desperation and in the times of smooth sailing. It's just different, at least it is for me. How God uses it for the benefit of others, however, is when we share our story. That's what we've gotta do so that others will know the powerful benefit of God working through their own lives.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Surrender All & the Psalm of the Week

I just ran a quick errand with a friend of mine who has 2 children - a daughter who is in elementary school and a son who is a preschooler. The daughter had been at a church activity today and when I asked her about it the brother proceeded to tell me all about it. He told me quite a bit of detail about where she went, who she played with, what prizes she got. He followed that up with this, "But I don't really know what happened because I wasn't there." It was totally precious. Sometimes I'm like that -- getting all up into other people's business. Our Bible study on Sunday morning was about the time when Jesus was commissioning Peter to take care of His people and Peter asked about John. Jesus told Peter not to worry about John. Worrying about what other people are doing, comparing ourselves to others - their gifts and talents - can be such a distraction to what God wants to do in us and through us.

Sunday morning we sang the old hymn, "I Surrender All." For longtime church people, that is a familiar song -- one that can be sung without really thinking about the lyrics and what they mean. "All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Thee I freely give...All to Thee, my precious Savior, I surrender all." What does total surrender look like to you? In his sermon, my husband/our pastor asked us to think about what we would imagine it to be if God were about to do something big in our lives. At the end, he brought up that question again -- that thing that we imagined, maybe that thing that we would like God to do in our lives, would we be willing to give it up if called to do so? Would we be willing to surrender it?

That morning, before church, I wrote a few verses to memorize from the psalm I picked for the week, Psalm 103. The main points of the first 5 verses (the verses I am memorizing this week) are this:
*Bless the Lord with all that you are
*forget none of His benefits
*He pardons iniquities
*He heals diseases
*He redeems your life from the pit
*He crowns with lovingkindness and compassion
*He satisfies and renews

I've been thinking about His benefits toward me, as it affects me. How would you list and/or describe His benefits in your life? See, when I think about God doing something big in my life I don't stop to consider what I might have to give up in order for God to do in me and through me in order for it to be accomplished. I want the benefits but the surrendering part I'm not always sure about. It's made especially hard when I sometimes look around me and am distracted by other people. I'm distracted by worldly pleasures and wanting life to be easy. It's a daily struggle, I admit it. Today, though, I can sing it for real, "I surrender all..."

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Week Without Johnny

It always seems like the weeks are so long when Johnny is gone. I just don't sleep well at all so I'm extra tired. I got up early this morning and thought I would sit in my office with my coffee and study but Jacob got up and was ready to mow before 9 am. He doesn't need my help but I went out to the garage to sweep while he mowed out front. I did have to find some ant killer for the pile of ants he ran over and I also brought the trash cans around from the back so he could empty the grass catcher. Then one chore led to another and I never got back to my office all day. I did have the awesome privilege of hanging out with my kids tonight. Yeah, just me and the three. We went to Freebirds then over to Target to get a few things. Well, Jessica and I went into Target and the boys walked over to Game Stop. When we came out of the store the sky looked scary. We stopped for yogurt and ended up getting caught in the storm. We had to have some milk, however, so I pulled up as close as I could to the door at Kroger so Jacob could run in and get the milk. He almost made it to the door when he WIPED OUT. Man, he went down. He got up, turned around laughing then ran on in the store. I was laughing and feeling guilty all at once. It was his shoes - these awful slip-on shoes that Jessica and I hate that he absolutely insists on wearing. I almost think he wears them just because he knows it irritates us.

Johnny had a great week in Venezuela but is stuck in Miami tonight. His flight was late leaving Caracas and, therefore, he didn't make his connecting flight. He and his 3 traveling companions are at a hotel in Miami until the morning. ugh! When we found out Jacob said, "I guess you won't sleep again tonight." He did offer some advice to help me sleep. Maybe I'll try it but mostly I'll be excited about tomorrow and having my man at home with me!

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home to Stay

Finally, there's not another trip on the calendar until I head to India in October. I really like to travel but, more than that, I'm a home-body. I'd rather be home than any place else. Since school has been out I've been to New York, Kentucky, Georgia, and a camping trip last weekend. I even drove down to Waco to see my sick grandmother yesterday. Every time I return home it takes me days to get back in a groove. I haven't been home long enough to get groovy...ok, ok, that's super corny but I couldn't resist. I am most definitely NOT ready for school to start back but I am ready for normalcy and routine.

I am also super unfocused when life seems chaotic. I had big plans for projects that I wanted to do this summer. ha! The most exciting project that I am behind on is a Bible study Johnny and I are writing together. We are actually writing a devotion guide and indepth homework for the study. We've worked some this summer and I've been reading -- yes, by choice not coercion -- sections from some of my textbooks from seminary. I am a geek, I love to read textbooks, I love to study. I've said before that I don't think I am a great teacher but I feel compelled to teach because I love to study and the information seems to need to come from my head and out of my mouth.

I'm behind on the laundry, the house is unorganized, the garage is hideous, and there are weeds growing in my flower beds. I'll get to it -- hopefully soon now that I'm home to stay for a while.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Psalm of the Week

It's a partial psalm this week. Trivia question (don't look ahead for the answer): what is the longest and shortest psalms? They are separated by just one psalm. This week I am reading just the first 32 verses of the longest psalm, 119. (the shortest is 117)

Verse 28 caught my attention this morning. I just found out a friend who traveled with me to Burma a couple of years ago lost her young adult son. Her grandson was staying with her so she had to be the one to tell him his dad was dead. That weighs me down - I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow. My friend loves God's Word. I pray that she will find comfort in it and from her heavenly Father over the next days.

Psalm 119 is rich. I hope you'll stop right now and read verses 1 - 32. I love God's Word. I really do believe - I mean, I really, really believe - that God's Word has all the answers for all life's problems and circumstances. I can so relate to the psalmist's words. God did not give us a book of instructions to keep us from having fun or doing the things we wanted to do to be a heavy-handed dictator. He loves His creation and wants the very best for those that belong to Him. He gave us His written Word, His written revelation of Himself, as a guide so that we might have an abundant life. To keep us from those things that might harm us or lead to hurt and heartache. Yes, we'll be hurt and we'll have heartache. Everybody does. But sometimes it's those sinful behaviors that lead us to the road of heartbreak. That's what He wants to protect you from. I've said to my kids a bazillion times, "make good choices." If we follow God's Word it will be our guide so that we can make good choices.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More Wild Fun in the Wildwood

We returned yesterday evening from our camping trip to the New Braunfels area. We were actually camping at Lockhart State Park. I am a fan of the Texas state parks. My favorite spot to spend Thanksgiving break is Tyler State Park. When we lived in West Texas, we spent several Thanksgivings and Spring Breaks at Abilene State Park, although those were the tent camping days. Tyler SP and Abilene SP have a few things in common with each other that makes Lockhart SP in a class by itself. Let me just put it this way, I will not intentionally be making another trip to Lockhart SP. Camping in July in Texas is risky anyway with our over-100 degree days. You can only get a metal box so cool - even when you have great airconditioning - when it is getting beat down by the afternoon sun because there's not a shade tree to block the sun's rays. I shouldn't complain - I'm sure the people at LSP do not choose to have dead grass covering their fields. A little rain is all they need. All they desperately need.

We spent one day at Schlitterbahn Water Park. I haven't been there since Jessica was born. We had 10 people under the age of 21 with us and, funny, they didn't spend too much of the day with us. I had a ton of fun and was encouraged that I am not, afterall, getting too old to enjoy racing down the waterslide on a foam mat. Another day we hit up the huge outlet mall. The highlight of the trip may have been when I was the victorious one at Mexican Train. Ok, ok, that wasn't the highlight but I had to get that out there.

We were driving home yesterday and I had my feet up on the dash and phone to my ear when I looked over and saw my 2 brothers driving beside us making faces at me. That was crazy. Their wives and kids were following behind them so we pulled over at a shopping center off the highway to chat with them for a bit.

Johnny leaves bright and early in the morning for Venezuela. He'll be meeting with pastors and a church planter down there that our church supports. Me and the kids will be here at home. Since the kids have been out of school I have been on 4 trips and I'm ready to be home for a while. Though, had I a chance I would've been on that airplane to Venezuela in the morning in a heartbeat...

Happy Sunday!

Jeanette

Monday, July 20, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Maybe I should've titled this "Psalm of the Month" since I've been such a delinquent blogger this summer. I think we've been gone as much as we've been home this summer. In case you've forgotten since it's been so long or you're new to the blog, here's what's up. I pick a psalm and write a few thoughts about it. Then, you read the psalm and write some comments. COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED! So, here goes. The Psalm of the Week/Month is Psalm 19.

The first verse reminds me of Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (NASB) I am a lover of the outdoors and nature. I am awed when I see and think about all the different colors and shapes of plants and flowers. I went to an aquarium earlier this year and was amazed by the fish. I literally had this thought - you know when kids are told to draw and color a picture of something, like a fish, how many crazy colors and designs they will come up with? That's what it was like looking at the fish. God is the ultimate Artist. God reveals Himself through creation.

God is also revealed through His written Word, the Bible. The psalmist, David, then gives several descriptive words and causes for God's Word. While we can look at nature and be in awe at the Creator God, the Scriptures tell us about a personal, infinite, powerful, instructing, all-knowing God, full of compassion and judgment. His Word was given to us that we might know Him. That we might know about Him so that we might know Him more.

Verses 11-13 are about sin, keeping from it, how following God's Word helps us in that regard. Then the psalmist ended with a familiar verse, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Let not only what I say but what's in the secret places of my heart be acceptable to God. In that hidden place that we think nobody knows... My rock and Redeemer. The King James Version uses this phrasing, "my strength and Redeemer."

Ok, here's a question for ya: What does it mean to you that God is your rock and Redeemer?

Anxiously awaiting your reply...

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shopping Day and the GPS

My friend, Mary, and I headed up to Frisco today to go to IKEA. Now that is a great store! I bought a set of 17 containers, with lids, for five bucks for our travel trailer. I also got a bright red shag rug for my office along with two red throw pillows. We looked for some curtains (rather, a curtain since I have one, small window over my desk) -- we even stopped by Grapevine Mills Mall on the way back to try to find some -- but didn't find anything.

Recently I got a GPS for my car. It's something that I really needed. Notice, I didn't write that I wanted it but that I needed it. I am directionally challenged. In a big way. Before we went to Georgia I went over to Dallas to have lunch with one of my friends from college and got lost. I became just a little hysterical and called Johnny so he could magically tell me where to go -- from Mansfield, cuz he's supposed to know everything. He was at a lunch meeting but was still able to help me arrive at my destination. Because Johnny is a fixer, he decided to get the GPS to fix all my direction-finding needs.

Here's what the GPS does if one turns or fails to turn in a direction that the GPS wants one to go. The voice announces, "re-calculating" then gives the driver new directions. The assumption is that the GPS is giving the driver the best way to go. When the driver decides to do something other than follow directions then the GPS has to recalculate and decide on a new route. Maybe it's not the best way to go but it will still get the driver to the desired destination. Assuming that the driver follows the subsequent directions.

I wonder how many times I've gotten off the best path God has for me. When my direction has to be recalculated because I've gotten off course. Today the GPS wanted me to make a u-turn. I don't know where I would've gone from there because I thought I knew better so I didn't go that way. Who knows what I've missed when I've simply refused to follow directions...

I want to be a good follower of directions. Really, I do. That means I have to admit that I don't know what's better for me. I don't know the way. I gotta listen and pay attention.

So, yeah, that's my spiritual application for the shopping day and the GPS.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day of Champions

Today I had my first experience with Bill Glass Ministries at the Day of Champions. It was the day to go into the juvenile detention facilities here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Here's how it works: there was a little training last night and today I went into my assigned facility. We met together then went into the gym where the "residents" were already seated in rows. There was a speaker and following that all the team-members shared the gospel with some of the residents. We had lunch then repeated the whole thing with a new group.

I left both heartbroken and burdened. Each time I talked to 2 girls, all 4 were between 14-16 years of age. I think 3 out of the 4 were not there for the first time; ie, repeat offenders. One of the 4 is pregnant and another of the 4 is already the mother of an 8 month old. All 4 have gone to church at some point in their lives and they have head knowledge of the plan of salvation. They even know right from wrong, but have chosen wrong. One girl sadly said she was glad she was there. If not, she said, she'd probably be dead. Man, that girl knew some Scripture. She quoted several verses, even though some were out of context. There was anger in her voice, however. Yeah, she had a lot of anger.

It's hard for me to imagine what these girls' lives are really like. Obviously, I have no idea, not any whatsoever. I got a little peek today.

Again, today, I am faced with the realization that I have a really great life. I have three really great kids. I have a fabulous husband and a lot of comforts. I have everything I need and a lot of what I want.

And I'm thankful. And humbled. Grateful. Convicted once again that to whom much is given much is required. Oh, that I may be faithful.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air

We're here in Georgia visiting Johnny's family. Our tradition for the years we are here on our nation's birthday is to drive up to South Carolina and Johnny's uncle funds our personal firework display. Saturday was a really busy day with a big family shindig celebrating our niece's recent marriage so we didn't get up to SC to buy the fireworks until Sunday afternoon. Which, btw, we had a great time Sunday night with our own little firework show. But, since we didn't have our own for the 4th we hopped on the pontoon boat after dark and headed out onto the lake. As soon as we got out of our little cove we saw tons of boats. On one little beach they were shooting off lots and lots of fireworks. We stopped near there but we were literally surrounded by fireworks going off all around the lake. People clapped and cheered and honked their horns to show approval. I could not help but think about how much money was spent on the fireworks. Lots. In a down economy. We're still proud to be American. We still live in the greatest country on the face of the planet. We're still the land of the free and the home of the brave. That was celebrated out on Lake Hartwell, for sure. Saturday night and Sunday night.

Proud to be American,

Jeanette

Monday, June 29, 2009

POTW - Psalm 107

POTW - Psalm of the Week, if you're not familiar with my blog. Here's the verse that caught my eye: "For He has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things." Ok, ok, that's totally not spiritual because I'm on day 4 of the diet. Last night, after church, we were going to eat with some friends. They wanted to go to a SANDWICH SHOP. I should've cried out in protest but quietly went along. Hello, what do you generally put meat & cheese on to actually make it a sandwich -- carbs!! Oh, I mean bread. There wasn't even a salad on the menu but they will actually wrap your sandwich insides in large pieces of lettuce at this particular shop. They even have eating instructions on the wall for the lettuce wrap. It really was good and I made it one more day.

Here's what I really like about this psalm - it reminds me of God's faithfulness even when I am unfaithful. Yesterday in church we sang the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I can so relate to the verse that states, "Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." My heart, if I'm not terribly careful, can pull me in the direction of busyness, wanting comfort & easiness over discipline and servanthood, and just that plain ole carnal selfishness.

In Psalm 107 they wandered. They were hungry and thirsty. We can get hungry and thirsty spiritually when we're in that place of disconnectedness with God. But, verse 6 is the key: They cried out to Him in their distress. If we are believers and followers of Jesus Christ, what an awesome promise that even if we are wandering, if we cry out to Him out of our misery He will hear. Give thanks, the psalmist wrote, because He is good and He is faithful forever.

He satisfies the hungry and thirsty. He rescues from the pit. And, I love this, "He guided them to the harbor they longed for." (verse 30, in part)

What are you longing for? The harbor was the safe place for those in rough waters in the psalm. I want the safe place but even more than that I want to step out of my comfort zone and beyond my own abilities to be on mission for God. I want to be blessed. I want to be found faithful. It's a daily obligation that requires my willingness to surrender.

So my lips repeat the last line from the above mentioned hymn: "Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above." That I might be useful today for the glory of His great name.

Serving the King,

Jeanette

Friday, June 26, 2009

Diet, Day 1

I rarely post here twice in one day. I contemplated a tweet, a facebook status change, a text to everyone in my contacts but ended up here. It's the end of my first day of no carbs. I'm hungry. I drank hot green tea in hopes that would help. NOT. I've read more articles online today about food cravings and reasons to give up sugar and healthy eating and acceptable low carb snacks and blogs by women who are doing the same...I'm looking for some support, here. I fixed Johnny a big ole glass of sweet tea tonight for dinner and he had the NERVE to ask me if I wanted some, too. ARGH! huh, I guess a gentle reminder for him NOT TO ASK may have to be given for a few days until he gets it. BTW, I'm not on a no carb diet. It just looks like that today. Tomorrow I plan to run 5 miles in training for the 15k -- how will I possibly run 5 miles without a carb?

I'll get back to you on that.....

Diet,

Back to the Heat

Yes, triple digits are expected for North Texas today. I most definitely will be in the pool today. In fact, sitting here at my kitchen table it looks awfully inviting. I have mounds and mounds of laundry to do to get the kids ready to go to camp -- they are leaving at 3 AM Sunday. Apparently, there have been requests made while Johnny and I were in Kentucky for kids to stay at our house Saturday night. Yes, we live one mile from our church and, yes, we'll be putting all three of our kids on that bus in the darkness of the wee morning hours so, yes, they can come. We'll be havin' a sleep over -- the more the merrier (I typed a little sarcastically). Truly, I don't care. I talked to one of our other pastor's wife yesterday and she also said she will have extra kids at her house Saturday night. That's what we do.

In other news, I'm officially going on a diet. Yep, I've put it off long enough. I'm training for a 15K trail run in November and running alone is not enough for this stage in my life. Which, BTW, I am definitely experiencing changes appropriate for my age group. ugh! I don't know how I'll stick to the diet at my mother-in-law's house -- the woman's spiritual gift is hospitality and one of her favorite things to do is cook and she always wants to make all of our favorites while we are there. It will be a challenge. So, I've checked my official ok to eat list and foods to avoid list and I'm going to do it. Foods to avoid for the first 2 weeks include all carbs. We eat a lot of carbs so this will be a radical change...

Well, I've got to run fix lunch -- one lunch for the kids and another for me.

Serving the King,

Jeanette