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,


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,


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,


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,


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,


Monday, December 7, 2009


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,


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,


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,