Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mission Laredo

I am super tired but wanted to put up a quick post about day 1 & 2 of our mission trip to Laredo.  We traveled and shopped yesterday.  The guys bought supplies for our work projects and Karen and I shopped for food, etc.  We're in charge of the food but thanks to our BFF, Joey who sent us with way more food than I think we'll be able to eat in 5 days that was leftover from the church picnic Sunday night, we won't have to cook too much at all.  Today was a work day.  We (and I am using the word we loosely) are building some walls at a new church plant.  We also walked the streets of the nearby neighborhood to pass out Bibles to people who had asked for one.  I did a LOT of sweeping today.  Back at our other project site I used a crowbar and a hammer, while standing on scaffolding, to pry some boards off the exterior of the roof.  Ok, ok, Darrell helped me but I mostly got the first one off myself.  The real builders were off....shopping.  Yes, they were shopping and we were working.

The main thing about today was that I was overwhelmed by the extreme poverty of the neighborhood where we were.  The second thing was how impressed I am with the pastor of the church where we were today.  At his own expense, he has started a church.  I am so glad we could come alongside him to encourage him by being a tiny part of what he is trying to accomplish.

Now I must rest --

Serving the King,


Saturday, April 24, 2010

DNow Weekend

Well, well, it's DNow weekend.  We've got junior and senior girls at our house.  It's almost like a typical weekend around here except there aren't any boys around.  Really, we are so used to having most of these girls here every weekend anyway Johnny and I just went to bed and knew they would do what they are supposed to.  Well, we didn't go to bed too early.  I had to learn a couple of new games first.  The first one was called Ninja and the other one was Terridactal - and I know I'm not spelling that right but I just looked at a list of types of dinosaurs and it totally was not on there.  Was that a real dinosaur?  Love these girls and am pumped about DNow weekend.

The theme of the weekend is "Redefining Normal" and the logo has a flying pig on it.  Yes, I am wearing a tshirt with a flying pig on it to church tomorrow.  I will be sitting right there in my pastor's wife seat in my flying pig shirt.  It's so cool how God orchestrates the events of our lives.  As I mentioned a few days ago, Johnny just started a sermon series titled "Radical" and I've been reading The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer.  I'm super excited about tomorrow and am already praying that the message of what it really means to follow Jesus will fall on hearts ready to hear it.  Not only hear, but respond in obedience. 

The girls are resting after we did our RAKS (random acts of kindness) so I better go do the same before we head back to church in a little while!

Have a fabulicious weekend!

Serving the King,


Friday, April 23, 2010

Blogging for Books - a novel this time

Whew, it's been a while since I've been blogging for books.  This time the publisher, Multnomah, sent me The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman.  It's a novel about 4 sisters set in the late 1800's.  The sisters are raised by a single father, who is a doctor.  Don't worry, I didn't need to give a spoiler alert because you get this information in the first few paragraphs of the book.  After you find out the situaiton with the mother, the book quickly shoots ahead 17 years to a time when the sisters are young women.  It's a story about their lives and love and relationship.  Oh, and flirting and discovery and some confusion and hurt. 

Throughout the book, the women talk about their belief in and relationship to God.  As a believer and follower of God, I find myself drawn to Christian fiction.  I love a good story.  And, even though these fictional characters lived in a different time and generation, they faced some of the same challenges and relational struggles that we face even today.  They wanted happiness and love, just like women of the 21st century. 

I really like to read nonfiction but every once in a while I like to read something mindless and just plain entertaining.  So, if you're looking for a light-hearted story that will, at times, keep you guessing then I will suggest The Bridegrooms.  You will become involved in the lives of the sisters and maybe even develop a hope for how you want the story to end.  Without giving one thing away, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Serving the King,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One of My Top Ten Best Days Ever

Yesterday is one of my top ten best days ever in my life.  The other nine are things like being saved, getting married, the birth of my three kids.  You know, big, life-altering things.  Yesterday was just pure joy -- mixed with a little nervousness after the reality set in.  Yesterday I got my "official" email inviting me to a writers' conference at LifeWay so that I CAN WRITE SOME CURRICULUM FOR THEM.  Yeah, you know, the store LifeWay.  They publish curriculum for small group Bible study/Sunday School.  And me, I, Jeanette, will be a writer for LifeWay.  I will be published.  My writing will be read by thousands of people. 

I got the news, unfortunately, at the grocery store.  One of my most dreaded places to be.  I got my fancy new little smart phone out to make sure my youngest didn't call for me to pick him up.  I thought he was staying after school for basketball practice and I don't hear my new cell when it rings and I didn't want to miss his call in case his plans changed.  I noticed I had an email from the editor at LifeWay so I checked it.  It was the email I have been waiting for.  I called Johnny but it is impossible to shop with one hand and talk on the phone with the other.  Even after I got home it was hectic because I had to go pick up Jacob then get right to cooking dinner and all the other chore things I had to do last night.  So, I hardly got to enjoy the moment or bask in the excitement.  There will be time for that today, I suppose.  I think I'll go have a pedicure to celebrate.  And, Johnny will take me to a yummy restaurant for lunch tomorrow. 

Did I mention that I am going to be a writer for LifeWay? hahahahaha, I so happy!

Serving the King,


Monday, April 19, 2010

My One Thing

Johnny started a new sermon series yesterday he is calling "Radical."  He is going through the book of Acts and referring to how the 1st century believers lived radically.  They dared to do something to turn the world upside down.  Since yesterday was the first of the series he talked about overcoming obstacles in order to live radically.  Because, after all, we're busy, worn out from all we do and carry around with us.  We have personal needs that keep us from seeing needs of others.  We're stuck in place where we shut down spiritually because we don't want to do the hard work it takes to get to the other side. 

Johnny spent a portion of yesterday's sermon on James 1:2-4 -- "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have it perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (NASB)  Knowing from our own personal experience, from how we have seen God work in the lives of others in our community of believers, and from the Truth of His Word. 

We talked about spiritual markers in my life group yesterday.  We have spiritual markers when we see God at work in specific situations and those are valuable to remind us in our present circumstances that He still is and always will be at work in the lives of His followers.  That He deeply and desperately loves people and is concerned about the needs we have.  His desire is to bring our lives to a place where our heart beats with the longing to be like Him -- to love what He loves, to follow where He calls.  To live radically.

I want to be a radical.  I do.

At the end of the sermon, during the time that leads to commitment, Johnny asked our church to pray about that obstacle, that life situation that is preventing each of us from living radically.  I do have obstacles, I'm not denying that, but my prayer yesterday was for this one thing that I've been praying for lately.  Today is my 19th day to pray for it.  I may be wacky (never claimed not to be) and this may be a little crazy, but I'm asking God for my one thing.  And here's the deal.  I have those spiritual markers in my own life when God has answered far crazier prayers than this.  I've seen Him at work.  I believe He is able.  I don't doubt it for a millisecond. 

So, on the 19th day, I'm praying again for my one thing.  I'll let you know what happens.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Testy, the dog

Have I mentioned on here a time or two that I am crazy about my new dog?  Or, maybe I've mentioned my crazy dog.  No, I haven't blogged about the new puppy too much yet.  We are definitely in a love/hate relationship.  Or, as Beth Moore says, some days the puppy is my "testy."  This morning would definitely be one of those testy times.  I found my new blackberry plant dead and in pieces on my backporch this morning.  I guess I won't be having any delicious blackberries picked by my own two hands outta my own yard this year after all.  Or thyme, either.  You know, the herb that's pronounced "time."  Yeah, my family was full of jokes when I looked out the window and saw it missing from the spot where I had planted it.  "It was only a matter of time..."  haha..hahaha.. (I wrote sarcastically)

Then, there's the matter of my bed.  It's kinda high but not too high.  We've laughed and laughed at the puppy's attempts to get up there without any luck over the past weeks.  Yesterday she jumped right up there, first try, without any effort.  Oh well, now I just have to train her NOT to get up there. 

We had to take her to the vet a couple of days ago because she has this little growth she has on the side of her face.  The vet said it's probably a benign tumor, common in...get this...Boxers.  Yes, her face looks very Pit Bullish but her body type, the vet said, is very Boxerish.  (I don't think those are the exact words of the vet, however)  Either way, she is still in the bully breeds and is still one of the best natured dogs I have ever been around.  Anyway, the vet said the last time I was there and the puppy weighed about 16 pounds that, according to the growth chart, that she didn't think Jadee would be over 50 pounds.  She weighed 32 on Monday and she's only 5 months old.  Do you think she will be over 50 pounds?  I have a feeling she might.  So tomorrow Jadee will go in for a little day surgery to have the lump removed.  Hey, it's only money, right? 

To her credit, Jadee is getting much better on the leash.  She actually did excellent (yes, I typed excellent and it is not an exaggeration) day before yesterday when I took her out.  Didn't try to pull me down the block even one time...which, will be quite a blessing when she weighs, well, whatever she weighs that will most likely be over 50 pounds. 

Serving the King,


Sunday, April 11, 2010

World Hunger Event

We had an emphasis on World Hunger for the last month at our church.  Tonight was our "World Hunger Event."  We found some information online about how to plan a learning activity for it.  There were 6 groups of people:  Wealthy, Middle Class, Lower Class, and 3 different groups in the poverty section.  Only 5% of the people got to be at the wealthy tables.  They got to eat steak, salad, vegetables, fruit, bread, dessert.  The middle class got a modest dinner and the lower class got beans and rice.  The poverty groups got rice -- some got to eat it with a spoon, some with chopsticks, and some with their hands.  It was an extremely interesting night.

First of all, for me, I was passing out table assignments.  We put the cards in random order so that we could pass them out as people arrived.  I found it was hard to pass the cards out randomly.  As some people arrived at the entrance I thought I should look through the pile to make sure they got a wealthy or middle class  assignment.  I didn't think some people should have to be at the table just eating rice. 

There were specific assignments given to each participant.  Like, you could beg for food from people that had more than you.  The wealthy participants were instructed not to give anything to anyone.  Some of the wealthy people did anyway.  Rule breakers.  At least 3 people sitting at the wealthy tables were miserable eating (or at least being provided a meal) while others were eating only rice.  One lady told me she was embarrassed to be eating while others were not.  One lady at the wealthy table asked her husband if he was bothered by the beggars.  He said he was like a good American, he just pretended like they were not there. 

Isn't that the way it is?  We don't always see those that are living in poverty or are really hungry so we act like they aren't there. 

I'm still processing all that happened tonight.  One little girl at the lowest poverty table drew a picture on her card and wrote, please give me food, I am poor. 

I am more than grateful for how much God has blessed my family.  I agree that to those who have been given much, much is required.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be more aware of needs of people around the world and in my own community.  May the information bring action and not just knowledge. 

Serving the King,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

We do not give up

A friend posted 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 as her fb status this morning:  "Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.  For our momenatry light affliction is producing for us an absolutely imcomparable eternal weight of glory.  So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (HCSB)

Can I get an "amen"?  I mean, somedays it seems as though the destroying of the outer person is worse than others.  I was trying to get back in shape recently and now have an injury.  A really irritating injury that is aggravating the daylights outta me, if you want to know how I really feel.  The mid-forties are....well, there's no word to describe it.  In our Life Group this past Sunday we were talking about the 2nd coming of Jesus and our new bodies and before I could stop it from coming out of my mouth I said, "There won't be a need for Spanx in heaven."  Sometimes I wish I could take things I say back but, really, I'm looking forward to that day.

Jess and I are big Phil Wickham fans.  We listened to him up to Oklahoma and back and down to San Antonio and back.  He has several songs about heaven.  One is called "Heaven Song" and here are part of the words, "My soul is getting restless for the place where I belong.  I can't wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song."  Some days I feel that so much more than others. 

But, back to 1 Corinthians 4, I am thankful for the inner renewal.  I couldn't continue without it.   Although I anxiously wait for the day I will bow low at my Redeemer's feet, I know that until that time, like Paul wrote to the Philippians, for me to live is Christ.  May I live worthy of His high calling today. 

Serving the King,


Monday, April 5, 2010

Final Four

At the NCAA Women's Final Four

I feel so smart though I really am not.  I took this photo with my fancy new cell phone because my other one was practically prehistoric according to my oldest.  In fact, the guy at the cell store just about laughed at it and said there had been a few updates to the same model phone I used to have.  I had an upgrade or I wouldn't have the new phone.  But, as you might have recognized, I am having a problem with the alignment of this text so I really am not smart at all.

But, here we are in San Antonio.  I am so glad we came because I saw the list of Women's Final Four locations through 2016 and it won't be back in Texas in the years until then.  It was a bonus that the Baylor Lady Bears were playing last night.  They did not win but played well.  I mean, for goodness sakes, they have such a young team.  Like Jessica said, the three freshmen that have a considerable amount of playing time were still in high school this time last year.  They were playing a team that had been undefeated for 76 straight games before that and won a national championship last year.

Watch out next year for the Lady Bears!

Jessica and I had a fairly lazy day and are enjoying our time in San Antonio.  We will be at the championship game tomorrow night.  I am so curious about how many will be in attendance because there were thousands of BU fans there last night.  Our tickets had to be purchased for both nights so if the rest of the Baylor fans purchased tickets to all games I wonder if they will be returning.  The Baylor fans were LOUD last night and suppported the Lady Bears when they got within 3 points of UConn.  I guess we'll find out tomorrow night how many people will be returning to watch UConn and Stanford.

So, we're here in our room watching....basketball.  I gotta say I'm for the underdog, Butler.  It's a close game.  And I've turned into a bigger basketball fan than I ever thought I'd be.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Four Gospels?

I sat down at my antique writing table this afternoon while I waited for the chocolate fudge muffins I made for my daughter for a school event to bake. That is after I already made a breakfast casserole for my son for school this morning. I am working from home today because of the cooking and because I'm in a significant amount of pain and hope to get into the chiropractor this afternoon. But, the point of this blog is not this meaninglessness but the question: Why Four Gospels?

I happened to flip my Bible open to the section between the testaments this afternoon and found this question. I could type Charles Ryrie's answer right here and give you a scholarly answer to that question. But, I've been thinking about it a little bit. As one of my seminary professors used to say, the Bible has both Divine and human authors. The Bible, every single word of it, was inspired and given by God. But, it was given to humans; men with different personalities and characteristics. The books penned by those authors reflect their individuality. As for the gospel accounts, the story is basically the same. Yet, each is presented from a bit of a different angle, giving or leaving different details or events or conversations.

Although my personal favorite at the moment happens to be the Gospel of Matthew, one is not better than the others. The message is the same: Jesus came, left His heavenly dwelling, and put on the cloak of humanity. He did it for the redemption of mankind. He really died a horrible death and they really laid His lifeless body in a tomb. He really did came back to life physically, bodily, and now resides at the right hand of God Himself.

All across the world there will be churches on this coming Easter Sunday proclaiming that message. The people in attendance won't look the same, the message won't be delivered the same way, the music will be different, the language will be different, the prayers offered from hearts of sinners will be different.

The message is the same. It's for you. It's for me. Jesus died and rose again for everyone. He meant it when He said He came to seek and save the lost.

All I can add is Hallellujah and my profound gratitude.

Serving the King,