Friday, May 28, 2010

Now I Know It's Summer

Today I got in the pool.  The temp of the water is already perfect.  Which means that the weather has already been hot enough to warm the water because I really don't like to get in cold water, which I believe I might've mentioned a time or two on this blog.  I sat out by the pool today and read a book on Paul by F.F. Bruce.  It's a book from seminary that I enjoy re-reading.  Jessica saw I had it out and asked if I was reading it.  She used it as a source for her research paper so she's familiar with it.  I told her I was because it's a really good book.  She agreed but said it was more like an encyclopedia.  It's not, I promise. 

I made a yummy summer treat the other day.  It was really the result of an accident.  I made cupcakes because the kids were going to have friends over after church -- not the public school kids because they aren't out of school yet, but the private school kids.  I was going to make some glaze with some frozen strawberries that I put in the blender & powdered sugar.  But, I didn't have enough powdered sugar to make it glazy enough so it was really strawberry syrup.  yum!  I ended up dipping the cupcakes in the strawberry syrup but had a lot left over.  So, I added some crushed ice and blended it and it made a strawberry icee.  It was really good.  Today I made it again but with some mixed frozen fruit.  I didn't have powdered sugar (still) and didn't want to put in regular sugar because I thought it would be too grainy so I made a simple syrup and then added that and the ice.  I have to admit I like just strawberry but it was really refreshing so maybe it will become a regular this summer.  Except for the fact that everyone in my family except me has free-fill cups from Race Trac so they might prefer that.  We'll see...

Have a marvelous Memorial Day weekend!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Almost Summer

I've been a delinquent blogger.  I want to write something interesting and, while my life is FULL of awesome excitement right now, I'm having difficulty sharing it here.  Though I have tried. Let's see...Josh is home for the summer.  I am super glad about that.  Jess and Jacob have one more day of finals tomorrow and then a half-day on Wednesday and then they're done.  Another year completed.  I look forward to the end of the school year because I love summer break.  Every year I say that I don't want this summer to be as busy as last year's but every year we fill the weeks with activity before even the last day of school.  This year is no exception, regretably. 

But while I am excited about summer break, it means one more school year is over and then Jessica has only one more before college.  And, then there's the baby of the family.  He'll be a sophmore when school starts back up.  I was talking to a friend this afternoon about, at times, wishing for those days when the kids were babies.  When they were dependent on their momma and life was simplier.  Though, those days didn't seem simple at the time. 

Life goes on.  It doesn't slow down for one second.  It makes me think harder about making everyday count. 

And, with that, I've got to go cook dinner.  Something delicious and nutritious for sure!

Serving the King,


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Writers' Conference

Wow, I think my head is about to explode.  I have taken in sooo much information over the past 2 days.  Not only am I new to the particular curriculum that I am writing but I am new to the publishing world and how lessons have to submitted, formatting, word counts, meeting editors expectations, and, well, the whole thing.  Although my dream has been to be published I must admit it's nice when Johnny and I write for our church peeps and we only have to worry about getting our material to Julie and Shannon by our deadline and they simply print it and we pass it out.  It certainly has way more pressure (like, none) than all this writing for LifeWay jazz.

The LifeWay team is great, though.  I mean, super great.  And I have run into an old friend, a friend of Johnny's and a classmate of our student pastor.  That's been fun.  And, it has been interesting to see how production of Sunday School curriculum goes from an outline to finished product.  It really is a colaborative effort.  At least this particular curriculum is. 

So, I'm here at the hotel just chillin'.  I'll be back at the conference early tomorrow morning then home tomorrow afternoon.  Then, I'll be busy writing!  What a thrill!

Serving the King,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Radical, the book - My Review

This was my latest Blogging for Books read.  I would've read it whether WaterBrook Multnomah sent it to me or not.  I'm glad I read it.  It was an easy read and the author captured my heart.  The buzz word in some evangelical circles seems to be missional.  I don't think David Platt used that word even one time in his book.  Instead, he wrote that we are called to follow Jesus.   Not to just live out a comfortable, Americanized version of obedience, but a radical abandonment to Jesus.   Check out this quote from page 7, "We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves." 

Platt included several stories about his travels overseas to places where it is not safe to worship publically or to share the Gospel.  I've seen some of those places as well.  I could relate to his stories.  My heart ached when Platt wrote about the millions who have not heard the Gospel message, the billions who live in poverty, and the tens of thousands that are starving literally to death every single day.  I live a comfortable life.  I worship freely in a great church.  I don't worry about my next meal except to wonder what I will cook in my well-stocked kitchen and who will help me clean up the dishes when we're done eating.  But, my heart yearns to do more. 

Platt wrote a section of his book about those that don't feel gifted or called to share the Gospel.  Some want to hear about God's love but not the command He gave to go and tell and carry on Christ's mission on the earth.  I about fell out of my chair when Platt dissed another well-known preacher who, well, preaches fluff.  He didn't mention him by name but I know and Platt is right.  I like this quote from page 71, "God creates, blesses, and saves each of us for a radically global purpose."  Platt wrote that we want the privileges without taking on the obligations.  It's not so we can have more stuff and store up treasures on earth but so that we will use our resources to point others to God.  It's for His glory and not our own.

I could really go on for paragraphs about the book.  But, I want you to read it for yourself.  The book ends with a challenge.  A one-year challenge.  Johnny and I led a group of people from our church through a 20-week study of the book of Matthew this past school year.  At the end, we talked about how 20-weeks is a long time and how few people are willing to commit to 20 weeks of anything.  I wonder how many will commit to a one-year challenge.  It's definitely a worthy pursuit. 

So, check out the book and let me know what you think.  Will you commit to be a part of the Radical Experiment?  If so, I am so interested in keeping up with you and your progress and how God is using the experiment in your life.  While you are reading this you have not idea what I'm referring to so read the book and get back to me.  I'll be waiting.

Serving the King and wanting to be Radical,


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marvelous Mom's Day

Wow, what a great day it has been.  I got to be with my awesome Life Group this those girls sooo much.  We're like family and making our own Life Group traditions, well, like family.  If we're family, does that make me the momma?  hahaha!

My family gave me just what I wanted for Mom's Day.  Yes, a docking thing for my iPod.  That's after I received a rose bush via the delivery man yesterday.  We came home from church and my husband and kids cooked lunch.  Johnny cooked steaks on the new grill he bought yesterday (for mothers' day?) and mine was perfectly cooked and perfectly delicious.  I then took a way-too-long nap and relaxed the rest of the day.  Oh, and we played some Sequence. 

I called my mom today, of course.  It's her first mothers' day without her mom.  She has missed her.  Johnny and I talked about my Grandmother just a couple of days ago.  Last year, we drove to Waco on the Saturday, the day before Mothers' Day.  We visted my Grandmother and took her some flowers.  She was still doing pretty good and we had a nice visit.  When I saw her just a couple of months later she had really changed and gone down hill.  I'm sad she's gone.  I'm sad for my mom and the loss of that generation. 

Well, that's all.  Hope you had a great mothers' day!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Great Idea for Mother's Day

I'm just checking to see if anyone in my family is reading my blog.  Just in case, I'm giving a gift suggestion for this upcoming Mother's Day.  You see, lately when I'm in my bathroom getting ready for the day I have my little notebook in there playing YouTube videos of my favorite songs.  You know, those little mini-laptop, notebook things don't have enough memory (or whatever the correct electronic, techy term is) to download music.  All my favorite music is on my ipod but I don't have speakers or docking station or anything else like that.  So, wouldn't a great gift be one of those things so I could listen to my ipod instead of clicking from video to video?  Just think, my getting ready time could be reduced to, well, a few seconds faster. 

Just saying... just checking...

Serving the King,


PS - tomorrow I'll be back with my Blogging for Books review of Radical by David Platt.  People, this is truly a great book so you should be picking up your own copy today.  Yes, go today and get it.  Unless you want to wait til my review tomorrow and go get it then.  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Big Sigh

A big sigh is what I just heard from my dog, who is sleeping on the floor of my office.  I know she missed me last week but maybe especially because she had to stay in her kennel so much.  Even yesterday I was out of the house quite a bit so she had to go back.  She was snoring just a little bit ago.  Last night Johnny and I went with a couple of our pastors and their wives to a pastors' dinner.  It was a lot of fun.  I really, really love the people we have the privilege of serving with at FBCM. Anyway, when we got home Jessica had given the dog a bath.  Not that she isn't willing, but she usually doesn't give the dog a bath when there's homework to be done.  But, apparently, the dog was quite muddy.  We had a bit of rain yesterday evening but I couldn't really figure out where she had been to get so muddy.  As I was washing my face last night a thought occurred to me so I went outside in the dark to check it out.  Yesterday afternoon I bought some plants for my garden.  I moved the brick that was blocking the gate Johnny built with the fence that was meant to keep the dog out of the garden and put the plants back there til I could plant them today.  That silly dog, I guess, saw me move that brick because when I went outside last night the brick was moved and the gate was open!  Yes, the dog figured out how to get to my garden.  Ugh!  Don't worry, I fixed her.  I've but a bungee cord on that gate until Johnny can get home today and come up with a more permanent solution. 

I am also letting out a big sigh today.  The last few weeks have been so crazy and today is quiet.  The weather is beautiful so I'll work outside later after I've worked on my LifeWay writing assignment for a while.  The rest of the week should be calm and I am so looking forward to that.  I mean, I'm really excited.  So, I guess I'll get off of here and get to work. 

Serving the King,


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mission Laredo Wrap-Up

Today has been a super great day.  My wonderful husband had almost everything done around the house so I could take it easy and recoup today.  Our days in Laredo were full.  On Wednesday we worked at the church, shopped for the block party, worked at the house, and passed out flyers and invited folks to the block party that was happening Thursday evening.  We were also going to the church where we had been working to help lead in Wednesday evening services.  One of our guys played his keyboard and another preached.  Anyway, Karen and I had to go to our hotel to change clothes between the activities and church.  We literally were dropped off in the van, went upstairs & changed and were back in the van in about 12 minutes.  That's all the time we had and, well, we did the best we could. 

On Thursday the guys were finishing up the patio cover and I actually got up on the scaffolding and put some screws into the metal to hold it onto the frame.  The yard was super overgrown but was mostly weeds.  I asked Bob if we had any money left in our budget to buy a weedeater and he said no.  However, when he got back from the Home Depot he had a weedeater with him!!  So, we worked on the yard as well.  The block party was to start at 6 and we started getting ready mid-afternoon.  I can't even remember what time it was.  I was in charge of the popcorn machine for the big event.  Thankfully, I learned to use the popcorn machine at our own church back in October.  Like it's complicated...not!  I passed out tons of popcorn, though, so it must've been good.  hahaha!!   I think the best part was watching our guys working the games.  They really got into it and had fun with the kids.  One of the guys told me it was really an eye-opening experience.  Yeah, that it was. 

All I know for sure is that I've got to get back to my Spanish lessons before I head back down to Laredo in July.  We encountered way more Spanish speakers than English speakers.  Most of the kids are bilingual but that's not true of the adults. 

I'm a little conflicted.  Knowing that many of the people are illegals and realizing that they need lots of help, how much can we provide for them without condoning the fact that they are breaking the law?  But, they need Jesus.  That I know for sure.  So, I've been thinking about that some today.  I was talking to a member of our church this evening about their poor living conditions and he said that even that was likely better than what they had in their home country.  Wow, and that's hard to imagine.  So, we'll keep seeking God and looking to Him for guidance as we figure out what we will do from here.

And that's the Mission Laredo wrap-up.  The trip was actually really great.  The team was wonderful to work with and I enjoyed being with them immensely.  I didn't really know most of them very well at all so it was a lot of fun getting to know them.  I am always amazed how God puts the right people together.  This is my first trip where we did so much manual labor so it was an interesting venture for me. 

Serving the King,