Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Washed By The Water

I feel so behind in my postings.  My computer has been afflicted by a crazy "Blogger" issue which has prevented me from being able to log on to my own blog.     I was using Little Guy's computer to just do the necessary things like post book reviews.    However, recently I was sent a product from our homeschool products to review which is a web blocker software.    It blocked ALL blogger websites.   It has been QUITE a mess trying to get that uninstalled from Little Guy's computer.   Needless to say, that product will not get high marks from me.    So I am cautiously using the house computer to make this post which I have been wanting to do for several weeks now.   

On October 25th, Big Guy was baptized in an amazing way at the reservoir.      Big Guy has been a Christian for quite a while, but the decision to be baptized was one that he has been very reserved about making.     Our youth pastor explains to our youth that baptism is not something that you should do just because your friends do it or because it is expected of you.     It is a true symbol of your faith.     In Jesus' day people went to the Jordan River -- the most public place there was -- to be baptized.    To be baptized there meant everyone knew what you were doing and who you were following.      Pastor Matt said that taking the step of baptism should be just as important.    You should be making the same statement.    You don't care who knows that you are following Jesus and who sees.      

Being baptized at the reservoir is pretty much the most public body of water in our area which is why he chose it for our youth baptism service.       The picture above is of Big Guy and Pastor Matt.      It is my favorite picture taken during that day.      

Seeing this photo reminds me of the lyrics...  "Even when the rain falls.   Even when the floods start rising.   Even when the storms come.   I am washed by the water!"      

So proud of this group of middle school and high school students who were baptized.    What you see here is just a small example of what is happening in our youth ministries at our church.    

"Don't let anyone look down on your because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in life,
in love, in faith, and in purity."   
1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

City On Our Knees

When we step across the line we can sail across the sea

Amazing, beautiful things happen when people have the courage to live, work, and pray in the spirit of unity and peace. Often, though, to make these amazing things happen, we have to step out of our comfort zone and into a world we find uncomfortable or intimidating. Sometimes that world is physical; other times it can be emotional, relational, or spiritual.

City on Our Knees shows this, encouraging you to take the first step. It offers stories of people who have stepped across lines. Lines of discrimination, persecution, doubt, prejudice, pride, bitterness, self-isolation, and despair. I pray and hope that you will be inspired to see how just one person, or one small group, can be a mechanism for change.

God can use us right here. Right now. All we need is faith that He has our best in mind. And believe me—He does.

Book Review

Before you read anything anyone has to say about this book, I highly recommend you go and read this excerpt from City On Our Knees.     Does that not take your breath away?    Does it leave your challenged or overhelmed?    My boys are fans of TobyMac's music, but after reading this book I have a great admiration for the devotion that drives the heart beat of his ministry and his day to day life.    

However, this book is NOT about TobyMac.  It is very much like the excerpt you just read.    It is the accounts of people who have been willing to be a "city on their knees".   

If you have heard the song upon which this book is entitled then you know this line, "If we gotta start somewhere why not here?"     Why not here indeed, Toby!  

TobyMac punctuates his book with an incredible amount of Scripture which makes this book such a worshipful read.     I can't wait for both of my boys to read this book. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hiding Away

Last week hubs was out of town with his work again.    I am so thankful that his business is busy enough to require him to travel, but sometimes it can get lonely when he is gone so much.    After so many weeks of craziness we decided it would be good to get away.    We went home to Vicksburg and stayed at my parent's house.

One of the fun parts of going there was that my parents keep my twin nieces which meant we got to play with them.     One morning while we all went down to the Catfish Park to play.    

Even as their aunt sometimes I am amazed at how smart these girls are.     LK walked up to the balance ropes when no one was watching and just walked across.    As my sister said, "She got the gymnast gene."   She must have because I don't know any other 22 month olds who have that kind of balance.
Out of all the pictures we took at the park, this is my favorite.  I don't think I have seen my Big Guy smile that much in quite a while.   It is hard to smile when you are hurting.   

The boys had a good time just picking on each other and being brothers...

But mostly just enjoyed having fun with Nana, Papa and their sweet twin cousins, MM and LK.   

Loved hiding away with my boys.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Have you heard of the INSPYS?    They are the awards for excellence in faith-driven literature. What makes the INSPYs unique among award programs is that we invite nominations from both the Christian booksellers’ domain and the general marketplace. The INSPYs are not about conforming to expectations, they are about faith.

There are different categories:   general fiction, creative non-fiction, historical fiction, thriller/suspense/crime, speculative fiction, amish fiction, romance/romantic suspense, and young adult fiction.

Bloggers are chosen to be judges for each of these categories.     Last week the judges were announced for these categories and I was shocked and honored to be chosen as a judge for the romance/romantic suspense category.   You can see all the other judges in my category here.  

The book in my category which I will be judging are...

A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley, Thomas Nelson
Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris, Zondervan

Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter, Thomas Nelson

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Patillo, Guideposts

Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren, Summerside Press

 If you would like to see a complete list of all the books nominated for the INSPYS you can see them here.   

All of the judges will be reading their book nominees and then going through the discussion and voting process through the month of December.     I am very excited about being a part of this year's INSPYS.     I can't wait to read these books and meet with the other judges.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pray For Your Pastor

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. What a great month to devote time to praying for him. Surrounding him with your encouragement and love by spending time each day on your knees in prayer.
Day 1. Pray that we realize that our inheritance and hope as a church family is in God’s incomparable and incredible great power which is available to us (Gal. 1:12; Eph. 1:18-19; Phil. 3:10).

Day 2. Pray that our Church, Leadership and Pastoral Staff becomes more surrendered and poured out to Christ, so they can have spiritual breakthroughs by seeking the fear of God and the mind of Christ and the Spirit’s leading (1 Cor. 2:16; Gal. 2:20-21).

Day 3. Pray that your Church and Pastor have and continue to take hold a growing, consistent walk with Christ with a devotional life and prayer that is steadfast. Pray that they realize and allow Christ to work and use them as they grow closer in their faith, spiritual formation, maturity and love (Psalm 16:8-11; 73:28; Rom. 8:31; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).

Day 4. Pray that all of the leadership exhibit good Christian character and integrity with all of their relationships and dealings in life (Micah 6:8).

Day 5. Pray that your Church leaders and Pastors families will be cared for and respected and receive good consideration, so they can to grow too, as they are usually misunderstood, under-appreciated, and ignored or overworked. Pray that all the staff be committed to their families with authentic love and care, that they will be strong and learn in the midst of trials, their homes a refuge and haven of rest and not be condescending or withdrawing from their own families (Psalm 91:9-15; Phil. 4:19; 1 Peter 2:23).

Day 6. Pray for discernment in exposing any plans of the enemy against our Church or attacking our pastors and staff. Ask Christ to protect us as we wage spiritual warfare against the enemy on behalf of our Church (Eph. 6:11-12, 16; Col. 2:6-8; 1 Pet. 3:12).

Day 7. Pray for an increase of vitality, renewal and vision that is from God for the pastors and leaders personally and collectively so that the church can be galvanized then take a hold of, and then be revitalized as a caring committed community for His Kingdom and purpose (Isa. 61:3; Rom. 12).

Day 8. Pray for the willingness and ability to authentically confess and repent of any wrong doing, false dependencies, misplaced ideas and loss of spiritual passion (Luke 13:1-3; Acts 2:38-39; Rev. 2:5-6).

Day 9. Pray that you and your church commits to follow the biblical mandate to support and encourage the leadership of the church (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Pet. 5:1-2).

Day 10. Pray against gossip, negative criticism, false expectations, unhealthy burdens, strife and weariness that will seek to invade our church family (Psalm 91:5-6, 11; Luke 10:19; Eph. 4: 17, 32-5:1).

Day 11. Pray that your church be a community of grace and forgiveness. That your church has an atmosphere of encouragement by being grateful for Christ’s work in them that enables the congregation to be inspired to give genuine hospitality to all who comes though your doors (Rom. 15:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:16-17).

Day 12. Pray that your church commits to a healthy understanding, wisdom and accounting and handling of its stewardship and Finances to better receive God’s blessings (Prov. 3:9-10; 1 Cor. 9:15-18).

Day 13. Pray that your Church and Pastor will have the strength and endurance that they need to serve with excellence by the power of the Spirit and the support of the congregation (Philippians 4:13).

Day 14. Pray for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation for any misplaced expectations, criticism, ungrateful attitudes, flawed thinking, grief, hurts, and abuse (Isa. 61:3; Mark 11:22-24, 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 4:32-5:1; Phil. 4:19).

Day 15. Pray that your church would receive God’s direction and vision. That the congregation gets nourished from the substance of His Word and the needs of the congregation are met (Psalm 119:9-12; Matt. 18:20).

Day 16. Pray that our church becomes real authentic disciples of Christ who are learning, growing and making Fruit and in turn making more disciples (Prov. 19:23; Mal. 3:11; Matt. 28:18-20; John. 15:16; Gal. 5:22-23)

Day 17. Pray that the spirit and practice of Humility is utilized and practiced in and outside of your church, and that false humility does not take root (1 Pet. 5:5-7).

Day 18. Pray that pride does not set in with our Leadership and Pastoral Staff (Psalm 10:4; Prov. 8:13).

Day 19. Pray that our church commits to place our focus on the Supremacy of Christ and be dependant upon Him (Gal. 6:14; Col. 1: 15-17)!

Day 20. Pray that our Church and Pastor give real biblical help and Counseling from God’s wisdom and Word to those in need (Isaiah 61:3).

Day 21. Pray that our church family will give Christ real authentic adoration, praise, impassioned worship and glory in private and collectively as a Church. That worship is never to be a show, entertainment or talent focused, rather God is the audience to our praise (Gal. 6:14).

Day 22. Pray that our Church and Pastor take accountability seriously and each be protected and have people they are accountable too. Also, that each would cultivate and pursue healthy relationships (Gal. 6: 1-10; Eph. 5:21).

Day 23. Pray that the Word of God will never be compromised, cheapened or dumped down; rather be delivered in confidence with power, conviction, clarity, boldness, with love and in truth (Acts 6:4; Col. 1:28; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:15).

Day 24. Pray for discernment to seek God’s leading and direction for the leaders and pastoral staff, that they seek His ways and not trends, traditions, personal agendas or anything that is not from the Spirit and Word. Pray that they can discern and prioritize what is important and precious and what is not (Isa. 6; 2 Cor. 11:14; 2 Tim. 3:5; 1 John. 4:1; Rev. 4).

Day 25. Pray that God protects our Church, Leadership and Pastoral Staff from sin and misdirection and they have the wiliness and boldness to flee and confront sin (Prov. 19:23; 1 Pet. 1:16).

Day 26. Pray we all draw near to Christ and seek holiness and His presence with more prayer (Acts 1:14; 1 Thess. 5:17; Jas. 4:7-8).

Day 27. Pray that we as a church family remain faithful and good stewards, so the financial needs are met (Psalm. 91:15-16; Phil. 4:19).

Day 28. Pray that negative thinking, stress, being overwhelmed, the ways of the world, the tyranny of the urgent, being overcommitted, over busyness, fatigue, compromise, pressures, overworked, under-appreciated, misunderstandings, and stress to not get in our Spiritual Home and take over (John 14:1; Acts 6:2-4; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 4:17).

Day 29. Pray that Unity infuses your church so that your congregation is binding to Christ in love so the work of the Kingdom is promoted (2 Chron. 30:12; Psalm 133:1; Rom. 15:5).

Day 30. Pray that congregation is willing and able to come and support the church and staff with grateful hands and words. That you all realize that the pastors and leadership are necessary and called and accountable to God (Matt. 9:37; Acts 14; 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 10-15; 5:22-23).

Day 31. Pray that our church community commits to pray for our church, pastors, staff, missionaries, those in need, community and issues powerfully every day (Acts 1:14; 16:16; 1 Thess. 5:17).