Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Love

I am doing a devotional this weekend for my scrapbooking retreat! I'm excited, I even made CDs for the women of some of my favorite songs. I don't really have anything to post today, and I was going to wait until Friday but...


Did you know you’re loved? More than you can imagine. In a world that people try to convince us that it’s full of hate, I think it’s full of love. We’re covered in grace and love. And as we come into the Christmas season. Let us be reminded in the simplest of scriptures:

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I loved you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Know I know that in your bible it says He knew you, but really, it’s not like “hey, do you know Cindy?” “yeah, she’s my CM lady”. No, it’s like He knew you, like really knew you, your eye color, hair color, the size of the freckle on your cheek, and in all that detail, He loved you.

And then a couple books later…

John 3:16 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We celebrate this Christmas season because we’re loved. That’s it. And as we’re doing the hustle and the bustle, stressed out because of all the stuff we have to do. Remember you’re loved. And no matter what happens to you, nothing can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[
a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I looked it up on biblegateway.com, love is mentioned 697 times in the bible in NIV. 697! Doesn’t that seem a lot? So shouldn’t we believe it?

There are times when I am just barely making it. And then God sends me some crazy sign about how much He loves me. Someone will send me an email.

When I was walking on the Breast Cancer walk, it was just so amazing how His love was never ending, and how in the little things He reminds me. When I was walking I was like “I need a diet pepsi, I have a headache and I didn’t have mine this morning”. And I kid you not, by the end of the block was this lady pulling up with a Trailblazer full of drinks, including… Diet Pepsi. As we were walking my friend Bonnie and I were talking about dessert. “I hope they have ice cream, I don’t care what kind”. And within 5 minutes we walked right into an ice cream shop. That’s how much God loves me, in the little things He shows me.

The reason I walked in the Breast Cancer walk? My mom died when I was 16 months old. I walked to bring honor to the decision that God brought my mom home. There was so much pain my life, until I finally said “it’s Yours, please take it” and here again, He loved me and took away all my pain.

God’s love covers our hurts, our pains, that are brought on by others, and self-inflicted by the choices we make.

He’d go to the ends of the earth to show us how much He loves us.

Matthew 18:10-14 10"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[
a] 12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

He loves you so much that He’s trained people to come find you on His behalf. And then once we’re found, He tells us go find some more of My people. Don’t be nuts and scare them off, just love them as I’ve loved you.

Matthew 28:16-20 16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[
a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

I just want you to remember each day that His grace and love covers you. Whatever you are going through, whatever hurt is lingering around and you can’t seem to let it go, Jesus can take it all. It doesn’t have to be yours to carry any longer.

Matthew 11:29-30 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Here is a video of a skit for the song "Everything" by Lifehouse. Our kids did it at Alive, our costumes were a little different, but the rest was the same. It's about Jesus and how He saves us. The first part is the girl and Jesus, then lust, greed, peer pressure (drunkeness), envy, cutting, death. And then Jesus saves her. Everytime I watch it, I get all misty.



Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose...you're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need
You're everything,everything
You're all I want your all I need
You're everything, everything.
You're all I want you're all I need.
You're everything, everything
You're all I want you're all I need, you're everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Translation


When I was in about 2nd grade we still printed. We weren't taught cursive until 4th grade. Teachers would write letters to our parents or to each other in cursive because they didn't think we could read it. Little did they know, I could read it. I'd read about other kids, I'd read about myself. They thought they were passing something over on me.

When I was 15 I worked in a Marina. There were a group of guys who came in and were speaking Arabic to each other (about me) which was a mistake because I grew up in East Dearborn and could pick up on enough words that I could understand what they were saying, and then they blew right past the line and said something horrible about me. In about 20 seconds, I managed to kick them out of the store, in Arabic, using a lot of words that bare no repeating.

Now, I am old, and I work with people from Mexico. I can barely speak a word of Spanish, outside of Hola, Como Estas, Que Pasa, Taco, Burrito, and Quesidilla. But I can totally understand it, I can read it. I guess those 3 years of Spanish in High school really did pay off because I know if they are bulling me or if they are telling the truth when they speak to each other.

The most important translation in my life is the translating I do to hear the people in my life say "I don't feel loved" or "I don't fit in" or any number of other things, including "I love you" in and out of my own home. It's the kind of translation that comes from wisdom, what are they really saying. I still miss some things, but I pray for wisdom for the hand to reach out these people who need love, and need Jesus.

Psalm 55:1-2 1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
Unspoken Prayer Request: I do not want to post it on my blog, but if you send me an email, I will tell you about it... Please pray that satan's plans be bound, and that God's will prevails.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Get out the way


Job 38:11 When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’

This was my verse of the day yesterday.

I can't go much farther than God will ever let me go. Life isn't about me, even though I wish it was. There are parts of me that sometimes wish I could be the center of the universe. Even though I was an only child (technically I still am), even an only grandchild on both sides of my family for a long time, it's wierd, I've never felt like the center of the universe, loved, but not the center.

Maybe it's just who I am. I am the one who takes care of everyone, even at work, I always have stamps, gum, and ibuprofen. But without God, I'm going no where, fast.

I never thought I would own my own home. There came a point when I just thought, it's ok, we can live in an apartment. I didn't know how I would ever get the down payment... But God...

I never thought (or even knew) there was a job like I have and that I would ever be smart enough to do it... But God...

I serve a mighty big God. I serve a God that can meet my needs and wants whenever, and however He choses. Assuming I am going in the right direction, I can only go so far without His help. (Going in the wrong direction, I can go pretty far) There is not much I can do on my own. It's the wisdom that comes from Him that enables me to do my job. It's the love that comes from Him that spreads to others through me. There's a million things, that He does, that He gives me, that I certainly don't deserve, but I will gladly take to give Him glory!

It's not about me, it's about Him.

Psalm 136:12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Titus 3 1:8
1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.


I got this verse today right in the middle of service today. Right after something was said that I don't agree with. It was more than I didn't agree with it, it has rocked my soul all day. Replaying in my head and heart over and over. It's not about whether I agree with the person who said it, it just goes against all I believe that God is.

And it seriously rocked my world.

And all day I remembered this scripture. All day Ithought about how we are justified by His grace and not by the things we've done. We can't do enough right things to get us into Heaven. And thankfully God did not leave that up to me, because left to myself, I'd screw it all up.

But even though we're saved by grace and mercy, that certainly doesn't mean that I think that we should run out and act like a bunch of knuckleheads. Somehow I think that we should see that we're saved and live the life God tells us to live and when we fall, get up by the reaching hand He has out for us.

I don't think I am done exploring this issue...

But I am really glad for grace and mercy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pastor Appreciation Month

It’s Pastor Appreciation Month.

How can you somehow put into words how much we appreciate our Pastors?

I’ve been lucky that I’ve been in the presence of some pretty great Pastors. At my first church I had two Pastors, Pastor Jim (the Head Pastor) and Pastor Julie (the Youth Pastor). How blessed was I to learn so many lessons from them. From the pulpit and in life. Spent many times talking on the phone and in Panera Bread over soup learning how to live out my faith in real ways. I know many people “leave” churches because they are unhappy with the Pastors. My advice, listen to what God is saying and take your personal opinions out of it. I left my church after being called to Metro.

After going to Metro, I met their pastors, Jeremy (Lead), Mike (Associate), & Adam (Youth). All very different in personality, but all called and open to the voice of God.

Jeremy is this high strung, God loving, loud, and can sometimes cry on stage Pastor. And I love him. He will be honest and open with you but will only tell you so many times and expects you to be accountable for your own actions. I like that about him. He’s not afraid to just tell you “this is the way we’re going to do it”. He thinks big and his vision comes from God, and its amazing to watch. Like me, he’s got that “go big or go home” kind of attitude. He’s great. He speaks loudly the Word of God, so in case you are hard of hearing (or listening) you won’t miss it. He will yell and cry on stage in order for you to hear what you need to hear. He spends all hours of the night on emails. He is amazing. I’m a better person in my walk because of him.

Then there’s Mike. Mike is very intelligent, and super sarcastic. I actually thought he didn’t like me. Truth be told, he didn’t know me. But in all that intelligence, I remembered he posted about TULIP (not the flower) and I didn’t understand it. Once I really became interested in it, he was the first person I emailed about it. I had a lot of questions, and one at a time he answered them all. And I am sure there were times he rolled his eyes and thought, “whew, she’s a knucklehead” but never once did he make me feel stupid (I did that all on my own). If I have a question I email him, and he answers me in a dumb-it-down sort of way so I can understand it.

And lastly at Metro, let me tell you about Adam. Of all the Pastors I’ve worked with, I think Adam is my favorite, and part of that is the extra gift he has of Katie. Adam has this way about him. The love of Christ oozes from his pores. All the things that drive me crazy, Adam loves. Lock-ins being at the top of the list, but I’ll be there, making food and copies of registration forms for him every minute. Adam loves the kids. All of them. Even when they not only act like knuckleheads, but when they are knuckleheads. He finds away to lead them so that they don’t even know they are being lead. It even makes me laugh when he checks up on me “Margie, are we going to have extra forms for the Lock in to be filled out at the door?” My answer “what do you think Adam?” and he chuckles and probably thinks “how did I get stuck with her?” but he has to remember that he asked me J Adam is all about quality for the kids. I’ve never heard him say “oh they won’t know or they don’t know any better”. I can only tell you that being around Adam makes you want to be better, he makes you want to do a good job and do a better job next time. Reach more kids in every hug, and love them more tomorrow than you did yesterday and today.

There is one more Pastor in my life. He’s not really my Pastor because I don’t officially belong to his church, but I’m there enough that he says hello when he sees me (I think he knows who I am). His name is Pastor Clark, he is the Pastor at Grace Gospel Fellowship that is the sister of Grace Centers of Hope. He’s a firey guy. Makes me laugh out loud in church and shout an AMEN! He speaks of grace and love of Jesus in mighty ways and usually screams from the pulpit, and screams from the floor. I’ve never been to church down south, but he’s exactly what I would have pictured. He’ll call your addictions out whether it’s to crack or the refridgerator. He’s encouraging and he’ll check you all in the same breath. And he’s got a smile that could melt the heart of satan.

All of these guys (and Julie) have one thing in common. Jesus. They all speak His truths and never waiver. Got your own interruptation, they’ll tell you, you’re wrong, all in a different way, but loving all the same.

I’m thankful for the part that each one has played in my walk. I’m thankful for the truths that they speak and the lessons they’ve taught me.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Living out our Faith


“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”- 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Sometimes I find it difficult to live out my faith, and sometimes it comes so easy.

Tuesday I had to run to Family Christian Store, I went to the one in Waterford, never been to that one before, it was freezing, if you go there, bring a sweater. I was looking for a couple of gifts. I was standing in line and the woman had forgotten her coupon for 20% off. The woman behind the counter didn't have any extra. I had one, but the one I had was for 20% off even sale items, and everything I bought was on sale, so honestly, I didn't want to give up my coupon, but I have a Pastor's Perks Card that you can use on regular priced items (20% off) so I asked if she could use my card... The nice cashier said yes. After the shopping woman left, the cashier said it was nice to see someone living out their faith, she also said that people are not nice when they come in and she's been sworn at... Yikes... I thought I was just being nice.

Today, I stopped and got bagels. It was $5 more to get my group bagels instead of just me. For the most part I like the people in my group, there are a few I am praying out of it (3 down 3 to go), I pray that they leave and get good opportunities (I don't pray for harm, it's not good for me or them). One of the not-so-nice (NSN) people asked me if he could have a bagel. You have no idea how hard it was to say "sure, that's why I brought them, to share". I'm not kidding, it was difficult, but I thought, he'll never learn if no one shows him.

I love that one verse about hot coals (Romans 12:19-21). There are many days I want to hold their heads in the toilet and give them a swirly, or really drop hot coals on their heads, but I try to remember grace. Grace was given to me, and if I am going to live out my faith, I have to extend it to others.

John 1:16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gifts and being special

Jer 31:3 3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness

Yesterday was quite a day. It was the kind of day when you know God wraps His arms around you, hugs you in so many different ways, you can't help but know you are loved.

I got asked quite awhile ago to lead a devotion on my dorky (I'm the dorky part, otherwise, it would be cool) scrapbooking retreat. Honored isn't even close to how I felt, add a little scared to that. But sometimes I just have to say, ok, my heart, my words, Lord, it's all You, fill me up and then let me empty with words that will touch the hearts of others so they KNOW they are LOVED. Originally I thought I would write about one thing, but that didn't work out because it was about what I wanted, not what He needed me to write and to have someone hear. Pray for it. Please. I'll post it before I leave on my trip.

Sunday Phyllis's friends asked her to make them dinner. Justin's mom is in the hospital, she had a HUGEMUNGOUS cyst on her ovary, came home, had issues and was back in the hospital. No one to take care of them. So Phyllis went over there before core groups and made Shepherd's pie. They loved it, today, it's spaghetti for the boys because we have all the ingredients in the cupboard (Thank You Jesus). Somehow my gift of cooking looked so fabulous on her. Gave me a different perspective. Funny how God somehow gives us new glasses when we are ready to try them on... My oh my, He loves me.

Yesterday was Pastor Clark's birthday at Grace Centers Of Hope. If there's anyone who is worth celebrating, it's Pastor Clark. That man's got God's love oozing from his pores, and he sometimes has that ugly love that Sara spoke about today in her post that when someone needs it, the truth comes out. There were about 200 people in church, and Keith chose me to serve cake. I would have volunteered but to be chosen, meant a lot. It made me feel special. Maybe serving cake doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but to not be overlooked (which I often feel I am) made me feel special. Silly silly, I know but God again reminded me how much He loves me.

Want to know what to get Pastor Clark for his birthday? Make a donation to GCH. Money or "stuff" that you don't need anymore. They'll put it to good use.

One more thing, I was driving up to GCH for church and I stopped at this deli, Breakaway Deli (I had the #17 - YUMMO!!). I stopped there because one day I went up to volunteer at GCH and they had donated literally 50 sandwiches!! So I thought I would, in turn, support them (and I told them that's why I was there!). So if there's a place that you frequent for what they stand for (or what they stand against), let them know what someone is listening.

Jer 1:5 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I loved you, before you were born I set you apart

**Pictures are Keith and I, Pastor Clark blowing out the candles on his cake (there were a LOT of candles HA!), Pastor Clark opening his presents with the kids, Pastor Clark holding up "his" present which was a donation of razors for the ladies program :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

She really is my sister


In case you didn't know, Sara really is my sister. Her mom is really my mom. You don't think so... let me prove it to you...

As for the mom thing... Pat sent me sweet verses that I needed, straight from the Word of God. Maybe you think its a coincidence, I chose to believe that she loves me, and she gave them to me to soothe my soul.

She hugs me like a mom would. You know you're hugged when a mom hugs you. We have this way about us.

I've felt her prayers and love just when I needed them. Moms do that you know.

And that being said, if she's my mom, then Sara MUST be my sister.

We both like tuna fish sandwiches.

And homecooking.

And opaopa. And Panera.

We know just when to tell the other that they are bring out of line, but it's usually her telling me. That's because she's wiser and OLDER than me! Ha!
We're both witty.

We both pray for each other. A phone call, a blog, an email. Sometimes for no reason at all. Sisters do that you know.

All this being said, we're related by blood. You don't think so? Well... Jesus died for us. God brought us to each others lives so we could love and pray because He loved and prayed for us.
I'm thankful for my earthly mom and sister because I have heavenly ones and earthly ones. That's how much God loves me.

Matt 12:50 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Alone

Ecc 4:9-11
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?


Children are meant to have two parents. My way is not the right way. Can it be managed? Yes. But is it the way it's supposed to be? No.

My dad was a single parent. I missed having a mom my whole life. I'm a single parent, and although Phyllis doesn't talk about it much to me, I am sure she misses having a dad in her life.

Today I was walking to get my diet pepsi, with my oatmeal in my hand walking... multi-tasking. I rarely do one thing at a time, it's not possible. If I did, I'd never get to sleep. I always have two things going, God made me a great listener because I can listen and watch kids at the same time. There is always something that has to be done.

When Phyllis was 4 she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. One December 5, 1997. A day I will never forget. Something else I won't forget? That I had to make EVERY choice regarding her health. EVERY medicine, nights of staying up all night reading everything I could get my hands on, countless hours on my knees, alone, praying for the pain to be taken away. For complete healing.

Now 10 years later, I'm on my knees again, different issue, just as important though. Alone. We were supposed to be in pairs. Two different perceptions, someone to check the other when they are out of line. We're not supposed to have to go through all of this alone.

In 1997 Jesus was with me, probably standing right over me, only I didn't know it.
In 2007, I know He is with me, standing over me, wiping away my tears.

Rev 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Monday, October 22, 2007

In love


I'm in love. The love of my life. He's amazing, knows all my thoughts and loves me anyway. He's written this incredible book that tells me how much He loves me. When I ask for something, He finds this sweet way of giving it to me, and continuely surprising me with how much He loves me.

On my walk He brought me friends, comfort, diet pepsi, ice cream, and healing.

I lived a life of fear of Him most of my life. And a lot of my life I walked away from Him, only to run when things just got too bad.

Now, I've learned how amazing He is, and everyday, I fall more and more (and more) in love with Him.

You might know Him, His name is Jesus. And He loves You too.

1 Corin 16:24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Righteous

Romans 1:14-17 NIV
14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[a] just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

This is my verse of the day. I received it this morning in an odd sort of way from someone. It was also different because I didn't have my bible with me. I always have my bible in my purse, but I was using it and forgot to put it back in my purse while I ran my errands. I won't do that again. I called Phyllis to read it to me, but I got kind of put off by the word 'righteous'. I always do. Maybe it's because I always think of 'self-righteous'. You know "you self-righteous Christians...." you can fill in the rest.

I can't be righteous. Because I looked it up on the internet, Righteous has the following definition according to the Hebrew Dictionary:

The Hebrew word for righteousness is tseh'-dek, tzedek, Gesenius's Strong's Concordance:6664—righteous, integrity, equity, justice, straightness. The root of tseh'-dek is tsaw-dak', Gesenius's Strong:6663—upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere. It is best understood as the product of upright, moral action in accordance with some form of divine plan.

Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God. Its chief meaning concerns ethical conduct. (E.g., Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:1; Psalm 1:6; Proverbs 8:20) It is used in a legal sense; while the guilty are judged, the guiltless are deemed righteous. God's faithfulness to His covenant is also a large part of His righteousness. (Nehemiah 9:7-8)
Righteousness also relates to God's role as
saviour; God is a "righteous saviour"; (Isaiah 61) and a deliverer. (Isaiah 46:12-13) The righteous are those who trust that they will be vindicated by the Lord God. (Psalm 37:12-13).

God is righteous, it says so right there. Not me. While in that definition is the word sincere, I might fall into that, but as for being upright, and just, yikes, I just don't make it.

Except for one thing. By His blood, by being chosen by Him. I'm righteous. At least in Him. In myself, I'm slime. But in Him, I'm justified, and I am in righteous, because He covers me in all His greatness. Maybe the verse coming to me wasn't about me and the way I am feeling or something I'm struggling with, maybe God just wanted to teach me something today.

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sweetest Day

I think Sweetest day is a stupid holiday. Not because I don't have a boyfriend/husband but because I think we should celebrate those we love without a stupid holiday only celebrated in Michigan.

I spent the day at Grace Centers of Hope working and protesting a bus stop. It was quite hilarious. satan is really getting on my nerves. he needs to go.

I was sad because a couple of people are no longer at the Center. One is now in jail for an act he allegedly committed after he left. One I am not sure where he is. I'm sad for both of them.

BUT! and that's a big but (you know like mine). "A" is now back in the program at the Center. She left but now she's back. With hope, hope in Jesus. I've been praying for her since she left.

Also, I heard that "H" called the Center, and hopefully will be back soon, before it's too late.

I'm thankful for a million blessings today, thankful for a lot of love today.

I fall more in love with You, Jesus, everyday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Water


Ways water helps you

1. Flush out toxins
2. Reduce your risk of heart attack
3. Help with joint and muscle pain
4. Boost your metabolic rate
5. Improve organ function
6. Keep you regular
7. Prevent headaches
8. Promote healthy skin
9. Regulate body temperature
10. Get energized and improve alertness

From article: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/gabbyguide/5374/the-no-brainer-way-to-cut-calories
Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink

Protection


I like to feel protected. I like to protect. Must be an animal instinct. Anyone messes with Phyllis or someone I love, you know you're going to get hurt. THere are leaders who drive Phyllis and they always make sure she has her seatbelt on. Apparently they don't want to answer to me. Ha!

I've always had a fascination with the Mob or Mafia. I think it's amazing how everyone takes care of each other. You know we have a Metro Posse. Mess with one of us, one mention in an email, a phone call, or on the blog, you're done for. And if you are really a big jerk, we'll pray for you unceasingly (which we are for some) so that you'll stop being a big jerk.

I also dated once a guy who was "Security" like a hired bodyguard for high ranking officials. I have never felt so safe in all my life. He was big and strong, and I never worried about sitting with my back to the door, he always had an eye on everything. Taught me a lot.

I started watching this show last night Detroit SWAT on A&E. I thought it was going to be this great show about the Detroit SWAT team taking down the "bad guys". I thought it would show some inside stuff that I would find interesting. After three misses of trying to apprehend the bad guys after really good leads, I fell asleep. Yikes, does Detroit need any more bad publicity. Here's the thing, they are smart guys, there is more stuff that goes on that you don't even want to know happens. And I would venture to guess that those guys (the ones who aren't corrupt) work really hard, take down more people than we know of, and we're safer for it. I am going to watch the show again, I'm curious to see if it gets better. And the guys are hot :)

I am going to pray extra today for those men and women in the Armed Forces and those who keep us safe at home today. Thank God for them, evil would really run rampant without them.

Psalm 40:11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One track mind

Yesterday, I had a retreating "episode". Shew, I was uneasy. I can't put my finger on it, but I was waiting to get a hug from my boy Elijah (who was being a pesky boy and wouldn't give me one until I took the book away from him, HA! then he gave me one) and someone tapped me on the shoulder (to give me a hug) and I nearly jumped right out of my own skin.

Even the one who seems to soothe my soul in my most anxious moments, one who can send me a scripture when I need it and he doesn't even know i need it, couldn't help.

I am an anxious person, I always have been. In case of fire, follow me, because I probably have two or three maybe even seven escape routes in case of any kind of danger. I should have been a girl scout (but I don't like camping). I often wish I was a "go with the flow-er" but I'm not, and we all can't be.

The soothing came eventually, above soother gave me a scripture. One that made me go "mmm..." God works in him like crazy. Even broke out the NKJV bible. (sometimes I am just amazed at how many versions of the bible I have because I never owned one for most of my life, now I even carry one in my purse).

Acts 20:22-24 22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,[b] so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Later we read more, we read Psalm 102 because after all, it's not about me... which I also needed to be reminded of...

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD,
And let my cry come to You.
2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.

3 For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
7 I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.

8 My enemies reproach me all day long;
Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
11 My days are like a shadow that lengthens,
And I wither away like grass.

12 But You, O LORD, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
14 For Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.
15 So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD,
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
16 For the LORD shall build up Zion;
He shall appear in His glory.
17 He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.

18 This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.
19 For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
From heaven the LORD viewed the earth,
20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To release those appointed to death,
21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,
22 When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

23 He weakened my strength in the way;
He shortened my days.
24 I said, “O my God,
Do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 They will perish, but You will endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will change them,
And they will be changed.
27 But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end.
28 The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”

My one track mind needs to be running toward Jesus

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Children

After thinking about my post from earlier today, I thought about love. And you know sometimes when I talk about being selfish, I am really talking about myself. I know, it's SO hard to believe.

But really, I have been blessed with crazy love. I'm not always good at communicating it, or showing it but my heart overflows with love. It's not always "out there" but the reason my prayer list is so long is because I love those on it. Even if I never met them.

I remember hearing for the first time that Arlene needed prayer, I don't know how but God put this HUGE love on my heart for her. Or after seeing Sara one time do Problems and Promises, He gave me this huge love for her, and trust, boy, do I trust her! And I love her mom, too, who really is my mom too.

It's wierd, I can love you even though I've never met you. You can be a 1000 miles away but only in distance because in love, you're right here. I think about the kids in our Youth Group, I think about the kids in my old Youth Group, and even though I give them a really hard time (because I want them to be all they can be) I love them so much.

I think about how much I love Phyllis. I would kick anyone's butt who hurt her. And that's really quite an understatement because even the little boys who she has crushes on, I want to pound them when they hurt her. You probably have some idea.

Remember that one jerk who posted that I must be fat because my arm was so huge, well, I am not sure if I love or even like him, but I said my butt is as big as my heart. Lord, if that were true, I think I would have to rent every seat on an airplane to fly because my heart really is that big, even when I'm being a jerk.

I was watching the Fall Out Boy video this morning with Phyllis and it had the Invisible Children on it and I've seen the DVD before, and my heart breaks. I love those kids, and I've never even seen them on anything but a video. My motherly instinct wants me to grab them all up, bring them home, hug and feed them! Alive & Fuel would really grow then :)

I think all that love I have, that's why I volunteer. I wonder if the people at GCH know how much I love them, even the ones I don't talk to. I wonder if they know how I pray for them, and when they relapse, I cry and cry, and pray and pray, and sometimes even go searching for them.
I know where all that love comes from. One place. Heaven. Did you ever see in the sky when it's sunny and there are clouds, I think that's my Fuel line, I think that on those days, God is sending His love down via sun rays to give us a fill up. I think that in every smile shown, every hug given, that's another way we get more love, and in return we give more love. it's like going to different gas stations for your car :) or eating all the different food groups, including chocolate, and coneys, and greek salad, and maybe even oatmeal.

There is one thing I want you to remember. Always love. If you love, you'll never regret it. Love your family, love your friends, love strangers, love Jesus.

1 Corin 13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


I want a love...


It's no secret that I want to be married, though after seeing some of the stuff in my office, I wonder why. The big joke is that I am going to marry Chris Tomlin, go on tour as a Woman of Faith Speaker, and he will lead worship, and Dean will play bass for him. How cool would that be? Chances are pretty slim, but you never know what God can do :)

But seriously, I want a love that when you look at it, can only be pointed to one thing... God. I want a great story. Like I met him at church, we served together, and fell in love. We found love in a place of God. Or that I met him volunteering, a way that only God could have lead us together. Or something silly like that. Meeting in a bar is not going to happen, because I don't go to bars, and most white knights don't hang out at bars because there is no where for them to park their horse.

I know that marriage is hard work. But I also know that its something ordained by God. I think the hardest part is that we (people in general) are very selfish. I still can't figure out why God gave us that quality... but there must be a reason, some day, I'm asking Him.

Besides... besides all that love, I want someone to take out the garbage. I hate that chore!

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. (Especially if its me :) )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pulling back

I can feel myself. I can feel myself pulling back. Retreating. Not for any reason. Except the need to. I have this horrid habit, when I am hurt or uneasy (and sometimes both) I climb into the shell. I think, contemplate what's going on around me, and what am going to do (or not do).

I also don't trust easily, and the more people come towards me (especially if it's a lot of people in a small time frame) I will pull back, and assess a situation. I don't trust that easily, although there are two people who are in my life right now that I trust completely. I assure you, you can trust me, but sometimes I am not so sure about you. :) You may know a lot about me, because I do put a lot of stuff "out there" but there is always something that is held back.

Lately I have felt like I needed protection, and so I've been pulling back, and most won't even notice, the smile will still be there, but if you pay close attention, I'll be a little quieter than usual, and I probably won't smile much, almost as though I am preoccupied. Before, I would turn to darkness. Where I would dwell to find the answers I needed wasn't always a good place. But this time, it's different, and the retreat has been guided. As though to say, "come this way, I will protect you". Where I'm retreating, it's Light. The words and guidance are loving. And the pulling away was not my intention, the feeling was strong, and I didn't really get it, until yesterday when the words of David came loud and clear, in a text message.

Psalm 25:4-5
4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;

5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.


I feel like God is placing a hedge of protection around me, and I didn't even really feel like I needed it, but I must have. He's telling me to turst and listen. And trust doesn't come easy for me, even trusting God. Oh, I sound like a jerk. But at least I'm an honest jerk, and I know God has it all.. And I've got to listen, and I talk a lot, so listening doesn't come easy either, so I might need duct tape.

I don't know exaclty what's going on, but I'm releasing control to the One who has it all.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”- Psalm 19:14

Also, the picture from last Friday, I made it into an 8X10 and it will be hanging in my house.




All Creatures - Crowder

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
Thou silver moon with softer gleam
Oh, praise Him!
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

Friday, October 12, 2007

ramblings of today

Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation

Yesterday I went to Nashville, one day, had to work, the only thing I got to see in Nashville was the inside of a plant, a Target, and a Joann Fabrics. Seems like kind of a waste, huh?

Except for one thing, those are the only worldly things I got to see. I saw the most beautiful shades of green I've ever seen set against the bluest of blue skies. It was beautiful. The kind of day when you can not only feel that God loves you but you can see it in His painted majesties. Checking out the 'colors' of fall means we have to start somewhere, and yesterday I started with green.

***
Someone from my old church died this week, I think Monday, but her memorial is Sunday. She was 47, went in on a Thursday, got scanned found out she had brain and lung cancer. Died on Monday after having a seizure. She left behind two beautiful daughters who just lost their dad in 2004. Please keep Jenny and Michelle in your prayers. Pray for those beautiful girls and those who loved Joann.

With this loss, it reminds me how important it is to take care of ourselves, when I could have used the excuse that I was traveling yesterday and ate whatever my heart desired, I stayed on track, and I am doing flex not core. I didn't even use my allowed extra points.
***
I don't know if you paid any attention to the picture but that's Phyllis. she took the picture herself. Yikes, it gives me tears in my eyes. Please understand, the only reason my daughter turned out all right (and it's still early) is that God has had a hand in her life. I feel like that picture a lot. I find it amazing that she took that picture of a feeling I have everyday. I think we are more alike than I realize.

I feel like I always have my hand up to a God who never stops loving me and never stops amazing me. I know there is absolutely no way I can ever repay Him for all He does for me, but I also know there is NO WAY I am ever going to stop loving people so that they will know His love too.

Isaiah 40:25-26
25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Praline Pumpkin Cake

1 sprays cooking spray
15 oz canned pumpkin
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
18 1/4 oz unprepared white cake mix, 1 package
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
1/4 cup reduced-calorie margarine, melted


Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Stir pumpkin, milk, egg substitute, sugar and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl until smooth; pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and gently press it into pumpkin mixture to moisten. Sprinkle cake with pecans and then drizzle margarine evenly over top.
Bake, uncovered, until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before slicing into 16 pieces.


POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 16

Yo-Yo

No, not the greeting done by people who think they are too cool.


I am a yo-yo dieter, my weight has been up and down (mostly up) most of my life. My cousin called me yesterday, asking me where the new Taylor Weight Watchers is... I have all the connections, my dad's fiance works for WW. It's great because I can be at dinner "how many points is this?"



I did well over the summer, I lost about 20 pounds. My clothes were getting too big... Were. Now, I need to get back to it. I'm not going to go to meetings at this point (at least not this week) just tracking my food.



My cousin called me, almost like a wake up call. Get it back together. Stop stopping at McDonald's for breakfast, and running in for double cheeseburger because you haven't planned accordingly.



So... that means I need to start planning, I need to learn to say no to things I should eat. I am back on core. Started today. Packed my lunch. I feel better when I eat better, I don't know why I get away from it.



We have a busy life but it means that I need to plan. I need to say I'll do it now so I don't have to do it later. I'm going to start slow. Get my eating habits under control, then exercise. The holidays are coming and I need to have good eating habits so that when there are days of "eating bad" they are well balanced with days of eating like I'm supposed to.



I found this recipe, looks pretty yummy!! Add it to my recipe blog.



“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:20-21

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All I'm sayin'

I've learned a few things in my old age(ha!) mostly because I have made the same mistake over and over...

I don't argue about Jesus. I just don't. I don't think that Jesus would look down and be cheering "woo-hooo, round one goes to Margie". Ask me a question, if I know the answer I'll tell you. Ask me what I believe, again, I'll tell you. But I don't argue, debate, or fight about Jesus.

No good can come of it. Today, someone argued (tried to) my belief in predestination or lack there of (not telling you what I believe unless you ask). I apparently didn't have the same belief or, lack there of, as her.

I told her I wasn't going to discuss it with her. And she continued! Finally, I turned away and she walked away. Thank God.

If you are arguing or discussing loudly, I don't believe you are asking or trying to teach with the right spirit. And you should, as Jessie Brown says, "stop being a jerk, and pray".

My first job

My first "job" wasn't anywhere really interesting, I happened to come about it in an odd way.

When I grew up we always had a boat, Margie Lou II (20 ft runabout), Margie Lou III (aka the Barbie Boat, 22 ft Bayliner, it was yellow), Margie Lou IV (31 ft Chris Craft, burnt in the fire), Margie Lou V (33 ft Chris Craft until I was 16). "Growing up" in a marina sure can show you some very odd things in life.

I've dealt with more drunk people than I can ever imagine. There was this one couple that always had people in from all over, Len worked for Ford and had someone in from England in and Len was known as Captain Quervo (Quervo is tequila for those of you sheltered people). So what does that tell you? I once drove them to get more because they were too drunk to drive and it was either that or they drove themselves. I probably saved a lot of lives that night.

We had pig roast, clam roast, and pot lucks usually about two times a summer. It was a lot of fun, we were like a big family. Everyone knew me. I had one of those buster brown hair cuts, it was straight brown, I ran around in a blue life jacket for a long time because that way if I fell in I'd be safe. Only fell in twice, both times my dad was right there.

So... all these people... I was usually the most responsible one around (even when I was 7!) we were having one of the marina's famous parties, I don't remember which one, but we were all sitting there and Mr. Knucklehead and Mrs. Knucklehead had this little blond haired, blue-eyed boy about 18 months, can't remember his name. He was precious and he liked eating that Ambrosia stuff, but not the red cherries (I have no idea why I remember that stuff), since I was the most responsible one around, I kind of just took care of him, then his mom, brilliant as she was, decided she didn't think it was a good idea for a 10 year old to take care of him, and she dropped him! On his noggin'. Yeah... so my first job was to take care of that precious angel to make sure he didn't have a concussion (I don't know why we didn't take him to the hospital, I was 10).

Thus beginning my career as a babysitter (I got a TON of babysitting jobs after that) and God carving the path of my work with children.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend

I spent way too much time inside this weekend, but I spent so much time doing things I love I could not have asked for a better weekend.

We went out on the boat for dinner on Friday, last trip of the season. Went to Blocks to pick up a few things.

Saturday I needed to decide what to make for Arlene and Barry. So... I started planning out a few things, and before you knew it, my oven was going, tons of pots on the stove... it was nuts! I loved it!! Split a cake between Mac & Arlene & Barry.

I had to run into Walgreens, my cashier was this guy with this unbelievable mohawk. If I liked mohawk's I would have loved this guys hair! Nice guy though, "invite him to Metro". WHAT?! He's going to think I'm nuts, but I did. First I asked him how old he was, Axis age... I then asked him if he was a Christian. He said "I hate religion". Then I totally shocked him... "ME TOO!!... but I love Jesus." He looked at me like I just ate a bug in his presence. We talked for a little while, I told him to "just check it out". Why does that kind of crazy stuff happen to me? Hopefully he shows up... And then God shows up BIG in his heart :)

Satan was poking at me yesterday, I sucker punched him though... he's down for a minute but I think he'll be back, I'll have to give him the old one-two again... jerk...

Went to Michaels with Phyllis. Some cashier made the mistake of giving us a hard time. Big mistake. The thing is that I didn't ask her to do anything that was illegal, or immoral, or even fattening, but she just didn't want to provide good customer service. Which was a mistake because she ended up doing what I wanted... and she was frustrated, and Phyllis was happy. She needs to eat a bug.

Then... my evening at Alive was, as always, amazing. God shows up there big time. All the time. I don't think the kids know how much I love them, but I do! I prayed for hearts all over the place to be healed!!

I was walking out to Katie's car to put some food in it and a couple of parents stopped me and asked me "what this is all about?" Metro or Alive? both... so I gave them the run down, what we believe, all that good stuff. And then they said it... we used to go to _____. Then I totally called them out "why don't you go to church anymore?" People. Yeah, they ruin it for everyone (ha!), but you should come check out Metro on Sunday and I happened (one of the benefits to leading First 5) to have a program in my bible (that I was carrying) and hopefully God whispers quietly in their ear to come, and if not to Metro, somewhere where they can here His word.

I don't know about you, but doesn't it seem like God is showing up big, everywhere, and I'm thankful to be a part of it.

“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.”- Isaiah 43:11-12 (this was biblegateway.com verse of the day, how amazing is that!)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Submission

Yesterday I was sitting talking to 'J' (not Pastor J but somebody else). They have a relative that is a heroine addict. They are shocked, the most ironic thing is that they were surprised it was heroine not 'just pot' (I have seen 'pot' destroy just as many lives as heroine or crack). Most of us are addicted to something, admit it already, it makes giving it up that much easier, because you must first admit you have a problem. J also knew someone who died from alcoholism. I don't know if that's a real cause of death, but it was a war that waged on. They tried to get over their addiction but alas, they didn't.

There is one thing I struggle most in my walk. It's one thing that just doesn't seem to go away. I fight it EVERYDAY! everyday. It's not something illegal, but I don't measure my sin against someone elses. Sin is sin. The commandments weren't ranked in order, people just find a way to justify their own sin, and sinful nature.

This person thinks the only way that their family member will kick this addiction is to be locked up. This was so hard for me to hear. Because what happens when life returns to normal? Somehow we need to learn a way that we will always be plagued with addiction(satan) but we need to find the way to say no, every time. The yoke of addiction is sometimes more than we can bear, and while it may subside for awhile, it never really goes away until we pick up a new yoke. But no matter what our spirit subsides to, we must submit. I think it's much harder to be an addicted than it is to be a Christ follower.

Matthew 11:28-30 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Love


I asked someone "What is the greatest thing about you, and why?"
Some people answer something about the way they look.

So, since I asked them, I asked myself, "What is the greatest thing about you, and why?"

I love big. That's the greatest thing about me. Even before I was saved, I loved big, but I had issues so I had a hard time forgiving, but once held tight (and hugging back) in the arms of God, my love got even bigger. And forgiveness got easier.

Then... I was listening to a song by Nichole Nordeman, Legacy. What's your legacy, Margie?

Here's the words (I wish I could Youtube it, but you'll have to do that yourself)

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such 'n such...it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an "Atta boy" or "Atta girl"
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
the temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well done" good and faithful one

If you knew me 5-10 years ago, my legacy was that I could kick your butt, take your name (not give it back) and maybe even eat your lunch. I could be so mean! And now, I wonder, for all those I left in the aftermath, if I could change their perception. I wish I could let them see The Light I live in. I wish they could feel God's love through me.

I think loving is so much better. I am so much happier, though I still have 'my' days, 'my' days are less and less, and those lived in 'Christ' days are more and more. It's not about what I get, though my prayers seem to be answered, big ones and even small ones like Diet Pepsi and ice cream when I turn corners after just saying "I really would like..." I wonder why people don't see the blessings I get and want to live a life in Christ. Sure, it may seem like I give a lot of my time to others but honestly, I feel like I get more blessings than I give.

Pastor J once said in a sermon that if we are living in the will of God, hell itself can't stop us. I've repeated that more times I can tell you. Pastor Clark last night said "some things, most things don't matter but living by the Word of God, is the most important thing, and if we don't we're in a heap of trouble". Can I get an 'Amen'?

James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

So... at the end of the day, I hope my legacy is that I love. I hope that when you (and others) think of me you see the legacy I live isn't about me, I hope it points high and bright to The Light I live in, the one given to me by a God who loves me more than I deserve, it's The Light of Christ.

Duet 11:13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul-

P.S. If you look up the word 'love' in biblegateway it's mentioned 697 times.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hugs


HUG
1. To clasp or hold closely, especially in the arms, as in affection; embrace.
2. To hold steadfastly to; cherish: He still hugs his outmoded beliefs.
3. To stay close to: a sailboat hugging the shore.
v.intr.
To embrace or cling together closely.
n.
1. A close, affectionate embrace.
2. A crushing embrace

Sara says I am hard hugging. I will admit that I am. When I hug you, you better know that there's love in it. Rarely, very rarely do I do one of those hugs where you tap someone lightly. The only time I do that is if I am uncomfortable or I feel like the person coming towards me for embrace is not appropiate. to give you an example is not possible, I just know it when it happens. Sometimes I am forced to give a side-ways hug because of position and usually I crush shoulder blades together.

I have a friend, that when he hugs you it's like you can feel God hugging you, it's safe, and warm, and loving. it's like the greatest feeling ever. I also have another friend who I would hug a lot more but too many people I think are watching, and they make it into something inappropiate, and it's not.

That's the thing, perception bugs me. People have no idea what's in or on my heart. They think (and that's their problem, sometimes people just aren't that good at thinking) that there must be something inappropiate going on, when truly it's all on the up and up. So, I think I've just decided... I don't care what people think, I'm hugging!!


Hug O' War
by Shel Silverstein

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

Proverbs 4:7-9 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, [a] get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gifts


Sara's post, well, actually the scripture she chose (or was chosen for her depending on your perspective) makes me laugh sometimes.

You know sometimes I wish i had different gifts. I would love to be able to touch the kids' hearts like Adam does, or lead worship like Nate, Katie, John, Jimmy, Jim. I wish, I wish...

Alas, I got the "mom" gifts. On Sunday's I show up to Alive with food. 2 weeks ago it was Chicken Pot Pie, salad, fruit, & broccoli. Last week it was some spaghetti concoction & apple crisp. And i try to have a dish full for Adam & Katie to bring home for their busy weeks. Someday I hope to own my own resturaunt. I want to name it something about sheep. Because Katie says she always thinks of me and that verse "feed my sheep".

I love to cook. I love to make something that will nourish our bodies and our souls. One day we were cooking (ok, I was watching) ribs at Grace Centers of Hope and Keith and I were talking and the most important ingredient you can ever cook with? Love. Sometimes I think it's that extra care that we put in that makes it tastes extra good. I can cook. And as some say, I can burn. it's some expression. But I can, I can cook. I love to, been doing it for a long time. There isn't a gift I enjoy passing on more than cooking.

John 21:16-17 16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

Homecoming

Thought I would post some pictures from Phyl's homecoming!! it's funny that is the name of it, even though it has nothing to do with the football game, I feel like that's what it was, a homecoming. A homecoming after what seems to be a lifetime of hurt, but that's the great thing about God, among the millions of things He is, He is a Healer, the ultimate Healer.



Amanda doing Phyllis's Hair (thank you Amanda!)




Phyllis and Ava!


Snack Wrap anyone?




Monday, October 01, 2007

Treasures


We're doing the PAIN series at Alive for the next 4 weeks I think. I am always amazed, though I'm not sure why, at Adam. He's great, he relates these topics so well to the kids, and his heart is in it, in big ways.

I normally sit in the back, I pray for the kids but rarely, do I ever go up there. I like it that way, they probably like it that way too, but yesterday, I had to tell them how much God loved them. I know they are in pain, some of it is self-inflicted by the choices they make to drink, do drugs, have sex, and various other things, but sometimes we don't realize what treasures we have in our children.

Children are pure gifts from God, they are not something that is an inconvenience, someone to hand something to keep them occupied, they are a true blessing to remind us how much God loves us. PC says we can experience a little heaven on the way to heaven, and children are God's way of giving us just that.

Mark 9:36-37 36He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."