27 September 2007

Headed to the House of MOUSE!

*** Just wanted to give everyone a heads' up that I will not be posting for the next week or so... After 2 REALLY hard years for my family, Clay and I are taking the girls to DISNEY WORLD for a family vacation! We are all so excited. It has been 7 years since we were last there...

If you've never been to Disney World, I have to tell you, it is NOT over-rated. It is worth every penny (and it's a lot of pennies!). Did you know you can start paying for your trip up to (correction) a year and a half in advance???
We started paying for our trip back in February and paid a little every month through Disney's payment plan -- no credit card required! Now, our trip is paid in full -- including our meals -- and all we have to take is spending money. :)
I will post lots of pics & stuff when we get back (and fully recover), but until then, pray for us -- for a safe journey, good weather, and GREAT fun & family togetherness. We are all SO ready for this vacation!***

26 September 2007

Attitude Adjustment

Ok, so I like to stir the pot a bit... I do; I admit it.
But I like to make people THINK.

Recently, a good friend of mine posted something on his/her blog that caused quite a stir.
It was (essentially) about legalism within the church.
Now, I have listened to both sides of the debate and I have another perspective to offer:
It's all fine and good to stand firm about your beliefs regarding drinking, smoking, dancing, etc. and I *do* agree that LEADERSHIP in the church should be held to a higher standard (that, in and of itself, may be a double standard, but oh well), but I wonder how many people get their knickers in a knot about the *obvious* things, while completely disregarding WAY more offensive words/actions by so-called Christians.

This post is NOT a response to my friend's blog, but rather, a response to something I read online yesterday:

"I don't reject your Christ; I love your Christ.
It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mahatma Ghandi

I don't know if Ghandi actually said that, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's true.
Isn't that sad?
I wanted to cry when I read this and REALLY thought about it... I know SO many "good" Christians who have said and done things to me and in front of me that I thought, "Wow; what if I were not already saved???"

And please don't misunderstand me; I shudder to think of all the offenses I have committed, oblivious to their impact on those around me!

So, while I think it IS good for us to debate aspects of legalism and its place in the Church, I would like for us to think about this... Have I ever said or done any of the following that may have caused someone to think I am not like Christ?

Have you ever:

  • Told a racist joke or made a racist comment?
  • Made a sexist remark?
  • Treated someone who was unattractive or overweight like they are somehow inferior to you?
  • Treated someone who is not popular/well-liked like they are unimportant?
  • Lorded your position of authority over someone as though you achieved it by inherent gift & not by grace?
  • Acted as though you don't have the time of day to listen to someone in need because they are not "important enough?"
  • Treated someone as beneath you just because they don't dress like you, look like you, or live like you?

When I talk to those who are not Christians (and who claim they never want to be), they do not point to legalism as their reasons for shunning the church. They point to the attitudes and behavior of the so-called Christians in the church:
People who speak one thing, but do another.

God, help me to never offend another human being against your offer of salvation -- by ANYTHING that I say or do.

22 September 2007


9 AM Start @ The Highland Campus!

Wow! Today was absolutely incredible! I have never seen anything like it & I am SO PROUD to be a part of something so awesome... Today was HPC's 1st (annual?) SERVOLUTION. Basically, about 600 volunteers of all ages -- and all in RED SERVE SHIRTS -- took to the streets of Baton Rouge to show God's love for the people. There were teams of people giving out water, free car washes, home repairs, trash/litter pick-up, and SO much more! There were red shirts all over this RED STICK town! Carole and I went down to the inner city for the HUGE block party near Gus Young Park. We had an amazing turn-out. There was free food (hamburgers, hot dogs, and Popeye's Fried Chicken), games (basketball, slip-n-slide, jump rope, space walks) and more...Healing Place Church sent out our Mobile Medical Clinic and our Mobile Dental Clinic to do FREE blood pressure checks and glucose screenings. Free teeth cleaning was available for all children. We pampered the ladies with complimentary hand massages and manicures while the kids got their faces painted and were given books to take home. Everyone received a bag of groceries at the end of the day.
This was a truly awesome experience and I'm glad I got to take part! Check out my pictures from SERVOLUTION 2007!:

Girls + Nail Polish = FUN! *** Our Manicure Table!

Nadia as manicurist... & Face Painting for everyone!

Carole and Liz getting some GOOD FOOD!
& HPC Mobile Medical and Mobile Dental Clinics

Water games for the kids! *** Can you say, "Double Dutch?"

You know what?

The world needs a SERVOLUTION!

20 September 2007


Servolution is in TWO DAYS!!

This is a city-wide outreach that Healing Place Church is doing to try to make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time. All day Saturday, the city of Baton Rouge will see our
serving the people -- ALL PEOPLE -- in various capacities.
There will be water give-aways (and since it's STILL in the 90's here, that's a VERY GOOD thing),
car washes, block parties, home repairs, school repairs, all kinds of outreach to show the city of Baton Rouge how much we love them, and more importantly, how much God loves them!
It's not too late to sign up if you want to be involved... Just click on the banner above or below:

15 September 2007


Up to 80% of strippers were raped or sexually abused as CHILDREN.

Up to 60% of exotic dancers suffer from severe depression and other psychiatric disorders.

ONE IN FOUR (!!!!) children becomes a victim of sexual abuse (isolated or repetitive) before their 18th birthday.

The average age of a beginner prostitute is between 14 and 16 years of age and fully 42% of all prostitutes begin hooking before the age of 18.

Up to 95% of prostitutes have been raped or sexually abused AS A CHILD.

Every time you see a pornographic photo of a woman, every time you watch an exotic dancer perform, every time you pass a hooker on the street or in a hotel... You are looking at someone's LITTLE GIRL.

NO little girl dreams of growing up to be a stripper.
NO young girl aspires to become a prostitute.

This is someone's DAUGHTER.
A LITTLE GIRL who, at some point in her life, was violated physically and/or emotionally.
She is not an OBJECT or an ILLUSION.
She is someone's daughter or mother or sister.

Last night, for the first time, I participated in HPC's MIDNIGHT OUTREACH.
We left around 9:30 pm and hit various bars & strip clubs around the greater metro area. We gave the working girls roses and other gifts and we gave the bouncers/owners/managers chocolate.
This is NOT what you may think.
We do NOT go out to preach to these girls. We do not criticize; we do not chastise; we do not look down on them... We don't tell them they could do better or that they need to come to church or that what they are doing is wrong.
Because they already know that.
Our SOLE PURPOSE is to tell these girls (and guys!) that God loves them -- that WE love them -- right now, right where they are.
They do not need to DO anything or BE anything more than they already are to receive this love.
And what they are is a precious CHILD of God who is hurting more than you or I could ever know.

Not too long ago, I asked God to break my heart for the things that break His.
I think He has answered me.
My heart ached last night for those ladies I saw. As I looked into their eyes, I could sense an unspeakable desperation. Some eyes appeared vacant -- a telling sign of the drugs that kept them going. Some would not look me in the eyes at all.
One girl stopped dancing and leaned down to thank me and as I looked into her eyes, I thought, "Dear God, she can't be more than 16 or 17 years old! This is somebody's child!"

But they are all children.
And my heart is broken.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
-- lyrics from HOSANNA by Hillsong

10 September 2007

Speaking the Truth

Have you ever noticed that there is a direct correlation between a person's willingness to accept Truth and that person's proximity to Truth?
What I mean is, people are *usually* only willing to believe what is COMFORTABLE for them to believe...

If I live a self-serving, self-gratifying existence, then it is convenient for me to believe that the tangible world is simply an illusion.

If I believe that my actions truly have no effect on anyone but myself, then it is logical for me to insist that sin does not exist and all evil is an illusion that must be conquered by the mind.

If I believe that Jesus was "just a man" who died and that God is just a big brain in the sky with no intimate connection, whatsoever, with man then it is imperative that I not believe in a literal hell or a final judgment.

The sad thing is, so many people DO believe this way.

My own religious sensibilities were assaulted this past weekend by someone whom I feel is not being fully honest because they are not comfortable with the truth. It's not a question of study or intellect. It's a question of discernment.
Is it possible for someone to study their religion -- almost incessantly -- without truly discerning the truth (or lack thereof) within their beliefs?

This person will likely never read this blog, but I feel compelled to ask the following questions anyway:

If satan and hell and literal sin do not exist, then from *what* exactly do we need salvation? What would be the purpose of Christ's dying for my sins if sin and evil are simply an illusion?

If Jesus was not the son of God in the literal sense of the word, then how could he be the "Lamb of God," -- the literal sacrifice in the traditional sense -- an atonement for our iniquities? If He was "just a man" acting as a manifestation of God's Son -- embodied with the *spirit* of Christ, then how could He know of suffering and pain? Without knowing this firsthand, his sacrifice becomes superficial -- and not really a sacrifice at all.
This perspective is seriously disturbing to me.

How can someone read the scriptures as though with a penknife, cutting away that which does not "fit" within the comforts of their perspective while at the same time taking other sections as literal, inspired words of God? How can you "pick and choose" what you will believe from the scriptures and not call yourself a hypocrite? Either you choose to believe the Bible is the word of God -- divinely inspired -- or you don't.

You can't say, "Well, I will accept verses a, b, and c, but e through k do not apply to me."

I'm sorry if this post is too *heavy* or disturbing for you, but I felt the need to write it out. The discussion from 2 days ago has been weighing heavily on me.

Yes, I honestly think that people often believe only what is comfortable for them to believe, and that -- in and of itself -- is a dangerous truth.

08 September 2007

Blogger Syndrome

Yep. I have it.
My good friend, Carole, over at Wardrobe & the White Tree warned me about this... EVERYTHING I do... EVERYTHING I see... I think about how I can blog about it. This is really sad. I am seeing everything through the eyes of a blogger and Carole is very sympathetic.

The thing is: Carole actually WRITES
about the things she is thinking. I have been so busy this week that I have put off writing at all! I had all these wonderful ideas and thoughts and EPIPHANIES... and then I get busy trying to catch up on laundry or get my eBay stuff listed or playing Runescape (oops; did I just admit that???) that I never get around to actually writing what it is I'm thinking about... *sigh* It's the consummate irony: the writer who never takes time to write.
It has been exactly 3 weeks since I worked on my book and that is unforgivable.

I type all this to say: I am *thinking* about writing WAY more than you are actually seeing here. As if that is relevant at all. I really do have lots to say, but unless you develop the ability to do a Vulcan mind-meld, you may never hear it.

I'm truly sorry.

04 September 2007

Ebay Mom Writes Best Auction EVER!

Have you seen this???
This lady -- a mom of 6 kids -- wrote this ebay auction and it is absolutely hilarious!
Check it out here: "Pokemon Cards My Kids Tried To Sneak Past Me"

Oh, man could I sympathize and I only have 3! Once, though, I had my friend Shawn's 4 kids with me (along with my own 3) when I went to the store and you should have seen the looks. And I was asked that question 3 times in our 30 minute shopping trip!!!
"Wow, are all of those yours?"

This beleaguered mom has hit the big-time and she's receiving media attention from all over due to the popularity of her auction. She also has a blog and I have saved it to my favorites. You can check it out in my side column or here:

03 September 2007

Serving @ St. Francisville Campus!

Yesterday (9/2/07), my Elevate team served at the St. Francisville campus of Healing Place Church. We had to be there for 7:50 am and St. Francisville is an hour from Baton Rouge, so it was an early start.

You know, I have a whole new respect for those guys at San Fran Church because yesterday we witnessed (and helped with!) what they do each and EVERY Sunday morning... Because the church is currently meeting in a local school, set up and breakdown is rather extensive. The "sanctuary" takes place in a basketball gym, but when set up is done, you almost forget you're in a gym. :)
It took us a good almost 2 hours to get everything set up and ready -- from putting out the chairs, hanging curtains, moving furniture, etc. And that doesn't even include setting up the stage with all of the instruments and sound equipment! Then, it's another 1-1.5 hours to tear it all back down...
Here are just a few pics from yesterday to give you a *small* idea of the task required. My hat is off to those dedicated servants who so freely give of their time and strength to go through this EVERY WEEK:

When it's all set up and ready...

Ready to work... AFTER we've had our coffee!
(Carlene, Dottie, Tony, & Carole)

Renee and Laura: Ready to SERVE!


When service is over, it's time to tear it all down...

Almost finished!

Who knew Orlando Bloom went to HPC???!!

Putting away the instruments & sound equipment

Closing the doors to the stage...

Trying to make it all fit!

Believe it or not... it's ALL going to go in here!!!