29 July 2008


If you have 15 minutes to spare, you need to get somewhere alone and watch these.
The power of these 2 videos is beyond human comprehension.
We all need to be healed of something.
And nothing is impossible...

First watch this: (story behind the song)

Then watch this:

27 July 2008

Not Just Fruity -- FRUIT-FULL

On a more positive note... ;>)

This morning, I had the privilege of hearing Tyler Tullos (our Jr. High pastor) speak at the noon service (wait -- that would be afternoon, right?). Now, I have heard Tyler speak in bits and pieces over the years and he is always witty and lively and interesting, but this is the first time I've heard him actually PREACH.

Can I just say, it was so awesome!!!

I came away from today's service so blessed and motivated; I truly wish I had thought to get a copy of the message.

Tyler gave the last message in the ONE PRAYER series and the prayer that he gave was:
In a nutshell, the message was about the difference between being "busy" and being "full."

We can look at the things in our life as OBLIGATIONS
or we can look at them as OPPORTUNITIES.

I loved his analogy of sitting in traffic:

Hey, this IS Baton Rouge, after all, so you can't go anywhere
without sitting in traffic.

You can get all agitated and frustrated or
you can hang up the cell phone and talk to your kids.

It's all a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

Hmmm... seems to be a recurring theme on this blog.

You see, when we try to operate in our own power and strength (weak!),
we will fail or end up frustrated, or worse:
we will achieve our goals
but at a cost we never intended.

When we sow into Christ and HIS power and strength,

we will find that everything we do can bring glory to the kingdom of God.

We just need to "grow" in 3 specific areas:

to the lemons life deals us. Not to be a Pollyanna here,
but that whole "make lemonade" idea is pretty sweet. (pun intended)

2) WORDS (Papaya) -- The words we use
-- IN ANY AND EVERY situation --
should be positive and edifying,
whether directed toward others, at things, or ourselves.

(Betcha can't say "papaya" without smiling!)

3) ACTIONS (pineapple - the "ninja fruit") --
Our actions should reflect our inner attitudes
and these, of course, should bring glory to God.
God doesn't want us to be "busy;" He wants us to be FULL.

Finally (yes people, I'm wrapping it up), Tyler said:

When you DO become full in Christ, all you need to do is GIVE IT AWAY.
You do this by being Jesus to others around you.

And you know what?

When you give it away, you are making room on your "tree"
for more fruit in your life!

How cool is that?

Thanks for the awesome message, Pastor Tyler!

24 July 2008

We Cry Out

Where do I begin?

How do you blog about everyday life when you feel like you are bleeding on the inside?
When someone has hurt you -- cut you so deep -- and they don't even care?

These are my thoughts over the past week.

Someone who I love and care about has hurt me... not only me, but my husband and my children as well. And the irony is, they think they are "justified" in doing it.

They are so wound up in their own hatred, and resentment, and bitterness that they cannot see the miracles before their very eyes. They focus only on the negative.
They are choosing misery and that makes me very sad.

The "old me" would have lashed out at them, read them the riot act, told them exactly where they could get off...
The old me was full of so much anger and offense, myself, I would have readily engaged in this twisted dance of drama and attention-seeking behavior.

It truly is a cyclical sickness... offense feeding off of offense, producing more offense.

But that's no longer "me."

I find it most remarkable that in our most stretching moments, God truly does show up and reveal to us the changes He has made -- the changes we have allowed Him to make -- in our lives.
I have been so blessed in my life.
My marriage, while not perfect (what marriage is??), is rock-solid. We are so much closer now than we were when we first said, "I do" almost 19 years ago.
My children are healthy and happy, beautiful and so smart, I am constantly amazed by them!
I have been given this vision for my life and I am working so hard to make it a reality and God has been faithful to me every step of the way.
Faithfulness I don't even deserve.

So, yes, I'm crying on the inside.
And daily, I cry out for God to take this situation and use it for His purpose.

I'm no fool.
I know that the enemy loves to use distractions such as this to keep us from seeing the blessings right before our eyes, and more importantly, to keep us from doing the things we ought.
And I also know that to give in to that distraction is to become full of anger and resentment and bitterness, myself.
This is something I refuse to do.

All I can do now is continue to pray for those who hate me and pray that, even in this, God has something amazing for me.
Please pray for me.

16 July 2008

Bittersweet Anniversary

I've been home for nearly a week, but I have been reluctant to post.

This past Sunday (July 13th) was an anniversary of sorts for me. If you want to read the whole story, you can read this post that I wrote last fall.

The "short version" is that while out walking with my family on the night of July 13th, 2005, I was hit and run over (literally) by a drunk driver (he was probably on drugs, too, from what we know about him). He took off after hitting me and thus began nearly 2 long years of pain, anger, and frustration. For me, it was a personal battle that slipped into an angry depression. I gained weight and became very irritable. Nothing made me happy -- not even the miracle that none of us were seriously injured.

I could end the story there and say that this "anniversary" only brings pain, but that simply isn't true. You see, God took something that was awful -- in SO many ways -- and used it for deeper healing in me and greater glory for Him.

One day, while wallowing in my misery and self-pity, I felt a distinct tug at my heart.
It was as if God was saying, "Hey! You have a choice here. You can either choose to remain angry and bitter and hostile or you can choose ME (Him). You can't have it both ways and I can't use you this way."

No, I did not hear an audible voice, but the message I "heard," was loud and clear.
And the choice was unmistakable.
Needless to say (obviously), I chose Him.
The change did not come easily and it didn't happen overnight, but when I look back now, the change in myself is profound.

God has honored my faithfulness to Him with blessings beyond anything I could have ever imagined. He has shown me a promise for my future and I have felt His presence in my life in many different ways. I am SO much healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than I EVER was before or after the "accident."

So how can I possibly look on this anniversary with anything less than gratitude and hope?
Who knows?
Maybe someday I will even begin to celebrate July 13th as a birthday of sorts: at any rate, a RE-birth of my personal faith in Christ.

07 July 2008

You Can't Ever Go Home

No matter how hard you try.

I'm still in Arkansas visiting family and checking out all the old hangouts. So much has changed, but nothing really has.

I went to my Alma Mater (UCA) and as I strolled beneath the enormous oaks seeking any shade I could find, I almost felt like I was back in grad school... that is, until my middle daughter started grumbling about the heat and "When are we going to leeeavvve???"

I went by Pizza Inn on Oak Street, where I worked for almost 2 years and, in fact, where I met my husband, Clay.
But my former boss Rusty is no longer there (he's at Church's Chicken right down the road!) and the pizza just doesn't taste the same. Checking my blood-sugar and giving myself a shot before I indulge kind of ruins the ambiance, too.

Went by and saw Rusty so he could meet my daughters... he looks great, but the thought intrusively occurred to me that Nadia's not so much younger now than I was when I first went to work. Suddenly, I feel so old!

Spent a day with my high school boyfriend and his wife (how weird is that!) and found that she and I could be best friends if we lived closer. Such a great, Christian couple; I feel blessed to know them!

And as I drove past my old high school, the old neighborhood, and all the places I once called, "home," I realized that it wasn't so much the town that had changed, but rather, I was the one who had changed.
I may resemble the girl I once was; I may even gravitate toward the same locales.
But that girl is no longer.
Inside, I'm not even remotely the same.

The first time I stepped into a strip club,
The first time I held the hand of a homeless mother or prayed with a woman at wit's end,
Every time I hand out a bag of groceries or help a young mother "shop" for clothing at the Dream Center...

All these things have changed me from the inside, out.
Maybe my old friends and family can't see it, but I know it's there and no matter how often I visit, this will never be HOME again.

04 July 2008

***** Happy Independence Day! *****

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday weekend!