29 September 2008

Rant/NOT Over!!

Not to be a bummer, but: Really frustrating day in the media...

Ok, so I could kinda-sorta believe the whole China excuse about the melamine in the baby formula to increase the "appearance" of protein (not ethical, but believable).
But explain to me the reason one would need to put melamine in CHOCOLATE???
And is Cadbury just stupid, or what?
Did they learn nothing from all of LAST YEAR'S fiascos?
Read more HERE
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac WAKE UP CALL!
A good friend sent me this link from YouTube.
I was groaning after the first 3 minutes. You have GOT to be kidding me!
This guy (the regulator) was warning us of EVERYTHING that has happened in the past month!
Why would nobody listen???
Have you seen THIS?
And then there were THREE.
Where & how is this going to end?
Good to know my future is in the hands of the One, True God.
If I didn't remember that, I'd be freaking out right about now.

That said, I think I'm good on the whole news thing for a while.
Maybe I'll take a week-long hiatus (or two).

27 September 2008

It's Saturday?? Wake Me Up on Monday

This week has been a BLUR.
I don't think I've sat down to relax more than 20 minutes in the past 5 days.

I've already told you about the miracle of Monday night (the jean capris fit!), but what you don't know is that the miracles continue...
On Thursday morning -- the morning of the day when I would start my life group -- I stepped on the scale for the first time in over a month.
I thought I was a tad over 50 pounds lost -- maybe 51 or 52... but I never dreamed of the number I would see!
I stepped on the scale and quickly stepped back off.
I checked to make sure nothing was interfering with the scale's springs or balances; I calibrated the scale and stepped on again.
It was right the first time.
I have lost 60 pounds since February!!!

Sixty pounds -- on the nose -- since I first began this obedient mission.
Sixty pounds of undeserved grace from an incredibly loving God.

But that's not all.
My life group began Thursday night and I had 17 women show up to hear the message I had for them! Indeed, 4 others were supposed to attend, too, but had something keep them from coming at the last minute.
What a great start to this endeavor!

This morning, I co-hosted a rather large baby shower for a dear friend of mine who is due in the next couple of weeks.
We are believing God for a miracle for her baby. Please be praying for her (Kristi) -- that the birth of this baby would prove the doctors wrong & that this baby would be a living testimony for God's goodness and mercy.

It's been an exhausting week, but I am SO happy and content.
I think I'll take a nap now... maybe until Monday.

24 September 2008

Amazing, Undeserved Grace

"Lord, I don't deserve this."
His reply: Nobody does.

Those are the thoughts that have filled my head this week -- this unbelievably glorious week of GRACE.

Ok, so Monday night was the return of
Healing Place Women for the fall semester.

Thanks to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, it was delayed for several weeks.
On Monday, they interviewed 10 of us onstage about our life groups that are starting THIS WEEK.
If you have been keeping up with my blog, you already know about mine.

Well, for several days the enemy was messing with me, saying: "You still have so far to go; what makes you think you can teach those ladies anything?"
It's true; I AM still on this journey.

Sure, I have lost (at least) 50 pounds since February, but I still have a ways to go til I get to my goal. And yes, I have had successful weight loss attempts before, but this time is different.

This time, I'm under God's authority and power -- not my own, limited, human power -- and I just KNOW that I will succeed.
That doesn't mean that I don't have my moments of doubt!
Goodness knows that when you have battled a weight issue for more than 25 years, it does some SERIOUS work on you, psychologically.
But God knows all that and He understands and He keeps picking me up and cheering me on.

Monday afternoon, I was kind of stressing; what will I wear tonight onstage???
I had bought these REALLY cute black denim pants and top the week before but they were really tight when I bought them. I put them away and vowed to wear them to our Women's Conference in October.
Well, Monday afternoon -- after a full day of discouraging thoughts -- I saw those jean capris sitting in my closet and a little voice (no, not literally -- don't send for Haldol just yet!), a little voice said, "Try them on."

Now, LOGICALLY, I knew -- KNEW -- they could not possibly fit me already. It had only been 5 days since I purchased them!
But I did it anyway.
They fit.
And they fit WELL!
And this is a size I have not worn in NINE YEARS.
Yeah, baby!

That was totally a gift from God -- completely undeserved.
But then again, EVERY gift we receive is undeserved and His grace is all we need.

19 September 2008

Desert Song -- Hillsong

Read the words & listen to this awesome song!
Very fitting for a lot of people right now...

Hillsong - Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame


And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand


All of my life, In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

17 September 2008

HP Women & My Life Group

Are you ready, Girls???

NEXT Monday
-- September 22nd --
Healing Place Women starts back up for Fall!

And guess what?
They are going to do a panel, interviewing all of the Life Group leaders so that we can tell a little about our groups & invite women to sign up!

In case you missed it, I will be starting a life group on Sept. 25th:

God's Healing From Obesity and Food Addiction

("Inside Out" for short)

Basically, it's a Christian weight-loss support group, but it's not just that.
I believe it is a revelation from God that I can't wait to share with other women who have struggled as I have.
This is NOT another diet or weight loss trick or gimmick.

This is YOUR ticket to freedom!

This group is for any woman who has struggled for a significant length of time trying to lose a significant amount of weight
OR who has struggled with some form of
eating disorder.

This is not for someone who merely gained an extra 15 pounds on vacation
or who just needs to "trim up" before the holidays.

I'm calling all women who have felt the pain of this struggle, who have been
at wits' end with frustration,
and who are desperately seeking a permanent answer from God.

I hope you will join us next Monday night
and cheer me on.

Seriously, I need your prayers right now.

15 September 2008

How 'Bout Some GOOD NEWS?...

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!

14 September 2008

Define Normalcy...

Things are MUCH better here in Baton Rouge; it seems like, FINALLY, things are returning to normal.
Well, somewhat normal.
There is still a lot of damage to be seen and I know people who STILL do not have power (tomorrow will be 2 weeks w/o). And there are several stoplights that continue to serve as 4-way stops. But things could be so much worse.

We are praying for our fellow Louisianans down in the southwest parishes... Extensive damage and flooding there. And our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Texas as they try to recover from Ike's path of destruction.

Even people in Arkansas and Illinois felt the sting from Gustav & Ike's furious spin! Power outages and localized flooding in places that have never flooded before!

But here, sitting in my home staring out at the rain (thank you, cold front!), I feel so UTTERLY BLESSED. I can hardly stop smiling.
In part, because Pastor Dino gave the most AWESOME message today about going thru the "valleys" of life.
Yes, we just went through a BIG valley, but we will not camp out in this valley or allow our trials here to make us bitter or angry. Instead, we have come through stronger and closer to God.

So, just to lighten the mood a bit, I'm re-posting here part of a hilarious email I received this week. C'mon, everybody can use a good laugh, so enjoy:

HURRICANE GUSTAV: Lessons Learned During and After the Storm...

No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.
Vienna sausages only appear on the food pyramid during hurricane season.
Lovebugs do NOT disappear in 90 mph wind.
Disasters can cancel one LSU Football game, but there will be even more casualties if we have to cancel two.
Cats are even more irritating without power.
Most popular text message after Sept. 1: Do u hve pwr?
Coffee, Spaghetti, biscuits and frozen pizza can be made on a grill.
Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 30 generators!
He who has the biggest generator wins!

12 September 2008

Not *Too* Worried... =/

Emotions are raw here in Baton Rouge.
You can see the weary, mildly-panicked look in every eye.

Sure, we will be fine. We are not even in the "cone" of Hurricane Ike's path.
Even so, our wounds are fresh and no one is taking any chances.

Right now, we are under a tropical storm wind warning.
No big deal... except it is.
I don't know if many people here can handle another power outage so soon.
My dear friend, Carole, JUST got power back YESTERDAY.
That's 11 -- ELEVEN -- days without power.
Another friend still does not have power.

Yes, we will be fine.
Tomorrow is another day and in a couple of days, life will (hopefully) go back to normal.
But we have hardly had time to recover from Gustav while keeping a wary eye on this coming, monstrous storm.
And it is monstrous!
Despite not being in the cone, New Orleans has been hammered by wind and sea surge.
Our friends in Metarie have already lost power.
Gas lines in Baton Rouge started yesterday afternoon.
Grocery lines were long & ice was being stockpiled in every available freezer.

Nah, we're not *too* worried.
Even if we aren't fully recovered from last week's storm.
The spirit of this city is very strong -- a little tired & war-torn -- but strong, nonetheless.

God bless the people of Galveston and Houston, Texas.

11 September 2008

BRDC Gustav Relief Effort

Went to the Baton Rouge Dream Center today and helped out with the relief effort there. We boxed up hundreds (?) of lunches and then did a "drive-thru" give-away:

Each person in each car got one boxed lunch, and each car received a box of canned foods, and a case of bottled water. We did this for 2 hours and the cars just kept coming!
It was pretty amazing.

I'm very tired and my back hurts from lifting boxes of canned goods, but it felt GREAT to be back at the heart of what HPC is all about:
"To Be a Healing Place for a Hurting World"
I truly belong to the greatest church on earth!

Here are a couple of pics from today:

The roof at Winbourne sustained some heavy damage. The energy folks were trying to finally restore power to our outreach church/facility.

Passing out lunch to hundreds of cars! It was hot,
but there was a great breeze a la Hurricane Ike

See link in post below for pics I took in the days following Gustav's landfall. But please know that these don't even tell HALF the story of the damage that was done to our city.

Just A FEW Pictures -- Post GUSTAV

Kodak Easy Share Gallery, CLICK HERE: Hurricane Gustav Aftermath

09 September 2008


We arrived home late last night to a very tidy house and a bouquet of BEAUTIFUL flowers (thanks Turners!!).
It's SO good to sleep in my own bed again and flip a switch and have a light come on.
It's amazing how much we take for granted.

Today is going to be crazy busy; I need to get all my laundry washed, folded, and put away and finish cleaning up some of the messier rooms in my house (projects begun before Hurricane Gustav). I need to go buy groceries and dog food and cat food, and pay bills and pick up dry cleaning.

Today will not be much fun, but I'm not complaining because at least it's NORMALCY -- something so many here in Baton Rouge are still waiting for.

MANY people continue to be without power here; I think the last official estimate I heard was 45% of East Baton Rouge Parish was still without power.
Considering that's down from 98% just one week ago, I'd say the power companies are doing a fantastic job. The task is just too great.

Please be praying for those who still do not have power or food or fuel.
I know how crazy we were getting after just 4 days of sleeping in this deep south heat and humidity; I can't imagine 8+ days!

I promise to update more later when I get caught up on things here.
THANKS SO MUCH to all of you who were praying for us & are continuing to pray for us.
I will get pictures uploaded and posted either today or tomorrow...

02 September 2008


I don't know why blogger puts that background behind posts made from my iPhone. Trying to fix it now that I have internet connection again...

Subject: Updates from Baton Rouge

I hope this goes thru... For those of u who aren't already, u can monitor what is going on with us here by reading my Twitter updates to the right (see my sidebar to the right)

If u have unlimited texts, u can "follow" me on Twitter & updates will come right 2 ur phone. Of course u will get some other "chatter" too as I talk 2 my other Twit-friends here in EBR.
Ok, that's about it for now; PLEASE be praying that we get our power back on soon; it's not fun sitting in a hot, dark, sweaty house -- especially 4 the kids. Much love, Summer

Sent from my iPhone

01 September 2008

Still Here =)

Mimicks Spongebob narrarator: "Twelve Hours Lateh..."

We still have power! Whoohoo!

Prayers have definitely been answered here; Gustav hit us as a high-Category-2 (110 mph) -- That's only 5 mph below a Category 3, but still, WAY, WAY better than the Category 5 they were predicting at this time yesterday!
So far, so good here.

Everything has either been brought inside or is tied down outside.
Our dogs quickly and gladly came inside the garage to get out of the storm.
Our cat, on the other hand, decided to go to a "hurricane party" (or something) somewhere last night.
We tried 3 or 4 times to call him in, but he never showed up.

This morning, as soon as I opened the door, he ran in bawling angry. He was soaked! And quite miffed, I must say.
Serves him right; next time maybe he'll take this a little a more seriously. ;>)

I stayed up until 1 am watching the weather reports and checking the online radars, but finally I could not hold my eyes open any longer.
If possible, I will update more later.
Thanks for all your prayers!