Thimble Thoughts: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Moon River

Although Hannah enjoys playing the piano, she doesn't like to play for people. So I had to sneak this video. She's playing Moon River by memory from a song book that came with my piano. Even when she plays for her daddy he has to turn his eyes away from her. And if people are talking and laughing she's fine. But if everyone gets quiet to listen, she loses her concentration.

We'll be going to another youth conference this weekend at Brother Tony Hutson's church. Last year, this meeting began a revival in our young people and we have seen over fourteen of them saved this year. We are looking forward to this trip and the meetings we will be attending while we're there.


Pray for safe travels and that the Lord will continue working in hearts. Pray for us, the adults, to be sensative to the Holy Spirit and attentive to the needs of the young people.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dinner, Shopping, and Planting

Testing is going pretty good so far. I have to say, I was a little worried about Harrison, this being his first year of testing and all, but he actually did very good today. I got worried this morning, though, because I haven't looked at the tests, except to make sure they sent me the correct ones, since they arrived a couple of weeks ago. I discovered this morning that they did not send me the examiner's manual for Harrison's test. So I had to call them and make sure they got that in the mail ASAP. We were able, however, to do a couple of tests without it. Lord willing, that manual will be here this week.
Justin went to a friend's house to play instruments for a few hours. He always has a good time doing that. While he was gone, Harrison, Hannah, and I met mom and dad at a little ice cream shop called Swoogers. They have a 50's theme there with 45's along the wall. Harrison said, "Look at all these discs on the wall!
Swoogers has a spaghetti meal on Tuesday nights that daddy likes to partake of. We were still full from a late lunch so while mom and dad ate supper, the kids and I snacked on ice cream and sodas.
When we left Swoogers, the kids and I stopped and found Hannah this cute top, white denim skirt, and necklace. She loves green and she loves polka dots, so she liked this one right off.
When we got home, Hannah started planting flowers in the flower bed. She planted some around the mailbox yesterday and tomorrow she'll be planting more somewhere else. I don't know where, but I'm sure they'll be lovely. Can't wait to see them "take off" for summer.

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Youth Choir, He Came All The Way

This is one of my favorite youth choir songs. Crystal and Mark sing the verses on this song and do a fantastic job of it.

Deep Thought

Maybe in order to understand Mankind, we
have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it's
made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind." What do these words
mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Youth Choir, I Just Stopped By

I told you that our youth choir went to sing at a youth meeting Saturday. Here's LeAnna singing I Just Stopped By with the Sons of Faith and the choir backing her.

Because North Carolina requires us to test our children, we will be testing this week. So I won't be posting much, except maybe some videos of the youth choir and something from Deep Thoughts.

Deep Thoughts

If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em
go, because, man, they're gone!

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Amazing Story! You Must Read It!

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University .
On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant, who stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter's legs, and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Update, with Happymama

I have had a very good weekend. My sweetheart came home from the fishing trip Saturday afternoon just as I was picking the kids up from bus church. Hannah and I raced to get to him so we could hug and kiss him. I won.

When we were all home again, Bruce pulled out a bag of goodies he had brought home for all of us. He brought Harrison a "special" pen, a game for Justin, a brush and ring for Hannah and he brought me back a beautiful bracelet, ring, thimble, nativity, and two books called Deep Thoughts. Hoorah! We love it when daddy brings back surprises.

When Bruce had unpacked and showered, we left to have dinner at Shomars. One of our friends was having a birthday and several families got together to eat there in celebration. I like Shomars gyro dinner which is made up of seasoned lamb and beef, lettuce, tomato, and onion on pita bread. They are really good. And I love the cucumber sauce that goes on it. Mmmm, now I'm hungry for a gyro!

Our family was going back to the church to catch the bus because our youth choir was going to sing at a Youth Conference about an hour or so away. Brother Fletcher was preaching that conference. His sermon was on the jigsaw puzzle of life and how we need to keep Jesus as the corner piece of our jigsaw. And we don't need to try to make pieces fit together. We need to let Jesus put in the right pieces so that when He has completed us, our jigsaw shows a beautiful journey. It was a good sermon.

I taught Sunday school this morning for my mother who wasn't quite ready to climb steps yet. I taught on King Darius and Daniel. I was pacing back and forth like King Darius and told the children that he was wringing his hands and pacing back and forth, worried about Daniel all night long. I asked them, "Why do you think King Darius was so worried and upset?" Cole said, "Because he signed that stupid law." Everytime I teach that class I get tickled. OH! Kellie, you're going to LOVE this....Benjamin was taking up the offering for the class today and as he approached each child, they were penniless. Absolutelly penniless. I said, "Benjamin, I forgot to ask Brother Bruce for some money for offering." He said, "That's OK, do you have tip money?" I said, "What?" He answered, "Do you have tip money? Like when you go out to eat? Tip money?" I did manage to pull out a dollar in change. That made him very happy. And then he ended up asking Gracie if she had a bank card. HILARIOUS!!!!! Funny stuff from this class, I tell ya. OH, and mom, a few of them saw you in the "big room" as they called it...the sanctuary...and were waiting for you to come up and teach them. They missed you.

After our afternoon nap I woke up with a very bad sore throat again and the right side of my neck was sore. My ear was beginning to hurt too. I would like for this sickness to go away and stay away. I'm sick of being sick!

Brother Bradley and I were able to sing My Friend and I tonight while Mrs. Anna played the piano for us. She did such a fantastic job. Her fingers effortlessly flow across the keys. Very beautiful. I'll admit that as much as I wanted to sing that song, I was kind of hoping Pastor wouldn't call on us because of my throat, but he did and it turned out all right.

Since Christians are boycotting McDonald's now, we were asked to tag along to Dairy Queen, which is apparently the new hot spot for after church on Sunday nights. An ice cream was EXACTLY what I needed for my throat. And boy did it feel good!

I hope you a good weekend also. I'll leave you with a thought from one of the books Bruce bought me...

To me, it's a good idea to always carry
two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if
anybody says, "Hey, can you give me a hand?" you can say, "Sorry, got these

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Men's Fishing Trip

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shots, Snakes, Flowers, and Lunch

My mother needed a nerve blocking shot early Friday morning. Since daddy would be having dialysis during her procedure and she had to have someone there to drive her home, the kids and I spent the night so I could drive her home. As you can see, the sun was just beginning to rise. Mommy was not looking forward to this shot. It didn't take long, but it was going in her spine, so she was a little nervous about it.

She had to fill out her paper work and we noticed that by the marital status, there were these letters: M S D W X
Now, I know that M is for married, S is for single, D is for divorced, W is for widowed, but what is X? We've never seen that before. Anybody know?

They took her to a little room to prep her.....lovely cap, mom.

This was Rebecca, her nurse. She was so sweet. She had one of those soft voices that lets you know she's a gentle and nice person...

...just before she sticks ya! Eww and OW!

They took her away and the next time I saw her she was resting in the "loopy chair."

I got her home and settled with an ice pack on her back and she rested pretty good. Later in the afternoon she came walking down the hall without her cane. Which, if you know mom personally, you know she has to have it. She still had quite a limp, but she was smiling as she walked down the hall. So we're praying that was a good sign the shot was good.

Justin had gone outside to clean their carport and found this lovely dearie hiding in the water hose. He had started cleaning their carport a couple weeks ago and later that evening we ended up killing a baby snake. We thought maybe he had stirred up a nest while he was cleaning and didn't know it. Then he found this bigger one cleaning again yesterday. You know, looking at them doesn't scare me, but watching their tongue flick gives me the heebie-geebies. I do not like that. No one ever did kill it and when we finally got around to killing it, it was gone. We're pretty sure we know where he/she went, but don't know for sure. We'll just have to keep an eye out for it.

Hannah and Harrison planted flowers around daddy's flag pole while he supervised.

It was pretty hot outside and when I brought their drinks out, I was asking Hannah how the planting was going. She said it was going great. I asked her what Paw Paw was doing and she said, "Oh, well, he's just laying around." LOL

You know Bruce takes me out to lunch every Friday. But since he was gone on the fishing trip, my sweet son took me in his dad's place. We ate at the Mountain View Restaurant. It was so good and we had a great time laughing and talking together. Isn't he sweet?

When I got home, I was supposed to go scrapbook with some other ladies whose husbands were on the fishing trip, but I was too tired and wanted to stay home. Not to mention two of the ladies backed out. So Pam and her kids came over here. We ended up not scrapbooking. I just wanted to sit on my couch and do nothing. And that's exactly what I did. They ended up spending the night and this morning Pam took our kids to bus ministry. I thought my parents were going to need me today, but turns out they didn't. Daddy went out to breakfast with my brother John and his son, Michael. And mom was fine. So now I'm going to finish cleaning my house, run some personal errands, and get ready for my husband to return home and a youth meeting we'll be attending tonight.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Together With My Fellow Hens

I was going to go to lunch with Mrs. Janet Wednesday, but since my sweetie pie was leaving on the men's trip this Thursday morning, I wanted to spend my time with him. Mrs. Janet said she understood and we would go Thursday afternoon. So we did. She LOVES the Olive Garden and when she decides to head toward Gastonia, that's where we end up. I've said it before that Olive Garden is not my first choice of restaurants, but I do love their Black Tie Mousse Cake. good!

Amy went too. I don't think she'll mind me saying this since she's already announced it at church, but she and her husband, Brian, are expecting their second child. YAY!! We're all so happy for them. Go to her blog and tell her congratulations.

Pamela also went. She was babysitting Carissa while Amanda had a check up from surgery. Carissa cracked us all up. She's such a funny little kid.

And don't forget me! I was there too.

We had a great lunch and a LOT of laughs. Thanks, Mrs. Janet, it was fun!


Gone Fishin'

He's gone fishing
with the men from church
He'll catch some sting ray
and maybe some Perch
He has been gone
two hours, only
but I miss him already
and feeling quite lonely
He'll have a good time
fellowshiping with friends
while I get together with
my fellow hens
We'll scrapbook and work
and we'll meet for lunch
I'll think of my Brucey
the whole time I munch
I hope he has fun
on this fishing trip
and while catching big fish
he keeps his grip
Brother Johnny will stay
on the pier all day
while some of the men
nap and play
They'll go somewhere nice
for steak and ribs
For the biggest steak,
they'll all call dibs
Have fun, honey
You know I'll miss you
If you go deep sea fishing,
don't use the outrigger canoe!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Family...Which Role Is Yours?

*How the family began ~ Genesis 2:18-25 "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field: but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of the ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." God saw it was not good for the MAN to be alone. So He created the woman, crafting her only the way God can, from man himself. There were all of these animals that God had given Adam to name and don't you think Adam must have looked at the animals and noticed that they each had mates? And don't you think he wondered why he didn't have a mate? He was most likely a lonely man. Come to think of it, he was the loneliest man on earth! And this is when the first recorded surgery took place. God put Adam in a deep sleep, opened him up for a rib, and closed him back up. VOILA! A woman! Women were created FOR man, FROM man, to be a help meet TO man.

*Three Essentials for a Christian Home ~ Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 "Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as a frontlets before thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on they gates." We should love God as a family together. Love Him with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, and ALL of our might. If we don't love Him with ALL that we have, our family is setting itself up for failure in our Christian walk. How do we instill that love for God in our children? Verse six says we are to DILIGENTLY teach and talk to them when we sit in the house, lie down, and rise up. Our children have enough worldly influence around them without parents placing it in front of them. Teaching them to love God is an ALL day process. It's not just taking them to church on Sunday and maybe Wednesday if it's convenient. It is an all day process.

*The Role of the Wife ~ I Peter 3:1-6 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." Subjection...the most hated word by women, in the English dictionary. It is our nature not to want to be told what to do. When we think of subjection that is the first thing that comes to mind. But subjection is more attitude than action. I can obey my husband, but if I do it with a contrite spirit, I am not in subjection. (by the way, if you're not my husband, I don't have to obey you, so don't even bother. Unless of course, God has given you some other authority over me. i.e...Pastor, etc.) It is important for Christian women to have a sweet spirit of subjection because men watch us. Yep, that's right. They watch us! They are creatures driven by sight. We know this and that's why it is important to dress right, giving them no cause to stumble into lust. But they watch our conduct and attitude too. If we have Christian friends with unsaved husbands, these husbands need to see that meek and quiet spirit from us. They need to see it in their own wife so that the Word of God, through our subjection can be seen and prayerfully win that lost husband to Christ. Our outward appearance of whether or not we look just right is important, but that shouldn't be the focus. Verse five says that the HOLY WOMEN adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husband. Just before that, it says they trusted God. Why is it important to trust God when being in subjection? Because there is a chain of command instituted by God. When we follow that chain of command and are obedient to what God has laid out before us, He will keep His word! We may not understand or agree with the situation, but just obey in subjection and God will bless it.

*The Role of the Husband ~ Colossians 3:19 "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." Husbands are to love their wives. I kind of feel weird talking about this one because I know men read my blog and I don't want to sound like I am usurping authority over the man, so you of the male persuasion, feel free to skip this one! But ladies, our husbands are commanded to love us. That's it! They are not here to rear our children, cook our meals, rub our feet, etc. If your husband does these things on his own, that is WONDERFUL and KUDOS for him!! He is putting his love into action by doing these things and that is just great! But if he's doing these things because you're a nag and won't stay off his back, go back to The Role of the Wife again and take note of the "meek and quiet spirit." Your husband may let you nag for a while, but that nagging is building up inside of even the most patient man like a tea kettle over a fire and eventually, he's going to blow his steam and whistle his dislike to that nagging. We were placed here for HIM, not him here for US! Oh dear, I should probably close comments on this, shouldn't I?

*The Role of the Children ~ Proverbs 1:8 "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" Children, your role in the family is very important also. You're not just the kid. When you follow your parents rule, you WILL be blessed! Even if your have unsaved parents or parents not living for the Lord, you can be a witness through your obedience. You could be a tool in turning that parent back to God or an instrument in leading them to the Lord. Just through obeying! And if you have godly parents, think of how much of a blessing you will be to them by your obedience.

*The Role of the Parent ~ Ephesians 6:4 "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Earlier I mentioned that our children are surrounded by worldly influence. It is so important for us, as Christian parents, to stay focused on the Spiritual things. It is our job (both mom and dad) to see to it that our children are being brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What is "nurture and admonition"? We hear these words at every baby dedication, on Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc, but what do they mean? Nurture means to feed and protect. But it also means to bring up, train, and educate. So we are to train and educate our children in the things of the Lord. It is not solely up to our Pastor, Youth Pastors, etc. They help in that area, yes, but it is OUR job as parents to see they are being spiritually educated. Admonition means we are to counsel, advise, caution, and render reproof. No where in the Bible does it say we are to be friends with our children. We are to train them. There will come a day when they are all grown up and on their own and then they will make good friends. But now, we are their authority figures. NOW is the time to educate them in spiritual matters. Right now, they are CHILDREN! That's why God gave them PARENTS. It is our responsibility to guide them. If we don't, they will be a spiritual failure, but by God's grace.

*The Prescription for Rearing Children ~ Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The prescription for rearing children is not difficult. I've heard people say many times that babies don't come with instructions. Well, yes, they do. It's called the Holy Bible! If you are not sure your child is on the right path, read the instructions for a re-route!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bless Our Hearts

My babies are so sick, bless their hearts. All of them are suffering with this virus going around. Stuffy head and congestion. They're so miserable!

Justin is actually doing much better than he was this time last week. Although his throat is still very sore. He's been spraying it with Chloraseptic, but it hasn't helped. Bless his heart.

Hannah never cries about anything and she never complains. But yesterday she had all she could take and told me her ears were hurting and really needed to see a doctor. Sure 'nuff, she has an ear infection. The doctor said it was a pretty nasty one too. Bless her heart.

I came through the house this morning and Harrison was sitting on the couch with rosy cheeks and glassy eyes. He was running a fever and crying with his ear. I made sure he had his bath and helped him get ready and we went back to the doctor. He was able to see his favorite doctor (Silkstone) and you guessed it...ear infection! He just got over one a couple of weeks ago, but I kinda figured he would get another one since he had all that sinus stuff going on. It was just a matter of time. *sigh* Bless his heart.

I think Bruce's back is getting a little better. He hasn't said much about it the last couple of days. Of course, we've both been worried about the children. So maybe that's why. I'll have to ask him about that when he gests home tonight. Bless his heart.

When Bruce and I got back from taking Harry to the doctor, we ate lunch and laid down for a short nap before he had to leave for work. When I woke up my own throat was sore. Oh great, I thought. Now it's my turn. So when I went to pick up Harrison's prescription I picked me up some over the counter stuff that I hope will work along with my Vitamin C and Echinacea. Bless my heart.

So we're all sick here, and it doesn't look like we'll be running any marathons this week. But things could be worse than what they are and I'm thankful that they're not.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

What A Croc!

My mommy loves Crocs more than your mommy!

My mother works in a bank. With her bad knees and hips, she has come to find out that Crocs are the shoes for the working woman. She doesn't wear them just to work, however, she wears them everywhere. I've seen her wear them with her house dresses, her grocery shopping attire, her work clothes and, yes, even her EASTER dress!

Here we have her everyday walking Crocs. She wears these to work on Casual Friday. She also wears them shopping, running errands, etc.

These are her Maryjane Crocs. She wears these with some of her dressy/casual skirts.

Here we have the ultra conservative Croc. *snicker* She wears these with her nicer suits and dresses.

And last, but not least, we have her Croc sandals that are good for her spring and summer fashions.

She sunk some $$$ into plastic comfort. Some might say she's crazy, but she'll tell you, especially after a Friday at work, that it was worth every penny!

Daddy is fortunate to have one good pair of shoes that match. Here we see his dirty Hushpuppies and Nikes. Poor daddy.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Missin' My Church!

It's not often I miss church, but today I'm home with two very sick children. They were both troopers this morning, getting up when they were supposed to, but I sent them both back to bed. Hannah, because she was hacking and coughing and snorting and snotting over the trash can. Isn't that a lovely picture? And Harrison because he was running a low grade fever with cough and congestion.

My children have been fighting with this cold virus or their allergies for a couple of weeks now. Justin missed last Sunday morning because of pink eye brought on by his allergies. When we came home from church, Bruce took him to the doctor. The last several times they've needed to go to a doctor, it's been on a Saturday or Sunday. I'm thankful our Pediatrician's office is open on weekends. I always get the feeling the office staff is judging me, though, seeing that I AM a homeschool mother and can bring my children at any time during the week. You know how that goes. But to be perfectly honest, peeps, I don't take my kids to the doctor at the first sign of sniffles. I'll treat them at home first and then if it persists or worsens, we'll go. Anywho, we're home today with no plans of going to the doctor.
Where was I going with all of this? Oh yeah, just to say I'm home with them today and missin' my church!! Bruce will most likely be home with them tonight if they're not feeling any better.

Speaking of Bruce, he's been suffering with back issues going on two weeks now. He's pulled a muscle or something in his very lower back. Bless his heart, he stiffens up and finds it difficult to move after resting for any period of time. But he doesn't complain....much....and he's like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps going and going and going....

I worked in bus ministry yesterday. I haven't been down there in a while and it was fun. I worked in the kitchen and ran an errand with Kelly T for Mrs. Janet. We bought several things for the bus ministry and then Kelly had gone back into the store for more spaghetti sauce to make some meals for people in our church who have had surgery recently. Somehow we both ended up losing our receipts that Mrs. Janet needs for keeping the books. I don't know how. At least four of the regular bus workers were out for different reasons, and our blue and white bus broke down. But praise the Lord, several children were saved. The devil likes to throw in chaos when he thinks he might lose a soul to Christ. Let's see, I believe the score at bus ministry yesterday was

I really hate missing church. It just doesn't feel right knowing it's Sunday and I'm not in my place to serve and worship. Do you feel that way? I've never understood how people can let other things get in the way of going to the Lord's house. They use their children as an excuse, or family get-togethers, or work, or whatever. It's always something. I mean I know there are rare instances when things happen beyond our control, but when you're out of church as much as you're in church, or even out more than you're in, it's time to examine and figure out what it is in your life that is keeping you from desiring to be in God's house. Trust me, I know it's hard. What worries me are the Christians out there who know where they should be and want to be where they should be, but allow little things to get in the way. And you know, as long as the devil knows what will keep them out, he will continue to throw those things at them. You just have to get up and go! Don't worry about the kids having sniffles, or if your mama's gonna be mad that you're late for dinner because your church services let out later than other's. Don't worry about that over time because the car payment is due. God will take care of it! He is always faithful to us, but He is even more faithful when we put our trust in Him to take care of the little things. They seem big to us, but they're very small to Him. I couldn't help but think of this old song I heard YEARS ago:
By the Kingsmen Quartet
Excuses, excuses, you'll hear them every day.
And the Devil he'll supply them, if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.
In the summer it's too hot. And, in the winter, it's too cold.
In the spring time when the weather's just right, you find some place else to go.
Well, it's up to the mountains or down to the beach or to visit some old friend.
Or, to just stay home and kinda relax and hope that some of the kin folks will start dropping in.
Well, the church benches are too hard. And, that choir sings way too loud. Boy, you know how nervous you get when you're sitting in a great big crowd.

The doctor told you, "Now, you better watch them crowds. They'll set you back."
But, you go to that old ball game because you say "it helps you to relax."
Well, a headache Sunday morning and a backache Sunday night.
But by worktime Monday morning, you're feeling quite alright.
While one of the children has a cold, "Pneumonia, do you suppose?"
Why the whole family had to stay home, just to blow that poor kid's nose.
Excuses, excuses, you'll hear them every day.
And the Devil he'll supply them if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.
Well, the preacher he's too young. And, maybe he's too old.
The sermons they're not hard enough. And, maybe they're too bold.
His voice is much too quiet-like. Sometimes he gets too loud.
He needs to have more dignity. Or, else he's way too proud.
Well, the sermons they're too long. And, maybe they're too short.
He ought to preach the word with dignity instead of "stomp and snort."
Well, that preacher we've got must be "the world's most stuck up man."
Well, one of the lady's told me the other day, "Well, he didn't even shake my hand."
Excuses, excuses, you'll hear them every day.
And the Devil he'll supply them if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Personal Requirements of Prayer

I have always been one to pray while a prayer is being said by someone else. Usually I'll be listening and be in agreement with them, or I'll be praying about the same things at the same time and other things that come to my heart and mind at the time. You probably do that too. But once in a while, I'll just listen to someone's prayer. I remember when Bruce and I started going to Faith, we struggled with knowing for sure that this was where God wanted us. It took a long time for us to join, even though after the first visit we couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Then 9-11 happened and that Wednesday night Pastor Goodman had a special alter call before prayer service. I will never forget gathering around that alter with God's people and as I finished praying, I just listened to all the men of God raising their cries to the Lord. But I also remember hearing a prayer coming from the platform that sounded muffled and anguished. I looked up and saw my Pastor flat down on the platform with his body completely stretched out and his face on the carpet. I had never seen anyone pray like that before. I had never heard anyone pray like that before. It blessed my heart to know that the man who would most likely become our spiritual leader was that close to the throne of God. Not perfect, mind you, just close to the throne. He was a praying man! I have GREAT respect for the man of God that KNOWS how to pray and humbles himself before the Lord, taking no pride in himself on what he says or how eloquently he says it. He's just praying and talking to God!

There are several general requirements in the Bible on how to pray, but I wanted to focus on some personal requirements of prayer mentioned in the Bible. These have helped me to stop and examine my prayer life.

*Purity of heart ~ Psalm 66:18,19 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer:" Have you ever heard something like, "The way they live their prayers won't pass the ceiling?" In other words, their life is full of sin that we all know of and see. We know God is not hearing their prayers! But you know, sometimes we have sins hidden in our hearts that keep the Lord from hearing our own prayers. On the outside we look like Christians and we act like Christians, but in our hearts there are things that hinder our relationship with the Lord. We need to let those things go and keep our hearts pure. He longs for our fellowship and it is our own fault when something hinders that.

*Believing ~ Matthew 21:22 "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." I can not tell you how many times I have prayed for something, not believing that the Lord would answer that prayer. It seemed so unreachable for me, but you know, nothing is unreachable for God. He can do ANYTHING! He created the world in six literal days, saved the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, fed Elijah by using the ravens...and my requests are too big for Him? And yet, I still have a hard time believing. Why is that? Because I bring Him to my level of humanity instead of seeing Him as the almighty God that He is. What an insult it must be when we do not believe He can answer our prayers! There's an old saying that says, "If you're going to pray for rain, carry an umbrella."

*Praying in Christ's name ~ John 14:13,14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." I have a really difficult time with those who just end their prayer with a simple "Amen." I want to ask them just who exactly are they praying to? Jesus? Buddha? Mohamed? Make yourself plain to me and to those who don't know any better. If it wasn't important for us to pray in His name, it wouldn't be in our Bibles. Can you imagine the prayers that would be answered by men of God if they would just pray in His name instead of being stubborn about it? I ask them, please show me in the Bible where we are not to pray in Christ's name. Do you not respect Him enough to do that? Do you think yourself equal to Him? Can you tell this one gets under my skin a little bit?

According to God's will ~ I John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." Prayer was always confusing to me as a child. "...ask in His name and He'll do it...ask for His will to be done." Well, what if my request for Him to do something didn't line up with His will. The two go hand in hand. When our hearts are pure, we want God's will in all things. Regardless of the outcome. If we continually seek His will, He will hear us. If we just keep pestering Him for something, even though it's painfully obvious that it is not His will, He may just go ahead and give it to us. When that happens, it always ends up being a bad thing. The Bible has many stories that end up like that. God is good all the time and we need to trust His will for everything in our lives. He sees what is ahead of us. Trust Him to lead and guide.


To See the Mommy!

With Amanda being in the hospital, some of us in the church are helping her and Brother Chris with the girls. It's been especially hard on little Carissa not being able to see her mommy.

Hannah put the tent up for them the other night and she liked that. Around 2:30 am, she started screaming for mommy. Poor thing. She was so pitiful. She woke up again Wednesday night, about the same time, but this time she only cried for a few seconds before drifting back to sleep.

Being sweet

Hannah enjoyed having the girls to mother. She's really the one that took care of them the whole time. Not because I asked her to, but because she just kind of took over tending to their needs. It was really sweet watching her "mother hen" the little ones.

Carissa LOVES Bruce and when he's home sitting on the couch, you'll find her snuggled up next to him.

And eventually, you'll find the two of them napping.

Mrs. Janet was taking these beautiful flowers to Amanda from the church today so I asked if the girls and I could tag along so they could see their mommy. Plus I knew Amanda was needing to see them too.

Amanda's sister Kaylynn and their daddy rode with us on the church van. Look at Carissa's face. She was so happy we were going to see mommy. She started singing "Driving up the road, driving up the road, Driving up the road...." LOL

Celine was ready to give her mommy a great big hug and the cookies Mrs. Tammy helped her bake when they stayed with Mrs. Tammy Monday.

The trip to Charlotte is always an experience. There are so many one way roads that it is easy to get turned around. Mrs. Pam also went with us and offered to take the GPS, but Mrs. Janet printed instructions from Map Quest so she declined. But like I said, it's very easy to get turned around there, so we ended up here.....

...and here...

...and here...

..and many other places before Mrs. Janet finally figured out where we were and we made it to the hospital. Julie and Emily were following us, poor girls! I just knew they were wondering what in the world we were doing. But come to find out, they were just as lost as we were. LOL

Look at those beautiful eyes. She can look straight into your soul, this one can.

Amanda is still on a clear liquid diet, progressing to solids little by little. They brought her lunch, which included chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Celine was happy about that, knowing that her mother does not like chocolate. So that it wouldn't go to waste, she was happy to eat it for her mommy. She told her mother a while ago referring to chocolate, "If you'll just try it and try it and try it, eventually you'll like it!"

Celine couldn't get close enough to her mommy today. She sure did enjoyed seeing Amanda, snuggling up next to her, and having serious discussions. :)

We ate lunch at the hospital cafeteria and ran an errand before heading home. Carissa was asleep before we left the first level of the hospital parking garage. Seeing her mommy put some fears to rest and she was able to sleep the long ride home.

Celine was happy to listen to my iPod on the way home. Here she is singing God Is Bigger Than the Boogie Man. She doesn't know all the words, but the words she does know, she sings. HA!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saturday Sunday School Outing

We had a Sunday school outing Saturday night. None of us are exactly young, but we are the young married class of Faith Baptist Church just the same! Half of our class couldn't make it, but the ones that did sure had a good time.

This is our Sunday school teacher, Brother Ken, and his sweet wife, Tammy.

This is Brother Chris and Amanda. Amanda is the one I requested prayer for this week because of having surgery. She's doing GREAT, by the way.

This is me enjoying my appetizer. I LOVE fried cheese.

This is my friend, Missy. She's always ready with a pose for a camera.

This is her husband, Brother Chad. Trust me...he's not always this serious.

Here's a typical look of Brother Brian.

Here's Brother Brian and Amy

Brother Chris was picking on Amanda about this being her last meal before her surgery. I'm really glad she was able to make it to this outing. I think the fellowship and laughter that was shared was good for her.

Kelly got cold and threw a napkin over her arms. The manager of the restaurant thought she had a baby. HA!

There were a LOT of people in the restaurant being sung Happy Birthday to and brought ice cream. I casually mentioned that it wasn't fair because I like ice cream too. Brother Brian took it upon himself to tell the waiters and waitresses that it was my birthday. Needless to say they THOUGHT I would be embarassed when they all came out singing and clapping. But they should have known better than that. I jumped right in on the fun, singing and clapping right along with them. And then....I ate my ice cream! Please save your birthday wishes for July. Yes, he told a falsehood!

We had a lot of laughs and a lot of funny stories to tell. You have NO idea. It was the best fun we've had with our class in a loooooooong time! And we always have fun.