Monday, June 30, 2008

Homemaking is Not a Holding Pattern

I read this today on the GirlTalk blog and thought that it was good. I'm not in this stage of life yet, but hope to be some day. But I also think that anyone can apply it to whatever stage of life they are in.
"In the midst of all this unpacking and unpacking I've
found myself thinking, "When I get through this move, then I can get back to
more important things."

This is not the first time I've succumbed to such a
faulty thinking. Throughout my career as a homemaker I've been tempted to
look past the duties of the day to the more"important", "significant", or
"exciting" work of tomorrow.

"When the baby sleeps through the night, then I can
begin to..."

"When the children are a little older I'll have more
time to..."

"When the sports season is over than I can turn my
attention to..."

"If they ever graduate from high school, then I can

But there are no holding patterns in God's
kingdom. As homemakers, we are not simply circling the skies of life,
waiting for God from His control tower to call us to real kingdom work.
No, we're doing that important work today. As Dorothy Patterson observes:
"preparation and care of the family shelter are important enough for God Himself
to assign that responsibility." (e.g. Titus 2:3-5, Pr. 31).

If God Himself has assigned me the task of caring for
my home, then I don't want to half-heartedly perform the duties of today,
reserving my best efforts for "tomorrow". Rather, I want to follow the
advice of missionary Jim Elliot: "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the
hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God." I want to
unpack boxes and scrub my new bathtub and run errands for the new home and take
my son to the soccer scrimmage for the glory of the One who saved me and who, by
His grace, called me to this wonderful work.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time That Is Left

So what's up with Mark Schultz and why does he make me cry with all of his songs?!

This song came on today and I lost it. I don't know why...I was asking myself why?!

Here are the lyrics...


What will you do with the time that's left
Will you live it with no regret?
Will they say that you loved
till your final breath?
What will you do with the time that's left?

Oh Hallelujah!
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

What will you do with the time that's past?
Oh and all the pain that seems to last?
Can you give it to Jesus and not look back?
What will you do with the time that's past?

Oh, Hallelujah!
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

What will He say when your time has come?
When He takes you into His arms of love?
With tears in His eyes will He say well done?
What will He say when your time has come?

Oh, Hallelujah!
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
(Lord be present in all my ways, help me follow You all my days oh Father God)

What will you do with the time that's left?
Will you live it all with no regret
Will they say that you loved
till your final breath?
What will you do with the time?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Maid-Rite Friday

Last night was a special occasion.
The first annual Maid-Rite Friday.
My friend Wendy (a fellow Iowan) and I got together to share in this special occasion.
We were really excited.

It was complete with Maid-Rites...Wendy goes in for the first bite...
This was supposed to be a satisfied look...but it didn't really come across that way...That's better...
My turn...this is my excited face...
uh-oh...too big of a bite...
ooo....surprisingly good....
...and satisfying...
Hilary got in on some of the action...and apparently Wendy was really excited about that too...
Don't forget the Zesties! We had fun with the Zesties! It's just fun to say Zesties!And as part of the celebration we watched Field of Dreams...that was filmed in Iowa!

We also purchased some Jolly Time Blast o' Butter since it was made in Iowa...

We also decided that since Maid-Rite Friday is a big deal it needed a fun dance. We did this everywhere we went. In the movie the parking lot of Randalls, in the aisles of our living room...
And in our kitchen...don't be scared...I know I look like a crazy person... maybe I am a crazy person...but Wendy is too...

We have also decided that Maid-Rite Friday should be a national holiday. I really think we've got something going's going to change the world. Feel free to join us wherever you are for your very own Maid-Rite Friday. The last Friday of the month. Do it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Worshiping With the Windows Down

One thing I love about not having air conditioning in my truck is driving with my windows down. I'm a huge fan of driving with the windows down.
Even though we're dealing with three digit temperatures the evenings can sometimes be "cool" with a slight breeze.
Last night I was coming home from the store and was driving down MoPac, the night sky ahead of me, the windows down, the music blaring, the wind on my face. I couldn't help but start worshiping.
I cranked the music with my hand in the air (yes...I kept one hand on the steering wheel) and just started belting out,
"I will declare the beauty of the Lord, nothing compares to the beauty of the Lord, Jesus Your love it takes my breath away, now I'm living everyday for the beauty of the Lord."
And I just kept praying that I would truly live it out. Live out my worship, live out the beauty of the Lord, live out Jesus' love, live out and declare that Jesus is LORD of ALL! Live it out in Spirit and in Truth. Completely.

Cookies & Milk

So I have this thing for chocolate chip cookies. A serious thing. And most of you know...I have a thing for milk. a serious thing.

Today at the office one of my co-workers ordered fresh baked cookies from Tiff's Treats. They delivered 2 dozen cookies and they were STILL WARM! Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter. Someone ran and got milk.

I'm talking, all I want to do is curl up and take a nap.

It was amazing! This is what Friday's should be about when you have to work!

Sara Groves

An artist that I have recently started enjoying a lot is Sara Groves. Her music and lyrics are amazing and what strikes me the most about her is her heart. She is a humble servant.
She was part of a film series called The Nomad Show, where they film people who have decided to "roam", they share their story and their cause. Here is the trailer.

Here is a music video of the song "I Saw What I Saw" from her experience in Africa.

She is also very involved in the International Justice Mission organization. Here is her description of what it is...
“IJM is a team of lawyers and law enforcement officials who work around the globe to represent people who wouldn’t normally have access to that kind of intervention. In Southeast Asia they work mostly freeing young girls from brothels. Over a million women and children are trafficked every year, but IJM is leading the way in setting new precedents in the fight against human trafficking. In Africa, they represent the oppressed, and work to restore land to widows who have been robbed of their land. In South Asia they work to free families and groups of people from bonded slavery. Basically, they are public defenders for the least of these.”

My Man Spurgeon

Here are some good Spurgeon quotes that I read today...

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength."

"Let us feel that when we speak with God there is reality in it and that God hears us just as surely as we hear one another and that He is prepared to answer our petitions. I mean, literally to do so, not in some mysterious, unreal fashion, but actually and truly to give us that which is fitting for Him to bestow and right for us to ask. We cannot pray as we ought unless we believe that."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So I would love any one's recommendation for some good books. Get your attention, keep your attention, interesting books. They can be any style, fiction, non-fiction. They just have to be something that will grab and hold my attention!
I have really been enjoying reading lately, especially when I work out. I can easily do the elliptical machine for an hour when I have a good book. intense and crazy.
So bring it...
What are your recommendations?

He is the God of Miracles!

Sweet baby Jackson is doing SO well! Thousands of prayers have been lifted up since the day he was born. You can check out their website for the story and updates.
God is working some serious miracles in this little (not so little) boy!
It has been such a difficult road so far for Joe and Missy and my heart has hurt for them and what they have been going through. There is not a moment that goes by that my mind and thoughts are not on these precious friends.
Keep praying, they have much more to go through.
Jack has been such a sweet witness to everyone around him, including all of the doctors and nurses, of God's greatness! God's plans for this little man are GREAT!

Another Fun Thing To Do...

So I thought of another fun thing to do while I'm home...

Photo Booth on my computer.
There will be pant wetting...for sure!
if y'all need a reminder of what I'm talking about check my previous and here.
I think these pictures secure my singleness for awhile!

I was just told that my sister told Noah that I wanted to have a "Dance Party" and his response was, "yeah, I could probably teach her some stuff."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How To Avoid a Bozo, part III

These are excerpts from the book "A Man Worth Waiting For: How to Avoid a Bozo" by Jackie Kendall.
As I read this section I found myself being reminded of so many Boaz's in my life who display these qualities! I'm so thankful for them!
They are out there single ladies! Let's not settle for Bozo's!

A Man Worth Waiting For (MWWF) has Noble Character

--He Loves in Action as Well as Words

--He Inspires Respect

--He Exhibits the "Three I's"

Identity in Christ
Integrity in Life

--He Protects
Physical Protection
Emotional Protection
--Sad to say, Christian girls today don't expect to be treated with honor. They don't expect guys to be in awe of them. They're so in awe of the guys, they'll do whatever the guys want! A normal, proper attitude toward you as a young woman is one of respect and protection. Men should protect your honor and your purity. A Boaz does.
Where do you think Boaz goe his sensitivity training? Consider his background. He was raised by a mom who knew firsthand how men can take advantage of women! Did you know that Boaz's mom was Rahab the harlot? Boaz was raised by a woman with a colorful past, but her wise choices decided her future destiny. Rahab chose the God of Israel, she rescued Israel's spies (who later saved her life), and she raised a boy who became a principled protector of women (Josh 2). Rahab trained her son to understand: guys are here to protect, not exploit women.

--He Provides
--At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar." When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her. Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her." (Ruth 2:14-16)
After sharing lunch with her, Boaz even secretly arranged for greater provision! He was quite extravagant. As I previously noted, he went beyond what the Hebrew Law required for the needy. The Hebrew Law required only that Boaz give Ruth the leftovers of his harvest-but he gave from the harvest itself. Why does a woman settle for a man who is too self-absorbed to give her more than she needs? Why do women so willingly settle for crumbs? Why do so many bright, wonderful girls act like the needy teen I was in high school always paying for the privilege of being loved? Do women so want male attention that they are willing to pay for it rather than be the recipient of blessings initiated in secret, like Boaz's provision for Ruth?
When you're sorting through the Boazes from the Bozo's in your life, look at how a man gives. Does he give freely, generously, offer more than enough? Or does he cling to his wallet, dispersing funds reluctantly or morosely? A Boaz gladly provides.
A Bozo offers no security because he holds back financially and emotionally. A Boaz provides joyfully.

--He is a Persistent Pursuer

--Boaz approached Ruth first. He instigated their relationship. When she responded he was persistent in his pursuit. Such honorable pursuit and persistence stand in such contrast to the training that men today receive in relation to being a MWWF. From a young age, men are trained how to hide their feelings, how to win in a fistfight, how to hit a ball, how to shoot a gun, how to birdie on the sixteenth hole, and how to manipulate several remote controls simultaneously. Some men live a whole lifetime and never master the science of How to Handle a Woman. The Apostle Peter had a wife, and he knew from firsthand experience what he wrote about in 1 Peter 3:7 "Husbands, dwell with [your wives] according to knowledge". The word "knowledge" comes from a Greek word meaning "science". A woman is a science to be studied and discovered, but so few men are coached or mentored into loving women as they need to be loved. We see in Ephesians that Paul's great commandment to men is to love them as much as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). Talk about sacrificial love!
A Bozo will love a woman in whatever way he feels is best-in whatever way serves him, not her. A Boaz will love a woman in a way that shows his feelings-and persistence in meeting a woman's needs is one way he does this.

--He is a Prepared Partner
--Boaz was attuned to the heart and needs of the woman in his life. A prepared partner is always willing to attend to another's needs. We've seen that Boaz was responsive to Ruth's vulnerability both emotionally and physically. A Boaz expresses and acts on his compassion for others. A Bozo, on the other hand, focuses on himself. He may briefly pity someone in his life, but he doesn't actually do much to help her.
Boaz was a student of Ruth's heart in that he quickly ascertained her needs, quickly promised to take care of them, and quickly did! He protected her from harm, he soothed her fears, and he completed the legal legwork to marry her--all in a very short time! A lesser man would have taken no notice of this foreigner, wouldn't have thought about her safety, would have refused the hassle of taking on Ruth and her mother-in-law, and would have left the women to fend for themselves.
A Boaz of a guy speaks and acts in ways that heal a wounded woman, treating her like a princess even if she doesn't see herself as one.

--He is a Fighter of Battles
--Boaz was an overcomer. He was never one to shrink away from a challenge or let others do the fighting for him. We see this in the fact that he is wealthy. He had fought business battles to become successful. Second, he was single. In a marriage-oriented culture that considered sons as riches, he could have married any young woman. But he chose to remain single until the right woman came along. He fought the battles of loneliness and cultural pressure.
You and I have a heavenly Father who has set the standard so high through the biblical precedent of Boaz that we don't have to settle for men who can't, by faith, conquer the city of the enemy--whether it is the enemy of sexual temptation, greed or entitlement.
The battles a man wins before marriage are a forecast of the victories he will achieve after marriage.
What a man conquers before he is even married becomes a frame for future victory. Don't settle for a man who is not fighting the good fight of faith. The skirmishes he faces as a single man are only preparing him for the major wars that are ahead. A Bozo runs from conflict and battle. A Boaz faces and conquers it.
Jesus died on the cross to conquer sin and death for the sake of his bride (those who are His followers). Don't settle for a guy who isn't willing to boldly conquer the enemy in order to win the privilege of sharing this journey on this earth with you.

Things to Do...

So my family got together yesterday and came up with a list of things to do while I'm back home.
I thought the list was excellent.
Here it is...

1) ice skating (Noah's contribution)

2) a sing-along with Emmy

3) bungee jumping (Will's idea, but I said heck his dad has plenty of bungee cords and they have that jungle gym out back, we could figure something out.)

4) wii sports

5) park day - picnic, make a fire, roast hot dogs, make smores, fish, hike

6) swimming

7) eat together! (we always do lots of that!)

8) have a welcome home party (Sam's idea- says he has the balloons already!)

9) family ballgame (probably whiffle ball)

10) museum

11) shopping (well, of course, that!)

12) arts day

13) paint toenails and fingernails (Lily!)

14) dart gun fight (Jack?)

15) game night

One thing that I think needed to be added to the list was a "Dance Party"...I'm making a playlist. It's going to happen.
Noah has some new break dancing moves that I need to see that involve this move...
So it will be pretty amazing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Classic Cover Tune Grab Bag Song

Seriously. I just want to sit around with them and laugh. They make me laugh so hard.
I think my favorite part of this song is when he starts singing the instrumental part. Aw man! hilarious.
Andrew...I think you will like this one too!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


My heart hurts and my stomach is in knots. I am hurting alongside my good friends who are going through such a hard time right now. PLEASE keep them in your prayers.
PRAY PRAY PRAY. Get on your knees, get on your faces.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

13 days and counting...

According to the personalized google desktop countdown I have 13 days until I get to see some of this....And of course...some of this....
And a bunch more beautiful faces! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

"Hold On"

I just watched this video on Parkview's website. It was a video done by a member of the church dedicated to all of the people who helped and served to save the church from the flood. It is very powerful.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Dateless Night with my Roomie...

This week has been a little unusual, I think the last time I saw Hilary was maybe...Monday.
I got into a routine this week of going to work out right after work and then by the time I got home Hilary had different things going on in the evenings and then I actually was in bed most days at 9:00pm. Lame. I know. I haven't been sleeping well and so I figured I would try and go to bed early...but that just meant that I was getting up more, since I went to bed earlier.
Anyway...tonight I was excited because Hilary and I were actually going to be home at the same time and was hoping to hang out and catch up on some roomie time.
It ended up that Hilary was in "task mode", as she usually is on the weekends...and I was in...well..."Emily mode" (which means...doing random stuff like...playing my guitar....watching LOST...doing leg kicks on my hanging bar...eating m&m's and drinking milk) but we were doing it "together"!!
I was sitting on Hilary's bed playing my guitar and singing while Hilary put stuff away, organized her drawers, put her vitamins in her daily compartments and sang along. I was doing what I love and she was doing what she loves. It was quite the roomie moment!! We had to laugh when we thought about it. We both ended the evening...blogging.
I love my roommate. She makes me smile and we giggle a lot. We are very different, but that's what I LOVE! We even each other out!

To You Lord

Lord, today is another day and You are still on Your throne. Thank You for Your hand that never leaves or forsakes us. You have called Your children to bring You glory in everything, even when it's hard. I know that right now there are so many people who are lifting up sweet baby Jack to You. You have heard every prayer, every word and Your ears and heart are soft to those sounds. I thank You that with every word You give ear to our cries and our pleas to save and strengthen this precious life. Lord I pray that You would breathe clean oxygen into his lungs and that his levels would be and stay where they should. Lord I pray for the machines that are working, that they would do their job well but that he would be able to get off of them soon. Give him strength to breathe on his own and to live well. Lord, I pray for Joe and Missy, that you would give them sweet rest, that they would cling to You and to each other. I pray that You would be strengthening their marriage through this and that they would have a renewed appreciation for the life that You give. Lord, bless them and cover them with Your love. Help them to hold their heads up to You, to hold their hands up to You in surrender. That their times of worship would be sweet and deep. Lord You give abundantly, I pray that You would give to them Your perfect will, open their eyes to see it unfold for Your glory.
In Your precious name I pray these things. AMEN!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Song for a Boy

So I wrote this song...It's about a boy...I don't know who he is yet...
Here are the lyrics...

My heart is moved by the thought of you
I wait, left to wonder
My mind it dreams
My heart it moves
I get that feeling

I know you will follow Him
And He'll lead you here
I pray, for you my love
And someday soon
You'll call my name
And I'll come running

But for now, until then...
I will wait
My eyes to Him, my heart is His
That's where I'll be
I'm at His feet
That's where you'll find me

There will be a day when
We'll stand before our God
With our hearts together
You'll take my hand
We'll say those words,
"Here's my forever"
We'll walk through life
With love so deep
My friend, my darling

But for now, until then...
I will wait
My eyes to Him, my heart is His
That's where I'll be
I'm at His feet
That's where you'll find me

How to Avoid a Bozo, part II

I had gotten many responses (through emails) about my post on the book I am reading "A Man Worth Waiting For: How to Avoid a Bozo" by Jackie Kendall, women who were encouraged by what they read.
I thought I would continue to post little excerpts from the book, in hopes that it would encourage more women...and even not settle for Bozos and for not be a Bozo! haha!
"A man of noble character knows how to love long-term. How important is character? That can be answered with another question: how important is love? Love that lasts beyond the seven year itch, love that lasts beyond financial setbacks, love for better or for worse is love that is supported by depth of character.
Love is a choice, not just a feeling. Emotions come and go, but a choice is reinforced by one's character. The problem today with many men is lack of real character development. Bozos love when they feel like it. Boazes love enduringly. The growth of character enhances a man's capacity to love well and long-term.
The commitment phobia that so many use as an excuse for singleness is a reflection of shallow character. Character and love are inextricably linked, as noted by author C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: "Love, as distinct from being in love, is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity; maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by [in Christian marriages] the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God."
A man's character is revealed during times of trial. On a date in a controlled environment, a guy can appear to be a Boaz. But it is critical to have an opportunity to see how he responds to stress and disappointment because his response reveals his character. Moses wrote, "Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would really obey his commands." (Deut. 8:2)
When you're considering a guy's character, trying to discern if he is a Boaz or a Bozo, ask yourself: Is this person qualified to help me obey God? Another way to phrase it: Does this guy draw me closer to God or distract me from God?
A Boaz will encourage you to obey God.
A Bozo will encourage you to disobey God.
He who loves you most will help you obey God. My husband and I taught a large singles Bible study for five years. We challenged more than a hundred singles every week with this exhortation from Hebrews: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Heb 10:24). Are you looking for a man who will encourage you to obey God, or have you been spending time with a man who encourages you to disregard what God is showing you?"

Cover Tune Grab Bag

This is dedicated to the Nielsen's and the Grimes'

Remember Me

Last night when I was at the Y working out, I was listening to my ipod, listening to songs of worship and praying for baby Jack and the song "Remember Me" by Mark Schultz came on. My eyes immediately filled with tears. Rachel and I sang this song at Joe and Missy's wedding. Here are the lyrics....

Remember Me In a Bible cracked and faded by the years.
Remember Me In a sanctuary filled with silent prayer

And age to age And heart to heart,
Bound by grace and peace.
Child of wonder, Child of God,
I've remembered you, Remember Me.
Remember Me

When the color of the sunset fills the sky
Remember Me When you pray and tears of joy fall from your eyes.

And age to age And heart to heart,
Bound by grace and peace.
Child of wonder Child of God,
I've remembered you,
Remember Me

Remember Me When the children leave their Sunday school with smiles
Remember Me When they're old enough to teach, Old enough to preach Old
enough to leave.

And age to age And heart to heart
Bound by grace and peace
Child of wonder, Child of God,
I've remembered you, Remember Me.

Age to age
And heart to heart
Child of wonder
Child of God
Remember Me

Sweet Jesus, You know this baby, You have designed him from the inside out. This child of wonder, child of God, he is Yours. You know the number of his days and You have planned them perfectly for Your glory. Lord I pray that Your Spirit would abound in Jackson, strengthening him and building up his lungs, building up his strength. Lord I pray for Your hand of healing in his little body. I pray for Joe and Missy that their hearts would grow more in love with You and that they would remember You constantly, thinking about Your goodness, worshiping You in Your complete sovereignty, trusting You deeply. I pray that they would hold their son loosely, knowing that Your arms are around him. I pray that you would give them strength to live with the unknowns of the future and the comfort to sit and wait. Lord I pray that you would fill Jackson with good oxygen and that his levels would be where they need to be. I pray for miracles. That You would shower grace upon them and that You would give this baby new life. Lord, I pray that Joe and Miss would continue to give You glory beyond glory, that You would use their lives and Jack's life to reach the nations for You. These are Your children and You love them deeply, I pray that they would feel and know the depths of Your love for them through this. In all these things I pray in Your name and for Your glory. AMEN!


Go to Joe & Missy's blog for a post on a background/update on Baby Jack. It's very informative and will give you a clear idea of Jack's condition. You will also see some pictures of him, he's chunky and wonderful!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sweet Baby Jack

Please pray for my friends Joe and Missy. They had a sweet little boy, Jackson, on June 13 who is now in the NICU, he was born with MAS (meconium aspiration syndrome).
Please pray for his little body and his lungs that they would heal quickly and that they would grow stronger.
Here is their blog if you want to check out any updates.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How To Avoid a Bozo

Last year I went to a women's conference where Jackie Kendall spoke. She is amazing. She made me laugh really hard. I just wanted to take her home with me and keep her forever.
She is the author of the book "Lady in Waiting". A GREAT book.
Her talk was life changing for me. I remember her mentioning about one dateless Friday night she spent with God. On her knees just crying out for comfort and for Him to reveal purpose for her. She said that out of that night of coming to God lonely, heart out, and vulnerable birthed the book "Lady in Waiting" that has touched people across the world. She said, "On a dateless Friday night go to the God of comfort, Go to God and He will give you something to bless the world."
In her talk she mentioned a book that was coming out called, "A Man Worth Waiting For: How to Avoid a Bozo." She talks about Ruth and Boaz and compares the character of a "Boaz" and a "Bozo". I just got it and started reading it tonight and it seems pretty good. I wanted to share with you some things I read.
She had given out a survey to both men and women, married and single, a wide range of ages and life circumstances, to write down characteristics of the "ideal Godly man".

A man who was single until he was 53 responded with this...
An ideal man:
--Should have a passion for the quality of gentleness
--Should desire to crawl up into the lap of Jesus and abide there minute by minute each day.
--Should have a passion to be more Christlike in word, deed, and thought every minute of the day.
--Should be one who desires to control his tongue with the help of the Holy Spirit.
--Has a real desire for spiritual wisdom
--Is one who recognizes that he is of great importance/significance to God and therefore he cares for/loves himself in such a manner that he is able to love others as himself.
--Works to protect his heart and keep it open to the Holy Spirit and input from other brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Another response....
Integrity is the first thing that comes to mind. What you see is what you get. He is the same person with his family, on his job, with his friends...he is consistent. Doesn't have anything to hide from the Lord.
Wisdom. Very difficult thing to come by, because wisdom is from the Lord. Many people have knowledge, and it sounds good, but it isn't right. When we have wisdom from the Lord, we will always find God's best.
Humility. If a man has integrity and wisdom, there will always be people who want him. When that happens, it is easy to get caught up in ourselves, and fall prey to the three G's: the glory, the glitter, and the girls. The first two strengths then become a weakness, because it robs God of His glory.

Excerpt from the section "Make Him Climb, Girl":
"Make him climb a tree. The climbing would test his calf muscles and his perseverance. The top of the tree is where the best fruit is; the rotten fruit drops to the ground. A Bozo guy is content with what is on the bottom branches and even what has dropped rotten to the ground, but only a Boaz has the calf muscles-character-to climb to the top of a tree for the best fruit (you).
Psalm 80:12 says, "But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass may steal our fruit?" When I read this verse I thought, You can't steal the fruit high up in a tree as easily as you can the fruit that is hanging on the lowest branches. Broken walls let trespassers into a garden....allow Jesus to place some building blocks in your hands that will rebuild where your wall has been broken. This wall of protection will not keep out an honorable Boaz. In fact, the man worth waiting for has the strength from God not only to climb a tree for you but also to scale a wall to win your heart: "For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall." (ps. 18:29) Don't settle for a guy who wouldn't leap over a wall for you or climb the highest tree for you! Your heavenly Bridegroom was willing to die for you; don't settle for less in an earthly bridegroom."


Psalm 135:6 "The Lord does whatever pleases Him throughout all heaven and earth and on the seas and in their depths."

"God does whatever because of incomparable love and wisdom & I yield to His whatever because of faith in the Incomparable Whatever." --Jackie Kendall

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some Lovely Sweetness!

I thought that maybe y'all needed a little sweetness! I get to see this sweet lovely in 18 days! I can't wait!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some Pictures

Here are some more pictures of my hometown that are from the Press Citizen website.
My church is at the bottom of this picture...

Water Inside Parkview

I had tears when I read Scott's blog today and saw pictures of the inside of Parkview. Check it out. It's unbelievable.
Keep praying for all of the people who are being displaced and whose buildings and homes are being destroyed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Some More Pictures

My mom just posted these pictures of Parkview on her blog. She took them today. She said there is already 4 feet of water in the church and they are expecting around 8 feet of water

The Church Still Stands

He gives and He takes away. It's true. And He is true when He says that He will not leave us or forsake us.

I've been thinking and praying for my hometown, Iowa City, where my family and so many friends are. Water is flooding the town and I found out that we are losing the building where my home church is. They have had hundreds of volunteers coming to the church to help put sandbags together to place around the building.
They issued an emergency evacuation yesterday that drove them to stop their efforts in saving the building. The waters are expected to reach above the roof.
You can see more pictures and read about the progression of the flooding on Pastor Scott Sterner's blog.
Here are some pictures from the Press Citizen. You can go to their website for more updates and pictures as well.
It's weird to not be there, to sit back and see all of the pictures and read the stories of all of these so familiar places that are being flooded. My heart breaks for everyone who is going through this.
I have been reminded of all of the memories I have of Parkview. It has been my church home for the last 12-13 years or so. It was the place where my family grew to love Jesus, where we celebrated my dad's life and celebrated his eternity with Jesus. Where my sisters and my mom got married, where I got baptized, where ministry started with the band, where I went to cry and pray when my life was in pieces, where I've rehearsed, where I've studied, where I've stood on stage and worshiped with Jesus loving people.
I have also been reminded that it's a building. It's not the church. My love did not grow for Jesus because of this building, my love for Jesus grew because of His grace that poured over me and through His children that surrounded me and spoke truth in my life and who walked their faith out.
We celebrated my dad's life and celebrated his eternity with Jesus in this building, but it's not the church. My dad is with Jesus and through our grieving that we can't be with him right now, and through our joy of knowing that he is with Jesus, the church surrounded us with love and support, who provided money and food and encouragement and listening ears. Who reassured us that God is good and His plan is good.
My sisters and my mom got married in this building, but it's not the church. They said their vows and gave their forevers to each other to declare that their lives will, by God's grace, reflect Jesus and the church. His relationship with His Bride, us.
I was baptized in that building, but it's not the church. I declared my decision to follow Jesus publicly in front of my brothers and sisters. They surrounded me with support and walked alongside of me through life, as I was buried with Christ and risen to new life.
Ministry started with the band and I stood on a stage singing and worshiping in that building, but it's not the church. This band became family to me. They saw my life and they loved me. They saw me mess up, and they loved me. We stood together in the presence of God's power and worshipped with our lives, worshipped with our hearts no matter where we were. We prayed together, laughed together, cried together, read together, fought together, we were together. God's power in the calling in our lives to follow Him and be used by Him with the gifts that He has given us was incredible.
I knelt and cried and prayed when I felt like my life was falling apart, when I needed to just get away and didn't know where to go, so I went to that building, but it's not the church.
God's arms swaddled me and held me up, filling me with sweet hope. There was someone there who came to me and held me and prayed for me, helping me stand up again.
God's plans are greater and His glory will be greater and in that is goodness.
We can trust Him for that.
This is definitely not the end of it. There will be more.
More water, more rain, more grief...but more of God's glory and more of His goodness!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thy Mercy My God

I was listening to Sandra McCracken sing this song tonight and actually paid attention to the words.
They are amazing.
Here they are....

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast

Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here.
Sin would reduce me to utter despair,
But through Thy free goodness, my spirit's revived
And He that first made me still keeps me alive

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy I've found.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own
In the covenant love of Thy crucified Son.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sweet Lovely 3 year old

My sweet Lily Margaret is 3 today! You can see more of her party here.
I guess it was pretty girly. The boys were rolling their eyes and saying things like, "oh, brother." But a girl needs a girly party with girly things. She deserves that with being surrounded by boys!

She's wearing a very nice tutu that my mom made for her! It's very nice! She also made a matching doll that is wearing a tutu!
It's hard to not be around for the birthdays, but I'm thankful that my sisters have blogs and they are GREAT with posting pictures and stories. LOVE IT!
I can't believe how much she has grown! She is such a big girl!
I love you baby girl!
**I get to see them in 29 days (yes....I have started my personalized google desktop countdown!)
I can't wait!!**

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What in the World...

This does not look fun. CRAZY!!
(HT: Nixter)

Stayin' Alive MercyMe Style

MercyMe is hilarious. You all should check out their blog sometime.
They did this thing where they told people to email in song ideas and they would video themselves doing a cover of that song.
Here is "Stayin Alive". LOVE it.
I laughed really hard.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Some Quotes...

"I've been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest." --my friend Jake's excuse for not being at my birthday party!

"That dude had some good snot rockets"--Travis, in reference to someone laughing so hard their drink came out their nose.

"Ok...that was weird." --Noah when he answered the phone and I started singing (really loud) "They say it's your birthday....duh nuh nuh nuh nuh....It's my birthday too...."


It's hot.
really hot.
Our air conditioning in our apartment went out last night at 10:00pm.
It was supposed to come back on around 7:00pm tonight but not so much.
We set record number 2 today for June and it's the 2nd day of June.
Yesterday was a record of 100
Today a record of 101.
Tomorrow is supposed to be upper 90's with a heat index of 103.
The air BETTER get turned on.
I'm already hot and cranky.
I'm in a constant state of sweat. sorry...that's probably gross.
This is going to be a long summer folks.

I Think I Need to Start Talking to Myself

I read this today. It's me today...and lately.

Psalm 42
A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.
I'm thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, "Will I ever make it-arrive and drink in God's presence?"
I'm on a diet of tears-tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long people knock on my door, pestering,
"Where is this God of yours?"
These are the things I go over and over,
emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
right out in front, leading them all,
eager to arrive and worship,
shouting praises,
singing thanksgiving-celebrating,
all of us, God's feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God-soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God.

When my soul is in the dumps,
I rehearse everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
including Mt. Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer.

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
"Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
harassed by enemies?"
They're out to kill, these tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
"Where is this God of yours?"

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God-
Soon I will be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God.

An excerpt from a Piper sermon:
Listen to Lloyd-Jones take hold of this verse:
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact
that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take
those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You
have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the
problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to
you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man's treatment (in Psalm
42) was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to
himself. "Why art thou cast down, O soul?" he asks. His soul had been
depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, "Self, listen for
moment, I will speak to you." (Spiritual Depression, 20-21)
On this side of the cross, we know the greatest ground for our hope: Jesus
Christ crucified for our sins and triumphant over death. So the main thing
we must learn is to preach the gospel to ourselves:
Listen, self: If God is for you, who can be against you? He who did
not spare his own Son but gave him up for you, how will he not also with him
graciously give you all things? Who shall bring any charge against you as
God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ
Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right
hand of God, who indeed is interceding for you. Who shall separate you
from the love of Christ? (Romans 8:31-35 paraphrased)