Welcome Y'all

Hopefully the name of this blog speaks for itself. I envision it being one of humor, exhortation, random musings, theological discussion, sports, and things that impact my life and could bless yours. Sometimes it might be a verse or a funny story, a sports score that has me up in arms or a profound truth that has hit me. I pray you find your visit here blessing your heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Do You Study the Word?

At the start of the year, I always try and find a new Bible reading plan.  This year, I looked back through some blog entries from John MacArthur on his Grace To You website about different ideas/plans to use and I think I have a good idea about the plan I will be using this year.  It's going to take me longer than a year to do it but I am excited about the charted course I'll follow in and of itself.

I will be reading the sections of the NT beginning with 1 John repetitively for 30 days.  At the end of 30 days reading 1 John, I will move on to the Gospel of John: Chapters 1-7 for 30 days, chapters 8-14 - 30 days and then 15-21 for 30 days.  As I read the chapters, I will make notes as to predominant themes of the chapter as well as things I may not understand fully or want to do further study on.  However, my plan is to rely on reading thoughtfully and thoroughly and diligently each day to try and glean the truths within the book without using a lot of extra sources.  MacArthur suggests that when reading the same passage through day after day, though it will get boring, push through and realize your mind will be taking mental snapshots of God's Word that will linger on in your mind.  You will begin to remember where certain verses are on the page as you mentally visualize God's Word after taking 30 mental pictures during the month.  He also suggested that you use the same Bible (though I know you probably have several on your shelf) at each reading so that the consistency helps you become familiar with the Scripture layout.  Makes a lot of sense to me.

I also will be reading the OT through from Genesis through at least Proverbs.  I began a few years ago reading through The Message and putting a bunch of study notes in the margins and summarizing each page with a short description at the top.  I know The Message is only a paraphrase and there are better, more exact translations, but I also know there are probably more people who will read and understand The Message than say the King James Version.  My goal is to have a bible written in today's English with detailed, theologically correct notes so that the average person may pick up this book, read it easily and have tons of study notes "filling in the gaps" they may have.  I am doing this for the sake of one or a family or a community who, once I am gone and my Bibles and books have been sold in an estate sale or given to goodwill, may run across this book and be encouraged.  They will read and understand about God of the Israelites and how He loved them in spite of themselves and Christ the Savior and King of Kings who came to save His children from themselves.  I want them to read and understand about the covenants and the sacrifice, the pain and the glory, the everyday events that were changed by spectacular miracles and the love of God who gave up His son.  I want this to be an investment in the next generation of believers who will come after me, whoever they may be...  my neighbors, my children, my grandchildren....

... or yours.

I know that there are so many plans out there but I am curious as to what you all use to guide your daily study.  Anybody have one they really like?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chronicles of 2011

I just finished!

I try to keep a running chronicle of the happenings of the year... some are short and sweet like:

February 25th - Dentist - no cavities - Check in in 6 more months.

Some are longer characterized by facts, feelings, faces tied to particular days like:

September 5th - Papaw died suddenly today.  I can't believe He is gone... no more Papaw jokes, almost blue hair rinses, hours in front of You tube listening to Big Band music, no more of Papaw's candy he made for Christmas, no more sentimental moments of tears and memories from his 88 year old mind, hot tempered political opinions or liltingly gruff "Love you!" on the way out the door.  I already miss him so much...

I have been keeping these running chronicles for the last 8-9 years now.  It started as almost an exercise in prose that basically ended up becoming a daily journal and then modified to become a running list of events, experiences, wins, losses, and all the mundane in between.  I have loved going back through the Chronicles of yester-year to see what I have accomplished, where I was and how far I have come.  Or how far I have not come.   I see some of both.

I write this to encourage you to keep some sort of a journal this year.  It can be a sentence a day.  For those who want a little more info, maybe 4 sentences that address the "Peak" of the day, the "Pit" of the day, the "Praise" of the day and the "Prayer" of the day.  I believe that Satan will utilize whatever it takes to throw us off a godly course.  He is wily and ruthless and will stop at nothing to have our souls and our allegiance.  Really, he is primarily concerned that God the Father doesn't have our allegiance.  I think one consistent way he does this is to distract us from noticing and remembering the good that God has done in our lives.  To compartmentalize Him into a season of our lives or an area of our lives - keep Him from pervading our lives as He so desires to do.

I keep my chronicles of life handy so that I can see what the Lord has done at a glance over the last year of my life.  Where He kept me safe and where He guided me to the right job....When He delivered a miracle of family reconciliation and whose path crossed with mine to encourage a downtrodden soul.  It helps me to remember... to write them on the doorframes of my house and my heart so I may see and remember that through the peaks, pits, praises and prayers, God is there.  He is always there and has committed to be there to the end of the age... for me. (Matthew 28:20)

So take a few at the end of each day and remember the goodness of the Lord.  Chronicle Christ's love for you so you don't ever forget.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holiness and Facebook: Mutual Exclusion?

Did you know that this month, the users of Facebook have numbered beyond 600 MILLION?

Did you know that these users spend over 700 BILLION minutes PER MONTH?

Did you know that the average user creates about 90 pieces of content every month?

Did you know that there are over 30 BILLION pieces of information (Photos, posts, web links, news stories, etc.) shared each month?

Did you know that over 50% of Facebook Users log on every day and thereby reading, deciphering, hiding, pondering and/or deleting (OH, the horror!) your posts.  

Have YOU truly thought about how much impact YOU are having in lives that YOU touch?

I appreciate Mark Zuckerberg, just from the little I know about him which is to say, I know he created Facebook.  That's about it.  I did not see the movie and I have not researched his life on Wikipedia.  The appreciation comes strictly from the fact that he was smart enough and resourceful enough to provide for people a platform or forum in which to be heard.  People who would never have gotten that chance to be heard now have hundreds of "friends" that will listen/(read) what runs through the mind and life of this one person.  

Times 600 Million. 

As a Christian, we are called to be holy or "set apart".  It is not a request.  It is a command.  We are to be holy as Christ is holy.  Christ was different.  That means that I am to be different.  We are to be in the world and not of the world.  

But you already know all this....

...Don't you?

And, since we do, in fact, know this, WHY is it that we as Christians, write, post, complain, jeer, humiliate, gripe, and bellyache no differently than those who do not follow a sovereign God and Savior?
I get it.  Seriously.  Life is hard.  Absolutely it is.  Everyone has problems in life and you can always find someone who has a way better set-up than you do.... But the converse is also true.....You will always be able to find someone with a significantly worse set-up than you could imagine.  I could make a list for you of my irritations, frustrations, problems and concerns and though it would make for entertaining reading for some, they are very real to me.  I bet you could make your own list....

...Probably WAY longer than mine. 


...that doesn't negate what God has commanded us to do.  We are still called to be holy and set apart from the rest of the world.  Not just on Sundays, everyday.  

Not just when we see church friends in the foyer
.... but also when we are stuck in traffic with strangers.
Not just when we invite neighbors over for a meal
.... but also when we "friend" someone new on Facebook.
Not just when we are writing our Sunday School lessons
... but also when we are writing 140 character text messages.
And not only when we are sharing with the Lord in prayer
...but also when we are sharing with friends on Facebook. 

People, whether you want to or not, you are having an impact.  In fact, you are not just having an impact.  You are MAKING an impact.  Depending on your name, you hold clout in different spheres of influence.  If you're name is Steve Jobs, you have tremendous impact on all Apple users of the world, either positive or negative.  If your name is Ron Howard, you have tremendous impact on the film/TV industry either positive or negative.  If your name is Mom, you have tremendous impact on your family, either positive or negative.

If your name is Christian, YOU have tremendous impact on the world either positive or negative.  
Are you set apart?  Do you look like the world in the midst of the world?  Would anybody say you're different in either your actions, reactions, words, opinions, or posts on Facebook?

They should.  If they are not, is it their fault for not noticing ....
... or your fault for blending in?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tik Tok

As I have begun another year of full time ministry, it hits me regularly how some people don't really "get it".  I understand that because at some time in my life many years ago, I really didn't "get it" all the way either.  To some it probably sounds like a lot of excuses to not have a 8-5 job, perhaps overtones of laziness.  To others, I would imagine it sounds like immaturity -  as in "when are you going to join us here in reality and quit living in fantasy world?"  To others, perhaps you "get it" but it not for you in any way, shape or form.

Although I have believed since I was young that the Lord had called me into ministry for a later time, I think that down deep I wondered if it would really happen for me.  Is this truly what God has called me to do or is this something that I really think I want to do?

Anybody struggle with that?

What I found is that the timing of when He brought me into ministry was way later than I ever thought.  So much later and when I was so far into a completely different career, I thought I must have been mistaken in my younger years thinking that God had called me.  It took a while to see that my "desert" experiences were truly pertinent preparation times for this season that has arrived.

Are you experiencing the "desert"?  Are you seeking Him with all of your heart to find yourself in a pit in the middle of the sand albeit nowhere near where you thought you would be?  I totally understand that perception and potential reality.

But God has not forgotten you.

Those plans that He has for you were dreamt up before the foundations of the world and He hasn't forgotten them.  He has just been waiting on you to get here so He could show you exactly what His spectacular plans are for your life RIGHT NOW.  I'm willing to bet that He is not readily going to show what will happen 20 years down the road but He wants you to know the plans for today.  Once He reveals His plan for you today, you have a choice.  Will you embrace what He has for you today or are you running so far ahead of Him that you miss your preparation for tomorrow's adventure?  God's timing is never late and if you are not living your long-time dream today, who is to say you will not be living it next week?  God is the same yesterday, today and forever and that means He is as faithful today as He was yesterday and He will be tomorrow.  Faithful to what?  Faithful to you and his plan for you.

And may I say from my experience thus far, even though it is a long time dream and one that you might spend 30 years preparing for, things don't go always according to my plan.  Let's face it, God's goal for me is not my happiness and definitely not my comfort but my holiness and sanctification.  I just don't think that I honestly see deeply abiding holiness coming from things that always go my way without complication.  It is hard work and difficult choices and maintaining priorities and lots of sacrifice.  But, may I also say that it is the most satisfying thing that I have done in my life.  I love sharing the knowledge that I have of Christ with others.  I love what God does with my average amount of giftings in a group of people hungry to hear Truth.  I am humbled that for whatever reason and for however long, He has chosen me to walk this road.  I think that if I had received what I so often prayed for exactly when I wanted it, I would not be as satisfied.  I would not be as willing to work with zeal.  I would not be as grateful for each opportunity.  I probably would have quit prematurely, if I was honest with you and myself.  It seems that God knows best with regards to the timing of His plan for us.  He knows best with regards to the timing of His plan for you.

Maybe this brand new year finds you waiting expectantly for something the Lord has already planned to bring your way - a new job, a long awaited spouse, children, healing, more patience, loyal girlfriends.... Maybe January is your month for receiving these things you have been diligent in praying for.  Maybe it will be February.  Or maybe it will be next February.  Whatever the case, God is intimately aware of you and your needs and your dreams.  He has chosen some specific experiences for you this year, some sweet and more than likely some not-so-sweet.  Whatever His plan for you in 2011, it will be the perfect plan for your life at this juncture in time.

I wear a watch almost religiously.  I don't think about it much except when I fear I am going to be late.... which is almost everyday.  I almost see the watch as a curse because it is a constant reminder that time is marching on and sometimes I am not ready for what a moment in the future might bring.  I have to get prepared now for what I have to do later.  Let's try this in 2011:  Let's pay attention to time this year.  Notice the hands on your watch as they continuously circle the dial.  As those seconds turn to minutes and those minutes to hours, hours to days, weeks and months, don't mistake the hands for just a metal mechanism.

Those are the hands of God..... lovingly allowing every moment to come into your life at the perfect time.  With it, it brings the promise of faithfulness from One who loves you enough to wait for your holiness.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Can. Not. Believe. It.

It seems like it should still be in the 90's to me.  The other day, I wrote the date on my check as 12/28/19__.  Seriously.  19__???  Where have the last 11 years gone?  And why am I still writing checks?

Lots of beautiful things happened over the last 12 months in my life.  So many ministry opportunities, life experiences, difficult times and wonderful travels both domestic and internationally that have deeply impacted my life.  (Plus, I got a Kindle for Christmas which my right shoulder sincerely appreciates as it was close to having major damage due to my excessive love of books and the need to always tote them with me.  So, THANK YOU, Santa!)

The truth is, life is so full of unexpected surprises.  Some stand out.  Some make you want to sit down.  Some bring out squeals of delight and some bring cries for help.  This year, I feel certain there will be more of these unexpected surprises.  I expect my life to be changed, if not by circumstances, for sure by the way I handle these surprises.  ".....Lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."  (Prov. 3:5-6)  How much I choose to trust in God's Word and not my human logic or feelings will directly impact how I will assess the upcoming year.  I have so many goals and dreams for this year.  I know not if these goals will be achieved or dreams materialized but I have decided, it is not ultimately about the destination.  It is primarily about the journey.

What will your journey look like?  More than likely, it will not look anything like you anticipate.  God is funny like that.  He has His own plans.  If you're like me, you've got your own plans.

Whose plans will you adhere to in 2011?

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Heart Has Been Moved....

beyond the obvious....

the status quo.... 

the convenient.

In some ways, it makes me a little mad.  Maybe not mad, but maybe somewhat (and perhaps embarrassingly) frustrated.  I have been anticipating this current season of my life and now it has been "intruded" upon by this "jaunt" of support for my sister to Africa.  It has helped me think bigger, look deeper, love wider.

I find myself feeling, in some ways, trapped between the now and the not yet.  By this, I mean that I see my world around me and know that we are not created for this world and yet also know that we are to move and breathe about in this world impacting those around us in preparation for our eternal home out of this world.  I know we, as believers, will one day all surround His heavenly throne and in robes of white, and ALL the nations of the world will proclaim his greatness and holiness.  These will include some of those I met while in Africa last week.  The anticipation of "not yet" is not one of morbidity but one of hope of things to come.... and what my role is in this hope.

Over the next several weeks, I hope to post more thoughts and revelations about what I saw and how that impacts my journey here while in this world.  I expect it will look very different than what I had planned.  Isn't that just like the Lord to surprise us in ways we would never choose for ourselves and yet, it is always the best for us?  I am trying to hold on to memories made there and imagine a bigger picture than I have seen in my personal lens. I have seen snapshots of what I think my life has been, what is should be and things that are to come.  I think I needed a wide angle as I have strictly been using the telephoto setting when it comes to my life.  I had my camera set and was shooting all different angles but should have broadened my view.

Walk with me on this journey of discovery and ask yourself if your lens is set on zoom.  Depending on where you are pointing the lens, you might be missing out.  For now, here are some pictures of moments I don't want to forget on my first journey to Ethiopia.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Well, in 3 days, we will be starting our journey to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It is an exciting yet sobering thought.  Lots of things go through your mind when embarking on something like this.  In our case, several family members are traveling with my youngest sister who will live overseas for at least one year at this writing but you know, things change  God is funny like that sometimes.  There aren't always clear answers.  But there is always faith.

The road is long and rocky
The path is sometimes steep
The light is inconsistent
But there's no time to weep

The ebb and flow of life
The chain of wild events
Even the quiet moments
Can sometimes feel intense

But in these highs and lows of life
I'm choosing not to waste
'Cause God brings some unlikely things
To strengthen my shallow faith.

As your life goes through ups and downs  - from children leaving, families breaking, sickness lingering, hearts aching, questions wondering, time marching, employable looking and words smarting - you have the option and ability to choose what you will do with the hard times.  

Will you sit and wallow?

Will you  talk it to death with friends, family, colleagues?

Will you withdraw from your family, church community, your spouse?

Will you talk to the One that has everything to do with where you are in life
What you are doing in life
Where you are going in life
Who you are going to impact (and who is going to impact you) and 
How long you are actually going to be in life?

I speak from experience... the best advice doesn't come from human words but from the Word of God.

There is a reason you are who you are,
where you are,
where you are going,
who you are going with,
who is not there with you,
how long you are going to be there,
what you are doing,
what you will be doing....

Don't waste the moments of uncertainty.  Press into Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith and know that He has brought you into this season for such a time as this.  It is not random.  He is with you and He is for you and He has gone before you.  Trust Him and know that He is always working to build your faith in Him.  He is serious about that.  It is your lifeblood for abundant life in Him.  

There is NO abundant life outside of Him.

Your direction in and quality of life is determined where and in Whom you place your faith.

Where are you placing yours?

My sister has placed hers in Jesus Christ and the life He has moved her into a place that looks very different than what she thought it would look like even 1 year ago!  However, in her 24 years, I have never, NEVER seen her this happy.  Walking in the footprints of Jesus gives you a confidence that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, what you were created for.  Faith got her to this point of walking in His way.  She is living life abundant and though it will be hard, her faith is strengthened everyday that He has brought her to this place.

Where is your faith and the path of your life?  Where is your trajectory of life focused?  Christ is the only long-term fulfilling place for your faith to settle. 

Love to hear your thoughts on how faith has impacted your life!  Until then....


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kings Harbor Concert

Thank you to everyone, all 750 - 1000 of you, who braved the heat and came down to the harbor the other night for the community concert in Kingwood!!  I got the privilege of working with the greatest band, PIERCED GRIP, and they were wonderful!  Shout outs to Eddie B. (lead guitar), Casey H. (acoustic guitar), Mario P. (bass), Davin B. (drums), Sean B. (sax) and Donald J. (keys).  All of these guys are fantastic musicians but more than that, men of great character and integrity and I am happy to be associated with them.

Most of you know, my album is solidly in the christian genre of music.  Nine times out of 10, I will sing primarily christian music but this opportunity was different in that I was asked to sing a good mix of music including country, pop, oldies, and patriotic in addition to christian.  I had so much fun breaking out of my box and stretching myself physically, mentally, and vocally to watch how the Lord allowed this concert to succeed.  We ended up singing for about 2.5 hours or so which was by far the longest I had ever sang at one event.  I sang some Kelly Clarkson ("You Found Me", "Breakaway"), Carrie Underwood ("Temporary Home"), Pat Benetar ("Hit Me With Your Best Shot"), Sugarland ("Everyday America"), fun oldies ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Walking on Sunshine"), "We Are the World" and also sang a set of patriotic music just to name a few dittys.  I sang a few songs off the album but also got to sing several christian songs that I had not recorded that I just love!  I can't believe my voice held out because a lot of those are some BIG songs but I give all credit to the Lord, He totally brought me through and I actually had comments that my voice sounded stronger near the end than it did at the beginning.  That was totally the Lord!  

The turn out was GREAT!

The weather was HOT!

The band was FANTASTIC!

The opportunity was INCREDIBLE!

The blessing was UNDESERVED but I am so grateful!

Thank you to all who came out and sang along, clapped, helped set up and tear down the sets and stage. Thank you to the wives of all the band members and your willingness to sacrifice your guys for a lot of rehearsal time!  You and your families really gave up a lot and I realize that.  Thank you!
Thank you for the businesses who promoted the concert and the promotion staff.  Great people!

Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity to do what I love and providing more than I ever thought or imagined.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We Are The World 2010

Sean Belcan - Horn player from Trinidad
I have started preparing for the Kings Harbor concert on June 18 at 7 PM.  I am so excited about this concert though it is becoming more and more of a realization about how l-o-n-g this concert is going to be. Three hours is what they have asked of me and that is what we will be providing.

Three hours is a long time to do anything... much less sing your guts out! :)

I was told by a guy in the music industry that I respect very much and will absolutely tell it like it is these words...

"If ANYBODY asks you to sing a two hour show, YOU SAY 'NO!"  Absolutely do not do that unless your name is Prince or Springsteen.  Nobody can get away with that much show unless you have a body of work like they do."

To this, I asked... "What about a three hour show?"   His eyes bugged out and then he rolled them ... all the way across the floor.  I took that as another absolute "no-no."

Oh well.... three hours it is.  I have already committed.
Canta la amiga (Does this make sense?)

Anyway, one of the reasons I am so excited about this concert is that I have gotten a lot of my friends and family together to sing with me.  Some of these friends are friends I had in high school and others are friends that I met a couple of months ago.  There are family members that are second cousins and great aunts as well as brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews participating.  Young and old, far and away and near and dear... all coming together to help me out and I am so happy to be part of this group of people.
We Are the World -Ethiopian Constituent
  Fast forward to 2010.....
When I was in middle school, I remember getting the piano sheet music to one of my favorite songs, "We Are The World."  I totally loved that song and would sit down to play and learn parts by plinking them out on the ivories.  My sister and I would sing together and just made good memories.

In honor of the devastation taking place in Haiti, they have re-released the song which I think is better than the original, IMHO.  Hearing it brought back such good memories and I knew I wanted to sing it for the concert.  THANK YOU to all who helped out and sang, played, directed and or supported us in this special endeavor.  I think it is going to be great!!!

Granna and Cousin Rosslyn

Family and Friends coming together for a great cause!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Precious Memories, Indeed

"Mama, it looks like you're gonna have a baby!!!"

In that moment, a quarter of a century ago, it was like the shot heard round the world.  It was my little world but "the world" nonetheless.  And it was approximately 6 months later, that we were given one of the most precious blessings our family has ever received... a new sister.

I remember when she would dance in her crib in the mornings while she waited on someone to come get her for breakfast.

I remember when she got a cute little page-boy haircut (that she would look back at when she was older and despise what my mom had chosen to do with her hair) and how her big brown eyes would open really big when she learned something new.

I remember when she used to write me letters when she was in Kindergarten and I was a freshman at Baylor about how she missed me and told me about what Kodak (the dog) was doing and how she learned to spell a really long word.

I remember when she came up to me mortified after the "birds and the bees" talk with Mom and how we all laughed when she recounted a few phrases that Mom had used.... because WE were mortified.

I remember planning her 16th birthday party with a Survivor theme with my brother and sister and making shirts for them all to wear.

I remember her winning  Homecoming Queen her senior year and her being salutatorian of her class and how that felt to see my "real-live baby doll" get ready to grow up perfectly normal despite the physician recommendation to abort the fetus while she was in utero.

Yes.  She is a miracle.  A miracle which makes these memories precious, indeed.

About 6 months ago, Mom and I were asked to come and speak about the miracle that God had performed in our family by giving us another daughter and another sister.  The banquet coincided with Mother's Day which made the topic all the more poignant.  As we wrote and remembered funny things about her humble beginnings and her aspicious middle years, we both contemplated her future and what it would hold.

I should let you know that Brittany has been an independent girl.  She does things on her own.  She is a  smart (both common sensically and academically speaking), beautiful, healthy, and strong young woman, perfectly capable of handling her life in ways that 24 year olds can.  She makes choices and then stands behind those choices.  She is not typically a follower of the crowds but tends to blaze her own trail as desired.  She is a blessing who has been given the strength by the Lord to handle whatever may come her way.  I expect this will come in handy in the near future.  Our presentation was about the goodness of God and how in all His supernatural wisdom, He stunned the doctors attending her birth and revealed somewhat incomprehensibly that she was physically, developmentally and seemingly genetically perfect despite what tests had clearly predicted.  She was miraculous healed by the hand of Almighty God.... a true gift.  One can only imagine great things in her future.

And in God's perfect timing, the day of our presentation, she revealed to us that she had decided to move to Ethiopia in view of God's calling on her life to work with orphans in Addis Ababa.

Yes.  She was healed for great things. 

They look different than expected.  They often do.
They are more substantial than expected.  They often are.
They're happening in different timing than expected.  They often will.

All the precious memories are God's ways of reminding us that she is His.  He has brought our family more joy from that one life.  It seems that in His infinite wisdom, He sees fit to bring enormous joy into a whole country of lives far away.

Precious memories will be the link to a work that He started 25 years ago.  May the memories that hold her close to our hearts also be the memories that allow us to let her go to touch the lives of others.  As we well know, when she returns, she may be the best memory that those lives will ever have encountered.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

...And the Rain Came Down

We just didn't realize how bad it would be.

The Flood of 2010 on May 1-2 is still on the radar of many Nashville families because they are still waiting.....

The lucky ones are waiting on the final signatures of the contractors who have by now, finished re-constructing and/or refurbishing their homes.

The unlucky ones are still waiting for places to live and regroup.

The lucky ones are going back to work.

The unlucky ones are waiting for their place of business to be reopened or relocated back to the area where the commute is within a fair distance and the monthly gas bill can resume more reasonable percentages of the weekly budget.

We are all waiting for OpryMills Mall to re-open, The Grand Ole Opry to start hosting our stars again, and the Nashville Symphony has lost it's home in the Schermerhorn until at least January 2011.

I was actually planning to participate in a community effort called the Great Day of Service which had to be changed to the Great Day of Swimming.  I have seen that much water in Houston before.... in the form of Hurricane Rita.  The flood that Nashville experienced was one of the greatest natural disasters not caused by a hurricane in at least the recent history of this great city.

Go to fullsize imageAs a Texan by heart and Tennessean by choice, I believe that whoever chose the motto "The Volunteer State" for this small but hearty piece of land, knew what he was doing.  The Great Day of Service turned into the Great Quarter of Service as things are continuing to be done for those who are still doing without for one reason or another.  The clean up is not done.  It is an ongoing process.... and so, Tennesseans everywhere are out and about helping their families... but not only their families.  They are helping friends, neighbors, local businesses, strangers even.  They are organizing, laboring, calling, providing, and still showing up in droves to help out the city that everyone loves.  Nashville is giving back to its own... and its own is so thankful.

Go to fullsize imageI am proud to live in this city.  It is more of a blessing than I ever expected when I chose to leave Texas 8 years ago.  Thank you to those who have helped recreate and restore the city to be a place to be proud of.  It is in this journey that you have made me even prouder to have chosen Tennessee as my home away from home.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Works of Art" Brunch for CERI

This morning, I was honored to have been asked to sing at the Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) Work of Art Brunch.  What a great turn out and what a great organization!

I had met with Dr. Dearing Garner, my previous pastor from when I was growing up and neighbor, about the possibility of me coming to sing for this great organization for the first annual brunch to honor the children, workers and to fundraise for the work that is happening on the other side of the world in plaes like Sri Lanka and Moldova.  One only has to see the faces of these children who have been touched by the work of CERI and consequently, the hand of Almighty God, to know that this ministry is doing amazing things overseas.  I am blessed to be able to know of the great group of people as well as its current director, Dr. Garner.  He is special to me in particular because he was the pastor that talked with me when I was called to become a christian and he baptized me and my brother.  I was great friends with his only daughter, Laura so I spent many nights over at their home and I many summer days skating in our driveways together.  In a way, as he has raised his family, he is now raising up families all over the world in practical ways to be productive members of their culture and investing time and energy into these faces who need Christ.  He is a man of great integrity and is lending these character qualities to this great ministry.

Please, if your heart has been softened by the words you have read, you have been intrigued by the increasing pace of international adoption in the States, or you just want to love on those precious faces you see on TV, in the grocery store and at your child's school, there might be a place for you to be a part of those children's lives through CERI.  I would love to talk to you about CERI and can put you in contact with Dr. Garner directly so that he can help you find a place for your heart and hands to make a difference in lives that God is so acutely concerned with .... just as He is with you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So Much Activity and So Little Publishing

I have been keeping track on so many things going on but I haven't had time to post about these great things so I am going to try and post events over the last several months and provide a little backstory as we go.  I will try and date them according to appropriate timelines so that you can walk along beside me, albeit a little later, and experience life along this road I've been on now for almost a year!  Crazy!

First up, Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI)

Tune in, I'll have something up later on today.

Blessings abounding to you all!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Annnnnddddd... We're BACK!

Good News!!!!  

I've started back on my personal training again.  (OK, so maybe it's "meh" news.)

No.  Not with Dimples.  (It's a long post but WELL worth the time if you would like to laugh at my expense!  HEARTILY laugh at my expense... heading into a guffaw.  Do not drink milk while reading it...  Don't say you haven't been warned...)

I'm back to John.  He's the best and once you have the best, well, settlin' for second best isn't in the plans anymore.  I have strayed once and never again.... John K. is where it is at for me.  Who wants to come with me?  What?  NOBODY?

I try to get others to come and get healthy... not working.  I tell them his price (FREE!!!!!) ... nobody shows.   I tell them his credentials and experience.... not cutting it.  I tell them great central location... I got nothin', I tell ya.  It's unfortunate because he has so many credentials and is giving too-good-too-be-true- deals right now to get this new independent training business started but alas, no takers ... except for moi.

Just wanted to let you know what is going on.  If you have read this blog for awhile, you know of my adventures with the gym, personal training, bootcamps and my ongoing disdains of "planks".  I expect, after my deviance from the narrow way of all things gym-related for the last couple of years, this training period will result in more stories that I will recount here for those looking for a laugh... again at my expense.   I am serious once again about the training and now have a little of my time back to really do this.  I have committed to begin the bootcamp regimen at 6 AM MWF.  

Yes... I AM that crazy.  

Tune in for additional information about the ways I will fall, my misuse (and subsequent potential to break the equipment), the people I am able to lure and those that will be chased away .  

Good times.... good times ahead. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hope is Coming!

As we have been thinking this week about Christ and His sacrifice, I wanted to post this video by S.M. Lockridge.  It has been posted many times before in many other places but I just love the passion and reminder he brings to us in his life-giving words.  Think on these words today and look forward to the weekend because "Sunday's Comin'"!

(Be sure and scroll down and turn off the music player so you won't miss the video.)