Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It is right to Give Thanks!!

Ok, so it has been a long while since I've posted! I'm terrible, I know! Oh well, it is well... On Facebook I have seen my friends, you guys(!), post the 30 Days of Thanksgiving for the month of November and I wanted to do the same thing except here on the blog so that I can do it all together. In the Methodist Church, we have this liturgy that we recite during certain worship services; I really love it, it says

Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give Him our thanks and praise.

Yes, it is right to give our Lord and Savior our thanks and praise, He is the only One that is good and just and pure and holy and worthy and admirable and loving and forgiving and mighty and awesome and so, so, so much more. Even though the Spirit of Thanksgiving was against me the other day (I was trying to open a DC*B Christmas cd...), I'm going to lift my heart to the Lord and I'm going to give my thanks - because it is right.

1. I'm thankful for my dear, sweet Jesus who loved me so much that He gave Himself up for me. He took my place when He didn't have to; He loves me with an agape love, a love that I can not comprehend. He corrects me when I go astray. He left 99 just to find me. And He does the exact same thing for you - you just have to choose Him and believe Him and follow Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength.

2. I'm thankful for my family - you guys mean so much to me and I love each one of you dearly! Mom, Dad, Rikki, Morgan, Megan, Poppa, Granny, Nana, Granddaddy and Clay.

3. I'm thankful for my amazing husband (TJ!!!) and his love for Christ; I'm so happy that he is God's best for my life and love him so very much!

4. I'm thankful for my amazing extended family that took me in when they didn't have to, loved me (even when I forgot to clean the bathroom!!), helped me to see a marriage totally focused on God, listened as parts of my world have fallen apart, and just been a constant in my life. Thank you guys, you'll never know what you guys mean to me!

5. I'm thankful for my family of followers of Christ that I have gotten to know and share my life with. You guys are spread out all over but I know I can call on you guys anytime. Thank You!

6. I'm thankful for best friends (sisters of my soul!!). We can go without talking to each other for long periods of time but the moment we get together it's like no time has passed. Your friendship has kept me going so many times. Love you!

7. I'm thankful for mandolins, banjos, box drums, and guitars.

8. I'm thankful for new friends and their sweet children, who bless my soul so much.

9. I'm thankful for NeedToBreathe, Jars of Clay, David Crowder Band, Gungor Band, and Chris Tomlin.

10. I'm thankful for Kid's Camp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11. I'm thankful for my church families, present and past. I've learned from pillars of the church all the way down to the teenie, tiny babies! You guys are amazing and I'm honored to have been/be apart of your lives!

12. I'm thankful for chips and salsa! =)

13. I'm thankful for thrift store t-shirts, they are the BEST!

14. I'm thankful for 70's rock (thanks to Daddy for sharing his taste in music!).

15. I'm thankful for books! I love books and love to read them!

16. I'm thankful that C.S. Lewis became a follower of Christ! Without his love for Jesus, he would have never written some of the aforementioned "books" that I LOVE!!!!!

17. I'm thankful for Chick-fil-A.

18. I'm thankful for Christmas Worship Music - I'm listening to DC*B's album right now, Oh for Joy, and if I didn;t have Christmas music then that might mean that Jesus wasn't born and we couldn't have the oh-so-personal realtionship with Him that we enjoy and often take for granted now.

19. I'm thankful for fingernail polish and hair clips.

20. I'm thankful for you and that you have taken your time to read through this and maybe this will get you thinking of what you are thankful for...

21. I'm thankful for my camera and that I have the ability to get out and take pictures of things I love.

22. I'm thankful for trees - I love trees, they are always looking up to the heavens, reaching for their Creator.

23. I'm thankful for Autumn, I love the changing seasons and the beautiful colors that Autumn brings.

24. I'm thankful for mistakes I've made, they have taught me valuable lessons in life.

25. I'm thankful for my fingers and toes and legs and arms and everything else on and in my body. Our Creator made us and we are beautiful just the way we are!

26. I'm thankful for the stars; I miss the stars here in HYT - too much light pollution. But, oh, how I love the stars - they are magnificent!

27. I'm thankful for cardigans, they are so warm and cozy and cute! =)

28. I'm thankful for those who have gone before us and are now a "great cloud of witnesses" that are cheering us on in our race!

29. I'm thankful for long walks when I can just completely open myself up and have conversation with Jesus.

30. I'm thankful for the quiet moments, the still moments in life when I shut my mouth and just listen.

What are you thankful for? You should be thankful for something. Remember, "It is right to give our thanks and praise."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh My Word! =)

Ok, so no hymn as of right now - but I have A LOT to write about so I'm not promising anything! It has been a while since I've been on here... A few things have happened between then and now.
To make it easier to sort out, I'll put it in a sort of list form! =)

- I've been wanting to write but I never could bring myself to write on the topic that I felt I needed to write about. It's about compromise, compromising our belief in Jesus just so we can _________ (fill in your own blank) - mine would be so I don't hurt people's feelings. Compromise is defined as "to make a dishonorable or shameful concession" or another term I use is settling (which means "to be satisfied with"). I am tired of compromising and settling!!!!!! I know what the Bible says about certain topics ad there are things that I do and people I know do are flat out wrong and totally against what the Bible says. Why then, do I continue to allow it to happen? Why am I not trying to encourage others to do the right thing? Why do I worry if I hurt their feelings? Why, why, why?????? The Bible is very clear
 "Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers - none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were like that, but now your sins are washed away (!), and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for you." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Yes, I know the passage in mostly on sexual sin, but it does point out thieves, greedy people, and abusers and so on. But the next sentence is so wonderful - Now your sins are washed away!!! We have been set apart! We don't have to do those things anymore! But we aren't automatically made that way... We don't just get the gift, we have to ASK for it and make the choice daily (for me it’s constantly!) to lay down our burdens and take Jesus' - His yoke is light and His burden is easy! I don't want to sound like one of those back-woods, Bible-thumping people that condemn everyone to Hell, but it is TIME to take a stand! We can't serve two masters - we'll love one and hate the other. I think that many of us have settled or compromised our beliefs so that we won't be considered weird or back-woods believers or we just don't know what Scripture actually says... I'm not sure but I've heard and seen so many people compromise on what the Bible says. Like it's ok for their children to live with their boy/girlfriend or that the Bible isn't really God's Word, that men decided what to put in it and it's just really cool and neat letters (2 Timothy 3:16-17) or that it's ok to be inspired by something that Jesus would never have been ok with or the list literally could go on and on but I think you've got the picture. I'm tired of compromise and second rate living - Jesus has great things in store for me and I'm going to run my race with perseverance and try to help others do so as well. So you guys, go get your running shoes!!! (And please don't think I'm being that condemning person, I just know that Jesus has good, good plans for all of us and I want it for you too!!!!)

- Kid's Camp 2011!!!!! Woot!!! I love, love, love camp and this year was the BEST ever!! 15 beautiful souls were added to the Kingdom!!!!!!!!!! And that's awesome and amazing! I love the way Jesus works! The kids aren't prideful, they aren't scared of what others think, they'll stand up, raise their hands to worship our Savior. The camp pastor said to me one night during the songs, "Why can't adults do this (stand in awe of what Jesus is doing and just be unashamed for Jesus)?” I'll have more on Camp in my next blog; just ponder that question, "Why can't adults do this?"

I think that is everything for now, I had a lot of personal stuff too; I just need to digest it and learn from everything before I put it out there for everyone (who's just my Mom! Hey Mom!!) to see! =) Haha! This blog did make me think about NeedToBreathe so you guys should for sure check them out! They are by far one of my favorite-ist bands ever! Until next time, Much Love!

**So very sorry for the black writing, this silly thing will not let me change it! It's doing crazy things! =(

Monday, June 20, 2011

Its been 70 Years...

So my Granny and Pop have been married for over 70 years - that is a miracle... I'll say it again, THAT is a bona fide, real, true, alomost not even believeable, modern day miracle! How many people can or will say they stuck it out in their marriage for that long? I've only been married for 2 years and 8 months and I can say for sure that it is super hard. It's not something to take lightly - marriage is hard!!!! It's one of the hardest (if not the hardest) things I've ever had to do - choosing to love another person even though you could quite possibly murder them if you have to pick up another stitch of their dirty clothes, choosing to love even though at that moment you could throw a Mountain Dew bottle at their face (whoops!! I've done that!! Love you TJ!) - the thing about marriage is that it is a choice. It comes down to choosing love, patience, gentleness, kindness, SELF-CONTROL, peace, joy (not necessarily happiness because that is a feeling, joy is is conscious decision that you have to choose), goodness, and faithfulness - ummm, wonder where that came from? Galations 5:22. It is all a choice...

Back to Granny and Pop... Granny is in the hospital - she is actually going to rehab to rebuild some strength in her body (fingers crossed!!). My older sister and I visited her yesterday afternoon and we took Pop with us. Pop will be 95 this year and I swear if he could he'd be riding 4-wheelers, climbimg trees, and pretty much anything he could get his hands on! He's as sharp as a tack too! Some of my family think that he is loosing his mind... He's not - He was telling us yesterday about his job at the Belcher Sawmill off Warrior River Road and then going to the War, then his job at Brown Lumber, TN Coal and something or other, and then retiring from Westinghouse after 27 years - tell me that's loosing his mind!! Anyway, while at the hospital he told his wife of 70 years that she needed to go to rehab if that was the best thing for her to get better - he really wants her better do she can cook and bring him dinner whenever he wants it! He prayed for her well being before we left. He kissed her and called her sweetheart. He said he loved her and wanted the best for her even if that meant he'd have to stay by himself for 3 weeks (he has his cats to keep him company though!). He has loved her through thick and thin - she has loved him through difficult and trying times (she had their first child and raised him by herself for 3 years while he was overseas fighting for our country and freedom). They have shown me what it means to choose to love even in the worst circumstances. And the only reason their story is a modern day miracle?? They both made a choice to follow and serve the One, True and Living God - Our Blessed Savior - the Church's most perfect and only Bridegroom!!! Our relationship with Christ is our perfect example for marriage - He chooses to love even though we constantly reject Him. He is all the time what I mentioned above from Galations. He chooses love so we can have that most important realtionship with Him!

Much Love Guys!! =)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Every Hour I Need You

The title has nothing to do with the post per say, but I hear my wonderfully talented husband and the incredible youth band playing it in the background... It's beautiful and I love that hymn so much!

It is not my intention to write about hymns but I think they have so much to say to us. The people that wrote them went through some amazing and terrible things and because of what they went through the songs were born and were given life and still offer hope and meaning today! =)

Now onto what I signed on to write about... My beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, and loving friend (that I've only known for like 5 months and who is like my twin in just about every way [look out world there are two of me!]!) lost her Peppy Wednesday night. Peppy was a husband, father, grandfather and so much more! I only met him once about a month ago and I could tell he was something special. His funeral was today and it was one of the best, don't think I'm being morbid or anything - Peppy was honored in such an amazing way, he had such a full life and was remembered for so many things that he had done. He loved Jesus with his whole heart and instilled that in his children and they in turn instilled it in their children. One of his daughters wrote the sweetest things said about him today - it was about him being a "keeper" of all things. After the funeral was over the lady sitting next to me said something to the effect of "Wow, what a legacy to leave". So that is basically what my point is - what legacy will I leave? I want to be remembered for loving Jesus and living my life for Him and His glory. I want my life to be a reflection of His and I want to be remembered for being all things to all people... I'm not telling you all this just so if I die tomorrow you will say this at my funeral. I'm saying this because I want you to hold me accountable to what I say here.

So this blog is for Peppy and what he meant to our community and church family and also for me and you and what legacy we are leaving on future generations.....

Much Love Guys!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

THE very first blog post ever!

Ok, so I'm blogging.... I've never really been one to "put myself out there" for everyone to see, but I'm pretty sure not too many people will see this! =) I kind of explained the meaning behind my title and url address in the "About Me" section, but I want to put the song here and let you guys read it for yourself...

 Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Robert Robinson wrote it in 1757 and some of my favorite covers are done by David Crowder Band, Jars of Clay and Sufjan Stevens (you should for sure look them up on youtube...). I remember first hearing this song and it's meaning when I went to some kind of youth rally for my county in highschool. I remember thinking that it was so true for me - I am really terrible! How many times had I (and still do) wander form Jesus and His perfect love for me? 

So basically this is my anthem and prayer... "Here's my heart LORD,
take and seal it - seal it for thy courts above!"

So until next time... Much Love guys! =)