Thursday, December 15, 2011

Contagious Holiness

So pastor posted this article this morning on Facebook and it was really good, I see why he wanted to share. So I am doing the same. However this article is inspired by this so maybe you should view both. Some great quotes of Len Sweet in his review was: "the devil’s got a mission" talking about churches being missional.

There isn't definition in the word missional for churches if we aren't spreading the mission and truth of Jesus. Too many times in this day and culture we are being humanitarians instead of disciples of christ. We need to make sure that we are staying true to what is at the central of the reason we are being missional... not only because the Lord tells us to ... but because we have a heart like Christ and He had a heart for the lost.
Sweet: The question for the church to ask is, "How is Christ perceived, made real, and lifted up in the various cultures in which we find ourselves?" ... "Our Christianity does not reside in one thing—it adjusts to culture. This is the incarnational principal Jesus gave us: While I don’t want you to be of the world, I want you to be in the world—it is not our option to flee the world."

I love this statement Sweet made: "We’ve made the church about a lot of different things other than Christ. The Scriptures say clearly that if Jesus be lifted up, he will draw all people (John 12:32)." And it's true. We have made Church many things... most often than not, not about Christ. He goes on to say, "This is one of my things about the church: We develop boards, draw up this and that strategy, start programs, but the church has got to understand that all this is to lift Jesus up. He’s the draw, and we ought to be focused on how we can lift Jesus up so people can hear him, see him, smell him, taste him and touch him in our communities."  

 Okay... wait a minute... let me go back to the word: "boards". Um, the church does create these said boards... and it needs to do a better job of following and expecting the qualifications that are laid out in Acts 6:1-7, Acts 20:17-31, 1 Tim 3:3-13 for the leadership of our Churches. Check out Elders, DeaconsRedefinition of the Church Part 1 or Part 2 for some better understanding on these matters.We need to make sure we are placing Spirit-filled Christ seeking leaders into these positions instead of the high school popularity contests that they seem to currently be.  Okay enough of me ranting, back to Sweet.

Sweet: "I think it is. The church of the future is going to be many sizes with many different expressions. Some churches will get bigger than we’ve ever imagined. We are now seeing the organic church, house church, and simple church movement. There is going to be a move away from what I call “parking lot churches” to “pedestrian churches.” By this, I mean churches that are anchored in the neighborhood that you can literally walk to. We are moving toward a pedestrian culture, where people want to walk to work, walk to the store, and walk to church, so I think there is an opportunity for small churches, especially neighborhood churches. But they got to get the connection part right. They have to understand what it means to really connect with God, with each other, and with strangers. That’s a big deal."

Ah... nicely put. This isn't saying every church is going to be like this... but this is what i want for our churches... communities of faith families coming together to do life. Pastor and I have been trying to achieve this for 5 years now... and still counting. And yet many "church-goers" are afriad of this???

Which leads me back to Wentworth. "I remained in my "holiness bubble" and used the rules as my reason to never involve myself in the culture that so desperately needed to be introduced to the One who changed my life. If anyone wanted to experience or witness that change, they needed to come into the church and see how I worshiped the Lord and how many times I attended services each week." It is crazy to think of how the culture has shaped us and taken us so far away from what Christ has told us to do: live lives of holiness and make disciples. "...To this current day, that lifestyle-a holiness lifestyle-infected her and is affecting those around her."

The Cross was true holiness in it purest form, but it didn't look very holy on the surface. In order to engage our world, Jesus showed us how to be holy people in a dirty world and to live a life of holiness without the world endangering our holiness label.

I learned that for years my life was defined by labels-holiness church and holiness people-instead of a holiness lifestyle that connects with my culture to show them who Christ is through me. I didn't have to be disconnected from the culture, but God was calling me into the culture to truly live out His change in me. People in our communities are not likely to come into my holiness church to see my holiness life. But I now know they will see me every day giving them a tangible indication that there is something different in my life.

If we don't engage each other within the walls of the building then we will never be effective in engaging our community and culture. If we don't live that life with each other we will not have any effect in the world we are trying to reach.This is what we need.

This is what we need.
*Words in orange are from a post made by Keven Wentworth, Pastor of Dayton, Ohio's Beavercreek Church of the Nazarene for Holiness Today magazine.
*Words in blue are from an interview conducted and written by Grace & Peace magazine on Len Sweet's book: So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and Church.

DIY No Sew Tree Skirt

So my new fav thing to do is pin all day... and I know many others enjoy the same pleasure. 

So after seeing all these cute little tree skirts, I decided to have a try at it myself. 

Thanks pinterest!
Here is how it turned out...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Matter What

Today is a hard day. Lots of crying and heartache. Emma busted up in my bathroom with my iPhone playing Kerrie Roberts' "No Matter What"... thankfully God has used her and my iPhone a lot these past couple of days to bring me a word from Him. You may think that is silly... I think that's just my Father knowing what I need when I need it. 

So what else is there to do when Kerrie Roberts is playing ... DANCE PARTY! Tears run down my face and a smile appears because I feel Him ... and see the laughter and innocence in my little girls 
... "I will trust Him, no matter what."

No Matter What

Songwriters: Chuck Butler, Kerrie Roberts, Tony Wood

I'm running back to your promises one more time
Lord that's all I can hold on to
I gotta say this has taken me by surprise
But nothing surprises You
Before a heartache can ever touch my life
It has to go through Your hands
And even though I keep asking why
I keep asking why
No matter what, I'm gonna love You
No matter what I'm gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, I'll trust you
No matter what, no matter what
When I'm stuck and there's nothing else by myself
I'm just sitting in silence
There's no way I can make it without Your help
I wont even try it
I know You have Your reasons for everything
So I will keep believing
Whatever I might be feeling, God, You are my hope
And You will be my strength,
No matter what, I'm gonna love You
No matter what I'm gonna need You
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, I'll trust you
No matter what, no matter what
Anything I don't have You can give it to me
But it's okay if You don't, I'm not here for those things
The touch of Your love is enough on its own
No matter what I still love You and I'm gonna need You
No matter what I'm gonna love you
No matter what I'm gonna need you
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, I'll trust You
No matter what, no matter what
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, I'll trust you
No matter what, no matter what
No matter, no matter what

Friday, November 18, 2011

8 Ways to Pressure-Proof Your Holidays

8 Ways to Pressure-Proof Your Holidays -

How to protect your family from holiday stress.
Mary May Larmoyeux

“Feeling the holiday pressure?” a greeting card asks, “Relax! It’ll be gone before you know it.”

Have you ever felt like a hamster caught on a spinning wheel when it comes to celebrating the holidays? I sure have. When I asked some friends what they do to prevent stress around the holidays one told me, “The last three out of four years I ended up sick over Christmas. I honestly don't know if there is a way to reduce holiday stress when your life is already full and busy and then you add in all the holiday stuff. When I think of December I think ugh!”

Another said, “So much is expected of us, even when we have a full-time job. I would love to go see special Christmas musicals, drive to places that have pretty lights, but we rarely have time.”

Can you identify? What should be one of the most special times of the year is often packed with unrealistic demands that wreak havoc on relationships— between husbands and wives, parents and their grown children, singles and those they love. And what about the annual questions: Where will we spend the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays? Who will be coming over for dinner? How much should we spend on presents this year?

And when you throw in the in-laws and their expectations for the holidays, too often you have a recipe for s-t-r-e-s-s. What’s a person to do?

A colleague said, “After many years, I have just learned to roll with the punches and know that this, too, shall pass.”

When you flip the pages of the calendar to November and December, do you do it with that same “This, too, shall pass” feeling of resignation? Here are eight tips to protect you, your marriage relationship, and your family from holiday pressure:

Four do’s

1. Pray. Feeling holiday stress, many years ago Kit enlisted God’s help. She sensed Him saying, Trust me with your celebrations. Give me your hopes and dreams for this special time of year. I know your needs. Allow me to fill them. And every year since, Kit has begun the holiday season with a prayer that reminds her to entrust the season the Lord.

Another friend told me that she asks God for spiritual protection during the holidays. While she and her family center Thanksgiving and Christmas around their God-given blessings and the birth of Christ, many in her extended family do not. She realizes that family disagreements can easily crop up during the holidays. That’s why she prays for spiritual protection. She also prays that she will respond in a godly way when loved ones don’t understand her family’s Christian faith. She asks, Lord, guard my mouth constantly.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

2. Plan. Jillian and her husband ease holiday stress by planning. They decide where they will spend the holidays as much in advance as possible. “By doing this,” she says, “loved ones can “process and get used to our plan and that protects against hurt/disappointed feelings.”

As a working mom, Linda says that she doesn’t handle anything to do with Christmas until after Thanksgiving weekend. She avoids feeling overwhelmed by scheduling one major task at a time (Example: First week after Thanksgiving, write Christmas letter and address Christmas cards).

Naoma says: “The more that can be done ahead of time in small bits over longer periods of time, the more manageable and enjoyable the season.”

Those who plan peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20b

3. Determine realistic expectations and communicate them clearly. When Trena looked at her December to-do list, she felt a knot in her stomach. How could she get everything done? Then she heard a radio program about the holidays and realized that she was the cause of her own stress. “I lowered my expectations of myself and the festivities and focused more on the true meaning of Christmas than on the gifts that I gave.”

Jillian had to learn to face unrealistic holiday expectations from extended family. When communicating with loved ones about plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas, she says, “Be graceful. Be firm. Be clear.” Another friend, Kristin, had to work with her extended family to reduce their unrealistic expectation that they should all get together every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now they choose one or the other, allowing all of them time to enjoy the other holiday in their own homes.

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 NIV

4. Discuss holiday plans with your spouse. Do you tend to overcommit yourself? I do.

Jillian says she only replies to invitations after consulting with her husband. For example, if her mother invites the family over for a holiday meal, Jillian tells her, “I have to discuss this with Kyle. I will let you know something soon.”

It’s so easy to overcommit when spouses don’t consult with one another about holiday requests. But we can pressure-proof the calendar by keeping priorities straight during the holidays.

Without counsel plans fail. Proverbs 15:22a

Four don’ts

1. Don’t forget the reasons for the holiday season. Have you noticed that Thanksgiving seems to be the forgotten holiday? Too often store shelves are filled with Christmas decorations in October—with little mention of Thanksgiving Day. That’s too bad, because Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to focus on gratitude. To thank God, individually and as a family, for His blessings.

And how many of us seem to forget to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because we are caught up in the trappings of the season? When Jenny’s children were younger, her family always had a birthday party for Jesus, inviting other children to come. One Christmas her son agreed to sing a song in front of a large group of women. “I knew he would be terrified,” Jenny says. So she talked with him about giving Jesus his song as a gift—“to remind the ladies that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday.” He agreed and sang his heart out.

By focusing on the real reasons for the holidays, we can relax. Thanksgiving and Christmas are not about travel, or parties, or presents. Instead they offer opportunities to pull away from the hectic pace of life long enough to thank God for His blessings and for the gift of Jesus Christ.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. Isaiah 9:6a

2. Don’t try to please everyone. Making everyone happy during the holidays is an impossible dream.

A friend, who will be eight months pregnant this December, told me that she was feeling stress because loved ones want her husband and her to drive 10 hours to be with them on Christmas Day. Her husband told her, “Let’s just do what’s best for us.” They plan to stay home. Her response: “Kudos to him!”

Another friend said she had not found answers for how to slow down during the holidays “without disappointing others.” Could it be that we just can’t please everyone? The fact is they can’t always please us, either.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Galatians 1:10a

3. Don’t overbuy. A recent Gallup Poll said American shoppers estimate they will spend an average of $712 each on Christmas gifts this year. Many of us can’t afford that much. Too often the joy of unwrapping presents in December is replaced with the stress of paying the bills in January.

Sheila avoids going into debt during the holidays by shopping for Christmas presents all year long. Cindy’s family members put the names of adults in a basket. Then, each adult draws only one name to buy for, setting a $25 limit. “It really helped financially,” she says.

Terri’s teenage children had higher and higher expectations for expensive Christmas gifts. So the family huddled together and decided to help each other make handmade gifts. The result: a “memorable and life-changing Christmas time.”

And Deb and Eric limit their gifts to three per child. “If three were enough for Jesus,” Deb says, “Why do we need more?”

For by grace you have been saved through faith. …

it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

4. Don’t try to do everything. There’s something comforting about traditions, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But can family traditions become a source of stress? I have only to look in the mirror at myself to answer that question: Yes!

Let’s face it: People are different. Recognizing this, and relaxing with the differences, can ease holiday pressure—both inside and outside the home.

Sometimes visions of homemade Christmas decorations, gingerbread houses, helping the needy, cutting a fresh tree, etc., dance through my head—so our family can have the “perfect Christmas.” But there’s a problem: People in the same family often value traditions differently. What’s comforting for one may actually be stressful or totally meaningless for another.

Deb suggests talking with your spouse and each child about what makes the holiday special for them. Keep the most meaningful traditions, and discard the rest.

Naoma reminds herself over and over during the holidays: What is really important this holiday season for my loved ones?

Let us know among ourselves what is good. Job 34:4b

This year, let’s not spin our wheels when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas. With a little planning and preparation, love, peace and joy won’t just be words on a holiday greeting card.

May we all relax when we flip the pages of the calendar to the new year, looking forward to what it will bring … especially during the next season of holidays!

The holidays can be a stressful time for families. Download a free one-session HomeBuilders study that will help couples make holiday decisions. Find more articles on FamilyLife's website on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Related resources
'Tis the Season, by Cindi Ferrini
When Christmas Came, by Barbara Rainey
25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever, by Ace Collins

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~ Family Worship Time ~

Family ~ Worship ~ Time

So I came across this blog that adressed a dear event of mine and I thought I would share and give you my insight.

Family Worhsip Time can be so dreading it you allow to miss the point of the time together. And with me needing everything a certain way... I am guilty of getting caught up in the setup of it all... but it doesn't need a setup.

There is no outline, no order of service, no bulletin, haha (I only wish). There isn't a set of rules to follow... except to actually do it and not just plan it.

I loved her comment, "I was just sure Family Worship Time was nothing less than Daddy reading Scripture, Mommy leading songs, children chiming in with brilliant, spiritually sound comments on it all."

Here are some deffinations to help us out:

FAMILY: Whoever is present at the time equals family. Daddy at work, Mommie out of town, whole family out of town, guests over, or us in the car... Any one of these could cause me to think Family Worship Time can’t be had, but with that kind of thinking, we’d never connect on a spiritual level.

WORSHIP: If the central focus is God, it’s worship.

TIME: Whenever you get the first two together.

Don’t get caught up in perfectionism and miss the essence of what Family Worship Time is truly all about:

Family ~ Worship ~ Time

Garden of the gods... wished it was named just Garden of the God... since He is the one that created it

Crazy Beautiful is a place called Colo Springs! I was amazed at God's creation while being in a place that just felt like I belonged there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


There are many evangelism techniques available to us, but which one is best? The Skit Guys demonstrate a few and share their own story in the latest addition to the "Skinny On" series.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Shopping My Closet Fall 2011

J Crew blazer

J brand
$158 -

Kate Spade satchel bag

J Crew twist jewelry
$150 -

MaBelle white gold jewelry
$1,460 -

Let me tell ya about the birds & the buoys...

Dorothy Perkins crewneck t shirt
£5 -

$30 -

FOSSIL printed handbag
$78 -

Hermes stainless steel jewelry
$2,800 -

Sobral stretch jewelry
$65 -

Link jewelry
$125 -

Tom Ford eyeglasses,sunglasses
£153 -

Lauren by Ralph Lauren buckle belt
£39 -

There's just something about green...

L K Bennett black top
£75 -

Old Navy ruffle top
$9.99 -

Denim jeans
$235 -

Michael Kors black shoes
$176 -

Michael Kors black shoes
$176 -

Stephane Verdino rubber handbag
$180 -

Sterling silver jewelry
$3.30 -

Sprout Watches bamboo jewelry
$18 -

Oliver peoples sunglasses

Rain, rain, please stay!

A L C scoop neck top
$168 -

Denim jeans
$235 -

SOLE tote hand bag

Bangles jewelry

Timex olive jewelry
$60 -

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bye Bye Summer

It is officaly no longer summer for us. It's past Labor Day and life is back in full swing.
Bye Bye Summer.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seven Ways of Highly Effective Bible Memorization*

1. Old before New

Always take the old paths. Begin each day by reviewing the memorized verses first before learning the next verse. The goal is retention not accumulation

2. Rinse and Repeat

And again. The only way to retain learned verses is to review them again and again over an extended period of time. Everyday’s memorization rhythm: Rinse and repeat.

3. Location, Location, Location

Like the mantra in real estate is location, location, location, so it is for really remembering: memorize the location of each verse. Memorize each verse number and don’t skip it. This is paramount and makes it much easier to memorize long passages and not inadvertently skip verses when reciting whole chapters. Location!

4. Take a Mental Screen Shot

Use your mental point and shoot and take a brain “photograph” of the verse. Read each new verse several times, hiding one word at a time, burning each word into your mind like light onto film.

5. Preach it

To yourself. Speak your memory verses to yourself aloud. Preach it aloud to the soul that needs it the most — our own — and say each verse with emotion and feeling. Whispering it while driving, walking, working not only is an easy way of reviewing and memorizing, it’s fulfilling God’s call to meditate on His Word day and night. And saying each verse aloud is a way to work the words deep into our memory: His Words never return void.

6. Repeat it for 100

For 100 consecutive days repeat aloud your memory work — all the verses, or the chapter, or the whole book. This is painless and demands no extra time: do it first thing every morning while getting ready for the day — in the shower, getting dressed, making the bed etc. Repeat it for 100!

7. Sabbath Sanctuary to see the weeds

After your Repeat it for 100, take the last Sunday of every month and make a sabbath sanctuary to read through your memory work. This will help you to “see the weeds” — any mistakes that have crept into your recitation of longer projects/chapters/books. Soak in His Word on a Sabbath — pluck out some weeds. Commit your heart — and mind —- to Him again. 
(*Ideas adapted from Dr. Andrew Davis)
“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding… than memorizing Scripture… No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends…” ~Charles Swindoll

Gathered from A Holy Experience 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Naturals Game

So we went to the North West Arkansas Naturals baseball game for fathers day this year. Funny... we were at a Drillers game last year. We went with our friends the Ridley's and had a GREAT time. The Naturals came back and kicked botty! They played a pretty good team, but managed to pull through at the end. Here are some picks of our trip!
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