I am sooooo very tired as I type this, but I'm trying to persevere as the clock strikes almost midnight. No rest for the weary momma.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that my Monday posts (now almost Tuesday) are written for my precious church families that I have the privilege of serving each week at church.
We began a series a few weeks ago and I wanted to help keep us connected by writing a brief summary or my own "food for thought" from what the sermon was about on Sunday.
Well....how do you like this title.....
"Prince of Peace"
Sounds simple and easy doesn't it??
Ummmmm......no, it's not.
Because this particular week, our pastor used war as its backdrop for peace preaching.
Hello???!!! This is deep, hard, thought provoking stuff.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Well, this is fine and all until you throw in the three letter word of w-a-r. How in the world do we love our enemies when we want to strangle people, shake some sense into them, and can't figure out for the life of us, what in the world they are thinking????!!!!!
I'm not venturing down that road because honestly, I'm too tired and have to go back to MS to play baseball soon so I just can't handle the deep thoughts right now, much less explain them.
So....I'll simply ask this question....
"How do we believe in Jesus, follow His ways, seek Him through His Word, and then go out and kill people in war?"
It's a tough one and something I have swirled around and around in my mind. I have my own thoughts and my own opinions, but I'm not going down that road.
I just want to encourage you to think, pray, and explore a bit more of what Jesus means when He tells us to love our enemies and what that love should look like. What exactly did Jesus mean?
This is good stuff. I can't wait to hear what you might have to say.
I love you all. Have a great week. I've got 101 pix coming soon. :)
Hugs and blessings~
Monday, June 30, 2008
I am sooooo very tired as I type this, but I'm trying to persevere as the clock strikes almost midnight. No rest for the weary momma.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Just want y'all to know that I spent the day at the lake yesterday. Ok...that's fun. And, it was. It was an entire baseball team of 7 yr olds and their families.
But, toward the end of the day on the water, I decided to go back in time and see if I could still ski. And, after I put on two skis, jumped in the water, manhandled the rope between the skis, and said a brief prayer, I got up on those babies and skied!
Yes. I did!
However, I'm so sore today that I can hardly move.
We just ain't what we used to be. :)
Happy Sunday. I'm off to church!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Doesn't this look all fancy shmancy?? Well, she is. This is the "Artey Pico" award? Is that what it says??
Cassie thought I was deserving of this award for my creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community.
That right there made my heart happy. For Cassie to think of me......well, its just plain sweet and thoughtful. :)
I thank you Cassie from the bottom of my heart. Really.
I hate picking people to pass along awards, but I'm going against my normal routine and I will actually pass this along to my sweet girl, Michelle. She is "new" as far as a blogging friend goes and I have just had such a great time getting to know her. She loves Jesus with all her heart, is a fantastic mom, and blesses me each time I go by her blog.
Have a great weekend everyone! You are ALL a blessing to this world and you are making a difference in the lives of so many people. Stay at the foot of the cross.
posted by Fran at 11:28 PM
This Friday as I think back over the last week....there is so much to thank God for. However, one "biggee" stands out.
Thank you Patty for hosting God stop Friday. You are such a gem to the blogworld and I absolutely love knowing you! :)
A "friendship" that I thought would NEVER be a real friendship because of my feeling of being two different people, some not so good history, personality differences, and a lot of growing to do on my end.....has finally turned the corner and I have a friendship, with this amazing woman, like I've known her forever!!!
God heals, restores, opens hearts and minds, and allows "2 different people" to become wonderful, honest, truly caring friends.
Thank you Jesus for the work you have done in my heart. It has taken much time on this one and I'm praising you because I know this is all happening because of YOU!
Have a great weekend friends!
Blessings and love~
Thursday, June 26, 2008
You girls are just too too funny! I believe every single one of you thought I was going to show you a new haircut. Cheryl thought I might be pregnant and I truly gasped! Nooooooo!!!!
I had a full day yesterday so I couldn't get the pictures up sooner so I am most sorry for the delay!
Yesterday morning, myself and our youth guru from church made some radio ads for Summer stuff going on at our church....specifically VBS and Youth Week.
Let me just say....I kinda liked it! I want to do another commercial. I want to be a DJ. I want to just talk talk talk on air and be someone that everyone listens to. Well, that might be a bit much, but I reaaaalllly liked it! :)
Here we are...doin our thing....
Of course I got a little tickled at something...
What on earth am I doing here??
All that techy stuff...
Feeling good about it now...
So, I think you get the idea of what went down yesterday...
1. No new hair do
2. NOT pregnant!
3. Just some fun doing something I totally loved!
Have a great day! You are always in my prayers.
Have a wonderful time with Jesus~
posted by Fran at 7:29 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I am so irritated over this new Summer show, Swingtown, on CBS. I have nothing to say other than CBS should be embarrassed, ashamed, and very regretful about their choice in even creating this show and putting it on National tv on a network for anyone to come across.
I have not seen this show and I sure don't want to. But, the content is horrifying!
Ok..I feel better now.
I do have a cuter post coming later. I have an appt at 10 this morning and I'll take a picture and you can see what I'm talking about! :)
Have a great day!
posted by Fran at 8:10 AM
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Hey everyone!! Happy Friday and Happy weekend to us all. :)
I must say my Godstop Friday...thank you so much Patty for spurring us on...was a little convicting. Ok, A LOT convicting.
How we can quickly fall back into an old pattern or an old "me" for even just a short period of time and know it all along and yet stay right there.
I was having dinner the other night with a dear, precious, Christian friend and everything was just hunky dory.
Let me just keep it simple and say that some "drama" unfolded among some friends that I knew that were also there eating. Well, I had to fill my friend in on who everyone was and what was going on with them and the whole nine yards.
Lets just say there was too much talking. ON MY END.
Well, I felt so bad about it the next morning and decided I should hit the neighborhood and start my walk. I walked at the feet of Jesus for the entire walk...begging forgiveness, pouring out my heart, almost in tears, giving it all over to Him. It was a sweet time, but one of those most convicting times when you just feel sick to your stomach.
I'm feeling better about it today. But, I know that I should not have gone on and on and on and "gossiped" all about it to someone else.
I'm learning this old lesson again. I have matured desperately in this area over the last 10 years.
But, isn't it funny that just a week ago someone said to me "Fran, you've grown so much because you handled those conversations so well and didn't get all in the middle of it."
Hmmmm....how quickly we can go from one end to the next in just a matter of days.
Praying for us all. I need me some self control of thy tongue.
Blessings and love,
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
How I love this place people. All because of one simple question that has PRO-FOUND meaning when asked.
"How may I serve you today?"
Oh, I just love their attitude..... all while I get a chicken sandwich and some sweet tea. Wow, they're good.
How can you serve someone today??
Blessings sweet friends!
posted by Fran at 11:11 PM
Monday, June 16, 2008
After reading that title do you hear the Bee Gees in your head singing that song?? I sure do.
I wasn't ever a fan, but I know my mom liked them.
I told y'all last Monday that these posts on Monday morning were a recap or something that just stuck with me from our sermon on Sunday. I'm writing this to keep our church families in the loop each week in case they missed, or would like my deep intellectual knowledge from the sermon! :) Oh, you know me better than that. I'll just keep it straight and simple. For mental ease of course. Not that I can't go into that deep part of my brain or anything.
Well, we are reading Adam Hamilton's book "Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White." This weeks sermon was titled, "How deep is your love." I really love love love this book so far. It is allowing me to realize that we NEED the black and white of the world so the gray can exist. It does exist. And, I do think if you sit in the gray in a certain area of life whether its moral issues or religious issues or even political issues, it's ok. The gray exists because it connects the black and the white. Don't feel bad if you sit in the gray along the way. Absolutes are there. But, we all know that some things we just won't know or fully understand until we can ask God Himself.
Ok...so, how deep is your love?
I'm always teaching kids that it's soooooo easy to love those people in our lives that are easy to love. But what about that person who is constantly a thorn in your side? What about the one who has to constantly disagree with you?? What about the one who is just plain negative and you want to strangle them? We all know them. They are out there in our life.
What about those deeper issues of homosexuality, abortion, or homelessness, addiction, etc.???
Now that right there....is something very different when it comes to loving others. These are deeper issues of love.
John 13:34 says, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Simple to understand. Sometimes hard to do. If it were that simple, we would all just love each other with ease and there would never be hot topic debates or discussions that get folks worked up.
So...how can we love someone that we are really struggling to love??
1. Realize that sharing love with someone is a complete act of God flowing through us. We need to ask His love to run through our hearts and minds because apart from Him...we just can't love them.
2. Willingness to love is not based on agreement or conformity. Can I love them if they are different than me?
3. My attitude in my heart and mind should be that "I am a loving person. I am slow to judge and slow to anger." That is the boogaboo for me. Let's all say..."I am going to be slow to judge."
These 3 statements have made me realize that I cannot and should not even attempt to go through a single hour of the day without the power of God in my life. I cannot do this thing without Him.
Living in the gray of a black and white world is the most challenging love out there. That part of life is hard.
So, how deep is your love??
Have a great day! Be full of Him and all that He can do through us.
Love is Who God is.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Hope y'all have a great Fathers Day! Being an 80's girl, I just had to share this to make us all smile a little bit! Go daddy Go!!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Quick cut through the living room...
Out the patio door to my favorite place of all..
Enjoy my friends!
The greenest fern I've ever had...
Hangin out chairs...
No..I didn't make this pot, but it sure is cute isn't it?
I love this big brown pot.
This is like mama plant and baby plant...
Covered and cool is important when its 101 outside...
Can you see the pond in the distance?? The biggest bullfrogs you've ever heard come out promptly at 9:00 every night to begin their concert!
Have a great weekend y'all! Come back anytime you can.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I have been following a blog by Mr. Jim Houser.
He is part of the Steven Curtis Chapman team. He is letting us know how the family is doing after the horrible tragedy of precious Maria's death.
It's been 3 weeks. My heart still hurts for them.
Please click on the link below and read over the last few entries. You will want to pray for this dear family.
They need the body. They need Christ.
Jim's blog can be found here.
hugs and prayers Chapman family.....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Ok...some of y'all know that my kids are gone to Dollywood with their grandparents and I cried like a big baby when they pulled out my driveway.....
Well, they did the Dollywood thing yesterday and this is what my 10 yr old did with his 9 yr old cousin...
Excuse me???? You did WHAT???
"Oh Mom...we just bungee jumped. It wasn't that bad. Chill out. We were fine."
My heart stopped and then I thought, "some things are better known after the fact!"
Monday, June 9, 2008
This post is for my church families that I have the privilege of serving week after week. They are a huge blessing to me and allow me to serve them with pure love and a desire to grow us all closer to Christ.
We began a sermon series on Sunday based on Adam Hamilton's book, "Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White."
I absolutely love hearing this man teach and preach. He is simply amazing to me. He is passionate and excited about Jesus Christ and it's obvious in what he says and does. He inspires me. I need that person don't you?? Granted, I don't know this man, but I love people like this!
Anyway, he has this new book out and we are taking it on as a congregation in hopes to understand a bit more of being in the gray instead of being 100% black or 100% white on a subject matter. And, this is not some easy stuff...we are talking about thoughts on religion, morality, and politics.
Oh yes. (Insert sarcasm now) This is so up my alley as far as blogging goes. But, for the sake of putting my 2 cents worth into the mix for my amazing church families, I will dig deep every Monday for the weeks of this series. "Lord, help me please."
Yesterday, we tackled some great stuff. So, let's just jump right in.
Matthew 23:23-24 says this..."Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill, cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."
Ok..here is my Southern translation of this one...."You are making a mountain of a molehill." That is what we can do don't we?? We strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Hamilton explains that even as Jesus faced death, he prayed for unity of his followers.
Hmmmm.....unity of his followers. Well...that would be huge wouldn't it??
Hamilton also says..."our desire for certainty, our need to be right, and our tendency to miss the point have conspired to keep Christians from experiencing unity, and instead have led to endless divisions within the Christian faith."
My 11 yr old always says.."Mom, why can't everyone just get along?"
Oh, how I wish the answer was as simple as the question.
I believe that we can all agree that our moral center is having Jesus at the center of our lives.
Or at least trying too. No matter how far away or far off we get from Him, we do tend to use Him as our compass and guide. Maybe without even realizing Who or What we are following.
How do we as Christians stay faithful when we live in a Christian world that tends to polarize us, separate us and even divide us?? The world around us sees it every day. They see us Christians picking and poking and tearing us all apart. So....how do we stay faithful in this polarized world?
We can be so much better than that.
We have hope.
We have respectful attitudes even when we disagree with someones belief or their denomination. Let's not judge.
We offer compassion in our daily living. Go the extra mile for people. We may be the only Jesus they ever see. Be good at it!
It is so very easy for us to be all high and mighty, see the fault of others, and ask what's wrong with them, blah blah blah. But, do we dare look in the mirror and see whats wrong with us? No way hosea. Don't wanna do that.
We may disagree, don't understand, can't figure out, have no idea about other religions much less world religions, when it comes to following Christ, but let's try to do one simple thing....
Can you be a bridge builder??
No barriors allowed.
We need bridge builders. We need to strive for unity.
I'll end with this from Hamilton's book....
"What if all 224 million Christians in America were actually working together to shape a nation that looks like Jesus' vision of the kingdom of God, where poverty does not exist, where people practice justice, where love of neighbor is universally practiced?"
Let's stop looking for the gnats. That's easy to do. Let's be who Jesus asks us to be.
And, remember the wise 11 yr old??
"Why can't we just all get along?"
We can. We can through the Name and power of our great big God.
Whew...I'm glad I made it through this one. I'm worn out right now. :)
Well...I just said goodbye to my 3 favorite children on this planet and my lip is quivering and I'm crying big ole tears.
They are going with their grandparents until Friday to East TN to play at Dollywood and Pigeon Forge. I'm so very happy and so very sad too.
I don't know how I'll survive when they leave for college. Because right now, I feel like a big piece of my heart was just taken away from me.
I love you boys! Have a great time. Mom will bounce back and be ok. :)
Hugs, prayers, and fun~
Friday, June 6, 2008
It's Friday and it's time to look back on some great things God has done for me this past week.
I saw this over at my friend Teri's blog via Susan's blog so I thought this was a sweet way to reflect on God's attention to detail in the everyday life of me.
Thank you Patty for hosting this special time of reflection.
This is where I find myself today. I thank you Jesus for my heart that is full of so many things right now. I thank you for all that you have blessed me with. I pray that I honor you in all that I say, think, and do.
Outside my Window....is a beautiful morning with a wonderful breeze blowing. The sun is out and i'm ready for the day!
This morning...I got up early and sat outside with my sweet dog, Bailey, and watched her play.
I could tell by the breeze and the sun up it would be a beautiful day! And, I've got sleeping kids upstairs that just warm my heart to pieces.
I am thankful for...this family of mine....friends that are old, new, and through this blog. And, our good health. My wonderful church. The weekend of baseball that is yet to come.
From the kitchen...comes nothing but coffee right now. And, I'm picking up donuts for the kids and there is hardly anything in the fridge....it's Friday so therefore it's bare around here!
I am creating...now, that is a hard one. Hmmmmm....I'm creating hope in our precious little girl, Sophia, who is in Africa and we adopted her through Compassion Int'l. I'm writing her today.
May those pages ooze with love and hope for this sweet young girl.
I am going...to watch one son play baseball all weekend long. I'm one on one with my 2nd son and it is so much fun to have that alone time with him. The other 2 boys will be playing in a different complex with their dad.
I am wearing...pj's. Its early.
I am reading...John 3:16 by Max Lucado. Very good book.
I am hoping...to finally empty the kids backpacks from the end of the school year. It's only been 2 weeks. Thats not too bad is it?? And, I think I only have 1 child to go so it's really not that bad.
I am hearing...the "Today" show and the keys of my computer. Thats it.
Around the house...are my kids, their stuff, and the sense of peace and joy.
One of my favorite things...my bible study girls...I miss them tremendously. I'll be back in the Word starting next week. Thank goodness.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Well, if you know me and our kids....then, you know come weekend time....it's all about the baseball girls!! I'm excited about it though. Its gonna be hotter than hot though.
I truly hope you have a glorious weekend whatever you are doing and wherever you may find yourself. I keep you covered in prayer. You all mean the world to me.
Hugs and blessings,
posted by Fran at 7:16 AM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Ok..on Monday I did the infamous "I ain't got nothin" post because my brain was tired and I really couldn't come up with anything all that great. Remember, it's Summer people!
And, at the end of that random stuff post I told you about something said to me on Saturday night while us parents stood around after baseball games and talking about our Sunday schedule.
Now, let me backup and say that all 3 of my boys play travel baseball and it really is the most fun experience we have had yet as a family. I have a great big huge family now because of these 3 different teams. The kids all tend to play close to one another, but with only 2 parents and 3 kids, we have to do a lot of juggling. And...lets throw in the fact that I am the Director of Children's Ministry at my church and I really need to be there on Sunday mornings if I can. I will drive home late on Saturday night so I can be at church and do the "church thing" and then head back to wherever we are playing.
Now, we've been a part of this baseball organization for awhile now and everyone knows that I work at the church and that I need to go back and do the "church thing" and sometimes need other parents help.
During all of this, I have never looked at these times like I have to go back and do the "church thing." But, when someone said to me last Saturday night....."Oh, you have to do the church thing tomorrow," I got the impression that church was nowhere in their radar, family life, personal life, interest, etc.etc.
I feel 90% sure the "church thing" is not alive in this family's life. That in itself is another thing swirling around in my head.
So....how do I feel about this example I am setting??
How do I personally feel about this church thing that I do??
How do I react when people know that we have to give up some church on Sunday mornings because of their ball schedule??
Oh.....do I have much to say about this "church thing" I do. I could give you 101 reasons why I do this "church thing," but I'm going to answer it fairly briefly here. But, hear me loud and clear!
Church is not confined to Sunday only. For me or my children. Church is oxygen to me. It feeds me. The children and the families of my church, that I serve every single week, bring complete joy to me. I want others....the church goers and the non-church goers....to see how important church is to me. It is way more than my job.
This "church thing" that I do is my life in ways and depths that I can hardly articulate. Jesus is real to me. He is my life and my hope. He saved me from myself.
HE is the "church thing" and I'm thrilled to be a part of it on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays. Who cares when it is. I love this "church thing." I wouldn't trade this church thing for all the money in the world.
My prayer is that all of us will be setting an example of how important Jesus is to us so others who do not know, doubt it all, or want to roll our eyes at us....that through us, others and the wonderful ways of our great big beautiful God....others may see that He is pretty cool and we might just bring someone to a relationship with Him.
So, get out there and do the "church thing!" Whatever it looks like.
Hugs and blessings my friends.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Well, I am about to say the infamous...
"I got nothin!"
Is it because it's Summer and our brains have just all but stopped?? I don't know. How about I tell you some random things from the weekend....and, of course, in no particular order.
1. I slept in my 7 yr olds bed last night because he was gone and the 10 yr old brother doesn't want to sleep by himself.....aaaaahhhhh.....and it was the best sleep I have had in a week!
2. I rode around with cat poop on the hood of my car all day yesterday. It was not cute. It is still there. It's in a nice dried up look right now.
3. We are trying to trap a wild cat that is roaming our neighborhood and is mean as a snake. We've got us an official trap and a can of tuna ready to go! Only in the South people!
4. I saw 722 baseball games over the weekend. Well, maybe not that much, but it sure seemed like it. It was fun though. I love watching my kids play!
5. I do believe the temperature hit all time records over the weekend. And, the humidity....OH MY GOSH! It melted a layer of skin off me.
6. I'm getting frustrated with the Obama/Clinton delegate thing. It's just getting old. I'm watching it on Good Morning America right now. Yuck.
7. Are we a country of addicts or what? Ok, maybe its just me. But, I am clearly addicted to text messaging right now.
8. I'm excited about doing "Jesus the One and Only" this Summer. I did this study many years ago and it was my first Beth Moore study. Its phenomenal and I can't wait to get back in the Word with other women. I've missed it and I need them.
9. I got 2 inches cut off my hair and absolutely love it. I feel like I lost 2 pounds. Of course I didn't, but you feel so much lighter.
10. Finally, I'm gonna leave you with a quote that someone told me over the weekend on Saturday night as we talked about our baseball schedules for Sunday.....
"Oh, you need to go do that church thing tomorrow?"
That may be a post this week. It's been in my head and won't leave.
Anyway, I hope you have a great day. I hope you had a great weekend. And, maybe my brain cells will start firing and I'll come up with something a little better than this.
Hugs from the hot South,
posted by Fran at 6:57 AM