Selah~Day 160

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah had a very restless night, but when he woke this morning he seemed great.

2. Everything appears to be better in the morning.

3. We ended up not having to take Judah to the doctor. He seemed so much better this morning.

4. Dr. Rogers is an exceptional doctor. We love him as our family doctor.

5. The preschool praise party room will be open this coming Sunday. It will be such a great new addition to our preschool department.

6. The new praise party room is bigger and requires less travel for our preschoolers.

7. John Stimson has worked really hard to make the room happen for us.

8. My friend, Laura, completed her first week of her 10k reasons journey. It is going to change her life.

9. Being thankful changes your life.

10. Gary and I joked back and forth with each other all day. Smack talk is healthy for a marriage…ha ha ha.

11. Gary is into details. He constantly wants to improve and finds quality in details.

12. Bo, a fellow fire-fighter and friend, loaned Gary a special tool to finish our fence. It is almost done and looks so good!

13. Pastor Ted played a joke on us today. And, we totally fell for it…all of us…hook, line, and sinker!

14. The joke ended with all of us partaking in ice cream together.

15. The joke broke the stigma of a 4:30 meeting.

16. We had homemade vegetable soup for dinner. It was yummy and healthy.

17. Judah wants to sit on my lap even at the dinner table. He is my little “hip attachment” especially when I have been away from him all day.

18. We eat dinner together as a family.

19. We carved Judah’s first pumpkin tonight. It was fun. He was so proud of his happy pumpkin.

20. Gary cut his finger on the carving knife. After a while, it stopped bleeding and he is okay. I am so glad that he isn’t squeemish with blood. I had to walk away!

21. Judah had an absolute blast tonight with a whoopi cushion. He calls it his “tooter.”

22. Judah throws his head back now when he is laughing. I love hearing him laugh.

23. Judah had his first “real” bike crash tonight. But, he only suffered a few scratches and cried for just a moment.

24. When Gary saw the crash happen, he dropped his coffee into the grass and took off running after Judah. He is so gentle and caring with everyone.

25. I watched the scenario unfold from a distance and then later replayed it in my head. It was a perfect example of our Heavenly Fathers response to us when we fall down and get hurt. He is close to the broken-hearted and He comes to our rescue with a gentle hand and lots of love and care.

26. Compassionate people.

27. Gentleness.

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Selah~159

Sunday, October 20

My 27 Thanks:

1. I had very little to haul into church this morning. It is sometimes really nice to not have too many props for my illustration. I especially enjoy this when Gary is not with me to help.

2. Judah listens to me when we are in the parking lot. I am so glad that he obeys right away, especially when his safety is at risk.

3. For every service, I am greeted by the sweetest of people at the Welcome Doors. I love friendly faces.

4. We had a great, smooth Sunday. And, we continue to grow.

5.  Attendance was high for Vision Sunday.

6. Generations Initiative launched. I am super excited for the future of Crossroads Church.

7. A family visiting from out-of-state pulled me aside after service and told me how much their kids LOVED our kids service and couldn’t wait to take back some of the ideas to use for their kids church.

8. Excited kids.

9. Crossroads Kidz Ministry is built on 4 core values: Safety/Security, Excellence, Passion, and Kindness. Every service, I am joined by a team of leaders who represent these 4 cores well.

10. I handed out another application to get involved in Kidmin!

11. The Kidmo kids loved the video on Jonah that I showed them…there was a ton of laughter in the room.

12. Even though Jonah ran from God, he was able to repent and run back to God!

13. The possibility of being swallowed by a whale is almost non-existent for me.

14. Our Sweet Life series is proven to be a huge success. The kids are soaking it in and loving it.

15. Its only week 3 and they all have the power verse memorized.

16. Mr. Bob made it to kidmo. I thought he was going to be gone as well, but he came home early to help out. I am so thankful. He is an awesome 5th grade small group leader and without him, we would have had one very large, small group.

17. My in-laws helped me with Judah once again. It is really nice to have a home to take Judah to when I have to work 12 hour days.

18. Christmas Production practice went really well. The dancers learned part 1 of a big medley piece. It is such a fun number.

19. I am getting to work with a new choreographer this year. Meagan has done a great job and I am so glad she said, “Yes.”

20. Michael and Mike are working so hard on the silent clown sketches.

21. October is Pastor Appreciation month. The pastoral staff was appreciated tonight at Crossroads Church.

22. Pastor Ted and Tami always tell us how much they appreciate us.

23. Not only did they show appreciation to me, but they also bought Judah a really cute goodie bag of toys.

24. This was my last Sunday for a REALLY LONG time that I have to do ministry without Gary. He is my favorite ministry partner and it is just easier when he is by my side.

25. Pastor Marc helped me adjust a video for my Kids ministry service. He is a multi-faceted talent and I am glad he is on my team.

26. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

27. The Word of God is powerful…it can change your life.

Selah~Day 158

Saturday, October 19

My 27 Thanks:

1. Slow, restful morning with my family all together. We rarely have back to back days off together during the weekends.

2. Judah+Me+Recliner+Cartoons=Bliss.

3. Judah loves to sit on my lap.

4. He still wants to spend time with me.

5. I truly believe that Moms have a very special relationship with their sons. I am so glad I get to experience this.

6. Gary and I helped out my mom by making a special trip to Wal-Mart for items that she left there the day before.

7. TG Farms is such a fun, sweet place to go as a family.

8. Judah had a great time picking out pumpkins.

9. The young lady at TG Farms took our family picture by the pumpkin patch. Judah smiled!

10. We threw a surprise 65th birthday party for my sweet Father-in-law.

11. He was surprised. Shocked actually!

12. My Father-in-Law is loved. People from his work, church, family, and neighborhood all joined together to celebrate him.

13. We had an awesome campfire.

14. The day made my Father-in-Law feel special. Everyone should feel special on their special day.

15. My Sister-in-Law worked really hard on the party and it turned out great.

16. I learned some funny pieces of information at the party. For example, do you know what the phrase “The rabbit is dead” used to be used for? Yep, that’s right…it is the phrase that was once used to tell a woman that she was pregnant.

17. We were able to show some friends our home. They loved it.

18. Our friends who lost their home in the May 20th tornado had a house-warming party to turn their new house back into a home. I am so excited for them.

19. I studied my kidmo lesson earlier in the day, so I had a relaxing evening.

20. One of my favorite Christian authors turned one of her books into a Hallmark movie! I may have a slight problem with Hallmark movies.

21. Teachers are so important in the life of a child. I am thankful for teachers.

22. Judah had a blast playing with his cousins today. Cousins+dirt piles= fun times.

23. Judah fell asleep fast and is going to get great rest!

24. Gary balanced our check book. I am so glad he handles our finances.

25. Beautiful weather.

26. The moon was amazing tonight. Judah has an eye for the sky like his daddy. I am sure we are going to spend many nights looking through the telescope.

27. Today, I learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of not causing anyone else to stumble. I wasn’t a part of either party, but I watched something unfold and it broke my heart. It made me realize how important it is as Christian to never compromise our Godly values because you never know who will be affected by them.

Selah~Day 157

Friday, October 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. We spent all morning relaxing in our PJs.

2. Judah and I had a great play date in the playroom.

3. Gary helped me with the house chores. We both love a clean home.

4. My mom makes personal sacrifices to help out her kids.

5. I was able to see my mom and little sister one more time before they headed back to SE Oklahoma.

6. My car heater works really well and warms up quickly. This is a plus on cold, wet days.

7. Gary and I both loved playing Connect Four as kids. Judah saw it in the store and wanted it. We got it for him and had a fun family game night with it.

8. Judah had so much fun playing with all the different toys in the toy section at Wal-Mart.

9. Everything is awesome through the eyes of Judah.

10. Judah has yet to throw a fit when we tell him, “No, son, we can’t buy that toy right now.”

11. It is officially soup weather.

12. I didn’t work at all today.

13. I had a phone conversation with a friend and our conversation brought some healing into her life.

14. Friendships.

15. A trip to Hobby Lobby is always a blessing.

16. David Green is solid in his beliefs. I am so thankful for the standthat he is taking for Religious rights.

17. Godly Organizations.

18. My mom made it home safely.

19. I haven’t been eating after 7:00 p.m. and it is proving to be successful in weight loss.

20. I ran into several familiar faces at Wal-Mart and it was fun to catch up with small chit-chat.

21. Judah missed his nap today, but wasn’t cranky!

22. Gary and I enjoyed a sweet movie together.

23. Staying up late because we don’t have to get up early is a treat!

24. Gary and I had a great conversation…uninterrupted.

25. Our CYM students had a great first night at youth convention.

26. Our church was able to host this great event.

27. Together is a wonderful place to be.

Selah~Day 156

Thursday, October 17

My 27 Thanks:

1. It is a most beautiful day!

2. I am so glad all of my teacher friends get a Fall Break. Breaks are so important for teachers. They have to have a time to refuel.

3. My mom took Judah and my nephews to the park 2 different times today. They loved feeding the ducks.

4. I met them at the park later in the day. When Judah saw me walking towards him, he ran for me with open arms and a big smile.

5. Judah wanted to hold my hand as we walked to a different area of the park.

6. Pastor Marc is super creative too! He is a triple threat…sings, acts, and preaches. I don’t think he can dance though! I enjoy working with him in the area of creative.

7. I have worked on a project for two months now. It was a new area of expertise for me. I learned much about the area of video production and telling a story through video. Today, it was completed…FINALIZED…

8. Completion.

9. We are looking at a new approach to our kids ministry design plans that may solve a question that we have been pondering.

10. Lori Rowin is a Rockstar! She sees the big picture.

11. The event center is nearing completion and it looks amazing!

12. Gary and I got to have lunch together.

13. Sunday’s setup was easier than normal. Sunday is ready to go!

14. I helped a friend look at a difficult situation at work from a different perspective.

15. Different perspectives are important. Perspectives help you see things from a different angle. They can also help you see through the dark and find some light.

16. I haven’t seen my little sister in months. But, she came up for a visit during her fall break. I can’t believe she is almost done with college.

17. I met her new “friend.” He is so kind, polite, and a hard-working young man.

18. Judah was super dirty. He literally had dirt all over him, he was covered in sweat, and he ruined his socks. He had a great, fun day.

19. My son loves to be outside. I am so glad that he doesn’t know about video games. I plan to NEVER introduce them into our home. We shall see:)

20. Thursday nights are my Friday nights!

21. I sang Judah to sleep.

22. He likes my voice.

23. My mom sang me to sleep all the time as a little girl. I still remember the 3 most popular tunes she would sing. I loved them. They were “Beloved…Let us love one another,” “Cheer Up…Cheer Up…You Saint of God,” and “Jesus, There’s Just Something About that Name.” I have never felt more at peace then when singing the about the Name of Jesus.

24. Peace comes when you speak His name.

25. I laid in bed and watched a chick flick!

26. Gary massaged my hands.

27. My even was relaxing and calm. Two of my favorite things….

Selah~Day 155

Wednesday, October 16

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary is off work today.

2. Gary came home and within an hour fixed two flat tires on my car!

3. Gary also charged my dead battery. Judah was playing in my car and turned the key on (just barely) and I didn’t catch it. So, my car was dead the next morning.

4. He was able to do it all in under an hour! He is one handy husband.

5. My dad is so glad that I married someone who can care for me in the vehicle department.

6. I listened to an amazing message by Joyce Meyer this morning while getting ready for work.

7. My words are a container of power. I can choose to use it for good or bad.

8. I had a great dental check-up.

9. Judah smiled for the hygientist and she said his teeth are perfectly spaced and look great too.

10. Dental insurance.

11. Health insurance. And, I don’t have to do Obamacare!

12. Pastor Ted, Pastor Marcia, and I met to discuss a very exciting possibility.

13. Change. God has a way of changing your heart. You are the happiest and the most powerful when you are in the center of His will. Don’t fight it…embrace it!

14. The Lord has spoken change to a friend of mine and she is walking it out. Over night, God has changed the desires of her heart and she is following His leading.

15. We had a healthy dinner tonight before church.

16. We had time to eat at home before going back to church.

17. The kids were incredibly mellow for a Wednesday night. I enjoyed the quiet change.

18. I love my Wednesday night girls group. They are so fun. We have a great time together.

19. We talked about the non-negotiable, core value INTEGRITY in my girls group tonight! I am glad that I strive to be a person who is please with her actions and attitude even when no one is looking.

20. My girls really participated in the lesson and seem to be young ladies who strive for that character as well.

21. I saw several new faces at church tonight.

22. I saw some familiar faces return home to Crossroads tonight.

23. Healthy conflict brings resolve.

24. A friend of mine doesn’t get to come to Wednesday night church very often at all. But, she came tonight and Pastor Ted’s message really ministered to her in a great way.

25. Charles, our Head security officer, is amazing. He is so kind and so respectful. I love having him upstairs watching over us. I am so thankful for him and his friendship and care.

26. Warm Pajamas.

27. I have a roof over my head and don’t have to be with the approaching cold weather.

Selah~Day 154 “A Lesson from Cool Runnings”

Who would have ever thought that the tropical country of Jamaica would have a bobsled team? Well, in 1993, the movie, Cool Runnings, hit the big screen and proved to be a success to movie goers. I was one of those goers. My brother and I watched that movie over and over again. It became a favorite in our movie collection. Even though I had watched the movie a dozen times, I would still respond to the beginning of the movie with gasps and tears and at the end I would respond with laughter and cheers.

Cool Runnings fictionalized the true story of a bobsledding team from Jamaica making it to the Olympics. The tale begins with lead character Derice Bannock and several other men competing in an olympic qualifying race to represent Jamaica in track and field. After years of practice, hours of training, blood sweat, and tears, relentless pursuit, motivation, money spent, and dreams made, one of the racers trips and falls, taking with him to the ground other runners. One of those runners is Derice Bannock. Sitting in the dirt and the heat of the track, Derice looks down the track and hopelessly watches others cross the line and grab the qualifying spot on the Jamaican Olympic track and field team.

BUT, DERICE DOESN’T STAY DOWN. The song lyric, “I get knocked down, but I get up again…” just popped into my head!  Derice gets up, brushes off the dirt, and finds another way to get to his dream. Bobsledding is probably the last thing a Jamaican would consider, but an ex-gold medal winning bobsledder lives in Jamaica and Derice convinces him to be the coach. Then, a team is formed and the training ensues.  After setbacks and near disasters that made for great laughter, the group jells as team members and they head off to the Olympics to compete for an Olympic spot.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Paul writes, “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”  Paul lets us all know that in life we too run a race and there are times when someone or something might try to elbow us off the track or trip us while on the track. But, are we going to have the relentless pursuit like our Jamaican friend, Derice, to get back up and find another way to the finish line?

Because Paul uses the phrase, “Satan hindered us…”, he too fought demonic attacks. Satan wanted to abort the mission that God had for Paul’s life. He sent problems, delays, conflict, etc…But, Paul did not sit down and cry because his plans didn’t work out as intended. Paul did not throw in the towel and quit either. Paul was going to get the job done, regardless of roadblocks or obstacles put in his path. He was going to do what God had called him to do and he always found a way to do it. Even if it meant doing something unconventional like our Jamaican bobsled friends.

Why should we stop just because the devil gets in the way? If that were the case, we might as well stop everything we’re doing for the Lord right now! There will never be a time that the devil just lets us do what is in our hearts. We must be determined to keep doing what we’re called to do even if the devil tries to slam the door shut in our faces. Excerpt from my Sparkling Gem devotion by Rick Renner. 

When I began this 365 day blog journey to 10,000 reasons on my 33rd birthday, I didn’t think it would be easy. The committment would be tough. But, I had been KNOCKED down emotional, physically, spiritually, and mentally. I wanted to get back up. I didn’t want to throw in the towel. Earlier in the year, January to be exact, God spoke to me during a Sunday night service and said that I would have a SELAH. I thought that meant the baby I was carrying was to be named Selah. When I lost that precious baby in February, it was a blow that still takes my breath away at times. The door had been slammed shut on one of my dreams. But, through my obedience to the Lord, I am looking for a window.

I would be lying if I said that each day so far has been filled with daisies and sunshine. Its quite the opposite. I have battled more intensely than ever before. Nevertheless, I want to be like Derice in Cool Runnings and like Paul the Apostle in the Bible. You see, Paul  and Derice had an attitude that would not give up. It didn’t matter how much opposition was leveled against them, they had already decided that they would outlive the opposition. Somehow they would find a way to do what they were called to do.

You can do anything God calls you to do too! He promises to give you exactly what you need each day to complete the task. That is why He is called our PORTION! Don’t allow the devil to stop you. There is the greatest of POWER when you are in the center of God’s will for your life. When you are doing what God wants you to do, mighty and powerful things are going to happen and that terrifies the devil. That punk is afraid of what will happen if you actually do what God has put in your heart to do.

Don’t let a pot hole or a road block discourage you. The show is not over, you just need to find another way to the other side. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you another way. The Holy Spirit is a companion and He needs a committed partner. He will not only help you fight against every attack, but He will also help you find a more effective way to get to your other side. With the Holy Spirit, your obstacles can still feel like “Cool Runnings.” Make the devil mad that he ever messed with you.

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Holy Spirit is my companion.

2. I don’t have to stay knocked down or throw in the towel.

3. When a door shuts, you can find a window.

4. He is my portion.

5. He gives me exactly what I need to make it through each day.

6. We finished Dr. Mark Rutland’s book, Relaunch.

7. Mindy and JaQuisha are awesome with kids.

8. Judah loved getting to participate in National Cupcake day with Mrs. Mindy and Miss JaQuisha.

9. We ironed out all the wrinkles in our Christmas Production Rehearsal schedule.

10. We all had to compromise a little to reach a common goal.

11. Compromise is sometimes necessary and healthy and better for the overall.

12. Lorry Gail spent a day of her vacation at church helping me rework a portion of script that we didn’t really like.

13. Jamisen finalized the puppet voices and they are awesome.

14. Laughter with friends.

15. I skipped lunch and kept on working, so I got to slip out a little early and pick up Judah.

16. Judah is a navigational expert. He loves mapping out where we are going, talking about directions, etc…He totally knows the path to our house from the church. He gives me directions!

17. Car ride conversations with Judah are some of my favorite.

18. Pastor Ted got to pray before the start of the Thunder Game.

19. Leftovers.

20. I was able to talk with a friend and help her through a difficult situation.

21. Judah and I had a relaxing evening.

22. My friend, Janelle, texted me and wished me a great night of rest. She was also praying for me.

23. Many of our church family members had a great time at the Thunder Game.

24. I went to bed listening to a most awesome message by Jentzen Franklin.

25. My church family…how can people survive without a community of believers helping them through life?

26. Unity.

27. Great power comes from being in the center of God’s Will for your life.