Selah~Day 205

The week of a big production produces not only great rehearsal times, but also really long hours. So, in efforts to keep my priorities as balanced as possible, Judah gets snuggle time instead of my writing time. I launched a new series in Kidz Ministry this Sunday called, It’s Christmas Time. Our key verse is a verse that I have read many times, as well as memorized. It is also a popular verse quoted during the Christmas season. But, this Sunday, I think I fell in love with this verse. And, when time allows next week, I will be dissecting pieces of it throughout the week. Isaiah 9:6 states, “For unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And, the Government will be upon His shoulders. And, He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Sunday, December 8

My 27 Thanks:

1. It’s Christmas Time. I love this time of year.

2. The launch of our new Kidz Ministry series went well and the kids loved it.

3. The Angel Tree is in full swing and many kids have been adopted.

4. Angel Tree Participants are bringing back really awesome, great gifts to bless kids with this Christmas.

5. My friend, Ava, does a great job managing this tree. I am so thankful for her heart to serve and her heart of compassion.

6. My kidz ministry leaders come early and leave later. They are committed to the call.

7. My kidz ministry leaders love kids. I love watching them play games, have conversations, and smile and laugh with the kids.

8. My kidz ministry leaders don’t mind dressing up as characters, dancing funny jigs, or eating crazy things if it helps drill home a point in the message.

9. My kidz ministry leaders always seem to have energy for the day.

10. My kidz ministry leaders are creative and fun.

11. My kidz ministry leaders have a “You First” mentality. It’s not about them, it’s about the kids.

12. My kidz ministry leaders realize how important their ministry role is in the life of kids.

13. My kidz ministry leaders are my friends. Gary and I enjoy spending time with them in ministry.

14. My kidz ministry leaders are an addition to our family. We care for one another, pray for one another, and hang out with one another.

15. My kidz ministry leaders want to grow as leaders. There is always room for improvement.

16. Gloria was back in the nursery after total knee replacement surgery. She is walking well. It is so good to have her back. She brings a special, sweet presence into the nursery room.

17. Robert made a really funny “Elf Yourself” video of Gary, Judah, and me. It was so funny and creative. The kids loved it and it provided great entertainment as parent picked up their kids.

18. Big Church service agreed to move their PM service to the Event Center tonight. This allows me to have the Main Sanctuary stage for Christmas Production practice.

19. Our first of three rehearsals went well. I am so glad we have practices built-in to every production!

20. Jesus was God’s perfect plan to redeem mankind. He wasn’t a back-up plan, or plan B. He was a perfect plan.

21. Jesus left His throne in Heaven for a manger in a stable…because He loves me.

22. The Government rests upon His shoulders. God will always be in control.

23. He is my Wonderful Counselor.

24. He is a Mighty God.

25. He is an Everlasting Father. He never fails or fades away.

26. He is my Prince of Peace.

27. Peace walks with me.

Selah~Day 204

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary made it home safe from the fire station and he brought donuts. Judah was thrilled.

2. Gary gave me my first Christmas surprise today. It is my favorite kind of surprise-time with my family all together-he got off for an entire tour.

3. He is mostly taking off a tour so he can help me with Christmas duties at church. He is so thoughtful and kind and willing to serve.

4. We have jobs with benefits. We are so blessed.

5. Gary got to take Judah out to play in the snow. Gary is a much better playmate for Judah. He actually rolls around in it with him.

6. Gary loves to play with his son.

7. Haircuts at home. Saves money and looks good too. Let me clarify…the boys get their haircuts at home.

8. We have warm socks, warm shoes, warm coats, and warm gloves. Wow, it has been so cold and I am so thankful for warm clothes to wear in these harsh elements.

9. My neighbors pulled up the trash cans for me. We always try to see who can go out to get them first. Well, they won and in the snow!

10. Judah wore a pair of nice shoes today. Miracles do happen!

11. I found my tart cherry juice at the health food store. I picked up a bottle for my in-laws too.

12. The lady at the health food store was super helpful. Good costumer service is priceless.

13. Christmas Carols.

14. We took the Kidz Ministry kidcrew to a local nursing home to sing carols and hand out gifts.

15. Acts of kindness and love. That is what Christmas should be about.

16. Every kid who came brought gifts to hand out. We had more than 71 gifts. Everyone at the nursing home, including the nurse staff, got gifts.

17. The residents were beyond thrilled that we were there.

18. Care and Concern for the elderly. We should always show honor and respect.

19. We took the kids to Logan’s Steakhouse. They were so well-behaved. We have a great group of kids.

20. The waitresses who served us were excellent. Not one meal was messed up.

21. Logan’s gave us an incredible deal. All the kids got dessert for free too.

22. Bob, Debbie, Dale, Stella, and Deborah all gave up a Saturday in December to do ministry with kids. They all had a blast with the kids and even thanked me for letting them go. Wow! What an amazing group of leaders.

23. We launch our Christmas series, “It’s Christmas Time,” in Crossroads Kidz Ministry tomorrow. I love the message of Christmas.

24. Jesus was God’s perfect plan to redeem mankind. He wasn’t Plan B….He was the Perfect Plan.

25. God’s plans are always perfect.

26. I rocked Judah in the recliner tonight and sang to him all the songs my mom sang to me as a little girl. He asked me why I sing the name of Jesus. It was a beautiful teaching moment.

27. The name of Jesus.

Selah~Day 203

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I woke up to a beautiful ground cover of powdery snow.

2. Gary made it safely to the fire station.

3. Judah and I spent the morning in our pajamas.

4. I had to cancel our tech rehearsal for the production due to bad road conditions. In the past, this would have rocked my world. But, I had such a sweet peace and know that God will work it all out.

5. Trust.

6. God works all things together for good.

7. Email. It makes mass communication so much easier these days!

8. Pastor Ted searched for the Little Match Girl book for me. And, he found it. What a thoughtful gesture.

9. Judah and I made it safely to my in-laws for a fun day of play in the snow.

10. I didn’t have any waterproof gloves for Judah, so I got really inventive. I covered his gloves in plastic trash bags and they worked perfectly.

11. Judah, Morgan, Abby, and I had a great time playing in the snow together.

12. Robert brought home the 4-wheeler, so we all got to take rides and do donuts on the empty street.

13. I really enjoyed the snow time with Judah.

14. The white snow is a perfect reminder of how Jesus washed my sins away and made me “as white as snow.”

15. Purity.

16. Wholeness.

17. Judah and I enjoyed a wonderful day with our family. It was so nice to relax with family.

18. Robert and Laura went and picked up Chinese food for all. No one had to cook.

19. My in-laws and I had great conversation about alternative health options. We are going to start taking tart cherry juice and see how it helps us sleep.

20. Healthy living.

21. The City of OKC does a great job clearing the roads from snow and ice.

22. The luxury of paved roads!

23. I saw lots of families spending time together and taking advantage of the snow day. I love when families spend quality time together.

24. Quality time.

25. He is faithful.

26. Today was filled with peace.

27. In April of this year, I came across a blog entitled, “10Kreasons.” I loved the song 10 reasons, so I checked it out. Little did I know how it would change my life. The blog was written by a young wife and mother who had just experienced the devastating loss of birthing a child that wasn’t alive. Unfortunately, I shared her same pain. I emailed Sarah and asked her if I could join her on the journey to find 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord in one year. She welcomed me along. Today, Sarah Blount gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Even though I have never met her and have only spoken to her over email, I am elated and thrilled for this new blessing that has been birthed in her life. Congrats, Sarah!

Selah~Day 202

My 27 Thanks:

I knew when I wrote my Thankful blog on pieces of literature I would later think about other pieces that had an impact on my life. Sure enough, it only took about 5 minutes before I found myself saying, “Why didn’t I give that piece props?” So, I am going to begin this thankful list with a few more literature pieces.

1. Good Morning, Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. This book helped me understand the power of the Holy Spirit. How important it is to tell your guide, your comforter, your advocate, etc…that you welcome Him into your day.

2. Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro. I can’t talk much about this book right now. I am still emotionally tied to it. Wow! What a read.

3. The Diary of Anne Frank. When I spent a summer in Washington, D.C., I toured the Holocaust Museum. I cried through the entire tour. I couldn’t help but think about Anne and what fear she bravely walked through.

4. The bad weather came in later than forecasted, so I didn’t have any difficulty getting to work.

5. I got a lot of work done before I even went into work for the day.

6. My oriental trading shipment came in on time. Now, Christmas can begin in Kidz Ministry.

7. Gary and Judah came up to help me setup for our opening morning of It’s Christmas Time. 

8. My little family of three enjoys being together. Together is our favorite place to be.

9. Judah finds so many creative ways to entertain himself while we work.

10. We had a great tech rehearsal for our Christmas production. It was smooth, simple, and fast.

11. All stage designs are done.

12. All props are purchased and in place.

13. I have never been ahead of the game in a production before.

14. Pastor Tami showed me a few more skills on planning center. I love learning how to use great tools for my benefit.

15. The sound booth is clean and organized. I work much better in cleanliness.

16. Gary is doing a fantastic job running sound board. He has so many tech cues and he is hitting them all.

17. Judah walked around singing Christmas songs off and on today. I love hearing his sweet little voice sing songs.

18. Starla and I had a heart to heart conversation. It was good.

19. We got to leave work a little early due to bad weather.

20. We drove home very slowly, but made it safely.

21. I love experiencing this weather with Judah. He is absolutely amazed by the snow and super thrilled.

22. Gary and I cooked together in the kitchen.

23. We have an evening at home.

24. I try to make the most of every moment.

25. It’s snowing.

26. I will not let the snow and bad weather steal my joy. It can steal another one of my practice nights, but it can’t steal my joy. Ha Ha Ha!

27. When I lay my head down to sleep, I will sleep in sweet peace.

Selah~Day 201

I love words. I have been a lover of words, both spoken and written, since I was a little girl. Words, when captured on a page, can create wonders in the mind. Because of my love for literature, it is no surprise that I chose to study English in college. In both high school and college, I was introduced to so many great works of literature and some weird works as well. Thankfully, I had some of the BEST English teachers and professors around. They too had a great passion for fine works of literary art. I loved discussing, analyzing, and understanding the authors intent or hidden message. Words are powerful. They can be used to make profound statements, change the course of history, and create an emotional responses that inspires people to act. Or, they can take you places in your mind that you would otherwise never travel, encourage you to do things you would otherwise never think you could do, or give your heart a taste of peace and understanding that all is going to be well with the world.

It is to no surprise that the Bible, the greatest piece of TRUE literature, spends time discussing how powerful words are to us. It even compares our tongue to the rudder of a ship, directing the very course of our lives. Words move us, they shape us, they direct us. In this thankful blog, I am going to list 27 pieces of literature that either moved me, inspired me, changed the course of my life, or created an emotional response in my life. Besides #1, they are in no specific order. And, I have read 100s of pieces of literature and books. There are more than 27 that I could be thankful for, but the 27 I select for this blog are the ones who quickly came back to my memory.

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Bible. It is truly the foundation of my life and I base my world on the Words in this most precious book.

2. The Little Matchstick Girl. I read this when I was a little girl. I would love to find this book again. It stirred within me a heart of compassion. It truly changed my life as a little girl. If you haven’t read it, you should. And, if you find a copy…let me know!

3. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I used to have all of my students read Chapter One of this book on the first day of school. Everyone has been given a dream, a purpose.

4. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. A beautiful read about friendship and care. This book made me laugh and cry. It is a beautiful memoir that teaches many powerful life lessons.

5. The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Great American play about the Salem Witch trials. I read this in my Junior year English class. I also loved my teacher, Mrs. Harding. She may be part reason why I loved this piece of literature.

6. Hamlet by Shakespeare. I love so many of Shakespeare’s work. But, this is my favorite.

7. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I love Great American Novels rich with history.

8. Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Great, inspirational read about Joshua’s “Sun Stand Still” prayer to God. Oh…to have that kind of faith.

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. What can I say, I love American literature.

10. Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels. A book about letting your “Holy Discontent” fuel you to solve problems rather than frustrate you!

11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I wanted to name my child, Scout. But, Gary wouldn’t have it, so we named our dog, Scout. I loved the character Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. I think she reminded me of me!

12. Smith Wigglesworth Devotional book. Rich with the Word and stories of the miraculous.

13. Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems devotional book. Rich with the Word and meaning. I have learned so much about the Bible through reading this devotion.

14. Jesus Freaks by DC Talk and the Voice of the Martyrs. Some risk it all, even their lives, to serve our Lord.

15. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. I give out this book to families who have lost loved ones. I think it brings some comfort to those who are mourning. It portrays such a vivid and sweet picture of heaven. I cried through a majority of the read.

16. Axiom by Bill Hybels. Powerful leadership proverbs.

17. The Intercessor by Rees Howells. Great read about the miraculous.

18. Start by Jon Acuff. Inspiring and fun. I love Acuff’s writing style.

19. The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris. Great read about women in the Bible.

20. The Federalist Papers. I love reading about our History. Our forefathers amaze me.

21. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book is inspired by the book of Hosea in the Bible. It is a story of love and redemption!

22. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

23. Under Cover by John Bevere. There is a great promise of protection when we submit to authority.

24. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. A great study through brokeness.

25. Visioneering by Andy Stanley.  A great read for developing and maintaining vision.

26. Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. Keep igniting your personal time with God.

27. Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. A great read for a team.

Selah~Day 200

Tuesday, December 3

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Word of God brings life.

2. The Word of God is the foundation for which I stand.

3. The Word of God helps you to stand even after you have done all to stand.

4. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation.

5. The Lord is the strength of my life.

6. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.

7. Psalm 27.

8. There are times when I am really thankful that I learned to follow the rule, “when you don’t have something nice to say, don’t speak at all.”

9. Rules.

10. I received a text of love and encouragement from a friend today.

11. Pastor Marcia always encourages me.

12. Gary and Judah brought me lunch.

13. Gary is the best kids pastor assistant ever. He helped me reset the entire KidMotion room, hang banners, haul off hay bales and more. I think I will give him a raise. Ha Ha Ha!

14. Judah makes my heart smile. His energy for life excites me.

15. Starla made it back to work today with the sweet lil baby.

16. Little baby boy is doing better and his breathing is improving.

17. Judah and I have lots of fun making hot chocolate together. We enjoy drinking it with lots of marshmallows even more.

18. Jameson and Dustin will be pulling long hours for tech week. But, they will get it all done.

19. We had a great practice with our silent clowns.

20. I love humor.

21. Judah laughed hysterically while watching the clown sketches.

22. I love experiencing life through the eyes of my child.

23. Mike and Michael are working so hard to perfect this difficult task.

24. We all enjoyed a quiet, restful evening at home after a long days work.

25. Gary and I finished decorating our tree together using painted tree limbs and pine cones. They are both free and beautiful.

26. Warmth.

27. Nature.

Selah~Day 199

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary and I have another day off together. Wow, we might get spoiled to all this time off together.

2. Judah gets to go back to school today. I love his sweet school and what they teach him.

3. I loved my Smith Wigglesworth devotion this morning. There is power in the blood of Jesus. When you believe in the blood of Jesus, no emon in hell or the devil himself can move you!

4. Quiet time in the morning.

5. Judah hasn’t had much of an apetite lately. But, he ate a great breakfast this morning.

6. Gary took Judah to school and I took my time getting ready for the day. I enjoy piddling when I get the chance.

7. My mom loves natural health and she is alays sharing great tips with me.

8. Gary and I had an afternoon date.

9. We enjoyed shopping together for our shoebox gifts for a special charity this year.

10. We found GREAT items for all our shoeboxes at one store.

11. We can be a blessing to others.

12. It is truly better to give than receive. The Lord was on to something there.

13. He wants us to learn to serve others. He came to this earth to serve, not to be served. If I love Him, if I want to follow Him, then I will choose to Be like Him.

14. The Spirit of Christmas.

15. Judah is always so happy to see us when we pick him up from school.

16. I cooked an extra turkey we had left from Thanksgiving. It will make many great meals this week.

17. I made a yummy turkey tetrazzini. All of my guests liked it too. Well, almost everyone. Amy couldn’t handle the texture.

18. My friend Amy is so quirky. I love her sweet spirit and her willingness to help others. She is quiet and loves to be behind the scenes, but she is a great help to others.

19. Holly came to my house tonight and setup Chrismtas. She can add sparkle to anything and make it shine. It amazes me every year that she can take my old and well used Christmas decor and turn it into a beautiful display of Christmas art.

20. Every year looks different than the year before. I love watching Holly use her creative talent for decorating.

21. Gary ran to Hobby Lobby for us. We needed snow paint.

22. I had a great evening hanging out with some of my girlfriends.

23. I am doing almost all of my Christmas shopping online this year. I am okay with that too.

24. Gary got to spend time playing his guitar today. He loves having that time to express his musical gift. He has been working on the song 10,000 reasons. That song moves me still.

25. I was able to share a piece of my heart with Gary tonight in conversation. He walks with me…side by side…through it all.

26. God is not an author of confusion. He is a God of order and understanding and clarity.

27. Understanding.

Selah~Day 198

My 27 Thanks:

1. We were ready and out the door for church in perfect time.

2. We had safe travels in the heavy fog.

3. We had a smooth morning of ministry in Kidz ministry.

4. The kids loved the new game we introduced in KidMotion.

5. The “You First” series went really well in KidMotion. The kids responded well to the challenge of putting others before themselves.

6. Two little girls raised their hands this morning to ask Jesus into their hearts.

7. Even when He was hungry and tired, Jesus put others before Himself.

8. Jesus provided us with a perfect example to follow.

9. Because Jesus lives on the inside of us, we can be like Him.

10. Because Jesus put others first, a great miracle happened…Jesus fed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves.

11. My brother-in-law, Robert, gave up a morning of hunting to run sound for us in KidMotion.

12. My sound guy, Jeremy, made it safely to Germany. I am so excited that he is getting to have this awesome experience and visit his sister.

13. Mr. Zach stopped by and visited us before heading back to college. We love Mr. Zach.

14. Lorry Gail ran to Wal-Mart for me and picked up our production dinner break food. She is such an amazing, talented help.

15. Christmas production practice went well.

16. On a Holiday weekend, only 4 people were not able to make it to our practice. We have over 30 participating in the production.

17. I have seen this production numerous times now, but it still makes me laugh.

18. Gary is doing a fantastic job running sound board. This production has many technical elements and I am so glad I have a team of techies!

19.We only have 3 more practices until the big show. I am ready for this show to go on!

20. Christmas Music.

21. Creative people who can take a song…a good song…and give it a new style. I love remix.

22. Tis the season for extra commitments and practices. I am so thankful for all the people who are giving up their most precious time to make the Creative department at Crossroads AWESOME.

23. Energy.

24. Two people commented today on how great my make-up looked.Those comments make a girl feel good about spending extra time putting on her face!

25. Judah went to sleep with little struggle.

26. Quiet time.

27. I had time this evening to catch up on my Selah blog.

Selah~Day 197

My 27 Thanks:

I am so blessed. As I think about the last few days, I am reminded about all the blessings I have in my life. Previously, I mentioned how easy it is for us to get into an Entitlement Mentality. We get used to our blessings and think that we deserve them and we have a right to them. We forget that they are blessings, freely given to us from our loving father. If we aren’t careful, we can take the amazing blessings God has bestowed upon us for granted. In the last week, Gary and I have been able to spend time in our home. Tonight, I am truly thankful for what my home provides for me and my family. I don’t want to ever take God’s blessings for granted.

I am thankful that my home:

1. Is located in the Great State of Oklahoma.

2. Is located in South Oklahoma City. I love this area. It is convenient, friendly, and provides well for the needs of our family.

3. Is large enough to host large groups of people at the same time.

4. Was built by one of the top builders in the Oklahoma City area.

5. Is located in a neighborhood that is off the beaten path.

6. Is located in a cul-de-sac. We spend time in our front yard!

7. Has wood, tile, and concrete floors. I never really have to worry about a spill.

8. Has a fireplace that helps heat it well.

9. Represents my personality and style.

10. Receives me like a big hug.

11. Makes me feel welcomed.

12. Makes me feel safe.

13. Has an amazing alarm system.

14. Has a special place in it for me to spend my quiet times with the Lord.

15. Has a nice size backyard for Judah to play.

16. Is located next to really great neighbors.

17. Is a place that Gary and I plan to raise our family.

18. Is a comfortable place.

19. Is a place where memories are made.

20. Has a special room for my mom. She loves her little space and finds it perfect. Because my family lives out-of-town, it is so nice to have a place for them when they come to visit.

21.Has room to grow.

22. Has a tornado shelter built under the ground.

23. Is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

24. Is in a neighborhood that is so friendly and fun.

25. Has a fenced in backyard.

26. Is located right by my in-laws. I love being close to family.

27. Is a place that my family loves to spend time together.