Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kiss Me At Midnight

I'm really excited about the New Year's Eve celebration. I'm going to be spending the evening with family. It's unusual to do so because I usually don't have any family visiting in December. I will miss hanging with my friends, but they understand since I do have family in town.

I will again be celebrating New Year's eve without a special guy friend. Oh well...I should be getting used to it...I think I have only dated a few times during this "holiday" and most of the guys were away during that time. LOL!!!

This week has been pretty busy. I was hoping once Christmas had past I would be able to slow down. Maybe once the New Year begins I should be able to slow down some. We'll see I guess.

We had our final performance for the Christmas play on Sunday, December 21st. It was good to get it over...we still missed some lines, but it was still good. I had several family members there. I was able to have two of my sisters their families and my parents. I'm really glad I had a "cheering" section.

That's about all for now. Until next time...
"Kiss Me At Midnight" by N'Sync from the recording "Home For Christmas" released 1998

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Just Want to See Santa Claus

It has been a wonderful and eventful morning. The boys (my sister's boys) were hilarious this morning. They woke up at 6:30 this morning. We headed to the living room to take pictures and open presents. Santa brought the boys Nerf guns. They are really cool...not like the ones we had when we were little.

The boys got a "Guitar Hero" too...but it was covered with a blanket. It was funny because about 5 hours after they opened their presents, Brock uncovered the "Guitar Hero" and said, "Nicholas, look at the Guitar Hero." Nicholas asked, "what about a guitar Hero?" I was looking at Leah trying to get her attention so she could see the look on their faces. They are now putting it together and getting it ready to play. How cool is this Christmas!!

I got some really nice clothes. Two pairs of jeans, and two sweaters, a jacket and a shirt. I love them all. I can't wait to wear all of them.

One of the funny things that happened this morning...was when Pepaw made the statement "Jacob, there really is a Santa Claus!" and Jacob replied with "Pepaw, everyone knows there's a Santa Claus." It was so cute!

Another GREAT thing that happened today. I ordered my sister a shirt from the David Phelps website...and I wasn't sure w"Ihen it would get here. Leah was on the phone and went outside, and saw a box addressed to me, and I said, "open it." It was her shirt I had ordered. I was so glad that it came today. I will try to get a picture and post it later today of us in our shirts.

Well...I need to close for now. Daddy is wanting the jumble, and I need to help him get it.

"I Just Want to See Santa Claus" from the recording "One Wintery Night" by David Phelps released 2007.

Merry Christmas Baby

Merry Christmas! I'm so glad Christmas is here. I am at my sister Leah's house. We are wrapping Christmas presents and getting things ready for when Santa comes. Making sure there is enough room under the tree to bring the gifts for the boys. When we got here, we read the Bible (Luke 2) and prayed. The boys are so excited for Nana, Pepaw, & me being here. They were wired...so much fun!!

I'm sleeping in the boys room on an air mattress...although I think the boys are more excited about sleeping on it with me. Jacob and Brock were both planning on sleeping there, but Brock changed his mind.

We can wake up at 7:30ish to open gifts. I am excited about taking pictures of the boys in the morning with my new camera. I have the battery charging right now so I can take LOTS of pictures.

*Merry Christmas Baby! recorded by Nicole C. Mullen from the CD "Christmas in Black & White"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve! I had to work part of the day today. It was crazy this morning, because we had an ice storm last night and a few people had wrecks. Right before, we were getting ready to lock the doors, a customer came to get a new vehicle insured. I tell you the truth...it's crazy how people think about insurance at the weirdest times. Of course, I'm sure the storm caused some of it, because if people are driving without insurance and they wreck they are up a creek, but seriously...It's stinkin' Christmas Eve...do your business at "normal" business hours. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I didn't have to work later than I did...I have one friend who has to work until 5.

Other than having to work today, my day has gone well. Joyce and I split the food that was given to us and it was good to be able to take some really neat fruits home. We were given an edible arrangement. WOW!!! It was delicious.

Tonight, my church is having a service for Christmas Eve. We are singing the Cantata and partaking in communion. I'm really excited about being with my church family tonight. I think it's a good thing, but I know some churches let out and that's cool too, but I am really glad we are having a service.

I guess this is all I have to say...Until next time...

P.S. If I don't write anything tomorrow...Merry Christmas to all!!!

*The Night Before Christmas recorded by Amy Grant from the "Home for Christmas" CD, released 1992.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Clause is Coming to Town...

Well...it has been an interesting day! I really would like to be on vacation for the week...and after the ending...sort of ending, I wish I had been on vacation. I was leaving work at 5ish tonight and had to get gas at the gas station before heading home. I got to the station and down the road with no problem, but as I was coming upon the Russell area (where I turn to go into Ohio), I saw an ambulance taking that road. So I thought it best to continue and try to go to Ashland and across. After being stuck in traffic for a good hour and a half, I had made it to Wal-mart. I decided to go inside and do the things I needed to do and then see if the traffic got any better. It was a good decision. I called my parents on the way home to let them know that I would be calling them when I made it to the church to pick up the mail. That way they knew I was across the bridge.

As I was talking to them on the phone (while getting the mail), I turned and fell on my butt. Feet totally coming out from under me and me landing straight on my butt. I dropped the phone and kept yelling...I fell, but I'm okay...don't hang up. I wasn't sure if my phone may have hung up on them. I knew I had scraped one of my arms, but I wasn't sure of the other and I wasn't sure of my tail bone. I drove home and made it okay. I have a knot on my arm where I scraped it. I've got a sore butt, and a slight headache...so I'm gonna head to bed and take something before hitting the pillow.

I wanted to leave you all with a song from "Koopa, the turtle" series. I really love this guy. His name is Michael O'Brien. He's one of my favorite Christian recording artist. This is the same Michael O'Brien who recorded an mp3 file and sent to me for my birthday. It was him singing "happy birthday" to me. One of the best birthday presents I have ever received.

Hope you enjoy the video...I know I have enjoyed it....

Friday, December 19, 2008

All is Well...

*Note...this was begun on Friday, December 19th, but finished on Monday, December 22nd.

I'm so behind this year, I'm not doing Christmas cards nor am I doing my cheating way of "New Year's" cards. It has been an incredibly busy Christmas season and I just let time fly by too quickly.

This has been a year of new things and facing how fast time has quickly passed. I think I will try to do this in the best way or orderly fashion that I know how to do...let's try to start at the beginning of 2008.

January - My friends once again rang in the new year together. I really enjoy this time of being with friends saying by to the old year and seeing what the new year is going to bring. This year, the friends also decided to join together and lose weight. It worked for about 10 weeks I think. LOL!!! I don't know what it is sometimes, but we will try to do it again.

February - I made a decision to step out of my comfort zone and enter a singing competition. This was the first time I completed the application process. It was funny because once I finished submitting my packet, I found out the competition would be the same week as VBS at church. Pastor and I had discussed the possibility of changing weeks for VBS, but I said, "God will work this out if I'm to be here to help with VBS."

April - The girls from the gang went to our annual Women of Faith weekend. This is a trip we really enjoy because we get to learn more about God and get to know each other better. This year we got to see not only Natalie Grant, but also Nicole C. Mullen, this is like the third or fourth time for me to see Nicole, but it was the first time seeing her after hearing the song "One Touch."

May - May was a pretty emotional for me, but jammed packed towards the end of the month. On Thursday, May 22nd, my dad came into my room between 4 and 5 in the morning. He was telling me that my mom wasn't feeling well and thought she may want to go to the hospital. It took me a little time to realize what he wanted, but when I finally got up, I went to talk to momma. She was in the bathroom and I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. She said she didn't know. I told her I was going to get ready and that we could go to the hospital. We got to the hospital possibly around 5 or 5:30...I can't remember for sure. I parked the car and as I walked back into the emergency room they were taking her back. I went back with her and they gave her pain. One of the funniest things to see is my momma on pain medication. She was talking about cream filled donuts that were on an invisible table in her room in the ER. So funny! I finally was able to get her to understand we were at the hospital. They took her to get x-rayed, within 30 minutes she was being admitted. I knew mom's main concerned (now that her pain was under control was to see to daddy, who was at home alone). I called my brother Tim to see if he could stay with mom while I went to take care of daddy. As I was leaving the hospital I called my boss to tell him I would not be at work that day as I wasn't sure what was going to happen with my mom at that moment. It was a good thing I called in, because when I got home, my dad needed to go back to the VA hospital for the condition of Bells Palsy he had been diagnosis a few weeks prior. His medication was about to be out and he wanted to have it looked at before the holiday weekend. So by 10:30 that morning, I had taken both my parents to the hospital. It was a moment I will never forget. Me, being the youngest child, it was very surreal to me. I realized my parents do have limitations.

As I was coming home from the hospital the first time, I heard of the news of Steven Curtis Chapman's family losing their youngest daughter, Maria. It was a moment that all I knew I could do was pray for that family.

My momma had surgery on Thursday to remove a kidney stone. With the help of Tonda and Tim those two days I was able to only have to miss one days work. Momma came home from the hospital on Friday. Tim brought her home. The holiday weekend began. Mom seemed to be doing well. On Monday after I came home from the parade, she was complaining of the same type of pain she had experienced on Thursday morning. So I decided to take her to the hospital again. When they x-rayed again, they had decided to admit her for another surgery (to be done on May 27th - My birthday). I was to be leaving to attend a secretary's conference that evening for Wednesday and Thursday. I had thought about cancelling the trip, but mom said she didn't want that to happen. She wanted me to go to the conference and enjoy myself. I called my sister Becky to see if her husband Mike would be able to come down to stay with daddy on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was able to do so, and it was really nice to have the support of family members. I felt I could go to the secretary's conference and enjoy myself (as much as I could). The day of the surgery, I took daddy over in the morning (approx. 9:00), and as I drove over there, I realized I had to get my driver's license renewed. So I had to call work to let them know I would be a little later than I had expected. If I hadn't gone to get those renewed that day I wouldn't have been able to get them done for another two days. I got my dad to the hospital and got him upstairs then headed up there to see my mom before I left town. She, my dad and my brother Tim sang "happy birthday" to me there in the hospital room. It was an interesting way to spend my 38th birthday, but I'm thankful my parents are doing well again.

When I came home from the conference, I had a letter waiting for me from the competition sponsor. It was telling me the competition would be cancelled. It was sad to hear that news, but also in a way a blessing, because I knew I would be able to work with VBS without any conflict.

June - In June, my high school class planned a reunion for our 20th year. Wow! Talk about a feeling old. I did...but I have to say, it was a great thing to see the others in my class...some of them hadn't changed much, others lost some hair on top their heads, and a few of us...like me didn't look their age. YEAH!!! I had a good time both nights of the reunion. We had the first night at the new high school for pizza, then on Saturday night had a nice dinner at Austyns in Ironton. It was a really good time for everyone who had come out.

July - July we were on a time crunch to finish all the VBS decorations in time for the week of VBS. We planned something different this year...beginning on Sunday night, and going through Thursday night with a program on Friday night. We really liked it. However, we did have a few problems to overcome the weekend before it began. We had been doing renovations on the fellowship hall, kitchen and office area...and we were a little concerned our time was going to be cutting it very close. They had managed to get out of there a few days bofore we started. The Saturday before we began our VBS, our electricity went out at the church. We had decided to just finish it on Sunday afternoon. We prayed, and the electricity did come back on for us to begin as planned on Sunday. The week was incredible and with the way it had begun, we knew God was going to be working. The outcome of this year's VBS was not only record attendance, but also the souls of 9 kids accepting Jesus as their Savior. Of those 9 who were saved, about 7 or 8 are still attending Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. We are seeing growth in them, and we are continuing to pray for them as they continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus. It is not an easy road all the time. It was nice for them all to complete a discipleship class during the Sunday school hour, taught by our pastor. It allowed them to learn some of the fundamentals, as well as get to know our pastor better.

August - I made the decision to go back to school in August. Something very scary for me...something I said I would never do. I had decided to do my schooling at a small Christian college in our area that is accreditted. I'm getting sound biblical teaching as well as able to get my degree.

September - I began classes in September the second Monday of the month. I had decided to just take two classes - Math and the Penateuch. Several of my classes from Southland transferred, but I still have several more to take to get my degree.

October - In October I had the privledge of singing at my best friends wedding. David Biehl met Mechele Deffinbaugh this past April and asked her to marry him just after a few weeks of their meeting. It was a whirlwind romance. I have gotten to know Mechele and have seen a big growth in her these past few months.

November - November began keeping me busy with church, because I was asked to be in the Christmas play. We began practices two nights a week. The gang celebrated their 4th annual Thanksgiving with Friends. This year once again brought new people to the table to break bread with us. We had a really good time. Also was able to celebrate Buckeye Christmas with the Jayne family. I love that time. This year we have an incredible time at Leah & Mike's house and also at Tim & Tonda's house. We played our favorite family games "Rhythm" & "Mafia." It was fun getting some of our nephews and nieces to play too. Also we were introduced to CamoPlaidRevolution2. Three of my nephews have created websites and episodes. You can find them on youtube if you want to waste some time watching boy humor. They happen to be VERY funny and VERY talented.

December - The Christmas season continued to be crazy for me. The Christmas play was not coming together as smoothly as our director wanted it to come, but we were able to do our first performance on December 18th. The following night, I had a group of 11 (including me), attend the David Phelps Christmas concert in Ashland, KY. This is a tradition for my sister and my friend Kat. I can't remember how many we have been too, but it has become a tradition to do this. I really liked the fact our group grew to 11 this year. In fact, the three seats left in our belonged to three people from my church, so it was really special for us.

Sunday, December 21st, we sang our first performance of the Cantata. I had a solo in it...very nervous, because I had been coughing a lot the past couple of days. I did start coughing but it was after my solo...PTL!!! That evening we were to do the final performance of the Christmas play, but it didn't work out. Our electricity went out at church. The pastor and directors decided to wait until next week to do the final performance. We are hoping for another practice. LOL!!! We will see, I guess.

As far as school, I finished the semester tonight. I don't have a clue what grade I'll end up in my Math class, but my Pentateuch Class will definitely be an A...YEAH!!!

Well...that about closes this year out. I'm working on goals for 2009. Reflecting on what has happened this year has been very helpful in what I'd like to see in 2009. One of my goals in 2008, was to honor God with my actions and attitude. I know I have failed in many ways at that goal, but I am thankful for the opportunity to learn in the setting of Tri-State Bible College. I think getting a deeper knowledge of God will also help me with that goal of honoring God with my actions and attitude.

May God bless you all...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

*"All Is Well" song from the recording of "Christmas" by Michael W. Smith, released 1989. This is an amazing song sung by a children's choir.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is All I Have to Give

Joseph was a man...a real man. He had a fiance, named Mary. One day Mary came to him and said, "I'm with child." Joseph being a real man...was ready to put her away quietly. Think about this...Joseph's fiance comes to him and says she's pregnant. Joseph knowing that this child was not his. Can you imagine the hurt? Can you imagine how this news made him feel as a man? But after the news came to him, and angel visits him, and says, "fear not Joseph. It's okay, the child Mary is carrying is the Messiah." After the news from the angel and believed the angel was right and he believed Mary was carrying the Messiah. He was willing to become the adoptive father of Jesus. To teach him what he knew. What an incredible thought! Joseph taught Jesus how to become a carpenter.

Todd Agnew wrote an incredible song from the view of Joseph. This song is entitled "This is All I Have to Give." Here are the words:

I've always dreamed I built a cradle
We lay you in when we brought you home
When we brought you home
But there you lay fast asleep in a feed trough
It was all that I could find
I'd always hope that you'd have my eyes
Maybe you'd get the skill of my hands
But as I look into Your eyes
I see Your hands created mine
This is all I have to give
You can share my home and bear my name
This is not how you should live
The son of God has become the son of man
This is all I have to give
I'd always thought about how I'd teach You how to build Your first chair
And how to treat Your mom
Your lovely mom
How to explain the reckless love of God
To Your simple mind
What can I offer You my son
When Your the living breathing proof
Of everything I've hoped could possibly be true
This is all i have to give
You can share my home and bear my name
This is not how You should live
The son of God has become the son of man
This is all I have to give
Why couldn't God have chosen another man
How can I lead this family when I don't understand
And how can I take the place of Your dad
When I can not explain
Even how You can to be
My sweet Jesus
My baby boy
This is all I have to give
You can share my home and bear my name
This is not how You should live
The son of God has become the son of man
The glory of God taking the form of man
May the grace of God shine upon this man
This is all I have to give
I really enjoy seeing new things in the first Christmas account. I think sometimes when we hear something over and over, we can take it for granted, but looking at it with new, fresh eyes, can bring a new hunger to something very familiar.
In regular life...tonight was the first performance of the Christmas play. I thought it went well. It was funny because my sister called me during the scene 2 while I was on stage. She left a voice mail. I was thankful I had the phone on vibrate. LOL!!!
Tomorrow is the David Phelps concert. I'm so excited! I love to hear that man sing. He could sing the phone book and it would be interesting.
The first performance for the cantata is Sunday morning...I have a solo.
The second performance of the Christmas play is Sunday night. I can't wait to see how it goes. I had to do some major fast changing. I didn't think it would take that long to change, but it was pretty crazy.
Well...I need to close for now. May you be able to find time to read the Christmas account in the Bible with a new perspective. I know I have enjoyed seeing it new...It's good to do that...especially when things are going crazy and our mind can easily be distracted by things around us...instead of what this season is really about...JESUS!!!
"This is All I Have to Give" from "Do You See What I See?" by Todd Agnew, featuring Vince Lichlyter. Release date 2006.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Joseph and Simeon Recitative & What My Eyes Have Seen

I really love Simeon & Anna part in the account of the Nativity. Two people waiting to see our Savior. In "The Child of the Promise" Simeon and Joseph speak and then Simeon and Anna sing this beautiful song.

What my eyes have seen
My heart reveals to be...
The Child of the promise of God
No longer a mystery
Now I can leave this world in peace
Because of What my eyes have seen
Though this Promise seems small and fragile
He will be filled with the power of the Lord
Some will receive Him
Some will reject Him
But He will never be ignored
He is the Lord
What my eyes have seen
The Spirit reveals to me
To be the light of the world
The Savior, Messiah, and King
Now I can depart in peace
Because of What my eyes have seen
Praise to You, O God
For this blessed Child
This is Anna, a prophetess
She has not left the temple in many years
She prays and worships night and day
You can trust its God she hears
What my eyes have seen
The Spirit reveals to be
The long-awaited Son of God
That fulfilment of our prophecy
No longer just a silent dream
This Child has come here to redeem
Anyone who seeks to know Him
What my eyes have seen
(What my eyes have seen)
The Spirit reveals to be...
(The Spirit reveals to be...)
To be the light of the world
(To be the light)
The Savior, Messiah and King
Now I can depart in peace
Because of What my eyes have seen
Though this Promise seems small and fragile
He will be filled with the power of the Lord
Some will receive Him
Some will reject Him
But He will never be ignored
He is the Lord

The line that hits me and brings me to the point of this blog is "Some will receive Him, Some will reject Him".

My pastor spoke this past Sunday on Jesus becomes a man. He has been doing a series for the past three weeks from John 1. He began with out Jesus was God Incarnate. Then he spoke last week about Jesus being the Light of the world. This week he brought out a point about how some will reject Jesus, but some will accept Him. John 1:11-13 "He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Jesus came as God Incarnate, to light the way to God, and some of his own people rejected Him...but for those who did receive Him...He gave the right to become children of God.

What a priviledge! Do people really know what they are rejecting when they reject this gift God sent...His son? I do know one thing...even though they reject Jesus here on earth, there will be one day." In Romans 14 verse 10 through 12 discuss this fact. "Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us will gie an account of himself to God."

One day they will bow...but it may be too late. We need to get out there to show them the love of Jesus and speak truth to them.

May your Christmas be real to you this year.


*Joseph & Simeon Recitative & "What My Eyes Have Seen" from the recording "The Child of the Promise" released 2000

Monday, December 15, 2008

When the Dream Never Dies

So the message I heard on Saturday night had got my mind onto this song from the "Child of the Promise" CD. Stormie Omartian did an amazing job at capturing Elizabeth's desire for a child.

Ryan spoke on Saturday night at the dinner about the "Fear Not" to Zacharias, which he said was a fear not of unanswered prayer. I know that Zacharias and Elizabeth both had this desire for a child and they had prayed for this to happen for several years....but I never really thought of this as an "unanswered prayer." I know a lot of times you have to be able to apply scripture to your own life so you can see something new.

Ryan had asked..."are you praying for something, and not seeing an answer?" Wow! That hit home. He also said, "remember, 'fear not'."

The song "When the Dream Never Dies" has some incredibly convicting words. I remember when I first heard this song...I was praying for the same thing I am still praying for. Have I see it answered yet?

Here are the words...

Deep in my heart was an ember of longing
Kept warmed by the flame of desire
The dream held in secret
I yearned to hold openly
Fanned by my hope into fire
It burned to such heat
I could touch it no more
So I put it away and then closed up the door
Forever extinguishing all that would keep it alive
But the dream never died
The Lord has done this for me
He has looked on me kindly
He has heard all my cries
He's given me back what I've laid at His feet
It must be God...when the dream never dies
Isn't it just like the Lord to invite me
To put all my dreams in His hands
Forever releasing the grip that once held them
Forever surrendering my plans
And then when He's certain it's not born of man
He calls for the fire to rekindle again
And he asks me to know in my heart
What's not seen with my eyes
So the dream never dies
The Lord has done this for me
He has looked on me kindly
He has heard all my cries
He's given me back what I've laid at His feet
It must be God...when the dream never dies
It must be God...when the dream never dies

My favorite verse is the second...the line that speaks "And when He's certain it's not born of man...He calls for the fire to rekindle again." God wants to show Himself real to each of us. I know there have been many plans I have handed to God and He's just shook His head, probably thinking..."DeeJay...come on now...my way is much better." You see...I'm only seeing one small part. God sees the BIG picture. He sees where He's taking me on this journey of life. Yes, there have been a lot of things I've prayed for and I've seen come to pass, but I do have a dream ... that has had to die. God may choose to rekindle that flame and allow for it to live in my life, or He may see fit keep it hidden.

What my part needs to be is to live a life of "fearing not." Knowing God is in control of EVERY situation of my life. Is this an easy lesson? No. Is this a lesson I've learned? Nope. I'm still learning that surrender to God is a moment by moment basis. I love Paul's example of dying to self daily. I'm not the only one who has to learn how to die to my desires...even Paul (the greatest Christian...some would say) had to learn that lesson daily.

God has given us His word filled with examples ... some good and some bad (so we can hopefully learn by their mistakes, and realize we are not the only ones who have had a rough time.) God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus. To be born of a virgin...Mary. In Matthew 1:16, it says, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." We discussed this verse in class because we were talking about how Deuteronomy was written as a Contract (the world used). One of the students brought up how the New Testament was written in a popular Greek language that was used during that time. Our professor brought out this verse in Matthew 1:16...how in the previous verses, the words for "begat" was different that the term used for "of whom was born Jesus." In our English language it's not really clear that it is a femine term. In the Greek it is clear that Jesus comes from Mary...not from Joseph. I love how God shows these things in Scripture...we have the Truth. Are we sharing it with others? I know I have fallen short in the past, but that's in the past...it's now time to begin a new year with a new goal. Sharing the Truth with others.

I have a favorite line from the movie "Facing the Giants." Coach Grant Taylor is talking with his team and says, "I want God to bless this team so much people will talk about what He did. But it means we gotta give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm askin' you... What are you living for? I resolve to give God everything I've got, then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me."

My favorite part of that line is "Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm askin' you...what are you living for?" That's a very pointed question. I pray the rest of 2008 will be a time of reflection for not only myself...but those who read this blog.

May God bless you...

*When the Dreams Never Dies" from the CD "The Child of the Promise" by Stormie & Michael Omartian, released 2000.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Glory To God

I think my all-time favorite Christmas CD is a toss up between two. The first is "The Child of the Promise" which was written by Stormie & Michael Omartian. Stormie is the woman who wrote "The Power of a Praying Wife" and other "power of praying..." books. Her husband is an incredibly talented music writer as well as producer.

The second CD is "Do You See What I See?" by Todd Agnew. Now the difference in these CD's is why I can't choose which one of them as my favorite. I think for the next few weeks until Christmas I'd like to highlight songs from both of these CD's. Mainly because of the messages that I've had the priviledge of hearing for the past few weeks. This morning I posted a blog featuring one of the songs from Todd's CD...The one the Magi sing in his release. Tonight, I was thinking about the angels and the priviledge they had of proclaiming the gospel ... the news of the birth to the shepherds.

Imagine the activity in Heaven before the birth. This morning my friend Kat sang "Joy! Joy!" by David Phelps...this song describes that activity...of how Jesus took off his crown and laying it down, said, "Father thy will be done." The angels were probably all excited to be apart of this proclaimation...think about it...they knew who Jesus was...they knew how special this night was. And here they were waiting to be apart of it.

Todd does a great job at showing the excitement...One of the angels is setting the stage of what Jesus is doing that night, asking "Do they not realize what is about to happen?" He begins to ask the head angel "Can we sing yet? Can we shout yet?" Finally he gets the cue to start the singing..."Glory...Glory to God...Glory in the highest..."

When I was little, I don't think I had ever thought about the angels and their proclaimation in the account of Jesus' birth. Yes, I knew they were there, and I knew they said, "fear not" because the shepherds would be afraid, but they began singing...shouting... about this wonderful birth. Oh to be apart of that angelic host...To be able to shout the joyful news of the redeemer of all mankind.

Until next time...

"Glory to God" sang by Anthony Evans from the CD "Do You See What I See?" by Todd Agnew released 2006

God With Us...

Last night was our Christmas dinner at church. It was a very good dinner. We had a very special speaker last night too. He was a former pastor of our church...Ryan McKee. I have always enjoyed listening to Ryan speak...even though he usually says something that the Holy Spirit uses to convict me and show me that I need to trust God more than I do, or turn from something I'm doing, etc...and last night was no different.

He spoke on the Christmas story and looked at it in a new light. He used the words "Fear Not" from the angel to show that we need to remember these for our life.

First "Fear Not" he showed us was toward Mary. Think of a young girl who was espoused to Joseph. The angel comes to her and says, "Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God, and, behold, you shall conceive a son and shall call his name JESUS." She asks, "How can this be since I've not yet been with a man?" The angel says, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God."

Ryan called this the "Fear not of human impossibilty." This was a miracle. Is there anything in my life...in your life, that can be consider impossible? Well...God is the God of impossibles. He can do ANYTHING. We just need to trust him to do what He has planned for us.

The second "Fear Not" is toward Joseph. The angel came to Joseph saying, "Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is on the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS."

Ryan called this the "Fear not of obedience." Is there something God is calling you to be obedient? During the time of Joseph and Mary, Joseph could have put Mary away, but he didn't...he obeyed the angel and took Mary as his wife, and raised baby Jesus as his own son. He taught him his craft of carpentry. (A side note: One of my favorite scenes in "The Passion" is when Jesus is making the table. This was something that Joseph taught him. My favorite part of that scene is when He sits on the table to test His work. That is just so neat to see because Jesus probably saw Joseph tests the different things that he had made too.

The third "Fear Not" came from Zacharias. Zacharias was married to Elizabeth. They were very old in their age. Prayed many years for a child, but Elizabeth was barren. The angel comes to Zacharias during his priestly duties and says, "Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard..."

Ryan pointed this as the "Fear not of unanswered prayer." This is the one that really hit me. How many times do we pray for something and possibly give up because God has not answered with a yes yet? Zacharias & Elizabeth were well into years and would have never believed that this prayer would be answered to have a child. This isn't the first birth of parents well into the years...Abraham - 100 years old...his wife 90 years old. God is the God of impossibility ... remember? He can do it! We just have to believe and keep praying.

There is one more that Fear Not that Ryan spoke of last night. The "Fear Not" for us. You may be thinking..."I'm not in the Christmas story." But when the angel came to the shepherds, he said, "this is for all mankind." That's us! This "Fear not is for the ecomony, world situations, illness, etc." This is my favorite because one of the names Jesus is known as is ... Emmanuel which means "God with us."

This last "fear not" is definitely for us...we don't know what is going to happen in the world...but we do know Who is in control! That's God...and God sent His son Jesus...who is also called "Emmanuel" which means "God with us."

During Ryan's message when he talked about Emmanuel and the meaning of it, I thought of the song by Todd Agnew...below is the words to the song.

May your Christmas for 2008 be the time you remembered that you are not to be in a mindstate of fear...but living a life of "Fear Not". As a reminder for this time, memorize Isaiah 41:10

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (ESV)

Merry Christmas.

We saw a star
And followed it from the east
We've come so far to come here
We held one hope
Taht we might find a King
How could we know
That he would be "God with us"
Emmanuel come to us
The king of Israel abides with us
In this little boy who could know we'd find
The eternal One born into time
This baby child is God with us
We've brought him gold, and frankincense and myrrh
When riches untold He left behind
We brought our best
To celebrate a King
Who left His throne
So He could be "God with us"
Emmanuel come to us
The king of Israel abides with us
In this little boy who could know we'd find
With all the mystery somehow intertwined
This baby child is "God with us"
In all our wisdom we came to seek a king
But how do you prepare to meet the Lord
And in all my wildest hopes
I'd never would have dreamed
What this star was truly pointing toward
Who this star was truly shining for
Star of wonder
Star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light
God with us
Emmauel come to us
King of Israel abides with us
In this little boy who could know we'd find
The creator born Redeemer of mankind
and the hand of God is reaching out for mine
This baby child is God with us
Mary's baby child is God with us
*God With Us recorded by Todd Agnew from the release "Do You See What I See?" released 2006.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Believe (Part 2)

This is the song that inspired yesterday blog. I think if I were to choose a contemporary Christmas song as a favorite it would be this one. Natalie did a great job with this one.

Hope you enjoy...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Believe...

I believe...this was a very difficult and crazy evening. We had the dress rehearsal for the Children's Christmas program for next week. I ran sound during the rehearsal, but we had an issue that we had to bring the "big guns"...aka Ben to help.

I believe...I'm going to possibly go crazy before the weekend. There is just TOO much to do and TOO little time. You may be wondering...if there is "TOO much to do and TOO little time" why is this blog being written? My answer...this helps me unwind...get my thoughts straight...it keeps me sane. LOL!!! Tomorrow night, I would rather be going to the Casting Crowns concert in Charleston, but I'll be cleaning the fellowship hall and upstairs area. I think the ladies will be decorating for the dinner on Friday night, so I want to get the area ready for them to decorate. Friday, I hope to finish Christmas shopping and getting the stuff wrapped for our friends gift exchange. Saturday, I have to be at the church at 11:00 for practice, so I think I'm going to go earlier to get the sanctuary straightened up, and help Kat get the turkey ready. We will be baking the turkey during our Christmas play practice that day. Saturday night is our Christmas dinner, then we will be heading to Kat's house for our gift exchange. YEAH!!!

I believe...I'm going to be very nervous next week for the children's Christmas program, the Christmas play and the Christmas cantata...all next week.

I believe...the reason I do all this crazy jam packed month is because Jesus came to earth as a child...to grow up a man, and take my place for the sin payment.

I believe...the wiseman saw the baby boy the angel called the son of God. Heaven's child, the great I Am, born to take away my sin through nail pierced hands.

I believe...in a cross.

I believe...He came for one He came for all. Heaven's child, became a man, who gave His life for me...in spite of all I am...

I believe...in Jesus.

"I Believe" recorded by Natalie Grant from the release "Believe" CD, released 2005

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

The Jayne family has many different and unusual Christmas traditions. One of those being the fact we celebrate Christmas during the Thanksgiving weekend. The past two years actually celebrating on Thanksgiving Day after our Thanksgiving dinner. Many times we have memories growing up of special things that happened over this particular Christmas celebration.

One in particular is the year, my dad walked around the house singing..."It's the most wonderful time of the year." I think that is the main line he would say and he would just repeat it for no reason in particular. Now when I hear that song...no matter who is singing it, I remember my dad singing it through the house.

I'm so blessed with special memories of my parents and family. I'm so thankful God gave me such a wonderful family to support me and enjoy life.

Here is a picture of my daddy...in his usual position.


"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" recorded by Plus One, from the release "Christmas" CD released 2002.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Light Your World

This Sunday was a very special day for me. It was a long one, but it was a really good day. It began with snow on the ground, which meant I had to make sure to leave earlier than I usually do to be sure to have the church opened in time for Linda to do the bulletin. That morning, we began in Sunday school class, with our lesson on grace. After Sunday school, we began our morning worship service. Pastor spoke on Jesus being the Light of the World. He talked about how special even a little light is in a dark place. Think about being in a cave without any light...you can't see your hand in front of your face type darkness...now turn on a small flashlight, or light a candle. How does that light feel to you? Now think about Jesus being our Light...to this darken world. What a blessed thought that is! I began to think about a song that I sing during Christmas time...or even during a missions emphasis week entitled "Light Your World." This song was recorded by Newsong from their "Christmas Shoes" CD. The message in the verse describes a lady down the street from this little boy. The lady is alone, her husband is dead, she may not have any family near, she's all alone. The second verse talks about a knock on the door breaks that silence. She looks out the window and see this little boy with flowers in his hand...like a little gentleman. He brought her flowers and asks if he can stay awhile. The verse states:

Light your world
Let the love of God shine through
In the little things you do

Light your world
And though your light may be
Reaching only two or three
Light your world...

That thought...lighting your world...reaching out to touch just two or three others...and they take that concept...to light two or three. Think about how many people we can begin to impact with our little light. This thought reminds me of the movie "Pay It Forward." A movie about a middle school child challenged in a social studies class to think of a project to change the world. He thought of the "pay it forward". The impact he made in the movie was incredible...it had reached across the country.

I love the little children's song "This little light of mine." It's amazing how a little song can have such a message impacted in simple words. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...let it shine, let it shine, let it shine..." Those next verses, "Hide it under a bushel...NO!" "Won't let Satan blow it out...I'm gonna let it shine" "Shine it over (whatever town you are in)...I'm gonna let it shine." Such simple words, but when lived out can bring major change.

I think about this concept of change...especially after the election we just had. Two of the agents were talking about the economy and how something has to change. One of them said, "Well...Obama said it's going to get worse before it gets better." I made a comment, "That's just a way he can cover his bases when it does get worse." I didn't mean for my comment to be disrepectful, and I don't think the guys took it that way...but it made me think how...we as Americians want change, but we aren't going to answer for the change we want. What we need is GOD! He's the answer to all of this scary and unsettled times.

Wow!! I have really gotten off the subject of this blog...Let's get back to my special Sunday. After church, I stopped to get my parents something to eat. Their church was cancelled and they weren't getting out with the weather. I got my stuff ready for the evening service, then went to meet up with Ginger to go to lunch. We went to eat at O'Charley then onto the mall to shop for some Christmas presents for her great nephews. She had a blast...I had a good time hanging out with her and Mary joined us a little later.

After we got finished at the mall, we went back to church. We have about an hour before play practice...Ginger and Mary practiced while I got programs printed for the Christmas music service last night. It went really well. I was a little frustrated before it started, because of the whole play practice thing. I was about ready to just make up lines...that's probably what I'll be doing the night of the performance. LOL!!!

Anyway...after play practice, we began our service. It was very nice. Only one of the people I had invited came...It was Supermac. I was glad he was able to make it. We had a very good service. I sang a semi new song. I had it forever, but just never sang it in public. It was "Lamb of God" by Nicole C. Mullen.

Pastor's devotion was really good. He talked about being a witness for Jesus. I felt him talking to me...because I had asked a few different people to church a couple of times...during the revival and also for the Christmas music service. Even though they didn't come in, I need to not be discouraged...I need to just do the asking, let God be in charge of who comes from my invitations.

I'm really glad that I learned that small lesson, because I could have really let the fact that the other people I had invited that didn't come, to ruin the special service. But I laid it into God's hands...I had invited. I can't force them to come, I only need to open the invitation to them.

BTW...I got my paper back from my Pentateuch class. I got an A on it. My teacher showed the paper to the class and pointed out my outline worksheet I had made for the lesson. He made really good notes. I was very pleased with the grade. When I told my dad I had gotten my paper back, he asked "what did you get on it?" I told him to guess, he said, "B+"...I said, "no, an A...my teacher grades better than you do." My dad and I have this ongoing joke about him grading me harder than other students he has taught.

"Light Your World" recorded by Newsong from the CD "Christmas Shoes" released 2001.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Blue Christmas

So today was a pretty sweet day! I woke up and went to Sam's to pick up supplies for church. I wanted to go early because I still had to change the sign before the weather got too bad. I got finished at Sam's and headed to get my hair trimmed. While I was there, the girl told me about some extensions they had gotten in stock and she said, "I thought of you when I saw them." So I bought into it and got one. I knew I would be wearing blue tomorrow for the Christmas music service, so I chose a blue one. Well...it was buy two get one free, so I went ahead and got a red one and a dark blonde one. When I got home my parents saw it. Mom didn't seem to mind it that much, but my daddy didn't like it at all. He said, "why blue? Are you having a blue Christmas?" I told him that I may just have a blue Christmas...

Tonight, I wore my outfit that my sister Leah got me to sing at the Historical Christmas walk that our church participates in each year. My pastor didn't seem to have a problem, but his daugther was funny. She said, "why do you have blue in your hair?" I didn't really answer it, and she said, "I mean, you're at church and all." I told her, "If I can't wear blue in my hair in front of Jesus I shouldn't be wearing it at all."

Most of the people seem to like it. I felt really good when the girl at McDonald's complimented me this morning. I knew the day was going to be a good day. LOL!!!

I'm really excited about tomorrow's night Christmas music service. I have asked a few people to come. I don't know if they will make it or not, but I really hope they will. I know they would enjoy it if they come.

It has snowed here. Not a lot on the ground, but enough to make the roads rough. My friend Kat ran her car into the ditch today. She's okay and she got the car out. I saw a car in the ditch on the way home this early afternoon. I only had trouble twice while driving today. It's just something we need to be cautious when doing.

Well...that's all for now...until next time...

- "Blue Christmas" recorded by David Phelps from the "One Wintery Night" CD, released, 2007
BTW...when I write these blogs, the song & artist listed at the bottom is usually the one that I'm actually listening to at the time.

A quick thought about this song. When I went to see David Phelps last year, he got ready to sing this song and he started "I'll have a blue..." He sings that part without music, and when he hits the word blue, the guitar part begins. Well...that night Quentin was having trouble with his guitar, and David begins, "I'll have a blue..." no guitar. I can't remember how many times he started, or if Q had gotten it fixed for the second time to begin. It was quite the concert moment. Those are the best moments during concerts...when things go weird and mess up a little bit. Keeps the person who's doing it...humble and realizing they are not "perfect."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lamb of God

I think I have finally decided what I'm going to sing for the Christmas music service this Sunday night. With my cold/whatever it may be...I have to be careful about which song I choose.

Right now, I have chosen "Lamb of God" by Nicole C. Mullen. I have been singing over it a few times, and I think as long as I can get the mucus situation under control I should be able to sing that one. The first time I ran through it though was a little rough. I ask for your prayers that God will tough this health situation I'm facing and allow for a miracle the two nights I need to sing this weekend. I've seen Him show up in the past and totally be my voice, so I believe He can do it again.

So...I'm really getting into Facebook. I think it's because my phone has the software to update throughout the day. With myspace, I have trouble updating from my phone. I can do it, but it doesn't run as well on my phone as Facebook does. Plus my sister really likes Facebook and we are trying to get our siblings to have Facebook pages and we can update and stuff.

Today was a pretty long day. I had to work until 5:00 then run to Wal-mart to pick up vitamins and stuff that I was out of...I had five bottles of different vitamins...I felt like a walking pharmacy. One of the agents was telling me what all I needed to take to get rid of this cold. I went for just the Vitamin C he suggested. That was after talking to my mom too.

After Wal-mart I went to clean part of the church. This is the first week I was able to clean on Thursday again. I like cleaning on Thursdays because I can split the church into two sections and work on detail cleaning. Tonight was getting the dust off the doors and floors in the fellowship hall and hallway. I still have to work on the back side door inside to get the dust off the top area. I couldn't reach it from the floor, so I'll bring the laddar out tomorrow night. I also hope to be able to work on the sanctuary. I want to be sure it's ready for our Christmas walk on Saturday night. I have to work on getting the lights on the fence outside the church too. I'm praying Saturday will be a better day than they are expecting. I may be doing it in the snow, but I don't want to do it in the dark at night...and Friday is the only other day to do it.

On Saturday morning I also have to go to Sam's to get some supplies for the church. I think I'll pretty much be at the church most of the day. I'll come home to shower and get ready for the Christmas walk that night.

Sometime this weekend, I also have to work on getting the songs written onto cardboard for the kids program. I don't know if Mary will be feeling well enough to help with them...hopefully she will and it won't take too long to do.

Until next time...

- "Lamb of God" recorded by Nicole C. Mullen from the release "Christmas in Black and White" released 2002.


Well...I have been sick for the past four or five days. I am beginning to feel better, and I think it's now just a cold. My throat wasn't sore this morning so that's a blessing. I don't mind having a cold I can usually sing with a cold, but if I don't have my voice I can't sing...and I'm scheduled to sing twice this weekend.

I missed church on Sunday evening. I wasn't feeling well that morning, but I really needed to be there. I went to work on Monday and class that night. When I got home from class, I had a low grade fever. I didn't think I was going to head to work the next day, but I was hoping I would feel better. I stayed home all day Tuesday. Yesterday was back to work. Joyce was out for training most of the day. She came back around 3:00, and my boss left then.

On my way to church last night, I had got a call from Crystal at the Flatwoods Branch asking for some help. I did as much as I could over the phone. She called again around 6:15 and I went to the office to help her find the mistake. We found part of it, but I really couldn't see the rest of it.

I got back to church around 7:30 in time to work with the kids and their Christmas program. We were able to assign parts and go over their songs for the evening. Hopefully this weekend Kat and I will be able to get the songs on poster board.

I got home and got the kids parts typed out. Then worked on the Christmas music service line up. I think I need to fine tune it, but it's pretty much in order. I hope to run off the copies of it on Saturday evening, after the Christmas walk.

I will probably be at church for the next three days a lot. I'm going to change the sign and clean the fellowship hall and upstairs tonight. I will probably clean the sanctuary tomorrow night and put the lights up on Saturday morning. I hope I can find the lights. Where we did remodeling, I may not be able to find them. I do have a check to purchase some items from Sam's...so I may need to get more of them.

That's all for now.

--365 recorded by Nicole C. Mullen from the Christmas release Christmas in "Black & White" 2006