Sunday, March 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

This mornings message was entitled "How sin hinders holiness." As soon as I heard it I knew it was going to be a difficult day. It’s interesting to me how God is always encouraging me to get my thoughts off myself...and onto Him.

This week while searching on youtube.com I stumbled upon a great live video of Rebecca St. James singing "Go and Sin No More"...this song is a great song and has become a song of the moment for me this week. I talked with Pastor tonight about how I should have known the song was a clue as to He wasn’t finished with pointing me to Him and how easy it is to let sin into our lives. We need to be careful in every moment...protecting our testimonies for His service.

It’s been a rough weekend for me. A lot of thoughts are in my head right now. Emotionally I’m a mess...I cried several times today. It seemed our Sunday school lesson was on "unspeakable grief"...what a subject to begin the day with...and sometimes grief is not necessarily losing a love one, but can also mean losing a relationship/friendship due to an argument/or difference of opinion. Of course that was the first place where I cried. Hearing Kat talk about the possibility of losing her grandmother...made me begin to think about my parents. I know they aren’t as old as her grandmother, but their health is not the best sometimes. With my dad’s discovery of MG and the prostate cancer...it seems it’s closer than I really want to dwell.

Then I come into the sanctuary to prepare for the worship service, and as pastor began to preach, I knew it was going to be an interesting day. I sat there listening and seeing areas in my life that need to be changed. I know God is patient and I’m thankful for that...because it’s like he pushes me to my limit...and raise my hands...and just ask for a little rest time...well...I got it, but now it’s time to be pushed again. It’s a tiring process, but I know the outcome is so worth it...and when I stand before Jesus I pray He will say "well done..." One of my favorite songs by Newsboys is "Hallelujah." When my friend Carrie and I would be coming home from a concert trip we always ended the trip listening to this song. Because after coming home from a great concert that pointed us to Jesus and bringing Him praise, it seemed fitting to end the trip with that song. There was another reason for that song, because it’s a faster song...it woke me up a little. LOL!!! But the song really points that our goal should be to bring praise to God in our daily life...that means we need to be striving to live a life of holiness. We are not perfect, but our goal should be to honor God in EVERYTHING we do.

At the beginning of this year, I had one goal I wante to use in making decisions and choices. "To Honor God With My Actions and Attitude." I can’t count the times I have failed in this goal...it’s not something I want to keep track of...but it’s time again to set my focus...put the blinders on...and see Jesus.

Tonight’s service I cried once again. One of the lady’s in the church read a verse and poem and it just seemed exactly what I needed to hear. She had been carrying this with her for a few weeks...and I’m sure there was a REASON for her to wait. I’m thankful she did read it tonight as it went well with the service theme and was something that encouraged me along this walk.

Thank you, God for patience in my walk. Help me to see You for Who You are. Help me to bring glory to Your name in EVERYTHING that I do. Protect my friends as they walk in this path along side of me. Help them to make decisions based on Your word. Keep their testimonies in tact so their service for You is not tainted by sin. May You dwell with them and myself daily...moment by moment. Thank You Jesus...Amen!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stepping out of my comfort zone

How many of you reading this have had a dream...something you have longed to do, but were a little afraid of stepping out to make it happen. I'm in that position right at this moment. My dream is to sing...more specific...my dream is to sing Contemporary Christian Music. Why this type of music? Because I believe that God created me and gave me my talents to bring glory to His name.

Currently I'm able to do this by serving in my local church. I lead not only the choir, but also congregation in the time of worship. It's been a wonderful experience and one that allows me to be involved in two passions of mine...God and music. I also am able to sing for special music as a soloist and in the group I:43.

With American Idol on during this season...my dream has been biting at me. But not to try out for American Idol for a couple of reasons...one - I am too old and two - I would have to sing secular music. Not that all secular music is bad, but most of it doesn't give honor to God.

Since American Idol is not my thing, I have found another avenue in which to attempt this dream of mine. CATS - Christian Artist Talent Search on the INSP Network. The past several weeks have been preparing for my audition package to be sent. I began recording the two songs on March 11th, due to some illness, finally finished on March 23rd with the recording process. Ben is still to make the CD cover to be sent. I have asked my friend Ginger to help me with the biography, but as far as the singing is concerned it's completed.

So last night in church pastor was speaking from II Kings chapter 4 about the widow woman and her faith. Elisha told her to go and ask for as many pots as she could. Once she got them in her house she was told to pour the oil in them. After that was completed and all the pots were full, she was to sell them to get out of her debt and make a living for herself and her children. He was saying how faith is involved in this story. She had no idea what God's plans were for her and to humble herself to ask for those pots was part of this account. We discussed...what was she thinking while filling those pots...was she thinking, could I have humbled myself more to get even more pots...would they have been filled too? Was she scared to ask for these pots from her neighbors? How much was fear apart of her life? While more discussion was being made about faith, humility and fear, a thought came to me that sometimes, the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone to pursue something that you believe God is calling you to do can be a difficult task. God allows things to come into our life to help us along the way. Are we reading the signs?

In this process after we finished recording this thought of fear came over me. What if I'm chosen to participate in this contest? What if I'm not chosen? The interesting thing is...I know the answer to the second question. I will continue with my ministries at my local church...but that unknown territory I'm not so sure. So I ask from you that read this...please be in prayer with me about this opportunity of entering this music contest. I pray God will be glorified no matter the outcome.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

a pretty good week so far...

Easter was a great start to this week. We had sunrise service at church...and this is the fourth year I have attended (voluntarily)...well they promise me we go to breakfast afterward...so as long as there is food involved I'm usually there.

My friend D33 spoke at Sunrise...he did a really good job. The topic was intercessory prayer. One of the scripture text he used ended up being used in each service I went to that day...Hebrews 7:25.

After church on Sunday night we all went to Ben and Kat's to watch "The Passion." Ginger had not seen the movie yet, so we all watched it with her. It was a good reminder of what Jesus had done for us.

Monday I began my week working in the Greenup office. Joyce is on vacation. At first when I was having to fill in for her being gone I didn't like it, but I have enjoyed this week being done there. It's been fun working with Katherine and the two guys...well Brent was there today so I guess I should change it to three guys. Brent was hilarious today. I was asking him about his grandson and he was telling us stories of what he did. It's fun hearing him talk to us about that...because he seems like a real person when he's talking about his grandson. I have missed my own office though...things are starting to feel a little normal now...probably by the end of the week, I should feel more comfortable. Of course then it will be time to get back to my office in Flatwoods.

Tonight was Idol...I was impressed with a few performances. I loved David Cook...enjoy Michael Johns tonight too. I still like Brooke and David Archuleta, but as far as really blowing me out of the water it was David C and Michael. Amazing performances.

Tomorrow is church after work, then we finish up our second 6 weeks. I have gained every week this term...so hopefully I'll get back on track for the third 6 weeks.

That's all for now...I need to get to bed and I think mom wants to use the computer.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

hyped up on Diet Pepsi Max so a bunch of randomness is coming out...

Hi there...it's me again...It's been an incredibly boring day...again. It's hard to pass the time when Bryan is out of the office...if it gets too boring when he's here we end up talking about crazy things...so I'm getting hyped up on Diet Pepsi Max to help my mood to improve.

Tonight is church. I love going to church. I got news from my friend Mary that her co-workers who are supervisors scheduled a meeting tonight...because it's easier for her to miss church instead of them missing out on their plans throughout the week. We are praying for her because her mood is not good right now because of this meeting.

It's raining today...funny how my song of the moment is "Bring the Rain", but I'm really singing...stop the rain. I hate driving in rain, but I guess this rain is to remind me that Jesus is here and there are going to be storms in our lives that we can't control...but Jesus can.

Have a great day...oh...Easter is this Sunday...I am really excited about going to sunrise again this year...this is going to be my fourth sunrise service going (voluntarily).

My friends and I went out shopping last Saturday night for Easter stuff. We started at Wal-mart, and while we were there Kat and I got our nails done. I was getting a fill-in, but Kat was getting the real thing. After we finished at Wal-mart, all of us were hungry, so we went to Fazoli's to eat. I was sitting there eating my food and got this weird look on my face...my friends looked at me and thought I was going to puke all over them...thankfully I didn't and I just stopped eating. I felt okay once I did stop too...so I don't know what was exactly the problem. After we finished eating we headed to the mall for our search.

I had gotten my shirt to go with the skirt I had last year, but I still needed shoes for the outfit to be complete. Kat and Sam went their way to find shoes or Kat, Mary went on her own to try to find an entire outfit and Sara was with me running through the mall in different stores helping me find just the right shoes for my outfit. I had in mind that I wanted the "peek-a-toe" shoes in white. Something I didn't think it would be hard to find, but apparently it was harder than I thought. So we started at Payless, then headed to Goody's, after Goody's, we went down to Belk. On the way there, I saw the shoe...it was at Vanity. I said, let's look at Belk before I buy them. Belk didn't have anything. So I headed back down to Vanity to get the shoes. It was so nice to be able to get the rest of my outfit.

It was a fun girls night out. Of course we were also supposed to get Ben some food before heading home and when Kat called to ask him if he still wanted his food we were not surprised that he still wanted it. When we got back home, I immediately went home...as I was beginning to not feel well again. Thankfully the rest was what I needed...but my ears began to make hearing difficult.

Interesting thing to happen to a song leader...is for their ears to get infected or fluid in them. It was really hard to hear what I was supposed to be singing...the good thing was God was with me the entire day. For the evening service we had a service full of Easter music, poems and testimonies. I love doing services like that. I got to sing "Why" by Nichole Nordeman. That song is amazing. My friend Kat did an amazing job on "Only Grace". Sam sung a new song "Wonderful Cross" and Mary did her song again. Ben did a great job with "Amazing Grace (my chains are gone)." Every time he sings that song he does a better job than the last. I'm so proud of him for being braver and singing when I have asked him to.

Since my ears were bad, I had to be careful about adjusting the sound...thankfully I had Kat back with me...I only had to adjust the monitors for Ben at the end of the song when the music gets softer.

I went to the doctor on Monday to get my ears looked at. Since I'm singing on Sunday I wanted to be able to hear what I was singing...especially since I'm singing "Redeemer". The doctor gave me a prescription of nasal spray and also told me to get some Afrin to go with it for the first few days. I can tell a difference today...so I think it's working. Last night was frustrating because it was all messed up in my head.

Until next time...

Friday, March 14, 2008

almost back to normal

Well...it's Friday night and we are hanging out at Ben & Kat's. Last week we had a slight problem with the sicknesses in the gang. I'm glad we are back together again...sorta. There's a few who aren't going to make it tonight due to work or more sickness, but most of us are here tonight.

I got some really cool news from my favorite artist Tobymac. He's releasing a CD/DVD on MAY 27TH...which is also known as DEEJAY'S BIRTHDAY!!! Happy Birthday to me!

The interesting thing is we have a secretaries conference at my work. It begins on Wednesday, May 28th...so I'll be travelling in the evening of my birthday. I'm not too excited about that fact, but I'll survive.

I have discovered something last night. I'm getting old. I went to a concert last night and I'm really feeling the effects of it. I used to be able to do multiple concerts in a week, but not anymore. Of course maybe if I got into the habit of it again, I would be able to get back into concert hopping shape...that's it...I'm just out of shape. LOL!!! Plus I didn't have my concert buddy with me. I really wish she were able to have gone with me.

It was a great concert and I'm really glad I went...almost every performer said things that really hit what I have been feeling recently. When Mercy Me got ready to perform "Bring the Rain" Bart talked about people being in a valley in life and how most times we are asking God to get us out...instead of just accepting the situation and allow glory to be given to God during the situation. He said, when we are in those valley times we should just simply say "bring the rain". The music began to play and I just started crying. My friend Mary who knows what I've been feeling leaned over and hugged me while I sat there and cried, and worshipped God. It was a really nice worship time for me and God.

I need to get back with the gang...Until next time...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Winter Jam 2008

Hi there...I'm really excited about Winter Jam 2008. It's actually coming to Huntington, WV...only about 30 minutes from where I live. This year Newsong has invited, Mercy Me, Skillet, Barlow Girl, Mandisa, Pure (something), and Group 1 Crew. I mentioned about one of the songs by Group 1 Crew in a previous blog. I really like that group and am looking forward to seeing them perform. My sister Leah is bringing her oldest son Nicholas with her. This is his first concert (my sister Leah was pregnant with him when she saw Michael W. Smith once). This is a good opportunity for him to go to a concert and see some great performers. He is starting to enjoy music, but I think my sister has got him hooked on The Hoppers (a southern gospel group).

I'm excited about getting a chance to see him at a concert. I hope he has a good time. I have been looking forward to this concert as a fun night with my friends too.

Oh...American Idol...glad it's down to the 12. I was pretty frustrated as David Archuleta had a rough night last night...but I think he's still got a good fan base to keep him there. Last night's performances I really like David Cook and Brooke White. Those were my picks based on talent. I still love David A...and believe he will continue to do well.

Until next time...

Monday, March 10, 2008

My friends are sick...

But thankfully I have not gotten anything major. Last week (Sunday morning), my friend Kat called to tell me Ben was not going to be at church on Sunday...translation, I would be working the sound system and she wanted to give me notice to do so. All last week, Ben and Kat were pretty much sick. I think I finally saw them on Saturday morning when I stopped by their house to give them something before heading back to my house.

Friday night, my friend Mary began coughing. She sent a text to me and that said she was sick on Saturday. She ended up coming to church last night, but she was still pretty rough feeling.

This morning, I got an email from Kat. She said she was going to take my advice to go to the doctor. She has not been able to hear well for a week. I think it would be good for her to get something to help her out.

I heard from my friend Mary that another friend of mine is sick. I hate to hear about all these people being sick...and I'm praying I'm able to stay healthy for the next few weeks (at least). With Easter coming up, I have some special things I want to be able to do. I think I may have to just keep the liquids in me and get plenty of rest.

Please be in prayer about these things.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Melancholy or funk???

Last night I:43 sang at the revival. We had a really good time. I really enjoyed the speaker and was thankful for the opportunity to get to hear him. He was a very practical speaker. After church we stopped at Sonic (mine and Ginger's first time eating there). It was hilarious because Kat and I got the same thing (a corn dog and cheese sticks), and Sam got two corn dogs. After we ordered, Kat and I decided to get a Sonic blast too...and Ben didn't want us to embarrass him, so we waited until they got out with our food and then we ordered them. The really funny part of the evening was the fact that Sam was smiling and laughing a lot and kept saying "my face hurts, I need to stop smiling." I told her that if she kepts doing it, she would end up working those muscles so much that they wouldn't hurt anymore. The other fun part of the evening was riding in the back seat with Sam and Ginger...in a Corolla. Not a small car, but when Ben is driving from the backseat it can be VERY TIGHT. LOL!! Thankfully I am a short girl and don't need a lot of leg room. LOL!!! Anyway...we sang "Renew Me" and "For All You've Done (Cleanse Me)". Kat and I call the second song "Cleanse Me", but Ben corrects us when we do it. LOL!!! During the evening, we noticed Ben getting some congestion and coughing a little. Well...he's sick now. This morning Kat calls to tell me he won't be there...thankfully I'm feeling better and I was able to be there. With the new sound system, we only have two people who are there regularly that knows how to work it.

What was weird was how I noticed something throughout the service! This morning while talking to Sara in Sunday school class, I noticed she and I were feeling the same way..."unmotivated." I have felt that way for a few days. After church was over, I talked with my friend Steve's mom and she described him feeling the same way. So, that's three of us. Ben and Kat are sick...and I'm sure they are not feeling motivated. I just talked with Mary on the phone and she said she thought it was because she had been away from us and was just really tired. I mentioned maybe we are feeling this way because we missed her and when we see her again those feelings will go away. I hope so. I don't like feeling this way.

So last week, I was reading from Proverbs chapter 16. I wrote a few verses in my journal to remember because they were really pointing to some thoughts that I have been thinking. I believe God is real...I believe He has a plan...yet I go through my life making my little plans giving them to Him (like a little kid coming to their parent with their ideas of how things should go). But God is in control and I just need to take my plans and chuck them in the trash...accepting His plan as the way to go. Last night while Sam was singing the line from "Renew Me" "Why do I offer everything, with my heart closed like a fist, I want to love you better than this." I realized how many times I do that in my life. I need to get my focus back on God and away from my Giants. My friend D33 has a quote as his tag line on his myspace page and when I was reading those verses in Proverbs it came to mind..."God has a plan, why invoke yours?" How true that is...I need to stop offering everything I have with my heart closed like a fist. Think about this...I'm handing something to you, but yet, I keep my hands closed around it. How are you going to get it? It's very difficult...even if it is sticking out a little, if I have a hold of it, it's going to be hard. Now I'm not saying that God is not strong enough to get it...I'm just saying my attitude about giving everything I have to Him is what needs to be changed.

Maybe that's the reason for my funk I'm feeling...the reason I'm feeling melancholy. Then again, it may be because I miss my friend Mary who has been gone for TOO long. I can't wait to see her tonight.

Until next time...