Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well it's that time of year again...the time that some people take to evaluate where they have been and where they are going and what they want to change about it. I have been doing some goal setting. I don't really like to call them resolutions, because just the idea of a resolution it sometimes get a bad rap because people don't keep them.

Here are a few goals that I have made for 2010.

1. To drink at least 8 8oz glasses of water. I think I will get this to 9 glasses though, as I do have three bottles I fill and use for measuring...it equals to 9 glasses if I drink all three bottles.

2. To weigh myself each week and record my progress with my accountability partners. The idea of having people see what I weigh I think will help me stay more accountable.

3. To measure myself one a month. I'll probably do this the same day I weigh...just in the evening.

4. To watch portions and what I put into my mouth. I may do this by keeping a food journal. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to do this, for sure, but I think staying accountable is the key. This journal, may be something that I incorporate in later in the year, if I'm struggling with the weight loss.

5. My sister Becky made this goal and I like it. To eat something raw each day (either fruit or vegetable). I think that will help me to make better choices.

6. To attempt to read the Bible through in a year. I have made attempts in the past, and each year have gotten further, but I still get lost in that Old Testament at times. This year I'm going to try to read books in a different order. I have a checklist for daily reading and I'm going to try to work on completing a book before I head to the next section.

Those are a few of the goals I have, I do hope to succeed in them.

Until next time...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas...and Happy Birthday Jesus. I'm so glad that God sent his son for us. This year I was introduced to a new song from Anthony Evans. I really like it and found that he made a video for it. I was trying to upload it to this post, but am having a little difficulty doing it. I do want to share the thought...

Emmanuel, Our God is with us,
yes He is with us still.
Emmanuel, He has not left us,
and he never will....

Merry CHRISTmas...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to everyone! It has been a very special Christmas for me. This year one of our friends gave us an idea to help others during this season. A few of us got together to help a family that we know through one of our group. We delivered presents to her and her two boys this morning. It was such a special time.

Ginger sent a text message to us who went that said, "After you all left, Matthew said, "Gigi, you have nice friends. They are Santa's helpers you know. He loved that Santa called him..." One of our friends dad called his house to let them know that his helpers were coming by to bring their presents.

It was such a joy to be apart of that activity that I was able to apart of something that didn't have any benefit for me. The fact that God gives me these opportunities is very special. He gives us people in our lives that we can make a difference...that we can show His love to them. Christmas is all about Him...the Everlasting Father.

I do have a couple of more stops to make for Santa...it's really nice to be able to do all this...

Merry Christmas again...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So much has happened in these past several weeks

I haven't been the best at blogging this year. I really like blogging, but when I'm on the computer I just don't have the thoughts to complete something or it just doesn't seem like it's important.

Anyway...to catch up. I quit my job at the Bureau last Wednesday. I have off until January 4th when I begin orientation with the hospital. Pray for me as I begin this next phase of my work life.

Things at church have been busy. I'm running sound for the children's Christmas play. I ran it for the time the young adults performed the Charlie Brown Christmas play, so I'm getting the opportunity to do it again.

I also painted backdrops and got some things ready for scenes. It should be a good play, but be praying for everything to go smoothly...especially with the sound.

Today is Christmas Adam...because Adam came before Eve...LOL!! I know lame joke, but hope this Christmas season is a good one for everyone who reads this blog. Also I hope that remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas...because Jesus came as a baby and grew up and became the sacrifice for our sins.

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Music Service

I love Christmas! It's the most wonderful time of the year! My favorite activity our church does is our annual Christmas music service. My church has many talented people who enjoy singing about Jesus' birth. I'm thankful they are willing to use their talents for Him.

This year we had some new stuff included...a saxophone solo and a person who chose to sing for the first time at our church. It was a great celebration.

We began our service with a congregation song. I had to finish practicing the song I:43 sang, so we began the service with Pastor leading "The First Noel." It was nice to be able to see the crowd that gathered. After our fellowship time, Penny sang "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" as it was requested by one of our members. Renee, then read a Christmas story she reads to her kindergarten class room. Grace played "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" on her little harp. She is really enjoying that gift. For her first performance at Gateway, Carrie sang "Breath of Heaven." It's one of my favorite Christmas songs and she did an amazing job on it. Gary & Connie blessed us with "New Star Shining"...this is one of the many songs I love to hear them sing. Kat changed songs this year and chose "Do You Hear What I Hear?"...the arrangement was Todd Agnew's...it's a good one too. Ginger chose to read the story of how Silent Night was written, and then Thomas played it as a solo on piano. After our offering, we had Felicity play "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on her new saxophone. It was the first time she had played her sax at church and she did a really good job. Those who chose not to participate in a solo performance was able to join us in a congregation song "O Come All Ye Faithful"... my favorite Christmas song. Scott and his daughter Kristen were accompany by his wife Rhonda on piano with "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Sammi sang "Bethlehem Morning" and hit it out of the park. Mary brought the light out with "Born in Bethlehem" literally after she sang, a light popped out. Kristen sang "Mary, Did You Know?"...she is the only person I really enjoy hearing to sing this song. I'm not a fan of it, but yet she does a beautiful job on it. Ben sang my favorite song that he sings "Joseph's Lullaby." I really love to hear him sing anything, but that song is very special to me. This year I chose the song "As the World Slept" originally recorded by NewSong. It's one of my favorites from their Christmas CD "Christmas Shoes." I really enjoy singing songs about Jesus' birth. After I finished, I:43 came up to sing "O Holy Night." Then we heard a message about Mary's Christmas song by Pastor Scott.

It was really a great night, and Ben was able to record the entire service. He thought he had lost part of it, but was able to find it again. I'm so thankful he is able to run the sound in this service...it makes him a little nervous, but he does a really good job and it runs very smooth that you don't realize he is back there running it.

Of course, with the start of our Christmas season also brings the craziness to come. We have a Christmas Dinner, Christmas Cantata, and children's Christmas program to come.

Let's rejoice this Christmas...be sure to remember the TRUE reason for Christmas....JESUS!!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I'm Still Yours

Last night, my friend Mary and I went to see New Moon. I was really sad because my sister Mary and her family left yesterday. I just really wanted to see Jacob Black and have him cheer me up. It didn't work as much as a song that she had me listen to. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine uploaded the new Kutless CD "It Is Well" to my ipod, but I haven't had a chance to listen to the entire CD. Well...the last song is AMAZING! It reminds me of the songs "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me, "Bring It On" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and "Praise You in the Storm" by Casting Crowns. It's called "I'm Still Yours." It's the last song on the CD.

As I sat there listening to the song, I realized I wanted this song to be my song of the year for 2010. I have been making some changes to step out of my comfort zone....both at church and personally. At church, I volunteered to step in as a sub teacher for the pre-school class. This is a very rough class at my church...even though there are only 2 kids most of the time. They are cousins and very active. The first week I taught, I had to put one of the kids in the corner. I felt bad, until I talked to the regular teacher who told me she's in the corner every week. LOL!!! :)

Anyway, personally I'm stepping out of my comfort zone by changing jobs. I was recently hired to work at KDMC. When I told my boss, he offered me more money (didn't give me an amount), but I told him the easy thing for me to do is stay here, but I felt God was leading me to move out of my comfort zone and rely on Him to lead me in this direction. This is exciting and a little scary for me. I know God is in this move and I'm thankful that I listen to His leading. But this song really is a good reminder to praise Him even with life gets really rough.

The words are below the video I'm posting of the song. The video is just a picture...so you don't have to keep watching it just read the words while it plays.

If you washed away my vanity
If you took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would you be enough for me
Would my beating heart still sing

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away
If you take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart will sing to You

When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there's nothing left to steel me away
Will You be enough for me
Will my broken heart still sing

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away
If you take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart will sing to You

Even if you take it all away
You never let me go
And take it all away
Will I still know
That I'm Yours
I'm still Yours
I'm Yours
I'm still Yours

I'm still Yours

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Well...due to the length from the last post, my modification of the 30 day shred has not happened yet. LOL!!! Lasted two days which wasn't too good. I do hope that once the holiday is over, I'll be able to get back into the swing of things.

Today is Thanksgiving Day...There is so much to be thankful for...and I hope I don't miss something as I write.

God -
The One True God...He is all I need...yet I sometimes forget it. I'm thankful He gives me the opportunity to serve Him in my local church.

My family -
I have an amazing Christian family to support me. I couldn't have picked a better group of people...God is great to have given me all of them.

My friends -
Drama, drama, drama...but I don't think I would trade them. Last week, we had a small drama episode, but in the end we were able to work things out and have a really good Thanksgiving with friends Dinner. I love each of them, but am especially thankful for the ones who are my inner circle. Jesus had one so I think it's okay to have one too.

My job(s) -
I know this is weird to post, especially since I've been in the hiring process for another one...but I really am thankful to have a job that will support me. That I can pay my bills and still be able to spend some money here and there. There are some people out there who do not have a job and I have one full-time job and a part-time job at the church. I enjoy the part-time one better because I don't consider it a job, but a privledge to clean the church.

My ministries -
I love singing and to be able to lead the music at my church is such a blessing. Also being able to sing with I:43 is something special too.

I could probably go on...but for the sake of time I won't.

We will be celebrating Buckeye Christmas today after our Thanksgiving dinner. I love this time of year. God allows for my family to be able to visit for this weekend and we all get along...it's great!!!

Until next time...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 2

This day was a test for me. I don't normally workout on Saturdays or Sundays so this was a change for me. I decided to use my Biggest Loser Yoga workout today. I enjoy doing that workout. It's more intense than you think.

Working out went well though. I wasn't for sure I was going to do it or not, but the more I thought about it the more I knew I had to keep this modified 30 Shred going.

Still don't have the before picture. I'll try to get one on here tonight.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th...the beginning of my modified 30 shred

My sister has been working out with the 30 day Shred by Jillian Michaels. She has kept me up to date to let me know how she is doing. I am going to do a modified 30 day Shred. I am going to work out for 30 days straight. I'm going to use my Cardio Max and Biggest Loser Yoga DVDs, and I am also going to use the 30 day Shred DVD as well. I figure I can use it more for my strengthening workout.

While I was in Lexington with my job, I noticed my ankle was feeling a little tight. I wasn't sure what caused it, but I decided to lay off the workouts until it stopped bothering me. I have been icing it in the evenings. and keeping a brace on it during the day. Today I decided to start my workouts again. It has been a little over 2 weeks since I had done any workouts at all. I hope to be able to update each day with the way things are going. Maybe my next 30 days I can do an actual 30 day shred workout. We'll see how things go.

I will also try to post a picture that is recent and be able to see my progress...I can tell from the beginning of the year to now, but I want to see better results and to be more consistent with my diet portion as well.

I hope to post the picture either tonight or tomorrow sometime, but I will try to get it taken today, to show the actual results. I also need to weigh and measure myself.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11 - Don't worry!

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord..." I was reminded of this verse by one of my facebook friends. I have known this verse for awhile now and at one time it was a verse of the moment for me, but in all the uncertainty I needed that reminder today.

God knows the plans of what is happening in our lives...He knows them before we know something is going to happen. Last night at Bible Study a good friend of mine told me she lost her job. I got an excitement in me because I saw an opportunity of God working in her life. Why can I sometimes only see that in other peoples lives? I know He works in my life too, just as He does with my friends, but instead of being excited to see what He's doing, I become concerned or even worried - which from our Bible Study last night was a demand of "not to worry."

I love how God gently reminds me of the things that I know already. Simply with the passage of Scripture from the facebook friend, I was reminded that I wasn't seeing my situation as I was seeing with my friend's situation. Now I'm looking to see what God is going to do with this situation...with excitement, too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I love my lips...

Well...it has been awhile since I last posted. I was driving home tonight and listening to my ipod...one of the songs I was listening to before I got out was the Veggie Tales Rocks "I love my lips" so that is why I titled this post with that song. It is a really cute song.

Things have been happening for sure. Last week I had to go to Lexington with my work. I was in insurance school for four days...the trip was information overload. Crazy! When I got back, my sister Mary with Maddie and Marcus were here to visit until Buckeye Christmas. I love having them here. I wish the others could have come this early too, but they had work happening back there.

I have a few prayer requests...for now they are unspoken...I hope to be able to update soon on them.

I:43 will be singing at the coffee house again. It is this Saturday. Pray for us, because we may be down one person due to a work situation. I am praying she will still be able to do both.

Tonight's Bible study was really good. It was on the demand of Jesus "Don't worry." So much needed tonight, especially with the day I had been experiencing. I know for a fact that God is in control and I just have to let Him deal with things as He sees fit. I just need to live life trusting Him.

Well...that's all for now. I hope to update better, but life can get crazy at times.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Facing the Giants...the Death Crawl...

My favorite movie is "Facing the Giants." In that movie there is a speech from Coach Taylor that 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." This speech has become a reminder of how I need to live my life to show others that God is in control of my life.

One of those areas I have struggled with is the area of my weight. I am a heavy person. Awhile back I had a hard time to say that. Mainly because I was living in denial. I knew I was not a healthy person and I was getting out of control. Of course over the past few years I have attempted to do something about it, only to fail and gain most of the weight that I had lost ... if not more.

Well...I believe that for the past several months God has been placing it on my heart to blog about my new life change. Goals set to honor God with my actions and attitude. My actions (or lack of actions) have not been the greatest in the area of my weight loss/non-activity. God has shown me that I need to step it up in this area.

Since May 27th, I have begun a workout program. In the past, I have not always giving my all, but I have kept a better record of what my progress has been. I'm trying to look at this as a lifestyle change. Making small changes in the area of eating and working out...and hopefully end up getting small results.

This movie is an inspiration to me in my progress...Many times I will feel like I can't do something in my workout program, but I try to attempt it and even if I have to modify the workout move, I try to keep going. I have found that doing this has helped me to see other areas that need to be changed.

I'm reading the book (again) by Bob Harper "Are You Ready?" I have a picture of me reading it while eating a candy bar. After my friend took that picture, I realized a choice I could have made was to not have the candy bar. I mean...here I am reading a book to change my eating habits, yet no change was made. It has been helpful to me to make better decisions.

I hope to blog more regularly about my progress. I feel maybe getting more accountability will help me in this journey of changing my life to be more healthy and therefore, honoring God.

I want to leave this blog with a scene - one of my favorites - from Facing the Giants. This scene is something that I try to remember when I'm attempting to workout. I just have to give my best and leave the results up to God.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

All That is Within Me...**

Well...it's been awhile since I wrote anything. Momma hasn't complained about me not writing, but I thought I'd share with a few happenings.

Happenings at Church -
Church is my second home. I would say my work is my second home, but Church is my second home I like. LOL!!! I am custodian at church and it's really nice to see improvements made. Also I took upon the position of Nursery chairperson. The board wanted to have someone in charge of nursery that wasn't able to always work in it. We had one lady who would stay and we loved that she enjoyed it, but we felt she didn't want to ask other people and so she would just stay there. Since I have another ministry (leading music) it wouldn't work out for me to stay in the nursery. So I mentioned to pastor I would test it and see if we can get some things started. One of the things needed was basically a whole new nursery. Our nursery hadn't been re-decorated since the 80's (I believe). Pastor's wife and I picked out new paint and she helped me in getting new carpet and a chair picked out. I will have to run to get a baby bed and she will be getting new toys for our nursery...age appropriate toys that is. Right now there were so many toys that were for older children, I'm surprised we hadn't had a problem with chocking.

While the Pastor and Lynn (a trustee) painted the nursery they began seeing other things they could improve. One being the hallway and stairway. There was this dark hunter green paint that was very dreary half way up the wall and then cream color the rest of the way. They decided to paint it yellow (same color as our fellowship hall). It is so bright now and they also took care of getting rid of some eye sore items. It has been nice to see the church getting spruced up.

We will begin Revival meetings October 25th (evening service) and continue through October 28th (Wednesday). John Gowdy will be our speaker. He is a local pastor in the next county. My brother David went to College with him.

Happenings at work --
Well...I'll be attending school next month for work. My boss approached me about getting my license. I don't know that I would ever use it if I ever left this job, but for now, I think it may be best for me to do it. It may help me with knowing my job better.

Happenings at home --
Well...I have begun to work on my workouts differently. I was doing the Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone, but wanted to kick it up...so this week I decided to do WATP three days this week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Cardio Max - The Biggest Loser workout on Tuesday and Thursday. I survived both days of Cardio Max. Bob (Harper) the Trainer, kicked my butt. WOW!!!

I got a new closet...or new closet shelves. I also took my closet apart and am now putting it back together (slowly). I want to make sure things are going in the right places. I don't want to just stuff everything back into the closet and then have a messy closet again. I want it to be organized and helpful. I'm thankful that my mom has patience, because most of my closet stuff is in her sewing room. Hopefully by the end of the weekend it will be out of there.

Well...that's all for now. Not really a lot happening, but in a way quite a bit at church.

Until next time...

** "All That is Within Me" is the title of a CD by Mercy Me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

catching up...

Well, it's been awhile since I have posted anything. I have been working on a couple of projects. One being the continuous room cleaning project. My brother-in-law Mike built shelves in my closet. The goal is to get my closet organized and work out to the rest of the room. Maybe this will help me...not really sure. In doing the shelves, I also had to empty my closet, so I was able to give some clothes away to a good friend of mine...Ginger. It was nice to be able to give them to someone who I know will use them. I hope that she will get some use out of them.

My bed is still on the floor for now. I hope to be able to get the bed frame in a couple of weeks for that to get back together. For those who are out of the loop...I broke the bed frame to my last bed...so I've been sleeping with my mattress on the floor...not too bad, but when I just want to sit down...it's not too comfortable.

My friend Sammi's birthday is coming up in about three weeks. She is having a costume party. She has always wanted to have a costume party, and it's about two weeks before Halloween, so it's been easy to find something to go as. I'm planning to attend the evening as Peyton Sawyer when she went to the costume party as "The Angel of Death." It's from season three of One Tree Hill, my favorite show. I don't have the exact outfit, but I am making it into a decent outfit I can wear in public. Maybe next year I can be Sydney Bristow...We'll see...

I've got a cold...it's in the early stages of it...the aggrevation stage of just coughing up junk and then having it come up while I talk or sing and then have to clear my throat. I don't like it. In the mornings I feel like my chest is full of a lot of pressure. But as I get up and get moving that clears up some. I pray that it won't last long. I hate cold season because it does mess up with my voice a little.

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lord Move...or Move Me

Well...for awhile I have been feeling like I'm going through the motions. It's weird, because my faith is a foundation in my life. I know God has saved me from my sin...I know He's always there for me (even when I'm feeling very lonely - which is a lot of the problem for me now). I think during tonight's Bible study it finally hit me what the problem was...I'm going through this very lonely feeling. I'm feeling very disconnected with some of my friends. I feel like I can't talk to them and explain my feelings...and instead of just taking them to the Lord...I just am having a pity party. Which now I understand the problem is I'm looking to my self...not to my God - who is ALWAYS here.

One of the ladies mentioned tonight about Jesus always being with us and it was just like the light bulb came on. If I ever heard God speak audibly I would think He would have said..."Girl...that's your problem. You are looking at yourself and not resting in Me." Of course, He directed me to Scripture instead of speaking to me audibly and the first passage I came to was Hebrews 13:5. This passage in the message reads "Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,"

I love to look at cross references - because if God repeats it...it's really important. We first find the promise of God always being with us in Genesis chapter 28:15 "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (NASB) The phrase that jumped out to me was "until I have done what I have promised you." The promise to Christians today is the return of the Lord...so He's gonna be there until He returns for us.

The second reference comes from the book of Deuteronomy 31:6 & 8 - verse 6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." verse 8 "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." A couple of other words for dismayed are "terror, or dread"...sorta a feeling I was having. God's word says for me to not fear or be (of terror or dread) dismayed because He will NOT fail me or forsake me. He's always there...

The third reference I came across was Joshua 1:5b which says "Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you." What is interesting to me is that God is promising Joshua...just as He was with Moses (in the past), He will be with him (Joshua). And I can see just as He was with all those who are recorded in His word...He will be with me.

The fourth reference is I Chronicles 28:20 "Then David said to his son Solomon, "Be strong and couragenous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished." Again...there is a since that He will be with us until the work (our life) is completed. Another thing I saw in this Scripture was the word "act." When I get to feeling sorry for myself or feeling lonely...I have usually slipped into a life of sediment...a life that isn't doing anything but lying there. I think of putting sugar in a glass of tea. If it is lying sediment at the bottom the tea is not going to taste sweet...but once you get the sugar stirred up or moving to where it can be tasted the tea is good to drink.

Earlier I felt yucky...like I was just going through the motions, but after reading these passages...I see it wasn't God who moved...it was me. That thought reminded me of a song by FFH. I looked for a video with the lyrics, but couldn't find one...so I'll just post the video for you to listen to the song. My prayer now...is "Lord, move...or move me"...to which I think the answer will be that He's gonna move me because I'm the one who stopped moving.

Until next time...

Who is my One Tree Hill boyfriend???

This is one of my favorite characters on my favorite show. Nathan is one of the guys that has really good moments...and even though he has faults, he strives to be the better man. Of course...that has been in past seasons...we'll see where Season 7 is taking him.

My mom thought it may be the little boy who plays his son...which Jackson Brudage (who plays James Lucas Scott) is adorable...and if I were 5 or 6 I would definitely be into him. LOL!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Praise Wars...My Tribute

I just heard this term "Praise Wars" from an interview with one of my favorite Worship Leaders - Israel Houghton. The interviewer asked Israel...how do you deal with "Praise Wars" where we are now separating our praise services - one being traditional, one being contemporary - how many churches are having trouble getting a balance. Israel, who I believe did an amazing job bringing this balance with his recording "My Tribute," said his Spiritual mentor encouraged him to use what is known as a sandwich theory. Where you take something traditional and sandwich it with something contemporary. On his latest release "The Power of One," Israel included "My Tribute" which he sings the incredible Andre Crouch song "My Tribute" and puts a little Chris Tomlin "How Great is Our God". Israel has learned the sandwich theory and is doing a good job bringing that to us. Just wanted to share this with you all...

It is about bringing praise to God.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm Singing...

Hi there...I survived my first day of Joyce's vacation. I knew it was going to be crazy...but I tried to approach it with a new attitude. I had a few lapses, but overall it was a pretty decent day.

I got home and was checking out some YouTube videos...and came across a great song for this week. It's called "I'm Singing..." by Kari Jobe. I was introduced to her music by my brother David. He had heard the song "The More I Seek You" and told me to check it out. Since then, I have been checking out stuff by Kari. I really like her sound. She's a great worship leader.

For a YouTube project she asked people to send in ways they are singing. I thought it was nice, but you can't hear the song throughout the video...so I'm attaching the video with lyrics. I have ordered a track for me to sing at church...but this song is definitely going to be my song of the week. When I get a little frustrated, I'll just remember I'm singing to the God who brings redemption to the nations...singing to the God who wrote the book of salvation..." That's what it is all about...bringing praise and glory to His name.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

I'm a tweeter! I don't send a lot of tweets, but I do like getting tweets from some of the people I'm following. One person I am following is Priscilla Shirer. She is Dr. Tony Evans' daughter. She is also an amazing Bible teacher. This morning she sent a tweet that read...

"God doesn't fit in boxes. He is predictable in His character but unpredictable in His activity. Expect the unexpected."

Growing up as a preacher's daughter, I believe I've had the privledge of seeing those unexpected things that God can do ... and yet each time it happens (even in my adult life) it still surprises me. When I pray for a specific thing and the prayer is answered to the T...I am amazed. Why is that?? Because I don't expect the unexpected.

God gives us examples of his unpredictable activity. Abraham and his promised son Isaac...in the birth as well as the special sacrafice request. David even after his sin, became a man considered highly in God's favor. The different people and things He used to get attention. He even used Hosea's wife Gomer to show Israel what they were doing to Him. Imagine God using a prostitute to make a point...it's not something we humans would ever do.

The God I serve...is a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever in His character...but his activity is something I'm looking forward to see in the near future.

Until next time...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A message for Uncle Paul

Edit...Took the video off YouTube...so this post has been changed...
My brother Paul is hilarious. He loves to tease the nieces and nephews of the family. My sister Leah's three boys were having fun one day and wanted to give a message to their Uncle Paul. I got them together and filmed their message. Thought I'd go ahead and share it with you all.

The boys love to wear capes and they are always pretending to be super heros. Paul loves to get in their faces and say "I'm Batman." That two word statement get an argument started, "No, I'm Batman" to which he replies "I'm Batman" in his deep piercing voice. It can go on for quite sometime. Well...since this message was recorded for Uncle Paul the fight is not breaking out. Nicholas delivers his lines with ease, but Jacob gets a little wild wanted to make sure that Uncle Paul knows he means business. Brock...bless his heart...is just the comedian of the bunch. Wearing the nail that pierces his head. The look at the end is priceless.

Uncle Paul, I know you know your visit will be welcomed and they are probably gonna be counting down the days until they see you again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2 days in a row...

Wow! Two post in 2 days. What is going on??? Well...a lot actually. I have had a lot of things on my mind and have been trying to process...sometimes I'm able to process by writing other times it's just praying and talking to God.

This has been an amazing day! I love Sundays! Even though they are sometimes my most busiest days. I'm church custodian so I have to be at church a little early...there are duties that I have to make sure that are completed...making coffee, setting the A/C or heat (depending on the weather conditions), making sure lights are on, toilet paper and paper towels are ready, then there is the choosing the music for the song service. Sometimes I think about it during the week and it's not too hard to figure out what to sing...other times it's just difficult.

The days I love the most are the ones that God just puts together...days like today. This morning Pastor preached on forgiveness. Even though the songs were not exactly about forgiveness, they were about the Word of God. So they brought us to the point of where we would be going to for the message.

Tonight's service (the songs were picked out this morning), but Pastor had his message planned well before I chose the songs. Tonight we sang songs about assurance and trust...and the message was about God being our Rock and Fortress! We can trust Him! Ben sang "Grace Like Rain" and it also went well with the service. It just really fit and the service was very uplifting. Those are the days I really enjoy. Those are the days I know that I can make it through this life.

This past week I have been praying about taking on another responsibility at church. I feel that God has allowed me to be single for a reason...to be able to serve Him in areas that someone who is married may be unable to serve Him...or the fact that they may not have the time to serve Him because of other responsibilities with their families.

Well...there is a need with the nursery area of our church. The former lady who was over the nursery department has left and there were some things that we want to change when getting a new person to be the head of the department. We want it to be someone who will not just stay whenever there is a need. We just want someone who will organize a schedule and be able to ask someone to fill if for someone who is scheduled is unable to stay. I spoke with Pastor about it and he asked, "are you going to take something else on?" I said, "just listen...if I did, I wouldn't be able to just stay there." Rhonda liked that idea, because she knows that I'm unable to do that. I'm willing to step into this position because if we can get a good team of volunteers the ministry can take off...and maybe someone else will be willing to take it on. The good thing is that I'm willing to step down if someone really wants to do it. But to get it started, I believe God is giving me a desire to do this.

Those of you who read this pray for me and this new ministry. It is a burden that I believe God has given me and I hope to fulfill it well.

Well...until next time!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time flies...

This year is going by fast. I keep thinking that I'll write a blog today, but then something happens and I will just let it go. I am writing today to share a video of my brother David. He played keyboards for Corey (the worship pastor of his church). They opened for another guy. It was so cool to be able to watch my brother perform...I wish I could have been there though.

Anyway...I wanted to share it here. Hope you enjoy...the song is really good!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy birthday!!!

Happy birthday to my brother Tim (yesterday), to my sister Mary (today) and Heidi O'Brien (today), to my dad (Monday) and my friend Ben (Tuesday).

Last night began the birthday celebrations. My brother Tim had a celebration at his house...with taco salad. I really like taco salad...and it was really good. After we ate, I went to take a walk with my niece Marisa and her husband Adam and great niece Chloe. It was such a good time. The walk was about 2 miles total...so I logged in a total of 4 miles that day. YEAH!!!

Today will be a celebration for my friend Ben. Since his birthday is on Tuesday this is the best day to celebrate his day. My sister lives in Nebraska, so I don't get to spend her day with her, but I will be celebrating in spirit.

For our friends birthdays, we let the birthday person decide what they want to do. Last year Ben chose a progressive dinner. We began at Buffalo Wild Wings (in Ironton, OH) for appetizers, Olive Garden (in Barboursville, WV) for the main choice, and to Fred's (in Wheelersburg, OH) for hot fudge sundaes. We took the church van, as most of us were apart of the Sunday school class. It was a good time and driving time between was good to let the food settle. This year, Ben has done it again...he has decided to have each of his friends cook part of the meal. We will be having, ribs and chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, mac & cheese, and desserts. We will also have some appetizers too. I don't know what the plans are after the dinner, but we will probably hang out at the new house.

Well...speaking of cooking...I need to get my tortilla roll-ups together. Have a wonderful day...

Until next time...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Low-Fat Latte

Random life choice - I have been craving a Moo-Latte since Saturday. I was out with friends and someone mentioned it and that started my craving. I have been impressed with myself that since that craving begun, I just now decided to indulge it today. What is really funny is that there are only a few restaurants in Greenup, and one of them happens to be Dairy Queen. It's not a place I go very often, but I finally broke down so I could enjoy this delicious Moo-Latte.

I'm hoping that it will last me the rest of the day, so that I can say I savored it, and not just gulped it down.

Until next time...

*Low Fat Latte is a song by Michael O'Brien from his collection "Something About Us"

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Christmas gift idea...

So...I found something I want for Christmas. It's something that I could see would be a good gift for me. You can find it on ebay...of course there are only 4 days left for this item, but maybe there will be another one sometime. LOL!!! It's a pillow case with this picture on it.

You have to admit that it is a perfect present for me, because I do dream of him...and I don't want to be interrupted when I'm dreaming about Michael Vartan.

Okay...now onto my real life...heading to bed, so that I can be ready for Sunday. Need to get my focus to where it really should be...GOD!!

Until next time...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Moving Forward

Surrender...it's a word that is used a lot in our Christian life. I think before this week I didn't really understand the word or actually understand how to practice it.

In the past, I kepting thinking that surrender was giving up some desires -- and still getting to enjoy some dreams and desires for a "someday." But while reading the book "Crazy Love," Francis describes a lukewarm Christian. He gives several examples of what one can look like...it's really hard to read over those descriptions and just do nothing. I mean, there are sometimes that we read the Bible in a way that it really doesn't impact our lives. There are times we can read books that don't really push us to a change. But apparently when reading those descriptions of a lukewarm Christian...I was at a point in my walk with Christ that I needed to REALLY examine my relationship with Him.

I saw areas where one could consider that I was lukewarm in my relationship with Him. Do I go to church? yes. Do I sing worship songs to God? yes. Do I clean the church as a service to Him? yes. On the outside it does look that way...but what is in my heart? That's the key to our relationship with Jesus.

We can "do" things for God and for the church...but what is our attitude when doing those things? Are we flippant about it? Do we really have a heart of worship when singing those songs...and doing those deeds? Do we really love Jesus enough to give up our desires...ALL of them just to have Him in our life.

A question that was posed in that chapter of the book was...if you were in Heaven and had all the people in your life that is with you now, had all the stuff you wanted, had any type of food that you desired, but if Jesus were not there...would you be okay with that? Living in Heaven without Jesus, but having all this "stuff"? It sounds like a crazy question, but in reality that's how sometimes I live my life here on earth...that these "things" are what makes me happy or able to live here.

Our relationship with Jesus needs to be our blood running through our bodies...needs to be the air we breathe to continue to live. Jesus is all we need. We don't need cars, televisions, books, magazines, etc to fill those desires...we just need Jesus.

After taking that look into my own life...I began to realize areas that I waste money. Think about it...do you really need to read a magazine about some movie star that you like to watch??? Do you really need to buy that new release DVD that is on sale for just one week??? Do I really need to see this movie ... even if all my friends are going to it??? Do you really need to go to the video store and rent a DVD just because they don't have the one you really want to see??? I have found this week that I don't need a lot of stuff that I have bought in the past. I haven't bought a lot of stuff because I have asked these questions...I have chosen to not go to the movies because the movie wasn't the best way to honor God.

I'm not where I need to be yet in my relationship with Christ, but I'm moving forward. Which leads me to a YouTube clip I'd like to share...

I love the first line..."I'm not going back...I'm moving ahead." That is what our life in Christ should be...a moving forward...always closer to Him.

Something that I realized about surrender this week...is it's easy to surrender...when I take my desires out of it. When I take my desires...there is nothing left...Jesus is the One who can fill it. He makes ALL THINGS NEW.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crazy Love - Who Do You Love???

I'm reading a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It's an interesting book...very challenging and convicting in a lot of ways. Crazy Love goes with the theme of the VBS my church had this past year. "All of me, All-out for God" - Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself.

God, our Creator, made each of us...He knew us before He made us...and there is a purpose for each of our lives. I think so many times we miss it. I know I have...

Look at the Ten Commandments...Jesus sums those commandments in the New Testament into two. Love God and love others. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is...in a way. When God's love gets a hold in our lives it changes us. We don't always act like it, but we have THE ability to live differently. I think sometimes we allow the excuses that we are still in our "human" bodies a scape goat. It's like we don't look at the standard that God has raised for us...and we try to compare ourselves to other people who are Christians. God's love is that ability for us to live differently...that motivation that challenges us to be holy people. It's not about a list of do's and don'ts.

In one of the chapters of Crazy Love, Chan describes his relationship with his daughter and I saw something that I didn't see before...I mean I knew it, but I saw it in a new way that challenged me to change my view of God. He said that when he became a father, he saw that seeing God as his father was not something to "fear," but something to be excited about... He came home one day and his daughter came up to him running to him...excited to see him...waiting for a chance to spend some time with him.

When was the last time, I ran to my Heavenly Father to spend some time with Him? When was the last time I was excited to spend some time with my Heavenly Father? He's waiting...patiently for me to come to Him...For me to crawl into His lap and feel the warmth of His loving arms wrapped around me.

While thinking about this love theme...I remembered a song by the group Glad entitled "Who Do You Love?" I found the video on YouTube and decided to post it with this blog. I think we need to examine ourselves and ask the question..."Who Do I love? What am I looking for?" God's love is there waiting for us to discover it...to be changed by it. It's a crazy love...one that is sometimes unexplainable!

Enjoy the video...

P.S. At the end of the video as they are walking away from the camera...the second guy from the left reminds me of my brother Paul. I laugh everytime I see it.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

VBS - wrap up

So I didn't get the chance to finish out the VBS week. It was a hectic week, but an amazing one too. We had our program on Friday - July 10th and carnival followed the program. The kids did well. My parents were able to come and see the program. As well as my niece Marisa and her husband Adam. I had family to come in town that evening and then the following Wednesday (15th) left for a friends wedding in the great state of PA.

This blog entry will be about the VBS wrap up though. The offering was over $600 and went to a couple in the church - Meredith and Cheryl Johnson. This couple for the past several years has been in charge of the VBS planning. They have a heart for children and any opportunity to work with them they are first to volunteer. This past year Meredith was diagnosed with cancer. He has been having treatments that have really taken a toll of him. The hospitals are working with them on the bills, but there is no income for them as they are living by faith.

Our church wanted to use the offering the kids would be bringing to give back to them. The entire time we called it "Gateway Gives Back." Because we were giving to a couple in the church. The kids did amazing. The contest between the girls and boys was neck and neck as of Wednesday night, but the final night of VBS the boys brought in 48 pounds of money and the girls brought in 30 some. It was a great night. I didn't get a final total as there was money brought in the night of the program.

There were no salvations reported, but I do believe seeds were planted and lives were changed...mine in particular. I'll write more about that later in another blog.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Day 4 of VBS

I was totally worn out last night...so I didn't write the update...apologies to those who were looking forward to reading it last night (maybe the 1 of you that reads this. LOL!) Anyway...We had in attendance 67 kids, 8 adults and 27 workers for a total of 102. We were down from the last night, but it was a good night.

The offering total is $190.68. We are calling it "Gateway Gives Back." I'll inform where the offering will be given at the end of the week when it's revealed to the kids.

There is something about growing up and singing in public...even with a group the size of 9 or 10. My 7th & 8th graders apparently think that singing in public is not "cool"...even though the majority of them watch American Idol. We tried to explain about a lot of those singers start out singing in VBS or Sunday school...church choirs and even a member or leader of a worship team (aka Danny Gokey). When Ben and Mary were explaining this to the kids, they said, "Danny Gokey is DeeJay at his church" I made a comment, "He just does it right." LOL!!! I do enjoy music...I do enjoy hearing kids...teens...and even adults singing ... especially when it comes from the heart. I know people who will get up and sing...maybe not get the notes all right, but their hearts are singing for God's glory and praise. That's when it's right. And I've been impressed with one of my 7th & 8th grade boys...I can hear him singing out and that helps the other boys to sing out...but then if you get a little close to him...he will back off, but as long as you are not close to him...he will sing out. It's very helpful. The song this group will be singing is "Shout to the Lord." We explained that when they sing this song they are to be singing to Jesus in Heaven. I get this mental picture of him sitting on the throne with his eyes closed enjoying the sounds coming from this small group of kids. It's a really nice picture, and if only these kids could get a glimpse of it, they would realize what this simple way of worship is meaning to our Heavenly Father. I know it would change each of them.

Well...just one more night...then our carnival and program will be Friday night. I'm taking tomorrow off to get a little rest and also prepare for the carnival. I hope to get some of the church cleaned night so that it will be easier on me on Saturday to just have to clean the downstairs areas.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Day 3 - VBS

*Note - corrected the classes that are working on the song. Last night my brain wasn't working well.

Well...I now officially have correct totals from the previous nights. Sunday night we had 56 kids, 11 adults, 27 workers for a total of 94. Monday night, we had 70 kids, 8 adults, and 25 workers for a total of 103. Tonight we had 72 kids, 8 adults, 25 workers, for a total of 105. We actually had mis-counted the workers, but this is correct now.

I've made it through day 3 and am feeling really good. I was able to work on my skit this afternoon, so I was better prepared tonight. It went well. Trevor brought his guitar and helped Kat play the theme song. It went well too.

My 5th & 6th graders are the best singers this year. I'm so proud of them. They will be singing "Thy Word" for the program and then with the 7th & 8th grade class will be singing "Love the Lord" by Lincoln Brewster. They are doing really well with both songs. They enjoy singing "Love the Lord" more than "Thy Word", but I still want them to do that one as a class by themselves.

Tonight's verse is from Matthew 1:21 "She shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sin." Most of the kids caught onto it. I'm really proud of the 7th and 8th grade class learning the verses. They seem to be getting into the word. Mary is trying to tell the story, then apply it to their life. It's tough because the material doesn't really help with gearing it for that age group...even though there are books for that age group.

We have two more nights of VBS and then the program on Friday. Some of us were talking after church about this year's VBS and I think this is my favorite. Last year we had a lot of kids saved by this point, but I think the kids are really soaking in what they are hearing and I think it's a seed planting year.

Until tomorrow night.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Day 2 of VBS...Monday night

Survived another night of VBS. I am really enjoying the theme this year...Polar Extreme: All of me...All out for God. I really believe that if these kids can get ahold of this theme...the impact on their lives will be amazing.

I got to talk with Jacob tonight (he is the son of the man who was saved Sunday morning). He told me that after VBS is over that they were going to get baptized. It excites me that they are planning to follow Jesus in baptism.

I also got information from one kid, who said, "He can sing, just not church songs." I told him he just needed more practice.

Tonight was another good night. The kids are catching onto the songs. I really want to thank my friend Kat who has stepped up to learn the guitar chords for the theme song. She loves playing the guitar and may not win any awards for her playing at this time, but she's playing to please God and I know He's in heaven with a smile on His face.

I forgot to mention the totals for attendance yesterday. The workers were 27, in the adult class 11, I can't remember the amount of kids we had...I know it was above 50 some. Tonight's totals were up in some places. Our workers were 25 (two were unable to make it), the adult class had 7, but the kids were 80 some. I'll try to remember to bring the figures home with me tomorrow night. I wrote them down, but still forgot.

Tonight's memory verse was an easy one. I do pray the children will memorize this one to receive an extra credit for the store at the end of the week. The verse is from John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Jesus is talking in this passage and just simple tells those he is speaking to..."If you love, keep my commandments"...basically "if you love me, do what I've told you to do." The kids caught on.

My friend Kat has her niece here this week. When I came in tonight, she said, "I know the verse from last night" and she said it to me. She had called her teacher during the day to let her know that she knew it too (her teacher is Kat's mother-in-law). She has also found love in her class. This little boy who looks like Shia LaBeouf...so cute.

My 3rd & 4th graders are learning a song called "How Awesome is the Lord." It's one of my favorite songs for this year. I found it on a Praise CD for kids. Those kids are catching on with it...I think it will be a good program on Friday. Please pray the kids will come for the program even though they will be singing...most of them will try to get out of the program...but I'm really hoping that all of them come for it and the carnival.

Until tomorrow night...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's finally here...

Official start of VBS was tonight. It was an amazing day. I began my day very early...got up and welcomed myself to the land of living again. Yesterday I rested! I would say that I did absolutely nothing, but that wouldn't be true. I actually worked on my lyrics to prepare VBS transparencies, and I washed curtains (twice) that belonged to the parsonage. I don't always take days off like I did, but I was thankful I did it...and it felt great!.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and got the rest of my stuff prepared to take with me for the entire day (as I didn't come home at all). This morning, we had our VBS worker dedication. I sang "I Wish" for the special music. Pastor preached a message on a spiritual POW. It was a really good message. During our invitation, we had a man we had been praying for come forward for salvation...PRAISE THE LORD!!! It was an amazing beginning of VBS. I can't wait to see what God is going to do the rest of the week. This man had two boys who had gotten saved within the last few months. We knew God was working on him, but we didn't know when he would surrender. It was GREAT to have that happen this morning.

After church, some of the young adults went out to eat. It was a nice meal, but it took longer than I had expected. We got back to the church and began getting the details all down. Each of us pitched in and got what needed to be done. I don't think we forgot anything.

Tonight's memory verse was from Romans 8:32 "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" It was a hard one for them, but I am praying that they will try to learn it. The theme verse for the week is Mark 12:30-31 "Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength...love your neighbor as yourself."

Music is pretty cool this year...we have revamped the music. For the 1st & 2nd grades, they are singing "This is My Commandment." They will also sing some other fun songs that they may already know. I have a great sound engineer...he works really hard to not be noticed. LOL!!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Coming together...

Well it's almost time. VBS will begin on this Sunday, July 5th. Since it's the holiday weekend. I'll be working at the church on Friday since I have the day off. I'll also be picking up the stuff from Sam's and Walmart that day. I think it's going to work out for me to take the entire day off on Saturday...YEAH!!!
The theme for this year's VBS is "Polar Extreme: All of me, All-out for God." The theme verse for the week is from Mark 12:30-31 "And You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength...and love your neighbor as yourself." I have been really excited about getting the music together for this VBS. Usually I try to use the CD that comes with the kit, but this year the music has been really geared for a younger age group of children...even the theme song wasn't something we wanted to use.
Our theme song is a song that Pastor's older kids learned at a Bible Camp. It was neat that we were able to try the guitar chords and that Kat is able to play them the week. I wish I would have been able to get a hold of another friend to have done a track for us, but it just didn't work out. Maybe another time...
For the 1st & 2nd grade class, I have actually chosen one of the songs from the CD. I'm going to use it anyway...even though I'm not too fond with the music. But I really think it's going to work out anyway.
For the 3rd & 4th grade class, I have a song called "How Awesome is the Lord." It's a really cute song from a Praise CD I bought.
For the 5th & 6th grade class, I'm using a song called "More Love, More Power." It's a song the choir sings with another song, but it is a shorter version of it.
For the 7th & 8th grade group, I'm excited to use "Love the Lord Your God" by Lincoln Brewster. I wanted something that would be easy, but fun for them. I think this is more age appropriate for them.
I will also get to work with the memory work with each class. Actually each area will emphasize the verse, but I think if we can use about 5 or 10 minutes on learning the verse it will be good for them to practice.
I need to get all the music ready and on transparencies and them the track numbers ready for the sound engineer. It's great having someone responsible for the playing of the songs.
Well...I hope to update throughout the week like I did last year. It was something I looked forward to doing each night as a wind-down.
Until next time...