Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Everything I need to know....

It has been 3 days since officially ending Love Loud 08

My experiences throughout this campaign had a profound impact on me.

Not being one to keep quite when good news abounds I find myself giving testimony to God’s abundant grace and blessings as witnessed by all who choose to be His hands and feet for a few days last week. My constant refrain has been, as much as we poured into the lives of our neighbors, I personally feel like we were blessed by these experiences with them even more. This has truly been a win-win for everyone involved.

While reflecting on examples of these two fold blessings my granddaughter peered up and said

“This was a symbiotic relationship.”


“A symbiotic relationship? You know what a symbiotic relationship is?”

“Yes.” She gently said.

Curious I asked her to explain symbiotic to me.

“Well,” she began “a symbiotic relationship ship is where both of you get something out it.”

As I picked my jaw up off the floor, she went on,

“Like the Rhino and birds. Ticks get on Rhino’s and they make him itchy, he can’t scratch or get them off, so birds, who likes to eat ticks, ride on Rhinos’ back eating the ticks so the Rhino is not itchy anymore. They both do something for the other one”

“That’s” she said “a symbiotic relationship.” She dryly ended.

“Yes it is” I chimed in.

“How do you know about symbiotic relationships?” I questioned “Who told you this?”

“We learned it at school”.

Seems many things you need to know you can be learned in kindergarten.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A word from the blistered hands and feet

Well folks, on Sunday night church services for the evening were canceled so members of our fellowship who participated in Love Loud 08

Simply put: Epsom salt and Alieve...They're a very good thing!
Love hurts...In places and ways I hadn't planned on when signing up for this adventure.

Now you might assume I'm only referring to the blisters on my feet, my arms that are nearly numb with the pain of muscle aches, or this overall complete exhaustive state I find myself in.

Those things just serve to remind me that despite hauling kiddo's around like I'm still some 20 something chicky, I am not in the best shape necessary for these kind of weekend projects.

Just so you know, we do our own yard and house work. I regularly run up and down two flights of stairs while carrying in excess of 40 lbs both ways. More often than not the extra baggage is composed of carry alls, book bags, groceries and a small child or two. Not always at the same time, but on many occasions...yes, all of the above.

Still, this aerobic and strength training did not prepare me for stepping outside my comfort zone and pitching in on a few Love Loud projects this weekend.
The little mobile home park our Sunday School class adopted was described best by my granddaughter who said it looked: lost and forgotten.

Just getting to park proved a challenge as there was no easy and direct road in. Following an older county road with several blind curves we passed the occasional abandoned trailer and automobile as we finally turned off the main drive looking for the office.

My grand girl and I were met by a friend Marcy, who was there taking photos of the site and projects. Marcy passed on a warning given to her, she advised us to consider parking at the entrance and walking in or continuing with great caution, as the road was so bad it could cause us to break an axle.

The managing office was quite a ways in, and as we were delivering a truck load of food and hygiene boxes for the residence, we opted to risk the drive.

Creeping along at a snails pace we navigated up what passed as a road, in and around treacherous deep ruts that scarred the length of this barren dirt drive.

As we inched our way in, we could not help but be taken aback by the living conditions that these residence called home.

Many so proud to HAVE a home.

Once we arrived at the staging area we were met by an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.
The mix included residence of the park, guys and gals from our membership as well as folks from area churches of various denominations. Seems Love Loud compelled many to lend a hand to these and other works going on all over the county.

Throughout the three days we were actually on site at the mobile home park the ruts in the road were filled and a mixture laid down that should greatly improve mobility as residence travel in and out of the park. Land was cleared and cleaned of debris of all kinds, a picnic area was created-complete with a set of 3 newly built tables. A resident with MS had a ramp added to her home to make it wheelchair accessible.

Besides delivering boxes of food and hygiene products to all the residence, clothing was brought on site for one and all. Many of the neediest folks were ferried back and forth for free medical and dental care.

We filled prescriptions and purchased additional soft foods for some as there was more that 21 teeth pulled from at least 3 residence alone in those short days.

It was during those taxied drives that I was privy to an assortment of stories as to how each of these folks found themselves living in such a state.

Like so many today, several were one paycheck away from losing their homes and once they became unemployed, these pay by the week units became their only option. Others shared that it was illness and poor life choices or a combination of both that drove them here.

Without exception, each felt sure that with a hand up they could see a little light at then end of their tunnel and pull themselves out.

The situation lent itself to many opportunities to share the message of Jesus Christ and we did. Besides the gospel packets that were distributed, and various Bibles and other reading material we had on site, we discovered some in the community would love to be attending church if they had transportation, others would welcome the possibility of partaking in Bible Studies. In each of these situations it was a matter of transportation or something as simple as being ask.

The needs are overwhelming.

We can not and were not meant to be any ones savior, that lies purely with the One and only Son of God, Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Him is their only hope. Just as it is for us.

Our job, if we choose to accept it, is to continue to:


Be willing to follow where God would lead us in this great mission field....right in our own backyards.

What do say? Any thoughts on Lovin Loud?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Breaking Free Results

Results are in for the Breaking Free taping ticket give away.

Loved your comments of encouragement and prayer. I wish there were enough spare tickets for you all. Maybe some other time.

The randomly selected recipients are:

LaVonda and Di.

Congratulations ladies!

I can hardly wait to meet you both!

God Bless you all and praying you all have a wonderful Sunday.

In His love,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

How many times do we see, read and write about the great devastation, loss and suffering that plagues our world. The problems and struggles make our hearts break and yet more often than not we actually DO very little.

Well, I feel especially blessed to be part of doing something extraordinary. I'm not sure anything has ever been done quite like it or at least on this scale.

During the past few months my local church fellowship has been assessing the needs in our surrounding community. They have gathered information, elicited volunteers from area business and enlisted a large portion of our church body in order that we might 'Do' a few things.
This Big to-DO has evolved into

The 'Do'in our church was planned to officially begin in just a few hours. The initial projects will take place throughout the next 3 days. This will only be a start. Love Loud is not an event, but ongoing works in progress.

I say 'officially begin...' because we have already began many of the projects, some due to timing, some due to weather, and others because the needs were there and so was the means to provide we did.

Love Loud started unexpectedly Monday, when I went getting my hair highlighted and cut. As my stylist Mary began slappin layers bleach and foil on my head she innocently ask,

"So how you been? What you been up to? Got any plans for this week?"

Poor girl, had she only known...

Immediately I began rattling off the Love Loud agenda, explaining that to begin with, we had over 200 people recently certified to be foster parents. Through this program there would be enough good homes for ALL 300 plus children in Cherokee County. Prior to these 200, there had been some 70 foster homes leaving these 3oo or so kiddos to be bounced around with no steady and stable place to stay once they entered family services.

I told Mary how others who couldn't care full time for a child were providing help via babysitting, groceries, clothing and other childcare needs.

From there I mentioned we would be running a health fair with free medical and dental service Thursday through Saturday for the area ill, indigent, widows, and single moms. I listed projects planned for the areas schools, homes, residential care facilities, how we would be providing home repairs, auto maintenance, adopting mobile home communities and making repairs to homes (inside and out), roads, installing at least one playground and many other services so needed in our community.

As I continued to gush, I mentioned folks giving manicures and pedicures as well as a bunch of area stylist combining their tools and talents to do a mess'a do's.

With that Mary stopped me,

"I want to do it. Can I do this?"

That would be wonderful I told her. I'd have someone call her to explain the details and get her and her fellow salon stylist enlisted for the cause. Paid my bill and headed home

For the 2 of you still here, that was Monday.

Tuesday I get a phone call from Mary.

"You know that check you wrote me?"


"I'm not cashing it. I meant to say something yesterday but it got a little busy and well, just take the money and spend it on some clothes for kids or something. You don't mind doing it do you?"

Mary said she and her shop partner would both love to participate in the hair styling if it could be arranged. She wanted to make sure I was alright with it.

"Are you kidding? You mean I get to have beautifully done hair, go shopping for kids in need, deliver it and know you all are stepping up and kickin in as well? Are you kidding? How blessed am I? "

I gushed a bit more then assured her someone would be calling that afternoon to get the 2 of them involved with the hair division of LL.

What you don't know is I had been trying to get Mary to come visit our church, Bible study or just any old event.

What greater way for my Mary to see Christ love in action and I prayed she would want a piece of that love for herself.

Jump to Wednesday.

I decide in order to get the most bang for her buck I'm go to a local consignment shop. The clothes are very nice and reasonably priced, much better quality than discount department stores and they are built to last.

Interesting how when you are spending someone else's money you become much more frugal.

Upon entering the store I locate the store manager and a clerk. Then I explain my purposes and what the church is trying to do with Love Loud. Before it was over these two helped discount several purchases and take another $10 off the total. Then to top it off, they left the purchases on the hangers and donated an additional bag of clothing they found unusable right now for their store. It was awesome!

And all the while they're saying
"Oh this is what it really is all about, this is what churches should be doing." They were moved and excited about the possibility, apologizing they didn't have more to give me.

They had no idea how much they blessed me. I was praising Jesus all the way to Church for Choir and Awanas.

Ultimately I collected 8 coats, 3 sweaters, 6 pairs of jeans, 3 pair of corduroys, 3 shirt tops, a large box of kid shoes, and a partridge in a.

Oh my joy and rapture! God is just so Good, and Thoughtful.
Allowing me to witness these little previews of how He is already planting seeds and getting glory. I bring this post to a close I will list a few known plans for my family in order that we may Love Loud:

Today: Picking up boxes of food, boxes of hygiene products and clothing, transporting them to the mobile home community my small group-Sunday School class has adopted. Then assisting in labeling and delivering them to various residence.

My granddaughter and I are also planning to heat up the kitchen and bake a bunch of sweet treats to contribute to another class that is hosting a Carnival for an area retirement home on Saturday.

Saturday: Unless weather prevents stops us, you will probably find us helping another group with clearing up yard waste, and doing some landscaping after delivering our baked goods or possibly helping out at the carnival.

Sunday: Worshiping and Praising at Woodstock followed by our final project for the week- a neighborhood Halloween Hallelujah Party and Parade. Most of the other 60 folks expected there will probably be a more traditional dress, but our little guys and gals will be sportin their favorite Bible Super Hero's. So far we're expecting Moses, Joseph and 2 angels along with their pimped up rides (wagon, scooter, bike) for the parade through the 'hood'.

If all goes as well, I should have some good photos to share.

Finally, please be in prayer as our fellowship spends the next three days serving our community with whatever gifts and talents we possess!
May nothing or anyone get praise, honor and glory but our Dear Heavenly Father.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Give Away - Isaiah 61:1-3

Seven months after my daughters death someone shared an author and book title with me that was a catalyst in bringing major changes to my life... changes I thought were unchangeable.

I was very scattered during that time, having great difficulty concentrating long enough to read, much less retain anything. Once I began reading the recommended book, I found myself filling it's pages with hi-lighter and post it notes. After the first reading, I went back for a second.

During the course of both readings my Ugly Bible got uglier as I cross checked, highlighted and flagged passages against what I was discovering.

God began doing a big work in me.

Light reached into the darkest recesses of my heart, the reality of who I was in Christ, the depth of His love and sacrifices crashed over me in waves that left me breathless.

Through discussions with my loving friend I learned there was actually an excellent Bible study based on this same book I had covered in graffiti - she urged me to do the study as well.

I did.

Under God's direction we went into some of the deepest, blackest and hardest parts of my life. Once there I faced a world of heartache, hurt, sin, shame, disappointment and grief. Chains were broken, forgiveness embraced and strongholds torn down. Working this course was the beginning of realizing there was Light at the end of the tunnel and freedom unlike any I had known before.

The book-study was
'Breaking Free' by Beth Moore

Along with in depth daily homework, the study includes 11 video lessons.

The video sessions of Breaking Free, originally filmed a few years ago are now being redone. These sessions will be filmed next month at the same location as the original series, the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church between November 10th -15th.

This study has great significance for me. God willing I will be attending the remake of these new sessions. My birthday falls during that week and my sweetheart is gifting me with the trip, but we would like to gift some of you as well.

I have 2 additional tickets. If you are able to join us in Nawlin's next month please post a comment including a way to contact you, through the your blog link or leave an email address with your comments. I will leave The comments open until this Saturday October 25th at 5 pm. The Winner will be listed and contacted Saturday evening, so you have until then to enter.

Looking forward to hearing from ya'll
have a blessed week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A-maizing Fun and Prizes!

A couple of weekends back Kyra and I decided it was time to welcome fall. So at Miss K's insistence, the two of us made multiple trips up and down the attic stairs - bringing with us a few of our dearest least in the fall.

After an hour or so spent making over our garden pals, shoving stuffin here, attaching a nose there, tying up britches and pasting down hair, our little fall-en family was ready to take their places of honor in the front yard.

Please take note of that littlest pumpkin there in the middle...we kinda favor her most :)
The following Sunday we decided to check out a local corn maze our optometrist had recommended. As corn mazes go, it was supposed to be very kid friendly.

"Oh yah," the Doc said. "We love it! We take our little ones and let them wear themselves out running around in the maze" Dr. B went on to add how her kiddos, loved playing on the inflatables and perusing the petting zoo.

Dr. Braum insisted this place was home to a smaller maze the little ones could navigate themselves. If the kids get too tired or just impatient, the parents would go in and bring them out.
Unlike the local favorite monster maze frequented by many, our eye doc urged us to patronize this smaller gem the

Kernel Kob Corn Maze
So immediately after church and lunch we headed out to the country-over hill and dale, winding down the sweetest of little valley's to find this quaint family owned farm.
Once we arrived we purchased tickets for the works! Corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides and inflatables baby! Look out!

Before we began our fall festivities, we stopped for a quick snap shot or two at this corny vignette.

As you can see, Kyra was already having a painfully good time!

After several failed attempts to get a squintless photo we moved on to the main event, Kernel Kobs Corn Maze.

The maze consist of 3 miles of paths cut into a large corn field. The view from above lets you see how the maze resembles an eagle.

For the record, the lighter areas that outline the eagle, that is your path, the corn....lots and lots of corn!

Prior to entering this maze-o-corn, we were each given a map and instructions that as we made our way through the maize we should encounter 12 numbered stations. Each check-in along our way was equipped with a special hole punch. Each stations punch would be distinctive in shape and exclusive to that post.

Should you locate each station and punch each accordingly, you could enter into a drawing for prizes. There were to be different shaped punch outs for each particular spot. There would be no faking having found each site, either your punches would match, or they wouldn't.

Got it?

We were also warned that at anytime, if we grew weary or lost, there was no need to panic, just follow the ribbons found throughout and they would lead us out again.

With map and ticket in hand we were on our way!

In hindsight, it may have been wise to pay a bit more attention to the disclaimer at that greeted us as we set off.

We were fearless and certain this would be as elementary as Dr. Bram had described. Besides, we had a secret weapon and his name is Bruce!

Have I ever mentioned my husband was is a Boy Scout? An Eagle Scout to be exact.

Yep! A dandy!

He can best be described as a cross between

Indiana Jones and Marlin Perkins .

Imagine a fedora worn in this profile verse the ball cap above...see it?

The man knows a lot about so much and a little about everything. If he doesn't, we are off to the library to look it up. At times he drove his children crazy when they ask him. His standard response

"Well, let's look that up" instead of just giving them an answer.

Mr. B is the epitome of logic, patient, calm and cool. Rarely do you catch him off guard or reactive, unlike certain sweetie of his? Personally, I think we balance each other, and this is a very good thing!

So, secret weapon by the hand, our trio barreled in.

We were not too far into our journey before realised this could be a lot like work. Thankfully I had the good sense to leave my luggage also called a handbag in the car, carrying instead the essentials - camera and phone. If I could do it over again, I would have brought a bottle of water or some other cold beverage.

We kicked up a lot of dust as we hurried along, and the sun was beating down on us pretty hard.

We immediately were turned around, finding ourselves going in circles. Places we thought we would find a punch and post, were dead ends. After 10 minutes of wandering along I admit to keeping an eye open for that ribbon we were told to follow should the need arise.

Yes, with each dirty step, that yellow ribbon was looking better and better.

It was just about then that we turned a corner to find this

Not the Holy Grail, but cause for celebration in our group...that day. It was post number 9. How and where we missed the other 8....I still have no clue.

We punched our card (a rectangle hole), Indy recalculated then moved quickly on, while Marlin calmly explained the nature of maps and navigation to Kyra with me doing my part to document it all.

Before long, we were on a roll, finding numbers 4, 3, 7 and 5, few in chronological order, but hey we were finding them and the sweet smell of success was getting strong.

As we wondered along in this field of dreams, we couldn't help but hear fellow sojourners crying out in the stalks. At times it got ugly and at least one group resorted to cutting through the rows to bust out the sides achieving freedom at last.

Almost an hour later, with 7 holes punched and a little gal anxious to get on with the rest of this day-o-fun, our Paw Paw man lead us out, grabbed all the punch cards, a Diet Pepsi, and headed back to finish the task.

While Mr B continued stalking the stalks, baby G and I headed round the circuit, beginning with the petting zoo.

Pot Bellied Pigs

the dog

the hen

the goat

(think that goat has had his picture taken before?)

the duck...AFLAC!!

After exhibiting much patience and self control, little Miss was invited to ride a trusty steed


Clyde's barn mate was named

Bonnie of course!

The next leg on our tour a corn took us to the tower slide and

boy did we slide!

It had been about 45 minutes when we saw Mr B exciting the maize and taking all 3 punch cards to be checked and added to the drawing. Apparently they will be giving away a gift card of some kind.

We are excited about our chances!

As the sun was going down and our steam was waining, we picked out a nice assortment of the most beautiful carving pumpkins.

Mr. Jones then packed up his pumpkin's, his girls and we all headed home.

Awwwwe! I love fall!

How 'bout you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In case you missed out the first time

So this last week has been quite a whirlwind of a ride.
Had some photos and stories of our latest adventures in grand parenting, with plans of posting both when a swing around cyber-ville put all those plans on hold.

Melinda pulled the emergency brake on all frivolousness and set our hearts and minds toward an infinitely greater calling.

Sharing a word of hope, healing and freedom by way of
Surrendering the Secret , a wonderful new study by Pat Layton.

Pat is repeating the give-away Melinda had last week, so if you missed the opportunity to enter or want another shot at winning this study

please head over here and leave a comment, make a link whatever you feel lead to do. In some way help do your part to share the word and support this mission of healing the heartbreak of abortion.

I was fortunate enough to win a full Leaders Kit and a set of group books. Lord willing the fellowship I attend will be presenting this study for anyone who would like to take part.
I'll be posting our adventures in the corn maze real soon. In the meantime read up and pass it on.

love ya'll

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Surrendering the Secret

About half of American women have experienced an unintended pregnancy, as a result more than one-third (35%) will have had an abortion by age 45.

That's one in every 3 women.

These gals cross all races, socio-economic groups and beliefs. If you have not trod this path, then chances are that woman next to you has.

1 in 3.

The reality is there are millions of women out there - believers and unbelieving, that because of the nature of their situation are reluctant to
to reach out and believe they have reason to hope.

My dear friend Melinda at Traveling the Road Home has an incredible give away.
Please stop by her blog, leave a comment and see what you and yours can do to help spread the word about Surrendering the Secret .

I am praying that everyone that swings by this page has the courage of conviction to Do something. Don't click away and pretend you didn't know or understand...not this time.