Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Funnies: Jeanne Robertson-Don't Bungee Jump Naked

On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
~Psalm 100:1 MSG~

Oh, Friends...

After watching this on gal pal Jenn Harpole's Facebook status, I had to wipe my eyes three or four times just to be able to click over to YouTube to get the link info...

Grab some tissues... Oh, and wait to watch till after the baby wakes up. She won't sleep through your gut-busting laughter...

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart hosts Friday Funnies. Visit her for more chuckles and to share yours.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Other Words: Finding Your True Smile

So with a painted grin,
I play the part again,
So everyone will see me
the way that I see them...
Are we happy plastic people,
under shiny plastic steeples,
With walls around our weakness
and smiles to hid our pain,
But if the invitation's open,
to every heart that has been broken,
Maybe then we'll close the curtain
on our stained glass masquerade...
~Casting Crowns in Stained Glass Masquerade~

Once upon a time, in a trailer park far away, a little girl stood waiting for a church bus to take her to Sunday school. She shifted excitedly from foot to foot and even skipped in circles a bit, unable to contain her excitement at getting to see the kind, smiling faces of the church lady and man who taught her class about Love with cookies and juice and flannel pictures of that Jesus guy.

The years passed quickly...different places and yet the smiling faces of the church ladies and men all seemed familiar.

Finally the girl was grown with her own little bundles of enthusiasm bouncing and running in excited circles in anticipation of cookies, juice, and flannel pictures of that Jesus guy while she tried to bathe and dress them and get them to Sunday school.

Slowly life started sapping her own enthusiasm...

Her smiles became harder to find. Still she pasted them on Sunday after Sunday.

Until one day...

She saw her reflection.

The familiar smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. She was reminded of other church ladies and men she'd met over the years, some she knew now...

The ones whose smiles eventually stopped at their lips.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest. ~Psalm 22:2
She mourned the loss of her joy smile, the one that comes from deep inside, bubbling up uncontrollable from head to toe.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. ~Psalm 25:1
In her sadness she opened the Book of God-words. and she read...
To You, O Lord, I call;
My rock, do not be deaf to me. ~Psalm 28:1
and read...
In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me. ~Psalm 31:1-2
and read...
How blessed is [she] whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the [woman] to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit! ~Psalm 32:1-2
She sighed in relief, tiredness slowly draining away.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name. ~Psalm 33:21
Sometimes the effort to smile is still too much but the girl now first turns to the God-words because she discovered they are the source of the smiles and that Love she felt in the church so long ago.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the [woman] who takes refuge in Him! ~Psalm 34:8

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry. ~Psalm 34:15
The Lord is near the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. ~Psalm 34:22
In Other Words is being hosted by Loni at Writing Canvas. Please visit to read more and to post your own take on today's quote.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Choosing to Be Disciplined Everyday

"The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore correction and you're lost for good." (Proverbs 10:17 MSG)

I am an emotional eater. I am also a bored and thoughtless eater. When I am sad, I choose foods high in carbohydrates like chocolate, potato chips, and ice cream. When I watch TV or need other entertainment, I choose cheese and crackers, popcorn, and more chocolate.

There is nothing wrong with any of these foods in and of themselves. Eaten in small portions once in a while they are fine.

Failing To Be Disciplined

Cold weather and family issues gave me a one-two punch that knocked me right out of my healthy eating program. When I was actively engaged in healthy eating practices, I lost 12 lbs and dropped my cholesterol level 17 points.

My emotional eating for the past few months has made my climb back to fitness into a backward slide down a steep hill. Although I only gained 4 lbs back, I got all 17 cholesterol points back plus 42 more points.

I really had no idea what was going on inside my body. I attributed the slight weight gain to holiday cooking and chose to ignore my niggling conscience when I ate foods that were not part of my diet plan.

Imagine my dismay when I opened my recent blood test results as I walked from the mailbox to my house and read these words: "Cholesterol very high. should start medication. She has been reluctant to do so in the past. Will discuss at her visit in two weeks."

Continue reading at Take Root and Write: Choosing Life Everyday!...>>

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

IOW: To Touch A Child's Heart

He who can reach a child's heart can reach the world's heart. ~ Rudyard Kipling
Every 5th Sunday my husband and I teach Junior Church. I think the ministry is wonderful but I dread doing my 45 minutes four times a year. I used to do it every month, but when it was time to say no to some things on my overflowing plate, this was one of the first to go (right after choir--mediocre alto voice...).

See, I am completely aware of my calling to serve -- my gifts do not lie in children's ministry. But the Lord has equipped me to be my husband's helpmeet. He is gifted to work with children; in fact, with any age.

He has the amazing ability to get involved in whatever game grabs the kids' interest. I remember several years ago during our once-a-month Extended Care time with the 4-5 year olds (during Sunday A.M. Worship) how one little boy was aggressive with the other children and unwilling to participate in any of the activities.

While I worked with the large group, my husband sat with this little boy tearing construction paper into tiny pieces and putting them in a toy dump truck. This went on every month for several months. Then my husband told the little boy that he had to sit with the other kids during story time before they could tear paper. To my amazement, the little boy cooperated. By the time he aged out of the class, he would participate in everything we did and would wait until play time to sit one-on-one with my husband.

This transformation took place because my husband spent time gaining the little boy's trust, eye-to-eye, focusing on what it took to engage his attention. Mr. Steve had reached out and touched this little boy's heart similarly to the way the Lord Jesus did in His own earthly ministry.

Jesus developed personal, intimate relationships with His followers -- not asking for immediate obedience but showing them His heart full of love for them. His eye-to-eye focus on the disciples led to a trust in His words that ended up in ministry that changed the world.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:42-47
Back to Junior Church: What a challenge the 1st through 6th grade group is! Some of the kids have been raised in church and cooperate enthusiastically. Some ride a bus to church and have no church background at home. Ministry to all these kids is so very important.

We have a vibrant youth group for them when they reach 7th grade. This middle ministry --between preschool and youth group-- must keep the kids interested in church and Jesus. My goal each 5th Sunday is to speak words in love that make them want more of Jesus.

I want this ministry to thrive. My grandson will be there some day and I hope the teachers at that time realize the importance of reaching young hearts at their most easily influenced. So I keep to it, trying to follow my husband's example and relying on his gifts to make up where I lack.

From ...teens who are evangelicals - i.e., those who are not only born again but also believe in the accuracy of the Bible, personal responsibility to evangelize, believe in salvation by grace alone, and possess orthodox biblical views on God, Jesus and Satan - have declined from 10% in 1995 to just 4% today.

Lord, help us reach the hearts of the children so they can reach the world.

In Other Words is being hosted by Nina at Mama's Little Treasures. Visit to read more posts and to link you your own take on today's quote.