Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Anyway, here's the Message section from my September newsletter that I'm hoping to run.
I know a lot of you are probably wondering why we changed the name of youth group to F.A.D.E. So I thought I would write the message section on this topic. F.A.D.E. stands for faith, adoration, devotion, and esteem. Worship is all about giving adoration, devotion, and esteem to God in response to the faith He has abundantly given to us. God gives us faith and we respond with praise (adoration). We devote ourselves to His good works (devotion) and value his calling for our lives with most significance (esteem).
Wait! There’s more.
Part of worshipping God is about letting our own selfish desires FADE in order to make way for God’s plans. Check out this passage from Philippians 2:1-11 (I paraphrased for brevity; you can read the whole passage from your Bible).
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from love . . . then be like-minded, [love], be one in spirit and purpose. . . In humility, consider others better than yourselves. . . Look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being God, made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant.
Being found in appearance as man, he humbled himself to death – death on a cross!”
As Christians, as followers of Christ, we are called to follow Christ’s example. That doesn’t mean we’re supposed to die on a cross, but it means that we’re called to put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. We’re called to let our selfishness FADE, so that God’s glory can prevail.
The last couple verses of the passage say this:
“Therefore God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . , and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This is my prayer for us as a youth group and as church, that we would let ourselves FADE in order to bring glory to God.
I think the name is fitting, don’t you?
Friday, August 21, 2009
My bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding, which is 16 days away, is too tight. I can get it on, but I need to drop 5 to 10 pounds. Pronto. This has influenced a lot of my life lately.
Dieting. I would rather work-out for two hours a day than diet, but at this point, I don't have time to exercise that much and calorie cutting was going to be the only way to do it. Sucks. I'm not too happy.
Exercising: has become my number two priority. 30 minutes for three days, day off, today I start 40 minutes for three days, day off, 50 minutes for three days and I'll hold steady from there. I did a kickboxing video two days ago that kicked my butt. I'm still sore.
Work. I've been swamped lately. Revamping programs, pleading cases, glad for a break in programming as I give the kids a few weeks off to get settled into school. I wrote a report, which helped me process feelings and organize my thoughts . . . so the stress level is back down!
My family. The girls are growing like weeds. Gigi is walking, and turns 10 months old today! Evelyn is starting to write letters. Riley is trying to keep up with Evelyn, she wants to be four and take dance lessons too! They are inseperable . . . it's too cute.
My house: is a mess. Wonder why? I have to clean it today since I'll be having company tomorrow. We're baking cookies (MAJOR TEMPTATION) for the wedding.
Richard. He's extremely busy. Too busy, I wish there was something I could do to lighten his load. But the band is his dream, and we have to pay our bills. So it's work, Affix, and school for him. He's good at setting aside time for us; so thankful that there isn't a TV in our house!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I am thankful for a few things: the people who thought of and actually built family restrooms and play areas in malls. That is incredible. Awesome. A mothers sanity.
It is hot today. 90+ degrees with high humidity. I am also thankful for malls that are air conditioned.
Richard is almost here, must prepare to move the herd . . .
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Got all three girls ready to go and out the door for a tire appointment at 1:30 p.m.
Spent an hour in the waiting room with all three girls
Got all three back in the van and went through three drive-throughs: the bank, post office, and Burger King (praise the LORD for drive-throughs)
Rachels for a play date of sorts
This is where my hectic day gets crazy. When I got to Rachel's Gigi was sleeping, it was a 75 degree, cloudy day, so I left all the van doors open and left her in the van. We had the other girls in the yard playing and we were talking and I look up and the van doors were all shut! I quickly asked Rachel if she had gotten Gigi out of the van, and she said "Oh, my gosh, no! I saw Riley shut all the doors; I didn't realize Gigi was in there." So I ran over, she was fine (of course, I wouldn't be blogging about it if she wasn't), she was all sweaty but still sleeping. It was still scary.
Then, like an hour later, Gigi fell in the pool. This actually wasn't so scary. We were all in the pool; I was sitting with my feet in it and Gigi was right next to me. And she just fell in. I scooped her up and out and after she got over the initial shock, she was fine. She even started clapping like she did some amazing flip into the pool.
So after my daughter's life was twice endangered, we loaded all the kids up and took them to vacation Bible school. Sigh.
One of my mom's told me there, that they were bringing hospice in for her mom who has lung cancer. This sweet grandmother has lived with her daughter's family her grandchildren's entire lives. So this is going to be an especially hard loss. This is a part of ministry I don't like; it's hard.
Then after VBS, the chair of the CE committee tells me that I need a list of goals for the school year, that they're going to review it and my job description at the next CE meeting. Argh! After talking to one of the session members and my pastor about this (neither of them had any clue what was going on), I just decided to call the CE chair this morning and ask her what was going on. Well, apparrantly, it's the same stuff that always goes on in Presbyterian churches. They wanted to make sure that all of my plans were going through committee.
Committee's can be a good thing. I like accountability, organization, and deligation. Those are good things. However, when certain committees are occupied by the same people for years and years and years, ruts can happen, progress is slowed, and change, well, just doesn't always happen.
Maybe I'm young and naive, but I hope I'm not. I hope I just trust that God can bring transformation - even to an economically depressed, aging population in SE Ohio. Even to a group of Presbyterians who refuse to change, even when change must occur in order to keep the doors open. Even to people whose hearts have been hardened by hard lives . . .
I feel that my words could have been written by the ancient church leaders. These problems have been perpetuated throughout church history because we are sinners: we are prideful, self-righteous, self-involved people, who care to take far more than we are willing to give. I hope and pray that God saves me from this . . .
There are a few people in our church who have been. They are like a drink of fresh water in the parched land of ministry. So I will end this post thankful for them :)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Today, I was trying to do something and it was taking so long that I gave up, called Richard and told him I was buying a new computer, today. So after making sure I had enough money, I called Best Buy to see what they had.
I kid you not: we got an HP notebook, that had everything we needed $100 off and go a free Wii with it! WooHoo! It really was an incredible deal (designed for college students going back to school, I'm sure). Richard is a little peeved that I'm saving it to give the girls as a Christmas present. How awesome is that?! I got their "big" gift for free! The sales rep (young, college aged guy) also kept emphasizing that it came with Wii sports, apparantly that we exciting to him. LOL.
Long story short: Hopefully, I will be blogging more that I have a computer that actually works faster than a turtle :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
If I believed in Karma, I would be prone to think that we're living a good life right now. But I don't. I do believe in God, and at this point in our life He is cascading blessings at us right and left. Most people would consider this a good thing, but I'm pretty much just confused. Highlights from our life.
Youth ministry is going well. Still progressing . . . and growing . . . and well, it's baby steps. I've been taking baby steps for three years. It's frustrating, and tiring, and draining. At some point, I just want to take one wild and crazy jump. I have so much vision and direction and hope and certainty that God will provide people and resources to tranform our church. I struggle with getting others to see that vision, to understand that we serve the God of the universe who is able to do infinately more than we ever dare to ask or imagine! Frustration churns in the midst of hope.
I had my first youth ministry "team meeting" yesterday. Believe it or not, we have never had another consistent volunteer in our youth ministry program other than Richard. It's sad. I know. I had one parent, one friend that I recruited from outside the church, and one session member show up. Plus, Richard and two of my teen leaders. It was a nice group. It was so wonderful to have people throwing out ideas that weren't coming from my own head. Their ideas were even better than mine! That's awesome. I love teams. Love them.
Evelyn turned four. Sigh. And sadness. And excitement, we're visiting a dance class tonight. I'm so proud of her. She's growing up just fine.
Motherhood is such a blessing. I was sharing with my youth girls the other day that my dreams in life were to get married and have babies. I'm living my dreams, and at the same time it's sort of discouraging that at 28 am not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life. Obviously, those roles will follow me, but it's odd for me to not have some major life goal that I'm working on. Right now, I'm just soaking in toddlerhood. :)
Richard, on the other hand, has accomplished very few of his dreams; he did marry me. He wants to play music for a living. Do full-time ministry. And provide for his family at the same time. He's a fantastic husband. He works so hard and rarely complains.
[I had someone in the church tell me that her husband couldn't help with the youth program because he works 60 hours a week. Of course, I responded graciously, but I wonder how people feel entitled to say that to me? Richard puts in 10 hour days, has Affix, school, a few other smaller responsibilities, volunteers, and puts US first. I don't expect other people to do all that. It's crazy, and he probably shouldn't be. But it does annoy me when people use that as an excuse].
So moving onward to my amazing, hard-working husband. (Here's where the Karma stuff comes into play).
1. Several weeks ago, Richard applied for a youth ministry position at a church in Wheeling. Not surprisingly, they offered him the job. However, after realizing, there would be no health benefits for our family, and it would be difficult to pay our bills, he respectfully declined. We are two years from being debt free at our current status. This is important for two reasons: 1. I don't feel that debt is wise, Biblical, or financially healthy and 2. we live in a two bedroom house with five people. We need to add on, sooner than later.
2. A few weeks ago, Richard interviewed for a promotion with Cintas. Longer hours, more responsibility, more stress, more money, lots more. They've interviewed at least 6 other people for the position, and due to the lack of response we're thinking Richard didn't get it. But really, we'd be okay with that. BUT still, we don't know for sure.
3. Some producer from LA listened to Affix's album and liked it. Again, no clue what this means.
4. The people from the church in Wheeling called Richard back (after interviewing several well-qualified applicants), and asked him to name his price.
I told Richard today that there are too many life altering possibilities hanging in the balance. We're trying so hard to discern God's voice in the midst of it all, but I'm confused. Just plain confused.