Saturday, March 17, 2012

Twas the Day of the Show!

Twas the day of the Show, and all through the church,

Eric was stirring, for spaghetti he did search,

The tables were all set nice and neat in a row,

Around each table ten chairs did go.

The microphones were set properly up on the stage,

all the props were neatly put in a closet backstage,

The signs Delaney made filled Eric with glee,

And the drinks were being readied like good old sweet tea.

The church was filled with excitement on this St. Patrick's Day,

As the ASP participants stopped to pray,

Oh Lord let this be fruitful so we can go do your work,

Because being able to help others is an excellent perk.

We will go out and show your love to everyone we meet,

And with a smiling face and a loving heart every person we will greet,

For you give us this chance and ability to shine,

We know if we trust in you all things will align.

We want to make houses safer, drier and warmer,

So bless us to sow the ASP garden like a farmer,

May the food be hot and the entertainment just great,

For going to ASP only a few months we have to wait.

We will work hard and prove we are worthy to you,

So that when we go on ASP you will see us through,

Thank you dear Lord it's time for the show,

Amen, thank you again and away we go!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness has begun

It is so crazy.  I created a tournament bracket for all of us from church to play together.  I made my initial picks and then changed them and then changed then and then changed them one more time.  Each time I changed was because a heard a different report from someone about a team. 

Then I waited for today to come.  I planned my day so that I could set my computer up at work and watch off and on as I worked on stuff for the dinner and a show.  It was a great set up and some great games.  I stopped to let the girls practice their song and then I was back to watching again. 

My UNC-Ashville Bulldogs were a sixteen seed and played their hearts out today and almost beat the first seeded Syracuse.  I was really impressed as I was driving home listening to the game.  When I got home I warmed up a TV dinner, and now I sit with one game on my laptop and one on the TV. 

I was so engrossed in the Wichita State vs VCU game that I was nervous at the end when Wichita State had a chance to tie it.  So far they are my only wrong pick. 

It is so crazy but I love it.  I wish that I could get as excited at other things in my life as I do when the tournament is on.  If I could get as excited about eating right or losing weight.  If I could get as excited about writing so that I could write a book.  There are so many ifs.  I think it is time to make one of those a reality.  God has given me gifts but it is up to me to choose to use them to the best of my ability.  I think I shall do that! 

I am going to continue to watch March Madness and enjoy it but after my hectic three week span, I am going to create a little madness of my own.  Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unleash the Beast

This afternoon I went to the Dollar Store to look for a couple of things for our upcoming Dinner and a Show.  I was sort of in my own little world looking at things and surveying the candy isle (I didn't buy any candy).  All of the sudden I head some yelling "Unleash the Beast."  I turned to see who it was but I couldn't see them.  I just thought it was someone being stupid, but when I left my isle and headed toward another, a gentleman passed me.  Just as he got next to me he yelled "Unleash the Beast, are you all ready because I'm about to unleash the beast."

I was startled and taken aback by it.  I sort of stepped back honestly hoping he didn't see me and take offense to it.  I continued walking but noticed that others in the store where watching him as he walked along.  I lost track of him and had decided that there was nothing I wanted to buy at this time so I was putting my basket back when he came up past the registered and screamed, "Unleash the Beast, it is about to get ugly in here."  He then proceeded to walk past everyone at this point and out the front door.

A couple of parents grabbed there kids that were running around the store and held them.  Myself and a another gentleman walked to the front door and stood just inside of it.  We weren't sure what he was going to do and although we didn't know each other we seemed to be on the same wavelength.  We were going to confront him if he walked back into the store.

I watched him as he walked through the parking lot and up to the road.  He stopped to tie his shoe.  It took me a minute to realize what he was doing because tying his shoe is not what I pictured him doing.  He ran across the street and started to walk down one way until he saw a city bus coming which made him turn around and run the other way to the bus stop.  I watched him pay for seat and sit down on the bus.

The other gentleman just sort of nodded at me and we both went on our way.  I went out to my car and drove over to the Walmart.  I was thinking so many thoughts in my head.  I stopped the car when I pulled into the parking spot, turned it off and just sat there.  After a few minutes I prayed for this man I had just met.  I prayed that if he is sick that he find the help he needs.  If he is upset that he finds someone to talk to.  I prayed that if he has a beast inside that somehow that beast could be soothed before he hurt someone.  I prayed for the people of the world because you just don't know who you are going to encounter and what is going to happened.  I prayed that he finds peace and love.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Good Samaritan

In confermation class yesterday we were discussing the bible.  We had four different versions of the bible and we took the time to go through each one and discuss the similarities and differences.  We read the story of the good samaritan in each bible.  In each of the texts it reads that there is a priest that passes by the injuried man on the road and doesn't help him. 

Some of the kids started to discuss whether or not our pastor would stop and help out someone that was in that postion.  Every one of them after joking about it agreed that he would stop and help out a person in distress. They also said Philip and I would too. 

The funny thing is I told them this story and they just laughed at me but it was ironicly similar.  Now I must state that the pastor did offer to help me first.  Please note that even though the rest of the story is funny. 

One day I was sitting at my desk and I wasn't feeling very good.  I was nodding off now and then and really needed to just get up and go home to bed.  After working on a couple of things, I nodded off with my head leaning backward and my body pushed back in my chair causing too much pressure to one side of the chair.  One of the wheels snapped off and sent me tumbling backward in the chair with a loud crash. 

The next thing I hear is yelling down the hallway and people running to my office.  Everyone on the hall came to see if I was okay.  They ran in and saw me laying on the floor.  I just looked up and smiled at them.  I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and somehow during the fall the hood swung up and when I hit the ground I was wearing it.  I just smiled and said I was good.

Everyone laughed and our pastor said "now is this a run and get help situation or a laugh and take pictures?"  I told him it was laugh and take pictures, which he imeditately ran to his office, got his camera, and took pictures. Then sent it out as an email.  It was really funny.  After he took pictures, they helped me off the ground and I went home to bed.

Although that really isn't like the Samaritan story it was funny and got the kids engaged in converstation.  God works in mysterious ways. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Mark's Got Talent...

So as I have stated in an earlier blog, we are having a dinner and a show.  I have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off and we still have a week before the show.  I am so excited, scared, blessed, and humbled by this whole experience.  It is going to be so awesome but as the person in charge I feel the pressure.  I want it to be amazing and I know it will but we just need to pull everything together!

Today I spent 5 hours at the church working with the acts that will be preforming at the show. I was really worried about this part because I hadn't had the chance to preview them yet and I didn't know what to expect.  I have to say that I was shocked at how good everyone was!  It was exciting to watch.  I was very happy with everyone that preformed today.  The future looks good!

I would give you a detailed example of what they all looked like but I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Danielle and Chesson were so good.  Ian looked amazing and is ready.  Glen was fun to watch.  Loren and Marshall sounded great and ladies were fantastic.  Everyone was one time for their slots and very professional as they practiced.  It was like being in charge of a really talent show.  I felt like  Howey except I wasn't voting on whether they had talent.

People are going to be asking us to do this every year!  Thanks so much for the love and support.  I will post something after the event to let everyone know how it went.  I can't wait and I hope we raise a lot of money for ASP.

Don't forget to tip your waiter or waitress!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tournament Time...

This time of year is so much fun even if you don't follow college basketball the rest of the year.  Everyone starts over with a clean slate and teams that barely make the tournament have just as much of a chance as those that are in first or second seed positions.  Who knows who will win the ACC tournament this year or the NCAA tournament.  I do know that there will be upsets, heart ache, thrilling endings, crying, pain, and extreme joy.  It will be a roller coaster of a month. 

It's funny because basically tournament time is like life all rolled up into one experience.  Through out our lives we have great times when we achieve great things and accomplish the goals we set to accomplish, just like those high seeded teams that full fill their destiny and win the tournament.  Other times in life we are like David and Goliath, we are the underdog.  We are not expected to complete a task or solve a problem because of our lack of experience or maybe a fear that we have.  But at that instant we step out of the box or we put the time or energy into finding the answer so just like David, we are able to beat the giant issue or problem when others don't think we will.

We have times in life when great things happen and we are so excited.  Finding a new job, having a baby, getting a wonderful Christmas present.  Those experiences are what it must feel like when you hit the game winning shot as the clock expires.  Unfortunately we have the exact opposite feelings as well when we are on the other side of that shot going in.  We have extremely pain and suffering like losing a loved one, or a job, or becoming ill with a sickness or disease. 

Life is up and down just like the tournament.  There will be wining moments and there will be losing moments.  We have highs and we have lows.  I think the thing that will help us the most during these highs and lows is to choose the right coach.  A lot of the time people forget that no matter what skills you bring to the table if you have the right coach you can do great things.

So my suggestion is if you don't have the same coach as me and are struggling a lot in life, then you need to be a part of my team and have my coach and his staff in your life.  Miracle finishes happen a lot when you have my coaching staff.  Situations and problems that cause suffering are not as bad when you have my coaching staff.  Living into your potential is so much easier when you have my coaching staff.  There is unconditional love when you choose my coaching staff. 

My coach is God.  He loves me and always wants me to win, but when times are tough and I am losing he is always there for me.  He is flanked on his right and left by his assistant coaches, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Together they make up for one awesome team.  If you haven't already you need to choose this coaching staff, and if you have chosen them and things are still hard are you actually listening and following the game plan? 

Make sure you do because they will stand behind you no matter if you are on a winning streak or a losing streak.  They will pick you up when you are down, hand you some Gatorade and put you back on the court.  It's so much fun to play for a coach that knows what he is doing!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

who I am...

I wonder some times who I am,

if I am flunking this life exam.

The world moves so fast around me,

It's hard to take time to stop and see.

All my stuggles and problems weigh heavy on my shoulders,

Like two 20 ton rocks or boulders.

Life kicks me and I often fall down,

And the flood waters rush so fast around me I feel like I am going to drown.

But then I feel his hand reach out for me,

and when I open my eyes more clearly I see.

For Jesus stands with me now no matter how hard I struggle,

and all my problems and fears he helps me to juggle.

 His love rushes over me and holds me tight,

and I can feel him to my left and to my right.

Jesus stands in front of me and the flood water he does dam,

for they will no longer wash over me and hide who I am.

Broken Storm Door

My storm door is broken.  Sometimes the wind catches it and causes it to slam shut.  The glass is falling out and the door doesn't sit plum in the door frame.  If you have it open there is a draft at the top and bottom of the door. There are screws sticking out if it where they had to try and fix it so it would stay together.   I had to install an inside hook to keep it shut because it doesn't lock and often swings open.  When I leave to go to work I try to latch it but as I walk around the corner I hear it release and slide from the latch. 

Why am I talking about my broken storm door.  I think my storm door is a lot like some of us.  Yes it might be broken and not work properly, it might be beat up and look like it has seen better days, it might allow a draft into the house, but it does work,  It does keep the wind out.  It does sit correctly when I lock it with my hook.  It does allow me to open my front door and still have some protection.

We also are hurting sometimes.  We have scars both emotionally and physically. we don't look our best physically sometimes.  We do sometimes need someone to hold us up so we don't fall down, like my hook holds my door closed, but we are beautiful.  We are individuals.  We stand alone and no matter what people say or do, we will stand up for what we beleive in.  we may not be perfect, we may not always be the best looking or best functioning door, but we will always be there for support and will stand the test of time.

God makes us iin different shapes and sizes.  Just like the many storm doors that don the doorways of my apartment complex.  We are individuals and no matter what we look like or how hard the winds of life have beaten on us, we will stand for God.  We will stand for the love of God!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Show me the Dinner...

So I am still in a little bit of shock as you start the countdown till the dinner and a show.  With two weeks to go, we have sold out.  All of our tickets which was 140 plus an addition 20 were sold because we added two more tables!  I can't believe it.  I thought we would sell out but a lot of people were saying we were only going to sell 100 tickets. 

We are so blessed at my church by the gracious and loving support of our mission work and of our youth program.  People as so supportive and loving and truly help us to help others.  It is amazing to watch.  I am so thankful that I have that support and that God led me here.  He had a plan and I am so blessed.

But back to dinner.  Talking with Coleen she was a little concerned about cooking for so many people.  She was having problems picturing cooking all that spaghetti.  That is a LOT of spaghetti but she went to SAMs today and did some price compassion so I think we are good to go.  She is so good when it comes to food and presentation, I don't know what I would do without her.

The acts are coming together and we have some great ones.  It is going to be so wonderful and I can't wait to see all our youth step out of there comfort zone and perform.  It will be a lot of fun and very entertaining. Everyone is going to have such a great time! 

So a packed house, a sold out show and ASP right around the corner. Thank you to everyone that has bought tickets to the dinner and a show, donated time or will donate time to the dinner and a show and who will be going on ASP.  It is going to be awesome.

Be on the lookout for Ian and I.  We formed a blues group.  It's gonna be awesome!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Shadow

I realized the other day how neat my shadow is.  I had never really paid attention to it, but Ian and I were talking the other day and he made me realize that our shadow is a pretty cool thing.  If you are walking outside on a bright sunny day, when there isn't a cloud in the sky and the sun is beating down on you, you can look to the ground and there at your feet is your shadow.  You can wave at your shadow and they will wave back at you, you can tip your cap to your shadow and they will tip their cap at you, you can jump for joy and so will your shadow. 

Whatever action you do, your shadow will do the same action.  If you watch people playing soccer or basketball or baseball, take the time to watch the game on the ground.  The shadows are playing too.  They are playing their own game and it is like watching a ballet.  Everything is so graceful and wonderful.  The movements are spot on and flow perfectly.  A shadow is probably one of the most perfect things in the world.  A mirror image of you.

The interesting thing is that when it is cloudy and gray, our shadow goes away.  It disappears, or does it really?  I think when it is dark and gray or night time and we don't see our shadow, our shadow is actually stronger than ever.  It is a lot like God in many ways.  We often see God in the trees, mountains, our jobs, families, sports, everything great that we have in our lives when we are excited and happy.  But the minute that something bad happens and our world is turned upside down, we turn from God or don't see him so easily.  We don't feel him there with us. 

The thing is that God is there stronger than ever at those points in our lives.  He can't be seen as easily because he is inside of us working hard to help us through our problems and difficult times.  He is holding on to us and loving us.  He has such a powerful loving grasp on us that it is hard to see him which makes us think he isn't there.  That same thing happens with our shadows.  When it is gray and the light is taken away, our shadow doesn't disappear, it goes inside of us and helps us to remain whole.  It grabs onto us and holds on until there is an opportunity to come out again and say hey. 

God is our shadow and our shadow is God.  Tomorrow take a good look at your shadow and I promise you that you will see God.  That you will feel his love when you wave at him and he waves back.  Tomorrow night, take a look at yourself in the mirror and you will see God holding onto you and loving you.  God is the shadow of our lives.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Julie and Julia

Today I watched the movie Julie and Julia.  The movie is about a lady named Julie Powell who needs something to get her life moving so she decides to cook through Julia Child's cookbook and blog about it for a year.  It was a long hard process but she stuck with it and made it work and actually did it.  She cooked all the recipes in the book, wrote her own book and then obviously had a movie made about it. 

I have been struggling a lot lately to get back on the right track with my blog and with my diet and exercise.  It is so easy to stray from the path to allow yourself to stop all three.  I made a pack with myself that I was going to do this, that I was going to write everyday and take the time and energy to create devotions and entries with the hope of one day having my own book published.  However I allowed myself to stop.  I got sucked into how easy it is to lose track of a vision or a goal. 

It is not easy to lose weight.  It is easier to put it on than it is to take it off.  It is not easy to eat right, at least for me.  I always seem to need or want food.  It is my release and I rely on it too much.  It is not easy to right a blog entry everyday and come up with new devotions.  BUT I was losing weight, I was eating right, and God was providing me with the ability to write a blog entry everyday.  I was doing it and I stopped.  Why? 

That's a great question.  Life is not easy and too often we stop doing very important things because they are hard to do. I stopped because I was able to come up with reasons why I should.  Julie didn't stop even when things got really hard, even when there were troubled waters, she continued to cook and write about it.  She persevered and it was awesome to watch.  It was the kick in the butt that I needed to get me started again. 

So with that I say, I'm BACK!  Today I begin my journey again.  It is never too late to start again.  It is never too late to realize your mistakes and learn from them.  It is never too late to make up for lost time or fix a relationship or problem.  It took a movie about a blog and a cookbook for me to remember that and realize that I need to get up dust myself off and start again! 

I thank you for reading my blog and I hope in the past some of the devotions have been good and you have enjoyed them.  I hope you will continue to read and take this journey with me!  Thank you so much and I will see you tomorrow!