Thursday, December 20, 2007

True Forgiveness........

I have a friend, she is such a blessing to everyone around her. She has been re-sharing her and her husbands testimony with me lately. Just like reading the word, every time you do, you see something new, even though you have read it before. That is usually because we are growing and are at a new place in life, different circumstances etc. As my friend has been sharing different stories and events that took place in their life, their marriage, that brought them to the place they are now, God has truly been opening up my understanding and shining light and encouragment.

I met this friend several years ago when she was invited to church by some other people that I knew. At the time, she and her husband were separated. She got saved at our church and began to walk with the Lord with a passion. She began to pray for her husband who was not saved, and had actually left her for another woman. She had prayed and asked God to bring him home if that was His will, and if not, she knew God would take care of her and her 3 sons somehow. So many details I could share with you, but for the sake of time I won't. Divine appointments, things happening that were miracles because they weren't supposed to happen, etc. At one point, when God brought them back together, her husband called because God had been talking to him and working with him as well. He told his wife, "I have to share some things with you that I have done and you probably are never going to want to have anything to do with me again". She told him, "Who am I to not forgive you, when Jesus already forgave you and me of our sins. Who am I to not allow you to come home when I prayed and asked God to bring you home".

The rest is history, they are serving God together, great witnesses for Him and give their testimony to everyone. They are getting ready to teach a class at their church and God has not only restored them, but like Job, double what they ever had together before. Here is what really jumped out at me and touched my heart and gave me a greater understanding of forgiveness than ever before, God's kind of forgiveness. My friend looked at me after she had shared many of these stories and testimonies about her and her husband and where God has brought them to, she said "True Forgiveness is refusing to ever bring up the past again".

When God brought them back together, they took one opportunity, they talked about what had happened, talked through it, prayed over it, forgave and put it under the blood of Jesus forever. That is the only way the enemy can not use your past against you. I have always been a very forgiving person, but this totally blessed me and took me to a new level when my friend shared this with me. I see the end results, have seen them for several years. I know the testimony, God is a forgiving God and if we are truly being Followers of Christ, who are we to walk in unforgiveness? True Restoration and Reconciliation are manifested through true forgiveness.

Pastor Dave was talking about this on Sunday concerning he and his wife Christy. He said "Marriage is work, don't kid yourself. Your mate will be the person that can take you to the highest high, the mountain top, like no other person in the world can; but, by the same token, they are also the person that can push those buttons quicker than anyone else in the world and make you madder than anything. That is real life, and it is truly work, but it is so worth it". Both my friends and my Pastors have learned to work at it the way God says work at it and they have reaped the wonderful benefits of a blessed, healthy marriage and ministry together for the Lord.........which is my heart. Now my Pastors' who are both 40, are going to have their second child, she is pregnant now, and they have been praying and believing God for that for 11 years! So God's timing is not ours, but He is ALWAYS faithful, usually last minute, but always on time!

I just wanted to share, this really impacted me and touched my heart. May we all walk in true forgiveness, the world will become a different and better place because of it. I love you all...............TAM

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Time, Friends, Jesus

Where would we be now, if Jesus had not come into this world to reconcile us back to God. To save us, heal us, deliver us, pursue us, love us, protect us, correct us.....To Him Be ALL The Glory.

I have some new friends I met at church, Allison, Lauren and Ashley, they are 3 sisters known as Scarlett. Great harmony. They had a Toys for Tots gig at the French Quarter last week and we went out to see them. They were happy to see us there to support them. Clay and RyLee were along for the fun too. There were several acts on before Scarlett. Let's just say.....where was the Gong Show hook when you needed it! It is so funny to listen to musicians 'critique' other musicians. We had a good time and some great laughs.

I also got to go to dinner with some friends. Kevin and Leslie brought my buds Dakota and Garrett. It was great to get together with them and do some Christmas shopping afterwards. I do love the holidays, especially the lights. I have not had a spare moment to drive around and see the Christmas lights, and I do love to do that. Merry Christmas to all of you...........I love you.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Perfume Model!?

Yes it's true! I have had the opportunity to do some work at Dillard's as a Perfume Model (help sell their Ralph Lauren and Armani Line of Perfumes). It has been interesting for sure. I am working with some great people, but retail is not my thang. Especially standing for all those hours. But it is Christmas time, and shoppers are out, the Christmas music is playing, everything is decorated, so I love being out in it this time of the year! I love you all....let me hear from you!

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Monday, December 03, 2007

The Essence of a Woman

"When we speak about the essence of a woman – her beauty – we don’t mean “the perfect figure.” The beauty of a woman is first a soulish beauty. We know – it’s a harder jump to make. We’ve lived so long under the pressure to be beautiful. But stay with the thought for a moment, because it will really help. The beauty of a woman is first a soulful beauty. And yes, as we live it out, own it, inhabit our beauty, we do become more lovely. More alluring. As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “Self flashes off frame and face.” Our true self becomes reflected in our appearance. But it flows from the inside out.

The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation – our experience in human form – of a Captivating God. A Godwho invites us.

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.” (Songs 4:9, 15)

Beauty is what the world longs to experience from a woman. We know that – somewhere down deep, we know it to be true. Most of our shame comes from this knowing and feeling that we have failed here. So hear this: Beauty is an essence that dwells inevery woman. It was given to her by God. It was given to you.

Surely you would agree that God is nothing if not beautiful.
All around us God’s creation shouts of his beauty and his goodness. The way snow creates a silhouette of lace on a barren tree, the rays of sun streaming forth from a billowing cloud, the sound of a brook trickling over smooth stones, the form of a woman’s body and the face of a child anticipating the arrival of the ice cream truck all speak of God’s good heart if we will have but the eyes to see. The coming of spring after a hard winter is almost too glorious for a soul to bear. God’s beauty is lavished on the world.

Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God.

A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet centre where God dwells that He finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy and in him, she is enough. In fact, the only thing getting in the way of our being fully captivating and enjoyed is our hiding and striving.

So Jesus says, “I will quiet you with My love” (Zephaniah 3:17). A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest; trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm; a sense of rest; and invites those around her to rest as well. She speaks comfort; that all is well; that all will be well. A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become. In her presence, one can release the tight sigh that so often grips our hearts, and breathe in the truth that God loves us and he is good.

This is why we must keep asking. Ask Jesus to show you your beauty. Ask him what he thinks of you as a woman. His words to us let us rest. And unveil our beauty." (Captivating , 130-132)
This is just another lesson for us on how much God wants us to rest in Him and truly trust Him.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Family Time and Firsts

It was a good time with the fam for Thanksgiving. Mom doesn't like her picture taken so it's hard to get her in there. We had lots of food, sweet potato casserole, dressing, pecan pie, coconut cake, mac and cheese, turkey, ham, potato salad, green bean casserole.....I am sure I left out something, but all good stuff. My favorite part though, is a turkey sandwich the next day with the leftovers. Life is an adventure and full of firsts, so this weekend I had a few. My nephew Mark brought over Halo 3 and Guitar Hero 3 and taught me how to play both. I was game, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Halo is definitely for guys, but I spent 2 hours playing and learning how to just use the controls. I did kill Mark a few times, but only because he stood still and let me. Oh well, I can say I have played now. Guitar Hero was fun, Pat Benatar (Hit me with your best shot) will never sound the same again. It reminded me of DDR so I did pretty decent. I am sure it is nothing like the real thing though. Then I got to house sit this weekend for my friends Clay and RyLee and keep their new puppy dog Oskar! Oskar is great! 4 months old and growing fast! He is already 27 pounds! Clay says he is supposed to get to 65 pounds. He walked me around the block a couple of times. He was missing his Mommy and Daddy so nothing could keep him from sleeping with me. He is such a cutie! I will add some pics of him later.

Hope you all had a wonderful, amazing Thanksgiving. Tam

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving----Ya'll

I wanted to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, will all of the familiar foods, wonderful family. Carrying on some great traditions and creating some new ones. Be so very blessed and know that you are loved..........and pass the Pecan Pie! Much, much love...Tammy

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unity & Loving One Another

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. NKJV

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. NLT

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. The Message

Proverbs 18:24
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. The Message

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. NLT

I have heard many preach about Unity, Authentic Community, and loving one another. But as a very wise man once taught, until the world see's us walk it out, until they see us walking in Unity and loving one another, then they are not going to change. Until we show the world Jesus, which means walking these two scriptures out, walking in Unity and loving one another, then we have nothing to offer them that is better than what the world offers them. What makes us 'different'? Church people, for the most part, are ready to throw anyone under the bus that has either messed up, reacted differently than "they" thought the person should, or people who dare to think outside the box. What is normal? Who made the "normal" mold? Did God do things "normally"? Did He think like most church people think? Did He react to situations the way "Christians" thought He should? I don't think so! Our Father thinks so far out of the box we can't even comprehend it! And who made the box anyway!? Religion! So, as follower of Christ, some may think I look silly, but Jesus knows, and as His child, I am going to edify and encourage that it may minister grace to the hearers. Not try to tear down. Am I perfect? Not even, but we have to start somewhere. Jesus has filled me with His love and I choose to give it to others, not withold it. Love God, Love People.

John 15:13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Farewell Palace People

Well, this was it, my last night at the Palace with my wonderful Palace Peeps. They dressed up in costume for the most part. I was supposed to be Esther.....OK use your imagination! Most of you know God has said it was time for me to go, step out of the nest, take a leap of faith, get out of my comfort zone, obey Him so He can put me where He needs me next and where I need to be. Today was my last day as part of Sumner Life. I love those kids, and I wouldn't be the person that I am today, if they hadn't been a part of my life. What a blessing they have been. To watch them come to the youth 2 1/2 years ago, just babes, and see them start to grow, and get grounded in the Word with Jeremy as their shepherd. What an amazing job he did, how he sowed into their lives and they grew and flourished under his ministry. Then Dave and Margie came in and began to build on that aweseme foundation Jeremy had laid. Dave and Margie are taking the kids to the next level in the Lord. I have seen them grow so much; stellar young men and women for the Lord. It's been an honor and a priviledge for me to serve you this past 2 1/2 years. We've had some great times together. You are going to do amazing things for God and I can't wait to hear about it. I love you all and will miss you. Not goodbye, but see you later....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Have What It Takes

The armies of Israel have drawn up against the armies of the Philistines, but not a single shot has been fired from any bow. The reason, of course, is Goliath, a mercenary of tremendous size and strength, renowned for his skill in combat. He’s killed many men bare-handed, and no one wants to be next. David is barely a teen when he goes to the camp and sees what is going on. He offers to fight the giant, at which point he is brought before the king, who in turn attempts to dissuade the lad. Saul says, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth” (1 Sam. 17:33 NIV). Sound advice, the likes of which I wager any of us would offer under the same circumstances. David replies:

Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. (verses 34–37 NIV)

Being a shepherd David learned lessons here that would carry him the rest of his life. The life of the shepherd was not a sweet little life with lambs around. It was a hard job, out in the field, months camping out in the wild on your own. And it had its effect. There is a settled confidence in the boy—he knows he has what it takes. But it is not an arrogance—he knows that God has been with him. He will charge Goliath, and take his best shot, trusting God will do the rest. That “knowing” is what we are after and it only comes through experience. And may I also point out that the experiences David speaks of here were physical in nature, they were dangerous, and they required courage. (The Way of The Wild Heart 83, 84)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Eagles Nest

Have you ever heard the story of the Eagles nest? The eagles build their nests high up in the rocks so predators can't get to it. It's a large nest for her young eagles, made of strong branches, sticks etc. She lines it with everything soft that she can find, leaves, grass, feathers. She feeds them day after day, and they grow day after day, larger and larger until the nest starts to get too small. But at the appointed time, when the eagles are almost ready to fly, the mother eagle starts removing day by day, little by little the feathers, the leaves, the grass. Every day the nest becomes a little more uncomfortable, it becomes harder and harder to find a soft spot without branches and sticks poking, hurting. Then one day, every bit of softness, comfort and warmth is totally removed from the nest. It has become so uncomfortable for the small eagles, that they can't stand it anymore and one by one they go to the edge of the nest, and jump. They fly for the first time and it is a glorious thing.

We all have different times in our life when we are in the eagles nest. It does not mean we are still a baby follower of Christ, it does mean we are growing, learning and being taught, being prepared for that new thing, new area in our life God is taking us, has been preparing for us. See the small eagles had to take a risk, had to get out of the most uncomfortable place in their life, in order to soar to new heights. God is the same way with us. We get comfortable where we are, the box or nest we have created, but a life without risk, as I have said before, is no life at all. It takes courage to step up to the edge of the nest and jump. It is scary indeed, but, sometimes in order to get that breakthrough, in order to soar to the higher places God has for us, we have to do it scared. Going back into that nest, and trying to sit, trying to get comfortable, trying to keep the status quo has become unbearable. I know, because this is where I am. It has become so extremely uncomfortable that I have to move, I have to step to the edge of the nest, take risk, and jump. Only then can I soar into everthing God has planned for me. Only then can I be the most effective for Him and for His glory. To stay where I am is miserable. Yea, I know, this can make you very vulnerable, but when you have given it all up, laid down everything you know at Jesus feet and said "Lord Here I am, whatever you want me to do, wherever you want me to go, I'm totally yours" then He can bring about His plan, His best for you.

This past year God has been preparing me, growing me, showing me things like never before. Giving me glimpses of His plans, molding me, shaping me, making me into a new person. I have been through places I have not been before, had to do things like I have never had to do before, learned things that I had never learned before. It has been at times very hard, very difficult and at the same time glorious, revelational and humbling; but, He has never failed to encourage me, confirm His word and His plan over and over again. So here we are, on the brink, ready to jump, ready to soar.......scared and anxious at the same time. To be continued.......................

Friday, October 12, 2007

By the Lake

This past Sunday afternoon, after all of the craziness of wedding preparations and tear down I just wanted to get away by the lake and relax, journal some, read some and just talk to the Lord. It was a perfect day for that. We had our last major summer blast with temps around 90 degrees. I have often retreated to this place by the lake because it brings such peace. There is something about the water. I know that I want to someday have a home by the lake, with lots of windows facing the lake and a big deck to just sit out there and take it all in, the beauty the awesomeness of God......maybe throw in a hot tub on the deck for good measure :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"I'm Not Here"

Wow.....this is so true. This is exactly what a friend taught a series on....Strategies of the Enemy. We are only deceiving ourselves if we think the devil does not exist. He is the real enemy, not people. There is a real battle raging, and as the word tells us, we have to put on the whole armour of God, As I put on myspace a while back, pull out our sword and face the enemy. We don't have the luxery of backing down, turning our backs on him, we have to stand....Praise God the battle is His......but.....we do have to show up! The great news is we are stronger together than we are alone. Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

"Incredible. What a self-indictment. “Nothing dangerous is happening here.” Those men have already been taken out because they’ve swallowed the Enemy’s first line of attack: “I’m not here—this is all just you.” You can’t fight a battle you don’t think exists. This is right out of The Screwtape Letters, where Lewis has the old devil instruct his apprentice in this very matter:

My dear Wormwood, I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves.

As for those who want to be dangerous (cutting-edge), take a close look at 1 Peter 5:8–9: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

What is the Holy Spirit, through Peter, assuming about your life? That you are under spiritual attack. This is not a passage about nonbelievers; he’s talking about “your brethren.” Peter takes it for granted that every believer is under some sort of unseen assault. And what does he insist you do? Resist the devil. Fight back, take a stand." (Wild At Heart , 159, 160)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jenni Got Married

Well, she did it! Jenni and Ryan got married yesterday! It was a day of celebration for sure. She has waited a long time for this and we were there to help them both celebrate the day at the cute little chapel in White House. Ryan is from Texas so a lot of his family was in as well as Jenni's family from Kentucky. They really do make a wonderful couple and it is a great story of how God can bring two people together in a way you would not expect. Enjoy the pics from the reception. Love you Jenni!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Find A Few of His Friends

Hopefully you will find a few folks who walk with God to also walk with you through the seasons of your life. But honesty – and Scripture – forces me to admit they are a rare breed. Few there are who find it. All the more reason for you to make the number less scarce, by becoming someone who walks with God and teaches others how.

Look to those who have walked with God down through the ages. Certainly that is why the Bible is given to us. If God had intended it to be a textbook of doctrine, well then, he would have written it like one. But its not; it’s overwhelmingly a book of stories – tales of men and women who walked with God. Approach the Scriptures not so much as a manual of Christian principles but as the testimony of God’s friends on what it means to walk with him through a thousand different episodes. When you are at war, when you are in love, when you have sinned, when you have been given a great gift – this is how you walk with God. Do you see what a different mindset this is? Its really quite exciting.

And there are those who have walked with God since the canon of Scripture closed. Here is an Athanasius, a Bonaventure, a Julian of Norwich, a Brother Lawrence, a Tozer – here is how they walked with God. When it comes to time and place, temperament and situation, they could not be more different. Julian lived in a cloister; Tozer lived in Chicago. Athanasius fled to the desert; Lawrence worked in the kitchen. But there is a flavor, a tang, an authenticity to their writings which underlies whatever it is they are trying at the moment to say. Here is someone who knew God, really knew him. This is what its like to walk with God, and that is what its like as well. (Waking The Dead)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Confronting the Enemy

God has been teaching me some things lately that I wanted to share with you. I hope it blesses you too. As I was listening to a Pastor on Monday, I heard about Joshua and the children of Israel in a way I had never seen. The 40 years in the finally clicked! I finally got it! Here is what he had to say........

All day it has been churning and churning over and over in my spirit about “I have to do this, I have to press through, and I can’t go around this mountain one more time.” The battle is the Lords and not mine, but He expects me to show up for it! The time is now.

The Sword is a symbol for 2007 according to the Hebrew Calendar. God has clashed the swords; He is ready to go to battle on your behalf! Clashing with every enemy in your life. Because you did not give up, because you did walk away, God is saying He is ready to take the battle for you and defeat your enemies. You are being sharpened for the greatest season you have ever seen in your life. He is sharpening you. Because you did not give up (2 Chronicles 20) He is taking up the battle on your behalf and He will defeat your enemies! The enemy has been camping on your inheritance. Joshua 5:13, Joshua was near Jericho, when they stopped wandering because of fear, when they finally came near to confront their enemies, God was waiting there to defeat their enemies! God had already promised him victory. God has been standing at the edge of Jericho for 40 years waiting for Israel to confront their enemies. They kept going around that mountain over and over again because they were afraid to confront their enemies.

God has been waiting on us, to arrive here in our faith so He could go to work on our behalf. Obedience will cause Him to take over the battle on our behalf so the sword could go to work for us. So we can walk into the promise, His promise.

Hebrews 3:16 this prophetic moment, the sword of the Lord is drawn, the sword of the Lord is ready, you have to come and face the enemy. We have all had rough times, identify your problem in the kingdom of God and walk in the face of your problem, and the sword of the Lord will come out and go to war on your behalf! This is your year; this is your moment that God has created! God has been waiting on you with a drawn sword. The place of rest is not running from your enemy or challenge, your promised land is when you confront the enemies of your life. Hebrews 4:1-2, This is YOUR YEAR to confront your enemies, to step out of mediocrity, to challenge that which has been challenging you, to go further than you have ever been before. Confront the generational curses. Deal with the issues. God says face the enemy. 2 Kings 4:5 When I step up and confront my enemy there is going to be a flood gate open and God will step up and overpower the enemy! The rest of the nation wanted to turned back because of the enemies, but Joshua said let’s go in. Joshua had to outlive the generation of unbelievers so he could go into the Promised Land! Even though he was 80 he was as strong as he was when he first saw the land! Ezekiel prophesied to those dry bones! He confronted his enemy! When you declare the word of almighty God, the sword of the Lord is brought out! It is time to confront your enemies! Now is the time! Speak the word! Those enemies that Peter ran from, he went back and began to declare the word of the Lord and 3000 came into the kingdom of God! Peter had to go back and confront those enemies he ran from before. He has put the arrows of victory in your hand. Don’t just strike the ground 3 times. Do it until all enemies are defeated! Confront the enemy of fear, the enemy of unbelief, the enemy of distrust. God is waiting to draw His sword and defeat those enemies for you. The battle truly is His and not ours, but we have to show up! We have to confront the enemy and know that God will do what He has said He will do. You can trust Him, you can take Him at His word. You can believe Him. You don't have to fear anymore. You don't have to go around that mountain one more time.

Let me finish by telling you of a story God reminded me of when I heard this message. When I was in Africa, the missionaries told a story about the lions. How that when the male lion, the head of the pride, gets too old to run and hunt with the pride, they have him go and sit at one end of the plain or field where they want to hunt. And the rest of the pride goes to the opposite end of the plain or field to wait. When the old lion begins to roar, the prey, the animals start running "away" from the roar of the lion. They run right into the hands of the pride and are killed. This is exactly what God is saying in this message.......Run towards the roar of the lion not away. "1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Goodbye to Friends.....for now

Ryan & Andrea Surprise Party

Tonight we had a surprise going away party for Ryan and Andrea Holmes. They are moving to Roanoke, VA and I am going to miss them. They are good friends. The good news is we are already planning a trip to go snow skiing in Jan/Feb timeframe with them so that is a life goal I will get to check off. I have wanted to do that for so many years and now I am going to get to! We had a good turn out. We love you guys and will miss seeing you on a regular basis, but we will be seeing you!

Monday, September 10, 2007

What is Important?

“Don’t be afraid of embracing the disappointment you feel, old or new. Don’t be scared of the unreasonable joy either. They’re the highway markers home.”

We snort with disdain at such quaint sentiments, and our choice made, strike off down the straight highway of discipline and duty. All goes well for a while, sometimes for years, until we begin to realize that we’re really not feeling much anymore. We find ourselves struggling to weep with those who weep or even rejoice with those who rejoice. Mostly we don’t bother looking people in the eye. They may want to engage us and nothing much inside feels very engaged. Our passions begin to show up in inappropriate fantasies and longings interspersed with depression, anxieties, and anger we thought we had left behind. With a start, we realize our heart has stolen away in the baggage. It is taking the journey with us but under protest.

We redouble our efforts at discipline to get it to knuckle under but it refuses. Some of us finally kill it well enough that it no longer speaks as long as we’re occupied. Any quasiredemptive busyness will do. We look as if we’re still believing. Others of us decide the deadness is too high a price to pay and agree to let our heart have a secret life on the side. We even try to be passionate about our faith but the fiery embers that once sustained it have turned to cool gray ash, the evidence that life was indeed once present.

We find ourselves at the same place of heart resignation we left so many years ago before we were Christians. We arrive at the Vanity Fair that John Bunyan describes in The Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a familiar city populated with many of the companions we had hoped to leave behind: deadness of spirit, lack of loving-kindness, lust, pride, anger, and others. Nonetheless, having been out on the Christian journey for a number of years by now, we assume that this is as close to the Celestial City as we’re ever going to get. We set up housekeeping and entertain ourselves as well as possible at the booths in the Fair that sell a variety of soul curiosities, games, and anesthetics.

The curiosities sold at the fair are endless in their diversity, many of them good in and of themselves: Bible study, community service, religious seminars, hobbies we try to convince ourselves are eternally transcendent (e.g., “Wow, I can’t wait to ski deep powder!”), service to our church, going out to dinner. But we find ourselves doing them more and more to quiet the heart voice that tells us we have given up what is most important to us. (The Sacred Romance , 129, 130)

Saturday, September 08, 2007


This where I want to live....all the time. Not striving, not distracted, but offering the beauty that God placed in me to others, everyone I meet, every where I go so that they see Jesus, because He is Beauty.

“Beauty overwhelms us, enchants us, fascinates us, and calls us.”
(Fr. Andrew Greeley)

For a woman to unveil her beauty means she is offering her heart.

Not primarily her works or her usefulness (think Martha in the kitchen). Offering her presence. At family gatherings my mother hid in the kitchen. She cooked and baked and prepared and served and cleaned and for the life of us, we couldn’t get her out of there. We wanted her to share her life with us, her thoughts, her ideas, not just her effort. She wouldn’t come. And we were less because of it.

The gift of presence is a rare and beautiful gift. To come unguarded, undistracted, and be fully present and fully engaged with the one whom we are with. Have you noticed in reading the Gospels that people enjoyed being around Jesus? They wanted to be near him – to share a meal, take a walk, have a lingering conversation. It was the gift of his presence. When you were with him, you felt he was offering you his heart. When we offer our unguarded presence, we live like Jesus. And we invite others to do the same. (Captivating, 138)

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Ryan & Andrea Dinner

Tonight we got together for Ryan and Andrea. They are moving away to Roanoke, VA because of Andrea's new job. Everyone had a great time! Dinner at Dos Margaritas, then to Jason & Maci's for Ice Cream and "Guitar Hero". The kids had a great time too! I think we wore out the dogs though. Check out the pics. Love you guys!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I love being outside and I love seeing all of God's beautiful handywork. This summer especially I have seen an unusual amount of large, colorful, beautiful butterflies. I have had many fly around and around me as I just held my breath reaching out to them. So fragile and yet so beautiful. I was reminded that God is romancing me because He loves me so much. Just loving on me and showing out for me. I love Him so much, my heart overflows. This is why the guys love to show out for us girls, they have their Fathers attributes. I am in awe of Him.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Something New and Very Cool

I have had some very unusual and interesting things happen to me especially in the last month. I have written 2 songs and each one of them came to me in about 15 minutes. Prior to this, I had only written 1 song last May. When we were at The Call in July, at one point they asked musicians (that includes those of us who can sing and not play an instrument), song writers etc to stand and they prayed over us for creativity, for an outpouring of ideas and music to be written for the Glory of God and just great creativity. I stood in faith during that prayer and I have been amazed at what the Lord is doing. I have always admired songwriters and I know some very good songwriters. I have always wanted to be able to contribute, collaborate and participate I just didn't know how before. I give God all of the Glory for what has begun to happen in my life. Some songs have been secular, some have been worship, but it has all been God! I am putting these in a folder, not sure what to do with them yet, don't even know how good they are, but they are from the heart. I am looking forward to where God will lead this. To you very talented song writers, anointed of the Lord, you are blessed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Prepare to be Amazed!

I have been listening to this amazing series by TD Jakes called Divine Strategies. He always ministers to me whatever I seem to be going through. Anyway, there are 3 different messages in this series. The one that has blown me away is the one called "The Conflict of Being Chosen." He talks about Mary and Joseph, and Elizabeth and Zachariah. I began to study about these couples this past December. I watched (and bought) The Nativity which did a wonderful job of showing what both of these couples went through and experienced. TD Jakes taught further about the conflict that Mary and Elizabeth had in what they were chosen to do and bring forth and how that relates to us as well. Mary was going about her business, planning on getting married, and then God "chose" her to have a baby, to bring forth Jesus. She didn't ask for it, it was not in her plans, but God "Chose" her to be a part of His bigger plan. The same way He chooses us to be a part of His bigger plan. We are not our own, we are bought with a price. We didn't choose Him, He chose us. Now think about it, when the angel came to Mary and told her what she had been chosen to do and what was going to happen, who could she go and talk to about it? She couldn't go and hang out with her old girlfriends anymore, how would they believe her? They would talk about her and call her crazy. Even Joseph, her fiance' would not believe her. This was the conflict of being chosen. She had no one to turn to, no one to talk to, no one that would believe her, but God had Elizabeth. Elizabeth too was in a Conflict of her own. She had become pregnant in her old age with a child she had prayed for and believed God for all her life. Her husband was now struck dumb, he could not talk to her, she had not felt the baby move in 6 months. She was afraid, afraid that her dream was dead, afraid that the promise would not come to pass and she had no one to talk to about it. God sent Mary to her. When the two of them came together, and explosion happened! The baby leaped in her womb! She knew, she had the confirmation that her baby was alive, that her dream was not dead and Mary had encouragement that what she had been told about Elizabeth being pregnant was true, so she knew that what God had told her, shown her about her own situation was true and He would bring her through it. When God brings you together with another believer, especially with your "Chosen" spouse, there should be and will be an explosion! God can and will be able to accomplish what He needs accomplished when the two of you come together, because you could not accomplish it alone! As TD was saying, what makes your "baby" or dream or promise that God has shown you "leap" inside of you? Don't hang with those that don't make your "Baby/Dream/Promise" leap! The point of His message is that we have all been chosen and set apart as followers of Christ. We are part of His master plan, not the other way around. That takes the pressure off of us. He already has the best plan, we were invited to be a part of it, to play a role already written for us. That is where the conflict can take place, because sometimes others don't understand or believe the part that He has chosen us to play, to take part in. The role He has for us. Sometimes we can't tell others what God has told us, what He has shown us because people will think we are crazy......but it does not matter what people think. God did send his angel to Joseph, and showed him the same thing that he showed Mary, he confirmed what Mary had said to Joseph and then Joseph knew that it was God's plan, He believed Mary and confirmed to Mary that God had too shown him the same thing, the same plan and his role that he was to play. God got all of the glory because He did it, He brought it to pass, He confirmed it.....not man. I will leave you with the prophecy that TD Jakes spoke at the end of this message and it is for me, it is for you, as followers of Christ:

"I don't know whether you are in your first trimester or your third trimester, we are all in different places in this; but I prophesy to you right now in the Name of Jesus that the thing that is on the inside of you can not be hidden any longer! That thing will come to pass and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. And every tongue that rises against you God will condemn. It doesn't matter what Joseph said, it doesn't matter what Zachariah doesn't say, and what God has for's for you! Some of you are hurting because of some things people have said about you, others are hurting because they didn't say anything, no support no help no encouragement, but both of you are pregnant with Destiny! And I tell you today that the thing that God has placed in you WILL COME TO PASS! We're better together than we are apart."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Love God, Love People, No Fear

2 John 5-6 5 "And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."1 John 3:23-24 "And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."

Loving God first and with all our heart, causes us to love people because we want His best for them. A friend recently reminded me about something that I had thought about many times-the impersonal touch of blogging, IM, texting,etc. Ain't technology great. It's wonderful to be able to "talk" with someone you want to talk with at any moment via any of these methods, and there are many times when these choices are needed. But I would say that those same methods, tools, have also caused all types of relationships to suffer rather than to flourish. Having a relationship in person, that personal touch, "communicating" in conversation, common interest, adventure, that physical touch can not be replaced by any of these tools. The expression of Love or Care or Concern that you see in someone's eyes can't be conveyed in a cold email or IM or Text. You can't hug someone via any of these methods either. The human touch is so important. And yes you can't see or hear the hurt or pain in someone else either and this too is part of life, part of relationship with anyone, real world things that we have to work through. So anyway, people are the most important things in our life next to Jesus. Loving people is the most important thing we can do. Please don't hide behind these tools, but allow people to see you, experience you, the wonderful, strong, passionate, gentle, warrior/warrior princess, hero, and loving person you really are, after God's own heart.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunset at the Lake

At the LakeUnder the Moonlight

I spent some time at the park next to the lake yesterday afternoon reading a new book a friend highly recommended. By the way, it is so peaceful and fun around the water. It was a beautiful day and the sunset was amazing. The kind of place you want to share with that special guy. I would love to go out on a boat and try some skiing or tubing, it looks like a blast. But back to the book; I have just started it, but I can honestly say that just as she had promised, it is a life changer. It is called "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn. There is also "For Men Only" by Jeff & Shaunti Feldhahn. What is so amazing and different about these books, is that they have taken surveys, talked with Men and Women, and found out what He really hears when you communicate, and what She really hears when He communicates. It is a real eye opener and very encouraging. Just when you think you know a little something, you find out that you have so much to learn. But, life is a process and I thank God for teaching me. I want to give these books to every girl and guy that is getting married.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Listening to Music

I was just sitting here listening to some new music and some old. You know the songs that touch your heart and say all the things that you would love to say, or have said to you. It takes courage and sometimes that's hard. There is a lot of good music out there and I guess if we could take all of the lines from every song and put them together, we could express how we feel. Sitting here listening to Travis-Closer, Under the Moonlight. Or listening to The Fray-Far Away, She Is, All At Once. Then there's White Flag, Bless The Broken Road. New music to me is Gavin Mikhail-Who We Are and Brave, just to name a few. Is it just me who is moved by songs like this?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who Told You..(Revised)

Genesis 3:11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked.”

Who told you that you could not succeed in life?
Genesis 39:3 “Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.”

Who told you that you could not succeed in business?
Genesis 31:12 “The angel said, ‘Look up, and you will see that only the streaked, speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock. For I have seen how Laban has treated you.”

Who told you that you could not succeed in Marriage?
Song of Solomon
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
Gen 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Who told you that you could not believe God for the impossible? John 4:46 "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum."

Who told you that you could not succeed in the destiny God has call you to? John 21:17 “A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”
“So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 14 He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers. 16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 17 Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.”
John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Or Life more abundantly!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I found a park at the end of Lock 4 Road this afternoon next to the water. It was a beautiful place. I went there just to read, journal and talk to the Lord. I love spending quiet time with the Lord next to the water. I got to do that on the beach this past week in Florida as well. I have never had the time before, like I do now to spend next to the water or being on the water or in the water.....but I love it. It is so calming. Water is life. It can be powerful and calm at the same time. Just to watch the small waves lap against the shore, watch the sunset, see the birds, watch the boats go by, I just love everything about it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Call 07-07-07

The Call

I really don't know where to start. We had been praying and preparing for this day since the beginning of the year. Everyone ethnicity was represented. We had come together the first Sunday of every month to pray, worship and prepare for what God was going to start this day. A change in our country, turning the hearts of the children back to the Fathers and the hearts of the Fathers back to the children as Malachi says. The day started at 7AM at Centennial Park where there were about 7000 people gathered to walk down Church street all the way to LP Field in silence, repenting for our country and what has brought our country to the place we are currently in. It was amazing to see as far as I could see ahead of me and as far as I could see behind me a sea of people, walking so silent, I did not think it was possible. As we came through downtown, and crossed over the bridge you could hear Jeff Deyo playing in the stadium and leading the first worship. It was exciting and such a sense of expectancy.

Throughout the day, there was a time of worship, each time a different group or leader would lead us in Praise and worship. Sometimes it was repentance sometimes it was rejoicing and in between Lou and others would lead us in specific prayers for our nation, for our leaders, for Israel, for our cities, for our churches, for ourselves. One of those times that really had an impact on me was when we wept and prayed for the unborn children. For the abolishing of abortion. The most significant part was when Lou had us pray for the church to step up to the plate and receive those children, be ready to mentor those who will choose to keep their babies instead of aborting them and to be willing to become parents and adopt those that are put up for adoption. Doing our part, not just praying about abortion. He had several couples up their young, older, in between, that had adopted children and the testimonies of how God had brought that to pass in each of their lives. I was very moved during this time and I asked God that when I get married, if He wants me and my husband to adopt one of these babies that will be saved, just open the door for us and we will. It is about His heart, about His people and His love for all of us not just some of us. Maybe it was because I have not had children yet but I felt God's heart on this issue as we prayed and wept, I am willing to do whatever He wants, walk through the doors that He opens and no man can shut.

It was hot, we were fasting, sweaty but it did not matter. I was thankful and humbled to be there and be a part of changing our nation for God. Making the sacrifice, continually, to reach His world, His people, that don't know Him yet. To show them how much He loves them. As we finished last night, Selah was playing. It was a great time of worship and the music was awesome. It as great to see friends that I had not seen in a while. They also had 300 men come to the front and blow their Shophars (sp?) and it was so mighty, so powerful. You felt as if you were preparing for Battle.

I was thoroughly blessed and spent by the time we finished at 10:00PM. It is a day that God changed things in our lives, in our city in this country and from this day forward, things will never be the same again............Praise God! (click on the pics to see The Call)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Emotions and Reason

It is true that we can't just follow emotion blindly, however, I have learned, more than I ever knew I could, that when you are a follower of Christ, He puts things in your heart that He wants for you, that He desires for you. So, it is no surprise that we want and desire things that are after God's own heart. It can be painful to live from the heart, but for me.......there is no other place to live.

"The mind takes in and processes information. But it remains, for the most part, indifferent. It is your mind that tells you it is now 2:00 A.M. and your daughter has not returned, for the car is not in the driveway. Your heart wrestles with whether or not this is cause for worry. The heart lives in the far more bloody and magnificent realities of living and dying and loving and hating. That’s why those who live from their minds are detached from life. Things don’t seem to touch them very much; they puzzle at the way others are so affected by life, and they conclude others are emotional and unstable. Meanwhile, those who live from the heart find those who live from the mind . . . unavailable. Yes, they are physically present. So is your computer. This is the sorrow of many marriages, and the number one disappointment of children who feel entirely missed or misunderstood by their parents.

Yes, the heart is the source of our emotions. But we have equated the heart with, emotion, and put it away for a messy and even dangerous guide. No doubt, many people have made a wreck of their lives by following an emotion without stopping to consider whether it was a good idea to do so. Neither adultery nor murder is a rational act. But equating the heart with emotion is the same nonsense as saying that love is a feeling. Surely, we know that love is more than feeling loving; for if Christ had followed his emotions, he would not have gone to the cross for us. Like any man would have been, he was afraid; in fact, he knew that the sins of the world would be laid upon him, and so he had even greater cause for hesitation (Mark 14:32–35). But in the hour of his greatest trial, his love overcame his fear of what loving would cost him.

Emotions are the voice of the heart, to borrow Chip Dodd’s phrase. Not the heart, but its voice."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Evan Almighty

OK, I went to see this last night and it was the most fun I had at a movie in a long time. I really enjoyed it. It was funny, good message (as Hollywood goes), and if you have not seen it you have to wait through the credits! That is the most fun part! We danced all the way out of the theater! It was great!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Faith, Hope, Love in a new light

Don't Ever Give Up!

How easy it is for us girls to forget this. It seems we have everything working against us. The world constantly telling us and showing us that we don't measure up to "their" standards because we don't look, act or conform to how "they" think we should look, act or be. It is hard, if it were easy, no one would struggle with this. Do we really trust Jesus with our heart? I have found that too is not an easy thing. So many times, it's just easier to hide than to put your heart out there one more time. But if we don't offer it, time and time again, then we won't be all that God created us to be for those He needs us to be it for. It is scary that it's out of our control when we offer our heart in Faith, Hoping to make a difference to be seen and enjoyed for who God made us to be. I can totally relate as I know you can too. We want it to matter, and we can't give up hope......ever. I have this cartoon on the side of my fridge that I have had for years. I copied it from someone. It is a picture of a Crane standing in the swamp, and he has just opened his beak and started to swallow a big bull frog. The frog has grabbed the Crane around the neck with both hands so there is no way he can swallow him. The caption reads "Don't Ever Give Up!" I live by that and it has brought me so much encouragement over the years. It's not over until its over. So read todays message below, and don't hide, don't strive, but by Faith, unveil your beauty to others regardless of the outcome and trust Jesus with it. Unveil your beauty in Hope that it is going to matter, that you are going to make a difference in someone and for someone and trust Jesus with it. Unveil your beauty in Love, truly from the heart, so that the world and all those you care about can see Jesus. He put these attributes in us because they are His attributes. Don't hide anymore. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and jump in!------Tam

"Unveiling our beauty really just means unveiling our feminine hearts.

It’s scary, for sure. That is why it is our greatest expression of faith, because we are going to have to trust Jesus—really trust him. We’ll have to trust him that we have a beauty, that what he has said of us is true. And we’ll have to trust him with how it goes when we offer it, because that is out of our control. We’ll have to trust him when it hurts, and we’ll have to trust him when we are finally seen and enjoyed. That’s why unveiling our beauty is how we live by faith.

Unveiling our beauty is our greatest expression of hope. We hope it will matter, that our beauty really does make a difference. We hope there is a greater and higher Beauty, hope we are reflecting that Beauty, and hope it will triumph. Our hope is that all is well because of Jesus, and that all will be well because of him. So we unveil beauty in hope. And finally, we unveil beauty in the hope that Jesus is growing our beauty. Yes, we are not yet what we long to be. But we are under way. Restoration has begun. To offer beauty now is an expression of hope that it will be completed.

And unveiling beauty is our greatest expression of love, because it is what the world most needs from us. When we choose not to hide, when we choose to offer our hearts, we are choosing to love. Jesus offers, he invites, he is present. That is how he loves. That is how we love—sincerely, as the Scripture says, “from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). Our focus shifts from self-protection to the hearts of others. We offer Beauty so that their hearts might come alive, be healed, know God. That is love." (Captivating , 147)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

'Thank ya, Thank ya very much'

Memphis 6-12-07

I went to Memphis with some friends who had never been to Graceland. I am not an Elvis fan, and I have been to Graceland once before. But I was up for a fun day and to watch their reactions as they toured the property. It is a pretty place, the property that is. The house is smaller than you would have expected, but very unique. One of the funniest things that happened was we went into one of the souvenir shops, and they had this 'build a bear' section. There was this wheel on the wall that kinda looked like Wheel of Fortune and in the middle was a pipe sticking out. There was a lever on the floor so Clay stepped on it thinking it was going to spin the wheel. It didn' sprayed him hard with stuffing intended for stuffing the bears! It was hilarious! We were all laughing so hard, he was still 'pickin' out stuffing the rest of the day! We had some good ice cream. It was a good day. Check out the pics by clicking on them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Sum of Life

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way. (J. R. R. Tolkien)

I don't know how to say this any better..............

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way. (J. R. R. Tolkien)

"The Sacred Romance calls to us every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love. We’ve heard it in our favorite music, sensed it at the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean. It is even present in times of great personal suffering—the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure. This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for a sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God. (The Sacred Romance , 195)

Monday, June 04, 2007


OK, I know I have not blogged in a while. Life has been busy and I probably never said anything about our Co-ed Softball team this year either. Well, It was a short season, only 6 Monday nights, but tonight was our play off! Single elimination! We won a total of 4 games this season and we won 2nd Place for the season! Yeah! Awesome job everyone. We had a great time playing. There were 6 of us girls on the team and everyone did a great job! I am proud of all of you. Sorry about my hitting (not exactly anything you would write home about), but hey! We took pic's at Chik-Fil-A tonight with the after the game crew, and of the trophy, it is huge! Softball was fun and great exercise too! Thanks everyone! Love you guys!

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gotta love those Kids!

Gotta love those kids

I had the joy of working with the 4-5 year olds at church today. What a great age! They are so much fun. They are smart, cute and funny. There was a time when I was still at home with my parents, and a 3 year old boy lived next door name Adam. He was great! They always make you feel so good. He used to watch for me to come home from work (I was working for my Dad at the time). I would go in the house to change my cloths and he would come to the front door and ring the doorbell. My Mom would answer the door, and I could hear this little voice say "Can Tammy come out and play?" That would just make my day! Of course I would go out and play with him. These kids were great today. One of my favorites is JP. He is only 3 but his grandparents bring him and he wants to go to class with his sister Julia. JP told me he went to see Spiderman a few weeks ago, and every since then, I can't call him JP.......he let's you know that his name is 'Peter Parker'! LOL! I want one just like him! Check out the pics.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Point is.... Connecting with God

I could write a lot of things here, but today's devotional say's so much and is pretty much to the point. I can share that in the past 2 years, connecting with God in new ways, on a regular basis has changed me, my life and I am not the same person I used to be. I Praise God for that......He did that in me. And it is a journey, a process that will never end here on earth. It is about HIM and all those lives He needs us to touch for HIM. Love you guys.....have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

"Against the flesh, the traitor within, a warrior uses discipline. We have a two-dimensional version of this now, which we call a “quiet time.” But most men have a hard time sustaining any sort of devotional life because it has no vital connection to recovering and protecting their strength; it feels about as important as flossing. But if you saw your life as a great battle and you knew you needed time with God for your very survival, you would do it. Maybe not perfectly—nobody ever does and that’s not the point anyway—but you would have a reason to seek him. We give a halfhearted attempt at the spiritual disciplines when the only reason we have is that we “ought” to. But we’ll find a way to make it work when we are convinced we’re history if we don’t.

Time with God each day is not about academic study or getting through a certain amount of Scripture or any of that. It’s about connecting with God. We’ve got to keep those lines of communication open, so use whatever helps. Sometimes I’ll listen to music; other times I’ll read Scripture or a passage from a book; often I will journal; maybe I’ll go for a run; then there are days when all I need is silence and solitude and the rising sun. The point is simply to do whatever brings me back to my heart and the heart of God.

The discipline, by the way, is never the point. The whole point of a “devotional life” is connecting with God. This is our primary antidote to the counterfeits the world holds out to us." (Wild at Heart , 171–72)

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Graduations and City Fest

Graduations/City Fest

I have officially been to 4 graduations now. My Nephew Mark graduated today and we went to Green Hills Grill to celebrate with him. Yesterday my friend Katie graduated and then the night before was Jessica, Trey and Mikil. Andrea graduated last week and Jacob will graduate this coming Friday. Whew! Congrats to all!
We went down to City Fest tonight and Israel was awesome. Clay and RyLee and Ian and myself hung out around second aveneue for a while to show Ian the sites. We had a fun time. Click on the pic's to see! We went into Tootsies to hear the bands playing and it was from one end of the spectrum to the other to go from City Fest, listening to the testimonies and groups like Israel, to the bars. The musicians were pretty good, no doubt, some of the singers were good too. But they were without Jesus. As I sat and people watched, I remembered some friends who last year were talking about getting their band together to go into places like this to play their music and show these people about a relationship with Jesus Christ. The field is white and ready for harvest. I think that is a much needed and awesome ministry. As followers of Christ, this is one of the places where ministry is needed, as God leads. Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. What a difference we can make, as followers of Christ, if we will just go, go and tell them about the one who can change their lives forever.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Graduations, Birthdays, Softball......Misc stuff

Graduations, Birthdays, Softball

My friend Andrea graduated last night from WKU. She will be doing an internship at Vanderbilt. Way to go girl! My friend Melissa and I drove up to see her girls rock! A little late on Birthday's, but my friend Stuart had his 16th on April 30th! He can drive now! Wahoo! Congrats Stuart! Our church did a Co-ed softball team this year and some of us girls are having fun playing. It is not the same as last year, it's just for fun, not competitive and we don't have the boombox and the fans coming out like we did last year......that was the best. But, we have won one game so far! Yea! I like that song by Chris Rice "When Did You Fall In Love With Me."
I was at some friends house recently, and they had this daily calendar that someone gave them. Here is what it said for that date: "It's not easy becoming one with another person. There is a lot of growing required. But it's not about causing our mate to grow into our image, it's about both husband and wife growing into Gods image, together." Truth. You may remember a long time ago I wrote about that. God showed me a vision about husband and wife "becoming" together and some about what that meant. "It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helpmate....." God never intended for us to be can't 'become one' by yourself.
We went to The Call at an Hispanic Church on Nolensville road this past Sunday night. I can honestly say it was "fun". You could not help but think, "This is what heaven is like, everyone praising and worshipping God in their own language." They had an interpreter for both Spanish and English and God moved. God is preparing our hearts and this city for a major move of God. You don't want to miss this. 07/07/07 at the Titans Stadium is going to be an explosion of people from around the world fasting, praying, worshipping, praising God. Come and be a part of it with us!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Return of Spring and Heart

I read this from yesterday and was moved by how John Eldredge put this. After working with Clay & RyLee on their wedding and seeing how God has blessed them with each other and how He put them together, I have been thinking a lot about The Heart. It is the wellspring of life, out of it the abundance of who we are flows. Our hearts are not bad, they are God's heart and we have to learn to let it flow. He fills it with so much love, and everyone is not willing to accept that love, but nevertheless, it is still there, ready to flow out to the one or to those that are or will be vulnerable and open themselves to receive it. The heart is a very complex thing means so much to God and so it should to us.

“Above all else, guard your heart.” We usually hear this with a sense of “Keep an eye on that heart of yours,” in the way you’d warn a deputy watching over some dangerous outlaw, or a bad dog the neighbors let run. “Don’t let him out of your sight.” Having so long believed our hearts are evil, we assume the warning is to keep us out of trouble. So we lock up our hearts and throw away the key and then try to get on with our living. But that isn’t the spirit of the command at all. It doesn’t say guard your heart because it’s criminal; it says guard your heart because it is the wellspring of your life, because it is a treasure, because everything else depends on it. How kind of God to give us this warning, like someone’s entrusting to a friend something precious to him, with the words: “Be careful with this—it means a lot to me.” (Waking the Dead , 207–8)

Today's devotional talks about the Spring and I think this year especially we have all longed for it. Winter has hung on this year like it would not let go. There is so much about Spring that gives us hope, a fresh start, a new begining with those around us, in every area of our life. Hope in what God has started, He will finish. He won't leave us hanging, He won't leave us in The Winter.

"Winter tarries long at six thousand feet. Here in the Rocky Mountains, spring comes late and fitfully. We had snow again last week—the second week in May. I’ve come to accept that spring here is really a wrestling match between winter and summer. It makes for a long time of waiting. You see, the flowers are pretty much gone in September. The first of October, the aspens start turning gold and drop their leaves in a week or two. Come November, all is gray. Initially, I don’t mind. The coming of winter has its joys, and there are Thanksgiving and Christmastime to look forward to.

But after the new year, things begin to drag on. Through February and then March, the earth remains lifeless. The whole world lies shadowed in brown and gray tones, like an old photograph. Winter’s novelty is long past, and by April we are longing for some sign of life—some color, some hope. It’s too long.

And then, just this afternoon, I rounded the corner into our neighborhood, and suddenly, the world was green again. What had been rock and twig and dead mulch was a rich oriental carpet of green. I was shocked, stunned. How did it happen? As if in disbelief, I got out of my car and began to walk through the woods, touching every leaf. The birds are back as well, waking us in the morning with their glad songs. It happened suddenly. In the twinkling of an eye.

My surprise is telling. It seems natural to long for spring; it is another thing to be completely stunned by its return. I am truly and genuinely surprised, as if my reaction were, Really? What are you doing here? And then I realized, I thought I’d never see you again. I think in some deep place inside, I had accepted the fact that winter is what is really true . . . And so I am shocked by the return of spring. And I wonder, Can the same thing happen for my soul?" (The Journey of Desire , 108–9)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rehearsals,Weddings,Receptions,Brunches Oh My!

Krasner Rehearsal,Wedding,Reception,Brunch

Well, the past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind for sure. We have worked on putting wedding stuff together almost everyday for 2 weeks. RyLee and I have spent a lot of time together becoming greater friends. From wedding dress fittings, to shopping spree's to yard sales, to Sam's Club pricing, to raiding the freezer at Aldi's, we have done so much! It has been exhausting, but fun for sure. I would not have missed it for the world.
We had the wedding rehearsal dinner at Clay & RyLee's and put together homemade Lasagna which was a huge hit. I did not know we could get 30 people into their living room/dining room... but we did! Chely let them have the wedding at her 1900's historic home, which was absolutely beautiful with the original hardwood floors and the remodeled kitchen. We broke the kitchen in real good too! Chely was great and her friend Melissa/Mindy were great hosts. The wedding was in the front yard and the reception was in the back yard. Clay had the band play "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles before he walked down the aisle. RyLee had them play "Someday My Prince will Come". It was a picture perfect day, a fairy tale wedding! We cleaned and packed everything up after they left and I got home around 1AM. The brunch at their house was today, a beautiful, sunny day and friends were over to eat hot dogs and hamburgers. It was a nice time to visit with new friends and old alike. Clay and RyLee wanted to do this for their friends because they love everyone so much.
Clay & RyLee were so appreciative of everyone that helped bring this together. They got to tell the story of how they met in France of all places. It truly was a union put together by God. I look forward to the day when they get to help me with my wedding. I love you my friends and I pray a Wild at Heart/Captivating, Song of Solomon marriage for you. You are truly blessed of the Lord!
Now they are off to their honeymoon destination.....sunny central Florida and all of the wonderful sites it has to offer. (Click on the pic above to see all the pic's from the past few days)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hillsong United

Hillsong United

We went to The Ryman tonight to hear Hillsong United. I can honestly say it was an amazing time in worship. When I am there with them (this is the third time I have heard them in person) it is such a worshipful time with the Lord. I just lose myself in Him. They sang many of our fav's and also some from their new CD which has not been released here yet. Their heart for worship is what makes the songs so amazing and that touch the soul. Worshipping my Lord is my true heart. I could do what United does every day of the week. What an honor to lead people into the presence of God, totally vulnerable, open and abandoned to HIM.

Also, Michael W. had a surprise guest there, Actor Jim Caveziel who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ. He talked about how much one of Michaels songs had ministered to him and helped him through the filming of that movie when he was having such a hard time. He was struck by lightening, got Hypothermia, had his shoulder separated when he was carrying the cross. He talked about how there is nothing more important than Jesus and our influence as Christians on a lost and dying world. He spoke from the heart.

I also took some pic's while we were standing outside waiting to get in. The guys were hammin' it up for the camera. I was so very glad I got to go.

Friday, April 20, 2007


God determines who walks into your life....
it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go."

Someone sent this to me today and I felt it was worth posting here. Very profound.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Birthday Week, Friends, Family, Flowers

Birthday Dinner Family & Friends

Revised: I added some more pic's. Aaron, Beth, Wes, Sherry and the kids took me to dinner before church for my BDay. They gave me a wonderful journal! I love to journal. The mexican food was great! Thank you all so much! The Parrys had a Bday party for me after church on Wednesday night! It was great! They had some friends come by to help celebrate including my nephew! There was cake and music and flowers and a swanky present "Dance Dance Revolution!" Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Thanks so much guys! I love you all! Also my family took me to dinner for by BDay and some close friends went with me to lunch for my BDay. Then I got flowers from one of my youth friends-Jessica, and flowers from my Area Director in Arbonne plus a surprise mini party on Monday night. Thanks so much for celebrating with me-I love you guys!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Circumstances vs Trust in God

Andy was teaching on Monday night at The Loop. It was a great message and one that really spoke to me.....I needed to hear it, and it sort of hit me between the eyes. I had let circumstances overrun my life...whether anyone else wants to admit it or not, we have all done this. It is so easy to get your eyes on the circumstances facing your life, because as Andy pointed out, circumstances scream the loudest. They get in your face and can overwhelm you and when that happens, you feel like you can't trust God.... which is exactly what the enemy wants. That is why I wanted to share the notes from his message. It truly ministered to me. It was the 4th part of a 5 part series. This night it was called "Trust Me". He referenced 1 Timothy 4:12

The theme of the message, and the statement that really hit me was "God is trustworthy and the circumstances are not!"

He talked about 4 points:
1) The beginning-God's divine plan
2) The Breakdown-where it went wrong (the breakdown came when circumstances overruled certainty. Circumstances speak the loudest, faith is a decision we make.
3) The Belief-returning to God's truth
4) The Blessing-living as a Godly man/woman

When it comes to circumstances he said to obey what has already been said to you- Gods will-Gods wisdom. Make a decision and step out by faith and do something. God will not be real to you until you trust Him. He is the one certain thing. It is our circumstances that are uncertain. Circumstances will lie to you, they do not take into account the God of the Universe. He is certain, we can trust Him.

Why do we fail to trust God?
The lie of smarts-we think we can figure things out, we think we can analyze and work through whatever we want to control, leave God out.
The lie of security-we think if we have enough money in the bank, a good car, all those things that we think will make us feel secure, but there is no security outside of truly trusting God.
The lie of safety-we will play it safe, not step out of the boat, not take chances or risks and then we will be safe. Trying to maintain security, fear keeps you from getting into relationship. Circumstances can overrule our lives.
The lie of status-trying to maintain how people view us, how we should promote ourselves, wanting everyone to think we have it all together. It takes us away from faith in God.

***Don't trade certainty in God for circumstances*** Believe God is who He says He is. We don't know what is best for us but God does. God when your truth conflicts with my life...that is when my life bends to you.

When you take a step of faith, it will rock your status, your security, your faith, it does not fit our normal thinking! What is He leading you to do? What steps of faith is He asking you to take? What are you trusting Him to do in your life? Do you believe He is trustworthy? Will you believe Him instead of the circumstances that are facing you? You have to make your own decision. God say's "trust me", He knows what He is doing.

Prayer: God we trust you, you are the one who knows how to work this out, we trust you to do it, speak it, change the circumstances in our life!"

God does not fit in the box of our reason. Nothing is impossible with God.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Time with friends............

Easter Sunday

Today was a beautiful sunny day. It started out so cold, but is turned out to be glorious! We had dinner with some of my favorite people, The Parrys, and then on to another favorite peoples.....Clay and Rylee. I am blessed to have you all in my life and as my frieds. We worked on wedding stuff at Clay and Rylees, we worked on rocker hair for Stuart and Ethan at the Parry's. Click on the pic to see the rest of the day!

Greater Love.........

It's Spring and with that comes all of the toil and struggle of nature to bring forth the leaves on the tree's, the flowers and it sometimes is a reflection of the struggle we are in.

Today's devotional is really a continuation of my last blog over a week ago, but at the same time, it comes on a day that shows God's true love, His greatest sacrifice for us.........The Rssurrection. Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends. That is what Jesus did for us. There is no greater sacrifice, no greater love. He sought us, pursued us, fought for us, died for us, and now He romances us. Where would I be if He had never done any of these things? Lost for sure.

I am humbled, thankful, and in awe of how He made us in His image. The Man and the Woman each with their own distinctive attributes, yet all of those attributes are still God, still His reflection. How He see's us, what He see's in us even if we don't recognize it ourself. Sometimes as a woman, you begin to wonder if the way you are feeling is a weakness or insecurity. I mean, you have the media everywhere spinning their view of how a woman should be, should look, should talk like, etc. And then you learn more about God's attributes He has placed in He made us to be, and you realize you're not weak, or just desire the same things God does. I love you Jesus.

"Can there be any doubt that God wants to be sought after? The first and greatest of all commands is to love him (Mark 12:29–30; Matt. 22:36–38). He wants us to love him. To seek him with all our heart. A woman longs to be sought after, too, with the whole heart of her pursuer. God longs to be desired. Just as a woman longs to be desired. This is not some weakness or insecurity on the part of a woman, that deep yearning to be desired. God feels the same way. Remember the story of Martha and Mary? Mary chose God, and Jesus said that was what he wanted. “Mary has chosen what is better” (Luke 10:42). She chose me.

Life changes dramatically when romance comes into our lives. Christianity changes dramatically when we discover that it, too, is a great romance. That God yearns to share a life of beauty, intimacy, and adventure with us. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). This whole world was made for romance—the rivers and the glens, the meadows and the beaches. Flowers, music, a kiss. But we have a way of forgetting all that, losing ourselves in work and worry. Eve—God’s message to the world in feminine form—invites us to romance. Through her, God makes romance a priority of the universe.

So God endows Woman with certain qualities that are essential to relationship, qualities that speak of God. She is inviting. She is vulnerable. She is tender. She embodies mercy. She is also fierce and fiercely devoted. As the old saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” That’s just how God acts when he isn’t chosen. “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!” (Ex. 20:5 NLT). A woman’s righteous jealousy speaks of the jealousy of God for us.

Tender and inviting, intimate and alluring, fiercely devoted. Oh yes, our God has a passionate, romantic heart. Just look at Eve." (Captivating , 29–30)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

God's Heart for Relationship

It is funny, but I was just talking to the Lord about this very thing this week. How He created me as a woman to be the way that I am, to have the heart that I have. I was talking to Him about true love, that He is the meaning of true love and how saying "I love you" or "I love this or that" is used almost as slang everyday, instead of from the heart, heartfelt (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks). As a very anointed guy once taught a while back, we say I love you way to easily. Do we really "love" what we say we do, or is it just a phrase. Like in the song Chasing Cars, "those three words, are said too much, their not enough." I have heard those three words come out of the same anointed worship leaders mouth in his expression of love for God, and it totally enveloped and changed the entire place because you could tell, you could feel, you could see it was from a heart that truly loves God. That can not be faked. When we truly fall in love with Him, there is a true love that just wants to come out, to flow out of us and the more time we spend with Him in that intimate relationship, the more we want to express that love, the more saying the words "I love you" means. Do we really love Him, or is it just said out of habit. God has truly given us a heart, a capacity to love more than we ever thought we were capable of. I have learned that the more I have sought God, the more I have come into intimate relationship with Him, the more capacity He has given my heart to love. Sometimes I feel like it is going to burst. Even though I have not experienced the marriage relationship....yet, I now have a better understanding of the love and relationship God wants and intends between a husband and wife. I now understand better how it is an extension of our intimate relationship with God, that true and pure love.......The Triangle. Todays devotional is confirmation to me of what the Lord and I have been talking about this week. He has given us all His attributes, and the capacity for relationships, whether it be husband and wife (the ultimate manifestation and example of our relationship with God) or friends, or our relationship with our amazing and awesome Savior Jesus Christ. I never realized, until this week, how much God made me in His image. The very things that as a woman I desire, He desires as well. It totally opened my eyes to Him in a new light, and made me fall in love with Him even more. He has filled me with a love and a capacity for love like I have never known before. I just wanted to share.................

John & Staci Eldredge (Captivating)
"The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God’s vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be the most important thing we ever learn about God—that he yearns for relationship with us. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God” (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and his people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart.

Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isa. 49:14–15)
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jer. 24:7)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. (Matt. 23:37)

What a comfort to know that this universe we live in is relational at its core, that our God is a tenderhearted God who yearns for relationship with us. If you have any doubt about that, simply look at the message he sent us in Woman. Amazing. Not only does God long for us, but he longs to be loved by us. Oh, how we’ve missed this. How many of you see God as longing to be loved by you? We see him as strong and powerful, but not as needing us, vulnerable to us, yearning to be desired."
(Captivating , 28–29)