Saturday, December 20, 2008

the soul felt its worth...

have you ever woken up on december 26th and felt you missed something? the hustle and bustle of the season is over. if you were honest, the 25 plus day build up came crashing down and it was a bit disappointing. we went to church, saw our family, we got to be with people we love, we have a few new toys, we have mounds of trash and boxes, we ate and drank some christmas goodies at our feasts and parties and we now have a few extra pounds, and it is all over. what next? shouldn't this have felt different? did i miss something? the tree will soon come down, all the christmas decor will be put back up, our family will leave, we will return to work and our lives will feel a little empty. this is not how it should be. after all, as a christian this is like one of the 2 most important holidays of the year, right?

i have felt like this many a years. i try to pretend it is not how i feel. i just ignore it and press on, all the while looking back and thinking i have missed something. sure, i cling to the truth i know and i remember what i felt as we talked about it in church, but it seems anti-climatic. why?

i have my speculations and one is that i simply get so wrapped up in the traditions and fun of the season that i forget the real reason for christmas. now i know this has been my problem, but i have never seemed to be able to find a solution to this. so i try and talk more about christ, read luke 2 a lot, and go on to all my christmas parties. but that does not do it.

last year for the first time in a long time and maybe ever, i think i actually experienced the real meaning of christmas. no we did not get rid of all of our gifts, of course we went to parties (i even hosted a few of my own), i had fun decorating and i listened to fun christmas music 24/7. it started with a wake up call one sunday in church. we were singing o holy night and i was just singing along to this familiar christmas tune. then our pastor got up on stage and called us all out for just mouthing the words to this song without thinking about what it means. i mean when was the last time that the story of the birth of christ made me fall on my knees? read through the lyrics as a worship song and not a christmas carol.

o holy night
o holy night! the stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of the dear saviour's birth.
long lay the world in sin and error pining.
till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
fall on your knees! oh, hear the angel voices!
o night divine, the night when christ was born;
o night, o holy night, o night divine!
o night, o holy night, o night divine!

truly he taught us to love one another,
his law is love and his gospel is peace.
chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
and in his name all oppression shall cease.
sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
with all our hearts we praise his holy name.
christ is the lord! then ever, ever praise we,
his power and glory ever more proclaim!
his power and glory ever more proclaim!

the difference was that for the first time i was pointed to and experienced the story of the birth of christ. i then went to see andrew peterson's behold the lamb of god tour. a friend insisted and even bought my ticket. i was a little skeptical, not because of his taste, but because i typically don't enjoy cheesy christian christmas plays, and i thought that is what this would be. but i could not have been more wrong. it is simply a series of songs that andrew peterson wrote that tell the story of the coming of christ from the old testament through luke 2. you have to really listen to the words, it is not mere background music. if you have not seen this, you must!! live is best, but if you cannot, you can buy the dvd or the music on itunes. i wept when i saw it the first time and i only got to see the dvd this year and i still teared up. it prepared my heart for christmas the most last year. here is one of the songs from it below.

deliver us by andrew peterson
our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the nile
our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand

our ankles bear no calluses from chains,
yet Lord, we're bound
imprisoned here,
we dwell in our own land


deliver us, deliver us
oh Yahweh, hear our cry

and gather us beneath your wings tonight

our sins they are more numerous
than all the lambs we slay

these shackles they were made with our own hands

our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give

so Yahweh, break your silence if you can

chorus (2x)

"jerusalem, jerusalem
how often i have longed
to gather you beneath my gentle wings"

i promise i am about to wrap this up, bear with me. this song and the song called labor of love bring me to tears every time. i cannot imagine what it was like when God was silent for so long. i cannot imagine the despair. during the easter season a few years ago i got to attend a sader supper (which is a jewish meal eaten during passover). we had someone explain to us all the meaning of each of the items we ate. there were lots of cool things that i can’t quite remember, but what i do remember was having an empty seat at each table. at the end, they told us that the empty chair was saved. saved for messiah in hopes that this would be the year he would come. he then said that traditionally they look at the empty chair and say, “no messiah this year.” The words, “no messiah this year,” made my heart sink. for the first time ever, i began to think about the despair and the despondency that they felt and i kind of felt it. There was no hope without messiah. god was silent and they were just waiting, hope waning i am sure.

i absolutely cannot imagine my life without jesus. as much as i take him for granted and do not understand the depth of all that he has done, i do understand the hope that i have in him. it is easy to be so familiar with this story that we forget the significance of what happened that night. we think about a few times as blow through the season, but we forget what that baby has delivered us from. i hope that this season, this truth resonates in your heart and he reveals more of himself to you. and that on december 26th you don't wake up in a depression that season is over, but rather wake up with a renewed love and passion for the one who came in a manger so that we night be delivered.

Friday, December 12, 2008

179 down...13.1 to go...

so i only have to run one more time ever in my life and then i don't have to ever put my feet to the pavement again if i do not want to. i am sure i will want to and i am sure i will run another one of these next year, but for right now i am just thinking about my last run of 13.1. this sunday, rachel and i are running a half marathon in dallas. i am excited about it but we see how our 27 year old knees and ankles handle it. you should come out and cheer us on or run with us...

Monday, December 8, 2008

best christmas music...

these are my top 25 favorite christmas songs. i recommend you buying them if you do not already have them. these are just my 25 favorite fun christmas songs, like my own christmas movie soundtrack. i actually have many more favorites (i have over 20 hours of just christmas music), but will limit the list to just these 25. enjoy.

top 25 christmas songs (in no particular order... i do not have that much time)
1. all i want for christmas is you by mariah carey
2. merry christmas, happy holidays by nsync
3. jingle bell rock by bobby helms
4. rockin' around the christmas tree by brenda lee
5. a holly jolly christmas by burl ives
6. i want a hippopotamus for christmas by gayla peevey
7. pennies from heaven by louis prima (even though it technically is not a christmas song, but its on elf)
8. silent night by sarah mclachlan
9. i've got my love to keep me warm by dean martin
10. blue christmas by elvis presley
11. frosty the snowman by harry connick jr
12. let it snow by ella fitzgerald
13. jingle bells by wayne newton
14. santa baby by eartha kitt
15. a marshmallow world (live) by dean martin and frank sinatra
16. i'll be home for christmas by michael buble
17. christmastime is here by vince guaraldi trio (from charlie brown)
18. christmas song by dave matthews
19. mele kalikimaka by bing crosby
20. baby, its cold outside by leon redbone & zooey deschanel
21. we need a little christmas by the muppets
22. sleigh ride by ella fitzgerald
23. winter wonderland by tony bennett or peggy lee (it is a toss up between versions)
24. white christmas by dean martin
25. ave maria by josh groban

favorite christmas album
my all time favorite christmas album is mariah carey's merry christmas. it is a must have. liked by guys and girls and guaranteed to bring christmas cheer.

other favorite albums not appreciated by others (but that are part of my heritage)
1. elvis presley's elvis memories of christmas
2. alabama's alabama christmas
3. the chipmunks' christmas with the chipmunks.

some would argue that amy grant's a christmas album would also need to be on this list, but it has yet to be appreciated by me that much.

so what christmas music should you own? i think i just laid it out for you. i welcome any further suggestions or recommendations, but not criticisms. i like these and will always like these. they are a part of christmas for me and hope they become that for you as well!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

hold off...

here is a picture of my brother when he got promoted. pretty cool. i am such a proud sis!

jon did ask that we hold off on sending packages until further notice. we are not sure why, but he asked us not to send packages for awhile. mom and i got the last one in the mail over thanksgiving. so hold off on those christmas packages until we hear otherwise.

Monday, December 1, 2008

the depths yet discovered...

this morning, i was reading in john 11. it is the story of the death of lazarus. this is a very familiar story to me, i grew up in church hearing it, it was my brother's favorite Bible story growing up and of course carmen had a song about it (oh what would christian subculture be without carmen). this morning as i examined the text, a few things stuck out to me, especially some things about mary and martha's reaction to jesus and jesus' reaction to them.

first there is martha. martha has got to be the older sister. i am not sure of that, but looking at her tendencies, it screams older sister. she is the one who is doing all the work, getting the house ready for jesus when he comes to visit. in this story, when she hears that jesus is on his way, she gets up to go meet him (she takes that initiative and leadership). her first words to jesus want an explanation, she wants to care for her siblings. she is the rational, logical thinker. she knows that lazarus will raise someday, but demands to know why jesus let him die. after talking with jesus, she goes and gets mary, who is still at the house weeping. (we also see no record of martha's tears, i am sure she cried, i mean her brother just died. but something tells me that this strong one did her best to hold it together in public and to be a support for her sister. this is just a guess, but seeing as i think much like martha and that is what i would do, i am pretty sure that is what was happening.)

then we see mary. this the third time we encounter mary in the scriptures. this is the same mary who anointed jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. last time we saw mary, she was sitting at the feet of jesus, soaking up her time with him, while martha was busy making preparations. here we see her weeping with others over the death of her brother. when martha beckons her, mary's reaction is to go quickly to jesus and fall at his feet. (a familiar position for her) she asks the same question that martha does, but her tone and posture are different here. jesus is deeply moved, moved to tears. now perhaps it was just the timing of it all. lazarus' death and its impact may have finally sunk in. or perhaps it was the tears of mary that stirred his heart or both. but either way, we have a great picture or our savior weeping. he loved lazarus and was grieving, but i think he was also loved mary and martha and was grieving for their pain. he was sympathizing with them. he wept. he knew he was about to raise lazarus, but he still wept. he loved them so much! we have savior that is strong and has overcome death, but still empathizes with us and our emotions and weaknesses.

this reminded of hebrews 4:14-16:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

i wept as i read this. i have a savior who can and does sympathize with my weaknesses. i all too often run in my own strength, trying to improve and get better. i try to fix my weaknesses or at least conceal them until i can deal with them. but lately, i have experienced nothing but failure in this area. i am tired of fighting. i am tired of wrestling. today i realized that i have yet to draw near the throne of grace to receive mercy and find help. as i just spent time in silence with him, i felt burdens lifted. i felt more comfort there than i have in any of my victories of my own self discipline. i felt a love that satisfies. i felt a love that does not condemn and is not critical. i felt a love that shares in my tears rather than waiting for me to snap out of it. why do i busy myself with so many things that are good, but not necessary? why do i run around like martha, rather than sitting at the feet of jesus?. no wonder martha complained to jesus. i am sure she was tired of working and being strong. if only i could be like mary and sit at the feet of jesus and experience the depths of his love like she did. i have hardly tapped into the depths of this grace. i think i understand it, but that is clearly not true. but each time i experience even a part of it, i weep. i am so grateful. why do i wait until i am exhausted? why do i try to fix it in my own strength rather than run to the throne of grace? amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. i am so thankful for this grace that flows down and covers me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

singing down memory lane...

as i was driving home in that awesome I-35 traffic , i got to listen to lots of music on my ipod. there are certain songs that always remind me of certain people and certain events in my life. literally every time i hear these songs, these things come into my mind and so yesterday i was literally taking a trip down memory lane. some of you have probably heard these stories multiple times as i have a chronic story retelling problem. hopefully you will enjoy this...

man in the mirror by michael jackson always makes me think of mark garcia. we were driving back late from a recruiting trail one night and practically falling asleep when this song came on my ipod and mark came alive like i have never seen before. we sang louder and did more motions to the song than i thought possible at that hour of the night. love it mark!

american woman by lenny kravitz makes me think of my dear friend ginger morby. i am not sure how it came about, but it is basically the song that plays in my head for her.

ho by ludacris makes me think of maziel dani. i am pretty sure we used to listen to this driving around campus all the time. we both know all of the words, or at least we used to. raising a glass of sunny d to you maz!

wanna be by spice girls reminds me of fabs harford. fabs was paid to make appearances at different high schools as one of the spice girls. she still knows every word and motion to the song. too bad she won't speak with that british accent around us!

country grammar by nelly will forever make me think of stacy mcclure and danielle smith. i have vivid memories of them singing this our sophmore year of college in a style that only they can pull off. i can still hear it! love you girls.

gangsta's paradise by coolio screams kimberly ginnings to me. i believe this is her all time favorite song. we listened to this so many times in her car on the way to sonic. thanks for reviving an awesome song for me kimberly!

you give love a bad name by bon jovi makes me picture robby mayne with a tie tied around his head on the dance floor! i can't tell you how many weddings i have been at where i have seen him killing it on the dance floor to this song. keep it up robby!

all i want for christmas by mariah carey always makes me think of all my college buds. we sang and danced to this song all the time and we were usually up to some kind of mischief when were were doing it. we made priceless memories that only cost us some donuts. oh and kenan, have you ever done your dance for jerry to this song?

more than you'll ever know by watermark brings to mind meagan munday. this was our song when we were roommates my sophomore year because of her broken collar bone. a blessing in disguise.

lose yourself by eminem and awnaw by nappy roots makes me think of butta, our college flag football team. these songs were played A LOT when we won the regional championship and competed in the national tourney as well.

beast by tech N9NE makes me think of bobby austin because he is a beast...or because we listened to it to get pumped on the way to our softball games. this song makes you feel like you should hit a homerun. a lot of rap songs make me think of bobby. he is such a thug.

by rascal flatts will always remind me of mindy goff. her maiden name is mayberry and we used to sing this song to her all the time, especially when she made great flag football plays! i do miss mayberry!

thank you traffic on I-35 for allowing me to sing down memory lane.

Friday, November 28, 2008

happy thanksgiving...

started the weekend off right. met kirsten in hillsboro (on my way to dallas and she was on her way to austin). we had a 2 hour catch up lunch. love this girl!thanksgiving day i got up and ran the traditional turkey trot in dallas. adrianne and robyn couldn't make it this year, but adam joined me and helped me set a faster pace! i finished the race this year faster than i ever have before. however since mom was not there, we took fewer pictures. mom woke up sick on thanksgiving day. sad day.
here i am, about to cross the finish line. 8 miles down, 2 pieces of pumpkin pie to go! i was a bit irritated with all the people who only ran 3 miles and took cases of gatorade. there was none left when i crossed. i almost just took a case from lady in my rage, but i decided against it.
after the trot, i came home and began the football watching. from noon on i watched football. helped mom cook. watched football. ate dinner. watched football. ate pumpkin pie. watched football. then slept. it was a great day!

oh and jon called while we were at the race. mom got to talk to him, but dad and i missed our chance. mom said he sounded okay. probably a little bummed to be in iraq on a holiday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

broken from the start...

here is my latest favorite jon foreman song. i am not completely sure what it is about and i have been on the hunt for the meaning, but i still find the song playing in my head all the time. for me, i think it has been a reminder of my brokenness. i think of the things i have messed up the people i have hurt and wish i could change it, but i cannot. i have tried and only made things worse. i have been broken from the start...

broken from the start...
(Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh)
Life is a gift like fresh cut roses
Cut from the branch and brought inside
It's a slow contradiction, it's beauty in a vase
When our cords are cut that's when we start to die

Lately death and life get so confusing
I can't tell the difference here tonight
Lately every breath feels like I'm kissing death
And when time is dead I cease to be alive

If you hide yourself deep inside
Deep inside
In time you've got nothing left to hide
There's nothing left inside
Tonight, honey
I'm gonna break your heart
Mine was broken from the start
Broken from the start

Choice is the only thing we're given
For one to live another dies
One road says, "Hello"
The other says, "Goodbye"
And the rose that you don't choose begin to die
(Oh, oh)

If you hide yourself deep inside
Deep inside
In time you've got nothing left to hide
It dries up inside
Tonight, honey
I'm gonna break your heart
Mine was broken from the start
Broken from the start
Broken from the start
Broken from the start

They won't pay a cent to hear you laughing
They might pay a little to hear you cry
If you do it long enough
They might even pay attention
But they still won't pay respect until you die, die

If you hide yourself deep inside
Deep inside
In time you've got nothing left to hide
It's all dead inside
Tonight, honey
I'm gonna break your heart
Mine was broken from the start
Broken from the start

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

we pulled it off...

Ginger , Bobby and Robby came to Austin this weekend for a reunion. Needless to say it was awesome! I laughed harder than I have in months. Ginger flew in Friday and we got to catch up before the boys got here. Once the boys got here and checked in to their scary hotel, they came over and we ate chili and then went to see Master Pancake Theater's Forrest Gump.
the vienna sausage stand down on 6th street. i'm so tall.
eating at kerbey lane, an austin staple. this couple showed up with their parrot. that's right, they showed up to a restaurant with a parrot. only in austin.
then we went shopping at the round rock outlets and then yes, we played laser tag. we totally dominated those middle school kids.
after laser tag we went to the salt lick, an awesome bbq place outside of town.
me and robby. waiting outside for our table.
me and the fellas.
the guys recently got iphones and this was a common scene all weekend.
finally a picture with all 4 of us!
after the salt lick we came back to my place, got some amy's ice cream and played 2 rivoting games of clue, which bobby barely won. then on sunday they all came to church with me and we finished out the weekend at shady grove. ginger got to stick around until monday before she left for phoenix. i love these guys and it was so fun to be with them this weekend. we pulled it off in '08!

Monday, November 3, 2008

greater things are yet to come...

So, remember Devin, we kindly refer to him as Big Devin. He is one of the kids that my friend Cara brings in from a low income housing project in Round Rock. Anyway, before you read this post, you should read the previous post on him that I wrote.

Well this Sunday, before the 9:30 service I was up running the check-in table. Devin came by to see me. He had just got back from our church's youth retreat (Big Dev is in 6th grade now). I asked him how it went and he said it was good and he had fun. I could tell he wanted to tell me something but couldn't get it out. I kept asking about the retreat and finally he blurted out, "I accepted Christ this weekend." I was FREAKING out inside! I hugged him, probably multiple times, I can't remember. I asked him what spurred this on. He said he was tired of messing up and doing bad things and he realized he needed Christ. He then said he had to go to TeenRock, so he left. I was totally tearing up. I am so excited! God is doing great things and only greater things are yet to come!

he's now a sergeant...

Mom heard from Jon again last night. He got promoted to Sergeant on Saturday, which is exciting! Way to go brother. He placed an order for some yummy goodies. He has also requested some Christmas decorations to put up in his room.

Thanks guys for praying for him and sending him stuff. It means a lot.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


pops and i all dressed up.

nana and i catching one of the shows.

alberto and i...our kayak tour guide.

dad and i enjoying cerveza after our kayaking excursion... it was fun until the tide went out and we got stuck in the mud. we had to push our way out.

our ship...the ecstasy.

mom and i.

chaunkanaab...cozumel's state park. beautiful.

dad and i in our matching hats at senior frogs...

black and white night.

last day at sea. laying out on the uper deck catching some rays.

hopefully i will get back on here and post some more funny stories.

Friday, October 17, 2008

my brother the marine...

a pic of jon and i last year when he came home.

so my brother is back in iraq (he is a marine) and has been there for about a month now. he will be there for 8-14 months total. we have heard from him via facebook and he even called us this week. i however, missed the call, but my mom got to talk to him. it sounds like he is doing well. he can't really tell us specifics of what he is doing, but he said he is flying a lot and that things in this part of iraq are getting much better. he said it is very different from last time. mom said it sounded like he was in good spirits. i am putting a package together today for him. i am actually going to walk to target (because that is how close it is to my house now) and pick up some goodies. if you ever want to encourage him or send him a package i am sure he would love it! especially as it gets closer to the holidays. this will be his first time in iraq for the holidays and his birthday (feb 28). below is his address. and if you send a package, the post office has special priority mail boxes for soldiers that are free to get and cheaper to ship. you can just pick one up there. what does he like? any kind of cookies or homemade goods. he says chocolate doesn't usually make it, so that it no good. but he LOVES rockstar energy drinks, crest pro health toothpaste, axe body wash, caribou coffee granola bars, and fun kinds of gum. he is more of a salty snack person than sweets. but i am sure he will be grateful for anything he gets.

CPL Jonathan Harris
HMM 161
Unit 41066
FPO AP 96426-1066

thanks for loving on him and encouraging him. it means a lot to his big sister.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

my god...

this song has encouraged me and spoken to me time and time again over the past 2 years. it has given me courage, caused me to weep, and comforted me. when i hear it, i feel as if God is speaking these words over me. i highly recommend buying it! seriously worth your $.99 on itunes. The song is called My God and it is by Colin Bates. his whole cd is good, i love colin's voice and miss hearing him lead worship.

My God
merciful, indescribable
you are my god
faithful, oh so gentle
you are my god

you hold my hand through all my struggles
carry me through
you hold my hand though dark surrounds me
carry me through

patient, a thousand years in a day
its all the same
oh, to you the god of space and time
hope of god come fight
i will wait on you

do not be afraid
for i am your god
for i am your god
for i am your god

do not be afraid
for i am your god
for i am your god
for i am your god

you hold my hand
though dark surrounds me
carry me through

family reunion

next saturday is our family reunion at church, and i am really excited to go. i am looking forward to getting to just spend time with people from church, since i rarely get to do that. the austin stone's family reunion is great time of celebration. we all get together and celebrate what God has done and is doing in our church. we get to eat good bbq, play fun games (which you know how i LOVE competition) and celebrate and rejoice with those who are getting baptized! i love that we actually cheer and rejoice with those who are getting baptized, rather than just politely golf clapping like we did in the churches i grew up in. so if you are in austin, you should come join us. saturday october25. you can sign up online.

Friday, September 19, 2008

something's happening in austin...

something's happening in austin and it is not another race or music festival (though i love those things). something weird is happening among the people in austin. not weird in the sense of 6th street weird, but weird in the sense of against the status quo. there is a stirring going on in the hearts of God's people here. an awakening that i have never experienced before. God is on the move.

at church, we are two weeks into a series on being a church for the city. what does that mean, "for the city"? well we feel called to be a city advocating for the renewal and restoration or God's great city, Austin, TX. we do not want to merely be a church in the city, living life trying to grow in our relationship with Christ, but forgetting that hell and God's wrath are a reality for those around us. we do not want to be a church against the city, withdrawing and creating our happy safe christian subculture. we do not want to be a church that is of the city and resembles it so much that the gospel and truth of Christ are lost in the mix and all things are relative. no, we feel that God is calling us to build a great city, renewed and redeemed by a gospel movement, by being a church FOR the city of austin that labors to advance the gospel throughout the nations.

we have on our faces before the Lord, repenting for not having a heart for the lost. we are not broken for the things that break his heart. the sick truth is that we do not care about the lost, if we did we would be doing something. sadly somewhere along the way, we have learned that church and christianity is about me. me growing, me getting fed, me finding friends that i like, me feeling good, etc. which are all good things, but they are not the main thing. we have lost the power and purpose of the gospel. we have forgotten what we have been saved from. we have forgotten what those around us need to be saved from. sadly most of us come to know the Lord and then become so inwardly focused that we forget that the gospel is not about us.

so as staff and as a church, we have been pleading with the lord to break our hearts. we want God to renew and restore this city. what if he did? what if, like in ninevah, EVERYONE from the least to the greatest came to know the Lord? what if He actually did it? why don't i pray like he can? because sadly, deep down inside i either don't care, or i say, "well ya He can, but He probably won't." and i don't believe! Lord help my unbelief!!

we have studied jeremiah 29 and taken the challenge to move in and settle in the city. God told the israelites to move in and settle in babylonia, even though they had just conquered them and even though they were secular. the israelites did not want to go in, they wanted the Lord to smite the babylonians. oh how that is our heart sometimes. there are some that it is easier to have a heart for, but what about those that digust us or anger us? often we find ourselves with a heart like jonah's. we don't want to tell them about Christ because we are afraid that God might save them and we want them to get what they deserve. we somehow have forgotten that none of us deserve to be rescued or saved and the gospel does not select on merit.

the cool thing is that as we have been praying as a church we have been praying that not only would the austin stone have a broken heart for the lost, but that the entire body of christ in austin would be broken. and well, it is starting to happen. we are starting to hear about other churches with a similar passion. something is happening in austin...

what would happen if God totally renewed and redeemed the weirdest city in texas? would dallas finally wake up out of it slumber and fake christianity? would houston be forever changed? would texas quit taking so much pride in itself and start helping others? what if the gospel became the center of our lives and focus again? what would happen to our nation?

i think it is time we do some serious soul searching and confessing. let's wake up from our slumber, get outside of ourselves and remember our purpose here. let's not waste our prayer lives on trivial things, but let's spend it on pleas for the kingdom to advance.

don't worry, i am the first to confess that i am not there yet, but the more time i spend on my knees confessing my junk, the deep junk that i didn't know about, and confessing our church's junk and our city and nation's junk, the more i am seeing our need for the gospel and the more i being broken for those that do not have it. may i have a heart like abraham's who plead with the Lord to save sodom and gomorrah, even though they were all kinds of messed up and evil. let's wake up church and get on our knees!

Rescue The Perishing
Billy Foote, Fanny Jane Crosby

Verse 1:
Rescue the perishing
Care for the dying
Snatch them in pity
From sin and the grave
Weep o'er the erring one
Lift up the fallen
Tell them of Jesus
The mighty to save

Rescue the perishing
Care for the dying
Jesus is merciful
Jesus will save
Church open your eyes once more
And see what Christ died for
Jesus is merciful
Jesus will save

Verse 2:
Down in the human heart
Crushed by the temptor
Feelings lie buried
That grace can restore
Touched by a loving heart
Wakened by kindness
Chords that are broken
Will vibrate once more

As we're playing our songs
While we're singing them well
Have we forgotten the lost
The reality of hell
If we say we love God
Wanna see His will done
Will we offer our lives
Or just the songs we have sung
Do we even care
When will we care

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Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well I am officially 27 now. I have toyed with what my phrase will be this year. I am leaving 26 and in the mix. I have narrowed it down to 2. Let me know what you think:

1) 27...bread unleavened.
2) 27...the year to act 11 ( I stole this from Bobby, but I still like it).

Here are some pics from this week. We left Tuesday for our Next Generation Staff retreat. We went to lake LBJ (which is the lake I grew up playing on. In fact, we found our old house and it is for sale! I am trying to talk my parents into buying it for all of its sentimental value).

Tanya and I. We all went bowling before we went to the lake. Tanya's birthday was the 20th. So it was one big party.
Whitney was our fearless driver. We blared music, danced and played an awesome game of catch phrase.

They got me season one and two of the office! awesome.

Birthday girls playing on the sea doo.

B. E. T. (Becca, Erin, and Tanya)

Thursday, we came back from lake LBJ for our all staff teambuilding day. Here are all the people I work with at the church (minus Andy).

For my birthday, the college interns dressed up for me! Best birthday present by far! Those legs, the awesome facial hair, totally priceless.
Here are the ladies I work with in Next Gen. They bought me all these cool presents at a truck stop. birthday bandana, coozy, rings pops, and candy necklaces.
That night, my community group made me a cake and dinner to celebrate! Yes that is a giant match for a candle.

It was a good birthday! My roommates woke me up on Friday with breakfast in bed, since I was not home on my actual birthday! It was awesome.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

another wedding, another sweet reunion...

So last weekend on August 10, 2008, in the year of our Lord, Amanda Parsons became Amanda Isaacs. It was such a fun wedding weekend. So many good friends reunited (and it feels so good). It was so good to see my friends. Some are mommies, some are soon to be mommies, some we tease about becoming mommies and then there are some of us that are still holding out. I love my friends! No matter what stage we are in, we are able to reconnect and pick up where we left off. Here are just a few pics from the weekend. I have more on facebook if you are interested.

All of us at the rehearsal dinner. Bottom row from the left: Stacy McClure, Amy Milner, Julie Harris, Denise Farris, Danielle Smith (and her bun in the oven). Top row from the left: me, Minday Goff (and her just about done bun in the ove, Amanda Isaacs, Leslie Janssen, Dara Steward (holding Evan Steward)
Amanda and her cute aisle attendants. I had fun with these girls.The beautiful bride.

The bridal party. We are great at creating candid moments, but not great at fake candid pictures.
There are no words. Well maybe awesome.Harris n Farris picture.

I love Mindy. I can't wait for her to be a mom!
Life is always fun with Danielle!
Just outside the church.
there is nothing like ending the weekend with the Bison Mobile. Carrie rolled up in this and of course we had to jump in the back and take an alum pic. Zip Bang OBU!