Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We're Here ... and a Giggle!

Yes folks! We are back in the great state of Texas! Praise Jesus! We are anticipating great things in this season, in this promised land. We are thrilled to pieces to be closer to our friends and family, to be sure. There are many things we have been waiting on the Lord for and we are anticipating with great excitement how He will roll out, and work out, those things on our behalf. Looking forward to sharing those God stories. Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging! :)

P.S. The above photo is true, and hilarious! The most important thing parents can do for their kiddo's is love one another ... out loud and in public. Speaking of, love my Mighty Man of God to pieces and so proud of him. Carry on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Never, Never Forget ...

I almost let yesterday slip by without remembering. Almost. God reminded me, however, and I'm so thankful He did. Yesterday marked 5 years that God worked His miraculous in our life. He reached down and rescued our family and without Him it never would have happened. Of that I am convinced. Without Him ... well, I won't even entertain that idea. Satan would have me forget that miraculous. He would have me believe differently. But, I know. We know. Our God, He is HUGE! And, He still does the miraculous EVERY DAY! And, so thank You, God, for Your literal miracle in our life, our family, our marriage, in our every day still today. Thank You for You unending love and faithfulness. I will shout it from the roof tops and I will choose to remember it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

She's A Dancing Machine!

When your 2.75 year-old wants to dance, you dance! And, sister dances. And, "Grandie" dances. And, Paw-Paw dances. And, it doesn't matter if the whole RV shakes and there isn't much room. You dance! And, there is much giggling and joy!

Baby Curls ...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bible in 90 Days: Redeeming Love

There is a truth that unbelievers and probably believers, too, don’t want to grasp and that is that God is a loving, redeeming God … no matter how “bad” you are, no matter what “bad” things you’ve done, no matter your past, no matter what anyone else on this earth has said or thought about you. No matter what. You cannot out-bad God’s love.

There are many who would use the story of Saul, whose name was changed to Paul later, as an example of this crazy redemption. And, people, it is a great example. You can find it in the New Testament. However, I discovered another one as we read through the Kings and Chronicles. And, his name is Manasseh, King of Judah.

The story of Manasseh is found in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 . 

I would like to say, Manasseh was beyond what I would call an unsavory character. He was someone you would not want to meet anywhere, much less in a dark alley. Seriously, this fellow put the “b” in bad and even the “w” in worse! He worshipped everything but God and even went so far as to sacrifice “his own son on the fire, practice sorcery and divination and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” 2 Kings 21:5. During Manasseh’s rule, he and the people did not listen to God and Manasseh led the people "astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.” 2 Kings 21:9 and 2 Chron. 33:9b. You know the things, all those evil things God spoke against in Leviticus, and then some.! To put it mildly. And, to make matters worse, “Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end – besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” 2 Kings 21:18. I won't even go there.

The Lord even sent prophets to speak to the people and Manasseh “but they paid no attention.” 2 Chron. 33:10b. Heart. Breaking. So, the Lord sent an army against them and hauled them all off. Manasseh was taken prisoner. The Assyrians “put a hook in his nose, bound him with shackles and took him to Babylon.” 2 Chron. 33:11b.

And here is what I love …

"12. In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. THEN MANASSEH KNEW THAT THE LORD IS GOD."

Redeeming love.

The rest of the story of Manasseh’s life can be read in 2 Chronicles 33:14-20. The short version is he got rid of all the foreign gods (idols) and foreign altars he had built and rebuilt the outer wall of Jerusalem.

He humbled himself and God had mercy and Manasseh lived the rest of his life a changed man who followed God.

And, guess what? That amazing, grace-filled, completely undeserved redeeming love is available to all who are willing to receive it and give their life over to Christ. Isn’t He just amazing!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Talk About Him DAILY

Yes, this is a picture of rocks. I took this picture because it reminded me of a project I undertook, long abandoned. I had decided I was going to write things God had done for us on rocks and keep them in a jar(s) as visual reminders of God's goodness. Just FYI, that was at least 7 years ago and I would have a "rock garden" in my backyard by now if I had continued. Actually, and more accurately, we live about 6 blocks from the beach and if I could write on sand crystals, I'd have a beachfront property. Such are the blessings of the Lord. Really. I'm thinking you would, too, if we all just stopped to look and count.

We read through Deuteronomy a bit ago in our 90 Day journey and then I saw these rocks and it reminded me of this ...

4. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.             Deut. 6:4-9

Think how life-changing that is! I rehearse. In fact, we wrote a thousand gifts on this blog, but I do know that I don't do this Oh the blessings and oh the joy and oh the peace that comes from this command and the command to be thankful in everything. Wouldn't all our lives just shine Jesus ALL.THE.TIME if we were doing this? Wouldn't this change everything? Imagine the fruit for the Kingdom is we were rehearsing His commands and promises and gifts as a family every day! Wow! I know people whose lives do. I am planning to be one of them more consistently, with God's help. How about you?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day Five: Magic Kingdom ... Some More :)

By popular vote, we spent the last of our five Disney days at the "Magic Kingdom." Of course, where else!

This makes me ready for a yard and some landscaping and some gardening. Yes!
Another big peeps fan favorite, "Space Mountain." Ridden many times over!

More celebrating! Love celebrating ... everything, not just Disney!
Note to self, celebrate more!

Waving at the characters. Baby girl LOVED the parades, as did the rest of the fam. It was especially awesome to watch with Daddy holding you up and in the cool of a tall, shady tree! :)

Even "Micka Mouse" got tired and needed a "pigga-back" ride.

Ahhh, the tea-cups!

And, this time without the little, thus MUCH spinning was called for! :)

Thought I might throw-up just watching them. But, oh the joy!

Not to be left out. My do it again, please! :)

Things to do while waiting in line at the Pooh ride.

Best seat in the house for the last Mickey show.

Our host and hostess!

So long until next time Mickey! We had a great time!

Day Four: Hollywood Studios

Day Four, we visited Hollywood Studios. The entrance to this park was a 50's - 60's theme, which I LOVE! This park was all studios and shows and rides and parades and big fun! Here are some of the highlights ...

The "Mouse" hat ... Disney IS magical!

Learning how action movies are made. Enter "Indiana Jones." Quite interesting!

Aaaahhh. The parades. The wee one loved this!

The "Hollywood Tower" otherwise known as the scariest ride in all of Disney. The peeps, who rode most roller coasters more than once, did not go on this one twice. :)

More action film learning. This was pretty cool!

Loved these soldiers. Their costumes must have been scorching HOT, but they were too cool!


Wee one loved "Fantastmic!" Except for the darker parts, which Disney could leave out in my opinion, but the light show was awesome!

Once "Micka Mouse" joined us, he went everywhere! Including the next days adventure. :)

Couldn't get this photo back in order ... grrr! But, who would miss out on a photo op with Mater and Lightning McQueen? Not us! :)

Bible in 90 Days: Covenant

We read the book of Leviticus in 2 ½ days. Every. Word. Our pastor jokes that you can find coffee in Leviticus. "Look for yourself," he says. This because NO ONE wants to randomly read Leviticus, therefore, you wouldn’t know if coffee was in there or not. I’m here to tell you, no coffee in Leviticus. Sorry. However, I had a revelation in Leviticus that blew me away!

Leviticus isn’t about rules, and some ridiculous and boring at that. At least in my mind. Leviticus is about COVENANT. It’s beautiful. It’s about God making a covenant with His people. And, in doing this, in making covenant with them, in promising them good, land, provision, milk and honey, He is giving them a structure to protect that LOVE He has for them, with them. It’s all there and I realized it in Chapter 20 when God says to the Isrealites, His people, His love, in verse 23 –

“You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did ALL these things, I abhorred them. 24- But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord you God, WHO HAS SET YOU APART from the nations ... 26- You are to be holy TO me because I, the Lord, am holy, and have SET YOU APART from the nations TO BE MY OWN."

There it is. Love. He has set us apart. Those rules and regulations weren’t written in Leviticus because the Isrealites were living this way, they were a warning of how the people of the land they were headed to were living and how that was not honoring to the Lord. God was warning His people. The ones He called to be His own, to live differently. Because He knew, and knows, we are a stiff-necked people and that we chase after false Gods and follow the ways of the world and He wanted us to be forwarned that we might love Him and Him only. God is so good.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yes! Yes! Yes!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this quote! Why? Because it smacked me right in the face today. Jesus talking. Why? Because we are moving back to Texas. Hallelujah! And, we are so excited. Huge, HUGE answered prayer.

But, ... did I say but? Yes, I did. But, we are moving to Katy, Texas, not DFW the city we had called "home." And, while I know in my knower Katy is the "Promised Land" God has for us and great things are waiting there, I keep looking back at DFW and wishing for our friends and our kids friends and our amazing church (which we have sorely missed for the last two years for a multitude of reasons) and stumbling over just the idea of starting completely over in a new place. And, quite honestly,  I have listened to satan and not taken my thoughts captive and, what's more, been halfway agreeing with His lies. I have repented and asked forgiveness for being a stiff-necked Israelite. Ugh! But, apparently, I have still been hanging out there because the Lord smacked my "stinking thinking" with this little nugget today. Thank you Lord!

Now, on to the next chapter and NO LOOKING BACK at the chapter before last. Humbled and grateful.

Disney Day Three: Animal Kingdom

I know you must be wondering where Day Two is, right? Well, the photographer, a.k.a. Mom, was laid up with a migraine and Nurse Brianne was caring for her whilest she sent of the Daddy-O and the big sisters to Epcot. And, said photographer, doesn't have access, currently, to the camera used on that day. :( So, praise Jesus, He healed the headache and our fun continued on Day Three at the Animal Kingdom!

The BIG awesome tree, all carved, in the middle of the park. Cool characters!

Anticipating meeting "Micka Mouse!"

The Big Moment! Awwwww ...

Still holding hands ... look out Daddy, there may be a new man in her world! :)

Henna tattoo.

And, one for you, too!

Petting zoo!

Madison's favorite version of monkey ... and Emperor Tamarin! Isn't he so cute with that mustache? Only God could've known he would be on display. His daughter, Madison, was thrilled! 

Best seat in the house ... err, park!

Oh yeah, she's got the rhythm!

One seriously blessed family! Oh how I love the peeps in this pic! :)

Dino ride!

Embarking on one of the milder roller coasters.

Did I say mild? :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Disney Day One: Magic Kingdom

A few highlights from our first day of five at Disney. We started with Magic Kingdom! Fun! 

What one sees, and gets excited for, when one goes to park. :)

Already LOVING the mouse!

Daddy and his princesses in front of the castle.

Thankful this is no longer in service.

It's parade time! Wave!

First ride ever ... Aladdin's Magic Carpet! So excited!

What a girl does when her Dad and sisters are riding ...

... this. Multiple times!

Cooling off on "It's A Small World."
How is it I am the only one who knew the words to the song?
Must be Girl Scouts.

Second ride, with the sisters, who were instructed no added spinning!

What's a girl to do when the bigs are on Space Mountain?
Why, eat ice cream, of course!

Loved us some light parade. Very cool! And, a great way to end the day!