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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If you like to talk to tomatoes......

I am so glad that Bentley has fallen in love with these guys:

When Cecily was a little girl, she loved Veggie Tales. At age two she knew that when the video tape popped out of the vcr all she had to do was push it back in and she could watch the show again, again, and again.

Now Bentley is about as bad. He wants to watch them over and over. Right now he is watching "Dave and the Giant Pickle". Although all the "broccoli, celery, gotta be Veggie Tales" over and over a million times can get somewhat annoying, I love it when he is playing and out of the blue he starts singing, "Believe in God. He's the One to pick you up!"

Since he has been watching V.T., he has started wanting to pray at meal time. He always tells God thank you for his toys and tells God how much he loves and likes his family.

The other day we had made plans to go outside and play after his nap. Well, when he woke up he had not forgotten about those plans; however, one of our wonderful S.W. Florida thunderstorms was beginning to brew. About the time it looked like it was going to blow over and we were headed out the door the heavens opened up and the rain began to pour.

Bentley was so frustrated. He threw Green Bear (his lovey) on the floor of the living room and said, "Mommy, I'm going to my room." I asked him why and he responded, "I'm going to talk to God and ask him to make this rain a short one so I can go out and play." He marched off to his room and I heard this one sided conversation as he sat on the side of his bed: "God, I want to play. Can you flease make this rain short. Please, I know you can. Thank you God. You my best friend."

He came out of his room. The sun about that time began to peek through the clouds. His face lit up and about that time the biggest crack of thunder I have EVER heard roared. We all jumped and then Bentley dropped his little head and said, "I guess that's a no!"

Yes son, God sometimes says no.

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and He will exalt you."
James 4:8,10


Monday, August 24, 2009

As the Bell Rings.....

The buses are rolling, the bells are ringing and the teachers have red pens in hand around here this morning. It seems like the summer was way too short, but indeed it is school time!

We had a youth "back to school" picnic this weekend on Saturday. The group headed out to Franklin Locks after everyone got through with school open houses in the morning for an afternoon of relaxation and fun before the daily grind of school and extra-curricular activities began.

Here is Bentley and Danielle on the boat heading out to go tubing. Danielle is one of our youth girls and the daughter of one of our elders. She is such a sweet and mature young lady. She sings in our church choir and has been blessed with awesome singing talent. Danielle is also very good with the little ones. Bentley loves her.

Bentley loves being on the boat! And no grandparents, he did not go tubing. He only watched.

He thought it was so much fun watching everyone fall off the tube.
Here he is just chillin' out.

This is Josh, one of our youth boys. Bentley loves Josh! He likes for all the big boys to tussle with him, but he especially has taken up with Josh.

Here is Cecily (in the middle) waiting for her turn to go tubing. She was not planning on doing it, but the sweet girl next to her talked her into it. Andrea is one of our youth girls who has really welcomed Cecily and made her feel comfortable in the youth group. Cecily really thinks alot of her.

Cecily is getting ready....
to take the plunge. She did really well her first few times. All we have heard from her since Saturday is how much fun she had and how much she wants to do it again.

This is Grace, another one of our girls. She is such a sweet young lady. Grace is really good with kids and has babysat for us several times.

Cecily and Andrea going for another round....

The last 30 minutes or so on the boat....
Bentley decided to take a nap. He could not hold his head up any longer. But he had such a good time. He loves hangin with the "big kids", and they are all so sweet to not mind him tagging along.

We are blessed with such a good group of kids at our church. I wish I had pictures of the other half, but they were on our pastor's boat with he and his wife.

I am praying that all of our youth are blessed with safety, clarity of thought in the classroom, good study habits, and chances to "shine like stars in the universe" as they "hold out the word of truth" to their classmates around them.

Here is Cecily as she was getting ready to leave this morning.
Yea! She thinks now that she is in middle school she is to big to have her "first day" picture taken! Like another mother said on her blog, "Let me take it here at the house, or I'll take it right smack in front of the SCHOOL!"
Much better!!! She was all smiles then.
UPDATE: I just got back from picking her up from school. She opens the door and the talking starts and hasn't stopped! "Ms So and So is so cool and we did this and we are gonna be doing this and...." All without taking a breath!
Yep! I think we are off to a good start!

Thank you Lord for the honor of being Cecily's mother. You have blessed me with a sweet and beautiful young lady. I pray that you would bless her and keep her and make Your face shine upon her this school year. Guide her and direct her steps through this year as she adjusts to a new school with new teachers and new friends. Keep her healthy and safe. Grant her opportunities to share her faith with those around her and may she be a faithful servant of yours in doing so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Sweet Tater

JennaBeth had her six month check-up with the pediatrician today. She weighs 15 lbs. and 9 ozs. and is 27 inches long. Dr. R says she is perfectly healthy and right on track with her development. She got three shots. She was such a brave, big girl. She didn't even cry with the first one and the crying with the other two didn't last very long.

Here she is in the outfit she wore to the appointment. "Thank you Granny for my pretty purple outfit."

She has been eating cereal and fruit in the morning and evening for a few weeks now. Bananas are her favorite, and she really likes them mixed with mango. This week she had her first vegetable: Sweet Potatoes. She loved them!
We certainly do not have a shy eater on our hands. Baby girl leans into the spoon!

Between her big sister who takes such good care of her and her big brother who is ever the entertainer, JennaBeth NEVER lacks for much love and attention. She has not only discovered her feet, but everybody elses as well.

Here she is enjoying her big brother's toes.

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet
of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation."
Isaiah 52:7


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Desiring God Wednesday

Well, I finally made it through chapter one. This is the furtherist I have ever made it in Piper's "Desiring God".

Today's post will be short and sweet as I am catching up on some very much needed housework that was put aside last week in order to rock and take care of sick babies.

Chapter two is titled "The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism".

Piper says, "The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God's allegiance to us, but to Himself." Piper goes on to explain that not one single purpose of God can be frustrated and because of His sovereignty, God "must be the happiest of all beings. This infinite, divine happiness is the fountain from which the Christian Hedonist drinks and longs to drink more deeply."

Do you want to be happy?

Then be happy in God! Know that everything that comes into your life is filtered through a God who loves you and orchestrates everything in your life for your good and His glory.

Piper explains, "When God looks at a painful or wicked event through His wide-angle lens, He sees the tragedy of the sin in relation to everything leading up to it and everything flowing out from it. He sees it in relation to all the connections and effects that form a pattern, or mosaic, stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all its parts - good and evil - brings Him delight."

Piper closes the chapter with the thought that "delight is incomplete until it is expressed." We must praise God or "the rocks will cry out". Piper further says that "we praise what we enjoy".

Are you enjoying God? Then praise Him with all that is within you today!

"Fear the LORD your God and serve Him.
Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.
He is your praise;
He is your God..."
Deuteronomy 10:20-21a

Let me hear your thoughts,

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Dailyness of God

Praise the Lord!! I think the flu bug has left our house! Both babies are doing much better. That Tamiflu works wonders, second only to a whole host of folks who have been praying for our little ones. JennaBeth still has a little congestion and cough, but is fever free and feeling good enough to be a little stinker! Bentley, well he's back to being Bentley and I love it! I think :)

This past week was difficult on many fronts. It is very hard to see your little five month old suffer and there be only a limited amount of things you can do to relieve her suffering. It is also hard to take care of sick children and keep up with other household things on very little sleep!

But as crazy and energy depriving as this past week has been for our family, I have also become aware of several other situations that would just break your heart.

Like the Rowe Family
in Arkansas who lost their sweet baby just days after birth. I can't even imagine their pain today as they have the memorial service for their sweet baby Reese.

Or like the sweet ministry family whom I have recently come to love, due to church conflict have been forced resign their position with an unclear future laid out for them.

Or like the numerous people I know with just broken hearts and situations they are up against with no clear answer in sight.

There are SO many situations I am thinking of right now and my heart is SO heavy for all of them.

I wish I had the answers. But, I don't. But God...I love those two words!
But God does! He has the answers!

Just the other day, while JennaBeth and Bentley were both resting and Cecily was doing her thing, I cleaned out my bedside table drawers. You know those things that catch all the stuff you can find no other place to put. Yea, they were really getting on my nerves! Anyway as I was cleaning, I came across a piece of paper that I had printed out with a verse from Psalm 68 on it. I remember doing a little study on this verse some time ago, when it really ministered to me.

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape
from death."
Psalm 68:19-20

I wanted to get a good grasp of the verse, so using Bible Gateway, I looked this passage up in several different versions of the Bible.

The Amplified Bible:
"Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens
and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation!
God is to us a God of deliverances and salvation;
and to God the Lord belongs escape from death (setting
us free)."
The Kings James Version:
"Blessed be the Lord,
who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation.
He that is our God is the God of salvation;
and unto God the Lord belong the
issues from death."
The New Living Translation:
"Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior!
For each day He carries us in His arms.
Our God is a God who saves!
The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death."

Now first of all, God is Mighty to save! The Hebrew translation of "God" in these verses is "El" and means God, mighty one! Next, He is our Sovereign Lord! God IS most assuredly in control. Our pastor reminded us of the powerful and comforting truth several sermons ago that there is at no place and at no time that the sovereignty of God is not ruling and reigning. We can rest and lay our heavy burdens down at the feet of our Lord. He is in control. And He knows best what will glorify Him first and foremost and secondly what will bring us ultimate good in our lives; what will mold us into His image!

This Mighty and Sovereign Lord loves us so much. He daily bears our burdens! He carries us day by day, is a God of deliverances, loadeth us with His benefits and carries us in His arms.
I get a mental picture of this idea every time I watch Mike carry JennaBeth around in his arms. She quietens and calms down. Not just because she is spoiled to her daddy carrying her (okay maybe just a little bit!), but because she knows she is safe!

We are safe in our Heavenly Father's presence.

Matthew Henry has this to say in his commentary on these two verses:
"The gracious intention of Christ's undertaking was to rear up the tabernacle of God among men, that he might dwell with them and they might themselves be living temples to his praise. The glory of Zion's King is that he is a Savior and benefactor to all his willing people and a consuming fire to all those that persist in rebellion against him. Those that take God for their God, and so give up themselves to him to be his people, shall be loaded with his benefits, and to them he will be a God of salvation. If in sincerity we avouch God to be our God, and seek him as such. He will continually do us good and furnish us with occasion for praise. It is owing to the mediation of Christ that we live, and live comfortably, and are daily loaded with benefits. So many, so weighty, are the gifts of God's bounty to us that he may be truly said to load us with them; he pours out blessings till there is no room to recieve them. So constant are they, and so unwearied is he in doing us good that he daily loads us with them, according as the necessity of every day requires. He will at length be unto us the God of salvation, of everlasting salvation, the salvation of God which he will show to those that order their converstion aright, the salvation of the soul. He that daily loads us with benefits will not put us off with present things for a portion, but will be the God of our salvation; and what he gives us now he gives as the God of salvation, pursuant to the great design of our salvation. The keys of hell and death are put into the hand of the Lord Jesus."

My prayer today is that you will know without a doubt that your Heavenly Father loves you and He daily carries you. If you have happened upon this blog post and you don't know this God Who is Mighty to save and you would like to then please email me at It would be my pleasure to talk to you more!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Safe Sitter in the House!

Cecily completed the Safe Sitter program today at one of our local hospitals. She is excited about taking on this responsibility. It is exciting to watch as she grows and matures into a supreb young lady. I also happen to think she is very well qualified. After all, she helps me take care of this little guy....

and this little girl.....

Yep! She is indeed QUALIFIED!!!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just a Regular Wednesday

Desiring God Wednesday will be back next week. I've not been able to do much reading, actually no reading at all.

We have had the Flu bug make a landing on our house and apparently he has decided to stay around for a while. Mike brought this bug back with him from youth camp and was sick for about five days last week. JennaBeth made her visit to the pediatrician on Monday morning and tested positive and was given Tamiflu. She has turned the corner today. She is still running fever and coughing but the brightness is coming back to her eyes!

Bentley was the next victim. He made his visit to the doctor's office this morning and yes, tested positive for the flu and was given Tamiflu. He's asleep in the recliner right now. He was so sweet this morning. While we were waiting to see the doctor, he watched as some of the other kids left the office be given a sticker for being good patients. So, of course, when we were checking out he asked about a sticker. He told me, "I need that ticker to take to babytister. She will smile and be well with that ticker." Melted my heart, yes it did! He was not feeling well, but was thinking of his baby sister, excuse me his "tister". I love that boy!!

Hopefully Cecily and I will be able to avoid getting sick. I've never washed my hands so much in my life nor have I repeated the phrase, "Go wash your hands", as much as I have the past several days. Cecily is really hoping to not get sick, because she has her Safe Sitter course at a local hospital on Saturday.

I guess it is at times like these that I need to be reminded about God's extravagant love for me. It's no small thing that just a few days prior to this bout of sickness,during family devotions, Mike talked about how "crazy" God is about His people. He read the following passage from Zephaniah chapter 3:

"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, 'Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

In the ESV, that last phrase reads like this, "He will rejoice over you with LOUD singing."

I also came across this verse this week:
"For the Lord takes delight in His people;
He crowns the humble with salvation."
Psalm 149:4

And this one:
"The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving
toward all He has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those
who fear Him;
He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love Him..."
Psalm 145:17-20a

I love word studies in scripture, so I was interested in the phrase "watches over" in that last passage in Psalms. The Hebrew word for "watches over" is Samar and means to keep, guard.

May the God who keeps and guards His people be with you and yours,

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Next Food Network Star

All I can say is "Move over Bobby Flay"!

My children were in rare form yesterday. Cecily (11 yr. old) and Bentley (3 yr. old) played together so sweetly. Cecily was good to entertain her little brother. Her Aunt Julie and Uncle Jason gave her a cupcake maker for Christmas and she and Bentley made a gourmet cupcake dessert TOGETHER!

Doesn't it look yummy?

They had fun enjoying the fruits of their culinary labor!

I know that there will be years ahead of fusses and fights and many "I don't like yous", but my prayer for the two of them really is that they will always love each other.

And I must not forget the littlest one in the bunch.....
who has enjoyed her daddy the past two days! Mike couldn't have much to do with her most of the week due to a nasty upper respiratory infection that we were afraid was or might turn into the flu like many of our other youth camp attendees. But when he felt better, she sure enjoyed having his attention.

She was licking and drooling all over that bald head, when....

she decided that she didn't like the taste anymore!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Desiring God Wednesday

What do you treasure most?

John Piper, in the introduction (yep I'm still in the introduction) to "Desiring God" says, "Christian Hedonism does not make a god out of pleasure. It says that one has already made a god out of whatever he finds most pleasure in."

Hmmmm....convicting, at least for me.

Piper also says, "God is not worshiped where He is not treasured and enjoyed."

Psalm 37:3-5a
"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD..."

Notice the words in bold, dwell, commit...those are words of endurance not just a haphazard way of doing things.
  • Trust - In the original Hebrew this word is "batah" and means to attach oneself, confide in, feel safe, be confident, secure. The basic idea signifies firmness or solidity. Denotes a confident expectation.
  • Dwell - In the Hebrew, this word is "sakan" and means to reside, inhabit, abide, to rest.
  • Commit - Here the Hebrew word is "galal" and means roll oneself upon, to be rolled (in blood), be dyed red.
What I think Piper's point is, is that we are supposed to have a joy about us as we trust in God. We treasure not the things God can benefit us with, but that we treasure Him! God is our Treasure! And we learn to do this by gazing at God, not just glancing at Him (Thanks for the word picture Grace P.).

I'll leave you with a prayer from "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions" titled "God Enjoyed":

"Thou incomprehensible but prayer-hearing God,
Known, but beyond knowledge,
revealed, but unrevealed,
my wants and welfare draw me to thee,
for thou hast never said, 'Seek ye me in vain'.
To thee I come in my difficulties, necessities, distresses;
possess me with Thyself,
with a spirit of grace and supplication,
with a prayerful attitude of mind,
with access into warmth of fellowship,
so that in the ordinary concerns of life
my thoughts and desires may rose to thee,
and in habitual devotion I may find a resource that will
soothe my sorrows,
sanctify my successes,
and qualify me in all ways for dealings with my fellow man.
I bless thee that thou hast made me capable
of knowing thee, the author of all being,
of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.
O God, attend me in every part of my arduous and trying
I need the same counsel, defense, comfort I fount at my beginning.
Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,
more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect Him on earth,
While He pleads my cause,
may I show forth His praise.
Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards me,
and whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence go with me,
they blessing attend me.
Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,
fearful, but thou hast delivered me,
despairing, but thou has lifted me up.
Thy vows are ever upon me,
And I praise thee, O God."

Let me hear from you,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Journey 2009

Each summer the youth from our church go to youth camp in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Mike is Associate Pastor at our church and he goes with the group on this trip. Here is a group pic of he and the kids.....

One of the nights during the week, a talent show is held. Here is Mike and Grace, one of our youth girls singing as part of the show.

Isn't this scenery beautiful?

I don't know why, but these pictures make me think of Fall coming. I guess I'm just ready for some cooler weather.

Now, what you need to understand is that my husband can be the biggest kid of them all sometimes. Naturally, he got involved in the paintball event this year at camp. Here are some of the girls...

And here is my dear, sweet husband...


in green paint! I think the girls got the best of him.

Despite the week getting off to a rocky start for Mike and the week ending with the church bus breaking down and Mike and the other counselors with him having to scramble and rent cars to get the youth back home, it was an awesome week in the Lord.

I am amazed at the times God will present us with a truth in scripture and then immediately give us life circumstances to put what we've been taught into practice. That's exactly what has happened with our youth and counselors.

Please pray for the Northside youth group if they come to your mind after reading this post. Apparently the Flu bug was beginning to make its way around camp and many of our youth have come back with it. Mike has been in bed for two days and isn't feeling well himself.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4


Monday, August 3, 2009

Mississippi Friends - Part Three

I promise! This is the last post of our MS friends. You have to know that two mamas plus two cameras plus five kids equals an enormous amount of pictures!

One of the wonderful surprises of the visit was the awesome gifts Amy brought for JennaBeth from Aunt Pooh. Now Aunt Pooh (Lisa Tadlock, Amy's sister-in-law) is not actually JennaBeth's real aunt, but we absolutely claim her in every sense!

She is a sweet, sweet woman with an extreme amount of talent when she sits at a sewing machine. Have a look at these beautiful dresses she made for JennaBeth:

Pink Flamingos

Rainbow Butterflies

Polka Dots (This one is my favorite)

Lady Bugs
Aren't they amazing? I can't wait for JennaBeth to wear them!!!

Here is the quilt Aunt Pooh made...I just about had a hissy over it! For all you Florida friends reading, "hissy" is Mississippi speak for "fit".
I love, love the detail Aunt Pooh added, like baby girl's initials...

and the polka dot bow in one corner...

And if that weren't enough, JennaBeth has a diaper bag to match her quilt...

Aunt Pooh we love you, not so much for the gifts as for the time and effort you put into these sweet things for JennaBeth. You have an amazing talent! Thank you for thinking of our newest addition to the family in such a sweet way! Bentley loves the Batman back pack you made him and Cecily loves her purse as well. You are special to our family!

I'll end with some wrestling pictures....

I'm not sure if the boys or the girls won, but as you could tell Bentley seemed to be the one to pin down. What can I say, that boy is ALL boy, ALL testosterone, ALL the time!

Tomorrow I will post about Mike's trip to Black Mountain North Carolina with our youth. Please come back, the pictures of the scenery are amazing!!

Have a blessed week,