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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Radical Together

Last year I read David Platt's book Radical:  Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream, and was blown away!  So, when I saw that Waterbrook Multnomah had Radical Together:  Unleashing The People of God For the Purpose of God available for review this year, I jumped at the chance to read this follow-up book.  To be quite honest, I was thinking, "What more could David Platt possibly have to say that he didn't already say in Radical?

I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised and equally if not more blown away, AGAIN!

I even commented to my husband that if he weren't a minister and we weren't serving already in a church of our own, I would want to be a part of what is going on in Birmingham, AL at the Church at Brook Hills!  However, one of the things Platt makes very clear in his book is that every believer and every church can live in radical obedience to God.  He is very humble in saying he nor his church has it all together.  They are learning and conforming to what God reveals to them as His will on a daily basis.  That's why he encourages in Radical Together for us all to "take the next step from radical followers of Christ to radical communities of faith."  

Just to give you a taste of what to expect from Radical Together, you can read the introduction by going HERE.

To further peek your interest, here's the book trailer:

Radical Together is a short little book, only about 123 pages.  But don't let that fool you into thinking you'll read it quickly.  Just as he did in Radical, Platt makes you really think about you and your level of commitment in your local church and your church's level of commitment in the making the glory of God known to the world.  Also, my fears of this book just being a re-wording of what was already said in Radical were found to be completely unjust.  While Platt does refer a few times to concepts introduced in Radical, I saw Radical Together as an opportunity to understand how I can link arms with my brother and sisters in my church to accomplish God's purpose in the world.

Consider these statements by Platt from the book:
"Who can fathom the potential of the church when we stop programming ministry for people and start propelling people into ministry?"  (from the chapter entitled "The Genius of Wrong:  Building the Right Church Depends on Using all the wrong People")
"Any Christian and any church desiring to obey the command of Christ in the world and longing to see the coming of Christ at the end of the world must possess a God-centered, gospel-driven tenacity that is ready to endure an intense spiritual battle."(from the chapter entitled "Our Unmistakable Task:  We are living and longing for the end of the World")
"I know of no greater motivational tool for the church than a glimpse of the sovereign, holy, majestic God who is worthy of all worship, who is high and lifted up.  This vision alone will compel a church to radical, risk-taking, death-defying obedience to the purpose of God in the world.  For when our faith communities actually believe that God deserves the praise of all peoples, then our humble worship in the church will lead to an urgent witness in the world."  (from the chapter "The God Who Exalts God:  We are selfless followers of a self-centered God")
Radical Together includes a discussion guide and Platt encourages the reader to take the book and go through it together with a small group of people you serve alongside as well as leadership teams.

You won't waste your time or money on this book.  I highly encourage you to get it.  Read it.  Live it!!!

The book can be ordered from the publisher by going HERE.

Or if you frequently use, you can order by following the link below:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Now I Walk On Death Row

What does it look like for someone to live a life that makes no sense unless the gospels are true?  And what happens in a life, when Jesus is taken at His word in the Bible and that person believes that Jesus really does mean what He says?

Those questions are ones that Dale Recinella grapples with along with his family and he tells their amazing story in his book Now I Walk On Death Row:  A Wall Street Finance Lawyer Stumbles Into The Arms Of A Loving God.  Bethany House Publishers sent me this book for the purpose of review. 

Dallas Willard says this about the book:
"Now I Walk On Death Row is a shocking book.  It will make you uncomfortable.  But if you are not uncomfortable in this world, you haven't yet seen it as it is." 
Recinella tells the amazing story of how he goes from working with Wall Street finance, closing huge money making deals and rolling in ridiculous amounts of money to volunteering as a prayer partner to men confined in Florida State Prison's death row and solitary confinement.  It is on death row working with these men that Recinella sees himself as he really is and the world as most people refuse to consider.

As one reads how Recinella prays with and ministers to these men through blocks of heavy concrete walls and through tiny peep holes, one comes to understand what passages like Matthew 16:26 and Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 6:24 and Matthew 25:36 and Mark12:30 really look like lived out in a person completely surrendered to the Lord.  These are just a few of the passages that Recinella and his family struggle to understand and apply and the one who reads this amazing story gets to wrestle with those passages too.

This book won't be a quick read.  I found myself stopping and praying as I considered for my own life if I'm really living like I believe Jesus meant exactly what He says in His word about living and serving others in His name.  This particular passage is just one among many that caused me pause.  These are Recinella's thoughts after he has officially given up his position as a lawyer to volunteer as a chaplain on death row.  He has wrestled with defining his self-worth by "what he does" and is in the position of volunteering in the prisons while his wife supports their family financially:

"The life that walks in the essentials of day-to-day needs inside my home is adorned with service...My fleshly eyes want to pick and choose between different kinds of service to the least of His brothers, to decide which service is valuable based on what the world holds to be valuable.  God will not allow it.  He is teaching me that I need to peel potatoes, wash dishes and launder clothes in order to live a surrendered life.  It has to do with living as a created being serving a sovereign God.  It has to do with everything, because nobody and nothing ever looks the same after one has seen life from the laundry room and the kitchen sink. Whether I am in prison, on the streets or at home, I must be rooted in the fertile soil of service to my family and others.  I must be careful to never slip into the trap of resentment by forgetting who it is that I serve.  It is always Jesus in disguise."
You will be both blessed and challenged in your reading of this book; and I do recommend you read this book!   It tells a beautiful story of a father surrendering everything in service to his Lord, and leading his family with a servant's heart and example to do the same. 

The book can be purchased from Bethany House by visiting HERE.

Or if you are an user, you can order the book by following the link provided below:


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Blessings

Our family was blessed with a wonderful Easter weekend.  We did a little shopping on Saturday to find Cecily a dress for Easter and a shirt for Bentley.  JennaBeth has been blessed with so many nice hand-me-downs that I just pulled out something she has not worn much that kind of coordinated with the older two's outfits.
As life happens sometimes, we were running late Sunday morning and this was the best picture I could get of them in front of our house before we left for church.  JennaBeth looks like she is about to cry, but she was actually giving a really big "cheese".

I taught my Senior Adult ladies' Sunday School class for the last time Sunday morning.  It was a bittersweet morning with them.  I will miss this opportunity of service in my church, but I am looking forward to new ways that I can be a blessing to my church family.  It will also be nice to be taught and be connected with a Sunday School class for the first time in a while.

After our morning service, we were invited to spend the afternoon with a sweet family in our church, the Hawkins and their daughter and her family, the Edvensons.  These two family's are special people to us.  We stayed with Jim and Karen the weekend, almost four years ago now, that we came to talk to the folks at Northside about Mike coming on as Associate Pastor.  Ever since that time they have just loved on us and taken such sweet care of our family.  They are truly a blessing to us!

When lunch was over, it was time to dye eggs!
JennaBeth really got into the whole egg dying process!  She thought that after you put the egg into the dye that it MUST be stirred...really, really hard.  Needless to say, she was just as pink as her egg was when she was finally done!
She was so very proud of her pink egg...and then the next words out of her mouth was, "Now I eat egg!" And that is exactly what she did...
After dying eggs, the kids hunted some plastic eggs that Jim and Karen had filled with candy and some with 25 cents!  JennaBeth found a bunch of the money eggs!  Everyone accused her of having a metal detector on her!  That girl just knows how to replenish her piggy bank!

Thank you very much Hawkins and Edvenson family for including us in your family's Easter celebration!  We love you guys!

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."  1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Thursday, April 21, 2011

That's When I Talk To God

One of the sweetest parts of my day is when I hear my two youngest children pray.  Bentley is five and JennaBeth is two.  Many times they argue over who is going to say the prayer before our meals!  When Bentley was JennaBeth's age, I remember him "praying" while my husband would lead our family in prayer.  He would have his little hands folded and peek at my husband all the while "mumbling" along with him.  As he has gotten older it has been a delight to see him mature in this area of talking to God.  I guess the greatest joy is observing him begin to understand that prayer is not just words you say, but a conversation with God.  Bentley amazes me with his understanding of God sometimes when he prays.

One morning as he was praying before breakfast, Bentley prayed thanking God for his Holy Spirit and allowing men to know how to build houses so we would have places to live.  JennaBeth, who once only repeated what we would say before her, now begins her prayers on her own, always with "Thank you God".  Although she still requires guidance, I am excited to watch as she grows in her understanding of God and prayer as well.

With these developments in my little one's understanding of the spiritual discipline of prayer, I was super excited to come across Dan & Ali Morrow's childrens' book That's When I Talk To God.  Audra Jennings with the B&B Media Group sent me a copy of the book for the purpose of review.

That's When I Talk To God is the second book in a series of childrens' books the Morrows are writing.  The first was That's Where God Is.  I reviewed that book as well; you can find the review HERE

That's When I Talk To God is targeted to children four to eight.  The story follows the day of a typical child and helps children become aware of all the opportunities throughout their day to talk with God.  Here's an excerpt:
"After lunch I went to my first soccer game.  KICK!  I scored the first goal!  I was so excited!  'I did it!  I'm the best soccer player in the world!' I yelled.  My coach came over to me.  'That's not a very good attitude,' he said.  'You scored because the rest of your team helped you out.  You should apologize to them.'  'I'm sorry, everybody,' I said.  That's when I can talk to God, I realized, when I need to tell Him I'm sorry.  So I whispered, 'God, I'm sorry I was bragging.  Please forgive me and help me to have a better attitude."
The illustrations are beautiful and the story is very engaging.  When I read the book to Bentley the first time, we sat on the couch and talked about how he could apply each situation to his own life.  It was a joy to see him understand that he can really talk to God any time about any thing going on in his life.

There are scripture verses included at the end to assist you in showing your child from God's word about prayer.  Included in these passages is Matthew 6:9-13, the model for praying - The Lord's Prayer. 

If you have children ages four to eight in your home or you are a grandparent, I highly recommend this book.  It provides a biblical foundation to assist you in helping the little people in your life learn about talking to God.

You can purchase That's When I Talk To God by following the link below:


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Deeper Into The Word

I am excited to tell you about a wonderful resource to aid in your teaching God's word to others.  Bethany House sent me a copy of Keri Wyatt Kent's Deeper Into The Word:  Reflections on 100 Words from the New Testament for the purpose of review.

This book is very well organized, making it easy to use.  The words are given in alphabetical order at the very beginning so you can easily find the information you need.  The introduction is helpful in explaining the value and importance of doing word studies.  The way the book is written gives way to three different usages:
  1. It can be used as a reference volume to look up words you come across in your Bible reading.  Ms Kent suggests this:  "Cultivate the habit of reading slowly.  As you read, notice which words in the text stand out to you or give you pause...When a specific word strikes you or puzzles you, use this book as a reference tool to look up words you've encountered in your daily reading."
  2. It can be used as a study guide to help you in doing your own word studies.  If the word you are looking for is not found in Deeper Into The Word, use Ms Kent's technique as a tutorial of sorts to do your own study.
  3. Lastly the book can be read one chapter at a time devotionally.  Ms Kent gives a lot of scripture references using each word to show different contexts in which the word is used.  The reader might choose to spend several days focusing on one word.
That's the beauty of this resource.  It is well written and organized and very versatile.  I recommend you get this book especially if you regularly teach Sunday School or lead Bible studies.  I have used it over the past several weeks to help in my lesson prep for Sunday School.  I have found it an extremely valuable tool, especially on those weeks when I just don't have time to do the in depth word studies on my own.

You can read an excerpt of Deeper Into The Word by going HERE.
You can order directly from Bethany House by going HERE.

Or if you are an user, you can order by following the link given below:

I understand that the Old Testament version of this work is being released in November of this year!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Do You Believe This?

"On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at home.  'Lord', Martha said to Jesus, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'  Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.'  Martha answered, 'I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'  Jesus said to her,'I Am the resurrection and The Life.  He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?'"  John 11:17-26
On Sunday, our Sunday School lesson covered the first half of Colossians chapter one.  I shared with my class that verses 13-14 of Colossians one were "shoutin' ground" verses:
"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
The word "rescued" in the original Greek is "rhyomai" and means to draw, drag along the ground, to draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver. 

As Easter Sunday approaches, my mind has been on the passage I shared above out of John 11.  I've also been thinking about the fact that as glorious as the verses from Colossians one are, I'm reminded that the "rescuing" talked about there required the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  My sins required His death so that I could be reconciled to a Holy God.  I was dead in my sins and transgressions before Christ snatched me from the danger of my sin.  What danger you ask?  The danger of eternal separation from God.

But it doesn't end there.

I'm not rescued from my sin just to be safe.  According to the Colossians passage I'm "brought into the Kingdom of the Son He loves".  And it is there that I have "redemption, the forgiveness of sins".  Now if that don't light your fire, your wood is wet!  I have a living hope, because the Source of all my hope is Jesus Christ, The Resurrection and The Life; present tense, not was or will be, but IS!

I pray during this most Holy week that you will consider your answer to the question Jesus posed to Martha and to all of us:  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When The Handwriting On The Wall Is In Brown Crayon

Even though I have three kids, ages 13, 5 and 2, it still amazes me how quickly I have forgotten with the younger two about all the "stages" they go through in the growing up process.  You would think that by now nothing would phase me and I would be able to handle all the things that come with these "stages" with the grace of a seasoned mother! 

I don't always do so well.

Like in the present stage JennaBeth (age 2) finds herself.  She has officially entered the "screaming" stage.  She's not always screaming because she is upset about something.  Sometimes she is screaming out of sheer delight over something, but it is always that high-pitched, squeal that just cuts right through you.  Some days it is just about more than this ole' mama can take!

Or like the stage Bentley (age5) finds himself.  He has become the "talker" in the family.  He talks when he's playing (very sweet to listen to), he talks when he's eating (not so cute to watch!), he talks when he goes to the bathroom, and he talks when he's playing with his friends, and he's asking a million questions a day!  Sometimes, sadly as I even type the words, I just want him to be quiet.

Cecily (age 13), well I guess if you have teenagers in your home, I don't even have to describe the stage she is in - the moodiness  (loving you one day and thinking you are the devil the next).  Cecily is a good girl and we don't have really a lot of trouble with her.  She's just in that stage of trying to discover who she is and what her place in the world is.  I'm not always patient with that process taking place for her.  Some days I'm thinking, "Would you get it together already!"

Thankfully there are older mothers out there who have traveled these roads ahead of me; ones who can offer wisdom and challenge and encouragement because they have stayed the course through all these different stages with their kids.  And lived to tell about it!

One such mother is Susan Lenzkes, author of an amazing little book titled, When The Handwriting On The Wall Is In Brown Crayon:  Encouraging Devotions For Busy Homemakers.  Katy Pent, publicist with Discovery House Publishers & Music kindly sent me a copy of Ms Lenzkes's book for the purpose of review.

Although this little book is only 109 pages, it really packs a powerful dose of encouragement for those of us still in the phase of asking questions like:  "Who put the fire engine in the toilet?" or "Why did you put the rock in the refrigerator?" or "Who put the toy dish in the oven?"

Each devotion is provided on a two page spread including scripture and one of Ms Lenzkes poems on one page and the devotional thought on the other.  Ms Lenzkes's words are few, but are insightful.  They shine a huge spotlight on your heart and lovingly causes you to examine what is found there.  It also helps that she is just plain funny at times, giving the mom with young ones the humorous relief we need on those hard days!

Consider this example from one of the devotions:
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6)  Then Ms Lenzkes's poem:  "Forgive us, Lord, for snacking at Your feast, nibbling at righteousness, picking at Your promises, and showing up at Your table when we have time.  If we, Your own, are undernourished by choice, how can we expect to feed a lost and hungry world?
Or as I thought reading on this particular day, "How can I feed my family graciously and with love and yes patience?"  My conclusion:  I can't, but He can!  I've just got to draw my strength from Him and not forget what a blessing it is to be Mike's wife, and Cecily, Bentley and JennaBeth's mother!

I highly recommend this book.  It would be an amazing addition to baby shower gifts.  The devotions are short as I've already mentioned, making it an excellent resource for mom's on those days when you can't seem to catch two minutes together at one time!  I'm so thankful for this little book and Ms Lenzke who passionately points us moms to the Greater Parent, Jesus Christ.

You can order When The Handwriting On The Wall Is In Brown Crayon by visiting Discovery House HERE

Or if you are an user, you can order by following the link provided below:

Praying that you will be able to see the handwriting on the wall today, no matter what color it is in,

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit

Imagine that you were posed this question:
"What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?"
Now, imagine that you are given this question by Gabriel, the archangel himself and told by him that you have only five chances to get the answer right with some of the greatest minds available to assist you such as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, Joan of Arc, Eric Erickson, Benjamin Franklin and King David from the Bible.

That is exactly David Ponder's experience in Andy Andrews' The Final Summit:  A Quest To Find The One Principle That Will Save Humanity. 

What you will find in The Final Summit is an amazing tale with a lot of "lost" pieces of history - the things you won't find in the history books.  The narrative between the characters is intriguing and keeps you turning the pages.  You do get lost in the story and find yourself beginning to wonder, "What will save humanity from its present condition?".

While I enjoyed the story presented within the pages of Mr. Andrews' book, the ending was anti-climatic.  I can say that The Final Summit was in some ways inspiring, but overall missed something really big.  The principles put forth really are nothing more than you would find in your typical self-help book.

The book includes a reader's guide making it a perfect choice for a book club selection.  Also available as a free resource to teachers and book clubs is a companion curriculum which you can find by visiting:

You can find out more about Andy Andrews by visiting his website found HERE.

View the book's trailer now:

The book can also be purchased by following the link to found below.  The book is due to be released tomorrow, April 12th.
Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a copy of The Final Summit for the purpose of providing this review.

Believing the answer to humanity's "lostness" is found in a Person rather than a principle,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vicious Cycle

The folks at Zondervan sent me a copy of Terri Blackstock's Vicious Cycle for the purpose of review.  Vicious Cycle is the second book in Ms Blackstock's Intervention Series. 

The book is about a fifteen year old girl's struggle with physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her drug addicted mother and brother, her own addiction to meth and involvement in baby trafficking.  Her life is a complete mess and seems rather hopeless.  It would be if not for the love and concern extended to her by a classmate, Lance, and his mother and sister.  Lance's sister has battled her own demons with drug abuse and has completed treatment at the New Day Treatment Center.  Her story is told in Intervention, the first book in the Intervention Series.

I thoroughly enjoyed Vicious Cycle.  The story it contains took me back to my days as a Social Worker working with adolescents in a psychiatric hospital.  Ms Blackstock brilliantly weaves the gospel and the power of Christ's redemption into her writing.  God is the God of second chances and His love outweighs the darkest strongholds the world has to offer.  This is made very clear in Ms Blackstock's book.

I was worried in the beginning, because the book starts off a little slow.  However, it doesn't take long for the reader to be completely engrossed in the characters and the amazing story of the transforming power of Christ's love.  You will be encouraged and challenged to love as He loves by reading this story.  And you'll be reminded that no one is beyond the grip of God's grace.

You can visit Ms Blackstock's personal website by going HERE.

Vicious Cycle can be ordered by visiting Zondervan's site Here.

Or you can also order the book at the Amazon link provided below:

Happy Reading,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. James Blakeman

Our family had the honor and privilege of being a part of a beautiful beach wedding this weekend.  A young lady who attends our church, has been our family's hairdresser and has taken care of both Bentley and JennaBeth in the nursery got married and we couldn't be more happy for her.  Both Mike and Bentley participated in the ceremony.  Mike sang both during the ceremony and at the reception and presided over the "sand ceremony" and Bentley was the ring bearer.

Thank you so much Lena and Kiera for keeping JennaBeth for us!  We just knew she would NOT make it the whole evening and would be much happier playing and getting in bed by her usual time of 8 o'clock!

Now, I will give you this warning right up front about this post - if you don't like wedding pictures or pictures of very handsome little 5 year old boys in tuxedos, you might want to skip to the next thing on your to-do list.  This post contains LOTS of pictures, because like I've said before - a momma with a camera is a dangerous thing!

I took a few pics of Bentley before we left the house on Saturday evening:

Be still my beating heart!  We had to go by the reception venue before going to where the ceremony was being held and I took this picture of Bentley and my oldest Cecily...
I know I'm a little partial, because they are mine, but I just happen to think I have some of the most gorgeous children!  And these two really love each other!  I think big sister was a little smitten with her baby brother all dressed up!  I got this next shot of them after arriving at the beach while we were waiting on the ceremony to get started...
I am so very proud of Bentley!  He was very patient with waiting and all of the picture taking by both me and the photographer for the wedding, which happened to be the groom's parents.  They have a photography business for all you locals - Waite Photography.  Here he is after getting his boutonniere...
By the way, there was a bride involved and not just a ring bearer!  And here she is as she was coming out for the ceremony...
I think that is just the sweetest thing...father and bride just beaming at each other!  Jessi was an absolutely stunning bride.

Here is the pretty little flower girl and that handsome ring bearer again...
I think the little stinker held his head down most of the time during the ceremony and he was perfectly still.  Several people commented on how well he did, but said that he looked scared.  I commented that fear can be a good thing some times!!!  It is probably what kept him from shuffling around and kicking sand everywhere!  The weather was absolutely perfect for this wedding.  The lighting the sun cast on the wedding party was amazing.  Here is the father about to walk his little girl down the isle...
I don't think I've ever, well I know I have never enjoyed a wedding ceremony in my bare feet.  It was nice to enjoy the breeze off the water and dig my toes in the sand as I watched two people who obviously love each other commit to spend the rest of their lives together.
See my little guy...stiff as a board with head held down, but he sure was cute and was making this mama's heart flutter all over the place.

James and Jessi had the practice of "hand binding" as part of their exchange of vows.  I've never seen this before, but liked it.  Here is the best man, James brother, "binding" the bride and groom's hands together...
My sweet husband presided over the "sand ceremony".  If you are familiar with a unity candle or water ceremony at weddings, this carried the same concept...the blending of two lives into one...

And of course the big kiss...
Now you officially have Mr. and Mrs. James Blakeman...
Don't you just adore the smiles on their faces?  And you'd adore the smile on the ring bearer's face if you could see his face...
The sunset was beautiful for all the pictures taken after the ceremony...

Mr. and Mrs. James Blakeman
Jessi and James with Jessi's brother and parents.
The wedding party.
Bentley and Brenna...ring bearer and flower girl.
I just love the bare feet in the sand!
Jessi and her brother, Jeff.

The wedding party with family of the bride and groom.

First sunset stroll on the beach as husband and wife.

One of the nice perks we got to enjoy was a limo ride from the beach to the reception taking place at Nervous Nellies.  Bentley thought this was really cool...

Outside the front of the restaurant was a huge beach chair, which made for another perfect photo op...
The reception was lots of fun.  Jessi had the cutest little favors for her guests.  They were little wedding dresses and tuxedos filled with personalized M&M's with the bride and grooms name and wedding date...
The wedding cake and topper was just adorable...

Bentley and Brenna were "officially" announced to the reception guests...
Bentley had become rather smitten with the flower girl by the end of the evening and was asking if he could sit by her!  You might can tell in the picture, but she slid her arm in his...too sweet!

Mike sang Steven Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here" for the bride and groom's first dance.  It was really special hearing him sing this song, because he sang it to me at our wedding!

Yep, that sure brought back a lot of sweet, sweet memories!  I don't know what Randy and Simon or JLo or Steven Tyler (American Idol judges) would say, but I just don't think there is no other voice like my husband's!

The reception buffet was WONDERFUL!  Poor Bentley was so thirsty and hungry by 8 o'clock, he was fit to be tied!  He sure was happy when the drink and food time came around...

Don't worry about the Miller Lite cup!  His had Coke in it!!!  And mine had sweet tea and Cecily had Coke and Mike had Sprite...just so ya know :)

It was very touching to watch Jessi take her father/daughter dance with her dad...
I had asked Bentley if he would dance with me and he said "NO!".  Cecily asked him if he'd dance with her and he said "NO!".  Then he said, "But I'll dance with Ms. Jessi!" - with a big smile on his face!  Well, when he had the opportunity, he chickened out, but he did take this sweet picture with "his" Ms Jessi (that's what he used to call her when she was keeping him in the nursery)...
We got ready to go home and I realized I had gone the entire evening without getting not one picture with my handsome little man!  So, as we were leaving, Mike got this one of us in front of the water fountain next to the restaurant...
James and Jessi,
Thank you so much for allowing our family to be part of your special day.  We were honored to be there and witness the miracle of God binding two hearts together.  May Christ always be the center of your life together.  We love you guys and pray God's richest blessings on your marriage!  You are truly special to us and always will be!