Saturday, June 23, 2007

Threads - It's All Connected Part II

"Thanks for the link! I think this is some of the most crucial work that the church is about today. We have to realize that what we've been doing isn't working in reaching this generation and we've failed to help twenty- & thirty-somethings realize that church, their church is relevant. I'm excited to be a part of the solution in helping churches and leaders do just that."

Chris Ediger
Threads Internet Producer
June 23, 2007 7:27 AM

The above was a comment left on the Threads - It's All Connected post. I didn't want you to miss what Chris had to say. Didn't want it to get lost in a sea of other posts.

Recently I took a survey in my class. The results of that pierced my heart. The girls/women knew that I was going to be using that to help not only our church but others churches as well. At first I wasn't really sure they would be willing to fill out the extensive survey. They answered each and every question because they understand the importance of sharing their stories so that those who minister to them and others like them would have a clearer picture. We would gain valuable insight in what had been done right and wrong. We could make changes and hopefully move forward to a healthier, real way of impacting lives.

These girls/women had grown up in the church. Not all in ours. When they reached the age of 16 to 18 - they lost interest in the church. They spent the next few years wandering. This is not new of course. But why? Why does this happen more often than not? In so many churches - there are things for preschoolers, children, teens and married couples. What about those that don't fit into these categories?? What about them?

As Chris stated, "I think this is some of the most crucial work that the church is about today." Amen Chris. We've got to get out of the mode of what we've always done before. It doesn't work. Time to move on. This generation is needing the best we can offer them. Not something leftover from 20 or 30 years ago. The best we can offer them is Jesus. Alive. The real connector of each and every thread in life. Not someone who died to never rise again.

They want accountability. They want the freedom to share their stories and know that grace, mercy, compassion and etc will meet them. They don't want to be told that they do not belong until they look like we want them to. That they have to get all cleaned up first.

I ask you again to check out

What I'm really asking is more than that..... I'm asking you to get uncomfortable for the sake of others... For the power of the cross. For Jesus Alive! Be a part of the solution. Be a thread in another person's life and help make something beautiful from what others might see as scrap. Let your space become a part of theirs.

And more about the survey to come. More stories and testimonies.......

Friday, June 22, 2007

THANK YOU! Testimony!

Brother G just heard testimony from one of our members that she has really felt the love.

Why? She put in a request for help unloading some boxes and her phone has rang off the hook.

Thank you to all who called..... even if you weren't the ones who unloaded the boxes.

****There are people who are willing to help.... Just let individuals know there is a need.

The Pool. The Pool.

The city pool that is...... Looks like we're on! VBS registration event tonight.... 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

*Bring your kids

*Bring your grandkids

*Bring your neighbors and their kids

*Come HEAR the music

*Don't bring the dog

Note: It had been postponed previously.


Gavin H. was hurt in an accident. He is 14-years old. He will be having surgery on Tuesday.

Gavin and his family are asking that individuals pray that he does not have to have surgery. It involves his eye and his jaw.

Gavin is the son of Pam & Gene. His family has come so far since I first met them.

When It Rains - Get Wet

This morning the boys and I headed out to the building we call church. We were surprised how many showed up today. The van was completely full with several other vehicles loaded up as well. I was the only female in the midst of all males. Their ages ranged from 16 to 9. We talked and listened to music until we got to our destination. Where exactly I cannot say......

First there was one.... and then another.... As I sat there reading "S" a book while she was eating her lunch - her great aunt said, "Oh look. There they come." I turned to see the ones whose faces I have etched in my heart coming down the lane. They were smiling and waving. Two boys, two girls and their uncle or cousin.... sometimes the lines are blurry.

They walked over to where the boys were all standing. One by one they received their sack lunch and milk. Hugs were given and the, "I was hoping you'd be here today," were heard. I really didn't think much of the spot we had set-up in. They started taking their lunches over to where it was shady. I followed their lead of course.

I held one in my lap while she ate her lunch. She wasn't really thrilled about eating at that moment because she wanted to play with her dog.. We were after all at a park. Sitting next to us was "L".... a little tiny blond hair girl who honestly must be all of 3. I kept playing with her hair that she had put into a pony tail. She kept laughing. The boys were busy talking with another friend all the while consuming their food.

When "L" was finished eating, she looked at me and said, "Where's Parker?" I yelled at Parker who was back over still where we had been. He came running over. He let her chase him around and around again just like he has done before. He kept saying to her, "Watch where you're going little 'L'." I couldn't help but smile deeply.

Next thing we know.... it was starting to rain. First little drops and then harder. Parker kept letting her chase him. When I saw what time it was & knew we had to be heading back..... I directed the boys who with me to all load up in the van. The ones who we were leaving behind yelled out... "Thanks for getting all wet with us. We'll see you again."

For whatever reason I had really done my hair this morning before leaving for Healthy Kids. My hair was now a droopy mess. Yet..... there was laughter in these children's voices, food in their tummies, and smiles on their faces...... Some things you just can't put a price tag on.

Feed others when you have the chance. And when it rains...... get wet.

Driving Hoover

My mother is currently in the living room waiting for Hoover. Her favorite color is purple.... She has earned the title "Queen"..... Hoover is going to the eye doctor today. He needs to have surgery on his eyes here soon. She is going with him because well.... that is just what they do now... and he will not be able to drive himself home.

As I was walking back into our room, I couldn't help but laugh. Even though she doesn't hear all that well..... she replied, "I know why you're laughing." I turned to her and said, "Oh? Really? Why is that?" Then she started giggling..... "Because of the whole driving thing."

You see most days my mom does not drive. She is the one who is normally driven wherever she needs to go.. Unless she can get there by golf cart or it is less than a mile from here. And yes.... most of the time we open and close the door for her.

Why was I laughing and still sitting here with this big dumb grin? And yes.... tears streaming down too..... Her driving Hoover goes to show the power ..... of that four letter word... love.

Hubby just came in and said, "You ought to see her now. It's so funny. She's ready to go." Have I mentioned before how much hubby loves his mother-in-law? Love really is that powerful.

HIS love is most powerful of any...... It can cause one to drive another any where they need to go.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My thesis for videogame addiction/abuse

I wrote this on a clan forum a few moths ago and thought i should post it here (i just did a mono copy, so it might be missing some periods or some sentences might seem weird)

Halo is my first online gaming experience for the computer, but i am an observer and gather information, and will post what knowledge i have gathered

Online gaming is addictive. Whether its Xbox Live, Nintendo Wi-fi, or simply Gamespy Arcade, online gaming has been an established feature in video and computer gaming and can guarantee product success if the multiplayer aspect is addictive enough. However, it isn't the game play by itself that is addictive: its the community you play in. You make friends online, you fight with them, talk with them (statement doesn't apply to Nintendo Wifi, as i play a lot of it), and grow into a community. You make friends all over the world and get to know them. Very few people play the game online and don't get involved into a community; its a byproduct of online gaming, and the developers know it. It doesn't matter if its just text-based chat, team speak, or any way of communication (again, Nintendo wifi excluded), you make friends who play the game you enjoy. Its even more addictive if you have friends in your community:church, school, neighborhood, or anywhere, and they do not think highly of the game. They ignore you whenever you talk about it. There are people like that, and it is dangerous for them. While growing into a community is a good thing, it can be a very bad thing as well. Since you may not know them physically, and only know them from online, there is the "friendship mask" that can hurt someone if the person they may perceive as their friend online may hate them in real life, outside the "online world" they want to live in. However, on the plus side, it can be a healthy and godly thing as well. Online gaming to the "average" player is a place to "pwn", "become l33t", and post/say abbreviated cussing. However, online gaming is slowly yet surely establishing itself as a "ministry beacon" for those who want a creative way to spread the Gospel. Halo clans like CoG, SoC, ELC, and other Christian gaming clans are powerful ways to spread the Gospel. While in a sense it can be dangerous, online gaming via a Christian clan can be a safe way of playing online without getting a "ungodly addiction". Parents fail to realize that not all online gaming is bad as parents believe. But, even though you may play on a Christian server, it still can be bad if you do not restrain yourself and complete your other activities before you play. Homework, jobs, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, family and God; when those things become ignored, then it becomes an addiction. When its a hobbies, those items are still prioritized first before gaming. Having a healthy relationship with your friends can also help restrain yourself

Parents, here are some way of realizing that your child/teenager is becoming addicted to online gaming
1: Its the first thing they do when they come on, saying "ill do that later" to everything else.

2: They play several hours of it nonstop, without breaks, ignoring meals and other activities (this is very dangerous, as it can result in CT'S, Seizures, and several other medical issues)

3: If they are playing in an unholy environment, listen to when they say (both while playing the game with voice and around the house while not playing) Depending on who their friends are, their attitude will change, they may slip out words they shouldn't, and will be more grumpy and violent if provoked

4: If they are playing in a holy environment, they may start to ignore church in place of a more pleasing environment; the clan or server, simply because "I'm hanging around a godly environment". wrong. ignoring church for Halo is a sin. Make, plead, and flat-out threaten if your teenager ignores church for playing Halo with his online christian friends.

Teenager/Kids, here are some ways to prevent yourself from getting addicted

1: Establish a "play OK" time, whether it be 1 hour 2 or 3 times a day, or 2 hours once or twice a day, where you can only play during that time. If you plan to meet a friend online, then try to meet them in one of your times

2: If you have homework, tell yourself "the faster i get done the more time i get to play". Don't rush it or do a sloppy job, but try to do your best

3: If you get the impulse of "I'm bored", just stop playing and do something else. If you tell yourself "yea i get bored but i don't have anything else to do right now", then it become an addiction twice as fast as normal

Unfortunately, that covered mostly the addiction issues. there are other issues, mainly sexual abuse, identity theft, or other web-crimes that parents tend to think more about every day.Tell your kid that under no circumstance are any of these things to be revealed

1: Last name

2: Phone number

3: Address

4: Any card numbers

However, some of these items may be eventually revealed
1: Age
2: State
3: Gender
4: First name

The above 4 items are commonly revealed and normally pose no threat, but the 4 above should never be revealed under any circumstances. If they are, tell your child to log off and, depending on what was revealed, contact the appropriate police to handle the situation.There will always be the "parent/child gap" on several issues, and online gaming is no exception. In fact, due to online gaming's growth over the last decade, it is becoming a more common issue, as well as the potential threat for cyber bulling and cyber sexual harassment.. The best way to understand what is going on and what your son/daughter is doing is to try to immerse yourself as much into your child's activities as possible without becoming a stalker. Try to make conversation about online gaming in basic terms and work your way up. Hopefully, your child/teenager will be more open about it and you can protect your child without acting like a "parent parent".

alright I'm done blabbering. i should also add that i am 15 and wrote this all by myself. i expect a lot of flack from that aspect.

God bless,
{ELC}Neo X, Austin.

Calling Brother G!!!

Brother G (aka hubby) is currently unavailable. He is stuck in traffic in Arlington. If you're wondering why there's been so many posts today? There is a lot happenin' behind the screen......

Did I mention it's raining now? Just as the boys and I were headed to the club pool too. The laundry is done... The kitchen clean..... Brother G can come home and relax.... Tomorrow is Friday... How does that happen?

Here's a little funny for ya... My mom went running to door and then said, "I guess I shouldn't look so anxious huh?" Hoover was walking to the door. We both just laughed.

Breakin' News... Parker says the sun is comin' out.... Life in the moments...... To the pool we go! Good thing God is unchanging........ It's all connected... one way or another.....

Threads - It's All Connected

Looking for some resources for your church's 18 to 30 something crowd?? Or perhaps to help create a young adult ministry????

Check it out at

We must keep looking for ways to keep, reach..... and include this age range. How many walk away from the church and/or God during these years? How many who have never known His love won't walk into our churches because they think we're boring and have nothing to offer?

Surveys say that more teens leave home for college to not return to a church until they have children of their own if at all. We must do something to stop this trend.

What are you willing to do? It is all connected.

Prayer Requests!

1) Brandy (not related to me) is in labor. She is at 30 weeks. (request from Katie)

2) The man with hospice care.. his family...

3) The man who had surgery today in Arlington

4) The Buffaloe family. Job.... she has Lyme Disease....

5) Jessica... a little girl... her grandparents are attenders at our church

6) The children wanting to attend VBS & their families

7) Individuals to drive our church vans to pick up the children wanting to attend VBS

8) The Dyers and all who moved to Fredericksberg

9) Glenn & Sherri Watson - transitioning to Canada

10) The Tatum family

YES!.. It's True & Really Sensitive

There's a rumor that I was seen out today with no makeup on. Oh please..... If you were to see me most days/nights - I don't wear any or not much at all.

I guess my question is - where have YOU been??? Now for some thing really sensitive....

Parker just got off the phone with one of his buddies... Apparently he has sensitive gums and is on his way to another town nearby to go to the dentist. If you could have heard Parker's end of the conversation...... Plaque never sounded so intelligent. You'd never think they were in 4th grade..

Parker wears clear fingernail polish...... There is more than one way to stop biting one's nails. Feel free to talk about that won't you......

Testimony from Benny

There's a man that has been in my life forever. He and daddy were life long friends. Benny called today to check in on our family.... just like he promised daddy he would. What flowed from his heart was so in line with the beat of the last post that I just had to share it with you......

The pastor of their church in Lindale, TX. recently rec'd a love offering. Why? He and his wife had adopted a little girl with some special needs. They needed to take her to Dallas for surgery and such. This pastor has only been there since 2005. Benny said he is one of the best preachers he has ever heard and is a great pastor. It is obvious how much Benny loves this man.

Benny is in charge of his church's benevolence fund. Thinking through all that the pastor, his wife and this little girl would be experiencing..... it was placed upon his heart to take up a love offering. The church members gave over $10,000.00. If you could see the size of this church and the town in which it is in....... Another man from the church owns an apartment complex or two in Dallas by the hospital where the surgery was to take place. He gave his pastor's family an apartment there for a month - free.

Benny said, "You know Camey, with all the bad stuff we hear about churches and their pastors not getting along... This is a testimony of one going right." Amen, Benny.

Real Oxygen Testimony!

One of the benefits of living in this highly secure gated community 15 miles plus away from town is the grocery store up the street. Well.... today... the benefit was that of Homer.

I noticed him when I first walked into the store. Frankly, I don't remember having seen him there before. Most of the time one of the boys is with me, if not two or all three. That's where a lot of lessons take place. When I was reading one of the labels on the pasta - there he came down the aisle. Low sodium has taken on new meaning.

Homer was pushing a cart full of items that needed shelving. Attached to this older man was a portable oxygen tank. He looked at me.... I smiled and walked on. When I had grabbed a few items - I proceeded on to the checkout line. The girl calls over the loud speaker, "Homer to carry out please." I had not noticed his name before.

He came and bagged each item with care and then placed it into my cart. He walked with me out to the van and started putting the groceries in the back end. He made a comment about the carrying case for the golf clubs and asked if I played. Remember: there's not a golfing bone in my body. Not a single one. Yet.. the door was open....

I told Homer about my dad and we talked some about what a horrible disease Parkinson's is. We then talked about how when one is a Christian - there is more to life than good physical health. I asked him about the additional oxygen he was requiring. He then told me his story up until today....... He recently had a PET scan made.... The doctor was baffled. It was clean. No cancer to be found. Homer goes to our church and yet we had never met. That happens when you have a church our size.

While the cancer is gone - his body still needs additional oxygen to help him not be so tired. We talked about how great God is. And standing there looking at this dear older man - there was no doubt what a real oxygen testimony he has.

Not long ago I sent a story about a testimony that took place at a laundry mat one day to a dear friend of ours.... She said, "I would love to be a part of something like that." The testimony actually included her by the way. Of how God had used her in a person's life...... She was a part of the testimony. Why? Because of her passion for sharing Christ's love with others. For getting into the pit and showing who could really get them out......

My challenge to those of you reading this is........ Don't put God into a box that can only be opened on a hill or wherever you call church. For He is alive in the parking lot among the trees as well as the laundry mat.

If you have a testimony you'd like to share..... You are free to post it here! And yes.... please pray for Homer. Pray also for the testimony he can be to those who think they just need to sit and soak.

Speaking of Laundry

This is the color of most of Trav's shirts. You'd think we live in Texas or sumpthin'.... The boys are currently helping out with the laundry. They are each responsible for folding their clothes and hanging up their shirts....then, putting them up. Hubby washes all the clothes at the laundry mat and then drys them at the house unless the septic tanks are not full and he can do a load or two each day. Remember though: septic tanks are not our friends. Not when you have the size of family we do living in a house created for two with occasional guests. If you live here - you are all too aware of the amount of rain we've been getting lately.

I have had a couple of questions about hubby and the boys in regards to the laundry. I realize that some may not agree or understand our ways of doing things. That's okay. Here's the scoop:

Hubby does (read: washes) the laundry because quite frankly - he is better at it. Just ask him about lipstick and all the clothes I ruined early on in our marriage. When one does something better than the other - it is okay for that person to do it. In this case, it does not make hubby less of a man. If you think it does - GET OVER IT! His momma taught him how to do laundry because he was the oldest of 5 children. Thank God for his momma on that one! He is better at it than her too now.

Why the boys then? We're not raising our sons to depend upon other people to have to take care of them. This is a part of growing up in our household. The lessons they are learning are not just about laundry. This is one of the ways that as parents to have those teachable moments. Sure... hubby could do all the laundry and have it put up in our closets before I would think to put a load in the dryer.... That is not necessary. What is necessary and vital is to teach our children about responsibililties. How it is important to take care of the things in which we are blessed with...... This will help them to be better children and stronger men. Not weaker....

As parents.. as Christians... God calls us to train our children. While this does include household chores at our house...... It is truly referring to learning about Him and serving others. The two can work hand in hand together if you just give it a try. We have some of the most in-depth conversations while going through the sea of orange shirts and shorts. And yes... the boys are learning how to cook, clean the kitchen, and take out the trash.

I know there's the argument that I am the mom and therefore, I should do all the housework. If that's how it works or worked at your house - clearly your family's decision. Each family does have to decide for themselves what will or will not work.

How do you decide? What is your guide?

Prayer Requests!

1) Hoover (aka my mom's boyfriend)- he's at the sleep doc again.

2) Caitlin - this little girl is having such a fight with her body. Her family too....

3) Cynthia & Mark - they were back last night! More about them to come...

4) Individuals making tough decisions about life

5) Individuals who are retired in more ways than one

6) Dr Jackson who will be preaching this Sunday... I've heard he can say more in 30 minutes than most can say at all. WHOA! Can't wait!

7) VBS registration event at the city pool - FRIDAY NIGHT! It was cancelled last Friday. It is back on.... well.. if the weather corporates. If we get to have it.... I will say... it had been postponed. (read: laugh people)

8) People on the streets of G-town. If you knew all the student drivers I do - you'd stay off the road! Nah.... they're all fabulous teens! What makes a couple of them even more so.... their dedication to Christ! They ROCK! (read: they've got real passion)

9) Teens who are considering having sex or have already done so. More about a recent survey on teens, sex and the church to come.

10) Whatever is weighing on your heart today......

Out of the Mouth.....

Last night I was singing as I was playing on the floor with the kids. One started singing with me. Another said... "She's singing with you to make you sound better."

Gotta love little kids.

Unchanging in the Midst of Change

This morning as we were walking through the trees... I couldn't help but think about how He is unchanging in the midst of change. The trees are so alive colored with many shades of green and in all shapes and sizes. We had added two more in our quest for healthier lives. While Ms. Rhonda (& Mr. Danny) encourages our children - we encourage theirs right back. Couldn't help but think about the fact that this time last year - we did not know them yet. They have added so much to our lives. And without question - gave us a great gift when daddy passed..... a night at a bed & breakfast for just hubby and myself. Actually... the real gift is their friendship... their love... What makes it even sweeter? We don't always see eye to eye on every thing. Wow! Talk about refreshing to so many degrees.

The last couple of months I have been taking care of children in the nursery/preschool on Wednesday nights. This is a part of ministry for me. Last night as I was climbing up the steps of the play gym holding a sweet little boy's hand - out of the corner of my eye - I saw his dad. He couldn't leave the nursery last night. The news about his health had his wife crying upstairs in hubby's Bible study class. The look on his face was that of pain.... of uncertainty. A few weeks ago... his little boy wouldn't let me close to him if his dad was around. He not only let me hold his hand.... he also wanted me to pick him up in my arms. For a moment, his dad smiled.

There's another little boy who tends to want to challenge authority. He was throwing rocks and telling me "NO" and running away to the corner of the playground area. Yet, later as we were back in the room..... I joined him on the floor while he was building with blocks. At first.... I just sat there watching and asking a question here/there..... He looked at me and said, "You can build too if you want." I smiled and started picking up a block. He looked at me cross ways and said, "Don't put it there. It doesn't really belong. Put it here." I couldn't have said that I knew better and put it where I wanted instead. Nah..... There are times when it is not necessary to be in control. Another girl joined us and she kept asking him where he wanted her to put each block. All the sudden he moved over closer to me.... and said, "Jesus wants us to be friends. We can build this and then knock it down together." He was smiling and so were we. The room was actually the calmest it had been all night.

There's a man mowing his lawn across the street. His mind is slowly fading away. He forgot that the lawn pastor was going to take care of it this morning. Yet... there he is on his riding mower. He tells the same stories over and over again. Sometimes hubby reminds him - other times he doesn't. He has lived a fascinating life. I can't help but wonder - where is he really today in his heart? His little wife frets over him and he doesn't even realize it. Yet.... their love is as sweet as iced tea here in Texas.

While it is all good and fine to have individuals in our lives who we can call upon in the midst of changing times..... They in no way can compare to the ONE who never changes. His love is where the real power comes from. If you're reading this today and thinking to yourself, "But Camey? You don't understand my situation..." I don't have to. He already does.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prayer Requests!

1) The man and his family who is having hospice care.

2) The teenage girl who lives with her grandparents every summer. Her grandparents and her mother as well....

3) Our SP as he is on his sabbatical.

4) The couple who visited last Wednesday night for the first time.

5) The women at the pool last night and today.

Cheese? A Warning!

"Cheese" is a form of heroin. If you hear anyone talking about wanting to score some "Cheese".... they are not talking about cheddar, swiss or pepper jack. This is not me being flippant. This is a serious subject. Facts you should know:

1) Cheese is a tan-colored powder usually snorted through the nose with a tube, straw or small ballpoint pen.

2) Signs of cheese use include excessive thirst, disorientation, and a sudden change in grades or friends. Individuals are lying down and never waking up again because of Cheese. If you see any thing out of character - please consider it a red flag!

If you think our town doesn't have a major drug problem - please pay closer attention to those around you. If you don't live here - there might be a reason why you are reading this right now.

If you are reading this and you need help - please seek it immediately!

That's Why & STOP IT!

Okay... So forgive this little tiny rant of mine. Instead of letting some of our food go to waste at lunch - I walked up to give the untouched portions to the lifeguards attending the check-in desk at the pool. One in particular was beyond shocked. Why? She is used to be treated like dirt by "club members"........

Some have asked why I am not a fan of highly secure gated communities where people have to be members of "the club" to live there - that's why. STOP IT!

I may be becoming addicted to saying "STOP IT!" If it shows up in another post within the next 24 hours - please warn me.

Moments Here... Moments There... Moments Everywhere

The younger boys and I are heading to the club pool here in just a bit. Austin will be at the tennis courts with her. Hubby has already finished his lesson for tonight and is off to the laundry mat. Septic tanks are not our friends. That's for another post though. This is our life......

I've been asked to explain our ministry..... That is some of what this blog is all about. We do not believe that all ministry takes place inside the walls of a building on Sunday morning or whenever or in the offices of those with a title attached to their names. We believe the majority of it takes place in daily living. Who we see as we swim at the club pool, play tennis with on the courts and/or at the laundry mat literally washing the dirty laundry. It can even take place on the internet. Yes, I just said that again.

We are to use each and every moment of our lives. Yes, I know there are some things that are seen as personal. Really personal. Yet..... if we are not willing to share in each other's day to day - then when the really personal things in life happen - are people willing to open up and truly share? TO seek the help that they need in truth and love? If we're only seen as happy plastic people living in a fantasy world so to speak - who would want us to come into their pits and help them up? Who would even think we care enough to do that?

That's just not acceptable to us. That's not who my hubby and I are called to be.... to do... We are called to share His love by walking with others throughout life and living. For example: Knowing hubby is heading to the laundry mat - my mom just gave him the sheets off her bed to wash. Some might say.... "Oh.. those are just too personal. Your husband has no business washing his mother-in-law's sheets." Really? No business?

I ask you today..... What is your business? Who do you work for? And what is your definition of too personal?

Salt & Pepper

As our youngest son Parker loves to point out.... I have many gray hairs. There are a few women who think it is not proper for him to discuss that with his mother... or all the other people he discusses it with. I disagree. Totally. Completely. Disagree. Let me explain why...

When I made the decision to no longer color my hair two years ago - Parker was a big part of that reason. My hair at the time was red. When I first dyed it red - Parker said to me, "You finally look like my mother." Parker is a major redhead. We laughed ourselves silly over that. Our two other sons have hair colors that I have been at one time or another. Austin's - my natural color. Travis - did that for a short window when I was in my early 20's. I dyed my hair red after being physically healed. Actually... I didn't dye it - hubby did. That hubby of mine....... some of our funniest moments at the kitchen table and with the sink. The boys watching their dad coloring their mom's hair - hilarious! The smell? One does not forget easily....

It is also no secret that some of our best conversations as a mother and child have taken place in the morning curdled up in bed. It has been during these conversations that Parker really gets up close to his mom. It is our alone time until another brother climbs in. During the years that I was ill - it was mom lying in her bed that Parker was all too familiar with. Not just in the morning - but all throughout the day/night. There were days when leaving the bedroom unless going to the hospital was just out of the question. Parker associated my red hair with my being healed. In of itself - that is not a bad thing mind you..... It was a miracle. An undeniable miracle.

When I started going off diving boards, climbing trees, riding a bike and roller skating - Parker and the comment about my hair finally making me look like his mom sank in. That's when I knew I had to STOP IT! My hair wasn't red. It hasn't been red since I was a little girl. Being a redhead was not who Parker's mom truly was. Especially not at that point and time. There was no question that I could no longer color my hair any more.

Now there are those that would say that is a downright silly thing. Okay. Free to have an opinion of course. Even those opinions who think I should not only color my hair but cut it short since I'm this old now, a women's minister, and hubby is a pastor. But please do not miss the point of this post.....

I have accepted the fact that my hair is definitely salt and pepper. More salt is being added daily. It is only because of time spent with Parker though (or the other two boys for that matter) that each one becomes more precious to me than gold. Why? Because in order for them to be noticed - or counted - it does require getting up close and personal with mom.

And for that....... I say.... bring on the salt!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prayer Requests!

1) B's blood pressure is still horrible. She is on complete bed rest at home. The baby Corbin is doing good though. (still haven't been able to see her or that baby in person...)

2) HP is far away from home right now on a trip with friends. She is sick. Please not only pray for her but her precious mommy and family who are here and not able to be with her.

3) There is a young woman with three little children. Not sure of all involved yet.

4) There are pastors all over this country that need prayers. Not the country... This country... And around the world for that matter too.

5) Finances! It is the summertime folks! Churches do not shut down and go on vacation.

How to Save A Life

The Fray has a song by that name. The boys and I have been talking a great deal lately about being real friends to people. That as Christians - we should look at the responsibilities of friendship differently. Yes, it is easy to be around someone when things are going great in their lives and yours. Not so much so when things are going the wrong way for one of you...... or even perhaps both...

Sometimes what makes a real difference in a person's life is someone just coming along side of them and saying, "Hey.... What's going on in your life?" And then..... actually listening..... Compassion... We hear that word thrown around a lot but how often do we actually give it or show it?

Other times it is necessary to be willing to say to a friend, "STOP IT!" Really depends upon what is going on of course... or perhaps what is not.....

We cannot save anyone ourselves. We can just walk along with them in their journey. And we better be found guilty of pointing them to Jesus every chance we get.


Please pray for hubby and Austin as they each are writing devotionals for the mission trip. One will be for day one and the other for the last morning. This is such an incredible opportunity for these two guys of mine. Others have been asked to write devotionals as well. Shelley and/or Ryan could have written them all or used an already published devotional book/guide.

Austin is a fantastic writer. Hubby... well.... I could go on and on.... One lady told him last Wednesday night after his Bible study - "You were meddling tonight." She insisted he sit with her yesterday at lunch.

What ways do you encourage those involved in your church and/or specific ministry? How do you let them use their gifts God gave them?

What's in a Mile?

This morning Austin, Travis and Parker started a new adventure with their mom, aka me/Camey. With school out and our sons not participating (more about that in another post) in organized sports, we have to be intentional about giving them opportunities to exercise. While the boys are doing good overall in their grieving process.... it is up to us as their parents to make sure they get out and about more often than not. We've all gained some extra weight these last few months. That has got to stop! STOP IT! Comfort food is not the answer to living the life God intends for us. No matter how yummy it may be..... As for all the individuals who kept bringing us casseroles & desserts- your food was delicious and we thank you for your graciousness - most importantly for your love for our family. We accept full blame for letting our bodies go as well as our mouths. We all know what one serving should look like. Duh!

My best girlfriend and I had been walking back before school was over. I thoroughly enjoyed spending that time with her. 'Sides, I'm not one who has ever liked exercising alone. Boring..... So, knowing that she was still walking... I enlisted her help with the boys. We joined Ms. Rhonda and another friend walking this morning around the PAC. One time equals a mile. Starting out slow... but we will be back tomorrow. I walked with Austin while Trav and Park did some serious moving with her. The other friend took turns walking between us.

What's in a mile? Laughter, real conversations, sweat and time spent worth every step. We believe that parents must take seriously the wonderful responsibilities of raising children. Part of that does include realizing that it is not up to the Miler's Club or organized sports to keep our children in better physical condition. We should be active participants in living life with them and not just on the sidelines or hearing about how many miles they walked at the end of the school year awards ceremony.

If you are a parent - what do you need to do today with your child(ren)?

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Health - The Past & Present

The last couple of days have served as a great reminder for me just how incredibly thankful I am for the past 4 years. A little bit of a tummy ache in no way compares to the fight that my body was once in.

I am in the best physical health ever at the age of 39. Why I was physically healed in 2003 - I honestly do not know all the answers for...... The Great Physician..... What can I say? I do not claim to understand.

Tonight as I sit here...... I remain in awe. To Him.... my life I give for it is not my own.

Contributers! Sponsors!!! Butchers?

Contributers! Please make sure you watch the name attached to each post as I have asked and will continue to ask different individuals to contribute here. The subjects will depend upon the person writing and why they've been asked.

Sponsors!!! Praise God! Hubby (aka Brother G) and I were getting prepared to write a check here soon for mission trip. Got word today that not much of one will have to be written - if at all. Words cannot express our gratitude for each and every sponsor. And yes, updates will be posted here. We cannot wait to see how God will use our missionaires. More importantly... we cannot wait to see how lives are changed as a result of God's Word becoming alive in their hearts and with their hands/feet! I'm talking about all involved.

If you live within driving distance.... please check out C & J Butcher Shop located on South Morgan St. "Fine quality meats - old fashioned service"

The Student/Youth Ministry...

Austin... The soon to be 16-year old son...and by mom's request I'm giving my thoughts on student/youth ministry...

Student/youth Ministry - ministry to teenagers. DUH! What do we do? We listen, have fun, make friends, find girlfriends/boyfriends, and learn about things teenagers need advice on through God's word. What do we talk about? Stuff that teenagers need to know about; money, love, sex, drugs, about God, and anything else that's on in a teenager's world. The fun stuff? Camp, events, retreats, and other stuff. Where do we draw the line of fun/seriousness? That's not an answerable question. It's different for everyone. What can we get out of it? As much as our minds will allow us to. Flaws? Oh sure, every ministry has some sort of flaw in it. The youth ministry's flaw? I'm not a youth minister, so I can't tell you. But someday i might be; I have a calling to ministry, and if by chance that's being a YM, then lets GO! The student body has screwed up on things. But does that stop us? I don't think so. Does it makes us stronger in Christ? You bet it does. Certain students aren't as strong as others, but its the strong student's job to help the weaker students out and make them strong. Its not just the YM's job to make a strong youth group; it takes the strong youth helping out the weaker youth. And its up to the youth to help other youth that don't know the WORD to come to youth activities. Usually camp brings the most in, but other events can bring others as well. The youth need to make up new ways to share their faith, like me, who runs the Christian Halo clan Evangelancer, {ELC}, and spreads the gospel throughout the halo world. But there are other ways as well. I'm afraid i cant list them all, and im afraid im out of time.

God bless,


Prayer Requests!

1) Severe flooding in several parts of Texas. Places like Sherman, Gainesville, Trophy Club, Haltom City....... Lives have been lost. Property/material possessions damaged or completely destroyed.

2) Howland babies - there are three of them. One still is requiring oxygen. They each only weigh 3 lbs or less.

3) There are some youth at our church that have been called into ministry. Yes, Austin is one of them. Encourage them.

4) Mission trip to Pikesville, Kentucky coming up! If you don't have a missionary yet that you are supporting with either a financial donation or prayer support or both - what are you waiting for?

5) Healthy Kids - children are going hungry right here in G-town. Participate in this vital ministry. This has opened doors that have never been open before.

As always.... please email if you have any prayer requests and include whether or not they need to be anonymous. Prayer is one way we can encourage one another. It is a privilege and a responsibility. It can also be a blessing. You may also leave prayer requests in the comment section.

Mondays - 100% Chance of Testosterone

Oh my. Currently I am listening and participating somewhat in a dialogue between Austin (almost 16) and Park (9). The older brother is talking to his youngest brother about the benefits of reading the Bible every single day. (Austin will be contributing here today - please watch for the post with his name attached.) The middle brother, Travis, is playing a game. He decided to not go make pizzas at CiCi's this morning. There are times when it is okay to not participate in every thing that a certain age specific ministry has planned. Today is one of those.

Hubby is currently at the building we call church. Who knows when he will return. Estrogen is completely outnumbered as per usual.

Can I Get A Witness??

Father's Day 2007. Lessons learned. Lessons taught. Here's a recap - the morning after.

1. The food at Line Camp ( Saturday night was absolutely delicious. Too rich and eating too much caused one sick tummy. It's still haunting me.

2. It is no secret that I love teaching. What some know/expect and others don't is that I write most of the Bible study material that I use. Needless to say..... a lot of time gets invested. I work on it throughout the course of the week with the final wrap-up taking place after hubby leaves on Sunday mornings. That's when I finally print. Well, yesterday blank pages came out of the printer. Not out of ink mind you..... Apparently, I didn't listen to what was originally laid out for me at the start of the week. I took the blank pages with an open heart and mind. We must stay teachable. Yes, us teachers too.

3. Don't announce "No Tie Summer" and then wear ties. You will get rebuked. Just ask Randal, David and hubby. It happened before the first service started. So apparently, some people do read their worship folders and pay attention to the announcements on the big screens as they come in. As most know... hubby is more comfortable in blue jeans and boots. Ask Randal about the suit he had on yesterday. Props to him for all the weight he has lost.

4. Randal delivered a good sermon on a dad's responsibilities. Good... not great.. He was feeling bad and it showed. Besides... it didn't help that the insert for sermon notes had the answers already filled in. The video of the guy learning to a tie was good as was the thank you to dads. Props to Randal for hangin' in. A real "Father's Day" lesson there.

5. Keep praying for David and his family. They've been here since January and still haven't sold their house in Amarillo. If you have any contacts there - please use them. They move into our highly secure gated community this week. They're ours... You can't have them unless you live here too. Please note that I am not a fan of highly secure gated communities. But I am of David, Denise and their family. And we still have security/crime issues. That's always a lesson for people to learn... no matter their age. And yes.. David is a security risk for our church. In the best of senses........ It is a crime that some people don't understand that yet. What/who is worship about again???

6. When it came time to teach... I shared with my class about the blank pages of paper. Totally went with it..... It worked out great! Better than what didn't print would have for yesterday. The class is used to having at least three sheets every Sunday: the lesson, prayer requests and praises. When we first started out, we sat on the floor with our shoes off. While the shoes do come off still - now we sit at tables brought together with Kleenex, chocolates and bottled water or diet cokes in the middle along with whatever they need for the morning's class. That goes to show the growth taking place in their lives. They asked for tables so that they could write.

7. Hubby is the easiest man to please in regards to Father's Day. Where's the proof? We had sandwiches for lunch and then he/i made homemade tacos for dinner. He doesn't need fancy meals or expensive gifts to know that he is loved. The prayer that Austin prayed at dinner - better than any Hallmark card could ever be. The hugs and time spent just hanging out with "dad" - always priceless. I thought our bed was going to break because of the laughter, tickles, and roughhousing going on.

8) Hubby did talk to his dad last night. Keep praying for him as he is still having health issues. We hope to see them some time this summer. Don't know if that will happen though. Funny how they live in Amarillo now and David's family is here. Funnier still hubby sitting in the hospital room with his dad a few weeks ago and meeting someone who had been on staff with David there. Good thing they loved his family too! Small world. Hubby's dad is retiring in December. Of course then, they won't be living in Amarillo any longer.

9) I had a couple of people ask me if it was hard celebrating Father's Day this year since my daddy was gone. Nah. One thing about daddy was that he always made a point of sharing with my brother and I who our real Father was. While he was a fantastic dad - he was never God. Dads.... please keep that in mind when raising your kids. They are only on loan. They don't really belong to you whether they are biological or not.

10) Where the witness truly comes in is that God is my Father. I don't need a certain day on the calendar to spend time with Him. Neither do you......

Now onto Monday!