Saturday, December 29, 2007

Her Name is Amber. Changes.

Her Name is Amber:

She was our server tonight at dinner.

Please pray for her to have a closer walk with God.

And also in regards to school.

She had a wonderful smile and was a fantastic server!


Change can be good.

I've been told all the dots made it hard to read at times.

Change can be fun!

Laughing in Lingerie.

Oh my. There are times when laughing is all one can simply do.

Here's the scene:

I was waiting for a woman who was in the dressing room of a local clothing store. I was her chauffeur for her shopping adventure.

Ventured around the store.... the whole entire store mind you..... and then...

When I was standing in the middle of the lingerie section in between naughty and nice...

I saw them.

Church members.

It's okay people. Really. It is.....

Certain Individuals.

This morning I am found with thoughts of certain individuals. Please excuse me if I appear to ramble some... If you see yourself.... know you are deeply loved.

There's this woman. I had the pleasure of sitting under her teaching and leadership. She can be blamed for the chocolate in my Bible study classes. We have since become prayer partners and sweet sisters in Christ. Her family is going through such an incredibly difficult time. The health of several family members is not good. Carrying to Jesus....

There's a guy who is like my little brother. If I had a little brother that is... He cracks me up and our time spent talking with each other is always filled with laughter even if the subject may be unpleasant. His wife is quickly becoming just as precious to me. It is a pleasure to carry each and their marriage to Jesus.

There's a certain confidante who is only an email, phone call, or drive away. His friendship is truly beyond words. Our relationship with him has gotten sweeter over the years. And in the last few months, even more tender. Carrying this man to Jesus is like taking a very piece of our own being.

There's this man.... He loves a woman who is not always easy to love. He cries out for wisdom that only God can give him in regards to this woman. This woman can make him smile, has made him cry, and has frustrated the heck out of him at times. And yet, he loves her more today than yesterday and not as much as tomorrow. And without question, all the same can be said about him in her eyes. Carrying him to Jesus is most definitely a privilege and responsibility that comes with marriage. And I would not miss one moment with him. Life is truly a journey that I am thankful to be on with him.

Certain individuals. Thank You Lord for each of these....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trouble. The Mayor. A Few Good Men.

Part of why I enjoy working Fridays at the physical church building is because of Trouble and The Mayor.. They always come by the desk before they walk out the doors. Well, they kind of have to given where the desk is.. but... they would make the trip any way.. We sort of love each other.

They come on Friday mornings to help get things ready for Sunday morning and/or for things that are needing to be mailed out. They both amaze the heck out of me honestly. Trouble is in her 80's; The Mayor - her 90's. And at times, can run circles around those watching them or thinking they might need help. Sure, there's things they physically can't do any longer.. But what they can do.. they definitely do.

Trouble and The Mayor worked this morning with Brother G and our three sons. I knew when it was time for them (Trouble and The Mayor) to leave - they would have some stories to tell.. It seems that Trouble wanted to give Austin a cup of coffee to drink. Austin knows his daddy, aka Brother G, does not allow him to drink coffee. She brought him a cup any way.. Austin would not drink it. Trouble, at first, thought Brother G was being a hard nose about it. But, by the time she and I finished talking about why Brother G has the position on Austin drinking coffee that he does - well, she was seeing it more clearly. And she definitely did not think he was being hard nosed any longer... Hugs and "I love you" were given as she headed out the door. But I can't forget about The Mayor either now...

The Mayor and her hubby walked up to the desk.. The Mayor thinks Brother G is handsome. Well, she and I definitely agree about that! She went on and on about how she enjoys spending time with him and the boys. Her hubby (a good man) talked about how much help my guys were to them today especially... (they were filling in for some other individuals) Her hubby is in his late 80's and by the sheer fact that he can keep up with The Mayor is impressive to say the least. Oh, "The Mayor" is a title she has since she has been with this local church body for so many years and around this town in general. Oh, how I greatly enjoy sitting at her and Trouble's feet just listening to them. Mr. Mayor too although he's not as loud... We don't always agree.. but

There have been a few good men around so far this morning. There's a folding chair here beside where I am sitting. It has been sat in a few times already today, and time has been well spent listening to these men in-between answering the phone. Someone refers to the chair as my couch but that's a different story. One man made a special trip to the physical church building to give money. Yes, he will be here on Sunday... he still came today... Got to love that!

Trouble, The Mayor and A Few Good Men... Better than popcorn and a movie!

Calls Being Answered.

Last night a hundred or so of us gathered to pray at the worship center. A couple of individuals made comments to me about remembering the first time they really came to know me... it was because of a prayer conference. I could not help but smile deeply. They were a couple of ones who did not understand why I was given the task of helping organize it. We had only been at the church around a year at that time when I asked a question. The rest is history or so they say... We've prayed together numerous times since then. Priceless times.

Randal asked everyone there to break up into groups. Brother G and I both knew we needed to be by ourselves. As he got down on his knees and took my hands.... it honestly was not only what we had been called to prayer about that he prayed. It was calls of several types. All that require deep deep prayer. Not surface prayers....

And since Brother G told who he needed to... I can share a bit.

For the next three Sundays... we will not be with the local church body.... Brother G is preaching at two different churches. One this coming Sunday morning, night and then the following Wednesday night. The following two Sundays, he is preaching both morning and night at a church in East Texas. And no, we're not going to the first church. He is still going to fill in while their pastor is on vacation. But we have heard clearly... no... The second church... well... that door just opened. Yes, they are small churches. But they are still just as much as His.

As individuals often tell me/us.... "Your family lives the weirdest life." Well, yes... yes... we do. And yet, calls are being answered. And we will continue to have faith in God for our lives are not our own....

He is God. He is the only one who gives us life.... His Word breathes. It is alive.

And living each moment has never been so exciting even in the midst of everchanging colors.

How long has it been since you've prayed deep deep prayers?

And are you willing to live a weird life if He calls you to no matter where?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Speaking of Marriage..

One of the gifts that Brother G gave me was a book called Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas.

I look forward to devouring it, allowing the Spirit to speak to me through it, and giving my thoughts on it...

If you're married:

How's it going today? this moment?

Could you be a sacred influence to your spouse?

Urgent Prayer Request

Please pray for Laura. She has the MRSA strain of staph infection. This is considered the most serious type of staph and in some cases, drug resistant. They have her on the IV antibiotic vancomycin which is a drug that has been shown to work against MRSA. She is in isolation and will remain there indefinately.

Thank you.

Call to Prayer - Local Body

Local body:

We've been called to prayer as a body.

Tonight. Worship center. 7:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Faith to Move Ahead.

This morning I've been thinking through the G family calendar as it is known right now this moment. Oh my. January is definitely looking like a different month. Yet, it is without a doubt proof of moving ahead.... going forward.

I'm not teaching Bible study group on Sunday mornings for the month of January. When this decision was reached by several parties.... I knew something was up. Didn't know what for sure... just knew. It is already becoming clearer. Not a complete picture mind you. Just a little bit clearer. And I'm beyond excited!

As of right now, this moment, I am scheduled to teach another class on Tuesday mornings. This one on marriage. I've also accepted an invitation to be a break out speaker for a retreat at the end of the January. The subject matter is one that we live daily. I've never spoken to a group of individuals about it before per se... but yet I'm beyond excited....

Wednesday nights, Brother G is scheduled to teach a parenting class and then a marriage class. He has asked me to consider teaching with him. And while I love what I have the pleasure of doing on Wednesday nights...... he does make a tempting offer....

There are other things on our calendar that I'm not at liberty to discuss this moment. That's how it goes with individuals in ministry sometimes. And yet, I can say that, yet again, I'm beyond excited....

All the pieces to the picture that January will be are not in yet... they are unknown at this moment. One thing God has taught me time and time again: You can plan but be prepared for things to change. At times, in a moment's notice without a calling card in hand.

Faith to move ahead. For my faith is secure in Him and not in myself or Brother G.... or anyone else. Faith in Him alone. And that is all that is needed to move ahead.... this moment.

Do you have faith to move ahead? And who is your faith really in?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This Just In.. This Moment.

Question: How many brothers and sisters does Brother G have?

Answer: He is the oldest of five siblings. Four boys.. One girl.. He is 41.. She is 26.

Question: How many brothers and sisters do I have?

Answer: One brother. I'm younger..

Question: Where is mom's boyfriend?

Answer: He is in Louisiana.

Question: Where are our running buddies?

Answer: They've been out of town. We're going to the movie and to dinner tonight. The 11 of us.

Question: Why do I not write more about our siblings and running buddies?

Answer: They have to put up with us enough don't they?

*This Just In.. This Moment is brought to you by itsallrelative.

Update. Christmas 2007.


Thank you to all who prayed for Shelley's grandfather, her family and her. His surgery went well and he was released from the hospital on Christmas Day! Thank you again.....

Christmas 2007:

Last Thursday, I was given a wonderful assignment. It was to ask 5 family groups per our two Christmas Eve services to participate in the service itself. This type of assignment goes hand in hand with a church body that is in transition. I got input from several of the different ministries.. I then began calling individuals. By early Friday afternoon, each space was locked.

One was to be the Berry Family. If you remember, Briggs was on lifeinthemoments as a prayer request. He was only given two weeks to live.... You should have heard his voice when we were on the phone Friday.... From what I heard.... it was clearly moving when he read his part of Advent.... If the doctors had been right... he would not have been there. Yet, God had other plans for his life.

Part of the design of who was asked to participate was the scope of how many & the ages of family members they have who are a part of our local church body. In the 2nd service.... 40 plus was the total for the five family groups. 3 generations in 4 out of the 5. Did you catch that? Generations being impacted... Oh the stories I could tell you about these families... One was Ms. Nell's who I recently wrote about in Subway Testimony.

When I was given the assignment, it was asked that we were to be a part of an actual service... the six of us. Brother G and Austin were already a part given what they do of course. Little did I know...

When the six of us were reading our part of Advent... Salvation.. as I looked across the sanctuary... I could see faces. Faces of individuals that I had never seen before.. Faces of some whom I/we love beyond words. Faces of individuals who have been being prayed for... they were no longer names... they had faces now.

When the service was over.... Several of the family members came up to me.. It was clear by the looks on their faces, their body language, and what they had to say... this had already been no ordinary Christmas. If one can ever be.......

One of the individuals I had never met before personally and I were introduced. We hit it off immediately! She is a homeschooler.... and is Jewish. We spent the next few minutes talking away. Hugs were given as we left the physical building.... A new friend was made.. I have no doubt phone calls from Houston and G-town will follow... What an amazing woman she is! I had to laugh though when she asked if I am a professional public speaker. And apparently, one of my nephews thought I sounded along the lines of a certain woman who is heard speaking all over the world... Laughter... what a gift.

Brother G, myself, Parker, and my brother's wife had cooked most of dinner before the service. We came back to the house and had a wonderful meal together. Did I ever mention that Brother G is an amazing cook? Oh my... So is this particular s-i-l.... We enjoyed our time together as the B/G family.. They spend the night as a part of tradition...

Christmas morn came with wonderful surprises. Something called a Wii has found its way to this house.... And I have never been more thankful for a game system as funny as that sounds. Why? Christmas Day afternoon and evening.... was spent somewhere completely different for the five of us... in Dallas with several members of the G family.... Hubby's parents, two of his brothers, one sister-in-law, and three dogs made for an unforgettable time! Watching them all play the Wii together was beyond a bonding adventure... Laughter was abundant..

What was so amazing about our time at D and L's home as well.... as we sat around their dining table... she teared up and said, "This has always been a dream of mine. To have family around our table at Christmas time." She had wonderful little treats at each place setting along with paper crowns... Brother G's was pink... His dad's purple.. Each gift between all there was thoughtful... it was evident that real consideration into who each person was definitely given. Totally awesome! I sit here now with a new nickname... Marshmallow. The pink peep has been replaced...

As we came back home... mom was sitting in her chair watching a movie on TV. As the boys talked with her about their time with the other side of the family... it was clear... we really are one in the bond of love... His love... Even with the memories of Christmas' past with ones no longer physically here...

Brother G was truly moving this year.. more so than ever.... The gifts he gave me... to the married couples on both sides of the family... the personal notes he wrote of encouragement, love and hopes for the future. The reasons behind the Wii coming to this house..... oh my... And yet...

There is no gift that can compare to Jesus. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day may have come and gone and still Christmas is not over....

May it be alive and living 365 days a year! May His Spirit be ever present in your moments.

And may you dine at His table as family.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pacemaker for Christmas?

Please continue to pray for Shelley's grandfather, her family and her.. He is having a pacemaker put in today between 3 and 5.. Yes, Christmas Eve Day...

Hug your family...

Tell them you love them... and if they do not know the real meaning of Christmas...

Let Jesus be alive in and through you so that they may see Him and want to know more.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you/yours! May Christ be more real to you this moment than ever before.

And may you know the real Spirit of Christmas.