Sunday, December 11, 2005


It is not often that I feel this way after worship. But lately I've noticed a trend - it is happening quite often.
I am squeezing myself wondering if it is really true. Yes, it is! I think we have one of the greatest worship ministers ever. He gets it. He really does. He has not been here long, just 3 months and they have not been easy. In fact I thought he was going to pack up and leave not long after arriving. But, something made him stay. Phew. I believe that God brought him here and God has plans for his stay with us.
Every week I leave thinking of the depth and insight that has been in the planning of the services. They are not filled with "horse and pony shows" each week, but each scripture, encouragement and prayer is said with the big picture in mind. He moves my spirit each week and I find myself before the throne in worship.
I feel blessed to be here for such a time as this!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The After Party

On Monday night the ministers wives and elders wives were honored at a dinner at church. It was a beautiful affair with much formality and grace. Each person who worked hours to make it happen did so with a heart of service and love. For that I am thankful.

But the best part, as often is the case, was the "afterparty." Small tidbit, aside coming.....That is why the contemporary Christian band called The Afters chose that name. Because the best usually comes after the required. Back to the point of the story. My SUV was nicknamed the joybus on Monday night because I had both Youth Ministers wives, our worship ministers wife, our preachers wife and myself. I know you are getting the vision right now and it is downright scary. I am the oldest of the group at almost 39 and so the median age and behaviour in the joybus was something to behold.

After the dinner we visited with lots of people and then stopped for a picture. This was the beginning of the end. We took a nice picture and then we "vogued" for another and by the end we had the tulle and ribbon chair decorations around our heads, over our tummies, in our mouths - okay you get the picture. We then left and started the journey home which ended about 2 hours later after a stop at Starbucks and many chuckles.

Why am I blogging about this? It struck me very clearly that this was community. I have worked places before where the ministry wives were cordial to one another but this is different. We have each others back. We keep each others kids, we help with each others ministry. We laugh, eat together and actually enjoy being friends. This is way cool.

It feels odd to have left out some of the others. Our children's ministers wife, our outreach ministers wife, our senior adult ministers wife - they are all special to us too. They just got lucky and did not have to endure the joybus. Now, if only our Young Adults minister would find a wife....teehee....there is room on the bus!

Friday, December 02, 2005

I Don't remember 9 Being So Big!

Michaela is 9. That in itself is oddly shocking to me. I know that I birthed her and have lived right along side her for each moment, but I am still amazed. I think the thing that really got me this week is observing her appreciation for humor beyond her years. She is "getting" stuff all the time. Just when I think something has gone over her head she cracks up. When did it happen? No fear - I am not going to burst out into a Tevya moment....
She is also consumed by all things Harry Potter. She is a dead ringer for Hermione anyway. It is interesting to me that one minute she is still amused by Junie B. Jones and then the next she is intrigued by the world of Hogwarts.
Just musing on my not so baby girl right now. She has a good sense of herself. She is a gifted and talented young girl. She is kind and obedient (most of the time). I am blessed.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Just a month or so ago at the Zoe Worship Conference in Nashville I went to have dessert with some friends from Dallas. We could not find a whole lot of places that were open so we settled on a Starbucks. A friend almost insisted that I try a Shantico. They know me well. I ordered one, they graciously paid and I began to sip on the "micro" size cup. Talk about a party in your mouth...your throat...your happy glands...your soul. Yikes! This is the stuff that dreams are made of. A dark, good quality european chocolate is melted to make this little hot chocolate drink. I honestly do not think much more is added. It is as thick as lotion and as you drink it it hides in all the nooks and crannies of your mouth and just when you think you have swallowed the last sip, a little surprise will pop into your mouth because the taste lingers.

At this point some of you are thinking that I need therapy at the least - don't fear haven't you seen the movie Chocolat. You either get this or you don't!

I have had another few Shantico experiences since then. Just a few! Last night was one of them. However, I took the tiny lid off the tiny cup to look at the "delight in a cup." All of a sudden I was struck by something. This is perhaps the most luxurious and decadent thing I consume. But this is the life that Jesus offers. Stay with me here. His love for us is so intense it is Shantico-like. He lavishes love and gifts on us. He snatched us from destruction and covered us with the most expensive gift - the blood of his son. As I looked at the shades of brown mixed with a little froth and how it all blended the color palate in the cup was intense and deep. Interesting. No really, this is the life he affords. One that is rich and deep in meaning, one that is intense in experience and one that is like no other. Kingdom living is in not luxurious and decadent in a selfish, unconsequential way - but it can be so completely satisfying that it is overwhelming. Don't misunderstand me, troubles are not washed away. Hardships are often induced. Easy street is not usually our address when we follow Jesus. However, the aftertaste left in our mouth after experiences with Jesus will continue to bring joy and delight and surprise.

So when 2 friends and I left church last night to go to Starbucks instead of class and we insisted we were being "missional" no one believed us. If only they knew.... Long live "Chocolat!"

Friday, November 04, 2005

A God Thing

I was doing regular stuff on a regular Thursday when a friend mentioned on the phone that she had an additional ticket to Woman of Faith and it could be mine. I leaped at the chance and made a trip happen in a few hours. God cleared the path - really he did! Slowly through the afternoon things were revealed to me about how easy the planning was going and how convenient it was going to be to postpone several planned weekend events. And then, I got a call that a family member may need some encouragement in the OKC area because of a car wreck. God intended for this and I am the gracious recipient of this grace in this. Yah God!

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Johnsons

ACU Homecoming was awesome this year! Yes, 100 years is surely something to celebrate but it was more than that. We got to spend extended time with friends we had not seen since graduation (10 years ago). Our lives have changed and we have grown and developed. It was a time of honest sharing and putting our thoughts on the table. You know when you pick up right where you left off. We laughed and cried.
Funny thing is that now we get to miss each other all over again. Bummer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Little Man in My House

Perhaps it is because my husband is co-teaching a Wednesday evening bible class on Wild at Heart that this is so obvious to me right now, or perhaps it is because it is just so obvious. But, my 4 year old son is a perfect example of the male prototype talked about in Eldredge's writing. He simply cracks us up. You can hear him say at the top of his voice, "let me do that Mom, I can do anything." Or my personal favorite is his rendition of a future rock band that he will be in - he does the meanest air guitar ever and body slams himself at various objects, all with a sash tied around his head. He frequently reminds us that he is a super hero and makes detailed plans about saving the world. The best is his fascination with "no shirt." Whether it is shorts, jeans or pj bottoms, he finds a good reason that they do not need a shirt. The bare chested braveheart runs through the house with glee!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Be Anxious For Nothing

I have a rather strange attraction toward TV Preachers. I am quick to follow that up with a clarification of which type etc etc. Like it makes a difference. But nevertheless it makes me feel better if I can stand on my soapbox and say, "No, of course not Benny Hinn, Reihnhard Bonke, and a whole lot of other TBN specials." But, sheepishly I admit to loving a good sermon from Paula White, The Bishop (TD Jakes) etc etc. Now that this is in print, its a little creepy....gosh!

Now that we have that out there, I was listening to Paula White preach this past week and it really spoke to me. She was in Phil. 4:6-7 and her words had such power. I know the verse but I do not live it well. I love her enthusiasm for scripture and her knowledge of the word. It seeps out of every pore even when she isn't trying. I keep hearing her being incredulous that we do not believe God when he says, Be Anxious For Nothing! I feel like I spend my life being "pre-anxious" so that I can be prepared to be "anxious" in the most appropriate way. What am I doing....

So, from scripture here is my focus for today and the rest of my days...
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God that transcends our thinking, will guard our hearts and mind in Christ.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I am not the girliest girl ever and that is just fine with me. I am make-up less more days than I am made up...I don't get my nails done...I do not get a buzz from Women's Retreats....I usually mke friends with guys easier than with girls....

However, today I am thankful for my friend Missy. She has made life here in Amarillo so much easier for me. We think alike on many things and we enjoy hanging out. So this is not meant to sound like something from a "chick flick" heralding the merits of girlfriends. But I just wanted to pay tribute to a friendship between two non-girlie girls!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Nephew Goes to College

I have enabled a "word verification" feature to try to block ads appearing on this blog. If you want to comment, please use a word from my blog.

This weekend my nephew left for college. He is tall, handsome, 18 and ready. The rest of us are not. While talking to my brother over this past weekend, driving away from the school with their child still there was one of the hardest things they have ever done. I can hardly even imagine it at this life stage.

Josh, here's to you and your new life! We love you, man!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Who Started This?

I am not a graduate of Harding University and I do not pretend to understand the culture of the college. But....I have read the passionate blogs of many who do know and am so frustrated right now I am blogging about it. It appears that Harding has invited one very politically conservative speaker to their campus as part of a series. I don't get this....Who came up with the idea that Christian and Conservative go together. My reading of Jesus shows him to be a wildly- fly-in- the-face-of-current-thinking kinda' guy. He challenged the establishment and always took up on the side of the marginal and poor. Wow - which part of that did we miss. The speaker they have invited is known for making statements that reflect an ethno-centric, egotistical world view with less compassion than a snake. Why would they do this?

Places of higher learning should stand for that - higher learning. Learning means knowing and understanding the issues from both sides. I am not holding my breath waiting to see if they bring in a balanced speaker from the other side. What do you think?

Isn't it funny that conservative political spin doctors they will welcome but the likes of Mike Cope and Jeff Walling can not speak there. Hello...does anyone see a problem here?????

Monday, August 15, 2005

Accidental Mentor/Model/Impressive Older Person

My intention was never to use this blog to blog on about my kids, but I am discovering that so much of what I learn and am shaped by is because of them. So here we go again.
Each summer we have about 3 youth interns here at Central. This summer they were all awesome - really great kids.

Different to the past years though, is that we also had a Worship Intern. Our Worship Minister left and moved before the summer and so short of using our people week in and week out until someone new came, we had to get creative. During the month of May we had an interim and then we came up with the idea of a young intern for the summer and beyond till we employed someone. His name is John Paul and today becomes an elementary music teacher in the Lubbock school system. John Paul has a beautiful voice - truly riveting to my ears. He is warm, so respectful and just an all round good guy. He had several duties while here and one was VBS. This is where my kids come in. They had seen him lead on Sunday a few times and seemed to like him enough, but then VBS hit and he rose to superstar status. He transformed the worship time at VBS into something incredible. He oozed energy and connection to kids. Every time we would go to the building to see David or work on something the kids would make their way to John Paul's office. They would find him after church. It made their month when he and his wife came over to dinner.

Here's the thing. I watch my kids become enamored by the youth interns, the worship intern, their teenage vbs crew leaders, their kids own worship small group leaders, etc etc and then it hits me how important our example is. It seems like a trite lesson but it is not. Bottom line, someone is looking to you to be their "hero" and sometimes you never know it. So far, my kids have not been let down....what a testament to the kind of interns, young adults and teens we are surrounded by. In fact, one of our families best friends is a family called the Kelleys. Their oldest son drives a Jeep and yesterday my 4 year old said, "when I grow up, I want to get a Jeep so I can match Barry." Pretty cool!

Now, I am left with the commission to begin teaching my 9 year old daughter about how she treats the 4 and 5 year old little people who look to her as the "big kid."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Experience tells me that I should only blog my thoughts once they are semi-sorted in my mind, but I am ignoring that and will probably ramble on. But, this is my blog and I can ramble if I want to.

Both of our kids have rythym (I know that is spelled incorrectly), a keen sense of movement and a love of music. Our 9 year old daughter is a talented singer and has a sharp ear for pitch. Our son is only 4 and so the jury is still out but we can see the signs already. All that to say - they are drawn to music in a very powerful way. The VBS Cd and DVD is played months after the event. The moves and choreography is done and redone to perfection. We listen to Christian radio, they play CD's, we all go to concerts - this is their life. So, I am so thankful that our church had a music camp during the first week of August. The elementary kids went from 9-3 all week. They learned the music and dances and voila! on Friday they perfomed an incredible show. The reason this thrills my heart is that in their minds, praise and exuberance go hand in hand. They know nothing else. Don't you love that!

I believe it is vital to raise our kids with their christian identity being "Jesus Follower." I do not want them to know church of Christ stuff, I pray they never have to deal with it. I want them to be as comfortable at a Saturday night service at a local community church as they are on a Sunday morning at a cofc.

Some may recoil in horror and say I have bad ecclesiology. Not so. This is not a permissive response to what I do not like in our fellowship. It is an intentional attempt to raise my kids with their only core being: God is God; the Spirit indwells and empowers; Jesus is the way to the Father and following Him requires a life transformed daily to look like Him; People are always more important than things; We are created to Praise; God is more concerned with our shaping than our happiness; To be like Him we need to see people with His eyes.....You get the picture - it is not about church identity markers for me. Sure, they need to ask questions when they see things that are different in the church world. And yes, I will engage those discussions with passion but quite honestly I pray they will look only for the Spirit and when they see His work, they will know that God abides in that place.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dream a Better Dream

Last night I saw the motion picture epic, "Shark Boy and Lava Girl." 9 years ago I never dreamed I would be frequenting such shows but weird things happen to you once you have kids. Jokes aside and bad reviews considered, I really loved this movie. The basic premise was retaining the ability to dream, with your eyes open, and in doing so creating a better life. I loved the images of darkness being chased away by the light of a positive life. For those of you who are thinking I am on the brink of scientology, kaballah or new age - do not fear. It is was it is and I did not see any savior figues in these characters!!! It was an incredible lesson for kids and big kids like me. I guess the line I will quote for a while is "Dream a better dream."

Monday, August 08, 2005

The church grass is not always greener....

On Saturday night David and I went to the 5:30 service at the "trendy, up and coming church in town." I secretly imagine that everyone who goes to these churches is having the greatest worship, teaching, fellowship and discipleship experiences in the world and my cofc church experience just does not measure up.

Part of me knows better but a part of me always thinks the grass is greener in the community church world. Well, sure - the building is way cool, the people were all really pretty and everything ran like clockwork. But, I left feeling very unmoved and touched in my spirit. I have not wanted to admit that and I don't know why.

Part of the lesson was just bad theology and it left an awful taste in my mouth. The topic, I need a drumroll here, was Money! The pastor says at one point, "if your finances are in the gutter, it may be because Jesus is in the middle of it and he doesn't feel you can handle blessings financially. He then proceeds to say that God wants great things for us to enjoy here on earth." Just can't take that. How do you believe that and address the starving masses in Africa, the starving here who are also faithful? How do you reconcile suffering? Does God really want us to have things to enjoy on earth - or is that our spin on life? I believe that God is more concerned about shaping us into what he desires than our happiness. That usually means growing us through struggle. I do not mean to say that life as a Jesus follower is all suffering and misery - just the opposite. But, I do believe it is a life of real joy regardless of what we have in this life.

So, as I worshipped at Central on Sunday morning, I had a better appreciation for it. When I looked around, not everyone was pretty. In fact some come right off the streets. The building was way cool in 1982 - just not now! We did not start on time and nothing ran like clockwork. But, I was touched in my spirit and knew God was in that place.

I believe God was both places - fully alive on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Sometimes though it is easier for me to see him in cool trendy churches where accapella music does not abide. He grew me this weekend.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Things That Warm The Heart

I know the potential for this post to get cheesy very quickly. I'm risking it anyway. Let's say I am overcome today by things that warm my heart.

1. Our 9 year old daughter, Michaela, wrote her 4 year old brother the coolest letter this week. She told him that she prays for him, that she will always stand up for him. Wow - the stuff that makes me sob!

2.Through a project at church I have made some new friends. One of them, David Carnes - a minister in Michigan, I have only met by phone and email. Another in Indiana, and so forth. I just love the connection that we can feel to one another because of Jesus!


4.Drinking a cup of hot tea with my husband every night at 10pm

I could go on and on but I will leave it at that for today. What warms your heart today?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Finding Donna

Hey Donna
today's blog is dedicated to you. I have tried to email you twice and the messages keep being returned. I read your little comments here and there on this blog and then can never make contact back with you. Please email me so I can get your email address and respond, thanks!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

More Than You Need to Know

I had the first of the "big talks" with my 9 year old daughter yesterday. We figured we needed to at least give her the basic facts before she begins 4th grade. As we talked, not let me rephrase that. As I talked, and she stared back at me, I told her that this was the first of many talks like this we will have. She will be discovering things that she is going to need to ask about and we are going to be giving her more information as and when she is ready - before she needs it. It was altogether a really good experiece. I prayed with her afterwards and her Dad prayed with her later at bedtime about it too. 2 things struck me: My daughter is maturing - Wow! She knew nothing. That has really shocked me. I constantly hear people say that kids are talking about sex etc on the playground all the time. Well, not here. She truly knew squat and had no context for it either.
Now why am I broadcasting this for the world - or all 3 of the people who read this blog. Well, I feel different today. You know that feeling when you get your drivers licence, you get a child toilet trained and now this. I know this is the beginning and not the end, but there was a sense of relief for me.
That's all folks.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God's Answer and Not Mine

I can not reveal a whole lot of details right now, but for the past 3-4 months I have been involved in a project at church. We have worked the process and given countless hours to it, not withstanding the emotional pull it has placed in our hearts. Well, this puppy is almost wrapped up and I don't know if I am ready. Let me put it this way:
I am ready to hear the answer that I want. Did you catch that big I! I know that God is in charge of this thing but I am having a hard time letting go. He knows my heart, he knows what is best for our church and I have to rest in that. But.....I keep thinking he needs my help to get the right answer. Hmmm...when will I learn. If the answer that comes is not what I had desired, I will live through it but boy how I wish.....

This brings me to another idea that has floated freely through the cavaties of my brain over the last couple of years. It has to do with the will of God. I have read books about this, I have prayed for discernment, I have seen open doors and closed windows. I have some first hand experience with these things, but I don't have answers. I think I now believe that God's will for our lives is for us to come to a more intimate understanding of Himself, to be just, pure, holy, worshipful, compassionate and open. As for all the rest, I am not sure. I am not sure if he so closely directs each step of every journey. I think I am beginning to think he accomplishes His will in us through life situations and circumstances. I just don't think the "detailed roadmap theology" fits anymore. I may be wrong. Has happened before. I know I do not believe in a distant uninvolved God - don't hear that. I love this quote and it seems to put it all in perspective:"This means the present is not meant primarily to be resolved, or even learned from, but to be written in a way that allows us to reveal God to others and to let him reveal himself to us."

So - all that said, if things don't turn out the way my heart is sure they should. God is still God. Process is still essential to good product. I Will survive, but It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want to!

Monday, July 18, 2005


Traditionally I have been the person who can sleep anywhere, anytime for any reason. Not now. I do not know what is going on, but I have not had a complete night's sleep for about a month. As soon as I lie down my mind begins racing and I just can't shut it off. Wish I knew what was going on. I am tired and not much fun.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

May Burnout

Do you feel it? We are not a frantic family. Many Saturdays are spent in pj's till late afternoon. No, we are not lazy - just not busy. Then May hits and we don't know how to live. I may sound like I'm whining to some of you that keep 50 plates spinning all the time. Between all the school events, awards ceremonies, special celebrations and field trips, church kids musical and heading up a search committee I am spent. Tomorrow we leave for just over 3 weeks at home in South Africa - sounds delightful.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Back to Blogging

I have let almost 6 weeks go by without blogging. I have not really missed it because I have been so caught up in the blogging world of BST, Mike Cope, Joe Hays etc. I have been a reader recently and not a writer. I think I know why - I just did not want to have to think enough to organize my random thoughts on paper. And here is the reason why....I am chairing a search committee for our new worship minister. It really has been a positive experience for me so far. I have loved meeting and talking with all the potential candidates. I have loved praying for this and planning for it. But no matter what you say, these search committees eat your lunch! It is also May and that means more school committments than there are days to fulfil them. It also means our long awaited trip home is only 11 days away! yah...South Africa here we come.
So, nothing new to say today. But it did feel good blogging anyway.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Yesterday was my birthday. I have had quite an incredible Birthday week actually. It began with a package or two in the mail several days before, it has been filled with lunches, breakfasts and gifts from my girlfriends and will end this Thursday with lunch with a new special friend of mine. David says I begain "Campaigning" about my birthday about a month before it comes. That is so not true! I do begin a subtle countdown at home and my excitement builds. All of this may seem quite trivial to you but this year it was different. Easter on 3/27 and then my birthday on the 28th. It gave everything a new twist this year. I felt like I shared new life with Jesus. Someone made a glib comment about it being mine and Jesus' (2nd birth) special days. I flinched when I heard it because it seemed odd to include me with Him. Now that could be a whole other blog entry. But the words have resonanted through my mind a thousand times since then. I have asked myself over and over again - am I worthy of the company of Jesus. As I said above, I have spent a lot of time socializing with friends over meals this past week, and that feels perfectly normal. I should feel completely normal about socializing with Jesus too - but, it doesn't. insights into my sometimes weak faith.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Back at ACU

I know it is rather pityful when you are prepared to publish the fact that you went to Abilene for Spring Break....But, we only had a couple of days and we did not want to do the snow thing, so...Amarillo tends to be too far from everywhere else just to do a 2 or 3 day trip. And besides my brother and his family are there, some best friends also and so I could go on justifying this choice. Nevertheless we went to Abilene.
Lately I have been struck by a strange feeling everytime I return. It is hard to explain and I have not verbalized it until now. It just doesn't feel like home anymore. I want to stand up and yell, "between David and I we almost ran the Bible Department". We both had worked there so long while in school. This was our area. We knew everyone and everything and more. But now, we feebly head down corridors to offices that are no longer where they were to see people who are not there. Its just weird. What's weirder is that I have been a self proclaimed "lover of change" except this! I would love this little world to have stood still just how I remembered giving me a false sense of power and security.
I think progress is good for the kind of theological training going on in the GST and Undergrad programs at ACU - I just feel out of the loop. You know what I mean?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The List

I know - everyone is blogging about the people they consider their "faith heroes" and so I am going to do it too! Funny, when I think of these people I know they would not like to be on a list like this - that's what makes them special.

1.Roger and Erin Massey (Zagreb, Croatia) - they bring me into the presence of God through creativity, fun, faith and joy.
2.Mike and Dena Johnson (Seattle, WA) - their extreme love of children (5 adopted angels) is so inspiring to me. Their intentionality in living and faith is astounding.
3.David and Jeanne Wray (Abilene, TX) - no words can describe how they have shaped our lives!
4.Jack and Jeanene Reese (Abilene, TX) - heart friends who have taught us just by being with us.
5.Dan and Anne Boyd (North Richland Hills, TX) - they love God and people with an intensity that I have never seen before.
6.David (my Man) - his integrity is perhaps the most outstanding thing I have ever witnessed. Besides the fact that he is a great Husband, Dad and minister.
6.Paula Cannington (Charlotte, NC) - my friend who lives by faith each and every day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mudhouse Sabbath

One of my favorite books from last year was Mudhouse Sabbath. Laura Winner has that great Jewish humor. I miss that living here in Amarillo, TX. Not many Jewish folk walking around. Now growing up in South Africa it was a part of our daily landscape.
This book is a short, quick read on the surface. But dig just a little deeper and let the implications sink in and you can be engaged for days.
David and I begin teaching a short 4 week study over this book this Sunday. I wish I could just sit and read the book to the class - that would be the most powerful. But, I know when you have the title "teacher" slapped on you, the class expects you to teach. I may just have to let the writer teach this one.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Funny thing, Grief. It has a way of showing up at the most unexpected times. This may surprise you because we have neat little categories where grief is acceptable and even have colors to define it, unspoken rules about how long it should show up and when it should appropriately depart. The departure is expected to make room for the arrival of the happy face. Who knew there were so many rules to grief. There are ages and stages and signs and denials. I wonder who wrote the rules? After reading Mike Cope's blog about Chris, it forces you to see their pain for Megan and Janzen and the other precious family and friends they have said goodbye to. It has brought me to my own grief over the loss of parents, friends, family. I guess what I love most about grief is that you don't have to follow the rules, most of them anyway. The only real rule I would follow is that you need to feel it. Go where it hurts, allow it to almost overtake you at times. Completely immerse yourself in it for awhile. If you do, it makes living joyfully so much easier. I think that is a rule for living. When you are real and honest joy is real and honest!

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I belong to a couponing and refunders site on the Internet. Many don't even know that a subculture of freebie lovers and cheap shoppers even exists. It is really quite thrilling to use a coupon on a sale product, have the coupon doubled and then pay pennies for something! I don't remember when the last time was that I purchased something at full retail - I just can't do it.
Anyhow - while reading some of the chitchat posted on the board I noticed something quite remarkable today. People shopping for stuff, albeit 90% off the price, they don't want or need. Hmm makes me think. Is that still a good deal? Are we so consumer driven that we are buying hair color in a shade that doesn't work for us just because it was cheap?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Getting Real

I am pondering something...trying to figure out if my thoughts are so influenced by pop culture that I am unable to see biblically about this issue. We are encouraged to get real by Dr. Phil (whom I adore), Oprah and a myriad of others. Jesus was about being real. We tell each other to "keep it real." But what happens when real seems so negative. I have said for the past 3 years that I am happy living where I live because the people are great even though the town is not fantastic. I have said the shopping is good too. Now, the people and the shopping are fine - the town is still ugly. But if I am going to keep it real I have to admit that I do not like living here at all. In fact I have said that I do, believing that I do - but as I have uncovered layers of stuff recently I have to face the fact that I just do not like being here. Everything biblical would encourage me to be content and that it is not about me. But how do I marry the Keep it Real syndrom with Christian contentment. When asked, "do you like living here" can I say quite honestly say, "no, but I don't always have to like everything." I hate to offend those who have been born and bred in these parts. I am not screaming to pack up and move either. But I would love to be able to be absolutely honest.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Mike Cope

It has been an amazing thing to read Mike's blog updates on the situation with Chris and the other Highland kids. Heart wrenching.
I am struck by something again and again. While a member at Highland during our great years at ACU I was definately a "copeite." Mike would recoil in horror if he heard me now - but it is true. And I am struck again today at his incredible gift. It is the gift of language. He uses just the right words to conjure up pictures and images and emotions - so incredibly well. God has a mighty servant in Mike Cope.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

American Idol

Yes, I am a fan! I will even admit to having read Clay Aiken's new book. It was wonderful. Tease me if you like....
While watching last night it struck me that something is wrong here. I am not American and so I do not pretend to fully understand all the cultural nuances, however I know that something is wrong here. I think this culture does a fantastic job of instilling external confidence in children. When I think of South African kids they seem so much less sophisticated, much more aware of their "child" status in the pecking order of life. That can be good and bad. However, I think I am discovering that this external confidence is not always grounded in a sense of self-esteem because of self awareness and acceptance. I think it is a disguise used to ensure acceptance. Do you see the difference? I may be reaching but I am wondering why so many people think they are better than they actually are. I think we spend time praising people and complimenting them for being special when they are ordinary. I am all about praising my kids - I am a Mom. But praise for an external accomplishment does not take root in the heart like recognition for effort, responsibility and hard work does. I think we have over awarded, over "certificated" and have told so many people how special they are, that very few really are. I love giving my kids cards, coupons and surprises, but that is because of who they are, not what they can do. Our society tells us that we can be anything we want and that is not true either. Ambitions and drive are the cornerstone of progess and I am thankful for that. But, honestly people I am never going to be a scientist. It is awesome to be passionate about your thing - that is how God designed us. But lets put our big girl panties on and realize we do not need to be King of the World!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I was thinking about a friend from High School the other day. We haven't seen each other since graduation. She began travelling the world and I was doing the career thing. I moved from South Africa to America and literally did not think of her for years at a time. Then, just a month or so ago I felt an overwhelming need to reconnect with some of these people. Homesickness will do that to you - you know that deep longing for what is familiar. And, it doesn't matter how long you live in a country different to your own, you always feel just a little unsettled. How we should feel here while longing for heaven....
Anway I tracked her down via email and today I received an incredible response. A full update of 20 years - wow. Funny thing is she wrote..."just wondering why you tracked me down - thought you may have heard I was a bit of a lost soul." I don't quite know what to do with that right now - perhaps God had me do it for that purpose. We are both South African, she lives in the United Arab Emirates and I live in Amarillo, TX. Small world when you are homesick!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Wondering why?

I am out of my league - in way too deep....I don't even really know what a blog is but I created one. I read someone else's and thought hey I need one of those. So here I am!