Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So I have finally rested up and recovered from a DISTURBING weekend. I totally overbooked myself and left no margin in my schedule. Since I drink lots of coffee, I was able to survive.

One of the highlights of my DISTURBING weekend was the 180 weekend youth retreat. I had the privilege of leading and hosting my not-so-DISTURBING 8th grade fuel cell girls with Lauren (not in pic) as my co-lead. I would have been more DISTURBED without her. She is a lot younger and just a little bit less DISTURBING than me.

Since the weekend theme was DISTURB, there were many DISTURBING events** that are too DISTURBING to discuss. But I know that the students will be DISTURBED in their relationship with Christ that will take them out of their comfort zones.

You can read more about 180 weekend here.

"Sixth grade boys will do ANYTHING!!".... Greg Shuford

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

may i help you?

Everything broke loose Sunday evening while we were preparing for our Facedown communion service at TrueNorth Church. Due to circumstances that come with being a portable church, we were scrambling around at the very last minute to prepare for the service. People who were coming in for the service were offering their help and I was very proud of those who stepped up to the plate. What really caught my attention was a conversation I witnessed between our pastor and our associate pastor:

Gene to Steve: Is there anything I can do for you?

Steve to Gene: No, is there anything I can do for you?

I'm serious...the place was chaos and both of these guys were sweating through their own tasks, but were truly concerned about helping the other. They weren't asking "what can you do for me?" but "what can I do for you?". I imagine this same conversation was taking place all across campus or we could not have pulled off this service.

Despite our dilemmas, Facedown turned out to be an amazing service thanks to people who allowed God to use them as servants for others.

"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:43-45

Monday, April 28, 2008

don't be a hater

Why do so many people hate the dentist? Is it the office smell, the sounds of the drill, or needle phobia? Maybe you don't like looking at your dentist's unibrow or you have a bad gag reflex. If you google the phrase "I Hate Dentists" you will find hundreds of thousands of testimonies of why dentists are hated on so much. I don't particularly love to have my teeth and gums picked and scraped either, but I think I would hate root canals and missing teeth even worse!

So for those of you who need nitrous gas just to sit in the dentist's waiting room, there might be a support group out there for you. Or maybe if you find a good dental practice with a gentle, caring, and understanding staff, you will discover that you can truly have a good dental experience. I promise!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

don't mess with granny

I want to be like her! Granny's got guts!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the encourager

My Allison (left) tried out for the middle school cheerleading squad this week and her friend Jessie wanted to stay with Allison during tryouts for support (although she had a previous commitment). She knew Allison was nervous and gave her these words of encouragement:

You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. (See Phillipians 4:13)

Allison did make the cheerleading squad and Jessie will be one of Allison's biggest cheerleaders. What a great lesson from a twelve year old girl on how to be an encourager!

Is there someone in your world that you need to encourage? Can you find ways to be more intentional about celebrating other peoples' wins instead of tearing them down?

You could really make someone's day!

Friday, April 18, 2008



I read Ramsey from cover to cover in three days last week. I like reading books that motivate me to do something or change something. I now have a short financial to-do list that I'm excited about accomplishing.

Dave's advice is solid and his style is entertaining as well, although I was disappointed he didn't discuss tithing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

morning smile

My daughter sent this to me. Why do I get such a kick out of watching little Asian kids sing on YouTube? Check out little Zoie...she has pretty sweet dynamics. Seriously, you will be blessed if you can hang in there for 2 minutes.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I love books. Always have. In elementary school I was chosen as the library assistant for my class EVERY YEAR. One of my duties was making sure all my classmates' books were turned in on a weekly basis. I took my job very seriously...stamping the due dates in the back of the books was important work! I was such a book geek that I begged my mom to drop me off at the old Nancy Carson Library while she went to the grocery store. Dewey Decimal was one of my best friends!

My love for books and reading has rubbed off on my family. Twice while we were on vacation, we spent about an hour or so in Barnes and Noble and it wasn't even my idea! My eleven-year-old speed reader, Allison, read a 120-page book while we were hanging out at B&N. Alan and I have also gone on many dates that consisted of dinner and a trip to the bookstore. He says he had never read a book for fun in his life until he met me!

So...I usually read a lot of books in the summertime. I would love to hear some book recommendations from other readers out there. Leave a comment...I prefer non-fiction!

What is a must-read for this summer?????? And don't say 'The Bible'!

Monday, April 14, 2008

the outsider

I invited a new friend to TNC this past Sunday. Due to life choices and circumstances, she considers herself an outsider. She has a 'religious' background, but is currently unchurched and has been for a long time. She came to church and things did not go as I expected. This is what I had envisioned all week long:

My friend would wander outside for a little while, noticing the people around her and that they seemed to be a lot like her. She would come into the gym while the band played an instrumental version of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall". Her face would light up and the walls that she had put up would come tumbling down. She would begin to feel more comfortable and eager to hear or see what was next. As Pastor Tanner hypnotized her with the word he was bringin', she would begin to understand what the cross is all about and that she would have a divine and spiritual awakening. Her life would be changed for ever and ever! Hallelujah!

That is not exactly what happened.

My friend walked into the service, smiled and nodded her head in approval of the Pink Floyd song and said, "I want to hang around outside. Is that okay?" And that is exactly what she did. Except for coming back in and hearing the first ten minutes of Walt's message, she spent the majority of her time OUTSIDE...talking to people.

I told Gene that this is not what I had hoped for. He told me not to be discouraged, because he had invited someone to TNC who sat in his car for three Sundays before he would even come inside!

This is what I learned: All I can be responsible for is inviting people and helping create a welcoming environment. God is going to do the rest. He will move hearts, not always through the music or message. Maybe it will be through an experience in the lobby or a conversation outside. He knows the process it will take for each individual and it is different for everyone.

I need to throw my agenda out the window and let God do His job.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

things that make you go hmmm

Since we rent our house out to total strangers for THE GOLF TOURNAMENT, we are chilling out in Hilton Head for spring break. Literally...some days have been 'chilly'. But we keep a close eye on the weather forecast so that we can plan our days and hopefully get some quality time on the beach without having to wrap up in blankets. By paying so much attention to the weather forecast, something has made me go hmmm:

What is the difference between 'partly cloudy' and 'mostly sunny'?

Tuesday was partly cloudy. Wednesday was mostly sunny. Yet, they were pretty much the same day.

Is this a case of the glass being half-empty or half-full? Maybe if the weather expert is in a good mood, it's mostly sunny. Or perhaps it's a psychological game to get people to the beach and at other times to keep them off the beach. The answer is mostly unclear.

Today the forecast is just plain ol' sunny. That is the language I can understand!

Gone to the beach...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

blood, sweat, and tears

Alan and I just completed our master bathroom remodel/update. It was a project that started with a vision and a plan. We are proud of the finished product because we did the majority of the work ourselves. But it was not executed without the following:

Blood: hammered fingers, thighs cut by sheet metal, and glass cuts.

Sweat: the bathroom was completely gutted, except for the cabinets. We finished everything in six weeks with most of the work done on the weekends.

Tears: were we going to finish by our deadline? who can we call for help if we need it? what have we gotten ourselves into???? (We got into one fight, but Alan says it wasn't really a fight.)

(goodbye pink tile, gold fixtures, and jacuzzi tub)
(hello neutralness, updated fixtures, and normal tub)

There were lots of interruptions and roadblocks, but we stuck to the vision and the plan and we persevered!

It was worth it.