April 30, 2008

A Cord Of Three Strands Is Not Easily Broken

I have often heard the above scripture in reference to a married couple or to a couple that is getting married. If we have God in our marriages we are like a cord of three strands.....strong and not easily broken.

I have been thinking this week that this also applies to the gift of friendship. God blesses us with great friendships with all different types of people. The more I think about that the more I think I understand it's purpose. I have many different types of friends. Some are the serious intellectual type, some are shy, some are the life of any party, some are funny, and some are a mixture of all of that. I think the purpose is this. We have different types of friends to deal with or share different areas of our lives. Our lives are complex. We deal with different issues every single day. Some are joyous wonderful things and some are hard painful overwhelming things. That is just a fact of daily life. Sometimes the situation we are in determines which friend we go to to share that issue. The greatest blessing is having many friends to share our lives with. We are never defenseless because we always have someone to share whatever is going on in our lives at the moment. Because we are blessed with more than one friend...we have many to share with and no one friend gets overwhelmed. Isn't that a great gift from God....a friend to go to in each situation and a God to bind us together as one?

This past weekend I went on a trip with 18 women (and three babies) from my church. It was a perfect example of the friendships God give us. There were 19 women with all different personalities and yet bound together in friendship and Christ's love. Throughout the weekend we were able to do things together and to do things separately. We all took time to laugh, and share, and be together. Every night you could see groups of sisters sitting around sharing their hearts and their lives. It was a time of seeing God's blessings and feeling the love and support that true friendship brings.

God continues to bless me and grow me by the wonderful people he adds to my life. I love all of you and I am so thankful to have you. I am reminded of a reference I heard in a Beth Moore bible study. She was talking about the four men that carried their friend on a stretcher (a mat) and lowered him down to Jesus....because the man could not walk on his own. She called these men "Stretcher Bearers" and that was what she called her friends. That stuck with me and that is the way I see my friends. You are my stretcher lift me up when I can not walk on my own....and you take me to Jesus.


Papa Bears Cabin....our home sweet home

Our view...isn't that beautiful?

Shopping in Gatlinburg

Ella and Ranger....our power couple

Dinner at Bubba Gump's....yummy!

Mexican Dinner with our peeps

I had to eat with the giant fork....

Chillin' on the deck

Ella....isn't she beautiful?

Talking with the girls....

Cyndi's peddie...did I spell that right?

19 Women + 3 babies. The whole gang

Heading home :-(

April 21, 2008

Be Ye .......Fishermen

Mom's Steinhatchee House

This last week Sandy and some the guys from church went down to my mom's house in Florida to go fishing. My mom has a little house in Steinhatchee, Florida. That is pronounced Steenhatchee and if you say it any other way....the locals will stare at you and call you a tourist.

Last Wed, Sandy, Brad, Eric, Kurt, and Keith plus two friends of Eric's... Todd and Bobby headed off to Florida. They arrived late and found cold weather there to greet them. In all the years my mom has owned this house I don't think we have met up with cold weather....tormenting breath taking hotter than blazes heat....yes, but never cold. They had temperatures of 36 degrees on Wed night. I heard Kurt the lumberjack slept on the porch outside and about froze.

On Thursday, most of the guys went grocery shopping. They found a truckload sale on meat at Mason's...the local grocery. They bought a 20 pound rib eye roast...a slab of meat fit for a King. They grilled out Friday night.... a slab of meat and a few veggies on the side for decoration.
Slab O'Meat
Eric and Bobby slicing veggies

Friday was the big fishing day. They had two charters. One was with Captain Pat...the usual family fishing guide. Sandy, Keith, Kurt and Brad went on his boat. The other guys...Eric, Todd, and Bobby went with Captain Steve. They had a great time and caught 115 pounds of fish between the two boats. They caught trout, red fish, flounder, mackerel, lizard fish, pin fish, blue fish, a stingray, and a shark. There is a huge variety of fish in the Steinhatchee river and lot of good fishin' .
The Boys....Brad, Sandy, Kurt, and Captain Pat
Keith, Kurt, Brad and Captain Pat
Keith, Kurt, and Captain Pat

The Combined Catch
Pile O'Fish

Friday night they were to tired to cook out the fish so some of the guys headed to Roy's...a local seafood joint. They had a great meal and then headed back to the house and crashed.

Saturday morning some of the guys headed home. Eric, Kurt, Bobby, and Todd left out about 6am heading home. Sandy, Keith, and Brad stayed over until Sunday morning before heading home. They did a little of the local sight seeing and went to see Steinhatchee Falls (more like a two foot drop in the river than a falls) and Keaton Beach (Panama City it ain't...) and then they cooked out fish on Saturday night.
Steinhatchee Falls
Keaton Beach
Remnants of Easter on Keaton Beach
This Hot Dog Stand on Keaton Beach
was listed for sale for $1,000,000 last time
we were there.

The guys had a great time of brotherhood and bonding. They are already making plans for next year.

Anyone want to check out Steinhatchee? It's a great place to go and hang out and let your soul catch up with you.


April 13, 2008

Hair Night for Tweens.....

We have this crazy ministry at our church called "Hair Night". Hair Night is a group of women who meet every month or so and hang out and eat and talk and laugh....and sometimes they even do each others hair. It is a sacred place where we meet together and share our hearts, our hurts, our joys, and all the aspects of our daily lives. We laugh and we share and enjoy the joys that true friendship and trust can bring. As Jo, our resident hair stylist, and Jeanne, our safe haven provider, have described it.... Hair Night is a safe place to share our hearts.

This past week we had "Hair Night" for Tweens. We invited some of the young teens to come to hair night. It was a great time of fun and laughter....lots of laughter. Katie and Candice spent the evening with us sharing their lives and getting our advise as "older women". We all had a great time. Now we know who all the cute boys are at Westside....and now they know in the long run that the boy with the good heart is better than the boy with the cute face....and if you happen to find both....well then you are greatly blessed. The girls got their nails and their toes done by Shana and Jo and Jeanne kept the hot water and the warm towels coming (for their feet and legs). Jo even entertained us with her fakeVietnamese chatter as she worked on their legs and feet. It was a great fun evening for all of us. Katie and Candice got to be completely spoiled and they also got to see that an older woman can be a great friend and a wonderful mentor.

Here are some of the pictures from our Hair Night for Tweens.

We all had a great time and I can't wait to do it again!!!


April 8, 2008

A Little Child Will Lead Them....

Pastor Dewey and Danielle Greear

This past Sunday we celebrated baptism at our church. What a blessing that was to me. We had one baby to be dedicated and four young children to be baptised. What a joy to watch that was. I noticed immediately how happy these kids were while they were waiting to be baptised....they were was written across every single face. Isn't that incredible? At such a young age they already know the Lord and are now sealed forever in his kingdom. Pastor Dewey mentioned that every single one of these children came to Christ with their parents. I think that it's such a wonderful thing that when making the most important decision of their young lives these children were able to share that with their parents. It is a memory that forever will be written across their hearts.

Here are a few pictures of "our" kids. They are all ours aren't they? These are our people and we are a family. We have a beautiful family don't we?

Abigail Jones

Sealed for Life

Isaac Renegar

Sealed for Life

Bryce Farmer

Sealed for Life

Ian Renegar

Sealed for Life

These are our brothers and sister in Christ. Don't they make a beautiful addition to God's family?

We are greatly blessed. Thanks be to God!


April 3, 2008

Girlfriends and Green Hair

I had the privilege last Friday night to go out with my reunion group girlfriends to celebrate March birthdays. We have seven girls in our group and four March was the perfect reason to go out and hang with the girls....not that we need an excuse to hang out....any reason at all will do... :---). It was a blast hanging out and laughing and of course eating lots and lots. And did I mention having chocolate molten cake since we just happened to be at Chili's? It was great fun and I really enjoyed being with the girls and catching up. Isn't it amazing what hanging out with your friends will do for your spirit? I came home happy and refreshed.

For those of you who don't know... a reunion group is an accountability group that meets to bear one another's burdens and to lift one another up. We formed this group after experiencing Tres Dias together but anyone can form their own group. You would be surprised what a difference it makes to know you have those people to turn to and share with in the hard times. It is also really fun to hang out with people that you trust with your whole heart. The laughter never seems to stop. It's like "Hair Night" only smaller. I love you my sister girls!!!!

Last Saturday...we went to a gathering of a few friends to celebrate Kurt's 40th birthday. The theme was 80's and we all decided to dress like the 80's. Back in the mid-80's the look was pretty much preppy or punk. My Sandy went as the preppy he was and I decided I would be a punk spiked hair and Pink Floyd shirt. We had a great time and it was fun to look back and laugh at the styles and language of the 80's. It was a totally rad party and we all looked marvelous!!!

Check out my green hair... Doesn't that look like grass?

The Punk Rocker

The Preppy

Isn't it great to have friends and act silly?


April 2, 2008

Winter Doesn't Last Forever

I am lucky enough to coordinate our Sunday Prayer team at church. This is a group of people that take turns going out to pray during our Sunday morning services. We pray for God's blessing and anointing to fall on our church. We also pray for our Pastor Dewey as he speaks, or for the speaker that day, and for our church families and their needs. We also pray for any other needs or issues that God puts on our hearts to pray about.

On occasion I get to write the prayer team with something that God lays on my heart.

This is the message to the Prayer Team today. I hope it speaks to your heart the way that God spoke to mine.

Good Morning Friends,

Isn't it a beautiful day that the Lord has made? I love this time of year. I have been thinking this week about the changes that come with spring. The flowers and the trees are blooming in beautiful yellows, blues, greens, pinks, and whites. The plants and the trees are sparkling in the sun as they show us the beauty that God placed within them. In Winter we don't see their beauty as it is hidden by the cold and dreariness of the season...but God sees their beauty and he never takes his eyes off of them. God the Father knows what is hidden deep inside of them...he sees their beauty and their hidden potential....and at just he right time....he brings forth their beauty and lets them bloom in all his glorious splendor.

That is the way it is with us my friends. We all go through seasons of Winter. During these times we struggle to be who we are called to be. We have a hard time seeing the beauty in us or around us and we wonder if we will ever see the sun again. Our spirits struggle to understand what the Winter is all about and we long to walk in the sunshine and warmth of Spring. Our Father sees us as we are. He knows what the purpose of every Winter is. He still sees our beauty even when it is deeply buried below a broken heart, a broken dream, or a broken spirit. He sees through the Winter and he sees us through the Winter. He teaches us in our struggles....he molds and makes and mends us....and in his time....he brings the Spring and lets us bloom in all his glory.

My friends, if any of you are struggling and don't understand why. Trust me when I tell you...that God is with you in every Winter of your life. He is walking with you every single step of the way. He is using this time to teach you more about yourself and who you are in him. He is also teaching you who he is and that you can always depend on him to always walk with you. God knows your beauty and he knows your potential and he is making you to be all that he knows you can be. Trust in that and trust in him. Winter never lasts forever. Your spring is coming....just keep your eyes focused on the Son.

I Love you and bless you,