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Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I know, I know... you are thinking, "Christmas? Sorry Tina, you must be confused. It's the last week of September and Fall officially arrived only a few days ago."

Yes, you are right, but if you walk in Lowes today you will see what I mean. Trees and lights are going up. The ribbon and ornaments are in their proper place on the industrial shelves and the feeling of Christmas is in the air drowning out any Fall or Halloween decor yet to be sold.

If you have read my blogs for any length of time you know I never take my Joy CD by Avalon out of my car's CD changer. It is my favorite Christmas CD.

Don't judge me. I'm sure your family could share some odd things about you as well. It's ok, we'll be odd together.

Anyway, last week while driving my car the CD I was listening to switched over and my beloved holiday music started up.

I decided to listen to a few of the songs on my way home and began preparing my mind and spirit to receive the upcoming season filled with opportunities to share the love of Christ when Don't Save it All for Christmas Day started playing.

And I was convicted.

Here are the first few lines:

Don't get so busy that you miss giving just a little kiss

to the ones you love,

Don't even wait a little while to give them just a little smile,

a little is enough.

See how many people are crying, some people are dying,

how many people are asking for love?

So don't save it all for Christmas day,

Find a way, to give a little love everyday.

Don't save it all for Christmas day,

Find a way. 'Cause Holidays have come and gone.

But love lives on, if you give on...


In the month of December we are are overflowing with love and generosity toward our family and strangers. But if Jesus didn't love only one day, one week or one month out of the year, then neither should we.

Which is one of the reasons at Christ Central Alachua we are initiating a weekly strategic act of kindness called The Crazy Love Project.

I think this is such a great idea and if you would like to join us, this week's project is simply tipping more than you usually would when eating out.

It's simple.

It's small.

And sometimes that's all that's needed to show the love of Christ to our world all year round, not just when we are in the giving spirit at Christmas time.

We would love to hear your ideas for more acts of love to add to our project. Just simply click on "comments" below to leave us your thoughts.

And remember, don't save your love and kindness for only one season of the year, but let's allow our life to look like CHRISTmas EVERYDAY!!

All my LOVE,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something to think about

Thoughts to blog about come to me all the time...

... on Sunday morning while listening to my husband preach (can't write a blog then).

... while having a pedicure (ain't gonna write a blog then, fo sho).

... while driving down the road (probably not the best time to write either).

But one did come to me last tonight as I was taking a shower.

Have you ever noticed how things just seem to come to you then: items you need to put on a grocery list, an email you need to return or maybe a bill you need to pay?

Well, last tonight as I looked at my shower head, something that has been needing attention was staring right at me... that being the big gaping hole that is surrounding the pipe attached to our shower head.

This particular pipe broke off behind the wall and to fix said pipe a hole was made to get to the concealed break.

Only one phone call needs to be made to fix it.

ONE. That's it.

Do you know when we think to make that phone call? Yep, you probably guessed it, only when we take a shower. And that is when another bloggy idea came to me.

When do we think of God? Is it only when we come to church on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights?

What about when something is broke in our life and needs fixing, is that when He comes to our mind?

He is so much more than just our handyman or our Sunday morning entertainer.

Something to think about, isn't it? I never want to take Him for granted and I so long to know the fullness of who He is!!

I watched the sun go down last tonight from my front yard.

Now this, most definitely, makes me think of God!! Only the creator of the universe can paint a sunset like that... especially in Lake City, FL.

I would really love to hear your thoughts and comments on these questions... When do you think of God, or what makes you think of God? And who do you say He is?

Just click on "Comments" below and give us a glimpse into your world!

Can't wait to see, I mean read all about it! (Smiles)

p.s. A great resource to learn about the fullness of God and to see Him in a differnt light is the book The Shack, by William P. Young.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Innocent until proven guilty

So, when I arrived home last Friday night, I walked into my living room to see this on my couch.

Naturally I called out to the one I felt sure was responsible with a tone that said, "You have done it now, mister." Because that what us moms do, right?

After instructing Tyler to come throw away the empty bottle he left on the couch, he let me know right quick that HE was not the guilty party.

It was his sister who broke the cardinal rule, Do not leave your trash behind for someone (namely me) to have to pick up.

Tyler was innocent, but I accused.

The Word of God calls Satan an accuser too.

In Revelation, he is accusing.

In the book of Job, he is accusing.

Hitler wrote a book that detailed his plan to conquer Europe. The wisest thing his enemies could have done was to read it. What's the wisest thing we need to do? Read the Word so we too can understand our adversary because he for sure is reading us... everyday.

We need to get into the Word to learn not only about our God and ourselves, but also about the one who is coming to steal, kill and destroy our very lives.

I accused Tyler based on his past. I thought He left the bottle because he is forever leaving his trash behind. Satan will accuse and use our past sins as well to drive us deeper and deeper into despair.

But know this, your past sin may be what you did, but it is not who you are.

And who you are is a forgiven,

set free,

blood bought,

Woman of God.

Perfect? No. God never said you had to be.

Loved by God in spite of ourselves? Yes!!

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!!" Romans 8:1

So when Satan comes around throwing accusations, tell Satan to put THAT in his pipe and smoke it!!

A great big Thank You to every lady who commented and emailed your thoughts and suggestions for our upcoming class She Grows!!

The winner of the book and CD is.......

Heidi Saliba!!!


Friday, September 18, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends!!

Oh, I need help!! Seriously. But more on that in a moment.

I could not let this week go by without saying Happy Birthday to my blog. Yep, it's hard to believe that this week last year I jumped out into the wonderful world of blogging and have loved every minute of it!!

I would love to give someone a gift to commemorate the past 365 days. And yes, there's a catch.

But, more on that in another moment.

Ok, so here is where I need a little help from my sista friends. Starting in October I am conducting a monthly class entitled She Grows. The sessions are interactive and designed to grow you as we plant spiritual truths into the daily soil of our lives.

I have some topics already hammered out like...

Grocery Stores, Traffic James and Long Lines, Oh My!

The Enemy of Envy

Developing a Negative

This Isn't What I Had Planned

I would REALLY LOVE your input on what you feel are some more major struggles you face today and what other topics you would benefit from studying on a deeper level.

Also, I have scheduled out the dates through next September for once a month on Saturday mornings at 9:30am, with a continental breakfast included. But I am wondering if a Friday night would work better seeing as most women are already out and about.

So here is the catch, for everyone who posts a comment with their thoughts and ideas for topics AND which day they feel is best, Friday nights or Saturday mornings, they will be placed in a drawing for my most favorite Christian fiction book, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers AND my most favorite Christmas CD, Joy by Avalon (It actually stays in my car's CD changer all year, no joke!).

I will post the winner Monday afternoon!!

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for helping a sista out!! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the matter!!

All my heart,

BTW, the monthly classes will be conducted at the Epicenter on Main Street in Downtown Alachua, Florida. And yes, EVERYONE is welcome to attend!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

True American Beauties

There is not one magazine rack void of beauty secret headlines. It really is amazing when you think about all the money, time and effort we spend trying to change and transform ourselves.

Who would have ever thought we would pay to lie in a bed to darken our skin tone? Or make a midnight run to Wal-Mart to purchase a $9.00 bottle that could change us from a blond to a brunette in minutes.

We easily pay small fortunes for “miracles” in a jar to erase our wrinkles (I do wish that one worked ya’ll). And some are even willing to pay thousands to have this tucked and that sucked.

Not that I am saying anything is wrong with all this. I am thankful for Ms. Clairol. She is one of my very best friends. Ms. Mary Kay and I are pretty tight too.

But have you ever thought about the time we spend changing and dressing up our outsides all the while totally discounting the transformation needing to occur on the inside?

We can live with gray hair (what we can see), but if our lungs (what we cannot see) are diseased, death is imminent.

Ladies, God is only concerned with our insides, while we are consumed with our outsides.

So as you go about your day today I want to challenge you. Every time you are tempted to look with disgust in the mirror, thank God for the eyes you have to see the beauty of this world you live in or... the ability to see a friend in need.

When you put on those pants, that may be more snug than the last time you wore them, thank God for the food you are blessed to eat each day.

And when you have the thought, “Man I wish I could change this about my body,” ask God to show you what you need to change on the inside. And trust me, He’s sitting on ready to have that conversation with you.

Satan has us so focused on what we look like that we never think to focus on who we are. He wants us more concerned with changing our outsides that we never transform on the inside.

It really pains me to be the one to tell you this, but no matter what you do to yourself, there is no such thing as “age defying.” You are growing older by the second. Your body is deteriorating with the ticking of every clock.

In 1979, young men were in love with Bo Derek's looks and body. Every women wanted to be her and every man wanted to be with her.

Ask a young man today what he thinks of her and they will probably say, "Bo Derek? Who's he." Yep, time changes ALL of us. Even perfect 10's.

Oh, but there was one perfect body that walked this earth, and it was the body of a man and the more you become like Him, the more beautiful and attractive you will be. Pretty weird, huh?

Weird… but right.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last. But the woman who is to be admired and praised is the one who fears the Lord. Proverbs 31:30

So, you wanna know what the best beauty secret is? Here it is... Honor, reverence and respect the Lord. And God's beauty treatment doesn't even cost a thang!!

I am so thankful that I don’t have to master before I write. So, I’ll pray for you on this one, if you will pray for me.

God, let us be more concerned with who we will be tomorrow than what we may look like today.

And all da ladies said, "Amen!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Only God

I read an article last week in a magazine written by a pastor's wife to pastors' wives. This seasoned woman was sharing how to handle a particular situation that arose many times in their pastorates and was passing on her advice in this matter.

She was instructing how she walked through this issue, and how we should too, with understanding and without getting bitter or resentful.

As I read it I was recounting my past 11 years as a pastor's wife and could not remember ever having this kind of instance occurring. But I kept reading to see what advice was being offered because... you just never know.

Well, would you believe that this one thing that has never happened to me....



Was it a coincidence I read that article last week? No. The magazine set on my end table for three weeks before I was able to get to it.

God's timing always amazes me. And it also secures me.

The Bible says that He knows what we have need of before we even ask it (Matthew 6:8).

He's planning our escape route before we are ever in danger.

He meets our needs before it even arises.

As we plan out our days, He is planning out our tomorrows.

Oh I love that. I love God.

So today, I am not bitter or mad or even hurt. God ministered to me and graced me before I even needed to ask for it.

And only God can do that.