Friday, January 30, 2009

Mandy

I wish you could have been at Living Water this morning. Let me back up....Mandy began coming to Living Water at the first of this year to get groceries. She had just given up drugs. In fact, she'd started going to Grace Fellowship in December. One Sunday at Grace, she was so tired of fighting her last stronghold of marijuana, she put a bag of it in the offering plate! (Can't you just see those ushers' faces?!?) And then she came to us for food. She was nervous, but when Cairl greeted her at the door with a hug (which he does for everyone!), it calmed her fears. And she's been coming ever since.
Last Tuesday, Mandy showed up at Living Water wanting to volunteer---she said she was even willing to clean toilets! So I handed her the vacuum and she spent the next hour vacuuming the whole building. The whole time she was vacuuming, she was singing hymns. After she finished, I asked her, "So when do you want to sing for chapel at Living Water?" She smiled big and said she was ready anytime! So I put her on the schedule for today.
She was nervous---you could tell. But she was also excited. Of course, she told me how Satan tried to discourage her from singing for us. (The jerk!) But she'd even invited her niece to come hear her sing. As she got up, I asked her to share her testimony of how she'd put the pot in the offering plate. (I took my camera with the intentions of taking her picture while she sang, but I got so involved in her story that I forgot to take pictures!!) I handed her the microphone----and that girl began to PREACH!!! It was awesome and amazing. The finishing words of her testimony were this: "I've been off of everything since December. I'm even going through a detox this week. And yesterday a friend called and asked me for a bottle of my pee!! I am clean enough to give my pee for a urine test!" Is that not hysterical? Then she went on to say that, of course, it was wrong to share your pee for someone else's urine test.
Please pray for Mandy. Her faith is so new. Mandy is my age and has been married 15 times! Yep---no misprint---15 times!! She's searched for love and has finally found it in Jesus. She's very vocal about how God has saved her and changed her so you know Satan is ticked. Please pray for Mandy. Wow---what a morning! Wish you could have been there.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stretch Marks in Heaven

After a conversation I had with Ember this afternoon, I want to declare....

I believe there WILL be stretch marks in heaven!! After all, in Jesus' glorified body, the disciples could see his scars. Now I understand, they were scars that paid a price for you and me. But hear me out...we mothers paid a price to birth those babies. So there WILL be stretch marks in heaven! And C-section scars. All part of the price and the reward.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did you know...

Did you know that if you want to see everything someone has posted in one day that you must click on the TITLE of their blog and not the name of their POST?

Did you know that you can post more than 5 pictures on one blog? After you post the first 5, just click on the photo icon and add 5 more.

Did you know you can add a statcounter and see how many people come by your blog? It will also tell you what city they are from. After signing up on statcounter, just go to "customize," then "add a gadget" and put your info from statcounter in that box and "save."

Did you know that you can add a hyperlink (see brown "statcounter" above) by highlighting the word and then clicking on the binocular-looking green icon on your header. Then just add the website you want to link to.

Did you know that when you choose a new background, you don't have to keep the colors of the fonts, etc. that they choose? You can go to "customize" and then choose "fonts & colors" and change everything, if you want to!

Did you know that I can't read some of your blogs because it's not BOLD or it's a tiny font? (Yes, I'm old.)

...just wondered if you knew.

Rigidly Righteous

In light of our discussion on holiness, I thought it was interesting when I read this in the Amplified Bible this morning:
Psalm 145:17
"The Lord is [rigidly] righteous in all His ways and gracious and merciful in all His works."

I don't want God to be any other way than rigidly righteous, do you? Otherwise, he wouldn't be God! But he pairs it here with grace and mercy. Great combination.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review


If you get a chance, get this book and read it! Some of my friends were reading it and convinced me I needed to read it---so I borrowed their book! ha! I stayed up the first night until 1:30 reading---I couldn't put it down! It's a book based on conflict in the Middle East with the U.S. and Israel. The interesting thing about this (series) is that as Joel Rosenberg began writing, his story almost became prophetic! 9/11 occurred after he almost had this book finished and the scenario was in his book. That has happened several times as he's written these books. Very interesting to read. In fact, his agent asked him if he worked for the CIA because it seemed he had so much insight. It's not a boring book. I hear each book just gets better.

Baby, It's COLD Outside!

Now, you may not be impressed with the amount of snow Borger got today....







But maybe you'll be wowed by the fact that we never made it over 18 degrees today! (I know..I know..I hear laughter all the way from Canada!) This firewood may get a lot warmer tonight!!

FedEx Plane Crashes in Lubbock, TX


LUBBOCK, Texas — Officials say a FedEx cargo plane landing at a Lubbock, Texas, airport veered off the runway, crashed and caught fire, but that both crew members walked away from the plane.
Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport director James Loomis says the ATR-42 twin-turboprop aircraft landed just after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. He says crews extinguished the fire quickly.
The plane landed in a freezing mist, but Loomis says weather was not a factor in the incident.
The crew members were being evaluated at University Medical Center in Lubbock.

Just want to keep all you former panhandle people current on our current events!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A "Yes" Heart

I want to have a "yes" heart. God's been working on my heart to get me there for years! (No joke.) Jason Huddleston preached this morning and he didn't say this exact thing, but that's what was resonating in my heart throughout his sermon.
I think about the disciplies. Peter had a "yes" heart. Thomas didn't. Peter stepped out of the boat. Thomas had to be told by Jesus to touch his wounds if it took that to believe it was really him. Peter easily repented. Thomas followed slowly at a distance.
Having the gift of prophecy means I probably overanalyze everything. I question and discern things forever before embracing. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't examine and discern---I'm just saying I want to go through life ready to embrace, ready to receive, ready to jump into life's opportunities! And more importantly, I want to consider others before myself. That's where I've been lately. Andy's had to reprove me over being selfish with my time, my home, my energy. UGH! I hate that about me. I can excuse it by saying I'm working and I'm tired (which is true), but the truth is, I've thought about me above others.
I want a teachable heart---a "yes" heart.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tagged

Here are the tag rules:

1. Go to where you store your digital photos & open the 4th folder
.

2. Go to the 4th picture and post it.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag an additional 4 people.

Now isn't this a lovely picture? It's probably the worst picture I took of my new hall tree! Can you see it?
I tag Sandra, Ember, Rachel & Cheryl!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Last Photos from the Past

Caitlin, Ryan & Addie on the kiddie swing

Amy, Shanna & Zach--and Dave in the background

Alexis ready to trick-or-treat

Addie ready to trick-or-treat

Point of Grace and the Dietz boys. The funny thing about that night was they got left behind in Amarillo and we didn't even know it. I think Matt locked the keys in his car or something. They caught a ride with Lisa Whitworth. They were very impressed with the girls.

From the Past--Pt. 5

David, Zach & Chris singing at Reality

Josiah hanging out of his baby bed

In the mountains

Big brother & baby sister

Addie snuck away to have her own tea party at Granny's house

From the Past--Pt. 4

Pops reading dramatically to his grandsons

Ryan, David & Miss Santa

Ryan teaching the boys how to blow candles out with their nose--I think Josiah's got it down!

The princess helping Superman fly

Shanna's beautifully braided hair by Caitlin

From the Past--Pt. 3

6 Grandkids

Ryan & Upside-down Superman

Cousins & 2nd Cousins

Before Shanna was an official Dietz


Addie & Alexis

From the Past--Pt. 2

Olivia & her cheeks!

Sisters!

The happy birthday boy!

Baby Zach

Amy in the Amarillo News after winning a coloring contest with the prize being a hot cycle!

From the past--Pt. 1

Kissin' Cousins

Naked Cousins--only 3 months apart

Grown men playing Duck-Duck-Goose!

Daddy & Alexis playing with Big Baby

Four of the Cousins

Heather's Story

Amy sent us here to hear this story. I hope you'll take 30 minutes to listen to her story.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The old tree house

A couple of men who come to Living Water regularly asked me 3 weeks ago if they could come and trim my tree. I didn't have the money at the time, so I told them to hit me up later. (I was impressed that they were trying to find work!) They came back today and were willing to do it today---for $75 less than their earlier quote. I called Andy and he told me to let them do it. I have to laugh because Andy couldn't just let them do it alone---he kept coming home and checking on them---which is a good thing when you don't know your workers well. This is what I found when I came home. They actually did a good job---but it was nothing that I was expecting! I thought they were going to "top" the whole tree off. But I think the steep roof of the garage got to them. Or maybe they weren't into climbing trees with a chain saw...I'm not sure. Anyway, the old tree house is fully exposed and we certainly got our money's worth. They did a bang-up job cleaning up!! And Andy no longer has to stress over the tree falling in on the garage or the cable lines. It's about 1/2 of the tree that it used to be!
Sidenote: One of the men (about 45 years old) told me he'd tried finding a better job, but he can't read! So he's having to find odd jobs to support himself. I was blessed to have been able to help them out--which also helped me out. If anyone in Borger needs a tree trimmed......





Clean Hands & A Pure Heart

Psalm 24:3-5
"Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

Remember the children's song that goes like this:
Oh be careful little eyes what you see. Oh be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
And then there are other verses:
Oh be careful little ears what you hear
Oh be careful little hands what you do
Oh be careful little feet where you go

What a great lesson to learn as a child! It goes right along with the verses above. Things are happening so quickly all around us---we live in a very fast-paced world. It's so hard to take time to read the Bible, to pray and to listen. But if we want to have clean hands and a pure heart, I'm finding it's imperative. Fifteen years ago, my life prayer became, "God, keep me in your Truth!" And He's being faithful to that prayer. This morning, he woke me up at 5:30 to remind me to have clean hands and a pure heart. I've added a new life prayer these days: "God, please give me discernment so I don't lift myself up to what is false!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quoting

Henry Kissinger Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"...Not since the inauguration of president John F Kennedy half a century ago has a new administration come into office with such a reservoir of expectations. It is unprecedented that all the principal actors on the world stage are avowing their desire to undertake the transformations imposed on them by the world crisis in collaboration with the United States.

The extraordinary impact of the President-elect on the imagination of humanity is an important element in shaping a new world order. But it defines an opportunity, not a policy. The ultimate challenge is to shape the common concern of most countries and all major ones regarding the economic crisis, together with a common fear of jihadist terrorism, into a strategy reinforced by the realisation that the new issues like proliferation, energy and climate change permit no national or regional solution.

The new administration could make no worse mistake than to rest on its initial popularity. The role of China in a new world order is crucial....."

How soon....

...do you think the Lord's return is?

Monday, January 19, 2009

What in the World is Going On?

From "What in the World is Going On?" by Dr. David Jeremiah:

I John 3:2-3
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

"You would think it obvious that since signs tell us that Christ is coming soon, people would take extra care to live as God would have them live--lives of purity and holiness. If you know that guests are coming soon to your home but you don't know exactly when they will arrive, you will keep your house swept, picked up, and dusted in anticipation. You don't want them ringing your doorbell with your dishes piled in the sink, beds unmade, and mud prints tracking the carpet. The admonitions of Paul, Peter and John to stay ready by living pure and holy lives are hardly more than just plain common sense. But common sense does not always prevail in the lives of fallen humans, and that is why these apostles felt it worthwhile to admonish us to live as if Jesus could come at any moment. The fact is He can."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Twins

Dietz Brothers in the 70's

The world of twins is special---even at the age of 58! In case you don't know, my husband, Andy, is an identical twin. Phil, his junior by 7 minutes, was here this weekend. Phil came in to fill our pulpit for one of the last Sundays we'll be without a pastor at our church. Not only that, but Andy & Phil were asked to sing this morning. Now you also may not know that singing was their occupation at one time. When I met Andy, they were singing with the gospel quartet, The Royalheirs. A year after we got married, Andy & Phil decided to go out on their own as the Dietz Brothers. (Most people called them the Dietz Twins, though.) They had a pianist that traveled with them. They were singing at least 40 weeks a year at the time---revivals were very popular in churches in the 70's. So they were music evangelists and we were poor. ha! (No seriously, we were poor.) The classic moment during that time was when a pastor introduced Andy & Phil and then had me stand up and introduced me as their wife! (Phil wasn't married for another 4 years.)
So being with Andy & Phil today brought back memories. One will start a story and the other will finish it. Interestingly, they have the same basic haircut (not the 70's style above, thank goodness!) even though they don't see each other that often anymore. Their glasses are very similar. The funniest thing to watch, though, is their hand motions and expressions when they sing. It's very twin-ish. Amanda, our adopted daughter, met Phil for the first time this weekend and her summary was this: "You are the same." When they contradicted her, she said, "No. You are the same." End of discussion! ha!
They believe the same. They've experienced so many of the same things. They've had the same jobs through the years. They also have the same passion for lost people but have different people groups on their hearts. (Phil--Romania. Andy--China.) You wouldn't have to talk to the two of them long to catch the twin-ness in them. They still look very much alike and their voices are almost identical.
And...THEY CAN STILL SING! They have very powerful voices. And their passion and love definitely comes through. It's kind of sad that they don't get to do it more often.
Being married to a twin has been very unique. I've been in the middle of their competitions more than once. I've listened to them as I thought they were going to kill each other and then act like nothing had ever happened the next minute. I've been tricked more than once by their twin antics. I also had to find "my place" in the world of twins. But I wouldn't change it for anything. And now I'm amazed at how much our sons look alike. They look more like twins than cousins. (See below) The amazing thing is that they both have red hair---and their father's don't. Zach is our son (1st photo) and Tyler is Phil & Lisa's son (2nd photo) They're both the youngest child in each family.
Twin world is amazing. But I can't imagine my world without the Dietz twins!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gerber Daisies--Post II


I bought 3 Gerber Daisies for $4.00 at United. I love the color---aren't they beautiful?

Your Spiritual Gift

Now go here to discover what your spiritual gift is. This isn't the test I usually use, but it's the best I could find online. And at the end, it uses different names than I was used to hearing. But it's still a good test! Tell us who you are!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kaye's Tortilla Soup

At our life group last night, Kaye Smith made this WONDERFUL tortilla soup. I just know I've eaten this at some restaurant before. Just seeing the recipe has made me hungry for it all over again. You're going to LOVE it!

Tortilla Soup

2 whole chicken breasts (whole equals 2 regular sized chicken breasts) cooked
1 small onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of fire roasted chilies (United has these)
½ jar roasted red bell pepper (you and find them by the pickles at United)
½ jalapeƱo (ribs and seeds taken out) chopped
4 cups of chicken broth (or more)
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (they recommended Muir Glen fire roasted, but I couldn’t find them so I used finely chopped tomatoes with chipotle chilies)
½ t. coarse salt (I used sea salt)
These are the things I added:
½ t. cumin
½ t. red chili powder
½ oregano
½ t. dried cilantro
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can pinto beans (I mashed half of them with a fork so that the soup would have a little thickness)
I brushed the chicken with some olive oil and then put sea salt and cracked pepper on them and roasted them uncovered in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes. I chopped/shredded the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Mix all other ingredients together except the chicken and the toppings. Bring to a full boil. Cook over medium heat until chicken is added. After adding chicken reduce heat to a simmer and let the soup cook for 30 more minutes. I poured the drippings from the chicken in the pot. There was just a little bit of grease and the rest was the great drippings from cooking the chicken.

Toppings: Cheese, Avocado, Sour cream, Fresh cilantro, jalapenos, tortilla chips

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blessing...not a curse

Forgive me while I blog to myself. It helps me remember what God is teaching me when I write things down. I used to do it in my journal, but my poor journal hasn't seen the light of day since I started blogging.
God definitely has me on a path of self-discovery to make me more useful in the kingdom. It seems he always evens things out. As he points out deception I've believed, he then encourages me. This was one of those times.
I've often thought of parts of my personality or spiritual gift as a curse. And maybe it's been because I've heard people teach it that way! You realize we all love the sanguine---they're a party waiting to happen! But when we start talking about the choleric, we tend to point out their weaknesses...which include being bossy, impatient, quick-tempered, etc. (And it doesn't help that I'm red-headed---people love pointing that one out!) The same is true of the spiritual gifts. We love the giver for obvious reasons, we appreciate the gift of mercy because of their compassion..but when it comes to the prophet? Watch out! They'll tell you like it is with no mercy.
So...combine the choleric and the prophet into one person and do you see why I've often thought of my personality/gift as a curse?
Recently, I've been bemoaning the fact that I'm very unemotional. My poor daughter-in-law is very much like me and recently we were discussing this very thing. Andy was there as we were talking and when I told Lindsey that I'd been asking God why I was so unemotional, Andy said, "Because emotions are baggage for you! If you were emotional, you'd have to wade through those emotions to discern and speak truth." Wow!......Really?
And this week I decided to google "choleric." (You can go here and take a personality test) And when I opened this page, the first thing that caught my eye was this: UNEMOTIONAL! Double whammy! I'd venture to say most prophets are unemotional (besides Jeremiah, of course) but a choleric is also unemotional? Wow!
But God began speaking to my heart. HE CREATED ME THIS WAY FOR A PURPOSE!!! He created me to be unemotional so he could use me for his kingdom. He gifted me to speak truth for his kingdom. He created me to be a born leader, to correct wrongs, to see things black and white for great purpose.
As I thought on my personality and gift being a double whammy (because they're both so strong), I thought on 2 of my friends. One has the gift of mercy but is also melancholy---double whammy! (A sensitive, compassionate person!) The other friend is sanguine and has the gift of giving---double whammy! (A cheerful giver!)
I'm re-learning. I've studied the personalities and gifts for years and even taught them. But God is revealing things in a new way to me. I'm learning to appreciate the way God created me. I'm thankful he made me into who I am. It's made me excited to see how he wants to use me for his purpose. I've been created as a blessing, not a curse. And everything he has planned for me is the same---a blessing and not a curse. I want to discover all of the ways God wants to use ME (just the way he created me!) for HIS kingdom. And I've decided this year I want to use all he's given me with passion! (Is that an emotion?) Awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The accuser

God just keeps revealing my heart to ME! Ouch!!
Does this ever happen to you? Is there a difficult person in your life? Does Satan accuse him/her to you in your mind?
Here's a picture God gave me today:
It's as if I'm in a courtroom and that person is on the witness stand. Satan is the Prosecutor and is accusing the witness of every wrong he's ever done to me. Jesus is the Defender. And I'm seated next to Jesus. And then as Satan accuses the witness, I begin to chime in, "YES!! Yes, that's exactly what he's done! I agree--get him!! What a scumbag---what a dirty, rotten, no-good louse!"
And Jesus just turns and looks at me. He's supposed to be DEFENDING me (and the witness, actually!! His desire is to turn our hearts into agreement with one another) and here I am agreeing with the Prosecuting Enemy! I'm helping the enemy's wicked case---not my own---not what Jesus desires for me.

I encourage you to read James 4. Wow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living Water Pictures

Living Water pictures.
Giving out groceries on a Friday.


Chapel service on a Friday.


Part of our office.


Grocery shelves


Clothing room.