April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunties

I made numerous attempts to get a whole Happy Birthday song out of Cameron for my sisters and we were never able to get done with aunt Jennifer much less get on to Aunt Amy.

Direct Link

April 29, 2008

Corner of Calhoun and Carolina

Apparently they made more of an impression on Salisbury, NC than I realized.

Happy Birthday Sisters

This is sort of an "open" birthday card to my sisters Amy (April 19th) and Jennifer (April 29th.)

April 28, 2008

More "Hilarity"

Trying to see Hilary.

Hilary was in Salisbury. These two Suburbans (not Denali's, which would probably too pretentious for a public servant) were her motorcade. If you saw the recent movie Leatherheads, some scenes were shot at this historic train station in downtown Salisbury. This will also the location of of the Addison-Olsen wedding reception later this month.

April 26, 2008

Have you ever heard of this?

My stepmother Lois, who is something of a domestic goddess, had a can immersed in a small pot of simmering water on her stove. I was somewhat skeptical when she told me she was making caramel topping just by heating an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk.

Sure enough, when she opened the can, the s.c.m. had browned to a caramel color and tasted pretty much like the real thing. The only catch is that with the cost of energy, it might actually be cheaper to buy a container of caramel topping as opposed to warming this on the stove for 4 hours.

An old recipe for dulce de leche that some people still use calls for placing an unopened can of sweetened, condensed milk in a pan of water and simmering until the milk turns to caramel. This method is unsafe, though, because the can could explode.

A more painstaking but safer method is to transfer the milk from the can to the top of a double boiler and cook over simmering water for about two hours, stirring every five minutes. Carry around a cooking timer to remind you when to return to the kitchen and stir.

April 21, 2008

He Astonished Jesus

5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."

7Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."

8The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Matthew 8:5-10

Walking in Authority

April 14, 2008

On Martha Marie...

For those of you who read my previous post about Martha Marie Smith...

Although the doctor had not written his report yet, he did share with Eddie that he thinks my aneurysm IS repairable!!! Praise The Lord!!! We should hear from our neurosurgeon on Wednesday and we eagerly await his interpretation of the test results.

Read the rest here...

April 12, 2008

ABC Book

Tammy doesn't get a lot of play on my blog mainly because I suspect she prefers it that way. Nevertheless, I secreted one of her creations out of the house to scan and share. I'm really proud of everything she does for our family. These are pages from a little ABC book she made for Chandler several years ago.

April 11, 2008

Sister Mary Ann

Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just block away.

She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.

The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned.

Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.

She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.

As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, 'If it starts, I'm turning Catholic.'

I feel old...

Gabrilicious and I went to hear the HSBC Chapel Choir last night in Lexington, NC. I think this may be the best Hobe Sound choir I recall hearing. (excepting the ones I was in :)) It didn't hurt that the venue was a community theatre that probably had above average acoustics.

Nevertheless, having college students in the choir whose parents are barely older than me is a little disconcerting.

No sooner than we were in the car, Gabrielle (5) (who has a memory like an elephant and an eye for details) was recounting for me everything she noticed:

  1. hair wore in buns (don't see too many of those at Trinity Wesleyan) In fairness to the young ladies, that is probably not an accurate descriptor of the current hairstyles so she may have been referring more to the audience.
  2. the color of the ladies outfits (I forget)
  3. the number of buttons on the ladies outfits (1)
  4. the fact that there were more girls than guys.
This gives you a little insight into the mind of Gabrielle. She loves noticing and recounting. The recounting is typically done by whispering in your ear whether it is a secret or not.

April 9, 2008

Craig Groeschel

I've really become so impressed with Craig Groeschel. If you don't have his blog plugged into your favorite feed reader, you need to. Here are some samples from a "Ten Questions" series this week.

During this series, we’ll look at ten questions each leader should ask in several different areas of life.

Today we’ll examine some questions that surround our Relationship with Christ.

1. What did I learn in God’s word this week?
2. Is my burden for prayer growing or diminishing?
3. Does my heart break for the things that break the heart of God?
4. Have I grown accustomed to or accepted sin in my life?
5. Am I doing ministry out of an overflow of God’s work in my heart or out of my own strength?
6. Has my teaching and ministry deepened, changed, or evolved in a positive way in the last year?
7. Do I have a sincere peace that I’m living an authentic life of spiritual integrity?
8. Is my heart growing larger for people and God or is it shrinking?
9. Am I closer to God today than I was a year ago?
10. Do others comment that they can clearly see evidence of God’s work in my life?

Which of these resonate with you? What else would you ask?

  1. Is our vision so big that we obviously can’t accomplish it without God?
  2. Am I doing ministry from memory or from fresh direction from God?
  3. What ministry (or program or meeting) has lost its effectiveness and should be stopped?
  4. Is there a person who needs to be moved to another role (or removed), and I haven’t done it?
  5. What faith risk is God calling me to take?
  6. Have I repented to my team at least once in the last year for a failure in leadership?
  7. Have I done everything in my power to make sure my team is living without unconfessed sin?
  8. Am I expressing love and care for my team members’ families?
  9. Am I living with delayed obedience toward God in any area of leadership?
  10. If Jesus my sole motivation for ministry or has my motivation become clouded?
  1. In what area of life have I lost my passion? (What can I do to get it back?)
  2. If the enemy were going to “take me out,” what are my three most vulnerable points?
  3. What new burden has God given me in the last year?
  4. What have I unlearned that has made me closer to God?
  5. What new discipline is God calling me to do?
  6. What has God asked me to do that I haven’t yet done?
  7. Is there something that I think about more than I think about pleasing God? (Money, possessions, ministry, family, recreation, something else.)
  8. Do I have an increasing joy in serving Christ?
  9. Am I handling the pain of ministry with integrity?
  10. Am I still being persecuted for my faith in Christ?
  1. Am I closer to my spouse today than I was a year ago?
  2. Have I read God’s word with my family this week?
  3. Have I prayed with each member of my family this week?
  4. Do my children know they come before the people in the church?
  5. Are my children joyfully experiencing Christ at church or do they resent the church?
  6. Does my spouse feel close to me spiritually?
  7. If my spouse could have me change one thing about me, what would it be? (Why haven’t I changed in this way? What am I going to do about it?)
  8. Are we honoring the Sabbath as a family?
  9. Do my wife and kids enjoy being around me?
  10. Can my family clearly articulate our family values and vision?

Then these three posts on Brokenness:

  1. You will be Broken!
  2. Am I Broken Yet?
  3. The Blessings of Brokenness.

Please pray for Martha Marie

This family is Eddie and Martha Marie Smith with their daughter Selah. Eddie was a youth in our church who was called into the ministry. After several years as a youth pastor on our district, they recently left to serve at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC.

Martha Marie has just been diagnosed with a very serious brain aneurysm. Anyway, they are sharing their situation at EddieSmith.com and I know would appreciate and benefit from concerted prayer effort. Below I've copied their update from today:

“With God, ALL things are possible.” I’ve had to repeat that statement several times since leaving the doctor’s office today, because honestly Eddie and I left with heavy hearts.

Dr Kanos is a very sharp, to-the-point kind of doctor, and we appreciated his honesty and thoroughness very much. I will admit though that hearing some of his explanation of the aneurysm was tough. He explained to us that this is not your typical normal aneurysm. It is a very unusually shaped aneurysm and it involves three different arteries in the brain. The only way I can think to describe it is that it looks somewhat like a three-way stop with a very broad center, and that is putting it as simplistic as I can.

So…how is it going to be fixed? That’s the part that was very discouraging. Our doctor is not sure if this aneurysm is fixable. I (MM) have to undergo another test and after that is completed our doctor will be able to tell whether surgery is even an option. He explained that it would be pretty tedious surgery because they would have to go in and somehow reconstruct the three arteries where the aneurysm is located. So we asked if surgery turns out not to be an option then what happens then? Basically nothing. It would be like living with a time bomb in my head….at least that’s the way it seems to me.

We really need a miracle. Eddie and I are in the process of trying to adopt a child at this very moment. If this aneurysm is not fixable then we know adoption won’t even be an option. Plus I don’t want to live in fear and walk on eggshells the rest of my life….we know God doesn’t want that either. We are refusing to accept the possibility that there may be nothing that can be done. We serve a BIG God who can do BIG things. We know that nothing is impossible with Him, and He can heal this in an instant. This is where radical faith comes in…..believing God for COMPLETE healing!!! He can do this!!! And I believe He WILL do this! Will you just please pray that this aneurysm will be fixable? Pray specifically for wisdom for our doctor, pray that God will help us trust Him 100% in and through this, and pray God will receive incredible glory from everything that is done. We truly covet your prayers through this, because Satan so wants to discourage us and for us to settle and be content to live with this for the rest of my life….nope, not an option. Our God is AWESOME and He’s about to show us yet again just how incredible He is!!! He is the GREAT PHYSICIAN!!

Be There or Be Square

April 7, 2008

Ancient History: Crucifixion Fascination

Our older two have been really fascinated by the Easter story. Chandler especially:

Chandler (5)

Chander (7), Cameron (2)

Ancient History: Yes I helped!

This is Cameron, not Esau.

Ancient History: Cameron's Christening

When Chandler was born in March of 2000 and we were making plans for his dedication/baptism, Tammy found this christening gown which we ordered England. It came with interchangeable pink and blue accents so we used it for all three kids. (Considering what it cost, we had to.)

These photos are of Cameron (the singer) who just turned 3 last month. They were taken in the summer of 2005 when he was about 3 months old.

What have you missed from my pre-blogging days?

As you can tell, I do not have my black-belt in blogging current events so I thought I would hit some ancient history from pre-blogging days...

April 2, 2008

Rev. Wright: Big Oil Attacked Because It's Black

Did I tell you I love Scrappleface?!?!?!:

(2008-04-02) — The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired pastor to Sen. Barack Obama, said today that politicians “are getting after Big Oil because it’s black,” noting that “you don’t hear nobody talking smack like that on Big Milk.”

The Rev. Wright said he came out of seclusion to make the remarks out of concern that substantive presidential campaign issues like energy policy might push discussion of America’s racial divisions out of the headlines.

“Milk now costs an average of $3.70 per gallon,” said the Rev. Wright, “while gasoline is still less than $3.30 at the pump, and yet oil gets blamed for all our problems, from global warming to the war in Iraq. People say it’s slimy, dirty, toxic…but you don’t hear them dissin’ milk like that.”

The former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago asked rhetorically, “Why don’t we see posters of Brooke Shields or Mariska Hargitay sporting an oil mustache? I rest my case.”

April 1, 2008

Come - Pray - Obey

The W-2 Revival was only a sign of great things to come for Philip Brown, Jeff Keaton and Tim Keep.