Saturday, April 25, 2009

GMA Dove Awards

Chris Tomlin 
     I am so excited to get this pic with him. Thank you, Lord. We will sing "God of this City" at the Greenup county prayer walk for the National Day of Prayer on Thurs., May 7th!! I think we will change it up a bit and make it our own and start it with "God of this County."

Grand Ole Opry House

Michelle, Bobbie, Debbi, Me, and Molly

Molly got me Dove Awards tix for an early Mother's Day present (best present EVER!) and a couple of days after she bought them, Bobbie's 20 year old son, Jon Jackson, was murdered. When Molly came home for the funeral she mentioned to Debbi that we were going to the Dove's on April 23rd, and Debbi said she had it on her calander and that she also wanted to go. She was able to get seats in the same row as ours, PTL! A day later, she felt led to get a ticket for Bobbie and the seat right next to hers was still available. Well, after losing Jason on Feb. 19, 2006, in a tragic car wreck, I knew how intentionly and intently God had ministered to us. In addition to his funeral, we attended a memorial service at U.K., where the day after that service, his story and ultimately the gospel was preached on the front page of the University's school newspaper. Jason's goal was to "change the world" for Christ and he knew that the place to start was on his campus at the Univ. of Kentucky. He had just proclaimed this to a few of his CSF (Christian Student Fellowship) friends days before his death. We recognized that in his death, his story of freedom in Christ did go out. God also invited us to attend his graduation and accept his engineering diploma posthumously which we did three months after his death. I could go on but back to Bobbie for now and her grieving steps. This event would minister to her as will future events and moments that He will personally lead her through by His hand. She is doing amazingly well by God's grace and is believing Him almost nonstop. She knows that "all the days ordained for Jon were written in God's book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:17) But this is how cool God is and this is the gift that He gave her by inviting her to attend the Dove's. She was completely ministered to in her grief in so many ways. Stephen Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth and fam had also lost Maria Sue this past year. So many of the artists sang songs that inspired hope that evening and I knew Bobbie was taking it all in. At one point, the entire body of people at the Grand Ole Opry paused and prayed for the Crabb Family who had just sung in the pre-show only to find out that their two year old had fallen out of a window while they preformed. At one point she said to me, "I wonder how many other parents in this room have had to deal with the loss of a child in the past year." She is very aware of the suffering of others in her own ginormous loss. But the highlight for Bobbie came after the show when she looked down and saw Louie Giglio. She shouted out, "Louie," and made her way over to him and had an intense conversation about her murdered only child and his story. Louie gave her his email and said he wanted to know more about Jon. I didn't know this until after the awards but Bobbie had been trying to get in touch with Louie since Jon's death on Feb. 21, 2009. She felt compelled to tell his story to Louie. And how 'bout our God hookin' em up in His perfect timing!!! She had no idea that he would even be at the Dove Awards!! Turns out, he is also a song writer and has written many songs with Chris Tomlin for the Passion Conferences. Only God knows the plan for Jon's story and who it will reach for Christ. He was a mighty young man of God. I will never forget the first time I met him about five years ago outside my Sunday School classroom. His enthusiasm was unsurpassed! My whole family loved that kid. His life was far from perfect and he made tons of mistakes but He knew He was loved by God and He loved Him back. He was a classic "Israelite" in that he would turn away at times but always turned back. The good work that was begun in Jason and Jon by Christ, "will be carried on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Their stories aren't even complete yet! How cool is that?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, America, America

Oh, America, America!  "If  you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes." (Luke 19:42a)  How He longs to take us under His wing like a hen gathers her chicks. (Luke 14:34)  Jesus Christ is the answer to all of our problems!!!  At this incredulous time in our country, what with all the "downturns" and such, I am in awe of all seemingly good solutions and ideas about how this country can turn around.  But in God's economy, these ideas will be shown for what they are. He won't even allow them to work so perhaps in frustration, we might cry out to Him.  We have only the Truth on which to rely and it is only the Truth that can set us free!  401k's have turned out to be a false god.  The stock market and all sorts of funds and annuities have turned out to be false gods.  Mutual funds, smutual funds!  Turns out the rock in America was sinking sand.  Ten years ago, I would have been right there with "them" easily solving all of the world's problems with worldly solutions.  But by God's grace, not anymore.  "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness!" Christians, it's time to "Christ up" and reveal His glory to a very lost nation.  Start where you are!  Your home, neighborhood, and community.  Invite people to your church.  The only way things are going to change is by leading people to Christ, one soul at a time.  He is the answer to every problem!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More St. Barts 10 year Anniversapalooza pics!

Our balcony with the view from which I took 400 pix of the same thing-the view of the beautiful baie St. Jean!
I LOOOve dogs.  This is sache'.
I love this runway!!!
My favorite part of the whole experience is the runway at the beach.  I could stand there and take pix of people as the prop planes take off. The danger sign didn't say anything about standing at the end of the runway-simply no parking or sunbathing.  Just sayin'!
Although I'm not much of a name dropper John McEnroe I heard a familiar voice right beside me at the missing bag  counter John McEnroe when I turned around and low and behold there he was. His daughter's bag had not arrived with her flight as was the case for Mike's. I didn't have time to whip out the paparazzi camera like I usually do when things like this happen.  I was obviously not on guard like a good star stalker should have been. Game off.  Molly would have been proud that I actually behaved.  In reality, I simply missed the money shot.  My brother said I should have had a fit myself over Mike's missing bag and said, "YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS!"  Again, game off!  

Beautiful St. Barts!

The Lord cued the sailboats!!  
Gustavia, the port town of St. Barts
Our infinity pool at LeVillage St. Jean Hotel/cottages  with the caribbean sea in the background
The view from the restaurant "Le Cesar" with bougainvillea framing the bay!
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of this great vacation!!!  Mike and I had the best time ever as we celebrated our 10 year anniversary at the exact same place (same cottage even) where we spent our honeymoon.  Thank you for guiding us back there to rest, reflect and focus on our marriage. We are truly a second marriage miracle in the fact that God is transforming us into who He created us to be.  The bulk of the "work" has taken place over the last 10 years when in late 1999  Mike had the sense to "listen to the pastor and have a devotion" together at home.  I never will forget how rediculously odd it felt to pull the Bible out from the bookshelf and actually open it and read the few verses that corresponded with the "Daily Bread" devotion booklet and then have prayer before he headed off to work.  But that was just the beginning of our life-changing experience.  We noticed almost right away that we had a little more peace throughout the day so we continued this new daily habit!  And that is where our God story begins and continues to this day.  After months of having our devos together, I began my first Beth Moore Bible study in Aug. 2000,  David- A Heart Like His. I actually went "kicking and screaming" because a good friend insisted and a bad knee from an old ski injury took me out of tennis.  Turns out, I looooove bible studies and have not stopped seeking God through His Word!!!  Mike began his own "quiet time" by reading the One Year Bible in Jan. 2001 and has read it through every year since then.  We both began to "put into practice" what God spoke to us and stepped into whatever "assignment" or action He led us to do no matter how foolish or silly or scary it was.  I could write a book on this journey but for now I will just say that GOD HAS WORKED WONDERS FOR US AND WE KNOW THAT HE IS THE LORD, THE ONE AND ONLY GOD OF THE UNIVERSE!!!