Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ummmm....I did it again...that's right...I'm behind again!

Ahhh....take a deep cleansing breath with me (nope, I'm not into yoga, guys) and catch the scent of woodsmoke, freshly cut hay, and apple cider warming on the stove. Yes! It's that time of year again. My most favorite season of all is back in full force!!! I LOVE AUTUMN. Fall is my favorite season. Strangely enough, I find myself more energetic and bubbly than at any other time of the year.
Two weeks from now my little baby boy, Timothy, will turn ONE YEAR OLD!!! Oh dear, where did the time get to. That is soooo depressing. But, we are enjoying all of his sweet little antics, his very chubby legs trembling with the effort of walking along holding to the edge of the couch, his developing sense of humor when he shouts back, "Boof" to our cries of "BOO!" A mild-natured child who is sooo full of love for Em-em, Mom-mum, and DaaDaa. Our little Timothy is a precious little fellow whom we thank God for every day.
Emily is our little live wire. Full of passion from weeping, fury, laughing, playing, etc...she never gives us a dull moment around the house...and we love our little girl sooo much, as well. She has invented a new name for herself...."Daddy's little Soup Hog" Where that came from, I'll never know, but it certainly cracked us up! She also sang loudly after kid's club the other night, "Joshua fought the battle a year ago, year ago...."
So, I am planning to haul out the fall decor tommorrow and let the joy of color surround us as we bask in the waning glow of summer and relish the brilliant display that is already stealing into the green canopy of nature.
We are busy with church growth and cultivation....don't get me started there, but let me say, All the glory belongs to Jesus Who is helping us in a very special way. He is showing such grace to us as we endeavor to bring souls to Him. And, for now, that's about all I can think of to share.
More from the well-spring of activity later....Hold to God's unchanging hand as the seasons change!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time has ceased to march and has begun to fly!!!!

Hello Everybody, I am once again embarressed to find myself so far behind in blogging....but, we have had a riotous two months going on. My mother-in-law had hip replacement surgery in June, we have had multiple car problems, a teething baby, tending to my exploding with weeds and produce garden, a GREAT music service with God's Bible School quartet, started a Kidz of Promise Kidz Club on Wednesday nights, getting ready for VBS (starts tonight) and taking teens to Youth Camp next week if they decide to go...(gasp, pant, pant, gulp.....) Do you see why you have not heard from me in awhile?
I am sooooo happy to be busy though. Thank God for His help in our fledgling ministries at the church! We are so excited to see what God is doing and how His Spirit is working in the lives of people around us, drawing them to come to Jesus!! Keep us in your prayers for this week as we work with many little children!!!! More when I have time...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Please, whatever you do, DONT throw me in the Briar Patch

Hi Everybody! I am writing this from inside my storm shelter. I know it probably will stir up a lot of feelings and very possibly some disagreement, but that's okay. Just the same I came in here in case the rotten eggs, tomatoes and other objects began to fly my direction. Also, the writer's group that I am with encourages us to write fifteen hundred words daily and so I am trying to do that some. This has not been proofed at all, just straight from the heart. P.S. I did NOT make it to fifteen hundred for those who are interested....only 1,209 words. Oh well, maybe these will count for something. I love you guys!

Writing fifteen hundred words a day is a hard thing to do on the surface. However, when one considers how much time is wasted on Facebook, Myspace or some other social network, then the time it takes to write these words is really not that much. I will be the first to admit that the internet is an amazing tool. You can find almost anybody, anytime. If you are willing to pay the price, you can almost find out the sizes of underwear they have used for the last fifteen years!
What is more important, though? Are we as a nation willing to sacrifice the edifying and growth of the mind on the altar of technology. We are little puppets that are drawn to the screen to receive our daily dose of perceived self-worth from the pile of messages that come from people we are barely acquainted with or do not know at all. We search desperately for someone to love us as we roll through the pages of this vast online world.
I have made several observations while engaging more time than I care to admit in perusing online activity. The first is, those people (whom I personally know) that are spending hours and hours glued to their computer have mostly sad, lonely lives. I think I know why now. Before social networks such as Facebook took our world by storm, there was only the "boob tube" to watch. Many of these same people, I know for a fact, used to spend countless hours watching one video after another. Then they would turn on the computer and read all the news and gossip they could find. Through all of this, is anyone following with me the common thread which holds this woeful tale together?
Here are people who are looking at and talking to faces on a screen. They do not hear their voice, see their expressions, share the same room while they converse. I could be screaming and crying right now while I write this very logical sounding claptrap against techno addiction, but you would not see it. There are neighbors, old friends, family and just people that are close by with whom I could be building good, wholesome relationships with. But, as long as I sit here in front of this screen, anxiously awaiting a pop-up chat screen from one of my equally techno addict friends, I am losing out on this privilege. The old cliche no longer holds true: "No man is an island unto himself." More and more, we put on peppy screen names, write bouncy little notes and no one knows or really wants to hear the genuine pain we might be experiencing. We get online hoping someone will make us laugh, hoping someone will affirm our flagging ego, hoping to attain something that only direct, personal time spent with other human beings will accomplish.
We are sadly spiraling down into an abyss of loneliness. Maybe we need to wake up and realize that a "friend at hand is worth five on-line." Computers cannot hold you close in a warm embrace of friendship and care when the chips are down and your luck is up. Facebook cannot offer a tissue and cry with you when your heart is broken by someone or something that has come into your life. Technology does not have a soft hand to hold when you feel afraid in the darkness of a stormy night.
Recently, some friends of mine received a totally unexpected blow. By the choice of a few, sadly misguided people, they no longer had a job, a home, insurance or direction of where to go or what to do. I sent messages on Facebook, my husband talked on the cell phone while strolling through Walmart. We tried to offer care and concern through the means of technology. By the next night, I was fed up. Since we lived relatively close by, we made a trip to their home and sat with them. I hugged my friend, my husband offered sympathy, counsel and a listening ear as we grieved with them in their sudden displacement. It was hard. I could not offer little sweet cliches to them. I could not quote some author. I had to look into their eyes. I had to see their pain. I squirmed with discomfort at their agony and uncertainty. But, I was there. It made a world of difference for me. It made their pain become real to me. It was worth every bit of the embarrassed, timid feelings which I overcame as I ministered to their time of hurt. Their hurt isn’t over yet. It is ongoing. Yet, they will not forget that night that we were there holding their hands, praying with them, encouraging them, and brain-storming with them for a reasonable solution and conclusion to their trouble. We did not fix one thing, but long after the instant messages and emails have been deleted, the cell phone waves have floated away, the memory of a true friend, I hope, will remain in their hearts.
I told this story to illustrate the point I am making in regard to our over-"technologised" (no it isn't a word) lifestyle. We must learn to have balance in all things. People who eat only celery will eventually die. Why? Because they are burning one-half a calorie for every bite they eat. If you burn constantly and never put anything back in, eventually you will burn out. It is the same in relationships. Those who only watch black letters dancing across a white screen and never experience the sight, sound, (dare I say) smell, and touch of other human beings will wither up and emotionally die.
People, in a world population of almost seven billion human beings, we absolutely need each other. We cannot walk through this world alone. We were created for relationships. Next time you find yourself on that crowded elevator, look someone in the eye and smile. If you are standing next to someone at the meat counter, rather than hang your head and burrow through the meat packages trying to beat them to the best deal, strike up a conversation. I have only met two people in my entire life who gave me a cold stare and walked away. People love to feel that their opinion is important. People are starved for friendship and someone to listen to the sound of their voice. That sounds conceited, but it is the basic need in the human psyche. God instilled this into mankind because He knows we aren’t going to make it through this world and get out of it alive. But, that doesn’t mean that we cannot experience joy in the journey. We can know the reality of many satisfying, friendly relationships as we walk through life. And, yes, my techy friends out there, I believe there is room for communication via social networks to connect with old friends. Just don’t let it totally replace the opportunities for relationships that might otherwise pass you by because you spent all of your time connecting online. As sweetly as I know how to say it, Get a life! Live it to the fullest. Keep your heart in line with Jesus and you will never walk alone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh My Goodness, My Word, My Stars....

Hi everybody. I cannot believe that I have missed over two months of writing on my blog!!! Life happens and you wonder where the time went. This Sunday, my little baby boy will be seven months old. Where is my brand-new infant man child? Oh my.
I just want to tell everyone that in the midst of the busyness I have been sooo comforted and blessed by the fact that God is near and has been with me.
We are a blessed people in spite of the political upheaval and financial uncertainty that plagues our nation. I could get really depressed about the horrible choices that our leaders are making right now except that I have a God who is soooo mighty that He's not sweating over this right now. All I need to do is rest and trust in His wisdom and exercise the grace He is extending for His children to live spotless in these days.
The month of March was pretty much day in, day out routine, mixed with wild preparations for Alan's sister, Heather's, wedding.
April 4th, my dear little "sissy" got married to a wonderful young man, Eric Stanbery. They are blissfully happy in their new life together and we are soooooo happy for him and her.
We had a good Easter and are excited about the Mother-Daughter banquet that is forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. I am toying with having a Hawaiian Luau that will include the Mothers-Daughters, Fathers-Sons kind of in between the two holidays. What do you think? Send me some responses. Okay, that's my jumbled oration for today. I have a lot to do and will try to keep up with this better.
Remember, as one of my favorite musical heroes, Brent Vernon, says in his song it's "...not the one who runs the swiftest, nor the one who shines for a day, but the one who ENDURETH to the end....HE shall be saved." We're gonna make it everybody. By God's grace, we are winners forever!!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunshine through the clouds

Hi Everybody, After that last "mopey, dopey" post, I am writing to say, I am a survivor and I have come through the worst of the GRAY days. One of my hero's, Bro. Albert Barr, often spoke to people about the fact that depression is not a sign of spiritual failure, and I have learned that is sooo true. I just saw on Facebook yesterday that this dear man of God is almost in Heaven. Cancer has caught up with him, but I can only imagine how thrilled he is in his soul to be headed home!!! March 1st will be three years since my mother went to live with Jesus because of cancer. I am so comforted by the fact that we are explicitly promised in the Bible that there will never be anymore sorrow, sickness or pain. Isn't that such a relief to hold on to?
By the by (as the British say) totally changing the subject here: How many of my readers are already planning your flower and vegetable gardens? I would love to hear from you. I am as is my little Emily. She has very specifically informed us that HER flower garden will be at the FRONT of the house. According to her, this bed of beauty will sport red, white, blue (hmmm...patriotic), pink, purple (okay...girly), orange and YELLOW!!!(where did that come from?) flowers. At least we will be able to identify ours as the most original garden!! HA! Cheers, everybody. Keep your eyes on the prize and don't give up on following Jesus for anything!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Shades of Gray

Call me a nut - you are probably right- but I am totally depressed right now. Why? I DON'T KNOW WHY!! Let's see, could it be a culmination of 3 1/2 months of spotty sleeping habits, S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder), post-partum depression? Maybe all of the above! Have I lost my faith? NO WAY. I am so glad that in the midst of seeing the world in "shades of gray" I have a Savior who walks with me "even in the valley..."
Are you not glad that we do not always have to represent ourselves before God with a bubble and a giggle? Right now I would be on His hit list if that were the case because the best I could muster would be a gasp and a gurgle. He cares "when your head is bowed low" and He knows the pain of relentless despair.
Faith is based on fact, not feeling for me right now. But, God is there. Hang in there and we will all have joy in the by and by!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A History Lesson in the Making

Well, we are in a new era as a nation and I have two things to say:
1) Lord, have mercy upon us
2) Lord, have mercy upon President Obama
We are called upon by God to pray for those who are in authority over us and scripture teaches us that how our leaders direct the affairs of the nation will affect how we are free to worship and to live. The overwhelming responsibility and burden which this man has taken today should cause us to intercede on his behalf more fervently than we have ever done. Not only for how he leads us, but for how he allows God to lead him. I am optimistic this day because I believe that God will speak to and move upon this man's heart and life in direct response to our prayers on his behalf. Be encouraged, as my friend, Brent Vernon said on Facebook this afternoon, "God still has the last word, Yes He does!"

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Little Angels...ho ho ho

Here you see the most wonderful man in the world: My sweet husband, Alan Christner.

"Mother Mary" a.k.a. Emily, reverently awed by the Christmas candlelight service at our church.

Emily was very proud of her first snowman of the year! I helped her build it, but my hands got so cold that we only managed a "midget man!!"

Here is my sweet "little boy blue" on his 3-month old birthday! He is really starting to notice things and perk up when he sees me, Daddy or Emily. What a smile, huh? OKAY already! I know I'm gone over the little fellow :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009


I love the fresh, innocent perspective of children. God is right there beside them and they talk to Him like they talk to you and me. The other day, Emily was warbling at the top of her lungs (more than slightly off-key) singing about everything from wet diapers to Jesus Christ the Lord. She bounced into the kitchen and said, "Did you hear my pretty song? I was singing to Jesus." I thought about how often I only come to Him after I have tried to "sing" on perfect pitch and only when I have something really brilliant to say! Lord help me to have that childlike faith that can simply come to You as I am: off-pitch, everyday subjects and all. How You love to have your children REALLY talk to you. Help me to be REAL in my relationship with You. Can I hear a loud "AMEN" out there, anybody?
Timothy is really growing and eating and eating and eating... for those moms who nursed you know what this means: no rest for the wicked, and the righteous don't need none! Add to this the beginning of teething at only 3 months old and you can see why I refuse to change my profile picture. I would be completely unrecognizable - what with the wrinkles, straggly hair, dark, hollow eyes ... OK OK that is a little overkill, but I am feeling a bit goofy right now! HA HA Love to all and keep your heart in tune with Jesus. He's coming to get us soon and take us back for a day at His House. Just think, that day will never end and there will be no more sorrow, crying or tears. All that was a trouble to us on this earth will fade away in the glory of His Presence! Hallelujah and YIPPEE!!!!