Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Story you will love!

I love Christmas stories! I have books and books of them. Well I have one that I want to share with you that happened with Parker. Parker is not even 2 yet and he is the son of Gordan and Ruth who were teenagers in our youth church and now are fantastic leaders in our church. Well here it is...
Ruth took Parker to a store this week and it was really windy and cold. She was hurrying in to get him in a basket and Parker started pulling on her hand. She turned to see a 3 year old boy and his old grandmother sitting on the bench. The boy had on a very thin hat and was quite cold. Parker had removed his hat and put his new hot wheels car in it and was handing it to the little boy. The little boy asked if he could give Parker a hug and of course Ruth said "yes". Then the grandma told Ruth that she had been sitting there praying that some how her little grandson would get a Christmas present. She then asked Ruth if she could give her a hug. It really brings tears to my eyes as I write this because memories are coming back to me of Gordan and Ruth going to Hollywood with us to minister on the streets and also going on late night outreach right here in Lubbock on Friday nights. Now as adults they are ministering to youth and kids. Can you imagine what kind of man of God Parker is going to be? This is really what Christmas is about! God is with us and He is with the world through us. I am so proud of you Gordan, Ruth and Parker!
Here they are.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love Christmas! Having Will has made it so much better this year! I wanted to share some our fun with him so far. Last week I took him to the mall with my niece Staci and thought I would get a picture of him with Santa. Will's other grandma, Cindy collects pictures of her kids with Santa so I thought she would enjoy one too. We got in line and he loved Santa's house but when it came to Santa he freaked out! We were 3 feet away from Santa when it happened. There would be no photo with Santa. He was so traumatized that when we got out to where Staci was he was reaching for her to rescue him from Santa and the mean Lolli who took him to Santa. We always took our kids to see Santa but he never brought them stuff because my parents always bought their big presents and I wanted them to be grateful. One year when Denae was about 4 we were shopping the day after Christmas and a lady in a store asked Denae what Santa had brought her for Christmas. She said "nothing". The lady persisted "Oh, sure he did". Denae got pretty frustrated that the lady didn't believe her and she reiterated that Santa did NOT bring her anything. This lady gave me a look that could kill. I mean you would have thought I was a child abuser! What is Christmas about anyway??? I think Will already understands the true meaning. He doesn't like Santa but he got in the car with me the other day and saw that I had bought a Fisher Price Nativity, he started screaming excitedly for me to get it out. Here is some video of him playing with it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I have the best husband in the world!!!

I have had some sort of crazy bug for nearly the last 3 weeks. Honestly I can pinpoint 4 different things. You don't want to know the details but the bottom line is that I have been chastised by my doctor for wearing myself out. My friends have confronted me on the issue that I have, it is hard for me to delegate and not do everything myself (I mean I just want everything done right HA). Basically I have been told that I need to slow it down and listen to God. (My mother gave me that one, I can't do anything without finding out if God wants me to do it). I am so compelled by my passion that sometimes I get myself into doing things that I have no business doing. So I am trying to listen. What God is saying to me is "Be still and know that I am God". That is so hard for me! Now to my husband who is the greatest. To help me get started on this better lifestyle he came home with an escape package to Oceans Spa. I LOVE OCEANS! My favorite location is the one on South Quaker. It is so relaxing just to go in there. I just would be happy sitting in the living room and not even having a service. I have even redecorated my guest bedroom and bath after the Oceans theme. Here are some pics of my redecoration:





Honey, I love you and appreciate all you do for me to make my life great!!!

Ed and Will last Christmas. (Hopefully we will have new Christmas pics soon, our photographer is really busy!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Holidays?????

Once again I am confronted with this saying that really gets under my skin. It just seems to me that Christmas (THE BIRTH OF JESUS) has been degraded to a holiday the equivilant of a British vacation. The birth of Jesus was the best day ever only to be followed by the best death ever! I will get off of my soap box now. Actually this all came up again because I was looking for a new Christmas layout. I have found one that truly describes Jesus and that is joy. For those of you who may have missed out on my Happy Holidays story from last year, it is worth repeating. I sent Ed to Sams to get a birthday cake for Jesus for our kid's party at church. I didn't look at the cake until Sunday morning right before the party when to my dismay, our cake said "Happy Holidays Jesus". I asked Ed what in the world he was thinking and he said he just saw "Happy" and missed "Holidays" on the cake. His experience at Sams was starting to make sense to him though because he said that when he took his cake to the bakery lady and asked her to add Jesus to the cake she said ok and then took his cake to another lady, discussed it with her and then they preceeded to laugh. He didn't think much of it until I pointed out the error. I mean really how many people actually associate Happy Holidays with Jesus? This just brings the point home further. Let's try to include Jesus in all of our holidays, hey how about all of our DAYS!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS JESUS!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lance & Olivia's Wedding- What a Day!


Lance and Olivia got married last Saturday and it was an amazing day! The service was absolutly beautiful. Olivia was driven up to the wedding in a horse carriage, she was coming across a bridge to wonderful sax music being played. It was one of the most romantic, breath taking scences I ever seen. They had 3 ministers as seen in the picture above. Ed has really enjoyed getting to be part of all of our kid's weddings. He loves weddings! We have been so blessed with amazing kids of our own but God has brought the most wonderful spouses to them all. We have had a consistent prayer for our kid's spouses since they were born and God has answered that prayer in the most perfect way! Chris, Lacey and Olivia are such a blessing to us. Our family would not be complete without them! Olivia and Lance are a wonderful compliment to each other. She has a huge heart for God and people as does Lance. I know that God has great plans for them together. Here are some more pics of the big day.
Me and Denae before the wedding

Lance and his men (he had 8!)

Lance and Olivia took Communion together and washed each other's feet.
It was really special!



Will pooped out during the reception.

The mother-son dance. This was really special because Ed consistantly has asked over the years "Has anyone told you that they love you today?, I do" to all of our family and friends. Denae chose the song "Have I told you lately that I love you?" for her's and Ed's dance at her wedding and Lance chose it for our dance. I feel like one of the most blessed women in the world. I have an amazing husband who has raised three fantastic kids with me and now we get to see what wonderful things that God has in store for their families! Don't ever quit praying for your kids, because it works!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scooping the Poop with Pop

We love it when Denae is busy taking pictures because we get to spend an hour or so with Will before Chris gets off work. I had to post this visit because it was just too funny! As I've told you before, Will is partial to Pop. He loves for Ed to take him outside to play ball or just go for a walk down the block with our dog Maggie. I usually go out and join them. What I found on this day was really funny as you will see. Will and Pop were on a Maggie poop walk. Ed is equipped with the scooper and Will was very excited to help. The really funny thing that I didn't capture was when Ed brought the scooper in and put it up. Will had a fit! He loved scooping poop. Chris and Denae don't have a dog so Maggie is one of the draws to our house for Will. He has started calling her "dog" and he is petting her very gently now. It is really fun to watch them together. I love seeing the world through the eyes of Will, it takes so little to make him happy!

Pop and his poop helper

Will is excited about his first scoop

Job well done

What great bonding for Will and Pop

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Corn Dogs, The Beach and New York City!

My life has been to the extremes the last month! Our church ran a corn dog stand at the fair. Really, I thought I had retired from corn dogs! It seemed to come back to me like riding a bike. I even learned how to cook (something I had played dumb on in the past). I really had a great time even though I was so tired I thought I would die. I loved getting to know my church better. There is nothing like sticking wienies together or being confined in a tiny stand together all day. Not to mention how ugly you look by the end of the week. It's awesome to get out of our churchy setting (even though ours isn't too churchy) and get dirty together. We had a great 10 days and God really blessed our church. Sorry I have no pictures of this because when I say I looked bad I mean it! Thanks to all my friends and family for working so hard!
The day after the fair we left for St.Martin to celebrate our 30 years of marriage. We saved airline points for 3 years to be able to take this trip and boy was it wonderful. This is our fourth time to go and I never get tired of this wonderful little island. I would suggest to all of you to get there someday!

Ed wrote this on our beach. The hotel has two private beaches, it is amazing!

We took this on the balcony of our room, the room is right on the beach. I love going to sleep with the sound of the ocean!

We took a water taxi to Marigo to shop

Deke and Carrie, our hotel is in the background

Me and Carrie shopping in the market

This man is my hero! He really deserved this vacation after working at the fair about 18 hours a day for 11 days! I love my life with him, we get to do so many cool things together!

I love the sunsets in St. Martin!
We ended our trip with a 9 hour layover in the middle of the night in New York City. I have always wanted to go there! We made the most of it. We went to the Empire State Building at Midnight and we walked to Times Square from there. It made me want more! I so bad wanted to visit the biggest store in the world (Macy's) but it was closed! My camera went dead before we got there so I will have to post more pics later when I can get some from Deke.

Friday, September 12, 2008

So much has gone on...where do i start????

I am not kidding, I have been way too busy living life to write about it! In the last month I have been to Youth camp with the students at Generations church. Our kids really ministered to me! On the last day one of the young men apologized to some of the other guys for judging them and not loving them. It was really powerful!


Had a camp day at church. THese pics are water balloon volleyball and I am playing California Couples Kickball with Trey. I know that has to bring back memories for all of you who have gone to camp with us over the years!



I have gotten to have a sleepover with Will (our grandson) and some babysitting. By the way, Will likes Pop better than Lolli (me) right now. Surely the tide will change for me soon!!! Everyone knows I am more fun than Ed!



Our church is doing amazing and really growing. What I really want to focus on is last Saturday. We had an outreach at the Boy's and Girl's club where we have our youth church every week. We had blues and burgers. It was a ton of work but it was so worth it! We had Mike Pritchard and Mark Walney do our blues music, we had a lot of give-aways and a full cookout and then our youth ended it with 2 human videos and Ed gave an altar call. Here we were right out in the great outdoors and 72 people came forward to give their lives to Jesus. Something that was really cool was we had a Tech civic organization come volunteer to help us and three of them got saved! By the time we got everything cleaned up and put up we had spent 9 hours that day on the outreach. I was reflecting on it as I drove home and I thought about all the things I had done the week before and realized that Saturday was my best time spent in a while! I don't think we can really fathom how the face of all eternity changes when someone accepts Jesus. I am so blessed to have such an amazing church family who will get outside the four walls, work hard and love people! It is wonderful what is accomplished when we get together in unity.

Monday, July 28, 2008

First Class and amazing youth camp!

Ed and I had the privilege to go to Nebraska to speak at a youth camp last week. I wanted to communicate my thoughts as I was taking off and then some of retrospect.
Ed surprised me and upgraded our tickets to first class. It was my first time to be in first class. It was wonderful! I didn't want the plane to land (for those of you who know me well you know that is a miracle)! I was so exhausted when I got on the plane and the chair was soooo comfortable. I'm pretty sure it had a lumbar. I wanted to fully relish the experience so I tried not to sleep. Right off the bat the flight attendant brought us warm nuts in a glass bowl and a drink in a glass. It was yummy! After finishing the snack I decided to get my blanket and take a little nap. I hadn't been asleep long when I was awoken by an amazing smell. I knew I recognized it but I had never smelled anything so wonderful on a plane. Shortly after the smell arrived a warm chocolate chip cookie and water in a mini wine glass.
WOW! I couldn't believe what has been going on just a few rows in front of me all of this time. I began to wonder... how do I cross back to regular class now? I don't want to go back to where I used to be. I drift forward to my next few weeks of youth camps and I hope that I will have as strong of feeling about not going back to where I used to be. I am always as ministered to as the students at camp. Everyone should get to go to camp! I want to get what God has for me and resit going back to my old ways as much as I am going to resist going back to coach when I fly back home.


Camp is now over and I have a continuation. God showed up! He spoke so many things to me that I don't have time to write them all. My life was changed and challenged once again by young people giving it all up for God. One night in particular was very powerful as students stood up on their chairs and declared how they would be different when they got home. I am different. God spoke to me and told me that I am a collector of people not a collector of stuff. I'm collecting!
A funny thing happened when I flew home, I had to come home earlier than expected without Ed. He told me that I was still on first class and to check in at the first class station at the airport. When I got up there the lady asked where my husband was and I told her that he couldn't fly with me. She went on to inform me that I was being bumped back down to coach, I couldn't go first class without Ed. The she said in a hateful tone "you arn't gold or platnim are you?" I had to admit that I was not. In front of all the other first class passengers she had to continue to tell me how that I did not belong there. I wanted to yell out "I never want to sit in first class again!" but it would have been a lie) I was so tired that I nearly started to cry but regained my composure. I sadly went back to coach. As I read what I had written about my travel there I feel even stronger that I never want to go backwards, I want to keep moving up where God has things planned for me that I could have never imagined.

Friday, July 18, 2008

30 years of Marriage and going strong!



We had a wonderful celebration for our 30th Anniversary! Ed surprised me and took me to a fantastic hotel in Dallas for a few days. As we were on our way I had a classic Connie moment. Poor Ed, I can't believe he has survived 30 years of these happenings. I had a little coffee and coke along our way, and decided I better stop for a bathroom. We pulled off the highway to a gas station and I got out. I did not realize how bad I had to go until I stood up. The kicker was that it was raining outside. When the rain hit me it was about all over! I had to stand up against the building like a statue with my legs crossed for several minutes before I could dare move on to the bathroom. Did I mention that we were right on the highway and cars were passing by? Ed is looking at me from the car as I continue in my statue state. He never laughs. I was standing there contemplating where my clothes were located and how I could make the change in the yucky bathroom. Mind you if either of my sisters or Donna would have been there I would have already peed in my pants. Somehow I regained control and made it.
My favorite verse is Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine". I have nearly overdosed Ed with all of the craziness over 30 years. I can say that this is one of the keys to a great marriage. We laugh A LOT~! We laugh at ourselves and at each other. I have had the best life! God has been so good to me to give me such a great friend and partner for life.
On our anniversary day Ed got up and suggested we get a pedicure together. He has never suggested this before but he loves all pampering as do I. I told him that I wasn't sure that I could acknowledge him as we would be lined up in chairs with a bunch of women. Really what I was thinking was "I will only get to get these half as much now because he will be hooked"! It was a fun experience! The crazy thing was that these people were professional sales people. They kept trying to add on all kinds of other things and when I would say no they would act like they didn't understand english. Ed got a 30 min massage while having his pedicure. I got calus remover, hot wax (oh and they said Ed needed that too) and I could not refuse the flower on my toes! It cost us a pretty penny for all this pampering but it was wonderful. I even got some pictures of Ed during the process.




That night Ed took me to a wonderful Brazilian Steak house. That is where the first picture is from. It was very romantic and wonderful.
Ed has consistantly taken me on dates through our 30 years. Our kids would ask why we had to go without them and we always replied that they would leave someday and we wanted to still love each other when the time came. We are in that time now and I can say that all the dating paid off. I am more in love with this man than ever!
Happy Anniversary honey, I'm looking forward to the next 30!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Passion

I am a very passionate person, whatever I do, I do it with full passion so know that as I tell this new story. About a week ago I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I saw a big spider in my tub. I am not really afraid of spiders but I thought I would get it in the morning. I forgot about it and it disappeared. A few days later I decided to take a bath (I had been taking showers in case you were worried). My bath pillow had fallen in the tub so I picked it up to put it back where it went and the spider was rolled up dead on the back of the pillow, so I thought. I decided to take the pillow to the commode and brush it off. When I did that the thing came back to full life and started running up the pillow toward me, I panicked and dropped my pillow in the commode. I could not get it shaken off my pillow so I went to get a cup to wash it off. When I returned Charlotte was no where to be found. I got my pillow out to wash it and inspected the entire inside of my commode, I mean I didn't want that thing coming back and biting me later! He was gone! Now go forward a few hours. I went to the car wash and was pulling out across a busy street. I had just put an altoid in my mouth when something brown fell from my head and hit my knee. I gasped and when I did I sucked the altoid in to where I was choking myself. I had a choice to make at that point and decided the thing on my knee was secondary to choking, having a wreck and hurting someone so I regained control and got the altoid unstuck before I looked down and saw that what had fallen was a brown earring that I was wearing. It was a lot of drama for one day!
For the last few weeks we have been focusing on worship in our Connect group and Ed has been talking about all the emotion and passion that we have toward everything else in our lives yet we have a hard time showing it toward God. We are concerned about what others might think and get caught up in ourselves. I know that since we have become Pastors I have felt more pressure to conform than to let it all go like I did when we were Youth Pastors. After this spider incident I have seen something in myself, when I get caught up in a moment, I don't care who sees it or who knows. I want many more moments like that with God! I am committing to keep my focus and passion where it needs to be.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Employee Appreciation


We are having a challenge at church to quit "going" to church and "Be the church". God gave me this new idea to reach out. It is employee appreciation. I made certificates and bought gift cards for two people who really make my life easier. Ones name is Jo Ann and she works at Rise N Shine Donuts where I get donuts every Sunday for church. She is awesome. She has a great smile and always has my donuts ready when I get there. The other one is Melissa from Kinkos where we get our bulliten printed every week. She goes the extra mile for me! When I took Melissa hers she yelled out to the other workers "I've been recognized!" That really hit me because all of us have that in common. We want to be recognized. It was so easy to recognize her. I believe if we will take the time and make the opportunity to recognize people like Jesus did, we really will be the church. Sometimes going to church is not that exciting but being the church is an adventure that never stops!


I have one more story about being the church. About 8 years ago when we were at Church on the Rock I led an outreach with my Ladies Bible Study and we made Christmas gift baskets and Valentine's gifts for the strippers at Players. It was awesome. Myself, my mother and Dee Lewis made the drops but we only got to leave the gifts with a manager when the club was closed. I never knew if it had any affect on anyone there. Last week I heard that in the process of some people going door to door from Church on the Rock that one of the strippers answered the door and said that she would never forget the ladies bringing her a gift basket.
At the time it was amazing all of the comments I got from people at church who could not believe that I was going there. I think differently, I believe that we must bring Jesus to the people because most of them will not step inside the doors of our church before we do.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Live an Adventure with me!

I'm back! I am going to try this blogging thing once more. I am so busy living life that I have a hard time finding the time to write about it. I have had a very exciting past few weeks! Our son Lance got engaged to a wonderful woman, Olivia who he met while working at Master's Commission. We are very blessed!

We have been to Living Word Church in Raleigh, NC http://www.lwfc.org/ where I was treated like a queen. I even have the tiara to prove it! I am now home with my family and church having a great time serving God together.



I know you are wondering where is my adventure story? Here it is....we were flying home from Raleigh and I had to go to the bathroom in the airport. Seems normal, right? Anyway I went in and I was the only one in there when another person entered the stall next to mine. I thought this was strange because there were plenty of other stalls empty. If possible I believe you should use stall space. This person had somewhat invaded my personal space. I looked down and noticed that this woman had on man pants and man shoes. I thought this odd until I realized that the woman stayed standing and never sat down to go to the bathroom. I suddenly had a panic attack and had the thought that I was the one invading someones space. Had I gotten into the men's restroom by mistake? (this wouldn't be so far fetched as I have done it in the past) I was finished but I could not leave because I certainly didn't want to meet this man at the hand washing sink! I peered out of the stall searching for the urinals to see if I had indeed gone into the wrong bathroom. There were none there. I watched the sink to wait for him to leave and he never came to the sink, finally I looked down and realized he was gone without hand washing. I slipped out and saw that I was in the ladies restroom after all.


Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and places that are very uncomfortable for us in our Christian life. We face the challenge and then we walk away and find that we have been in the right place all along. When we were in Raleigh, Ed asked me to come up and share something with the youth on the spur of the moment. I am not that great with spur of the moment. I don't even remember what I said except that I told a story of an 11 year old girl who had been raped from a school we had been at. Afterwards a young girl came to me and told me how that had touched her because she had been raped. I was able to pray for her and minister to her because I had been pushed out of my personal space. Let's get rid of our space cushion and live an adventure!