Archive | April, 2012

It’s official…

30 Apr

…I’m a Pastor’s Wife!!!

Today at church we had 4 people ordained; Brandn, Erica, Anthony and Matt.  If you want to read a little about each person click here.

I have to say, I am so proud of my husband.  He’s grown a lot since I met him.

When we first met we in jr high.  We had a class together in 7th, 9th and 12th grades and we started dating the last month of our senior year.  Pastor Ray, who used to be a Youth Pastor, would tell teens not to get so upset over break-up cause it’s not like you actually marry the person you dated in high school anyway.  Well, we at Revive made a liar out of him.  3 out of the 5 pastors at Revive married the person they dated in high school.

Warning.  What’s next might be some new info for some of my family members:

When we first started dating, he was on probation.  We used to party all the time and these parties usually consisted of me drinking way to much, smoking pot, puking and then passing out.  We got married less than 2 years after we graduated high school and our marriage was pretty much the same; except I stopped smoking after we got married b/c I didn’t think it was appropriate for a wife to smoke.  But I thought it was totally appropriate for a wife to drink way too much tequila, get loud and obnoxious and pick fights with her husband…if you haven’t figured it out by now, my brain has issues. lol

Anyway…we started talking about having kids and we realized we needed to change a lot of things in our life…that’s when Jesus entered.

When you meet Jesus and let Him in; your life TOTALLY changes.  Look at Paul.  His name was Saul and he persecuted 1st century Christians.  He had a life altering encounter with Jesus, changed his name to Paul and became one of the world’s most awesome missionaries.

If you would have told me when we first got married that Brandn would end up clean and sober, moving to help plant a church in Austin and would become a pastor, I would have asked if you were on crack.  The moral to this ridiculously awesome blog post is to show to you God can use anyone for His glory.  Don’t think that because you have made some bad choices, done some bad things or have struggles or issues that you are damaged goods.

God can take any situation and create something beautiful and wonderful from it.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

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Don’t got to IKEA when you’re fighting

27 Apr

We went to IKEA a few days ago to get D a “big girl bed.” I’m sure some of you are thinking this is not blog worthy, but to me it is. 🙂

Danica is 4 and she has been sleeping in the same bed since we brought her home from the hospital. For those of you that are not parents don’t freak out and think we were forcing her to sleep in her crib; her crib transformed into a toddler bed and now she has finally outgrown it.

I’m sharing our IKEA experience b/c it was so much better than the last time we went to IKEA. For those of you that don’t our story, we moved to Austin to help plant Revive Church. We went to IKEA looking for a new entertainment system; the one we had didn’t fit in our new apartment. The apartment came with a built in area for a normal size entertainment center and the one we had, that Brandn built, was the size of a small yacht. Before becoming a pastor he was a carpenter so even though ridiculously huge, the entertainment center is beautiful.

Anyway…our first trip to IKEA was not a fun one. (We had just moved here and the stress was overwhelming. At that moment, everything was new. We knew this move was gonna effect our lives and nothing would ever be the same again but we honestly didn’t know how it would affect EVERYTHING.)

For those of you who have never been to IKEA it’s a maze in there and there are arrows on the floor to direct traffic. It’s quite genius; they have it laid out so you have to walk through the entire store before you can leave. It’s so freaking big they even have a food court in the middle because it takes hours to walk through it.

So, I made some comment about going the wrong direction and the next thing I knew B snapped at me and I was crying in the middle of the isle. I don’t mean to make B sound like a jerk here. The truth is we were in a constant fight for the first 2 months we lived here so I’m 100% sure I had attitude in my voice and he was tired of hearing me complain and he just took it the wrong way. So I’m there crying in the middle of the store and all these happy, smiley people are walking past me looking at me like I’m stupid.

This last time we went to IKEA we were one of those happy, smiley people. 🙂 We walked through it in record time and got D’s bed. We even left so happy that we went to the frozen yogurt place across the parking lot and sat outside chilling eating our tasty treat. It was a perfect evening.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

God kicks dogs

23 Apr

Before you go reporting this blog to PETA hear me out…

I read a blog once about fog and how the person related driving in fog to being surrounded by God and even though sometimes it’s scary in the fog, it’s better to be in the fog with God that out of the fog without Him.

I also read a blog about some little girls playing in a laundry matt in the ghetto and the author was able to relate this to Ester. That outside junk can’t affect the beauty that is within; that God sees our beauty and we are all princesses.

I’m amazed that people can see normal, everyday things and see God in them. I actually covet this ability and according to this thing called The 10 Commandments, that’s a bad thing….mental note, must work on not coveting.

But then, one day it happened to me!!! Whoo-hooo!!!! I was walking my dog to check the mail. We rounded the corner and saw 2 birds chilling, hanging out and minding their own business; until they spotted Daisey and took off. Well, my dog caught one. She actually swatted it out of the air and knocked it down and before I knew it; the poor things was in her mouth and about to become a tasty treat. Daisey is a bird dog, and a little retarded, so to witness this was quite surprising!  I didn’t know what to do, so I did the first thing that came to mind; I kicked the crap out of her till she dropped the bird and it flew away. You should have seen the look she gave me; I’m 100% sure she was cussing me out.

Now I wish I could say I walked away from this experience changed but I didn’t. I didn’t see God in it till later. Here’s what I came up with; bare with me, I’m new at this.

I was at our Women’s community group the next day and we were talking about Mathew 6 and how we shouldn’t worry because God will take care of us. Matt 6:26 says – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

And then it slapped me right across the face. God takes care of birds; he totally took care of the bird Daisey caught.

Sometimes we go through life minding our own business; we’re on top of the world thinking everything is great and then bam!! Life hits us and hits us hard. We think where is God? How could God allow this to happen? I’m a Christian, I’m a good person, I don’t deserve this, why is this happening to me?  Did He forget about me?  Does He see me suffering?

If you’re caught in the dog’s mouth right now. Stand strong!! Just because it’s hard, that doesn’t mean that God’s not in it. Stand strong because God kicks dogs and you will fly out of this stronger and better than you were before.  Good sees the invisible and loves the forgotten.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on moving.

17 Apr

My pastor said this Sunday “We give others too much power to name us, only God has that power.”  I’m not talking about your name, your parents named you, they have that power.  You especially feel the power when you get middle named.  I remember when we were trying to come up with D’s middle name.  I would yell it sounding really mad.  I had to make sure her name rolled off the tounge easily when she was in trouble.  I was planning ahead; I didn’t want to yell and mess up her name and look really stupid when she was in trouble.

I’m talking about allowing others to label you.  Labels are usually negative, so why do we allow others to label us?  Why do we listen to the lies?  Some common labels are fat, stupid, worthless, or you’ll never be good at ______ (fill in the blank.)

While we were turning McCallum high school into Revive Church this past Sunday I noticed my rockstar daughter doing something so typical of her that I had to laugh.  (For those of you that don’t speak Katie, in my language, rockstar means awesome.)  I won’t speak this over D because I don’t want her to feel labeled and then allow it to impact her future.  But this is what happened.  She was lined up with 2 of the other Revive kids to race up and down the hall.  This is normal;  they do this every week and D always comes in third place.  This time it was different; when they said go, she took off completely in the wrong direction!  I laughed.  She does stuff like that all the time.  I know B would love to put her in soccer but we’re pretty sure she would chase butterflies and pick flowers the whole game.

If she stays on this path she probably won’t be on the track team, but I’m not going to discourage her from trying out.  I will not harp on the things she doesn’t do well.  I will not discourage her as she grows up and put it in her mind that she’s not good at things that involve running fast.  I will not label her.

In the Bible, Ruth is often called “Ruth the Moabitess.”  She was from Moab and moved to Israel with her mother-in-law.  Moab was an enemy of Israel; the Israelites despised the Moabites.  So when the Israelites called her “Ruth the Moabitess” they were reminding her she was not one of them, she was an enemy, she was different.  They thought they were better than her and they wanted her to know it too.  They labeled her.

Ruth could have allowed that to become her identity; but thank God she didn’t.  She didn’t allow that label to hold her back, to dictate her actions, to control her thoughts.  She worked hard and over came that label.  She ended up becoming the great-grandmother of King David and through that lineage; Jesus was born.

Have you been labeled?  If you have let me encourage you to be more than your label.  Don’t allow others to speak negative into your life.  Allow God to speak truth into your life.  God does not tear you down; He builds you up.  He says you are beautiful, holy, loved, created in His image, worthy and so many other wonderful things!

You are a rockstar…rock on!!!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Seriously the best Easter ever!

9 Apr

When I think of Easter I think of Jesus. When I think of Jesus I think of love.  This is not a post about God loving us so much He sent His one and only son so that whoever believes in Him will have not perish but have eternal life. – John3:16.  This is a blog about loving others.  Yes, to be a Christian you have to love Christ, but it doesn’t stop there.  Jesus wants us to love others.  That’s what we did today and I have to say, this was honestly the best Easter I have ever had.

God is so awesome.  He orchestrates things and they come together so beautifully. Today started out at Revive Church.  I love Sundays; transforming a high school cafeteria into a sanctuary, into a place where people can enter into God’s presence.  After church a group of us got together to have a picnic.  Two ladies were at Revive for the first time today.  Both of these ladies, who never met until today, used to live in San Angelo and both attended Christian Faith Center.  Christian Faith Center is also the church that B and I used to go when we lived in San Angelo.  Both of these ladies were not able to go home to be with family this Easter so they joined us for a picnic.  We ended up with a group of 13 people eating lunch on the Capitol lawn.  We all came from San Angelo.  We did not plan on having a “San Angelo picnic” but humorously, it turned out that way.  Two ladies that woke up this morning thinking they were gonna spend Easter away from home and their family got to eat good food in a beautiful area and just hang out and feel loved and welcomed.

After the picnic ended we decided to drive a few streets over be a part of something so much bigger than us.  Austin New Church does not hold and Easter service in their building.  They hold their Easter service downtown at 7th and Neches and cook thousands of hamburgers and feed hundreds of homeless people and hand out clothes and just love on them.  To watch the video from last year’s event click here.  A few of us from Revive Church went down to check it out.  We all have a heart for serving the homeless community but we’re just not sure how so we wanted to check it out and see how the pros do this.

Today, B was talking to a homeless man named Ricardo.  Ricardo said days like today make him feel “normal” not “homeless.”  Ricardo also said “I’m am not homeless; I just don’t have a house.  My home is wherever I am.”

Homeless people and people with homes were all gathered together today; eating, praying, sharing stories, dancing (even though D and I got a shout out from the band for being the only people dancing lol.)

It was so cool seeing and feeling the love that was there today.  The homeless community is often overlooked and invisible.  We see them standing on the corners but do we really see them?  No, we look the other way; we don’t make eye contact; we don’t want to see them.  We don’t want to feel uncomfortable.  We pretend to be busy or mess with our phones or the radio or the a/c and drive on.  Today, they were seen.  Today they were fed, they were talked to, they were loved, they were treated like people with jobs and homes.

I was in this same parking lot with the same homeless people Christmas morning.  To read that blog click here.  I was too afraid to get out of the car and I was so ashamed that I cried once we got home.  I remember telling B that will never happen again.  If you didn’t click the link above to read that blog you really should.  3.5 months later I find myself in the same parking lot.  I was out of the truck and part of the action.  I share this not to say “look at me” but to show you how God is causing me to grow and stretch.

Easter is not about buying a fancy new dress to wear to church and just sit.  It’s about Jesus and Jesus is love.  I’m learning that love is not just an emotion and Jesus is not just a name, they are verbs, the are action.  It’s hard but it’s so rewarding.  This Easter I didn’t focus on myself; I loved others and I have to say, it was my best Easter ever.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Bumper + sticker = dumb

6 Apr

I sit in traffic for about 1.5 hours every day. I see a lot of cars and I have come to the conclusion that a car is not a good place to make a political/personal statement. I think most bumper stickers just make you look dumb.

I was behind a car with a bumper sticker that read “If it’s not a baby, you’re not a mom.” I’m not sure exactly what that means but I took it as some hateful, anti-abortion statement.  I am pro-life but my approach is not to bash the woman that has made the hard choice to have an abortion, it’s to love her anyway.

I used to be one of those people that had strong opinions against abortion and would voice my opinion very loud and very proud.  But then I started reading the Bible and realized I needed to shut up…Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent – Prov 17:28…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry – James 1:19…A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion – Prov 18:2.

I personally don’t know what it must be like to feel that having an abortion is your only option.  I can’t imagine how painful and hard that decision must be.  The girls and women that are at that place don’t need a lecture, they need a hug and need to be reminded they are special and loved.  Does standing across from Planned Parenthood, holding a sign and yelling hateful things at the scared women walking in the building make you any better?  No, it makes you a jerk.

There is a time, a place and an approach to speak you mind.  Did Jesus yell at the woman caught in adultery and make her feel horrible about her choices?  No.  He doodled something in the sand and made the vocal and judgmental people feel stupid.  But Jesus showed her love.  He said “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you, ” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  –  John 8.

Jesus didn’t condemn this woman, he showed her compassion, love and mercy.  Why do we feel it’s our “God-given right” to speak our mind and judge people?  When we do this do you think it makes Jesus happy?  I think it makes him sad.  What I think makes Jesus happy is when we embrace the lonely, when we stand up for the oppressed, when we speak for the voiceless.  When we show love when others show hate.

I’ve said some pretty hurtful things in the past that embarrasses me.  I’ve hurt women that I love dearly when I foolishly ran my mouth about abortion.  I can’t take those things back but I can move forward in love.  I hope that Jesus can be seen in me.  I hope that when I open my mouth, love comes out, not hurtful crap.  I’m a work in progress.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Goodness and Mercy

3 Apr

Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy  shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell  in the house of the Lord forever.

This is one good Psalm; it was written by David, the same guy that killed Goliath.  It’s a constant reminder that God is with me and with you.  But as awesome as this psalm is, whenever I read it or hear someone quote it, my immediate thoughts are not of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.  Nope.  I start bobbing my head and I see Coolio’s crazy hair and Michelle Pfeiffer.  Yep.  My mind goes straight to Gangsta’s Paradise…how very un “pastor wife” like of me huh?  So Pastor Ray, if you quote this verse during service and I start giggling, don’t take it personally.  😉

I was at the Women’s Conference at my old church a few years ago and Pastor Shelly spoke about verse 6.  She was brilliant and I’ll do my best to share it with you.  I always interpreted verse 6 as goodness and mercy follow me because God gives it freely and it’s a gift for me to receive so where ever I go, goodness and mercy are there too.  That is true but her point of view was different.  It was more that this is something you do, not receive.

Visualize this.  If something follows you, it’s behind you.  Kinda like when you walk in sand, footprints are behind you, you left them there, they remain.  See where I’m going with this?  If goodness and mercy follow you, they are behind you, you leave them there.  She said you should live a life where you leave behind goodness and mercy wherever you go.  When you leave a room, you want it to be better than when you entered.

So when you’re at the store and the old lady has parked her cart in the middle of the isle and she has her hearing aids off and can’t hear you say excuse me and just stands there trying to figure out which kind of bread to get and all you want to do is grab a loaf and throw it in her cart and you yell at her, DON’T DO IT!!!!!  That is the exact opposite of goodness and mercy following you.

I used to think goodness and mercy were my gift.  I liked to think it was something I received without having to do anything.  They are but because Jesus gives those to me freely and on a daily basis, I should, in return, give them freely to others on a daily basis.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.