Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Deep Thoughts by Abbey

I was tucking Abbey into bed the other night and as we laid there, she said "Mom, is global warming real?"

I was a little caught off-guard by this question for several reasons. First, I've been a little too busy to even give it much thought (sorry to all of my tree-hugging friends)... and second, it was a particularly chilly day and the last thing on my mind was global warming.

I said "Well, they do say the iceburgs are melting at an alarming rate of speed..."

To which Abbey got a dramatic look (is there another one?) on her face and replied "Oh, no, those poor Polar Bears! They are my favorite Arctic animal... well, except for the Arctic Wolf."


That was, amazingly, the end of our discussion.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Negativity, part 2

I think I'm almost over it, but the fact remains that I am still observing people I love (as brothers/sisters in Christ) just ensnared in the grip of negativity and I'm so saddened about it. At first, I was angry. Angry because the negativity came out in a very ugly, hurtful way... and let's just face it - I'm human. It's not like I'm Iron Man... or Woman. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a load of crap. But then I just became sad because these people are really the ones being hurt by their own inability to see things on a larger scope.

Anyway, I've been really studying the Word and seeking God on how I need to respond to this. Regardless of how other people chose to think or act, I have a responsibility to respond in a godly manner.

I listened to a teaching by Brian Houston (whom I respect highly) on negativity, and here's what I got from it:

1) Negative people are actually unhappy with their own life. There is obviously something going on underneath that would make someone incapable of seeing the good in something. Matthew 12:34 says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If you find yourself constantly rolling your eyes and finding something negative in the things around you, I'd be wiling to bet that you are just generally unhappy and dissatisfied with your own life.

2) People who are negative will ALWAYS think they are right. They can't even fathom the possibility that they are wrong. Proverbs 16:2 says that "all a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord."

3) Negativity breeds negativity. My grandfather always said "if you mess with poop, you're gonna get it on ya." Basically I think what he was saying is that if you surround yourself with people (or even A PERSON) with a negative nature or someone that leans toward the negative, you are going to pick up that nature! Proverbs 13:20 says that he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. I think when the Word speaks of fools in this context, it might be a self-righteous meaning. ???

4) Negativity distorts the truth. My son Luke will often get in a bad mood and make statements such as "No one loves me. Everyone hates me. This is not a good family." Now, first of all these are NOT true statements! Everyone loves Luke and we are a good family. And usually it's not long before he will recant his statements and apologize and give everyone hugs. Ah, if only it was like that with adults! It's too often that we get cranky or in bad moods and then the next thing you now, we're seeing things through a CLOUD of falsehood.

Which brings me to the last thing:
5) Negativity makes uninformed, dumb judgments. I know of someone recently who decided to make a judgment against someone else... and then decided to become OFFENDED based on the judgment he had made. It really was a very general, rash judgment that did not take into account any investigative or supportive proof. He just decided he wanted to be mad about something and so he was. He then allowed this offense to fester and take root and cloud his views on other things. Did he take his offense to the person who supposedly offended him? No. He just talked about it to other people. To make a long story short, it turns out that once he finally did talk about it to the right people, they were able to explain the other person's actions and shed a completely different light on it. See what I'm saying? Instead of choosing grace and compassion and being open to the possibility that there might be more to it than what he was seeing, he chose to make a harsh judgment.

So then what do we do? My answer right now is the answer I've been handing out like candy. "Think thankful thoughts." It's so simple, yet so profound. 1 Peter 1:13 says [ Be Holy ] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Grace has been given to us by God. Let's pay it forward.

Friday, May 16, 2008

10th anniversary!

Wow - I can't believe it's been 10 years!!! Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and other times, it seems like we've been together a lifetime. I honestly can't remember what it was like to NOT be married to Aaron. We have melded out lives into one life so seamlessly that even our memories seem weird without the other one.

A lot has happened to us in 10 short years. I'll recap the highlights:

1998 - married after 8 months of dating (with one big breakup) and 6 months of being engaged. Pastored the Jr. High Youth Group at Cornerstone. Went on a mission trip 3 weeks after our wedding.

1999 - Got "Nash", our beagle puppy on our 1 year anniversary. Decided to move to Texas to start a church with Pastor John & Melissa. Not long after, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby! Moved to Texas in November of that year - I was about 4.5 months pregnant.

2000 - Started Hope Fellowship - had our first service in January... our grand opening service on Palm Sunday. On Easter morning at 5:33am, I had Abbey, our first baby! We lived on a farm out in the middle of nowhere in a farmhouse Aaron's grandfather built. It was rough, but we had some good memories there! When Abbey was 5 months old, we moved into Frisco to be closer to the church.

2001 - Found out we were pregnant again! Went through Sept. 11th with the rest of the world...

2002 - Gave birth to Luke on the first day of Spring!

2003 - Felt God moving us back to TN to resume our pastoral duties at Cornerstone. A few weeks after making the decision to move, we found out we were pregnant with Lincoln!!! We moved to Hendersonville with an almost 3 yr old, a 1 yr old, and me 9 weeks pregnant. In September, Aaron's father passed away. 3 weeks later, his grandmother, Ama, passed away. About a week after that, Lincoln was born, very very ill. Lincoln was in and out of the hospital for the next 5 months. Abbey was 3.5 and Luke was 1.5.

2004 - We tried to breathe in and out while Aaron pastored a large youth group and Lincoln recovered and Abbey and Luke grew.

2005 - Left Cornerstone to start Sumner Life in Gallatin! We had been married almost 7 years - had 3 kids and had pastored at 3 churches. Whew. In August of this year, my father passed away. Abbey started kindergarten.

2006 - I don't even remember this year. What happened? We pastored Sumner Life and raised our kids! Seriously, that's all I remember. Oh! My brother got married and Aaron's mom moved to Hendersonville, just down the road from us to help us with the kids. Oh, and we lost our youth pastor amidst much controversy. But, we gained David and Margie - thank you, Jesus.

2007 - Another year of raising 3 beautiful kids and pastoring a church-plant. Luke started kindergarten. At the end of the year, my mom had quadruple-bypass heart surgery.

2008 - And here we are! We merged with the Hope Center Fellowship in February after 1 short month of "negotiations", ha ha. Luke just turned 6 - Abbey just turned 8 - Lincoln is 4.5. Aaron and I have been married for 10 years! It's been a wild, wonderful ride... and I look forward to the rest of it.

I love you, Aaron! I can't imagine my life without you!!!
(I'll try to add some wedding pictures later!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008



I wrote a brilliant (tee hee) blog on negativity and the effects of it's poison. It disappeared.

I am painfully observing the ugly grasp of negativity in some people's lives right now. It would be fascinating if it wasn't so sad.

I'm of the notion that Jesus is enough - that you don't need theatrics, pep rallies or shenanigans.

Life is so much better when you walk in thankfulness instead of always looking around at what could be different or better. Be gracious. Be compassionate. Be thankful.

Jesus is enough.