Archives for September 2010

Looking Ahead to Angel Tree

I know we’re not even halfway through September yet, but as our church’s Angel Tree coordinator, it’s time for me to start looking ahead. Not only did I receive my first box of materials from Angel Tree headquarters this week, our missions committee spent considerable time Wednesday afternoon discussing this important Christmas outreach to prisoners’ children.

In all honesty, on the heels of a nearly year-long wedding planning marathon and three lengthy hospital stays of my mother-in-law since Memorial Day, I don’t feel quite ready to tackle another huge project. But ready or not, the time to begin planning has arrived, and you know what? God is faithfully igniting a spark of excitement in me — though I have to admit it does ebb and flow at this point. The Lord knows I’m weary, though, and I firmly believe He’ll give the strength, enthusiasm, and help I need to coordinate this special ministry.

Already, members of our missions committee have offered help by brainstorming ideas for a different approach to the gift distribution this year, by gathering info and providing links to possible evangelism resources, and by offering to make some needed contacts. As I said last year, Angel Tree offers the perfect opportunity for the church to be the church, working together to show and share the love of God with hurting people.

Is your church involved in Angel Tree? Let me know in a comment — I would love to hear about it. If not, would you consider suggesting it as a Christmas outreach this year? According to a recent email I got from the Angel Tree home office, there is still a need for many more church partners. (You can register on their website.)

Maybe you and your church family can be the ones to put smiles on the faces of some very special kids this year. And more importantly, maybe you can be the ones to share the Hope of Christmas with them. Look ahead with me, won’t you?

“…’Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'” Luke 2:10-11

*Flickr photo by Erik Charlton

Parting Thoughts from the MOB

Just for fun — and before my days as a mother of the bride are too far behind me — allow me to share a few observations I’ve noticed about MOBs. After all, I’ve learned a lot about them in the past few years while teaming up with both my daughters as we navigated and ultimately conquered the course to their respective altars.

The MOB looks like any ordinary woman, but don’t be fooled. She’s capable of far more than mere appearance may lead you to believe. No one can match her speed and stamina on marathon shopping expeditions, and the massive amounts of detailed information stored in the forefront of her mind would fry the brains of those with lesser reservoirs of love and motivation. She’s nothing short of an organizational maven on steroids. No, nobody’s gonna mess up her baby’s wedding.

But, while MOBs have lots of business to attend to, they also have major fun while helping plan the biggest parties of their little girls’ lives. So in that spirit of fun, here are a few sure-fire ways to spot these supermoms in their natural habitat. They may even now be circulating in your midst! :)

She might be an MOB if:

1. Her purse is home to an assortment of color swatches.
2. Her car’s GPS is permanently set to find the nearest Hobby Lobby.
3. Her spare bedroom, in fact, looks like Hobby Lobby threw up in it.
4. She feels the need to buy another bolt of tulle every time she leaves the house.
5. The latest decorating craze in her home seems to be yellow sticky notes.
6. Her eyes flash dollar signs every time she uses her credit card.
7. She uses her credit card every five minutes.
8. For every item she crosses off her list, she has to add three more.
9. She carries a notebook filled with enough plans to command a small army. And finally, she might be an MOB if…
10. Even after all the shopping she’s done for the wedding, she still goes on a quest to find one special wedding memento for her precious daughter and her new son.

So if you spot one of these special women out and about, give her a hug — or a piece of chocolate or a gift certificate for a massage or something. Believe me, she needs it :)

“‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'” Proverbs 31:29

*Photo by Will Flowers

Taste of Fall

Fall 2011 273

Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Labor Day weekend. We’ve been busy with family this weekend so thought I’d pull something out of my files to use as a blog post. Here’s a poem I wrote years ago that I hope will help put you in the mood for fall. Ah, September!

Taste of Fall

I always like to see
September roll around,
Fall mornings that surprise us
And slip up without a sound.

A taste of fall is all it takes
To invigorate our senses,
The feel of summer doldrums
Gives way to walking fences.

Long sleeved shirts and jeans
Are put on with a smile,
And a jacket for the morning
Might be needed for awhile.

But watch out for that taste of fall—
It might be just a tease,
Summer has a way of hiding
Before resurfacing with ease!

We’ve had a few cool mornings so far, but it warms up pretty fast. Just a taste of fall, but oh how sweet that early morning taste is to summer weary folks like us, huh? So thankful for a God who knows just how to refresh u

“Taste and see that the LORD is good…” Psalm 34:8a

*My photo

In Need of Blood

crossLast week, while some sort of flu bug continued to nag at me, Don’s mom had to once again go into the hospital unexpectedly. Pulling hospital duty while dealing with the remnants of flu-like headaches and pains is no fun, but you do what you’ve gotta do, especially when a loved one is in need.

The culprit this time proved to be an infection that also got into the bloodstream, and like so many other times before where my mother-in-law’s health is concerned, one problem turns into another which turns into another. By Friday the doctor determined she needed a blood transfusion, which has become quite risky for her because she’s developed so many antibodies in her blood. And because of those antibodies, they always have to send off for her needed blood. Thus, the transfusion couldn’t take place until Monday.

In the meantime, Don spoke with the doctor to see if there was anything else that could be done instead. We wanted to avoid a transfusion if at all possible. The doc, however, made it plain that she needed the blood. She had to have the blood.

An amazing thing happened over the weekend, though. The problem began righting itself, and by Monday morning, the nurse informed me that the doctor had changed his mind. The transfusion wouldn’t be necessary. But then in the next breath she told me of another problem that had developed. My response? Concern, frustration, and gratitude all at the same time. I chose to rejoice in the moment. Mom’s need for blood had passed, that particular risk had been avoided.

Over the weekend as I thought about Mom’s need for blood, another need for blood came to mind. Because we all are sinners, because we all have done wrong things (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23), we all stand in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus, we all stand in need of a Savior (“…and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7b).

Have you taken care of your need for His blood, have you placed your faith in Him? If not, ask Him to forgive you and be your Savior. Let the power of His blood wash away the guilt of your sin. And let the rejoicing begin!

“…’Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Romans 10:13

*Flickr photo by Resclassic2, Creative Commons License