As you can read, I'm not feeling very creative this morning, but there are a few things I would like to write about.
Number One: I bought a new Bible for myself and I'm already loving it. It came in the day before yesterday. I asked for one for Christmas, and when it didn't happen, I just used my Christmas money and bought it for myself! Woo hoo! While we were at Deeper Still (go here to read about our amazing weekend), Kay Arthur kept referring to the New Inductive Study Bible and series she had published with her ministry, Precept Ministries.
In the weeks and months before we left for Deeper Still, I had been praying God would give me opportunities to get to know Him deeper and that if he showed me the way, I would go if it meant growing in Him. I felt like God had just dumped an opportunity into my lap and immediately after the conference we headed to Mardel to find Kay's series. I picked up Desiring God's Own Heart, a study on 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. All I needed was my new Bible and I was set.
So, I've been looking through it and really trying to figure out how I'm going to make it work for me. This Bible study method has you delving deep into certain books, making marks, asking questions, color-coding. That's right up my alley. Nice and organized and full of notes!
Go here to check out the NISB. Click on EXCERPT and you can see inside if you're interested! I chose to get the New American Standard version and had my name engraved on the front. I am so excited about really being able to study God's word and seeing what He reveals to me through it, instead of reading somebody else's interpretation.
Number Two: Thursday, McH and I helped chaperone about 20 of the youth from church to a Kutless concert in a little town just north of us, Wellington. This TINY town has the most spectacular refurbished 1930's theater. As part of a trust agreement, the recipient of the funds had to spend a certain amount of it by giving back to the community. So far, he/she has helped build the Wellington Activity Center (lovingly called the WAC) and has funded the restoration of the Ritz, which now shows one movie at a time (we just saw The Blind Side a couple of weeks ago. They also host concerts. So far I've seen Stoney LaRue and Kutless. They have started bringing in a Christian rock band every once in a while and it is has been a HIT! The Kutless concert was record breaking, filling up the entire theater, selling out every ticket...400 people! WOW!
The concert itself was AWESOME! I love Kutless but wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the concert, and especially how much McH would like it. However, we were both pleasantly surprised when the band sounded just as good, if not better, than on CD! They got the audience involved in their songs and at one point had all of us jumping up and down, which made us all a little nervous who were sitting in the balcony (although I would rather be IN it, than UNDER it)! We laughed at each other and talked about how totally UNCOOL we were now. But I didn't laugh harder that night, than when I looked over and McH was tearing up an Allsup's napkin and I knew exactly what he was doing! I begged, "Please don't do that. Please. No, really. Don't." It was too late. The man was stuffing napkin pieces in his ears because it was so loud. I teased him for being so old.
The band left the stage and of course was chanted back for an encore. But this time, only two of the 5 members reappeared. The last three songs were just awesome worship songs and the very last thing he played, acoustic guitar and voices only, was Sanctuary. Just imagine 400+ people, mostly teenagers and tweens, singing Sanctuary with heartfelt voices, throwing in harmony when they could. It was just amazing. And then, at the very end of the song, the guitar quit altogether and there we were singing a cappella. I had my eyes closed the whole time, so when the song ended, and I opened them I looked up and saw the band members had completely left the stage. I don't know for how long, but the audience was singing all on their own. WOW! There is just nothing like TRUE worship to fill you up!
NUMBER THREE: Babies, babies, babies! Everywhere I turn my friends are having babies! And I can say, because of the GRACE of God, I am truly, 100% happy for them and excited and joyful. It doesn't hurt my heart to see it, it just makes me long even more for the day when I hold my own baby in my arms. This is going to be a very long few months while we wait to do IVF (unless God has other plans). Would you pray for us, please?
NUMBER FOUR: If you read the post before this one, you know we got a new dog a few days ago. It has been a challenge and a change, but she's really turning into a sweet pup. Sadie is 10 months old, so she is absolutely still a puppy, and completely McHotterson's dog! He takes her everywhere with her, and she LOVES him. She whines when he isn't there. So sweet.
NUMBER FIVE: On the work front, my students take their TAKS test in T-minus 30 (or so) days and counting. This time of year is always so stressful for me, and for the kids. My sweet, sweet friend, Connie I, posted on her iChat sign in the other day: TAKS vs. Haiti = Perspective. Boy, isn't that the truth? Here we are so concerned with whether our school district will look good after our TAKS scores get back (and let's be honest here, whether we, as individual teachers, will look good), when there are thousands of people wondering where they will live or sleep for the night. They don't know if their family members are alive or dead, or have just discovered they are the only ones who have survived. What do you do? And how do you get through that kind of devastation without Jesus? So many of these people are not Christians. This kind of heartache makes it very difficult for me to continue to teach to this STUPID test! Yes, I said it. I used the "S" word and I will do it again and again, because I wholeheartedly believe the test is a big fat waste of time and talent. There are many, many, many creatively gifted teachers and many, many hungry-for-knowledge students who just miss out and end up very frustrated and burned out. I won't go on and on, because believe me I could. And please know I know there are ways to teaching the material for application to TAKS, but eventually you MUST do straight on, this is what it's gonna look like teaching. And it's at that point, I get just absolutely downtrodden in it all. Who really cares, you know?
I think I'll leave it there. There's more to say, but we'll save it for another day! Hope yours is blessed and full of opportunities to bless those around you!
Read James 1:2-4 today. It's been on my heart.