Apr 25, 2011

Monday Minute: The Help

Last summer, this was on everyone's reading list.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Well, now this summer you can see the movie.

But I would suggest you read the book first.

Apr 20, 2011

Preparing for Rain

Leviticus 26:3-4 (New International Version, ©2011)

3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

The other night when I was putting my son to bed, we were praying. I am trying to teach my children the ACTS method of prayer.

A - Adoration

C - Confession

T - Thanksgiving

S - Supplication

This is not the only way we pray but I do think it's important to remember that praising God and thanking him need to be a big part of our prayer time. Prayer is not just about asking God for things and that can easily become our focus. To help them out I start and they finish. What I mean is that I'll pray, "Dear God, You are great because ...." and they'll come up with a reason. I try to encourage them to not thank God at this part. Just try to recognize a different quality trait or the character of God. Something that is independent of his actions. Then we go on, "I confess my sin today when I ...." I tell them they can pray this silently but often they choose to confess their sin out loud. "Thank you for ...." and we finish up with, "I pray that ..." Again, not that I want my kids to think their is some magical formula to prayer, but I just want them to include some praises and thanks in their prayer time.

To get back to where, I started, I was putting my son to bed the other night. We prayed and he thanked God for letting him get some good hits at his baseball game. This struck me because I would have thought that my son would think that good hits were purely the result of his own efforts and skills. When we finished praying, he elaborated on this prayer. He told me that every time he gets up to bat, he prays to God that he will get a hit and then he prepares for rain. Now, if you have seen Facing The Giants, you know what I am talking about. If not, take a minute and view this clip.

Okay, are you with me now? My sweet son told me that he prays for a hit and then he prepares for rain. He keeps his eye on the ball, he steps towards the pitcher and he swings hard. He does his best and leaves the results up to God.

And if that just doesn't make my heart burst with pride. Well, it does. I love my son deeply and my prayer is that he will prepare for rain and wait on God to answer.

Jeremiah 14:22 (New International Version, ©2011)

22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, LORD our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.

Revelation 3:7 (New International Version, ©2011)

To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

Apr 18, 2011

Apr 11, 2011

Monday Minute: Camera Lingo Necklaces

I want one of these.

Buy the Camera Lingo Necklaces at the Photojojo Store!

And if you don't know what this is in reference to, then you're not as cool as I thought you were and your pictures are probably not as good as they could be. And yes, that is rather snarky of me but it's Monday morning and I slept lousy last night. We had this crazy, windy rain and lightening storm that kept me up all night. And then we overslept because the power went out. And that's my excuse.

But seriously, I think after I save a few pennies, this will be a little splurge that I use my allowance on. I think I'm a big enough dork to pull it off. And it would look super cute with a few of these ...

Buy the Lens Bracelets at the Photojojo Store!

photos courtesy of Photojojo

Apr 6, 2011

Mr. Bananas

Philippians 4:6 (New International Version, ©2011)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Who is Mr. Bananas, you may be wondering? He is this little man who is the newest addition to my daughter's stuffed animal collection.

And why would I bother to blog about Mr. Bananas? Because he taught me a little lesson on prayer. Well, technically, I think God taught me the lesson but he used this orange monkey to do it. Here's the story.

My daughter and I ran up to the grocery store to grab a few essentials: chocolate pie and chocolate syrup. In my defense, they were for the boy's birthday. But anyhoo, the girl had just gotten her allowance and she is the type where money is burning, I mean burning, a whole in her pocket and just needs to be spent. First, she went on the carousel ...

and then this flashy, money waster caught her eye.

Yes, both of my children are drawn to these claw games. I try to tell them that these games are set up for you to plunk your money in and walk away with nothing. But they never listen. So, it's 50 cents a grab but the girl only had dollar bills. In went the first dollar and two tries later at a stuffed star, nada. So, she popped in another dollar and made two more tries on an orange animal. Since it was face down, she wasn't even sure what it was, but she knew that she must have it. She tried the head first and then the bottom. Again, nada, because of course it's head is wedged underneath a stuffed bear so as to make it impossible for you to win. Have I already mentioned how these are just money wasters?!? As she readied her third dollar I dragged her away in search of our pie. As we were walking through the store she claimed she was going to try one more time and she was confident she would win. I told her I was confident it would just be a waste of another dollar. Then she looked up at me with a smirk on her face and said, "Well, I'm going to pray I get it." And then she closed her eyes and squinched up her eyes and nose and apparently made a silent prayer. This prompted me to make my own little prayer that she would win this cheesy orange animal so that God would get the glory. Yes, this is the way I think these days. I look for any opportunity to glory God and make him relevant in the lives of my children. Hence, Crazy Christian Girl (CCG).

So, we pay for our pie and chocolate syrup and head out. We get to the claw machine and she shares her strategy. She's going to make another try at the head to loosen it up since it is still under that bear. Then she'll make a grab at the bottom since it's more up in the air. I made one more attempt to talk her out of wasting her allowance but she claimed it was her money to spend how she wants and since technically it is, I didn't stop her. With complete confidence she made her first claw drop at the head and it did move a little. Then her second claw drop went right for the bottom. She got a hold of it and it started to lift. I knew it would fall before getting to the chute. So, I silently watched on as this orange animal made it's way to the all the way to the chute and dropped right in and out the bottom for the girl to scoop up into her arms.

She shrieked with joy and I thanked God for answering my little girl's prayer about an orange, as it turns out, monkey. She jumped up and down with excitement and we praised God together! A worker happened to walk by at that moment and commented how he didn't think anyone ever won and she told him how she prayed she would win. It was adorable. God was glorified right there at the claw machine at Albertson's.

Now, you might argue that it wasn't God that won her that monkey, that it was her smart strategy. Fair enough. But I would argue that God thought that strategy into her head and made that orange monkey light enough to not slip out of that hook as he made his way into her arms.

And I was reminded about how God cares about every aspect of our life. How he asks us to bring everything to him in prayer and give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version, ©2011)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Even orange monkeys who get the clever name of Mr. Bananas.

Apr 5, 2011

Monday Minute - Laura Story, Blessings

photo from http://www.laurastorymusic.com/

If you haven't heard this song yet, you should.

But I'm going to share this video clip here, so watch this first ---

Then go listen to the song. Trust me, it's a good one.

Blessings, Laura Story

And if you're reading this off the feed from Facebook, you'll need to click over to the actual blog page to view the video.

Double And, if you're reading this and want to comment, please click on over and comment on the blog. I'd really appreciate hearing your feedback over there. Thanks!