Friday, August 08, 2008

Know & Tell Friday

I've never done this before, but a friend of mine does it pretty regularly, so I thought I would give it a shot today. Maybe you should, too!

1. My favorite bedtime attire is right now, shorts and a tank top. We don't have A/C in our bedroom, and there have been some hot nights!! (No, that's not what I mean, Jenni).

2. The perfect meal would include something Italian and super cheesy with a hearty side of Vinny's garlic bread and a big glass of Diet Pepsi.

3. The most memorable girl's night out I've ever had was when's hard for me to pick the "most" because so many have been so great. One that stands out is when some of us went to Starbucks after the Women's Conference. It was spontaneous, which is not my nature. We had a fun time! That was in March 2008. I was 30-years-old (if I have to admit it).

4. My earliest memory is being in the basement of our first church for Sunday School. I have no idea how old I was.

5. The family is gone for the evening and I will spend my time reading, playing games on my phone, making whatever I want for dinner, and watching TV in the background. Maybe call someone I don't talk too much.

6. Right now I am blogging, of course! And drinking Diet Pepsi.

7. When I am done blogging, I am going to decide what to do next.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Go, Carl, Go!

You have heard that I love NASCAR. But do you know why?

I have been a fan for around 6 years. I definitely knew about it and watched races prior to that time, but I was very casual about it. When I moved to another city, I decided to start watching more regularly so I could have something to share with my dad (he has loved cars and racing for a very long time).

I began watching and cheering for his favorites because, well, that's all I knew. I hated the ones he hated, too. Oh, that Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. To mention such names is tantamount to swearing in his presence. So I got into it and realized how interesting the season as a whole could be. Like other sports, you compete all season for the big year-end "prize" - to be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. (Used to be Nextel Cup, used to be Winston Cup...but that's another blog.)

Some of my favorites did better than others. I loved Matt Kenseth. He's from Wisconsin (Midwestern-born like me), drives a Ford, and I liked his humble personality. He won the championship in 2003. Two years in a row! I loved Kurt Busch when he drove a Ford (one of the key criteria in my home). He was brash and bold, but he was a great driver. He won the championship in 2004. I cried. (Stop laughing.)

So now we skip ahead to 2008. Kyle Busch is really showing his stuff. However, Carl Edwards is up to four wins (second to Kyle in this category). Carl is from Missouri (I lived there for 7 years). He has the best personality of any guy on the circuit. He is a tough competitor, but he's friendly, gives a great interview, and is respectful. I really like Carl. I met him in October 2004. He was just entering the scene, and I was able to get the above picture with him. Single girl, single guy - my head was spinning. Sure, I'm a pastor. And Carl...well, I knew that would likely never work out well. But a girl can dream, right?

I am amazed at how popular he is now. He has the best shot to win this year's championship of all the guys I root for (Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan - they all drive for the same owner). And he won the race on Sunday! It was a great race with plenty of ups and downs. It's like a movie; you can't stop it in the middle or skip to the end lest you miss some great plot twist. It's tense; the protagonist may lose it all. And when he pulls off the win, it's that much sweeter. I didn't get to watch it until Monday, but I still screamed and yelled for him. There is nothing like your guy winning. I'm sure you agree, no matter what sport you follow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Until Then

Scripture John 7:6-8 "Therefore Jesus told them, 'The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.'"

Observation Jesus knew the importance of God's timing and allowing Him to prepare the way. His family was not aware of it, so they pressured Him to come out of anonymity. However, Jesus was confident in knowing that the Father would show Him when the right time arrived.

Application "The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing." How many times have I seen this proven true in my life? Even when waiting means prolonged pain, God's timing is still best. The current pain will eventually pass, but the perseverance gained and the closer walk with God will be worth it. I know because it has been true in the past. I believe it will be true in the future. Even those closest to me may not see the timing as God's, but I must continue to trust and believe. I will hold on because I want to see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:14).

Prayer Dear Father, You are my Strength and my Shield. The consequences of sin are at times devastating, especially when I didn't commit the sin. Yet I am reminded that I, too, am a sinner and am in need of Your grace daily. Please guide me with Your counsel and hold my hand today. I desperately need Your presence to comfort me and keep me safe through the storm. I may get wet, but please preserve my life so that I may tell the story of Your great goodness. Forgive me of my sins - for my bad attitude, my desire for revenge, and my ungodly thoughts. Wash me and purify my heart. Show me how to respond in a godly way. Transform my heart and mind as only You can.