Small steps in faith

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don't quit....keep playing

I received the following story in an email I've read this before but this time the timing was perfect I'm not a quitter but I was questioning whether I should continue with something I felt God had led me to and I think this answered my question loud and clear Sometimes God finds you where you are..for me it's a computer :)

When the house lights dimmed and the concert
was about to begin, the mother returned to
her seat and discovered that the child was missing
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights
focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.

In horror, the mother saw her little
boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out
"Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star."

At that moment, the great piano master made his
entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and
whispered in the boy's ear,
"Don't quit.""Keep playing."

Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached
down with his left hand and began filling
in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached
around to the other side of the child,
and he added a running obbligato.

Together, the old master and the young novice
transformed what could have been a frightening
situation into a wonderfully creative experience.

The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't
recall what else the great master played.
Only the classic,
" Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Perhaps that's the way it is with God.
What we can accomplish on
our own is hardly noteworthy.
We try our best, but the results aren't always
graceful flowing music.

However, with the
hand of the Master, our life's
work can truly be beautiful.

The next time you set out to accomplish great feats,
listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the
Master, whispering in your ear,
"Don't quit." "Keep playing."

May you feel His arms around you and
know that His hands are there, helping you
turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.
Remember, God doesn't seem to
call the equipped, rather, He equips the 'called.'

Life is more accurately measured by the lives you
touch than by the things you acquire. So touch
someone by passing this little message along.
May God bless you and be with you always!


remember ,

"Don't quit."

"Keep playing.",

Sunday, February 26, 2006

My families

I have a candle that says "Family is a circle of friends who love " With that definition I feel blessed to have more than my "traditional" family
I have a "3rd place" family and I have a "Captivating" family and I have a "Southwest" family

Friday, February 24, 2006

Newport Aquarium..Penguins !!

Yesterday Darrell and I had a day off together so we decided to go to the Newport Aquarium I had never been there..Darrell had gone once before with our kids If you've never been there it's definitely worth it They have the most beautiful fish and birds and otters and Penguins!! The penguins are last on the tour and definitely worth seeing especially if you watched "March of the Penguins" or read "Blue like Jazz" :)...penguin sex chapter
They had a baby penguin who was born in January There were actually 2 born but one died :( They keep the mom,dad, and baby in a separate "play pen" They did have 2 dads who were carrying eggs on their feet..totally cool!!! and there was 2 penguins who were obviously attracted to each other They stayed side by side They put bands on the penguins arms to tell male from female Male right Female left The penguins were moulting which I had no clue they did They can't go in the water until they are done moulting There were was one penguin who swam and did alot of showing off in the water It was cute They also had alot of sharks and sealife
Afterwards we ate at an Irish pub called Claddaghs We are getting one by the Dayton Mall I loved it in there You feel like you're actually in Ireland and they serve authentic irish food like shepherds pie and Guinness beer I had the fish and chips which were really good and not too pricey I can't wait for the one here to be built !

Thursday, February 23, 2006

God is on a different time zone GOT

I know personally I sometimes wonder if God is really listening when I pray There are times when I honestly wait and wait and feel like I'm not getting a yes,no, or wait This article kind of puts that in perspective if you think about it in "time zones"

Time Zones and Faith
by John Fischer

Our thought for today comes from a woman who has had more difficulties to deal with than a lot of us put together. That is why she has a right to say what she says, and why we should take notice when she says it.

“I know discouragement comes easy, but I also know things happen when God is ready for them to happen and not a second sooner. God knows why he wants things to happen in the order they have to. We just need to be ready when they come.”

This is a woman in a complex situation seeking to hold onto a childlike faith while displaying an adult-like wisdom. What she's saying is that she has recognized there are two different time zones going on when it comes to correlating God's will and our experience. One I'll call My Desperate Time (MDT) and the other, God's Own Time (GOT).

Most of us run on MDT. MDT defines our reality. It's what we see and feel always. We are conscious of it the minute we rise up in the morning until we put our weary heads on the pillow at night. We measure pleasure and pain by it; we judge our overall state-of-being by it.

God, on the other hand, exists in another time zone entirely. In GOT, His will is always done, and nothing is ever late. GOT also takes into account the MDT of everyone, which can often get tangled up. You see there are as many MDT zones as there are people, and that means they can often be in conflict. But with God there is never any conflict. There is only one GOT and as far as He is concerned, everything is right on schedule.

This is why it is utterly silly to wonder if God has heard our prayers based on whether or not He has acted in MDT. God always hears our prayers -- He has most likely already answered them -- he just answered them in GOT.

Most of our issues with God are all about time zones. Think about the hapless Bible character, Job. Job was smack in the middle of MDT all the while he was suffering, and his best friends were trying to figure out why God wasn't doing anything in MDT. Well, we know now that God rarely does; He is always in GOT and we can see that now, in Job's case, because his life ultimately caught up with GOT. Eventually, all MDT will be GOT. In fact, that will be what heaven is all about. We will all be kicking back in God's Own Time.

So faith is mostly all about time zones. When you pray, know that you were heard, and move ahead, believing in GOT and just maybe, MDT won't be so desperate.


"For wherever two or more are gathered in my name..."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rent is out on DVD!!!

"No day but today"
I love this movie and today's the day it comes out on video...YES!!!

I love the characters and how they relate to each other,I love the reality it deals with, and I really really love the music

Sunday, February 19, 2006

2 different churches 2 interpretations

As I was listening to a Nooma video I'm doing for small group this week I decided to get out my "Velvet Elvis" book to help me with preparing what to talk about One of the questions in the Nooma is "Is it ok to have different interpretations of the Scriptures?" I started to think about this question more because of the fact that I attended church this weekend at two different churches with 2 very different styles
"teacher" vs "preacher" The chapter on "Yoke" actually helped me with this

"The idea that everybody else approaches the Bible with baggage and agendas and lenses and I don't is the ultimate in arrogance. To think that I can just read the Bible without reading any of my own culture or background or issues into it and come with a "pure" or "exact" meaning is not only untrue, but it leads to a very destructive reading of the Bible that robs it of its life and energy."

The key I think is individual wrestling with the word of God
"Because when you wrestle with the text, you walk away limping And some people have no limp because they haven't wrestled But the ones limping have had an experience with the living God"

So today I have been wrestling and questioning and limping

Friday, February 17, 2006

Inspirations for olympic athletes

I read this story this morning from a link on the Relevant site I love stories like this I love to know what makes some athletes push themselves so hard and how they deal with disappointments when they happen Here's the story of Kelly Clark:

A higher power
U.S. snowboarder Clark finds her victory elsewhere

TURIN, Italy -- After her first run in the women's halfpipe finals, U.S. snowboarder Kelly Clark met with her technical coach, Ricky Bower, to strategize what she needed to do to improve her third-place standing. Bower suggested she throw in a 720 spin for her final trick. Says Bower, "If she could put in a 720, she'd probably get second."

But Clark wasn't interested in finishing second. "Whether I was third or last, I was going for it," she says. As Christian rock band David Crowder's Oh Praise Him blared through the speakers, Clark soared higher than any of the top 12 riders with a 12-foot frontside air and followed up with two back-to-back 540s.

For her final trick at the end of the chute, she went for a 900 but caught an edge in the landing and fell. Bumped to fourth, Clark was one point shy from completing a U.S. women's sweep. Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler finished first and second, and Norway's Kjersti Buaas took third.

"That was the best run I've ever had," Clark says. "[The 900 spin] was the best one I've ever done if I had landed it. I'm really pleased with how I rode."

After Clark, 22, won the Olympics at the Salt Lake Games she struggled with the expectations to consistently perform at the highest level. When reporters asked her at the X Games three years ago what went wrong with her second-place run, she began to sour on the sport. A knee injury the following season kept her off the snow for eight months. During that time, Clark attended a church near her Mammoth Lakes, Calif., condo.

Though she was unable to capitalize on another Olympic medal, Clark takes comfort in her new identity as a Christian. While close friends Teter and Bleiler were stepping up to the medal podium at the bottom of the Bardonecchia halfpipe, Clark stood nearby wiping away tears.

"I love Jesus," says Clark, who has the name written on her board. "[Being a Christian] is more joyful than all this snowboarding stuff."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Captivating" Rose Ceremony

Last night we had our celebration for the end of our study on "Captivating"
Annette brought makeup samples and each one of the girls did a makeover It was funny to watch them They each have their own likes/dislikes and preferences and opinions We wanted them to feel beautiful before the rose ceremony
We had them come downstairs and we had covered my downstairs with tea candles We had a table with 1 large candle and 6 individual candles which they all lit together
Tena and I had each taken 3 girls to pray about and give life verses written on a card with a single white rose..white roses stand for innocence and purity We both shared our thoughts to let them know that as they learned from us ..we learned from them and to let them know just how special they were and how much the study meant to each of us Tena read a poem and then we showed them a small video clip on the computer
I'm sad to finish Captivating but also excited for the next steps..we're going to start out with some Nooma videos by Rob Bell and then the concensus was to do this book......

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Taming a Liger"

My son, Zach, got me a book for Valentine's Day called "Taming a Liger..Unexpected spiritual lessons from Napolean Dynamite" It's a funny book They've taken famous lines from the movie and built chapters around them

Here's an example from "But my lips hurt real bad" It deals with complaining

"It's tempting to complain, and there's nothing wrong with a little venting. But those complaints witll do nothing to change the situation; action will. We've all heard that tired old phrase about lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness, but even though it's been around forever, it's still true. Pray. Ask God what action you should take, if any, and then trust that he- not your tongue or bad attitude- will turn the situation around for you."

There's a "Napolean defined glossary, recipes, and even discussion questions in the back...and believe it or not..some of the questions make you think :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Hand of Hope"

Miracles do happen Posted by Picasa

My friend Bona sent this to me in my email today with this explanation:

A picture began circulating in November.

It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the
Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper
which published, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander
Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby
was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his
mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse
in Atlanta. She knew of Dr.Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure.
Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs
these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes
a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the
surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand
through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger.

Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was
the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the
procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile. The photograph captures this
amazing event with perfect clarity.

The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the
picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samue Alexander Armas
emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr.
Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life." Little
Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She
said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness,
it's about a little person." Samuel was born in perfect health, the
operation 100 percent successful.

Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible....and hey, pass
it on. The world needs to
see this one! PS Don't tell me God isn't awesome!!!!!

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a
miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle

Monday, February 13, 2006

Words of Wisdom From a Sports Legend

I was looking at websites this morning and came across these words from a sports legend, John Wooden


Be more concerned with your
character than your reputation.

Character is what you really are.
Reputation is what people say you are.


Adversity often produces the
unexpected opportunity.

Look for it. Appreciate and utilize it.


There is nothing stronger than gentleness.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Worship-"the fundamental reason for my existence"

I read this in my email It' part of an article by John Fischer and it just spoke what is sometimes hard to put into words about worship

"I will worship God today, not because of what it will do for me, or because it is popular, or because it is Sunday, or because I like the worship music, but for the simple reason that I was made to do this. To worship God is what I am here for.

Worship is not an asset. It is not an added benefit to my life like working out or taking vitamins. Nor is it a secret formula that will add a deeper dimension to my life. Worship is raw. Basic. Worship is the air I breathe. It is the blood pumping through my veins. It is the cells in my body that reproduce and keep me alive for this. Everything else I do is extemporaneous. To worship God is the root of my being. To not worship is to miss the fundamental reason for
my existence."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Darrell

Darrell and Rochelle before the U2 concert Posted by Picasa

Darrell Keith Southard
Born Feb 10, 1960
Dayton, Ohio
Miami Valley Hospital
Graduated 1978 Miamisburg High School
Married 20 yrs to Rochelle Sept 28,1985
Children Kristen Leigh 19 and Zachary Scott 17
Work Serra Chevrolet for 23 yrs car sales

Darrell's passions :
His faith in Christ
His family : Rochelle,Kristen, and Zach
His dog : Pumpkin :)
Coffee: He is the biggest coffee addict I know They know him by name at Starbucks and Boston Stoker(DLM Springboro)
Chipotle burritos: He eats there at least 4 times a week
Music : He has more CD's and has been to more concerts than anyone I know :)
Talking to people: Darrell doesn't know a stranger He will talk to anyone and make them feel like he's known them forever and he remembers names and faces better than anyone I know

Happy Birthday Darrell For 4 more months I can say you're older than I am :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

V for Vendetta

Natalie Portman Posted by Picasa

I love Natalie Portman Women who can shave their heads and still look absolutely beautiful have true natural beauty She shaved her head for her role for this movie which comes out in March

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Judging the outside

My dad is the king of forwarding emails..this was made me smile :)

Cowboy in Church
> > >
> > >
> > > This one Says it All
> > > >>
> > > >>One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a
> > church just before services
> > >were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes
> > were spotlessly clean,
> > >he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were
> > very worn and ragged. In
> > >his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an
> > equally worn out Bible.
> > > >>
> > > >>The church he entered was in a very upscale
> > and exclusive part of the
> > > >>city. It was the largest and most beautiful
> > church the old cowboy had
> > > >>ever seen. The people of the congregation were
> > all dressed with
> > > >>expensive clothes and accessories.
> > > >>
> > > >>As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved
> > away from him. No one
> > > >>greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were
> > all appalled at his
> > > >>appearance and did not attempt to hide it.
> > > >>
> > > >>As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the
> > preacher approached him
> > > >>and asked the cowboy to do him a favor.
> > "Before you come back in here
> > > >>again, have a talk with God and ask him what
> > he thinks would be
> > > >>appropriate attire for worship." The old
> > cowboy assured the preacher
> > >he would.
> > > >>
> > > >>The next Sunday, he showed back up for the
> > services wearing the same
> > > >>ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once
> > again he was completely
> > > >>shunned and ignored. The preacher approached
> > the man and said, "I
> > > >>thought I asked you to speak to God before you
> > came back to our
> > >church."
> > > >>
> > > >>"I did," replied the old cowboy.
> > > >>
> > > >>"If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the
> > proper attire should be
> > > >>for worshiping in here?" asked the preacher.
> > > >>
> > > >>"Well, sir, God told me that He didn't have a
> > clue what I should wear.
> > > >>He said He'd never been in this church "
> > > >>
> > > >>God Bless

Monday, February 06, 2006

We all have AIDS

"We all have AIDS" This is a tshirt I recently bought to support an organization that makes us aware of the stigma associated with the disease and to educate us because "if one of us has AIDS we all have AIDS

This story will break your heart

Saturday, February 04, 2006

7 Colts of Faith

My husband has a friend at church who does the videography for Athletes in Action His latest assignment involved going to Indianapolis and filming 7 men on the Indianapolis Colts football team to produce a dvd for youth groups to show before their super bowl parties We received the dvd last week and I had a chance to watch it and read the little booklet that came with it "Real People Real Faith"
It was filmed before Tony Dungy lost his son
In the booklet it has their stories( testimonies) but it also has some of their favorite quotes so I'm going to include 1 from each coach/player

1 Tony Dungy head coach"
Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself
John MacNaughton

2 Josh Williams Defensive tackle #96
One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak
GK Chesterton

3 Jeff Saturday Center #63
The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever
John Piper

4 Tarik Glenn Offensive Tackle #78
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall Goldsmith

5 Dallas Clark Tight end #44
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
SA Kierkegaard

6 Hunter Smith Punter #17
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose
Jim Elliott,missionary

7 David Thornton Linebacker #50
The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become
Charles DeBos

Friday, February 03, 2006

Taking down walls

"We cannot have intimacy with God or anyone else if we stay hidden and offer only who we think we ought to be or what we believe is wanted....God really does want you to know who you are. He wants you to be able to understand the story of your life, to know where you have come from, and to know where you are going. There is freedom there. Freedom to be and to offer and to love"

This is easy to type...not easy to do...I am buried under alot of layers that I'm just realizing need to be stripped away I think it will take time..and maybe a bulldozer

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Warrior Princesses

This was the title of our chapter in small group last night This wasn't an easy chapter for the girls to study Many of them don't understand what spiritual warfare is or how it affects them plus when you deal with "war" subjects ..girls just tend to zone out on that ..they like the "love and relationship" chapters much better
We used 2 from "Lord of the Rings" where Eownyn goes into battle and steps in to protect her uncle..the other a clip from a video my friend Mike did for a project called "Armor of God" which used one of the verses we studied ..Ephesians 6:10-17 and you can watch on his blog
Even though this wasn't their favorite chapter, we had some interesting conversations on topics of abortion and war and more relevant to Satan attacks their relationships with friends and their self esteem
Most of us don't like to think about spiritual warfare but it exists and you have to know how to defend your faith when it attacks you

The verse from 1Peter 5:9 was one of our favorite verses

"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith."

Next week is our last chapter in our book We have loved this book and I know I'll miss it :)

We also celebrated Anna's birthday..She turns 18 today..Happy Birthday Anna !