Small steps in faith

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sometimes you need to smile :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

True happiness

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another day at the beach

It was another beautiful day to spend at the ocean. There were some "interesting" people at the beach. One was a very schizophrenic homeless man who was walking around talking to himself..he seemed harmless enough until he started hovering around 2 young girls..they called the police but in the meantime 2 men decided to handle being an ex police officer. He put his fists up immediately at first but then backed off and picked up his things His belongings were of camouflage material which made me wonder if he had been in the military with post traumatic stress..he was only in his mid 20's or so....sad.
There were 2 men who sat next to us...a man from New Jersey who had brought his very ill dad with Parkinson's to the beach. It was very touching to see the son gingerly helping his dad sit, take off his t shirt and put his sun tan lotion on and then help him to walk to the water's edge. There was a very nice woman who volunteered her umbrella for them to sit under. The picture above shows my sister talking to the father while the son went to take their things to the car. You could see his face light up as he talked about how much he loved the ocean.
No matter where you are...there are always interesting people with interesting stories to their lives.
There also was a short period of time when they called everyone out of the water because of a shark sighting...YIKES!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Ocean

My sister and her sister in law and niece spent the day at the beach These are some of the pictures I took..
If there was one thing I could bring home with me , the ocean would be it. It is amazing and powerful and peaceful. I love watching the waves come in and out. The water was a little chilly at first but very clear. They had a really nice little restaurant that we ate at and some shops along the boardwalk. There is a park with some benches above the beach area where there are homeless. I sat and listened as one man talked about how he had lived there for 30 years and was disabled and unable to work so this is where he spends his days...sad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

West Palm Beach

These are some pictures I took of where we are staying. They have beautiful flowers here. The view from the back of this villa is so's all windows and looks out on a stream and one of the holes of the golf course. I'm holding Sadie (a teacup yorkie) She belongs to Joy,my sister's mother-in-law and is the cutest and sweetest little dog
We went shopping,Joy's pool, and her country club for lunch. We are all going to a seafood restaurant tonight....and the beach all day tomorrow :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech shooting.....why?

I just heard about the shootings at Va.Tech and it just breaks my heart for all involved...students,faculty,family,community
These are times that I have to ask God why?
As a parent of a child at college..I ask why
As a christian I ask why

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Long Day

I spent most of my first day of vacation in airports/airplanes. My flight took off from Dayton to Atlanta at 9:45 which meant being at the airport by 8. The flight from Dayton to Atlanta was actually smooth. I started to get nervous though when I saw the weather reports for the east coast on CNN realizing that my sister was flying from Vermont to Philadelphia. They had already started to cancel some flights from the east coast when I checked the monitor. I said a little prayer that she would get her flights and connections. When I got to Atlanta I had a 2 hr layover and then the plane was late coming in so we had an extra 30 min delay. I got to West Palm Beach around 3:30. That flight was pretty bumpy ...there were tornado warnings throughout the day in Florida. My sister barely made it from Philadelphia ...they had delayed her flight in Vermont and then the weather was getting really bad in Philadelphia...I think she was probably on one of the last flights to get out before they started cancelling flights so I feel blessed that she made it here just 30 min before I did.

She was pretty stressed...they delayed her luggage getting in and then the Hertz rent a car woman tried to soak her for 500 for a car for the week...we didn't pay that :)

The villa we are staying in is absolutely beautiful. It sits on a golf course with a porch that overlooks a small stream that has ducks/geese. The weather here is supposed to be nice the rest of the week the 80's.
Just looking forward to sun,relaxation,and sister time :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Things I'm doing/reading/watching/etc

It's a quiet Friday night in the Southard household...Zach is at work....Darrell is messing with his computer which is acting up(should have got a Mac:)
I thought I'd just update where I am in my life.

Things I'm reading

"Sex God.." by Rob Bell
Philippians....Thursday night house church
People magazine
"Second Calling" by Dale Hanson Bourke.. (for "empty nesters" )
"Traveling Mercies" Anne Lamott

Things I'm watching's AWESOME
Grey's Anatomy
Cold Case
Friday Night Lights

Movies I've seen/rented

Reign Over Me....the best movie I've seen in a long time...I love Adam Sandler and I love the soundtrack...70's music :)

The Holiday....a good movie to rent

Happy Feet...didn't care for it

Borat....crudely funny...not the best movie to watch with your kids

The Brick....A dark movie but I liked it...

What I'm listening to

Classic 70's and 80's

Five for Fighting

Podcasts..Mars Hill,LOSTcasts,Grey's Anatomy,

Foods I've craved

Strawberries with cream cheese dip

Peanuts in the shell

Toffee chip ice cream...Graeter's

What I'm looking forward to

My trip to Florida with my sister >>leaving Sun :)

Kristen coming home for the summer ..May 2nd

Zach's graduation...June 9

Warm weather with motorcycle rides

Genesis concert...Sept 22

That's about it :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

5 days and counting!!!

Warm sun and the ocean and ..............relaxation:)

Monday, April 09, 2007

An unusual Easter service

I was looking at the Relevant website and found this interesting article on an Easter service in Ohio where a man was tattooed...

Getting inked for Easter
A church service features live tattooing
By Sara Smith / april 5, 2007

Ben French
“We always want to go for that wow factor”: Pastor Feathers (left) with Berk, who will get a cross on his forearm Sunday

When you think of an Easter service, you probably don’t picture 30 parishioners gathered around, looking on as a guy named Iggy presses a tattoo gun into a fellow parishioner’s forearm. But if you’re a member of the CrossLink Watershed Church that gathers for worship in the Drexel Theater on Grandview Avenue, you’re counting on it this Sunday.

Nathan Feathers, the young pastor of this new alternachurch, wanted to add a jolt of adrenaline to his Easter service, something edgier than the church’s resident rock band.

Then it hit him: What says Christ and the resurrection more than a big black tattoo of a cross?

“We always want to go for that wow factor, especially for Easter,” Feathers said. “It’s not that we’re trying to entertain, but you have to get people to understand church doesn’t have to be uptight.”

Members of Feathers’s church and its parent congregation, CrossLink Community Church, in Grove City, try to keep Christ relevant in modern culture, he said.

And yes, he’s aware there are passages in the Bible that could be interpreted as banning tattoos, but Feathers said there are also passages, in Revelations, that describe Jesus with a tattoo on his leg that could be read as an open invitation to ink it up.

“Leviticus 19 does say something against tattoos,” Feathers said. “But at that time, tattoos were a symbol of worship of idol gods. That’s not what tattoos are for now.”

“Some things can be modified to work within the culture of the time, and we need to reach people now in 2007,” he said. “We’re just trying to speak the language of the culture, and our culture has many tattoos.”

Feathers himself has two tattoos, the co-pastor of the church has seven, and much of the congregation is inked to one degree or another. While preparing his Easter sermon on the meaning of the cross, Feathers couldn’t help but think of all the cross tattoos he’s encountered.

“That’s how we tied in Easter with the tattoo,” he said. “Most people think the church is against tattoos, but tattoos aren’t wrong.”

Once the tattoo-a-parishioner-during-service concept was born, Feathers got to work checking with the health department to make sure it was legal and then finding an artist. It was on his third call that he connected with Iggy Sweeney at Bodystain Tattoo.

“My biggest reason for doing this tattoo is their premise behind it,” Sweeney said. “I don’t consider myself a Christian, but I respect someone sitting down and putting themselves through pain for what they believe.”

Sweeney has been tattooing for 13 years, and he’s done a lot of crosses in that time. But he said this one will be particularly memorable.

“I sort of feel like I’m just a tool. The most important thing here is the tattoo itself,” he said.

Not every church would find a volunteer for an Easter morning tattooing. Feathers had to choose from among 30. After careful consideration, he chose 26-year-old Joe Berk, an armored-truck driver.

“I thought it was a really cool idea,” Berk said. “Not so much traditional, but we’re a younger church and most of us have tattoos.”

The tattoo will take about two hours to complete. Berk and Sweeney will begin at around 8:30 a.m. and finish up during the first half hour of the service with church members looking on.

“I interpret it as you lead by example. It’s not what you say but how you act,” Berk said after reciting a passage in Revelations 19 that describes writing on Jesus’s leg that reads “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

Berk, who already has a tattoo on his right bicep of the Chinese word for “ox,” said he originally was going to put the Celtic-style cross tattoo on his left bicep. But he’s decided to place it lower on his arm, where it will be more visible.

“I got to thinking about it and thought, ‘I’m doing this. It might be on TV. People are gonna know about it,’ and that’s when I changed my mind.”

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A reason for hope

This is why we have hope...this is what true sacrificial love is

Friday, April 06, 2007

"It is finished"

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Holy Week

I've been more aware this year of the fact that this is Holy Week.
At 3rd place Mike talked about Palm Sunday and I think that's what triggered my thoughts. Also, Adam has been posting on his blog about "The Seven Sayings of Jesus" which have also helped me to focus on questions I might not have asked.
This is the first year that I have given something up for Lent. Im a huge candy addict and I haven't had any candy since Ash Wednesday. I tried to give up pop as well but that didn't go too well :(
I have been so tempted this week...probably because of all the Easter candy and the fact that I know it's the last week.
It's hard to imagine what it must have been like to go through this week knowing that you are going to be mocked, beaten,denied,and forsaken. Knowing all of that, Jesus still spent his last night serving and teaching those closest to him ..concerned about others not himself ... it makes this week even that more special.