Small steps in faith

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saying goodbye and welcoming a New Year

I can't believe it's the last day of 2008!
I spent this morning with my friends from work at Golden Nugget Pancake House in Kettering. Today was Sandi's (our dietitian)last day of work. She gets to retire and enjoy all of her new grandchildren :) We will miss her a lot but they do have a fill-in which is a good thing. It's always hard to say good-byes.
Chris(my house church leader) sent out an email this morning and it talks about love and the heart. I think it's a good explanation for why we always need to give a piece of our heart even if it hurts to say goodbye.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”


I will be ringing in the New Year with my house church family.
I hope everyone who reads this has a great New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Losing weight...becoming healthy..... and that doesn't include Chipotle

One of the biggest resolutions that people seem to have at the beginning of the year is "I'm going to lose weight". For some people, it's an ever ending struggle. In my job, I see many many overweight people. It's one of the biggest reasons they have diabetes.
A few weeks ago I was asked to review 2 books for a book tour blog in January. You get to write about the book on your blog and you get 2 copies of the for you and one to give away. I love to read and I love to blog so it's a win-win situation. for me!
The books are about weight loss. As I've gotten older I've struggled with weight gain but more importantly.. I am an unhealthy eater. I'm hoping to change this.
I started reading the book this evening and it has "The Top Twenty Excuses Why You Can't Get Fit" Some made me laugh and ..the author definitely has a sense of humor. Some of them I can totally relate to.

1 I don't have enough hours in the day
2 I can't afford a gym membership
3 I don't want to be judged on my outer appearance. Her response...Too late. We all are.
4 I'm addicted to sugar.
5 I don't like to work out.
6 I don't think this is the right time. Her response..Would it be better to wait until after your next nervous breakdown?
7 I'm too old to do this.
8 I just want to use diet pills. Her response..If there were any way that worked, don't you think Oprah would have done a show about them already?
9 I'll get started as soon as I find a partner to do this with. Her response..Right, so that when your partner lets you down, it won't be your fault.
10 I have too much weight to lose
11 I can't stand being hungry when I try to diet.
12 Can't I just get lipo instead?
13 I have the fat gene. Her response..Yeah so do I.
14 I always fail
15 Isn't healthy food expensive? ( I hear this one ALL the time) Her response...Doctor visits are expensive. Lipitor prescriptions are expensive. Natural foods like eggs,apples,greens,and oatmeal are cheap.
16 I need to lose this weight as fast as possible
17 I hate paying attention to calories
18 I don't want to look like a bodybuilder
19 I might give this a shot. I have nothing to lose. Her response..Wrong attitude. You've already got one foot out the door. When you're ready to commit 100 percent to success, come back.
20. I have negative people around me. Her response..Good. Let me bring them to my family reunion! They'll feel right at home.

It's an easy read and I'm looking forward to her process. The author lost 200 lbs over a period of 2 years. It was a change in lifestyle starting with a change in her brain first.

For all of you Chipotle eaters...I found this and sent it to my husband who LOVES Chipotle and would eat there everyday.

Worst Mexican Entree
Chipotle Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito

1,179 calories
47 g fat
125 g carbs
2,656 mg sodium

Despite a reputation for using healthy, fresh ingredients, Chipotle's menu is limited to king-size burritos, overstuffed tacos, and gigantic salads—all of which lead to a humongous waistline.

Make Over the Menu: There are two ways to make a Chipotle burrito healthy enough to eat:

(1) 86 the rice and tortilla and request your meat, vegetables, and beans served in a bowl, or
(2) Bring a friend and saw the burrito in half.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you going to waste your Christmas?

These are my notes from the Apex sermon this morning.
Hebrews 1:1-4

Is Jesus your consultant or your CEO? Are you putting him in a box and putting him away the same way you do with your manger after Christmas?

God uses angels to tell his redemptive story. Sadducees worshipped angels. We tend to worship creation instead of the creator.

God speaks in many ways in the Old Testament
Jesus is the FINAL and COMPLETE communication from God

Jesus is:

1 Owner and Creator...we will all end at the face of Christ. Will he say "Well done.." or "I never knew you"

2 An exact reflector of God..He is the radiance of God's glory. An exact imprint.
We get distracted easily. God always wears the same thing..he's not hard to find but Satan crowds the picture with other stuff.
Are you reflecting God ..or are you wearing a veil.

3 Our verbal sustainer..We are here by the word of God.

4 Our triumphant savior..He takes the sting of death out. He brings us peace. He purifies our sins.

When the church fails to raise Christ to where all can see fails the world.


My friend Bona sent this to me. If you're a'll totally relate. If you're a'll need to share it with your wife or girlfriend or mother or sister :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our new Keurig coffeemaker

This is a picture of the new coffeemaker we bought for Christmas. Darrell and I love our coffee and we have heard nothing but good things about using the pod coffeemakers.
My brother-in-law has one,Dr. B. (one of the doctors I work for) has one and my son's roomate has one.
We did our homework for the last month going to all the stores and checking out the models and the prices. We didn't want to spend $300 but we also didn't want to get some cheapie version that wouldn't last. We decided to pool our Christmas money together and buy the Keurig Platinum.
The only place we were able to find this particular model of Keurig was Bed Bath and Beyond and the good thing...they had a 20% coupon we could use which saved us $40..woo hoo!!

They were nice enough to start us off with a variety pack of coffee/tea/hot chocolate pods.
I tried the Green Mountain coffee(made in the beautiful state of Vermont where my sister lives :) It was great! You can make iced coffee with this model as well.
It won't totally replace Boston Stoker and Starbucks but really what we wanted was to make a good cup of coffee at home for a cheaper price and I think this is as close as we can get!

Friday, December 26, 2008


We're supposed to have rain here for the next 2 days. Darrell is in a David Crowder mood this morning with the music so it made me think of this song

Rain Down your love on us
Rain down your love
rain down your greatness
o and cover me
rain down your love on us
o rain down your love
rain down your peace

**Addendum..I think God took me literally and poured down rain on Kristen and I as we made our way to the car with our bargains :) We looked like drowned rats!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve

Work...I had to work 1/2 day. I was getting most of my patients ready with final instructions to go home that day or on Christmas. Kristen worked 2 to 7. Darrell and Zach had the day off.

Dad's...always a great time. My stepbrother,Doug, and his family come over. He has a daughter,Rachel, who is 8 and still believes in Santa so it's always fun to watch her open presents. My stepmother makes the best Italian and Cheese potatoes.

Church...Darrell and I went to the 6:30 service and sat with our house church and then Kristen and Zach came for the 8:30 service. We had traditional carols with Phil and Issac playing guitars/singing. Rob spoke and then had 2 people got up and share their stories. Emily is a girl who has cerebral palsy and was in Zach's kindergarten class. It was great to see how well she is doing. She goes to Cedarville.
The other story was from a guy who grew up in Miamisburg. Darrell knows his dad/uncle very well. He was addicted to drugs in his 20's and was able to turn his life around. He ended up going to Lee University so both my kids know him.

Home...We have always opened our presents on Christmas Eve. My kids would open their presents on Christmas Day but have started opening them on Christmas Eve as they got older. The theme for and jewelry :)
The theme for Zach..clothes..he loves to look and smell nice :)
Darrell's..clothes and music.
Mine..books and iPod original mini finally died. One of my favorite sister knitted me a pair of colorful socks ...beautiful :)

Christmas..We spend a relaxed day at home. My in-laws and mom come over with food and we eat...a lot!!

I hope everyone reading this has a very beautiful and joyous Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Apex notes

I went to church yesterday but didn't have a chance to post my notes so here they are.

John 1:14-18

Luke gives us the historical perspective of Christmas
John gives us the theological perspective.

7 Pictures of God seen in the Incarnation

Picture #1 He is the Eternal One
He was already in relationship with God as God.

Picture#2 He is the Revealing One
Light exposes..light always overcomes darkness

Picture #3 He is the Promised One
John the Baptist announces to the spiritually blind that the light is coming.

Picture #4 He is the Rejected One
Rejected by his own creation

Picture #5 He is the Saving One
Jesus alone forgives our sins. At judgment he will be the one to separate the saved from the unsaved.

Picture #6 He is the Near One. He wants to set up his tent near us. He wants to be part of humanity in all of its brokeness.

Picture #7 He is the Glorious One.

When God reveals himself..he demands a response.
Our response is worship through song,giving,prayer.

It's Christmas Week :)

Christmas has already started in the Southard house.
We had Christmas with my cousin/aunts on my Dad's side on Saturday.
It's always an interesting time with numerous greyhounds and cats roaming around.

We had Christmas with Darrell's side of the family and my mom. More good food.
I have wonderful in laws...they spoil us too much.
My sister-in-law and her family came. They have a German exchange student living with them so we found out a lot about German culture. After German students graduate they are required to do a year of either military or civil service. Public college is free but not as good as USA. Private schools are better. You have to be 18 to get your driver's license and it costs $1200..yikes.
My niece is in Ireland doing an internship so we missed her.

We went to see "Behold the Lamb" last night at Faith Church in Milford. It was wonderful!! Amazing musicians with amazing voices. Darrell and I also decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International. We have adopted a 6 yr old girl from Bolivia. We went with a group from our old church and it was nice to touch base with all of them again.

We had a pizza party and exchange of Secret Santa gifts at work. Pizza and wonderful cookies :) My secret santa got me nice smelling candles,Mike and Ike's(my favorite candy) and a Kobrick's card. Kobricks is our coffee shop at work. They are pretty close to Boston Stoker on their coffee and they have awesome pastries.

Christmas Eve I spend with my dad and Christmas Eve service at Apex.
Christmas Day is at my house ...yay!!
I'm ready!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Behold The Lamb

It's 7 am and I'm getting ready for a busy day but a fun day :)
We went to my cousin's house for the start of our Christmas parties last night so we are going to Apex this morning. I hear Jason Wing is preaching which is always great.
Next, we will head over to my in-laws for a dinner with Darrell's side of the family.
Then it's over to Jim and Susan's for appetizers before we head to Milford to see Andrew Peterson in "Behold the Lamb" with a group of friends. This is becoming one of our Christmas traditions. This is our 3rd time seeing it and I never get tired of it. First of all the church is very old and quaint. Each of the artists usually perform some of their own work first and then they all combine to do Behold the Lamb. I think I'll love this even more than actual Christmas :) It's sold out this year but if you get the chance to see him in this or even in one his regular concerts it's worth every penny and every minute!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Free Download of O Holy Night

I was driving home this morning from dropping Darrell off at work (3 cars..4 drivers so Darrell drew the short straw) and I heard a very gospel version of O Holy Night. His name is Mark Masri and you can download the version for free at his website here

Also if you go to U2 website you can watch the video with their Christmas song "They Believe in Father Christmas".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When parents leave their son home alone

Ok..As the parent of a son...this is why I never left town for 10 days :)
I have to say....I was impressed with how they figured out the angles and where to place the swimming pool. I'm wondering if the boy with the sling on his arm was the first guinea pig :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where was the Secret Service?

Wow...he's got good reflexes! I just wondered where were his secret service after the first shoe was thrown?

Christmas shopping

Christmas shopping is not something I always look forward to. Actually we tend to put it off and then try to do it in one day. So today was the day :) We had our coupons..we had our lists...we had our coffee so we were good to go.
We actually were able to tackle some of it at Sam's...that place has some good things for great prices!
Steve and Barry's...they're going out of business so if you need some sport team shirts or humor shirts for $'s the place. They still have a pretty good selection.
Next..the Dayton Mall. Not my favorite place but we did actually manage to find what we needed.
Next..the Greenes. I love that place although it's outdoor shopping and so a little nippy. We saw a santa suit for Pumpkin but $17 seemed like alot for a once a year outfit.
The Fairfield Mall...luckily we only needed to find one thing here. It was the busiest by far. The line for Starbucks was ridiculous. Speaking of coffee... we checked out some of the pod coffemakers. We're thinking of investing in one if we get some Christmas money. The one by Bosch seems like a good deal. You can make lattes and tea and coffee and hot chocolate!
We also went to Walmart for some boxes. That place is always good for some laughs..Gene Autrey lookalike and his wife.
Finally...CVS for giftcards...a great gift for "hard to buy for" people.
So now we have our own personal gift wrapper..Kristen :) and I just need to finish with Darrell who is the easiest person of all to buy for because he never wants anything and you can ALWAYS buy him a coffee card :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"The Killer Spirit of Christmas"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon tonight.

We sang some jazzed up Christmas songs but my favorite is when we sang "It is Well With My Soul"..put goosebumps on my arms. We saw our friends Chad and Jeff and they gave us the good idea of chicken wings for supper so we went to BW's and watched the Heisman show and ate wings. We went to Town and Country in Kettering which is my old stomping grounds from high school. We used to take our kids there to Books and Co. They have good memories of going there and Cheryl and Co. for cookies :)

Notes from Sermon
Matthew 2:1-18

Herod..if you looked at him from only the view of architecture he was a phenomenon.
The Hebrews saw him as someone who rebuilt and expanded the temple. Part of it remains today..."The Wailing Wall"

Wisemen come to Jerusalem after 400 years of silence to Herod to let him know that the Christ child is coming according to their study of astrology.

Herod was troubled by the birth of Jesus because:
1. 2 Kings cannot exist in a monarchy. Relevance for today..the throne is the seat of your heart. There is only room for 1 king..Christ or you.

2. Herod used people in order to accentuate his power. If we become "king" of our own life, we tend to use people to boost ourselves. We make them jump through hoops to be our friends...certain personality,certain looks,certain financial status,etc...

3. Herod eliminated people in order to stay in power. We eliminate people, prayer,word of God, spiritual disciplines.

Herod makes us uncomfortable because we see a degree of ourselves in him

When our pursuit of greatness is toward the wrong greatness, there is a cost.
Herod's cost..separation from Christ for eternity.
"Wrong greatness" leads to consumerism,poverty,etc.

All of Jerusalem is troubled because Christ was a threat to their comfort as well..there is change with a new king. Jesus came at a low time of spiritualism.

There is another approach to greatness. It's not about what you accomplish

The Way of the Wiseman
1. Seek Him.
2. Enjoy Him
3. Worship Him
4. Give to Him
5. Obey Him

Even in the original Chrismas Story there is darkness..but Jesus comes and brings light. Darkness never has to be the final chapter in your life.

A Prayer for Carrie

I'm asking that anyone who reads this say a special prayer for my friend Carrie.
Carrie is 27 weeks pregnant with her 3rd baby and on Wednesday started to have some bleeding. She thought it was her water breaking,which would have been a very bad thing. Instead, her doctor found that she has something called Placenta Previa.
She will need to be on bedrest the rest of her pregnancy. We are all hoping that she doesn't have to stay in the hospital the whole time but for now her doctor isn't making any promises. Carrie is being optimistic,that's who she is, but if you know her you can see she is concerned.
Carrie is the wife of my house church leader Chris and I'm asking for prayer for him also. He has a lot on his plate . He is a busy attorney with a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and a wife/baby in the hospital.
I believe God can use this for the good. I believe he can heal. I believe this will bring us closer together as a house church. That's why God put us share in each other's lives and share each other's burdens..whether it's good or bad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All I want for Christmas is a blue truck and my daddy

This made me cry. Her reaction to her dad is sweet

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Big Picture

These are my notes from Apex.
Rob is sick so Rennis Bowers,one of the elders, filled in.
Issac did an absolutely beautiful job singing "O Holy Night"

The Big Picture
Do you read and understand the Bible..biblically in the context and framework of the Bible itself.?
God has a blueprint for all of us.
Many make the mistake of taking parts and pieces of scripture and put them together which changes the actual meaning.
You need to look at verses in their whole context in the chapter and books.

Example: With the book of Galatians, you need to go back to Acts. You need to know who these people are and their history to correctly interpret Paul's letter to them.

God wants trinitarian communion to be visible on earth.
God ordained community theme from Genesis to Revelation

Old convenant is replaced by New Convenant but it's history is still important.

New covenant is binding
God hasn't made us to be spectators.
If you aren't in some type of corporate worship ..only can you "love one another?" How can you fulfill God's purpose?

Important things to remember in our house churches

1 Jesus is the head
2 Sharing a meal..make sure you tie this in to the Lord's doesn't have to be the "juice and cracker" ...we share meals for this purpose.
3 Pray and remember we're in this together. We are here to encourage,to have each other's backs so sometimes praying with your eyes open can remind you of this.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I love this show and I can't get this song by Kanye West out of my head!!

Christmas and children

I love this time of year. I love Christmas lights,Christmas decorations,Christmas blend coffee at Starbucks,Christmas parties,Christmas cards,Christmas music....and children.
Darrell and I put up our tree on Thursday and I put up the house decorations today. It always makes me nostalgic cause I have things my kids made when they were little.
My Christmas party for work was last night at Dr. Parilo's house. His house is beautiful but the sweetest decoration was the little gingerbread house that his son, Daniel,who is 5, made at school. There is just something about homemade Christmas ornaments from your kids.
Christmas is the one time of year that should be experienced through a child's eyes.
After all, the focus of the true meaning is a very special child.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Get some coffee and help save lives

Today is World AIDS Day. To create awareness and support Starbucks is donating 5 cents for every one of their special red cup drinks between Nov 27 and Jan 2 and today 5 cents for every beverage.
I had to go downtown this morning so on my way home I stopped and got a Peppermint Mocha Twist..great drink!

The much anticipated Starbucks Holiday beverages will turn (RED)(TM) from November 27 through January 2. Customers' daily visit to Starbucks can directly help saves lives in Africa. For every purchase of a (STARBUCKS)RED EXCLUSIVE beverage - Peppermint Mocha Twist, Gingersnap Latte and Espresso Truffle - at participating stores in the U.S. and Canada, Starbucks will contribute five cents to the Global Fund to invest in AIDS programs in Africa. Additionally, in honor of the 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day, on Monday, December 1, Starbucks will extend the five cent contribution to every hand-crafted beverage purchased at participating stores as a continued way to save lives in Africa.


I love this guy :) so I want to win a signed setlist for Singalong
Go here