Small steps in faith

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"The Father's Character"

These are my notes from Apex's sermon tonight.
Rob started a new series on the Fatherhood of God.

The scripture for tonight is Psalm 89:26

Rob started with a clip of a dad who returned from Iraq and surprised his 6 yr old son.
The little boy ran to his dad. It was a heart wrencher..even Rob had tears.
This dad fights a war so his son doesn't have to.
God does the same for us...why don't we run to him in the same way?

Many times the way you look at your dad can impact how you also see God...but not always.

The fatherhood of God is the dominant self revelation of God.
If you don't get it that God is the don't get Christianity.
Moses,David,Isaiah,Hosea,Matthew,Mark,Luke,John,Paul,James and Peter all saw God as the Father.

Rock of our salvation.
God wrote his commands on stone tablets.
Ebenezer(stone of help) God did a work here
manger..carved out of limestone
Temptation of Jesus in the desert..stones to bread
Jesus in a large rock
Revelation..we will be given stones with our new names

Properties of Rocks
1 Rock is hard
2 Rock is foundational..Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives
3 Rock is immmovable..petra
4 Rock is a shelter
5 Rock gives life
6 Rock worships

God is the rock of our family. When he is absent..we know it
When we see God as our rock, we can take the rocks that come to us.

"Skinny" by Laura L. Smith

When I saw this book on the list to review, I knew it was a book I wanted to read.
It's a young adult fiction book which deals with the ever growing problem in young teen girls and even boys at times. I never struggled with the weight problem when I was a teen. In fact, I was probably considered underweight. It wasn't something that was talked about when I was in high school. I think in recent years watching my daughter grow up, it's much more prevalent. I think the pressure to look and be thin is also something that is emphasized with magazines and clothes.
Anorexia and bulimia are the symptoms of a deeper problem. This book does an excellent job in showing this.
I think this book does an excellent job in showing all the stresses and factors that can lead to the problem. Stress to do well in school, dating relationships, dance and cheer squads, and to look like the other girls. I found the main character,Melissa, a very believable character. I liked the fact that she came from a very solid loving family. I think it shows that it can happen to anyone. Her faith is a strong part of her recovery. She uses prayer and scripture to help in those hard times.
It shows how she becomes obsessed with her weight and it distorts her perception of herself leading to low self esteem. She has one friend,Gracie, who stands by her and supports her. I think the ending isn't always as simple as they make it in the book. Most girls who suffer from this need months and sometimes years of treatment. Many times those closest miss the signs just as her parents did.
I would recommend this book to every young girl who has struggled with this or has a friend who has.

"I Will Rise"

I first heard this song a couple of weeks ago when my friend Kyle Dobbins sang it at his church( and did a beautiful job!)
I found this on the site for my friend Missy's brother,Jamie Faulkner this morning.
Jamie was only 42 and lost his 5 month battle with melanoma cancer on April 23. I had the privilege to be with them the day before he died at the hospital as they surrounded him in prayer and song. To read about this amazing man you can go here

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"The Endangered Virtues of Singleness"

These are my notes for Rob's sermon at Apex
This sermon was mainly for people who are presently single...whether it's college or older adult,divorced,widowed,etc.
I wish I had heard a sermon like this when I was in my early 20's. I struggled with being single. I lived on my own for 2 years after college and I did truly wonder during that time if I would ever find the right person to marry. I think many times that fear of being alone drives people into relationships and even marriage way too soon. I was a totally different person at age 24 than I was even at age 20. I think emotionally there are many people who aren't ready for that commitment at such a young age. Singleness isn't a bad thing. It's a time to really figure out what's important. You will find that person...probably when you least expect it. I did.
I met my husband on a blind date at a time when I basically "was done" with trying to find anyone. If I had married someone who I had dated earlier in my would have been a disaster. I was too immature and insecure... and so were they.
This sermon brought back some of those emotions I had when at the end of his sermon he asked those who were struggling with their singleness to come to the altar for prayer. We have a HUGE single/college population so there were sooo many people who came forward. I walked in their shoes so it made me a little teary...that and the song by Kim Walker "He Loves Us" just fit perfectly.


Followers of Jesus live their lives preparing for Jesus to come back

Don't let singleness become so "front page" in your life that it overtakes that hope of Christ coming back. Many times Christ's return can take a "backseat" to our agenda and life. "I want Him to come back but after......" fill in the blank..I get married,I have children,I finish my degree,etc.

1. Pursue an uncluttered mind and disciplined life..stay alert.
Look for someone to keep you accountable.
Extra funds and extra time as a single can clutter your life.
Sexual Purity..."no one is watching"
Be self controlled which leads to increase in prayer life. Otherwise we live with "drive by prayers"

2. Be wary of superficiality in relationships. Love deeply.
As singles we migrate to different groups and don't develop the deep roots with people.
You need those people who will confront you when you screw up..and also know forgiveness when you repent.

3. Practice hospitable openness to others without grumbling. Open your house and lives.
This is easier as single than married because of responsibilities with spouse,children

4. Remember you are a steward of God's gifts of singleness. Be careful how you talk to one another.ecourage one another.
Don't compromise your beliefs because you are lonely.

What about the desires? God operates from a palate outside of this world. Those desires can only be fulfilled by Him. There is no marriage in heaven. He is all we need.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Now getting to Know Me From A-Z:

This was on another blog so I thought I'd do it too...

A - Age: 48
B - Bed size: King size
C - Chore you hate: cleaning the bathrooms
D - Dad's Name: Jim
E - Essential start your day item: oatmeal
F - Favorite food: Marion's sausage pizza
G - Gold or Silver: gold
H - Height: 5'5"
I - Instruments you play(ed): I used to play the flute in elementary school
J - Job title: Certified Diabetes Educator
K - Kid(s): 2..Kristen 22 and Zach 20
L - Living arrangements: live in a tri-level with my husband/kids(when they aren't in school in Tennessee and Pumpkin(my dachshund)
M - Moms name : Hazel
N - Nicknames: Ro,Robo, My sister and I have always called each other Sissy
O - Overnight hospital stay: Just with my children when they were born
P - Pet Peeve: Dirty dishes stacked up in the sink
Q - Quotes you like: “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” Winnie the Pooh
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: A younger sister Roxanne..we're one yr 2 wks apart and like twins :)
T - Time you wake up: 5:15 am...yeah I am a morning person
U - Undying love for: Jesus,my family and friends
V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussel Sprouts...UGH
W - Ways you run late: When I get on the computer and lose track of time
X- X-rays you've had: teeth, neck..(herniated disc) , abdomen (gallbladder removed 2000)
Y - Yummy food you make: Chocolate pie, Guinness brownies
Z - Zodiac: Cancer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Food and music for a great cause!!

Phil and Amber Wing are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia.
On Monday April 20 there is a chance to support them at the Chick-Fil-A in Centerville.
Here is the info:

We are so excited to let everyone local know about our fundraiser through the Centerville Chick-fil-A . If you present a coupon any time of day this Monday, April 20th, 20% of your purchase will go toward our adoption! You can pick up a coupon at any of the Apex gatherings this weekend, or we can email it to you to print out. You must have the coupon in order for it to work. Also, Phil will be there from 5pm-8pm playing music! We are so excited about this opportunity to share with people about our adoption and give them a glimpse of the One who brought us here. So if you like Chick-fil-A as much as we do, come out and see us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Something to think about...Saturday

I know that Easter is over but I thought it was interesting that today 2 people mentioned the Saturday between Good Friday and Sunday. I've never really given it much thought until today. There are many times I'm "living in the Saturday"

My house church leader, Chris, often sends us a little email on Monday or Tuesday( We meet on Wed) Sometimes it's just to make us laugh...sometimes it's to make us think...and sometimes it's just something that he might have been thinking about since we last met.
Today he sent an email talking about the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter:

I hope you all had a terrific Easter. I had some time to reflect on Saturday and envisioned what it would have been like for the disciples (and other vested followers) on the day after Jesus' death. Here they had lived, dined and breathed with Jesus for 3 years and in the matter of a couple of weeks he had gone from receiving a hero's welcome into Jerusalem to being crucified. It must have been lonely on that sabbath, but I cannot imagine the bewilderment that then turned into utter amazement (and joy) when the ladies returned from the tomb after seeing the angels. Talk about being taken from despair to hope...
Now that is the kind of hope I want every day.

The other person who talked about this is an author, Matthew Paul Turner. He talks about his pastor's sermon on Sunday.

It was beautiful. Hopeful. Passionate. Creative. Inclusive. My favorite quote that he said went something like this... "During Easter we talk a lot about Friday, the night Jesus died. And then we talk a lot about Sunday's resurrection. But we rarely mention or even consider Saturday. Saturday is the hard day. The 'waiting' day. The day when you feel like giving up. Most of us, in our own lives, are living in the Saturday. But I believe that God does his best work on Saturdays, while we're waiting, praying, and hoping for a Sunday."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Service.. "The Need of an Empty Tomb"

A beautiful spring morning for Easter. I always give my husband/kids a chocolate rabbit and Darrell gave me some gourmet jelly beans :)
We went to Apex this morning. I love to see the dresses that little girls wear. Our church is very casual. You could wear your sweats and no one would blink an eye but Easter is very different.
We had Easter lunch with my dad/stepmom. She makes the best cheese potatoes!

These are my notes for this morning's service

1 Corinthians 15:17-20

Why does the resurrection matter?

1. It provides meaning and power to our faith. Otherwise our faith is futile/wasteful.
Our desire comes from the empty isn't just Jesus who was in the tomb and arose..we all were there.

Rob gave an intersting quote from an atheist named Bertrand Russell. I didn't write it down but you can hear it if you listen online. It's a very negative and dark view of life. It's life detached from God and hope.
Solomon wrote Ecclesiates to tell us what life would be like without Christ.

2. It means freedom from the control and condemnation of sin.
There are 2 types of people:
Those in sin and those in Christ
Romans 6
We're all controlled by something.
We live in a culture obsessed by therapy
We want to believe we are a "good person"...we are comparing ourselves to other people and we can always find someone who is worse than we are.
No one is good. Our goodness has to be compared to Christ.
Romans 4:25

3. It defeats death for other people.
We are all motivated by death.
Romans 5:10
Death used to be an executioner but now it's just a gardner.

4. Places our hope beyond this life
1 Peter 1:3
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15

Our life is anchored here and in eternity...we keep moving..if we get hurt/bruised..we have to remember..our hope is anchored in our eternity..not here on earth.

He gave the example of a guy Floyd Collins who became stuck in Mammoth Cave. Even though he could see the light...he was stuck where he was..he couldn't get past the here and now to the hope of the light.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy 50 Birthday Barbie

My friend sent this to me this afternoon. Barbie turns 50. It's tough to lose that middle age weight ...even for Barbie :)

Good Friday

This video always speaks volumes to me and shows the true beauty and hope of the cross

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Living long and healthy

Since the beginning of the year I have been interested in what makes you healthy. What foods,what exercise,what mediation,what interests,etc. I saw that Oprah was having Dr. Oz on to talk about some of these things so I decided to watch. I'm not always a big fan of her shows but this one was actually interesting.
Through my own efforts to feel better and eat better I have found that most of the things on these lists below I have tried to put in my life. Probably the biggest thing for me in losing the weight I have is the exercise. I can have a bad day of eating with small effect but if I don't have physical activity..I feel sluggish and tired and bloated and unhealthy. I also think that my weekly house church has a huge impact. I get the feeling of belonging, of purpose, laughter, and sometimes healthy eating :)

Rituals of behavior are the key to living a long life...these areas are called "blue zones" They have a higher population of people who live 100+. Below are some of their "rituals" that they focus on.

Nicoya Peninsula,Costa Rica

Physical activity
Higher doses of Calcium and Magnesium
Fresh fruits,vegetables,beans
Family and friends
Sense of purpose...know your gifts,have a plan


Plant based diet
Red wine in moderation
goat's milk,cheese, and whole grain bread

Loma Linda, Ca

Vegan diet..plant based diet
physical acitvity...stationary bike and lifting weights
security and peace..spiritual health..sacred time
nature hikes
beans ..all varities and nuts
give back...volunteer time


Ikigai...purpose in life
Planting gardens
Moai...lifelong friends
hara hachi bu..stop eating when you are 80% full

Saturday, April 04, 2009


These are my notes from Apex tonight.
Worship was great. Target Dayton choir sang with Phil and Apexers. They have such a passion.

1 Corinthians 7:12-16

This passage deals with the unbeliever/believer marriage.
The believing spouse can have a big impact on the marriage as well as the children.

1 Divorce is a severing of one flesh
2 God hates divorce
3 Divorce is inevitable because of the hardness of the human heart
4 Divorce is a biblical concession but is NEVER a commandment.

God can redeem anything and forgive anyone

Romans 7:2-3
Mark 10: 2-12
Matthew 5: 31-32
Luke 16:18

These scripturs are Biblical baseline for divorce and remarriage

Two Biblical Postions on Remarriage
1 The Two Clause Position

a The spouse has committed adultry
b Unbelieving spouse who has hatred toward you and your relationship with Jesus..they have deserted the marriage.

2 The No remarriage or betrothal Position
No remarriage for any reason This is a minority view
They don't believe that Matthew has an exception clause
They see the betrothel period as an engagement period
It talks about Joseph and Mary being betrothed and he contemplated divorcing quietly
They point to church history. In the first 300 yrs..there is no support for remarriage other than the death of a spouse.

So....what does Rob believe?
Presently he operates under the Two Clause Position but finds the no remarriage compelling in some of it's points.
At Apex there is a mixture of support for both postions. This is not something that you break fellowship over.

Some commom Questions

1 What if I divorce outside of these reasons ?
a Be reconciled to your spouse ...IF your spouse is single. Do NOT destroy another marriage

b Commit to cultural singleness...your joy comes from Christ

2 What if I remarried outside of these reasons?

a Acknowledge and confess the remarriage as sin and ask for forgiveness. Your remarriage was based on insecurity,loneliness,fear..not on God's word

b Don't sever the 2nd marriage but strive to display God's glory through it. God can use you.

3 What if my first marriage wasn't godly but my second marriage is?
It's not blessed because it's's blessed because of God's grace.

4 What if I'm being abused by my spouse?

a Temporarily remove yourself from the situation with the ultimate goal and hope of reconciliation

b The process and speed of reconciliation will be dependent on consistent fruit of repentance from the abuser. This could be months for some...years for others. There is not a timeline.

c Involve God ordained 911..the police.

d Stay connected with Christ centered community. Courageous community needs to confront the abuser. and surround and nurture the abused.

e Be constantly aware of the condition of your heart. Don't allow your heart to become bitter and full of anger toward the person.

The Fray on Letterman

I love this group....going to see them in June at Riverbend in Cincinnati!

Friday, April 03, 2009

This will make you laugh :)

My husband sent this to me...too funny. You gotta love his creativity!