Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Next Generation Of Worship Leaders

A few weeks ago John had our Youth Worship Band help him in leading Worship in "Big Church!" Over the summer months he tries to give his regular team some Sunday's off, and to give different people the opportunity to share their gifts with the church as well.

Rocking the House!

The Girls: Olivia and Meghan

He's always been a big proponent to raising up young people. Inspiring their gifts and talents God has blessed them with, and teaching them the difference between performing and actually leading people in Worship. (trust me, there is a huge difference) He often says he would rather work with someone who has a heart for God (not someone who just wants to be on stage) than even the most talented person. And if someone has a heart after God, and can develop their God-given talents, all the more better!

Father and Son team! John and Zach
With Ryan rocking the Bass

Kyle on the Drums

Our Youth band did such a great job! I was so proud of all of them. Zach lead some of the songs along with John, and played guitar. Kyle played the drums. Olivia (Kyle's girlfriend) lead some of the songs, and played guitar. Meghan Miller lead a song and played the keyboard, and Ryan Slater played the bass. They were nervous singing and playing in front of over 500 people. But, they did such a great job! I wanted to share it with you, so you can listen to some of their songs here. I know you'll enjoy it.

As John said it that morning: One old guy and a bunch of young people!
Left to Right: Ryan, Meghan, John, Zach, Olivia and Kyle

Musicians being, well, Musicians!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Job As A Mother

This past Sunday our Pastor used as an illustration from John 6:1-14. It's about when Jesus was speaking to over 5000 people, and His disciples told Him 'the people are hungry, we should let them go into town and get something to eat.' (I'm paraphrasing here of course!) And Jesus told His disciples 'you feed them.' They grumbled about how much money it would cost to feed that many people. (I have two teenage boys, I understand this!) so, they went out in the crowd to see if anyone had any food.

And one little boy had brought his lunch that day. He had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. The disciples brought it to Jesus and said this is all we have. And Jesus gave thanks for the food and started handing it out. He multiplied it. The Bible says everyone had as much as they wanted to eat, and after they were done they collected the left overs, and filled 12 baskets full. That's a lot of food!

Our Pastor mentioned that the integral person in this story is that little boy. What would have happened if he had not brought his lunch that day? And I leaned over to John and whispered "actually the integral person in this story is that little boy's mom, who packed his lunch that day!" and we both laughed. But, an idea was sparked in my head at that moment: This would make a good Blog post!

I've been thinking about this this week. Isn't that our job as moms?! To send our kids out into the world equipped with what they need. To nourish them and nurture them, and provide for them. And equip them with what they will need to be used by God for His bigger purposes. Even beyond what we could imagine for them ourselves. And I'm not just talking about packing lunches! (My girls love to pack their own lunches now, and that is more than fine with me!) But, what if someone would have told that mom she was responsible that day, for packing lunches for more than 5000 people! I don't even like having to bring birthday snacks in for 2 classes on the same day for my girls Birthday!

So, I'm wondering, am I sending my kids out into this world equipped? Do they have everything they are gonna need? Kyle is starting college next month. Is he ready? (I'm not, but I think he is) Zach is a senior in High School. Erica and Lexi are in 6th grade, which means next year is Jr. High. Yikes! What do they need out there? Can I give it to them, and have them prepared? Are your kids equipped?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Youth Pastors

We have truly been blessed that my boys have had some great Youth Pastors. And I have to say these past several years they have really grown spiritually. Some may argue that it is just their age, but I would have to argue, that since we had been Youth Pastor's for over 10 years, and watching some of my boys friends, I know that this is an age when many young men turn away from God, question their faith, and leave the church. My boys both feel a calling on their lives to go into the ministry. And it is in large part due to Pastor Sam & Dana Frederick.

Unfortunately they are loosing their youth pastor. Not from life, thankfully, but from our Church. It is hard to watch your kids go through hard times. My boys have been through a lot of change, in their lifetime, being in the ministry. They have gone to 5 different elementary schools, in 4 different states, and just as many churches and jobs for their father. But the younger they are the easier they handle these things. Transition is much harder when they are older and have established relationships. It hurts more.

Sam is the funniest guy you will ever meet, and the most inappropriate! And Dana is the sweetest person you could ever meet. But, as silly as he can be, Sams done something right, that has reached my boys and many other students as well. My boys have both been stretched beyond what they could have thought they could do at this age. Sam has encouraged them both, and has had Kyle preach, both in the church and outside of it. And he has had Zach sing and lead worship both inside and outside of the church as well. Neither of my boys probably would have done those things on their own.

We are also loosing another couple who are our Youth Leaders as well. Darrell & Reyes Couch. They have been a huge encouragement and support as well to my boys, and many other students. Zach especially considers Darrell to be one of his very best friends. My boys have read books on ministry they never would have picked up if it weren't for these men. They've met with them weekly, training them up. And I will be forever grateful that these two Godly men have poured into my two boys, to make them who they are today! And I pray that they can continue their relationships with them.

Our church is going through transition. We are also loosing several of our closest friends. It's hard not to feel abandoned at times. My heart is breaking for us, and for our kids as well, who are loosing some of their best friends too. We will of course still be friends, but it just won't be the same not seeing them every week at Church, or not having them there to pour into our kids lives on a regular basis. Sometimes life is hard. As adults we come to know and accept that. But it's harder for kids, and at the same time it's easier for them. They rebound quicker. They somehow manage to still hold on to the joy, and let go of the sadness.

I got to watch my boys step up in their youth group and put together a service and going away party with their friends and fellow students for Pastor Sam & Dana. They thanked them, and shared what they have meant in their lives. I'm so proud of my boys, and the men they are becoming. They are handling this much better than their mother is. We're all helping each other get through this and though it is hard, we will get through it.

"What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you- guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." (II Tim. 1:13-14)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Blogger and The Cook

You thought I was talking about me and John. Nope.

We saw this movie last night. Julie & Julia.
It was tailored made for us. I love to Blog, and John loves to cook!
We both really enjoyed it.

A wanna be writer and cook, needs a change in her life, so she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's cook book in a years time, and Blog all about it. Her Blog becomes a big hit. It then becomes a book, and now a movie. It's two true life stories told together.

We see similarities in the two woman's lives and relationships. And it got me thinking: who, if anyone, would I want to emulate? Like Julie does Julia. (She even starts wearing pearls while she's cooking!) :)

There are many women I look up to professionally. In writing it would be Erma Bombeck and Louisa M. Alcott. Politically it would be Maria Shriver and Elizabeth Dole! I know I'm a very diverse person! There are also MANY women I know personally that I look up to for many reasons . . . weather it be their integrity, the way they raise their children, the way they love their husbands, their personality, etc. I'm blessed to have these women in my life.

And I think we all ought to be pointing our daughters and future generations to look at women, who emulating, would be worth while. Not who's the prettiest, skinniest, richest or most famous. But, for the things in life that truly matter!

So, my friends, I want to know, Who's your Julia?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sister, Sister

Today is the anniversary of the day I lost my one and only sister. It's been 8 years already, but, I had her for 36 years before that. There were things that have happened and I would think I can't wait to tell Debbie . . . then remember that I can't. Or there are things I wouldn't tell anyone else except for my sister. So, I don't tell anyone, and just smile to myself, knowing how much she would have enjoyed hearing all about it!

(Debbie and I)

When I saw the preview for My Sister's Keeper, I thought: I wish I had my sister to go see that movie with, but, I don't. So last night I thought I'm gonna go see it anyway! I don't have my sister to see it with but, I do I have a couple of sisters I could take to see it. My girls really like Abigail Breslin and have been wanting to see it too. So, Erica, Lexi and I went to see it today.

(Erica and Lexi)

I knew it would be sad. But, I thought what better day than today to have a good cry. I loved the movie! It was so good. And yes, I cried some, (not as much as the lady next to me!) the girls didn't cry but they did really like the movie. I'm so glad we went. And I'm glad we went today!

I'll leave you with one of the closing lines of the film:
"What's important is that I had a sister.
And she was fantastic."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ch . . Ch . . Changes


Well, my career isn't the only thing changing around here. I've got a new look, I cut my hair off. Sometimes you just need a change. And with naturally curly hair, it was much easier to just let it dry naturally and not have to do much with it. But, I get tired of looking at pictures of myself from say 10 or more years ago, and my hair looks exactly the same as it does now. It gets old! So, once in awhile I have to alter it. I haven't had really short hair since I was pregnant with my girls (who are now gonna be turning 12) I was due.

My niece Andrea cut our hair!


My girls are also changing. Starting 6th grade. We could no longer shop for their back to school clothes in the girls department. We've been forced to move up into the Junior Department. And let me tell you it's a scary place. They had to have "Skinny Jeans"! I guess that is the Jordache of this generation! :) Another must have is Peace signs, on everything! It never ceases to amaze me that "everything old is new again". They had their new back to school outfits picked out for the entire first week of school. They could not wait to go back to school. And on the first day of 6th grade, Lexi got "asked out" by a boy. I'm thinking all girls school! (yes, that is me screaming that you hear in the back ground!)

Lexi and Erica's First day of 6th Grade!

And, my baby boy has started his senior year of high school! No, not this again! Well I've got this whole year ahead of us. And I'm sure it will be filled with fun, good times, challenges, and adventures. And if I'm still standing at the end, hopefully we get some good Blog post's out of it as well! Stay tuned.

Zach's first day of his Senior year!

Senior Year II

It's starting over again!

My baby boy Zach started his senior year of high school today. Didn't I just go through all this last year with my first born?! Now I have to face it all again. These little boys of mine feel the need to grow up. Sad.

He is so excited about his senior year! He made the top 2 choirs in his high school, and just got back from his choir retreat this weekend. He'll also run track again and will play guitar in the Jazz band. Full year ahead . . .

Zach at youth camp playing a game,
my boys are very athletic and competitive, can you tell?

(P.S. thanks for the picture Suzy, love it!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flying Solo

I just got back from my first ever, Business trip! Now, I've gone to many conferences and seminars, etc. for Church or John's work, but, never before have I gone on a trip for MY work! I was so excited to go. The Shade Clothing headquarters is in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before this trip I had only been in Utah at the Four Corners. (Where it looks just like Arizona!)

We had managers meetings and training. I was able to meet all the people in corporate who I talk to on the phone or E-mail regularly. It was fun to put faces with names.
The Gateway, really cute area. This fountain is outside the Shade store, and was put there when the Olimpics were held in Salt Lake!

Now, when I was young , I always wanted to be a flight attendant. (or as we politically incorrectly called it back in the day: Airline Stewardess) when I grew up. Up until the very first time I actually flew, and experienced severe motion sickness! John loves to fly, and has actually taken a flying lesson, and if we could afford it he would have his pilots license. I LOVE to travel, but, I hate to fly. Dramamine helps!

And to start my trip off, my hair gel didn't make it through airport security! Even though there wasn't much in the two bottles, the bottle sizes were bigger than allowed. They threw them away. :( I use two kinds of hair gels because one makes my hair too "Crunchy" and one makes it too soft. So, I mix them. I'm sure curly headed people get this. I thought: I hope they like frizzy hair in Utah, cause I could end up looking like Rosanna RosannaDanna! (from an old SNL skit) And my flight didn't leave for over an hour and a half after it was supposed to. Not a great start, but, it turned out to be a great trip anyway.

I also thought I would love having a hotel room all to myself. With four kids you don't get much quiet time. I didn't. I couldn't really sleep. My brothers are Police officers who have always warned me about sleeping on the first floor in apartment buildings, hotels, etc. because of the possibility of window break ins, that you don't get on higher floors. My hotel room was on the first floor and my window, (which was unlocked when I checked into the room, which I quickly rectified!) faced a chain link fence and then a parking lot. So, needless to say, being a woman alone in a strange city I didn't feel all that safe. Which didn't lead to much sleep. But, I was fine.
Where the Phoenix Suns rivals, The Utah Jazz play!

The meetings were great. I learned a lot. And the manager who hired me, Emily, now lives in Utah. So, she picked me up at the airport, and we got to hang out together both during the meetings and outside of them. It was great to see her again. We have a lot of fun together. And it was good for her to have this Arizona contact again. She misses it here, and we all miss her!
Me and Em!

So, over all, my first Business trip was a great experience! I'm so glad I got to go. If you had told me a year ago, when I was a stay at home mom (like I'd been for the 18 years before that) that I'd be managing a clothing store, working full time, taking business trips I would have laughed in your face. Okay, maybe not in your face, because I'm too polite for that. But I would have laughed! And I'm still laughing about it!