Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peyton & Pierce turn 3

That's right....Peyton and Pierce turned 3 today!  It just doesn't seem possible that it has been 3 years already.  Time flies whether you are having fun or not, so you might as well enjoy the ride and that is what we are trying to do.

This was their first birthday in the United States and we tried to make it a special birthday with just family and one other couple and their two children that are like our family.  It was going to be small but we wanted it that way for this first one anyway.  So we were only having Nana and Pawpaw, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Curtis, and Dustin, Tia (my sister), Uncle Scott, Ethan, and Chloe, and Kevin, Krissy, Kody, and Kaleb.  We wanted to spend this time with our family that didn't get to share those birthdays with the boys while we were in Brazil.  We wanted it to be a time of celebrating and building memories, we were not worried about the presents.  The gift was their presence!
Well, we had a great time and even though everyone didn't show up, it was definitely their lose and not ours.  We had great bar-b-q, slaw, and beans courtesy of Nana and cake by Mom and Mrs. Stephanie.  Had lots of fun in the middle of a deadly line of storms that produced tornadoes through Mississippi.  But absolutely we made some memories!

Happy Birthday Peyton & Pierce!  We love you big as a pickle!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Proof of Kingdom Life

Today I wanted to talk a little about our salvation in Jesus Christ. The other day I was talking to my 15 year old daughter, Kati.  We were discussing salvation and what it means.  The reason we were talking about this subject is because she was just wanting some confirmation about her salvation.  Kati was saved at a young age and really doesn't remember a lot about it.  I say that to also say this, we have taught our children about God and Jesus since they were born, not to make a decision for them but to teach them just as God said in Dueteronomy 6.  We talked about a few things but one thing really stood out and we went to Matthew 7:13-23.  In this chapter Jesus is talking about entering through the narrow gate to life because the wide gate leads to destruction. That means the majority of the world is going through the wide gate.

When we skipped down to verse 22, Kati and I talked about how Jesus said "not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven will enter."  He went on to tell what these people were doing, they were prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles in His name.  But yet they still did not get into Heaven.  Why? Jesus said "I never knew you."  Because they didn't have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. It wasn't because they didn't say a prayer at one time or another or someone lead them in the "sinner's prayer" and it certainly wasn't because they weren't doing for the Lord or the church.   It was because they didn't spend time with the Lord, they didn't get to know Him.  I know you have heard this a million times, but you can't have a best friend unless you get to know that person.  You can't have a good marriage until you spend time with your spouse.

I said all of that to say.  It's all about the relationship.  I told Kati that I saw fruit in her life.  It's not all about remembering when she said a prayer of forgiveness.  I see in her a follower of Christ.  When she puts down the computer, cell phone and TV for 40 days to spend time in the word, I see fruit and Proof of Kingdom Life.

I challenge you to show fruit in your life.  Remember its not about what you do at church, work, what T-shirt you where, or whats on your license plate.  DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Clothing Ourselves

Today I want to shift gears a little and not talk about me or my family. I want to talk to you about what God's Word says to you and to me. Recently I was reading in the book of Colossians and a couple of verses really stood out to me.

Colossians 3:12 & 13 says, Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

First off, we must realize that we are a chosen people, we are to be holy and we are dearly loved by the Creator of the universe. Next, we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. It says to clothe ourselves, not put on your socks of compassion, or your lapel pin of humility, but clothe ourselves. Cover up with all of these things.  I used the NIV here because I like the way it reads.  Just a few short weeks ago we were in the dead of winter.  When my children would go outside I would tell them you can go but you must put on a bunch of clothes to stay warm.  Put on long pants, thermal shirts, thick socks, and a heavy coat.  Wrap up!  They needed to wrap up to face the cold.  That's what the apostle Paul is saying here.  Put on these clothes that Jesus has given you.  Wrap yourself in these attributes so that people will know that you belong to Jesus. When we clothe ourselves in these attributes we will see people just as Jesus saw them and we will have compassion for them just as Jesus did for the multitudes.

Also, we are to bear with each other and forgive whatever we may have against another person. That is a hard one because we are in a sinful human body, but when you read the last sentence of verse 13, it should make it easier. Read it and think about what that means to you.....Forgive as the Lord forgave you. How much have you been forgiven? And in this sense of the word forgiven means removed as far as the east is from the west, never to be brought up again! Wow, never to be brought up again.  (now that's complete forgiveness)

Hope this gives you something to think about and ponder. Hope you remember to clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience....and don't forget to forgive as the Lord has forgiven you!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Challenging Times with Two Two-Year Olds!!!

We have always heard that the Lord will not give you more than you can handle; we claimed that as a promise when we found out that we were going to have twins. I can say that right now as we approach Peyton and Pierce's third birthday, we are begging God not to trust us so much because we think we are at the limit.

Keri and I both hate to label things, so we really don't like the term "terrible twos", but we are really wondering if that is what we are in the midst of. These two boys are testing every bit of patience that either of us have ever had and every bit that we have prayed for. We are at our wits end and feel that with two of them we are getting a double whammy. Every time we turn around, we are having to correct one and sometimes both. It just doesn't seem that we went through this with the other two, but maybe it is because we had one at a time. Either way, we would covet your prayers to help us make it through this season of life with these two little guys. Don't forget to pray for Kati and Preston also, they have to live within our organized chaos. Everyday is a new challenge with these 2.

Preston and Kati can bring in their share of frustrations also but at least it's not a daily battle. They are really good kids and we are very proud of them and their accomplishments and adjustments over the past 3 years.

In all things remember that children are a blessing from God.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finally Finishing

Along with a new business, I decided to finish my bachelor's degree. I started right out of high school at Mississippi State, but didn't finish and now the time seems right to finally finish. I started back in October at Union University in Germantown and will finish up in March 2011. Wow just 11 months away! Sounds like a long time but it is really not long at all.

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but I just didn't know how I would do it. When we returned from Brazil, Keri and I talked about it and felt like this was as good a time as any to finish and get my college diploma which is needed in today' economy. It has really been a blessing to go to Union. The classes have been relevant with a constant emphasis on the work place.

After Union I really don't know what God has in store next. We are open to what God has for
us. We are praying about several things and one of them is possibly getting my masters from Mid America. A lot will have to happen in order for that to take place but we are open and praying for God's guidance in our life.

Here are some things you can pray for:
  • Our finances
  • Our new business (Honey-Dew Lawn Care) We need yards to cut!!!
  • Our children
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6 & 7


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Work is Picking Up

When we returned to the US after our time in Brazil, we had no job, no home, nothing to come back to. We weren't sure what we would do or where we would end up. In looking for a job, we wanted to keep ourselves "liquid" in an effort to be ready to go wherever God wants us to go. So, as of October 1st, we bought a lawn care company. As you know the end of the year isn't the best time to think that you will have work to do when lawn care is your job, but springtime is and it is definitely picking up!

Right now my crew is mainly myself, and occasionally Keri, Kati, or Preston. I have a few others that I can call on, but haven't really had the freedom to hire anyone since we haven't had enough work, but things are looking up. My hope is that I can get busy enough to pick up a young college student or even high school student for the summer but I am not there yet.

This has so far been a real learning experience just as any new business venture. God is teaching me many things through all of this and the biggest thing is that He is in control of my life and this business. I have to tell myself this every night before I go to bed!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13


Friday, April 2, 2010

Memories with Preston

This is my favorite time of year.....SPRING! Life is all around us! God's creation is in full bloom! I love the colors, smells, and temperatures of spring. We have taken full advantage of being outdoors and enjoying this time of year. We have been on a small hike in the woods, we have been walking everyday it isn't raining, and as for me (Keri) I have starting running 3 days a week and am up to 3 miles. It has been a great time for all of us to be able to get outside and run and play, but for me, my time alone running or walking has been a time of quiet reflection. Some days, it is the only time that I have complete quiet and it has been nice. I have tried to fall in love with running before and it just never worked, but right now I need quiet more than ever and I think it is helping me really like running. I can't say love it because I don't love it...yet. Last night was a waking night and my sweet little Preston decided to join me. I didn't think he would make it very far before he was saying he was ready to go back, but surprisingly he made it a mile and a half. I was pleasantly surprised and did enjoy some one on one time with him. He didn't understand why I wouldn't put my arm around him though. He is so skinny that he just doesn't understand the concept of exercise or the need for it! Wish I had his problem! He pretended the entire time that we were cars in a race. I was a Corvette and he was a Lamborghini. He was also the commentator, so he kept me laughing with his constant reporting on how well the old Corvette was keeping up. He even mentioned that she might be able to pick up some speed if her trunk wasn't so weighted down! In the end though, the old Corvette won maybe she was allowed to win, but either way, she won!

Fun memories with one of my sweethearts!