Monday, July 30, 2007

Where do you stand?

Last Thursday afternoon I was invited to attend a press conference. It wasn't held in your usual setting... it was in a grassy area underneath a billboard off of Exit 5 in Clarksville.

Bryan Wickens, the president of Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana, invited me to attend the unveiling of a new billboard that calls on residents of Southern Indiana to stand up for decency. (For info visit ) I became acquainted with Bryan two years ago when I interviewed him for The Good News. He is a great guy who gave up his law practice to head up R.O.C.K. in Louisville, feeling that God has placed this calling on his heart. (To learn more about R.O.C.K. visit ) Bryan, along with a wonderful group of individual feel that by standing firm against pornography and decency issues, we can make the world a better place for our children. I happen to agree.

The group from ROCK has set a challenge for pastors and church leaders in Southern Indiana... pray for 40 days asking God to forgive our communities, our leaders, and ourselves for falling short. To ask God to forgive our nation for failing to follow His word. Then pastors and leaders are asked to take the next 40 days and ask God to stand firm behind ROCK's campaign to end the sale of pornographic and indecent materials in Southern Indiana. "If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, and seek my face, and pray ...then will I heal their land...."

What has God called you to stand up for? What call has he placed on your life that you feel you just aren't suited for? I bet there is something, and I bet that God knows what is best. It might be hard to bite on to, and really hard to swallow, but God knows exactly what his plans are where you are concerned. So, if you feel that he is taking you out of your comfort zone to stand up for what you believe, then it is probably meant for you to take a stand... God doesn't always want to use you where you are, but where he needs you! I am thankful for individuals like Bryan who are willing to take that step forward...the world will be a better place for it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The things kids say....

My favorite VBS story involved the story of crossing the Jordan River. My job at Chaddar Theater was to build on the lesson given by the teachers. So each night I quizzed the kids about what they had learned.

With the arrival of the 1st graders, I circled them up after the video and asked what they had learned...

What did they do...

"The people crossed the river..."

Did they use a boat....

"They walked across on dry land..."

What were they carrying?

"They had the arc...."

Who can tell me what an arc is?

Pointing to a Noah's Ark picture on the wall one child said.... "That's was it right there!"

I couldn't help but laugh... my imagination took off and I had a mental picture of loads of people trying to carry Noah's Ark across the Jordan River's dry bed...animal heads sticking out the windows and Noah shouting encouragement!!! No... I know that the teachers explained that the arc carried across was the Arc of the Covenant.... I asked them. Yet, as soon as the 1st graders heard the word 'arc' they saw Noah's ark in their mind's eye. They didn't really listen to the full story, they thought they already knew the answer....

Kind of like we adults isn't it? As we sit through a sermon we don't always listen to what is being said. We hear the topic, we check out the scripture, and we feel that we already know what is ahead. And like these children, we often miss out on what the true story is... we miss out on the message that God has in store for us.

So the next time you think you have a sermon or lesson summed up in a nutshell, think about the Ark and try and stay focused. You might just learn more than your bargained for!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Windows

Had to go to the eye doctor today for a repeat exam. Ah... the joys of growing older!! But we won't go there today.....

After my eyes were dilated I was taken back to have the doctor take an upclose and personal look at my eyes. It is really very amazing... a light, a mirror, and a magnifier can tell the doctor so much about the health of our eyes. And eyes, it seems, can tell you about health issues realted to other parts of your body.

I couldn't help but wonder about the eyes being called the mirror to our souls...and if you think about it, it is true. Have you ever been in coversation with someone and just watched their eyes. Emotions are played out in our eyes that are very visible to those around us.

I think that my favorite is the "twinkle"... you know... the Santa Claus kind! I just love it when I notice that twinkle ...and it doesn't always involve gift giving... I have seen it when my kids are playing a trick on one another... with the birth of a new child... or the news that someone is expecting. I have seen it when one realizes that they are truly in love.... and when that special someone walks into a room. The "twinkle" is abolutely the greatest!

Sadness is the worst... as words cut... or a loved one is lost... when a stray thought crosses your mind that brings you to a place you just can't seem to hide from. That lost look is a hard one to watch... and the best to see get replaced by the twinkle.

Eyes are just so important...and God created them so that we would have the ability to look someone in the eye and feel what they feel. So the next time you are in conversation be sure and take a good long look at the eyes that are facing you... you might see more than you bargained for...but you might be the one who can bring back a twinkle to eyes that have long grown dim.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Yesterday was a big "family day" for us. Our granddaughter, Emma Rose, was dedicated at Pekin UMC. It was a nice service and Emma looked very pretty in the dress that "Nanny" made just for her. She didn't cry... she just kind of stared up at the minister the whole time with this very serious look on her face. Then, she took of his lapel mic and held it in her hand!! It was just cute!

Later in the afternoon we met all the kids and grandkids at the John Hay Center in Salem where we had family portraits taken. This is a really cool area to do that. There are several old log homes and stone archways and paths. I think that the pictures will turn out great. We tried to get one of all the "littles" as Chandra calls them. The ones of Kailyn, Camden and Emma might turn out okay. Once we threw Michael into the mix it just wasn't going to happen. Then we had Leah, our photographer, take a couple of Michael and Kailyn... Kailyn really had a choke hold on Michael. I am so glad we can buy the proofs of all of the pictures... I think that those will be worth having some day!!!

As I watched my kids and their families get their pictures taken, I couldn't help but think about the future. I won't always be around to "take care" of my kids...and as I looked at Chandra and Rachel and their families I realized that it will be all right. They are good girls and their families are doing just fine. Carly is turning into such a wonderful young lady, and I just know that she will do great in life. Michael... well at four years old, who knows... but I do know that no matter what...his sisters will always be there for him. There is a love between them all that is a joy to see.

I thank God daily for loaning me such great kids...and I hope that I have lived up to his call in my life to be their Mom. I am still excited to see where He takes each of them in their lives, and I know that His plan is perfect... and these pictures??? What an awesome reminder of all that God has given me!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Chadder's Theater

During VBS this week I have been the host of Chadder's Theater for the Elementary age kids. Now... you might think that showing the same video over and over all night could be pretty boring...and I must admit after the second time I could practically say the lines myself. I tried hard to come up with object lessons so the kids could get a handle on the nights theme with. It isn't always the easiest thing to do when you are teaching kids from 1st through 5th grade!

Yesterday's lesson was about Christ's resurrection. I knew that they kids would be getting a lesson at "Wild Bible Adventure" that would make an impression on them. I wanted to be able to carry that forward. After an internet search I found the comparison of a tea bag to Christ's life and what his resurrection means to our lifes.

Yes... you read right... a tea bag. This was really cool... The tag on the bag is a label, and Christ had many labels in his life... King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah and friend to name a few. His cross also bore a label... King of the Jews... and it was used to mock him during his final hours.

The string of the bag is what ties us to our earthly possessions... games, money, TV, video games etc.. the things that tempt us away from time with God... Christ was tempted to... after 40 days in the desert, he was tempted by Satan... and Christ can we!!

The staple used to hold the bag together reminds us that Christ's body was pierced for our sins...

The tea leaves are our sins... they look dirty and when placed in hot water they soon drift to the bottom... kind of like sin that isn't repented of soon drifts into the bottom of our hearts. There it stays and continues to discolor our lives much the same way the tea discolors the water it is placed in.

The empty bag is our lives after the sins has been removed... clean and pure... ready to be filled with God's love.

Once we have repented of our sins and have given our lives to Christ we need to bring this new light in our lives to the world. At that point in the lesson I set the small bag on fire and it immediately became a pile of ashes... just like our sins do when we give them to Christ... they are destroyed and no longer exist in our lives.

Then I sent the kids to smaller groups with their leaders and had each leader place an X in the palm of each child's hand. Calling each child by name they were told that Jesus Christ died for their sins. After reflecting on the x's I then told them that Christ died for each one of them...not because he had to...but because he WANTED to. That he took nails in is palms where their x's were so that they didn't have to... and that all he wanted in return was their love...

Now I have to tell you...this was really lost on most of the classes...but the fifth graders???? They got it. And before I knew it two of the boys were opening up about family members that didn't believe... and one told of a relative who was in jail... we took a few more requests and then we went to prayer asking God for a light to shine through these two young men so that they could be an example to their families of all that God has to offer.

It doesn't get any better than that at VBS... knowing that these two young boys felt comfortable enough to share their worries... and that over the course of the week they had seen enough Jesus in the workers at VBS to know that their worries would be welcomed and that we would gladly help them share the burden.

Thanks to Rick and Chad...their leaders for the week... for being a true light to your group... great job!!!!! And a pat on the back to all involved... VBS was great and I am sure that the closing program tonight will be tremendous!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


During my recent trip to Scenic Hills Christian Camp I had a question for a group of 3rd graders..."Can anyone be your friend?" That question has stayed with me over the past week or so, and I have continued to mull it over. The answer... no...not everyone can be your friend, and here is why I say that....

Christ tells us to love our stands to reason that not everyone can be your friend if an enemy can exist in your life. But I think that this goes much deeper than that. As I have continued to ponder that question I have had to ask another question..."Who is your enemy?"

When I originally thought of the word enemy I thought of being in a battle, you in movies about war. The good guy vs. the bad guy kind of thing. But I'm not sure that is the only type of enemy that is being referred to in this scripture. I have come to believe that the enemy can also be someone that you actually like! There are a lot of people in the world who appear to have it all together...they are happy, they are friendly and they have a way about them that draws you to them... but their viewpoints just aren't quite biblical in nature. And if you aren't careful...if you aren't grounded in scripture... if you aren't looking at your bible to see if their viewpoints match up with those spelled out by God... you can find yourself sucked into a belief system that isn't what God had in mind.

So this 'nice' person, who you are called to love, can actually be an enemy if they begin to suck you into believing anything that veers away from what God's word spells out...

So friendships can be difficult to define.... that is why it is so important to gather with the body of Christ for fellowship. It is important to be with like-minded people, yet it is good to be aware that 'The Enemy' can invade there as well....

Bottom line.... if what you are hearing from a 'friend' doesn't add up to what you read in God's word... it's not all right...and the person doing the talking???? Well... you gotta love them... but like I told the 3rd graders... you don't have to like them! The people you hang with are important...they influence you in small suttle ways at all times. Sometimes you just have to walk away in love...and just maybe you will be leading them or others by example.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

VBS Countdown

Well, it is finally here...Vacation Bible School. Last night was the first night... and it is funny. We count down the days until it arrives and then we all walk around going, "Only 4 more night!" As I finally got to bed last night I realized that it isn't that we want it to be over is just that it is very demanding! It takes a lot of volunteers to make a VBS program work, and at GCC we have some really awesome people willing to make this event a success.

This year our two volunteer directors, Angie and Michelle, have done a fantastic job... I managed to make it from my classroom in time to see Kim, Bobby and Jeremy do their thing, and all of the kids said that the lesson with Denise, Stephanie and Sha was awesome. Games???? Well let's just say that there weren't many dry kids around!!! And our craft crew...they have cooked up some projects that will serve as a reminder to the children of the lessons they learned. Our snack crew took care of not only the kids but the volunteers as well. And our preschool - K staff did an awesome job... they had so many children it was unreal!!!! We also have a tech crew, and floaters, and a registration team.... and there are more that I am sure that I have forgotten... without everyone this just couldn't run as smoothly as it did last night!!!

All in all I would say that we have one of the best VBS programs around, and I am thrilled to be a part of such a caring group of adults and teens. Their desire to teach these children about God and his love is so evident in all that they do... heaven is surely rejoiceing this week!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yesterday's Sermon

Yesterday's sermon was great... if you like sermons that step on your toes! Chad's sermon was on the tongue. Although he gave us many great facts about the tongue (the number of taste buds, muscles, etc) he also gave us a very disturbing fact about our tongues... they can be deadly!

I have to agree... and I know that I have fallen into that category on both ends in my lifetime! While friends were at the house on Saturday the comment was made that the pen was mightier than the sword, but it was stated very quickly that the tongue was, without a doubt, more deadly than the sword. When Chad started his sermon, I had to sit up and take notice...I felt that since God had brought that phrase into my presence two days in a row...I had better sit up straight and take notes!!!

I especially enjoyed the video at the asked "How many words does it take to destroy someone?" The answer.... one. With one small word we can change the attitude, mar the confidence, or destroy the self-worth of a person...and we can do it in a matter of seconds. And we can NEVER take that word back.

I am going to have to chew on this one for awhile...and repent of a few words spoken in haste. While I chew, I will look for ways to bridle my tongue...

Thanks for a thought provoking sermon Chad... I look forward to more toe stomping... I think that we can all use more of that!!!!! Conviction brings about repentance and repentance brings about a closer relationship with God...and that is what it's all about!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jesus weeps with you

I generally read my devotional at night before I go to bed...last night as I read, today's heading caught my eye. I didn't read it then (that would be like cheating!) but I did pick it up this morning. Written by Anne Graham Lotz, it read in part like this:
When was the last time you wept into your pillow at night, thinking no one cared? Is the pain so deep and your hurt so great that you cry night after night? In your misery and loneliness, do you think Jesus is emotionally detached? That he just doesn't care? That he is simply too busy to notice? Or that he he somewhat callous since He sees a lot of pain that's worse than yours? Or that He couldn't possibly understand how you fee? Or that He's not concerned enough to meet your needs?

Wow... how many of the those thoughts have crossed your mind during a time of struggle. Especially when you feel that you are alone... Yet Lotz contends that Jesus does care...and not only does he care, but he weeps WITH us. She referenced Psalm 56:8, and I think the version in The Message is great..... You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

Speaks volumes doesn't it... my every toss and turn... and sometimes they are many. He knows my fears, he feels my lonliness, he keeps track of my tears. I find great comfort in knowing that I go through nothing alone, Jesus is always right by my side, sharing in not only my joys, but my pain and sorrow as well. All because he loves me......

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Joy Stealers

I recently had a conversation with a friend from "up north". She was diagnoised several years ago with RA, and on top of that has other health issues that seem to follow RA around like a well trained dog. We don't talk often, once a month or so. And occasionally we find time to write...yes, the old fashioned way... snail mail!

A week ago I woke up with Carol on my heart... I just couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to call. So I waited until 9:00 and dialed her number. No answer... so I assumed she had already left for the day. Wrong... it was only 8:00 AM there (who knew!!!) she was still in bed. She immediately called me back and said, "You won't believe this... I was just laying here thinking through all of my problems and wishing I had someone I could confide in. You called and I thought... Oh God...of course... I can talk to Lynn!" Our conversation lasted for nearly two hours.

What has stuck with me since our conversation is a comment that Carol made... "I just feel like someone has stolen my joy." Wow... I can imagine no emptier feeling than that. As I have pondered this comment I have made several notes... and I am sure that one day it will all become an article... but for now nothing seems to flow in that direction.

I think that there are many things that can steal our joy.... circumstances, people, not knowing our future... memories of our past... One of the things that I read recently was that in order to keep our joy we needed to Abide in Jesus.... so I looked up abide and it means to remain in... we need to remain in Christ. There we will find rest. And since Jesus is the source of our joy... resting in him can make all the difference.

I received a note for Carol a few days ago. Things seem better, but I will continue to pray for her, asking that God just hold her close and help her renew her strength. Having problems with joy stealers???? Joy involves a choice....choose to rest in Christ!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

No Place Like Home

Well... I am finally home. I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at church camp. My good friend Sha, who was our previous Children's Minister at GCC asked if I could help out again this year with 3rd Grade camp at Scenic Hills in Mitchell. I wasn't sure at the beginning if I would be able to attend, but Mickey encouraged me to go ahead. He knows how much I love to work with the kids!!

This year held a couple of new challenges for me...first of all I had to leave Michael for the first time, and he was not quite a week out from his surgery. I knew that Daddy was capable of taking care of him...but hey... I AM the mom!!! The cell reception at camp is pretty well non-existent so I was worried about not being able to get through to check on him. God took care of that! As I walked to to the top of the hill, cell phone in hand, I was showing absolutely NO bars... I finally managed to get one small one and I hit send. I could hear Mickey great, he couldn't hear me at all. I decided that it was no use. Heading back down the hill my phone burst into song and I couldn't believe it... Mickey had gotten through. He was able to tell me that all was well and Michael was fine before our signal was lost. What a great and awesome God... I needed to hear that badly!!!

Challenge number two... having been diagnoised with Osteoarthritis I was going to need to be mindful of my activity and try my best to do all I could with the kids at the same time! Not an easy task, but I managed it just the same. After I learned that OA was the cause for the pain I had been going through I did a great deal of research and I have become very deligent when it comes to my medication (with a few helpful reminders from my friend Marilyn!!!!) I did my best to remember all that I had read... it worked out fine.

I found out a few things this weekend... I don't have to 'do it all'. There are many wonderful people who are willing to pitch in and help out...sometimes all they need is direction. I found out that kids are willing to help you...all you need to do is ask, they love having some responsibility. I learned that it is okay to sit down and take a break...even in the middle of singing praise songs with 54 3rd graders. They are too busy to care!

There were several of us from GCC who attended camp. Aside from Jeremy and Chris, none of us were spring chickens. Yet... even though we were wiped out by the end of the day Saturday, I think that we were all walking a little lighter...we were all glad that we had came...and we were all beginning to plan our schedules for next year.

What did I really come away with from camp this year? I came away knowing that kids need to have adults in their lives who are willing to teach them about Christ...even if they only see those adults for three days. They need to know that when they wake up at 2:00 AM in a strange place there is someone they can go to who will help them feel secure. I learned that kids need to know that they can have boundaries and follow the rules and they will STILL have fun. Kids need to be loved for who they are...and they are ALL wonderfully made.

If you've ever considered going to camp to help out just give me a shout. I can hook you up with Sha and get you plugged in. It is well worth it...even as I sit here with aching feet, bleary eyes and a sluggish mind. I would go again in a heartbeat!!!!!

But... there really is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Before and After

The doctors took Michael's stitches out today and with the tape gone from his nose, the change in his appearance is more evident. He is doing great and we are just thrilled with his progress.

The trips up and back have been uneventful. Poor Mickey... he had to endure Michael and I sleeping, but I am sure that it might have been an improvement over us talking his ear off for 2 hours straight each way!

As I put together these pictures of Micheal I couldn't help but think about God's plan for our little guy.... "I know the plans I have for you!" declares the Lord. God knew even before Michael was born that he would be our son... he knew that we would do all that we could to help Michael achieve his full potential. And he knows what lies ahead for this little life placed in our care. Awesome to think about isn't it?

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." What a promise... one that you can literally see in Michael's life... and in ours....

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Difference

Today Chandra saw Michael for the first time after his surgery. She commented that she would have to really look him over... the changes have made a difference in his appearance.

Now, I will tell you that there is a difference, but it isn't that drastic. His lip is fuller, but that will change some as the swelling subsides. His nose is definitely the biggest change. It is no longer totally flat. It is kind of strange to look at him and actually see nostrils on both sides! But it is a relief as it has been hard to keep his little nose clean!

He is definitely still a little on the grumpy side. It isn't that he really feels bad...he just doesn't really feel good! But that will improve with time, and each day that has actually improved.

Now, back to looks... as Chandra talked this morning I couldn't help but think about our spiritual lives. There have been times in my life when I have ran across someone that I used to know pretty well, and I could tell there was just someting different about them. You know what I'm talking about? The kind of change that you can't really put your finger on, but it is just enough to make you take notice. That is the way we should be when we have put on Christ in our lives...

We don't have to stand out in the crowd as much as we have to 'fit in with a difference'. I am not saying that we should conform to the world to be accepted, but we have to make our relationship with Christ such a priority in our lives that people will just somehow notice the change. I think that this actually speaks louder to those who are searching than shouting our "Christianity" from the roof tops!

When we accept Christ into our lives we are a "new creation"... we have cast off the old. Just like Michael, we need to continue to look at each day as another day of healing....from our problems, our diappointments, our sinful nature....and then we need to take a look in the mirror and remember that while change can often be painful... the results can lead us to a much better outlook on life in the future.