>Dedicated to the One I Hate

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I hate the cliche, “green with envy,” because envy is hardly green. God said, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Rots my bones? Envy is black, man! Because anything that rots turns black. UGH!
Now, j
ealousy is an attitude toward another person; envy is an attitude toward another person’s success. Double UGH!
Here’s the dealio – envy started in Genesis 1 and we’re still writing its history. It’s a dark part of our human nature & virtually untreatable without God.
Envy is always just around my corner: as I constantly strive to do my best, there’ssomeone else doing better.
I am deathly afraid of envy because I’ve seen its demise in my past. So this post is dedicated to the one I hate: the little-envy Heather, dormant but not dead, inside big-girl Heather. So what am I gonna do? Pray hard! And keep my ruthless resolve to not let little-envy Heather make a comeback.
Look, we’re gonna suck and fail at things, but do we want envy to be one of them? Envy is such an embarrassing, senseless, futile thing to fail at. Anybody with me?

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>Ferris Wheels

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Raul has always been afraid of thrill rides. It’s something he doesn’t prefer & it’s something he does fear. In spite (& for the first time in decades), he hopped on a Ferris wheel so that our little Andy-man could experience it for the first time.

And boy did he! Raul said Andy could barely catch his breath due to his exhilaration.
Don’t you just know that Jesus did the same for us? Don’t you just know that He put ALL of Himself aside, so that we’d almost be catching our breath from the exhilaration of a life with Him in it? What do I want for 2008? I want to see my life thru the spokes of a Ferris wheel.
I want to be exhilarated by the views of each day; more so at the fact that God is like Andy’s daddy in this picture below….seated next to us, enjoying our life withus.

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>2008

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>Random Starbux Stuff

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OK, so I’m at Starbux. I can’t help but hear the convo that’s going on at the table in front of me. I almost feel like I should move. It seems this woman is managerially over this guy. It also seems she is evaluating him (based on her papers, posture, and very frank feedback). So this leads to one question and one principal:
1. Where is the line between eavesdropping and overhearing? What one would you say I did? You can see the proximity of me to them in the photo…you decide.
2. If you and me have to evaluate or reprimand each other, let’s not do it at one of the most HIGHLY visible, HIGHLY busiest places of business, k? This poor guy! Just how comfortable can an employee be having a private evaluation in a public place?
OK, well, packing up my things. I’ve heard enough….literally!

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>After-I-Die Resolutions

>I feel like talking about what happens after I die. Death is something I’ve never felt scared to discuss. Here are some things that matter after I die and why:
1. I don’t want a funeral service; I want an 
FRC service. Look, my funeral is where I’ll have the best chance of getting those I’ve tried to reach all my life to finally come to church. So IAM gonna leverage that. And 
RickyFullerAllen, and Heredes….you better include “Came to My Rescue.”

2. If the service would include some kind of video-montage, I hope the video shows the good, the bad, AND the ugly. Again, considering the lost ones I love in the audience, I don’t want them to remember me as a girl who had it all together. ‘Cause, you see…though I accepted Jesus when I was 4, I’ve needed His reacceptance everyday thereafter. The video should reflect that reality.
3. I’ve gone back and forth on whether to be buried or cremated and concluded that I want to be buried. Perhaps this will sound quite imprudent, but you can’t write anything on your ashes. Writing has been God’s main vehicle thru me & you can write on a tombstone. Maybe something like: “Man, just one dumb lamb following one awesome Shepherd!” And then Matthew 18:11-13. Just the address, not the verse, so that folk can go to the bible & look it up.
4. Let’s not have Raul speak at the service. He’ll need to be all-Dad that day. Besides, public speaking messes up his insides.
5. The invitation at the end? If Troy & Steph are up to it, it needs to be them. I’ll leave the creative part of it to the creative planning team, and spend as much money as you want, right Raul? : )
6. Just not feelin’ it to have this event divided into 3 parts (viewing, service, burial), just want a service. Again, highly considering my lost loved ones, I want the service to be their lasting impression….not me being lowered into the ground.
Well, that’s all I have for now. Not quite sure how to end this other than I hope you know where you stand with God…if not, your butt better be at my funeral!

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>I’m Baaaaaack

>Hey Everybody! I’m on vacation at the tippy-top of a Smoky Mountain–where the view is breathtaking and the reception stinks! Anywho, finally got a connection!

Yesterday, on Fox News, there was a segment on the scandals of 2007. You could text in your vote. Some of the nominees: Anna Nicole Smith, Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, Marion Jones,Scooter Libby, Dennis Nfong, Don Imus, Michael Vick, Larry Craig.
All LEADERS in their own right.
Now I’ve never been nominated for anything good (homecoming queen, class president) nor elected for anything bad. So I can’t say I’m blogging about this from personal experience. But I feel bad for these people (some more than others). And I’ve wondered what they, as leaders, are thinking; and what their followers are thinking too?
You know the best Leader of all was perceived to be scandalous; however, simulataneously known to be without sin.
Are we, as leaders, ever above the perception of scandal? Nope!
But I hope we never have the nation determining it by a text.

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>Something ’bout Mary

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Today, something ’bout Mary dawned on me.The angel delivered the mission to Mary, but the angel did not help Mary deliver the message.
I wonder if Mary had a thought like this:
“Angel, I was hoping you could accompany me as I return to my world–to help me explain the supernatural inside of me?” 
But the angel didn’t. And Mary continued her mission, alone.
And as history is writing our story, we often experience the same thing. God gives us a supernatural, almost outlandish mission.
Yet we find ourselves returning to our worlds to explain it, to obey it…alone.
The world might laugh. Our peers might jeer. And we might think:
“But God, I can’t…” “God, how will I….?” “God, they’ll never believe me….”What was it about Mary? It was her F-A-I-T-H 
God gives us supernatural missions because He is the great Supernatural-Provider in each of us.

AND THERE IS NOTHING HE WON’T DO,
THRU YOU,
THAT HE DOESN’T THINK
YOU CAN’T DO.
Just ask Mary.

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>Christmas Miscellaneous

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1. Hum…my kids in the front row, singing as loud as they can….but where, oh, where do they get such instincts?   

2. Christmas Nativities, Lights & Trains, oh my!                                                                                                             
 
3. At DJs Christmas service, there was an invitation to go forward and put your sticker on the present to symbolize the gift of Jesus coming into your heart….this emotionally and spiritually blessed me…

   
 







4. This is my family. I am breathlessly grateful that God would not only let me have HIS Son in my heart…but these guys in my life.

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>Chasing Buses

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Today, there was this chic….she was hurrying to finish her Christmas shopping. At a red light, she noticed a homeless man waiting by a bus stop.

As she kept driving, her noticing turned into a nudge. And then, almost supernaturally, she illegally u-turned and drove back toward the bus stop.
The homeless man was there, with a lawn chair, a stuffed garbage bag and a duffel bag.
She drove past into a nearby car dealership and parked.
“OK, God” she thought, “if you want me to reach out, now what?” She searched her car. She had no money, no bible. All she had was 2 gift-bags of cookies, chocolates and candy canes from her kid’s Christmas parties. “God?”
The nudges became words in her heart that weren’t her voice.
“Collect all the cookies, candy and chocolate and combine them into one gift bag, and put one of those Christmas, church business cards in there too.”
“But, God,” she thought, “that’s so lame, like he needs a business card and sugar?”
She acted anyway and drove back to the bus stop.
“Oh, crap,” she thought “the bus is leaving with the homeless man in it!”
The nudge: “Follow the bus.”
So she followed the bus, not knowing how long this could go on for; not wanting to give up either.
A few miles later, the bus stopped…in the middle of the road! “God?”
She stopped her car, and alllllll the cars behind her had to stop too.
“God, it’s Friday, these cars are gonna get so ticked.”
“Go to the bus and ask the bus driver if you can get on.”
So this chic, with all these cars waiting behind hers, did just that.
And the bus driver opened the door and let her.
As she ran to the back of the bus, something inside of her welled up in her mouth, when she reached the man, it came out: “Sir, this is for you. Merry Christmas.”
And the homeless man said, “God bless you.”
As she got back in her car, she noticed an eerie silence…none of the cars she was holding up were honking or yelling at her.
And that’s all I know about this story.

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>Tribute to You

>God, This year, there were many people you put into our lives, to which we are so honored.
There were many blessings you gave us, to which we are speechless.
There are many prayers you answered, to which we are so grateful.
There are things you did that we didn’t even notice, to which we are relieved.
There are things you didn’t do that we thought you would, to which we are still faithful.
God, we’re just sheep–moving in one direction, but at different paces.
But this year, you kept pace with all of us, making sure we made it back.
This year, we may have fallen behind or fallen down, but you never let us give up.
We may have caused another lamb to fall, or followed one down the wrong path, 
but you always put both lambs back in the right direction.
We desired to honor you in 2007; 
as it’s our hope to honor you in 2008.
God, we aren’t bad sheep, we’re just dependent. And we need you.
This tribute’s for you.Beyond words,one of the flock

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