Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving week? This year has flown by. Thank you to all who were able to bring your children to practice yesterday and a huge thank you to the parents who stayed with Ashley. I enjoyed my time with my family & didn’t have to worry about anything at church. I am thankful God brought Ashley to us and that she knows about music. Hark, The Herald Angel would be a mess without her! Yall have heard me complain about how Jack is a much different child that the twins & how I have struggled with him just to get a car ride prayer in, but yesterday I felt like after all these weeks of constant correcting & pushing the way we act when we pray, we finally reached success. Bruce Carr was praying before we ate yesterday at my parents & Jack was silent the entire time!! Not a peep was made! YEAH!
Hark is coming together & I am getting very excited. The kids just need to keep on working on the songs & those with lines & solos need to memorize them. They are doing a great job. Costumes were passed out yesterday morning. See me Wednesday if you did not get your child’s. Remember we have practice Wed. from 10-12. I know everyone cannot make it but please try. We have very few practices left. Next Sunday we will practice during the full preaching hour again & I had said we would practice that Sunday afternoon 3-5, but we have many kids who have a football/cheerleading banquet that day so I am going to push practice up until 4-6. After this upcoming Sunday’s practice all we have left is Wed. Dec 4 (we will practice in the sanctuary) preaching will be in the fellowship hall & then Friday Dec. 6 is the dress rehearsal, 6-8.  Props & decorations are coming together. The manger arrived & I have to figure out the instructions to assemble it (CRAZY WEIRD EXTREMELY DETAILED instruction s for a CARDBOARD MANGER!!!!), he halos are here & we will pass them out before the show. Catherine sent me the scroll picture last night & materials for sashes have been purchased. Thank you Catherine! Tom Coley built our street sign. It is perfect! Thank you Tom! I am delivering it today to Wendy & she will paint it. Thank you Wendy! I need a music director’s stand, one of those black ones that can be painted gold. Anyone got one of those? Snacks are going well for practices. Thank you Ackers for providing those yesterday.  I can’t think of anything else. If yall do post it on FB so people can see it. Remember Dec. 14 is Santa breakfast. Tickets will be ready Dec. 1.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week with your families, enjoy the kids being home for a few days, maybe some shopping & of course IRON BOWL SATURDAY!! I know everyone really focuses on the rushing to get this and that done, making sure the house is perfect, the decorations are perfect & that we buy the perfect gifts but try to take time this Thanksgiving & Christmas and remember that we are just so blessed just to have Jesus. Take some time and focus on him. Take some time to make sure your children know about him. Take the time to enjoy your families. I look forward to seeing yall Wednesday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Woke Up Feeling Blessed

Good morning! In my opinion it just makes the week start better when Sunday is great! The youth did a great job yesterday, my Sunday school class was packed, and a relative rededicated her life to Christ, tons of children in choir practice and a great message and food last night. When you have an awesome Sunday you can’t help but get up with a great feeling on Monday morning. God really blesses us! I hope you all are feeling great today! I am super excited that some of the youth are going to ATL to help with the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. This is such an awesome opportunity for them to participate in missions. I am so proud of those who said they would give up watching the Iron Bowl to go be God’s hands & feet! THANK YOU Arlo & Jennie for giving up your time to make this possible! It looks like we have tons of shoeboxes turned in & I plan on packing those up today & delivering tomorrow. I think it will be great next yr. that we can have some youth come talk to us about what they experienced helping with the boxes & give us some insight as to what goes on. Thank you to all who participated in Operation Christmas Child.
I wanted encourage all who can to come out to church this Friday night, 6 pm and shop with Rooted In Love. This ministry partners with gospel centered fair trade organizations to bring you items such as jewelry, purses and scarves. Come Christmas shop at church. You will take your items home that night, which is great for those who want to get gifts wrapped up and under the tree.  Courtney Jones is hosting this event & any earned hostess benefits are going to be turned around and used for the Disney Mission trip.  If you are unable to attend check out www.rooted then click on store. Make sure you use Courtney at checkout & the shipping cost will be removed.
Now to the kids’ stuff. I have ordered the angel costumes. There were only 2 sizes so I didn’t text anyone to get size info. I ordered some extra of each size. The children will need to wear a white long t-shirt under these robes because they are see thru.  PLEASE, PLEASE get your children listening to the music CD.  If you child has a speaking part please get it memorized. We practice Wed. night 6-7, Sunday during the full hour of preaching (or possibly 1 ½ hours depending on how long winded Joey is that day)lol. I know some of yall think … is he ever going to get finished. We take jabs at each other so ok for me to just come right out and say it. Lol. Anyway, I said we would practice this Sunday but completely forgot that we are having Thanksgiving at moms Sunday so I can’t make it. Ashley Fortenberry graciously said she would lead the music. Please send me a text and let me know whose children plan on being there, 3-5. I would like for a few moms or dads to stay with Ashley because just not safe for 1 woman and a lot of kids to be in an empty church alone. If you can help out please let me know. Then Wed. November 27, the kids will practice that morning from 10-12. Time is dwindling! I have one parent doing snacks on the Wed. 10-12 practice.  Would anyone like to volunteer to do a small snack & water or juice boxes for this Sunday afternoon practice? I also want us to have desserts and drinks available after the Christmas Musical. Would someone volunteer to organize that & make sure all set up. I can’t think of anything else at the moment. You’ll all probably get a text reminding everyone to read these because I need everyone aware of the extra practices.  If someone realizes I am missing something let me know. If I forgot Thanksgiving with my family it is entirely possible I am forgetting lots of other stuff. Have a great week, focus on Jesus & show up for Wednesday night practice. I’ll be looking for you there!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Thank you to all came to church early to meet with me yesterday about the musical & Santa breakfast. I am excited. I came home last night with the songs in my head & caught myself singing them this morning, so I think Ashley is right & that it just sounded bad to me because of the way the choir on the cd sounds. The more I hear our kid’s voices the better it gets. Thank you also for coming out in such cold weather last night. I know how easy it would have been to have stayed home, ate a bowl of soup & snuggled up on the couch. I appreciate your dedication & faithfulness.
Well, I lied last night. I said I would come home gather my thoughts during the night (when I have something going on, it turns over and over in my mind & I don’t sleep until I know what I want done) but when my head hit the pillow, I was gone. God just gives us what we need. I came home with my mind running in circles about what needs to be done & when & how on earth would it all get done and I actually slept hard all night (Jack didn’t wake me, nor did my bladder…YEAH!!) and I woke up feeling upbeat & more clear on what needs to be done.
So let’s run thru this. All kids are angels. I am ordering white robes for all kids Saturday. Catherine & Candace are going to make sashes for the angel choir. Ashley Davis brought the white lights in last night & the wings for Gabriel.  I am going to get with Randy & see if we can hang the background, which is white sheets with the white lights before that Sunday as long as we leave the choir chairs in place for that Sunday morning. I don’t think he will mind. It would be a huge help not to have to decorate after church that Sunday. Catherine is going to check & see if she has a bunch of white sheets if not we will need those. I have nativity costumes in my SS class so this Sunday I need to make sure I have enough for that. Mary, Joseph & the 3 Wise men need to try them on. Most kids have their CD so we need to really push learning that music. If the music is learned quickly then we can focus on details like the solos & script.  I sent out a text last night that Wednesday night before Thanksgiving there will be no church, but we can’t lose that practice time so I am going to call a special practice that morning from 10-12. I know everyone cannot make that, but I am trying to get a majority. As of right now I am going to call 2 extra Sunday practices at night November 24 & December 1. I am hoping 3:00-5:00 works for everyone. Again going for a majority because I know we all have all kinds of stuff going on right now. We really need to practice the whole hour on Sundays during preaching but this Sunday is “Youth Sunday” and I hate not to be in the service to support the youth so we will leave to go practice after they finish the music portion. The remaining Sundays we will into the choir room as soon as the adult choir heads into the sanctuary. No preaching for us until after musical is over.  Also, on the days were we having 2 hour practices which is a Wednesday & several Sunday nights would anyone be willing to donate some juice boxes and a snack so we can give the children a little break? We have about 30 children.
Santa breakfast is Dec 14, 9am.  I’ll have tickets ready Dec. 1 The breakfast is free but you must have a ticket to enter. Jeremy & Ashley Davis are going to man the ticket table & we will also have people sign in there because we want to gather info on those visiting.  I would love to have a door prize to encourage folks to register so if anyone can help out there that would be great! Todd Clough is going to be Santa again but he will not be coming on the fire truck because his hair was CRAZY last year.  It was like Sammy Hagar meets Santa! Lol Of course, the kids loved him. He has such a sweet spirit! Catherine is going to handle decorating the tree and the background. Catherine is also going to be our picture taker. I had mentioned a printer to print pics out immediately but I think the simplest thing to do would be just to offer if someone doesn’t have a camera to mail them the pic. If they take their own pictures them we will not have to worry about getting one printed out & mailed. Courtney said she would handle printing & mailing.  Wayne Patterson said he would help me cook breakfast & I bet I can talk Bruce Free & Arlo…. I know you are reading this right now, Arlo, into helping too.  Oh if anyone has connections to a reindeer or a horse & buggy that we can get free..that would be awesome too! Clydesdales, a white carriage, cold morning & a stroll through the Bend. Somebody remind me of that next year!!
Last thing! The night of the musical, December 8, I would love to have hot cocoa, coffee, drinks & desserts set up for the children, families & visitors. Would anyone volunteer to handle that? We could get church folks to make desserts.  ANYONE??? COME ON!! I think one of those kids’ songs says I want to be a VOLUNTEER!!! Lol
If anyone has a comment, better way of doing something, something I forgot post a comment on Facebook so we all can see it.  Thank you to the parents for making our children’s dept. possible. Without you bringing your kids to church there would not be a need for any of this. I pray as you go thru the busiest time of the year that you and your family are able to spend some time growing closer to God and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas, JESUS!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whew... I am tired!

I have a lot to say tonight and a lot of time to do it since Jack is laid out sick & Jami is at work.(THANK YOU LORD for overtime) Let me first tell you how I decided on Hark the Herald Angel for the children’s Christmas musical. I browsed Christmas musicals over and over & kept coming back to hark. I envisioned the children as angels in a choir.  This musical was kind of old so it wasn’t set up for me to listen to any sample songs on line. Not wanting to order without listening I kept searching & kept being pulled back to hark. Then at church several Sundays ago, Ashley asked me what I was going to do. She said, without me mentioning my thoughts, that she thought about the kids being in an angel choir. BAM… there it was, what I thought was a sign from God. 2 people thinking of angels & I kept going back to the angel musical. So without hesitation I ordered the music even though I had never heard a song. I anxiously waited for the music. We should have begun practice last week. No music. I waited every day this past week. Finally, it came Friday. I ripped open the package, put that baby in the CD player & about threw up! Soooo not what I had envisioned. I sent Ashley a text & told her it was horrible. Yesterday I was telling Jami about how bad it was & I was going to have to take the story and use it but put other music with it & he asked to hear it. He had the same response. He laughed and wanted to know what possessed me to order a musical without hearing the music first. I blamed it on Ashley’s vision! Haha Today I get to children’s church prepared to let Ashley hear it, let her gag, and then us try to figure something out. After hearing those children sings the 1st 2 songs I think we are going with it. It sounded much better with our kids verses the high pitched singers on the cd. Ashley had a different perspective than me so I am going with my original feeling that Hark was meant for us. If they musical is really bad I’ll blame it on Ashley!!! Lol Just Kidding! I know it will be good!
So you parents know what to expect, everybody’s child is an angel. Some of the kids are nativity people also. (Requires costume change) Some have lines, some do not. I try to use the oldest kids first because they have less time left in the children’s dept.  and work my way down by grades. I will be ordering costumes by Friday. You will probably get a text from me this week with me asking if this size is correct.  Again, I need to stress practices. We are getting late start & the musical is 1 month from today. As this gets closer I will need some volunteers for different things and items. I know I’ll need help decorating because it will have to be done the day of the musical after church. I am in need of white sheets, white lights & tall columns. If you think you would like to help with the decorating part please let me know & we can get a group together to brain storm ideas. I’ll need some moms to help with quick costume changes too. After the musical I would like to have desserts & drinks for the children, families & visitors. Just a quick time to socialize. I’ need a volunteer to organize that.  More will come on the musical so I’ll get to the other kids stuff.
Saturday, December 14, 9 am will be the Breakfast with Santa. This is completely free but this year you will need a ticket to attend because we are growing so that I need away to know how many people to cook for. Trying to get pictures with Santa was chaotic last yr. due to so many people in the gym. This year you’ll be called to go up by the number on your ticket. If somebody can think of a better solution please let me know. You might have attended one at another church that handled that problem better. I am always up to hearing ways to improve an outreach. I could use some cooks to come in very early in the morning & help me cook pancakes, bacon & sausage.
We will also have a children’s Christmas party but I don’t have date yet for that. I know all your schedules are filling up like mine so as soon as I figure that out I will let you know; might be easier to just do it on a Wednesday night.
Every year I schedule the children’s dept.  to ring the Salvation Army bell at the mall. This has grown from just children to anyone who would like to participate. This year we are set to do that Monday December 23. The hours will be 10-8. Let me know if your family would like to work an hour shift.  I also like to go caroling to our church elders but let’s get thru November & then I’ll try to figure out a date on that! Whew!! Are yall already tired? I am! I know we are all swamped this time of the year but I just try to focus on every event, every outreach our church does as an opportunity to reach someone who might not know Jesus. I told my children this morning that I know practicing for the musical is not that much fun but them being in a musical draws family & friends in to see them & that just might be the way the seed gets planted.  Something as simple & worldly as a Santa breakfast might bring someone in with their child because it is free & they want their kid to see Santa. Along with Santa they will find a church full of welcoming, friendly faces, hospitality that nobody can beat, full tummies and hopefully they will feel comfortable enough to come visit us on a regular Sunday. Christmas carolers might be what a lonely elder needs to bring them a moment of happiness. So as you are tired, as you are saying can Kristi really schedule one more event, think of it as an opportunity to bring happiness to others, to invite someone to church, to help plant the seed of Jesus & to share the miraculous birth story! I know our world wants us to focus on gifts, the decorating & the feel like I got to buy it all for my kids but take time to reflect and remember who this holiday is all about. Make sure your children know who it is all about. Presents are great, believe me I love presents, but there is nothing more important that knowing Jesus. I know I said this was long & yes I probably left something out. Be in prayer for all our events. We want to reach others! For those of you who have served this great country, THANK YOU and enjoy your day tomorrow!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sharing Some Thoughts

I had to post early & share these thoughts with you. As a parent trying to raise Christian sons, sometimes things can be difficult or trying.  The twins have grown up in church. They have always gone to Sunday school & Wednesday nights. As toddlers they sat in preaching without making a sound. Church has never been an issue. They knew they were expected to go and that was it. They prayed from an early age and even wanted to ask God into their hearts at an early age. They did ask Jesus into their hearts when they were both 9. They twins pray all the time. They pray before they have a snack, before a meal & in the car going to school. So this morning the prayer seemed a little rushed & not so heart felt. I asked then both do you mean your pray or is it just a formality now. I really thought the answer was going to be well you have always made us do it.. So we just do it. With a little prodding I started asking prayer questions. Do you pray other times during the day? What do you pray about? I have this fear that I have made them be “religious” and what I want is for them to have their own personal relationship with God. Thankful, so far my fear was wrong. They each started to explain to me that yes they do pray a lot of regular prayers over their food or our morning ride to school but that they also pray in silent at school, say a blessing at lunch without me, pray when they go to bed. Each one said they pray to God when they feel a need or trouble. Sounds like a personal relationship to me. Now on to Jack. He only wants to go to church to play basketball! Prayer with him has been much more difficult as well as sitting in church. I know some of you have noticed that! Lol He half says his prayer at night & I have to make him resay it every night.  Our prayer in the car with him on the way to school is nothing like the calmness I want it to be. I am repeatedly telling him to bow his head, praying is serious. He refuses to say amen some mornings. This morning was another one of that morning. He said nothing when I said amen. I prompted him, “Jack say Amen”. NO! In my “mother is telling you to do it now” voice I told him he better say it.  Finally, I got a soft amen, He asked about Santa the other day & I thought this is a great time to try to explain that yes presents are great but the real reason for Christmas is the birth of Baby Jesus.  He looked to the sky and I said God is up there, & he said nope Santa is! Anyway, times can be trying when we parents are trying to explain this stuff to little ones, sometimes even older ones but I know that I am doing the right thing. One day it will all click for him & he’ll ask Jesus into his heart…. Until then I am relying on my favorite verse for parenting; Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6. I hope yall have a blessed Thursday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Operation Christmas Child & Christmas Musical Info

Good morning! I am going to try and be super quick today. Yesterday, I sent a letter home with some of the children who were at church. Today I am going to cover that letter again because it seemed like we had a lot of children out. This Wednesday night the children will be packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to show God’s love in a tangible way to needy children in 130 countries & together with the local church to share the good news of Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful mission project for our children and I thank you for allowing your child to be involved! We already have the premade shoeboxes so you do not need to scramble for a box. If your child would like to participate you need to decide on a boy or girl & purchase items for that child. Suggested items are a toothbrush & paste, soap & a washcloth, small toys like a ball, cars, truck, doll, musical instrument, jump rope or stuffed animal, flashlight w/ batteries, school & coloring supplies, hair accessories such as a brush, comb, and pony tail holders, t-shirt, flip flops & hard candy. You can check out Samaritan’s purse for more suggestions. Please do not purchase any military items, guns or aerosol sprays.  Bring those items to church Wednesday night W/ 7.00 check or cash to cover the shipping.  I am very aware that times are tough for some right now so if you can’t afford the $7.00 don’t worry about it the church will cover it. Also, if you can’t purchase items, don’t worry; send your child on to church. We always have parents who bring in extra & I have a box of toys too that can be used. As of right now, I will not be at church Wednesday night, but I have some supper moms ready & willing to help the children pack their shoeboxes. They are experienced shoebox packers so they know exactly what to do! Lol If for some reason your child cannot make it to church Wed. but still wants to do a shoebox, let me know & I’ll save you a box. You would still have time to turn one in the following Wednesday.
Now on to the Christmas musical! I was reading this morning from Matthew about the magi visiting baby Jesus & King Herrod wanting to kill him and the angel coming to Joseph in his dream & telling him to flee with Mary & Jesus to Egypt. That had to be a scary time for them. Thankfully, Christmas is a wonderful time for us. I love watching the children perform & I always love to see the children portray the nativity scene.  I am still waiting on our music to arrive & plan on calling Lifeway today to check on it. We will begin practice Sunday whether the music arrives or not. I have the director’s guide & all the speaking parts so if our CD doesn’t come I will find other music. This year the musical is called “Hark, The Herald Angel” and your sweet babies will all be dressed in white and will be part of the angel choir. I have to either order angel robes or have them made so I need to know for sure if your child will be participating. Children will start being measured Sunday & the following Wednesday night.  We will practice every Sunday during children’s church & Wed. nights from now until December.  Friday night, December 6 will be the dress rehearsal & I need everyone to write that date down & make sure your child is available. The musical will be Sunday night, December 8. I hope you will encourage your child to be involved in this!!
I just have to comment on Jenny Clough’s singing yesterday. Didn’’t she just blow the room up??? I have never heard her sound better & you could feel God’s sweet spirit moving throughout the church! Then to hear Ming Yu accepted Jesus into her heart! WOW, what a Sunday at WBBC! I am so thankful for our church family! WBBC is truly a blessed place and as long as we keep Jesus as our focus and center of the church then I know we have many more great Sundays coming!
I have a few prayer requests. Pray for Tina Patterson’s mother. She is in the hospital.  Please remember baby Jayce. He is a 1 yr. old on the verge of passing. His family is from Southside and this baby has gone thru numerous surgeries, a liver transplant & things just aren’t getting any better for him.  Please pray for the 51 people who signed up for door prizes at trunk or treat who stated that they do not have a church home. I personally called all the women in the stack & sent letters to every one of those people.  I ask that you pray that my calls & letters left a yearning for them to feel the need to visit a church so they can get to know Jesus or either gets back involved with a local church. Thank you to those who prayed for me as I called people last week. I told you I am shy but with each call, God supplied my words. Everyone I spoke with was so kind and thankful to our church for the trunk or treat! I hope you all have a fabulous fall week! Happy November!