Monday, November 26, 2012

50 years

Friday night we celebrated the day, 50 years ago, when my parents walked down the aisle into a new life together. That life saw a lot of happiness and ended just shy of 30 years together before my father passed away. But their legacy lives on. We gathered to remember, to celebrate, to laugh and catch up with old friends. It was a wonderful evening! Thank you to all those who were able to make it!

Dave and Ann Jones, Ronnie and Darla Lorenz (Nanny and Abbaba) 

Mom with Jim and Jeannene Nichols

The Thomas clan

Sam and Andrew Boone

Joe and Kaye Hawkins

Dave and Ann Jones

Pat and Morgan Phillips

Looking at pics from their 25th wedding celebration

Ronnie and Darla Lorenz (Nanny and Abbaba)

Dave Jones and my dad circa 1968

Mom on their honeymoon--you're welcome, Mom!


Mom and Dad with Morgan and Pat Phillips and Maureen Dunaway

Thursday, November 22, 2012

50 Years Ago....

50 years ago was also Thanksgiving Day. Mt father and his sister and other family members began cooking early that morning a Thanksgiving feast for my mom and dad's wedding party. They shared lunch with their friends and then my parents were married later that day. I am very grateful that my parents married 50 years ago today. Although we miss my father very much, we celebrate the wonderful life-filled years of love and laughter than they leave us as a legacy. Happy 50th, Mom!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Big thanks to Gary Musick Productions for this awesome photo...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Restoration Vision

Yesterday was Celebration Sunday at Highland where we found out how much we raised in our campaign to fund the vision. It was an INCREDIBLE day! This is the video Matt made which revealed the total amount at the end. Applause and cheers broke out. I love Highland!

Prayers for Sue Farr

As a follow up to the picture I posted last week of my 6th birthday party, I am asking for prayers for a very dear family friend. Sue Farr is, at this moment, in surgery to remove a tumor from her colon. She helped raise me and the kids on the left in the picture above were like my siblings growing up. Kirk Lomax, Leigh-Anne Lomax Campbell, and Kim Lomax Rhooms have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Kim (in the pink) is the lone female in the birthday picture below. :) Also pictured here is Paula Agnew D'Spain...another non-blood sibling.

Today in the waiting room at Hendrick's Hospital we had a holy moment of reunion. Not the kind of circumstance you want, but holy nonetheless. Please pray for Sue and Larry and their whole family.

**UPDATE from Leigh Anne at 6pm...
Mom is out of surgery and did well. The surgeon took, biopsied, and removed all he could see and anticipate! Apparently the tumor was adhered to an ovary so that's gone as well as a chunk from her liver! Path reports won't be in for about 5 days but doc is hopefully optimistic! We are ever thankful for an almighty God....and many prayers! Thank you all!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Never Once

Today is my 43rd birthday. This picture was taken at my birthday party when I turned 6 years old. Life was so simple. I had all my best friends there around that table. Kyle and Carl Dickson, Paul Phillips, Scott Rogers, Bo Sanford and Kim Lomax...who should get friend points for being the only girl at a boy's birthday party! My father made the he would do for several more birthdays. I literally remember the moment this picture was it was yesterday.

Those years were simple...full of love, full of mischief, full of laughter. I am an only child who always wanted siblings. The kids sitting at this table were like siblings to me...most still are. Kyle Dickson (in the ball cap) and I went through ACU together--pledging, Homecoming musicals, Sing Song, homemade movies, trips to Nashville and the Reynolds's house in Fort Worth. He was by my side as my dad laid dying from cancer. He was in my wedding and has been a brother to me for a long time. There are similar stories with other kids around this table.

I loved my childhood. I was blessed with great parents and great friends. But, I don't want to go back. How we all survive life is sometimes a mystery to me. The simple days fade. The laughter is sometimes exchanged for heart-wrenching tears. But, the older I get the more I see how God was with me every step of the way.

In the Old Testament, Joseph had it pretty deception, kidnapping, jealousy, slavery, prison...then things got better. But it is written through all of it that God was with him. Often, in our Americanized version of Christianity we think that God With Us means all is happy and well. It's the health-wealth gospel that wears me out. We don't often think about how "God With Us" could mean that we actually face trials and things DON'T work out. Cancer isn't healed...that relationship isn't runs out...a child dies...a job is lost...etc. Sometimes it can feel as if we judge God's presence based on how well things are working out for US.

It's a powerful thought to know that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. No height, depth, struggle, failure, angel, demon....nothing. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

I praise Him for 43 amazing years full of laughter, tears, victories, defeats, struggles, freedom, my wife Sheryl, friends, loss, hope, arguments, music, Sheryl's singing, the sound of my children's voices, the squeals of joy at Christmas, the tears of my son as he said goodbye to his Paw-Paw (Sheryl's dad), ZOE, Nashville, Abilene, Cruise ships, much more.

This has become one of my anthems...Matt Redman's "Never Once"

Standing on this mountain top
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say...

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Friday, November 09, 2012

The World Is NOT Flat!

Over the course of the last few months...specifically this month...I have experienced my usual (every 4 years) cynicism over the ability of the church to engage the world in ways that are actually helpful. All it takes is an election and the claws come out. Seemingly intelligent people begin to spew unintelligent thoughts, stereotypes and slander...all in the name of politics.

What irks me to no end is that many people who claim Jesus as Lord so align themselves with either party that the lines between the upside down kingdom of Christ and the kingdoms of this world blur beyond recognition. Forgetting ourselves, we enter discussions as if we don't bear the name of Christ FIRST over the candidate of your choosing.

Don't believe me? Check out Facebook. Facebook has been filled with venomous spewing from Christians. Upon reading it I have the feeling I have had in History class when we've studied witch hunts, Nazi Germany, American slavery, women's rights and civil rights. When you read some of our past it is almost shocking to imagine how any intelligent person could allow themselves the choice of looking the other way. Some of the stereotypes I have read on Facebook this week from my Christian brothers and sisters make me so sad. I know we get caught up in emotion. Emotion does weird things to us. I, of all people, am guilty of this. But when we're putting out messages like--all those on welfare are lazy and worthless, Obama is the anti-Christ, northerners are just minions of Satan, etc...something is very wrong.

These are but a few of the remarks I've seen just in the last two days. Multiple others suggesting Obama IS Satan, he will bring about the end of the world, our nation has now collapsed, etc. And I want to just say, SERIOUSLY??? It is in times like this that a big, huge roll of duct tape would come in handy.

First of all, regarding some of those remarks above, I know several people who are surviving on welfare. They are neither lazy nor are they worthless. How can any child of God call another human being worthless? And...I'm pretty sure my northern born and raised wife would take exception to the comment about northerners.

All the while, people who might be interested in a different way of life...a Jesus us as we spout off and make broad, sweeping generalizations about each other. Even worse, we call our President "Satan". Tell me...would you want any part of that? People make a big deal about the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps (for good reason!). But, my fear is, we're a lot closer to that than we'd like to believe.

My prayer is that we can unify for the betterment of our country and our world. Let's be agents of peace...showing with our lives that we truly DO trust God. Proving our trust in Him, let us set aside fear and the negativity that's being spewed out everywhere. Turn your swords into plowshares and put your Christianity where your mouth is.

I pray that Barak Obama would lead us well. I pray that God will bless his family. I pray that everyday he would trust Christ more and more. I pray for wisdom and discernment for him and our leaders. And I pray that God would heal our land. Move in us, Lord Jesus and forgive us for being so blind to your ways!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012

It's Coming!!

Here are some scenes from last year's "Here With Us" at the Paramount. This year's celebration is only ONE month from today!!! I'm getting excited! I hope these will be a nice teaser for what is coming this year... (photo cred to Debbie Riggs at Pure Photography)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Here With Us 2012

Hey everyone--make plans now to be at the Paramount Theater on December 2nd at 6:30! Be sure to bring your friends and arrive early for seats! This will be an incredible evening of worship with the worship choir, band, Jonathan Storment and guest artists "The Light Parade". Don't miss it!