Archive for February, 2009

Sum up YOUR life in Six Words

Several months ago I came across a fascinating blog post.  The author briefly discussed a trend (back-in-the-day) among writers/authors to sum up their lives, or in other words to succinctly write their memoir, using only six words.   

Here are a few examples he cited or I came across:

“For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”

            -Ernest Hemingway

 “Bumpy road, kissed toad, recovery mode!”

            -anonymous blogger comment

 “My flame flickers but never fails”

            -anonymous blogger comment

Now I didn’t come up with this idea, but I thought this would be so fun and insightful to do on our blog.  I love learning more about our community and seeing firsthand how much creativity and diversity we have in our group.

So here are a few of mine as of right this moment:

            “Loving this life –Longing for next”

           “Never forget–> the heart is resilient”

           “Big Heart. Bigger Dreams. Biggest Mouth”

So, if you had to sum up your life in six words and six words only, how would you do it?

A Postscript:  I will have you know that I could sit around reading these all day.  I have learned so much about so many of you through just six words.  For instance, we have among our blog community several two-time cancer survivors, a missionary to Thailand, and a 27 year old mother of one who is now expecting triplets (apparently the natural way)! How cool is that?!?  I loved all of your comments but I wanted to post a few that stuck out to me as a summary:

“Goodbye is sometimes the hardest word spoken”

“My Life- More than Six Words”

“Former Pharisee Striving to be Humble”

“Silly heart wants to dream again”

“Traumatized caterpillar peeking out of cocoon”

“He Loves Me…wish I could”

“Life is messy pass the mop”

“Tried to run, nowhere to hide”

“Brother’s May wedding: Need affordable Liposuction” (Hilarious!)

“All for Him and Him for all”

“I’m a big sinner Bigger Savior”

“Redeemed: From divorce court to pulpit”

“From trash to treasure through Christ” 

 ”Screwed up Life never the same”

 ”Seeing the Sacred in Ordinary Life”

Thank you to everyone who participated! I loved reading all of them- the hilarious ones, the sarcastic ones, and even the incredibly sobering ones!   

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The Siestas Have Spoken!

I’ve been getting emails and comments for the past couple of weeks saying one thing: you want to testify to what God is doing in your life through Scripture memory. By all means, ladies, we want to hear how the Word of God is changing your life, and even your day as Beth says! We want to dedicate this post to that end.

Don’t forget that February is a short month, so our next Scripture Memory post will come early. March 1st is this Sunday. Please expect that about 12 hours might pass before you see your comment, not only because of the volume of comments we receive, but also because it falls on a weekend. Thanks so much, ladies! We love serving you!

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What’s In a Name?

When I was expecting Jackson, Curtis and I had a long list of baby girl names and a very, very short list of baby boy names. So short, in fact, that there was only one name on it. “Jackson” was literally the only name we agreed on. The name game is hard when you’ve worked with students because you have associations with just about every name you can come up with. And with one of the most common last names in America, we seemed to already know of someone named “Every-single-name-we-liked Jones.”

I didn’t expect naming our son to be that hard. After all, ever since college I’d planned that if I had a son, he’d be named Levi. (One of my BFF’s in college babysat a little Levi and he was the cutest thing I’d ever seen.) This was my plan right up until we actually had the chance to name a little boy. That was when Curtis enlightened me that Levi Jones sounded a lot like Levi Jeans. Noooooooo! It had never once occurred to me! I should have thought twice before marrying a Jones! So Levi was out. Jackson, the one and only name we could agree on, was it. Knowing and loving Travis and Angela Cottrell’s son Jackson (he goes by Jack now) made me love the name.

Fast forward three years. To our great surprise, we now had a chance to bring out that long list of baby girl names. Somehow we eliminated every single one to the point that we needed a brand new list. It’s crazy how that happens.

I so wanted to honor my mother with our baby girl’s name. I’m sure I don’t even need to tell you why. Honestly, I cannot adequately convey in words what it means to me. My mom is an incredible wife, mother, confidante, encourager, prayer warrior, servant, teacher, writer, and lover of God. I would have been thrilled for our daughter to be connected to her grandmother in that way and for her to carry on the legacy of loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Naming her after my mom would not be hard, as “Elizabeth” sounds beautiful as a middle name with almost anything you can come up with. But I don’t think of my mom as Elizabeth. I think of her as “Beth.” So I started brainstorming names that incorporated Beth. Bethany…Beth Ann…Annabeth! We fell in love with that name. It was not a common name, but still sounded classic in a southern sort of way. We felt it was perfect for our little girl.

Annabeth’s middle name is “Ellen,” which is from Curt’s side of the family. His great-grandmother was the first Ellen. I never had the privilege of meeting her, but I do know and dearly love Curt’s sister, who is named Lindsay Ellen. He also has a precious college-age cousin named Erin Ellen. Both of these young women live lives of wholehearted devotion to Christ. I have been so moved by their purity and also their desire and willingness to serve others. I would be thrilled for my daughter to enjoy a close relationship with and emulate the godly traits of both of these delightful women.

It’s truly a gift that our children can draw from a godly heritage on both sides of our family. I’m very thankful for that. At the same time, I realize that there may be a Siesta reading this blog who is the only one in her family who follows Christ. Sister, if that is you, please be blessed in the knowledge that a godly legacy is beginning with you! I pray that one day you will get to see your physical and spiritual offspring worshipping before the Throne. What great joy! I love the verse in 1 Thessalonians that says, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

If anyone would like to share, I’d love to know the story behind your name!

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Melissa’s Un-authoritative Midrash on the Academy Awards

So, did you watch the Academy Awards 2009 last night?

I almost missed it myself but thanks to a true friend of popular culture who thought to remind me, I caught the last several hours. Most award shows can’t sustain my attention but last night I thought the presentation was stunning.

I had several favorite moments but since it is Monday and we all have way too much to do, I’ll just give you two:

1) The dance tribute to the Musical for once again gaining momentum. The stage was full of fun performers like Beyonce’, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Amanda Seyfried all celebrating the once much-loved genre making its way back into mainstream popularity. Oh and I feel like inserting here: I still don’t like Musicals. I’m just not sassy enough to appreciate Musicals but my personal deficiency at this point does not steal my joy for those who are.

2) The gathering of five female Hollywood hall of famers (Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Halle Berry) to recognize the five female nominees for best actress in a leading role (the nominees were: Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Melissa Leo, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet). Shirley MacLaine’s speech to Anne Hathaway was so kind and gracious that I could barely make out that hideously mean yet brilliant character Ouiser from Steel Magnolias. And then I remembered why she was on the stage in the first place.

For those of you who didn’t watch, Kate Winslet won the much-coveted award for best performance by an actress in a leading role. One of the delightful things about watching the Academy Awards is that actors/actresses who often play it cool and composed can’t help but get expressive. Even though they’re all dolled up, they appear surprisingly taken off guard and even corny. I found the moments of cheesiness to be a little bit refreshing. For instance, the exquisite Kate Winslet was no longer a calm and sophisticated socialite restrained in a tight corset like she once was in Titanic, for she resembled a giggly little girl whose bursts of excitement hindered her words from keeping up with her heart. She even waved to her Daddy out in the crowd. I loved when she said:

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t made a version of this speech before, I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror. And this (holding up her statuette) would’ve been a shampoo bottle. Well, it’s not a shampoo bottle now!”

Oh the glory of seeing the fruit of one’s hard work and determination actually realized. You can almost be emotionally moved by it.

I bash Hollywood quite a bit. I’m especially hard on the women. I wonder if it has anything to do with how beautiful they are…? But, I’ve gotta admit, those chics work hard! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that they are dang good at what they do, even if we personally wouldn’t morally approve of the movie they star in. Now, you’re thinking, “Do you have any idea how much they get paid, Melissa???” Point well taken. But still.

I’m taking their example of hard work and excellence as a challenge this week. Notice that I didn’t say I am taking their moral excellence as a challenge. Please don’t misunderstand me. But back to the point– Since I am paid to be a research assistant what this means for me is sitting down with my technical books, articles, and commentaries and reading them like Angelina Jolie would read her script. Now you might think that my job sounds fun and easy, but it isn’t all fun and games. There are days I read small print for eight hours straight. Did I mention I have bi-focals? That’s because I never wear them. Anyway, there are times during the day when I get bored and want to take a nap just like you probably do. I love my job and I find great satisfaction in it but it is still a job and sometimes it is very hard.

This week I don’t want to just do a good job; I want to do an excellent job. From the corporate woman, to the student, all the way to the stay-at-home Mom, we’ve all been given important and often daunting tasks. Let’s be excellent at what we do here on this earth. We may never single-handedly change the world and get to sport Oscar de la Renta evening wear all at the same time but we can be excellent in the various spheres of influence we’ve been given by the Lord.

And on a broad spiritual level, may we continue to persevere in our callings and prove ourselves to be good stewards of our time and resources so that one day we may taste sweet and ultimate victory. A life lived excellently as unto the Lord. No earthly acknowledgment, not even Shirley MacLaine’s toast to Anne Hathaway, could ever hold a candle to the Master’s words:

“Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master.”

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Focus on Marriage

Hi everyone! I wanted to let you all know about Focus on the Family’s “Focus on Marriage” simulcast coming up next Saturday, February 28. Beth will be speaking at the event along with Dr. Gary Smalley, Dr. John Trent, Gary Thomas, Dr. Del Tackett, and artist/worship leader Jeremy Camp. The event will be broadcast live from Colorado Springs, CO, to simulcast host sites all across the country. You can click here to find out more information and here to find a host site near you.

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Some Great News and a Few Random Catch-ups

Hey, You Darling Siestas!

I only have just a few minutes because…
a) I don’t have much battery left on my laptop
b) American Idol just came on. For all you American-Idol-haters, I’m not saying I’m watching it. I’m just saying it’s on. And it’s top 12 night.

BUT, I had to hop on the blog because I have the greatest news. You’re going to need to sit down for this. Last night we got a whopping $10,000 donation from a Siesta for the Siesta Scholarship Fund!!!! I first wrote “Fun” instead of “Fund.” GIRLFRIEND, LET SOME BIG GIVING BEGIN! THAT’S WHAT I CALL FUN! The way I see it, based on what we now have in our fund (roughly 13,000 after subtracting our giving for ministers’ wives’ event), even if we don’t get another dime, LPM can give away a thousand dollars of materials/tickets a month for the next year. I am so pumped I can hardly sit to type. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’m going to get to give away some tickets to our New Orleans LPL to some folks who have been financially devastated ever since Katrina. I am beside myself. I am humbled beyond expression to be part of this giving campaign with you. May God bring forth a 100-fold harvest in the life of each recipient and bless each of you beyond belief.

We also celebrated Mister Jackson Curtis Jones’s THIRD BIRTHDAY this week! His actual birthday was yesterday but we had a small family party with four generations of Moore blood Monday evening. We missed Curtis’s family so much. Keith and I love his parents. We’d be such good friends if we lived in the same city. Same weird sense of humor. For Jackson’s birthday dinner, AJ requested her daddy’s famous deep-fried fish, the best home-made tartar sauce in the Lone Star State, corn on the cob, steak fries and home-made macaroni and cheese. (It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SUPPER-MAN!) It was fantastic. We then put the boy out of his misery and let him open a den-floor full of presents. After we’d made big over his gifts, we pulled out the Thomas the Train ice-cream cake, put on our Thomas the Train birthday hats, lit the big-three candle, and sang like there was no tomorrow. Jackson loved being the center of attention. It was like he’d had some practice.

Honestly, Sisters, that child has been the biggest, most enthusiastic blast we’ve just about ever had grace this family. We are all hopelessly smitten with him. And as for his darling baby sister, she nearly slept through the whole thing – looking like the cutest pink doll you’ve ever seen – so she could keep her Daddy up till 3:00 AM. They do late nights together. But not usually that late. Annabeth is a really sweet baby. She doesn’t cry much when she’s awake. She just wants to keep some folks company. Bibby wishes it were her some nights.

And, shoot-fire before my laptop dies, I love my Tuesday night Bible study group so much! God has blown my mind with the breadth of this inheritance theme. Honestly, it could have been an eight-week study complete with homework. (Not gonna be for now but coulda been) I never would have guessed it in a million years but the subject just got bigger and bigger. God has taught me so much. Pray for me to have ears to hear and eyes to see and the anointing to teach comprehensively what God, in His great mercy, is showing to me. We only have three classes left this Spring. I hate for Bible study to be over!

Well, Keith and I decided to have our own random suppers tonight so he had 2 chicken pot pies and I’m having scallop potatoes and my timer’s about to go off. (Yes, that’s all I’m having for the whole meal. I am the weirdest eater on earth. I have this really simple recipe I’ve loved for years from a church cookbook . I can make the dish with skim milk and 2% cheddar cheese and it’s great comfort food. I add milk to it afterwards and make it into kind of a potato soup. And eat two big bowls.)

And now Star is dropping the tennis ball at my feet. Let me pitch it down the stairs long enough to finish this post.

Lord have mercy. Why do y’all put up with me? This is so random. Terrible writing. No time to edit. But I love you. And I just wanted to say hi. And that all of you are in my top 12.

I sacrificed my hair for the Thomas hat.

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Our DVD Giveaways and SSF Update!

Hey, Siestas! If you are on our Scripture memory team and haven’t signed in with your 4th verse, please see yesterday’s post and follow through! I don’t want to crowd that very important post but I also can’t wait any longer to tell you that AJ and I have done our random drawing for our 5 DVD leader kits from the churches and ministries you nominated and here are the winners:

Nominated by “Lisa” – Reach Out Christian Chapel in Eatonton, Georgia!

Nominated by “Laurie O’Connor” – Hopewell Baptist Church in Milton, Georgia!

Nominated by “Kat Murray” – Sligo Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland!

Nominated by another “Lisa” – Harmony Bible Church in South Thomaston, Maine!

Nominated by “Beth” (not me) – Pinnacle Church in Canton, North Carolina!

We are thrilled to send each of these churches a leader kit (all the DVD’s) of Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. We’ve chosen the most recent series in hopes that they don’t already have a set.

Several of you were so gracious to offer to send back DVD sets that your church has already completed to LPM so we can recycle them but rather than double the shipping, Linda, our accountant, suggests that if you have material to share, go back and look at all the nominated churches and ministries in the comment list to the “Siesta Scholarship Fund” post and find one in your area or State. Get in touch with them and see if they’d like to receive it and, if so, send it on its way with the joy and blessing of the Lord! We are beside ourselves to see your enthusiasm to share and to donate materials. May God invest back in your life and church 100-fold!

Now, for an update on our SIESTA SCHOLARSHIP FUND: Through on-line donations only (we haven’t had time to receive the ones through the mail yet), we already have a total of $4000.00 in our fund to launch our giveaways. We are ecstatic! After talking with my staff, we are going to begin our SSF donations by giving the following:

TEN SCHOLARSHIPS to the upcoming “Living Proof Live For Ministers’ Wives” in Nashville, Tennessee at Two Rivers Baptist Church on March 13-14, 2009.

We can’t think of a more important ministry that we get to take part in. Who on earth could use more encouragement, love and high esteem than our ministers’ wives? We learned from our LifeWay event team that the financial crisis in our nation has caused so many churches not to be able to pay their ministers’ wives way as they did several years ago when we had well over three thousand in attendance. (The event itself is $60 then there is the expense of going and staying. It’s simply too much for many – even most! – to afford.) Because of our brand new Siesta Scholarship Fund, at least ten will be able to attend that could not otherwise afford it.

If you wish you could further participate in some way, if you learn that your minister’s wife would like to attend but can’t afford it, your Bible study group might consider taking up an offering to help. This might be especially helpful for those that can drive to Nashville and save the expense of a flight.

You guys are the best. Incredibly thoughtful. I will keep you updated on our giving but will, again, not let it take over for fear you’d feel pressured. We’ll keep the thing the thing. I am so honored to serve Christ with you, my dear sisters. I am humbled by your servant-hearts and by your giving spirits. I pray that God is so pleased with what He finds in this community.

Onward in His great Name!

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 4!

ADDITIONAL WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT: I’m hopping back on to give a shout out to “Cindy” and all the Siestas in her same situation. She said (I’m paraphrasing) “Last time I was a slacker but I’m not going to let my perfectionist attitude keep me from getting back with it and turning in my verse this time.” WAY TO GO!! So you missed last time? Or you already feel behind? HOP BACK ON AND GET BACK TO IT! If you end up memorizing 20 verses instead of 24, that’s still a ton of verses! 18 out of 24? That’s 18 you might not have hidden in your darling little heart! Beats the heck out of 2 which is more likely what we’d do without a system and some healthy accountability. Stay with it, Girls! THAT SAID, I still want several THOUSAND of us to make it through December with 24 verses so don’t let this encouragement get twisted and cause you not to take it as seriously. Bring your best to the altar! I sure love and respect you guys.

Good Morning, Loved Ones! May this Sunday find us “in the Spirit” like the Apostle John in Revelation 1 when he was postured to encounter Christ Jesus in a way perhaps no man on earth had ever experienced Him “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me…His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One.” Exalt His Name with me this blessed morning. He is so worthy.

OK, you mighty band of Sword-wielding, Word-memorizing, God-glorifying, folk-edifying women, let’s give it up for Scripture #4! You have not slacked off in the least so far. I am so proud of you, I’d just get right on up and do a cheer if it wouldn’t get Star and Geli barking to high Heaven and waking up Spike. This is one of the most fantastic God-blessed experiences I’ve ever had with a large group of women and, young ladies, we will be the better for it. Don’t you think for a split second that this discipline is not having an impact on your life. Let’s keep it up till next December. NO DROP OUTS!

I am so jazzed over my Scripture. I’ve loved it for a really long time and now I want to commit it to memory. It’s Malachi 3:16 NIV. Oops. I’m still turned to Revelation. Give me a sec. OK, here it goes:

Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name. Malachi 3:16 NIV

Try to grasp what that Scripture suggests. Every time we boast in the Lord with each other – face-to-face, on the phone, picking the kids up at school, in the women’s restroom at church, over email, on the blog – He stops to “listen and hear.” Two different words are described for the attentiveness of His response. God listens. God HEARS. Scripture doesn’t waste words. (John 21:25) If it uses several different descriptions to say the same general thing, we need to take notice because that intensity is meant to turn up the volume.

The next sentence indicates that a secretary in the Kingdom of Heaven literally records either the occasion or perhaps the conversation itself on something called “a scroll of remembrance.” I don’t know about you but over the course of my life time, I want to keep that secretary writing as fast as his hand can fly across that scroll. Even this moment, an historical record is being kept of our communication in His Name. That’s too much, isn’t it? GIVE HIM PLENTY OF STUFF TO WRITE ABOUT, GIRLFRIEND.

Now for your Scriptures! Hit it, Siestas! Remember, only your name, city, verse, and abbreviation of translation so we can look at several thousand Scriptures on this comment list. Don’t waste any time getting it recorded in your spiral. I’ve found that any little oversight in the discipline can get me off course in my memory work. Our human minds tend to be lazy and on the look out for an invitation to shrug our shoulders and slack. It’s important to stay right with our program so we can keep up that momentum.

I am honored to take this journey with you. You are so loved and esteemed here. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Oh, That Bewitching Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Things!

My Valentine of 30 years is in the next room sawing logs. He’ll hear the dogs barking pretty soon and come stumbling out of the room with his hair looking a little Mohawkish from sleeping hard on both sides. Mine, on the other hand, has that Tina Turner look this morning. He’ll then holler something out the back door at Star and Geli that I’ll wish the neighbors hadn’t heard, especially when he sees that they’ve dug a flower bed to China. I do dearly love that man. He keeps me honest.

Our first Valentine’s Day together had us dating about four months. I was completely smitten by how gorgeous he was and by how much money he’d spend on a date. Daddy’s money. I didn’t care. I didn’t even have to pay my own way to the movie. He was one of those rare people in a State college that actually had some cash in his pocket. But here’s where he got me. On our first real date, he took me to dinner then afterward said, “Why don’t we go have a cup of coffee?” We went to an all-night diner and drank weak coffee (all I could handle at the time; I wasn’t the pro I am now) out of heavy off-white cups sitting in heavy off-white saucers that clunked when you set the cup down. Every time the waitress poured a refill, it sloshed over the edge and pooled into the saucer and I thought how my Pappaw used to finish his off by tipping it and slurping loudly out of it. The young man that sat before me was a conversationalist. A beautiful one at that. And I was in love. Turned out, he was the only person I’d ever met that was as messed up as me. Order the tux. Rent the dress. It’s a match made in…Heaven.

My first Valentine’s present from Keith was a fishing pole. I was taken aback. You should have seen what the man got me for Christmas two months earlier. Where had the romance gone? A fishing pole. A green and black one. Not even my colors. He was also the only one at the PKA house with a bass boat I might add. He loaded me, that ugly flat boat and a pair of fishing poles up with all the promise of Abraham and headed us to Canyon Lake, not too far from our university. I hated what I had on. After a short set of lessons in keeping with his short fuse, he said, “OK, now give it a shot. You’re wide open. Just don’t hit that limb right over there.” And suddenly that limb was all on earth I could focus on. I kept looking at it and mumbling, “Don’t hit that limb right over there, don’t hit that limb right over there, don’t hit that limb right over there,” then I performed my very first…and last…fishing cast and hit that limb square on as if I’d spent my life training for it. That hideous lure spun around that branch for ten solid minutes while Keith said a string of somethings that I should have broken up with him for.

He never did get that outdoors woman he wanted. I never did get that church boy.

But here we are. Every day’s a new day. Some days I’m not sure we’ll make it. Other days eternity doesn’t sound long enough to know him. We’re both such messed up people that we’ve each been married to half a dozen spouses that all somehow looked alike. Today we’re Mohawk Man (you might say “Spike”) and Tina Turner.

So, what’s love got to do with it? Got to do with it?

A ton. You keep praying for it every single day of your marriage and you will it again till you feel it again. And one February night, like our last night, you just might be sitting on the floor with your three-year-old grandson playing cars while your man’s sitting in his easy chair with your nine-day-old granddaughter in his enormous hands and you’ll see tears streaming down his cheeks as he looks at her. And so many hard times will fade away like the morning mist. They’ll probably be back tomorrow and you might wonder how you’re going to make it, but you just decide to keep on. You just keep making the choice and hope he will, too. Because, make no mistake, it takes two.

I’ve never done anything harder than marriage. Nor anything that forced more change in my badly-needed-change life.

I love Keith Moore. Again today. He is my life-long Valentine. He’s who I long to hear say those words of Mr. Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennett, “You have bewitched me.” That’s so much better than, “You’ve been such a witch to me.” No, he’s never said that. But, Lord, don’t let me be the kind of woman that makes him think it.

I also have an eternity-long Valentine who reigns in the Heavens. He is breathtakingly handsome and will spend more on a date than any man alive. Daddy’s riches. I pray this day that you will thoroughly savor your Valentine, whether he is flesh and blood in all his wonderful imperfections in front of your eyes, or veiled from sight in such gleaming perfections that you couldn’t live through a glance of Him if He showed up at your table. You are your Beloved’s and His desire is toward you. Song of Songs 7:10. If you don’t have a romantic interest in your life this year, let Jesus woo you today. Read what He’s like in Psalm 45. Take a long walk with him. Or go get yourself some flowers from Him. I dare you to. That’s His money in your pocket. Journal a long time to Him and tell Him your hopes and dreams. He’s more vividly real than anything you can touch with your fingertips or see with your eyes, Beloved One.

Jesus, woo her this day. Make her feel so tended to that she wonders how anyone else on earth could sense you today.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear sisters.

Here’s what I thought would be fun today. As your comment, tell a brief account of your most memorable Valentine whether it was something sweet, hilarious, or infuriating. I can’t wait to read them. I love you and think you are such a blast.

PS – This is Amanda. I just showed my mom this picture and she demanded that I post it here immediately. Here are my two February Valentines.

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Siesta Scholarship Fund

Hey, Siestas! I have something very exciting to share with you! Let me give you a little background so you’ll get the full picture. Like most of you, I was deeply burdened by the financial needs our sisters shared on the blog several weeks ago. My LPM staff of mighty prayer warriors and I divided up every one of those needs and prayed for them specifically. I also deliberated over and over before God about what else I could do. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to just start writing checks. Living Proof Ministries does not have the kind of non-profit that can give cash to individuals, so my frustration mounted. That’s when the Lord spoke such a clear word to me in my heart. It went something like this:

“Stick with what I’ve called you to do at the ministry. You can’t give away money but you can give away many other material things to people and churches that could really use them.” God then began to lay out a strategic plan to set up a scholarship fund through our blog community to donate materials (books, CD’s, DVD’s, and event tickets) to those whom God directs. LPM has always actively donated, but setting up a fund like this would greatly enhance what we’re able to give and also add a fabulous dimension to our community.

I immediately went to Linda, our LPM accountant, told her the vision as I understood it from God and asked her if it would work. She gave it a thumbs-up and began setting up the system and, as of right now, it is up and running. Here’s how it will work: We will now have a way for any of you Siestas who are not as financially strapped to give any amount of money the Lord directs to what will now be called “The Siesta Scholarship Fund.” Girlfriend, it can be $5 and we’d be thrilled! Your Siesta Mama is going to put up or shut up, so I want you to know that I brought my checkbook from home and, with great joy, am making the very first ever donation, $1,000, to our new scholarship fund. In fact, let me stop right now and write the check.

OK, it’s written. If you also want to write a check (for any amount, of course), you’ll make it out to Living Proof Ministries just like I did, but you absolutely must designate “Siesta Scholarship Fund” in the memo so they’ll know where to put it.

Mail it to:
Living Proof Ministries
12131 Malcomson Road
Houston, Texas 77070

You can also make a donation to the fund online by using this link below. When given the option in the online form, please designate it “In honor of The Siesta Scholarship Fund.”

Click here to donate online

I give you my word that these donations (whether by check or online by charge) will only be used for the expressed purpose of giving away materials. I also want you to know that we will always tell the recipients that they have received them as a gift from the LPM Siesta Blog Community.

With these donations, Living Proof will then begin appropriating materials for priority needs that hit the ministry. This is where I really need your understanding. This scholarship fund would not just be by Siestas for Siestas. It would be by Siestas for anyone at the discretion of our ministry based on the needs that we encounter. I fear that if we limited our donations only to Siestas, it could open the door to all manner of challenges (like how we’d choose between one and another) and, worse yet, it could skew our pure-hearted motives and purposes here on the blog. The purpose of our fellowship here needs to remain what it has been from the start: encouragement to walk faithfully and authentically with our Lord Jesus Christ. We have requests for materials and tickets constantly from people in need and, if you’d be willing to trust our discretion, I promise you we will seek the Lord’s direction. We will also make available a report of our ingoing and outgoing donations periodically so you can see for yourself how the money is being handled.

This is a great time for me to tell you that we work very hard at Living Proof Ministries to maintain the utmost financial accountability and, it you glance at our home page, you’ll see our “ECFA Member” seal (Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability). If you give that website a glance, you’ll know that we have to maintain the utmost standards (including an annual audit) to keep that coveted seal.

OK, here’s what I want to do today as a way to launch a spirit of giving in our blog community. In lieu of comments, if you know of a mission church or a small or struggling church that could really use a set of Bible study DVD’s, please post their name and mailing address as your response to this post. (Continental USA addresses please to keep shipping costs from becoming astronomical.) 48 hours after I run this post, we will do a drawing to give away 5 full DVD sets. These will be gifts from LPM and the cost will not be subtracted from our Siesta Scholarship Fund. We’ll then post the 5 winners and send the sets on their way in your honor. I will have a cute card prepared for all materials that go out in your honor and from the scholarships you make possible. I am so excited about this!

Now, listen here. We expect to have this blog and this scholarship fund for years to come SO if you can’t give a single dollar toward it right now, don’t you feel the least bit guilty. I don’t want a single person feeling under compulsion. God wants us to give cheerfully. Even with outright hilarity! So do not give a dime you are not free and thrilled to give. This is the time for those of us not suffering financially to take up the slack for those of us who are. We love all of you so much. Never feel condemned or pressured here.

I can’t wait to share an update with you! I’ll give it about a week and let you know what’s been given so far.

Lord, do Your thing! Edify Your Church and glorify Your great Name!

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