Archive for September, 2009

A Petition for Prayer

Siestas, I’m coming to you today to ask you for prayer. Your sisters at LPM and our families, as well as our dear friends the Cottrells, are feeling the heat of the spiritual battle being waged around us. We are going through a time of spiritual warfare and could really use your prayers.

The enemy has largely been targeting our physical health. Everyone goes through seasons of hardship, but what’s cluing us into the fact that this is a spiritual matter is that the same equation is being used over and over with different variables.

For lack of a better word, he is threatening us. Serious things keep threatening to occur, but don’t fully pan out (for which we are thankful). For example, this morning Annabeth came down with a raging case of what turned out to be hives. She’s going to be fine, but the back of her head was swelling and we really thought we had an emergency on our hands. I could spout off at least six other situations where something harmful has threatened to occur, but has turned out to be relatively minor.

A few weeks ago I heard a sermon from Dr. David Jeremiah on the radio (I believe it was “Slaying the Giant of Temptation – Part 1″). He said that Christian leaders feel the heat of the battle through spiritual warfare, but they also get the best view to see the enemy’s defeat. I just love that. I called my mom immediately and quoted it to her. Not only will we see him defeated in this time of warfare, but we also get to see him defeated on a daily basis as women open up their Bibles and let the Word of God change their lives. Ladies, we would not trade that for anything. It is an incredible privilege to get to see God at work in you. We are so blessed.

I will leave you with these verses from our Bible study last night. I have not been able to get the lesson off my mind. He is so worthy, Siestas! Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Revelation 5:6-14

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

And they sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

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Dear Pastor

It’s Sunday evening and the sun is just beginning to set. All afternoon I’ve felt waves of appreciation for my pastor, Gregg Matte. Until five years ago, I’d never had a shepherd who was younger than me, let alone one that is YEARS younger than me. I didn’t dread it. I’m not that ridiculous. I just wondered what it would be like. Pastor Gregg pretty quickly won my respect but, over the course of these five years, he accomplished something substantially bigger. He won my heart. I love him. And, maybe more importantly, I just plain like him.

I was just standing in the kitchen, stirring up some chili when I thought how it would be a shame to let this day end without telling him how grateful I am for him. It’s not pastor appreciation day or anything. Or at least I don’t think it is. It’s just a spontaneous wave of thanks and sometimes those are the best kind to relay. I thought maybe a few of you might feel the same way about your pastor right about now. Often we find ourselves on the same page around here in Siestaville so I decided to make it public and pitch the opportunity out here for anyone who wants to participate. Maybe a pastor or two might hop on here and grab some much needed encouragement. Like me, you may have a long list of things you love about your pastor but, for the sake of readability, let’s limit ourselves to five. So, here goes mine.

Dear Pastor Gregg,

Here are five things I really like about you:
1. You never, ever disrespect your congregation by showing up unprepared. We always get all the lesson we can possibly handle in such a limited period of time.

2. You are not afraid of trying something entirely new. You were already great at what you were doing in college ministry before you came to serve us in Houston but you wanted to follow that cloudy pillar of God’s glory and be willing to do something totally out of the box. You’ve been doing that ever since. Bravo. That takes guts.

3. You are a true worshipper. You fully participate in the song portion of our services instead of tapping your foot impatiently until you can get on the platform. Your personal practice of worship is very apparent in your public life.

4. You are hilarious. I’m one of those folks who believes people can be Godly and funny all at the same time. You are proof of that. Honestly, you made me laugh so hard at the end of today’s service I could hardly stand up. I will remember your rendition of “even the rocks cry out” for many years to come. I LOVE THAT YOU DID THAT. AND NOT ONCE BUT TWICE. We could perform a duet some day if you want to.

5. You are married to the most wonderful pastor’s wife on the planet. Kelly, I am crazy about you.

Thank you for loving me and my family, Pastor Gregg, odd as we may be. I just wanted to tell you today that we love you, too.

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The Rival of Big Texas Hair

It’s fall, y’all. Splendid, wonderful, beautiful fall. It doesn’t really look like fall in Houston until December, but that doesn’t matter too much. The important thing is that the thermostat no longer looks like summer.

Tonight Curtis and I are dropping the kids off with my mom and going on a quick dinner date. Then we’ll pick up Jackson and take him to see a local high school homecoming football game. I imagine it will be a windy night and all the ribbons hanging from the homecoming mums will be blowing around, making that clinking sound as the plastic trinkets knock into each other.

Some of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Here in Texas, it’s a tradition to give your homecoming date a mum or a garter to wear to school and to the game. The mum is a huge, fake flower with ribbons all around it. The ribbons are in the school’s colors and they have sparkly letters and little trinkets like footballs and whistles attached. The mums are meant to be pinned on the girl’s shirt and the garter (which is much smaller than the mum) is worn on the guy’s arm.

Not all mums are created equal. You have your single mum, which I personally think is the best size, as well as double and triple mums – status mums, if you will. Who knows? Maybe now there are quadruple mums. I’ll be able to tell you after tonight. One year my mum was as wide as I was and I just carried it on a hanger. I’m laughing out loud at that memory right this second. Oftentimes there will be a small stuffed animal in the middle of the mum. There are even mums with Christmas lights.

Are you amazed? Shocked? Awed? I found a silly article and video from a Dallas news station that will help you visualize this phenomenon. Here’s the link. You’ll find the video halfway down the page. By the way, I think I spotted some quadruples!

Nothing says fall in Texas like a homecoming football game. What about your neck of the woods? Are there any fall traditions unique to where you live?

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Just One Word

Forgive.

It’s time to let it go.

That thing’s gonna eat you alive.

Wasting time.

Taking too much energy.

Emphatically, deliberately, bull-headedly – put every weighty ounce of it in the ready hands of God and let Him deal with it.

AND DEAL HE WILL.

Every time you’re tempted to pick it back up again, thank Him out loud that He’s busy handling it and that, once the battle is won in the heavenlies, you’ll see it evidenced on Earth. Prepare to become that evidence.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:9-14

He forces the point for our own sakes. Otherwise, what on earth would ever motivate us to forgive what seems unforgivable? He is the immortal, invisible Only Wise God. Trust Him with it.

Forgive.

Or maybe it’s just me.

I love you guys so much. Let’s do the brave thing.

PS. I had not yet had a chance to read the comments from the previous blog post (Deeper Still video) because I’ve been so busy with Tuesday night Bible study. I just read them and wait till you see an excerpt I found from one of you and how it goes with this one. You even said that you knew it didn’t have anything to do with that post but you just had to write it. SO WILD. Girlfriend, God prompted you to make the comment so I’d see it and add it to this one. Here goes:

I have been holding onto unforgiveness toward my dad for leaving me as a little girl, and for continuing to hurt me into my present adulthood. I have fake-forgiven him, held onto it with one hand and to my First Love with the other. And let me tell you, the poison that my divided heart has let into my life is unreal…

No more.

NO more.

NO MORE! PRAISE YOU, LORD! THE KING OF KINGS!!

Pretty powerful, huh? SO, anybody else ever “fake forgiven”? It’s time we did the real thing.

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Deeper Still – Orlando

Deeper Still – Orlando from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

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Sunday Best

Before church

After church

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Jackson Hole – Part 2

Curtis and I marveled at how much Annabeth changed during our two weeks in Wyoming. This picture was taken on the day she started sitting up. She was using her hands but could sit for a long time.

Exactly one week later, when she happened to be wearing the same outfit, she was sitting with no hands. This is such a fun stage! I’m enjoying our last bit of time before she becomes mobile.

This was Annabeth’s first time in a restaurant high chair.

One night after my parents arrived, we had dinner on the deck at Signal Mountain Lodge. After that we walked down to Jackson Lake.

Jackson is embracing his big brother role a little more these days.

This is a picture of one of the cookouts we attended by the river.

Curtis and Annabeth challenged Jackson and his friend in a race.

Annabeth did not enjoy being a track star.

Here’s Baby Girl’s first time in a playground swing. I did not bring her enough cool-weather clothes, so I frequently resorted to pajamas.

One morning our whole family attended a breakfast cookout up on a mountain. Dad and I and joined the trail riders on horseback while Mom and Curtis brought the kids up in a car. We had hot chocolate, eggs, bacon, and pancakes. It was so much fun.

Jackson and his daddy played hide and seek in the town square. Here’s Jackson counting.

Here he is hiding.

A view of the Tetons from near our place.

Mt. Moran might be my favorite.

A deer in the river by our cabin.

The Sleeping Indian. Can you see him?

One day we visited Jenny Lake. You do not want to miss it if you ever visit Jackson Hole.

We took a shuttle boat across the lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

Looking up at the mountain from the boat.

Here’s what we hiked to see.

We – mainly Jackson – got soaked on the boat ride back. The water was freezing! Jackson has always loved being splashed with cold water (seriously), so he had a great time. People around us were even trying to take pictures of him because he was so funny.

The pictures you are about to see are from The Greatest Day of Jackson’s Life.

We went to Snow King and did the alpine slide.

The slide was really fun, but I only did it once because the ski lift to the top of it scared me to death. Curt says it isn’t as freaky when there’s snow below you. The Moores aren’t skiers, so I wouldn’t really know.

Then Curtis and I went temporarily insane and let Jackson do the bungee trampoline. You are seeing the highlight of his three-year-old life.

Everyone within a mile heard him squealing.

After that, we had lunch at the Saddle Rock Family Saloon.

The only beer they served was root beer. Oh my word, it was the best ever!

Jackson capped the day off with a horse ride. This is Blizzard, the most chilled out horse known to man. Jackson looked like a baby on top of that big ole animal.

That concludes the Greatest Day of Jackson’s Life.

Here’s a bad picture of some elk in the valley.

This is our favorite pizza place. No visit is complete without it.

It’s our tradition to take a picture on this huge stump before we leave. Right after this, some very sad Joneses got in the car and drove to the airport. Sad, sad, sad.

Thanks for sharing our pictures!

For everyone going to Deeper Still in Orlando this weekend, have an awesome time with Jesus!

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Memphis!

I was in college when the Living Proof Live events began. I was kind of in a bubble during those years and didn’t quite grasp how the ministry was growing. One of the first events I attended was in Memphis in June of 2001. At that time I was newly engaged to Curtis and had just finished my junior year at Texas A&M. The event was in the Pyramid Arena and Kathy Troccoli was the special musical guest. Mom still remembers what she spoke about that weekend. The theme was “What if we let Him get to our hearts?” I could hardly wrap my mind around how many people came to hear my sweet little mama and I’m sure I was bug-eyed through the whole thing.

Melissa and I were both supposed to be there that weekend, but she never made it. For some reason she was going to have to leave later than us and she ended up getting stuck at the airport when Tropical Storm Allison stalled over our city. Seventy-thousand homes were flooded, 2,744 were destroyed, and 23 people died in the Greater Houston Area. It was a miracle that Melissa even got home from the airport that night. Mom and I were then stranded in Tennessee. We hitched a ride back to Nashville with the praise team and stayed with Travis and Angela for a couple of nights until we could get back home.

As you can see, it was a very memorable weekend!

Beth and the Living Proof Live team are thrilled to be heading back to Memphis on October 9-10, 2009. The event will be held at the FedEx Forum. You can get all the details here if you’re interested in coming and having a memorable weekend of your own.

I’ve heard that lots of Siestas are attending, so I want to give y’all a chance to connect with each other beforehand (if you haven’t already). LPM isn’t planning an official Siesta meetup, but that doesn’t need to stop you from meeting each other. So future Memphis Siestas, leave a comment on this post and let everyone know you’ll be there!

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Siesta Scripture Memory Team Verse 18!

Hey, my fellow Scripture-memory buddies!

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s Bible study day for us at LPM. I don’t get to tarry, but trust me when I tell you I wouldn’t forget you for anything. I think of you continually, especially when I’m practicing my verses. We’re on the 18th Scripture out of 24! I can’t believe it! I have chosen my verse this time based on our Tuesday lecture study of the Book of Revelation. I wish so much we were all going through this series together. I would so dearly love to look across that sanctuary and see the faces of women I’ve come to know by bloggerly terms of endearment
like…

Wisconsin Farmgirl

OK Chick

JesusChicky

Pathfromtheheadtotheheart

3girlsmom

Lovemy2Boys

Diginee

GA Peach

West Texas Girl

Warrior In Training

Roselawyer

Michellemabelle (I sing the song every time I see one of your comments. Btw, I know you are doing A Heart Like His and I want to apologize for my hair. It’s even too big for my taste and my bangs looks like I’m covering a long, diagonal scar on my forehead. I took over my own coiffing soon after that. Big hair is a delicate thing. A very personal thing. One can only do it herself and have confidence.)

Georgia Jan (whose personal friendship I’d never have known apart from Siestaville!)

And “mama”s of all sorts: Moose Mama, Longmeadow Mama, and Lemonade Making Mama, to name just a few. You, Big Mama, and Boomama inspired my own admittedly uncreative but joyfully descriptive name, Siesta Mama.

You may as well know that if you don’t have a picture and if I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you face-to-face, I, visual person that I am, have conjured up my own snapshot of you based on your blogger name that pops into my head every time I see your ID. It’s a risk, is all I’m saying.

OK, I’m losing focus. You guys do that to me constantly. Back to my memory verse. I have chosen Revelation 17:14 because one of the commentators I’m studying, W. Hendriksen, Th.D., who wrote a 1939 classic called More Than Conquerors, says the entire Book of Revelation can be summed up in that one verse. I loved it and thought, even based on my non-scholarly experience with the Book, how right he is! As a result, I’ve challenged my whole class to memorize it, too. So, if you’re one of our Home Girls, this probably needs to be your verse! As for the rest of you, it’s a wonderful thing to know in advance and in these times in which we live, no matter how “they” make war against the Lamb, He WILL overcome. There is only one Lord of lords and King of kings.

Revelation 17:14 (NIV)
“They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings–and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Take heart, Siestas! He has overcome the world!

Love, Beth

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Passion 2010

College-age Siestas, the Passion 2010 Live Link is tonight at 8:30 (EDT). Check it out at www.268generation.com. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or iPhone and you can link up with Louie Giglio and the Passion folks in Atlanta. Beth is going to be at Passion this January and we hope you will join us! I went to several Passion events when I was in college and they were life changing. Don’t let this pass you by.

Okay, back to Debra’s post!

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