Archive for April, 2011

Siestas For Alabama

Darling Ones, I just want to let you know that this very day several checks will go in the mail to Alabama from Living Proof Ministries in your honor and including your giving. Our hearts would have gone out to all those hurt and devastated by the tornadoes anyway because the love and mercy of God dwells in us through His Spirit. The fact that we have very active Siestas in Alabama who have been with us nearly from the start of this community and who live in areas hard hit makes it even more personal to us. (Boomama and The Preacher’s Wife are two of many. I nearly threw up as I watched the news and could see that the storms were right on top of them.) So please know today that $10,000 from the Siesta Scholarship Fund plus additional dollars from LPM will take wings and fly to Alabama this day in the great and saving name of Jesus Christ.

Your love and your commitment to Him make a difference in this hurting world. Never doubt it.

PS. I’m going to try to comprise a running list of our Alabama Siestas (just means sisters, not club members) throughout the day. We’ve heard from many of you but didn’t think to take down names at that point in the fury. If you live in Alabama, will you please tell us in a comment to this post? We’d like to recognize you either by blogger name or personal name. I’ll be adding to it as the day goes on.

Some of Our Beloved Alabama Girls (forgive us if some of you got reflected on here twice as we compile the list from several different sources): We love you and we’re thinking of you…
Sophie – “Boomama”
Lisa – “A Preacher’s Wife”
Robyn – “3girlsmom” (3girlsmom23.blogspot.com)
Jenny Hope Williams
Amy Daugherty
Rebecca Olson
Cathy Davis
Julie
Tamara
Kellie
Jessica (aletterfromchrist.blogspot.com)
Shannon Roe (in Tuscaloosa!)
Erin
Rebecca
Elise Pratt
Ashley
Beth
Mary R. Snyder (MaryRSnyder.com)
Kathryn Champion (flashthoughts.wordpress.com)
Martha
Kay
Jamie B. (meetthebakers.blogspot.com)
Kay Porter Archer (karlaarcher.com)
Tressa McQueen
Brandi Bryant
Charity Washburn
Rachel (@objectivityrach)
Dedra Herod
Tammy Isbell (@greekgrits – lives in Tuscaloosa – hit HARD)
Valerie (@valeriegail)
Lora Lynn Fanning
Karla Archer
Paige (@pollypepRN)
Cynthia Miller
Redeemed
Julie Reynolds @ginsamica
LB
Jamey (aheartforthenations.blogspot.com)
Diane Bailey (dianewbailey.blogspot.com)
Kim L.
Amy (wildgloriousride.blogspot.com)
Fran
Tressa
Candy
Leight
Ginger
Jill in AL (jumpin-in.blogspot.com)
Traci
Tammy Jones
Allison Burleson
Marilyn Yarbrough
Donna
Julie K (blessed-kellys.blogspot.com)
Brandy
Tiffany
Tanya in Alabama
Heather Joy
Kristina Nicole
Michele Adcock
Volleyball Ginger
Jenny Howle
Beverly
Donna Benjamin
Stephanie Billings-ArmyReserveWife
Sheilak3130
Melanie Henderson
Janice
Bridgett Junkin
Kristen Love…in Tuscaloosa is running the City of Tuscaloosa’s aid center!!
Beth Mince
Erin Beasley
Ann B
Michelle
Laura Forman
Kimberly G Mason
Celia J. (friendshipumc.org)
Natalie Johnson
Jan
Pamela
Robin Ford
Pam
Amy From Huntsville, AL
Ginny Bass (bassakward-tales.blogspot.com)
Tanya McCalpin
Mandy P…in Tuscaloosa
Mindy S
Olda
Rachel H
Whitney
Nikol Whitten (coffeewithchrist.org)
Adrianna Anderson
Becky B.
Carol a.k.a Joybreaks
Janice Pitchford
Jennifer from Huntsville, AL (TalesOfAPeanut)
Mary H. (formerly ThirtySomethingMom)
Katie Taylor
Traci StJohn
Leann Ford
Leah Kiker
Vivian
Rita
Polly
Donna Benjamin
Marty, Tammy and Teresa
Karen
Cynthia Griffin
Shannon Conner
Kathy McDaniel
Shawna
Lisa Vinyard
Heather Maise
Lisa Saunders
Laura Prater Tuscaloosa, AL
Kristin Johnson
Annie
Megan Woodham
Renita-Prattville
Nancy Eckhardt
Heather Battle
Hope
Shirley Kurtz (shirleykurtz.blogspot.com)
Angie G.
Amanda
Tracy Stoffell (tracyscoffeecafe.wordpress.com)
LeAnne
Cara Hoffman
Beth
Holley Houlditch
Brea Burelle
Lauren Johnson
R. Davis
Melanie Holmes (KanduGal)
Kelly
Lisa McGriff
Denise
CJ
Paige from Alabama
Deanna
Chrissy Hanscome
Angie Sharp
Terri Lovett
Dedra Herod
Jessica Handley
Kendall Perchinski
Jamie Harper – happyharperstories.blogspot.com
Roni Long
ashley e
Anne
Lisa Laree
Sarah Christen
Michelle V
Cathy D
Jess
Julia (Mor2Life)
Gretta
Paula
Mimi six of AL
Emily Sanderson

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Easter Weekend 2011

Hi Siestas! This is Amanda checking in today. How was your Easter weekend? We had a great one. Mom asked me to share some (which turned out to be a lot) of our pictures. I apologize in advance for the wonky spacing. I tried three times to remove the extra lines and it kept reverting to this.

Our Easter celebrations started out with “Broken for You” at Houston’s First Baptist on Thursday night. Pastor John from First Baptist Irving (who used to be the youth pastor at HFBC) gave the message and it was like a big family reunion. We took the Lord’s Supper and had an awesome time of worship.

On Saturday evening we had a cookout and Easter egg hunt with my dad’s side of the family.

Here’s me, Memaw, Aunt Tina, Aunt Mary, Mom, and Cousin Hannah. Melissa, where were you?

 

Aunt Mary, Aunt Tina and Mom.


 

This was our fancy Easter table. We had hot dogs, cajun potato salad, fruit, chips and dip, and cake.

 

Melissa, Mom and Annabeth.

 

Jackson has been in this shirt in almost every picture I’ve taken this spring, but I can’t help it. He’s so handsome in it.

 

Aunt Mary and Mom.

 

Aunt Tina was so sweet and mindful of my little kids. She brought this swing to hang from the tree and tiny lawn chairs for them to use.

 

Hot dogs in the lap. Typical.

 

The guys had fun with some cascarones (confetti-filled eggs).

 

The brothers, Ben and Joe, look like they have rumbled a few times before.

 

My brother-in-law, Colin.

 

Ben cracked an egg on my dad and he got some projectile German chocolate cake in return.

 

 

This is Dad giving directions to the young men on how to sweep the field for snakes in preparation for the kids’ egg hunt. I’m sure my aunts were pleased.

 

It begins! And no snakes.

 

 

Annabeth found Lip Smackers from Aunt Melissa in her first egg and she pretty much forgot about everything else.

 

Texas girls need their lip gloss even when stomping through fields of grass and dried up leaves.

 

Annabeth having a fit in the dirt.

 

Post-fit rebound.

 

AB with Cousin Hannah.

 

Jackson got a lot more eggs than his sister.

 

She wasn’t bothered.

 

 

This is how we say cheese.

 

The progression of a toddler with lip gloss. One.

 

Two.

 

Three.

 

My dad squealing like a piggy.

The big kids got to do an egg hunt too. The stakes were a bit higher, although they didn’t know it.


Boys will be boys.

Running into the arms of…

 

Bibby!

 

The search is on!

 

My Easter chickies.

 

Pops on the Gator.

 

Colin, Dad and Melissa.

 

Some were not so enthused about the Mickey Mouse bags used in the egg hunt.

 

John and Hannah finding dollar bills in their eggs.

 

This is Cousin Joe stuffing his money in his pocket while being very quiet about being the Egg Hunt Winner.

 

Those dollars saw the light of day for .5 seconds before they were hidden deep in pockets.

 

We had decided to go to the evening Easter service at our church, so we spent a lazy morning at home. Curtis read the Scriptures to us and we turned on some great worship music.

We nixed the Easter bunny but I still made the kids Easter baskets. They had no expectations, which was nice. For the record, that plush Belle doll is hideous but I thought Annabeth would like it. She didn’t.

 

It just wouldn’t be natural if my kids weren’t in Christmas pajamas. They were waiting to get their baskets.

 

They were so tickled to get a surprise.

My mom used to give us these panoramic eggs when we were little. I saw some mini ones at HEB and had to grab a couple.



Annabeth thought it might be good to eat.

 

Later that morning Annabeth came down with a 102 degree fever. She didn’t have any other symptoms except for not wanting to eat and wanting to sit in our laps. I gave her Tylenol and every time it started to wear off, her fever shot back up. She was much better the next day.

I’m thankful that God seemed to have prepared me to miss church on Easter Sunday. Any other year I might have been devastated. I ended up taking Jackson to lunch at my parents’ house and then Curtis took him to church that evening. Annabeth and I sat on the couch together and watched some of the web cast. Also? Singing along with the web cast made me realize what a truly joyful noise I make. Bless my heart!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend worshipping the Risen Savior and loving on your families.


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Just Curious

Hey, Siestas! I have a question rolling around in my mind and I’d love to throw it to my favorite community. Here goes:

What motivates you most effectively?

That’s it. Pure and simple.

Ground rules:
*You can only name one kind of motivation. Think of the one that tends to work on you more often than the others.

*You are asked to name your real, live most effective motivator and not the one you wish you had. (You may honestly respond best to a healthy motivator and, if so, say so! But, if the truth is, you are more often effectively motivated by something negative, please also say so.)

This hint might be of help to some of you as you roll the question around in your sweet head: Think back on times of substantial and lasting change in your life. What motivated the real change? (Of course, we all know that, ultimately, the Holy Spirit brings about transformation, but what did He use???)

You bless me to no end. Watching for your responses!

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Glorious Resurrection Day!

This was taped in Houston by some wonderful visionaries at Second Baptist Church. To us here in the city, many familiar faces light up the screen. You don’t have to know them to wish you were one of them, though! One of these days, we Siestas will all gather out on a big field and dance our feet off over the grace and glory of Jesus Christ. He is risen!

I love you guys so much.
Beth

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The Body and the Blood

God Himself authored annual remembrances. He taught His people from the early pages of Scripture to set aside specific days to deliberately recall His mighty acts. He warned them passionately never to forget what He had done in their behalf and to fear the prospect so vividly that their memories would be sharpened ever again like the blade of a warrior’s sword. For most of us who have been raised in the church and know the hymns and songs of this season by heart, we make the choice to set our hearts and minds once again on the saving, death-defeating acts of Jesus Christ. We ask God to do through His Spirit what only He can do:

Our faithful Abba Father, cause the looming shadow of the Cross to fall afresh on us again. Let us remember with horror how dark our lives would be without the Christ. Roll the heavy stone of our slumbering familiarity away from the empty tomb and wake us up with a shout.

And He hears our prayer.

I awakened this morning to an empty house, my man away for the better part of the day and, early on, I felt the Spirit begin to answer the petition I’d made yesterday. Lord, help me to remember. Move me once again with the power of the Cross.

 

God reminded me of a portion in the 27th chapter of Acts when the Apostle Paul and 275 others were aboard a ship in a terrible storm that had raged for many days. We know that, of his cohorts, at least Luke was with him, the ink of his pen filled with brine. Read Acts 27:33-36 for yourself.

 

Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.

Look at that last portion once more:

He took some bread and gave thanks to God…Then he broke it.

 

Read words from the page of the gospel written earlier by the very same man who penned the Book of Acts:

When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:14-19

Took bread. Gave thanks, Broke it.

 

Same words. Same order.

 

Back to Acts 27.

In the New International Commentary on the New Testament, F. F. Bruce writes…

There is a cluster of words and phrases here – “took bread,” “gave thanks,” “broke it” – which are familiar in a eucharistic setting. This supports the view of many commentators that the meal here described [in Acts 27] was a eucharistic meal. Probably it was so in a limited sense: all shared the food, but to the majority it was an ordinary meal, while for those who ate with eucharistic intention (Paul and his fellow-Christians) it was a valid eucharist: “the bread which we break, is it not our participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16)

To the majority it was an ordinary meal.

 

To the majority of people on Planet Earth today, this is an ordinary day. Malls will keep  humming, Facebook will keep friending, Twitter will keep tweeting, planes will keep flying, tellers will keep telling, businesses will keep selling.

 

But for those of us who “eat” of this day with Eucharistic intention, and think deliberate thoughts toward a crucified Christ, ours is a valid feast of remembrance.

 

While others eat this day away like it’s any other day, we savor its bittersweet taste and call it sacred.

 

Maybe you have long been in a storm with no sun in sight. Right there in all the tossing, surrounded even by those who may ignore Him or mock Him, draw from the Body and the Blood. Let today, even in your pain, be sacred to you and any brokenness, your living sacrifice, and may the heavens open wide with the thundering power of the Cross and drench you with the rain of your long-awaited deliverance.

 

Do this in remembrance of Me.

Because of the Cross of Christ, Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

 

This is a prayer I wrote this morning. For me, reading the prayers of others sometimes reminds me of something I, too, want to ask of my Father. We are all His children. We who are in Christ are each invited to “the Throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” I am in need. You are in need. If any of this speaks to the place you are right now, you are welcome to come right here with me and kneel as one who believes and we’ll bring these petitions to our faithful God together.

 

My Dearest Abba and my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus,

Cause me to be moved and mindful of this death and resurrection season – Of this, the most important annual celebration we commemorate as Your church. Cause me to be awake and aware in You, Lord. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of this One spotless Lamb of God. For just a moment, I try to imagine myself on that same road of suffering with that same cross on my flesh-torn back, pierced, hung, and exposed on that same tree and I shudder.  My sins outweigh my frame, Lord. I am unable to bear them. Thank You, Jesus, for not only bearing the pain but for enduring the shame. You are the single reason I am not weighed down in the suffocating mire of shame every single day of my life. I earned it. I deserved it. I am so grateful, Abba Father, for Your willingness to will and to witness that soul-saving, Hell-defeating act rendered by Your one and only Son. I praise You, faithful, merciful God, and ask to be moved this weekend with meditation, reflection, fresh wonder and renewed victory.

Please pursue each member of my family and me for the full work and benefit of Your Cross and Your resurrection. Please do not yield to our resistance. Appear unmistakably in every place we run. Walk through every door we slam. No addiction need hold us, no affliction need bind us, no suffering need smother us, no defeat need hover over us, no foolish act need define us and death need not haunt us. In the quake of the Cross, hopelessness slipped through the trembling cracks of earth and fell with an everlasting sentence into the bottomless abyss. Graves broke open and the bonds of the guilty fell from their wrists with a breath-taking thud. Because of this day that we, Your church, commemorate, we are free.

We are grateful.

We are aware.

In the saving Name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

 

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Starting Your Library: For Those Who Are Interested!

Hey, Sweet Things! I pray this Holy Week finds you full of wonder and meditation over the days of Christ leading up to His death and glorious resurrection. Melissa prayed in staff prayer time yesterday that this week would not just be like every other week. I so deeply Amen that. I don’t say that only to you. I want it to be true of me. We’ll have some posts up later in the week that are oriented to this season of Passion. Until then, something else occurred to me. So much happened last weekend in Little Rock on a heart level that it will have to wait until I can devote substantial time to a post. Several people have contacted the ministry over one of the points I made so, in preparing a resource list for them, I thought it might be helpful to some of you here on the blog, too. I made a challenge to new students of Scripture to start building their personal Bible study library. No matter what our gifts and callings may be, we know from 2 Timothy 3:15-17 that we can’t be equipped for our designated works without a working knowledge of Scripture.

So, where do we even begin? That’s what this post is for. Here are a few staples to start your library and then, Sister, the sky is the limit.

 

1. A Complete Concordance (like Strong’s).  Find one that corresponds with your translation (Strong’s for KJV, The NIV Exhaustive Concordance, etc.)

 

2. A good Systematic Theology Book. Here are two great choices:

*Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

*Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson

 

3.  A good Bible Dictionary – Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary is terrific. There are also many others.

 

4.   For beginners: Several two (or few) volume sets of Bible Commentaries (My mentor started me on The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament and New Testament Volumes, but there are plenty out there. Your pastor may be able to recommend a set that is most reflective of your church’s approach.)

*You can access many commentaries free of charge online: BibleGateway.com, BlueLetterBible.com, etc.

 

5.   The 1st multi-volume set of commentaries I’d recommend is The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 Volume Set). They are consistently well written, thought provoking and really practical for teachers. You also don’t have to know basics about the original languages to understand them (They give good insights into the original languages and frequent definitions but the authors are not assuming you have a working knowledge of Hebrew or Greek). If you really love that set and want to keep going, the next step I’d take would be the full volume sets of NIVAC (NIV Application Commentary) and NAC (New American Commentary). Want to keep going?? The next step after that (where you’ll more often need some basic knowledge of original languages) is the Word Biblical Commentary series and New International Commentary of the OT/NT series. And it goes on and on, Sweet Thing! And it’s a head spinner and a blast.

 

6.  A Comparative Study Bible with multiple translations listed side-by-side.

And, then, start saving your money for Bible Software.   Melissa and I have personally used the following programs and would happily recommend them to you:

  • Logos (Beth)
  • Wordsearch (Beth)
  • BibleWorks (Melissa)
  • Accordance (Melissa)

 

Last thing:

A few of my favorite foundational books about the Bible are:

Baxter’s Explore the Book

Fee and Stuart’s How to Read the Bible For All It’s Worth

Fee and Stuart’s How to Read the Bible Book by Book

 

Last Last thing (this is Melissa now):

In terms of selecting commentaries, I highly recommend purchasing and consulting John Glynn’s book Commentary & Reference Survey. Glynn’s book will help you make the most of your money when you purchase commentaries and reference works.   The book is basically one massive biblical studies bibliography and he updates it often.  I think it is already in its tenth edition or something.  When it comes to commentaries, not all volumes in a series are written equally.  In other words, some are better than others and so you may not want to purchase an entire series.  Sometimes you can grab an entire series for a great price but other times it isn’t economical or necessary. Instead, you may want to pick and choose individual volumes within a series and Glynn will help you do just that. Also check out www.bestcommentaries.com for a similar idea online.  It is an amazing website.  My favorite feature is the “forthcoming commentaries” tab where you can browse through the commentaries that are due to be published over the next few years.  Also, it goes without saying that commentaries, just like every written work, should be read carefully and critically.  If they are read in such a manner, they can be invaluable to one’s study of the Bible.

 

A very basic beginner’s biblical/theological library might look a little bit like this:


Are we having fun yet??

 

We sure love you.


 

 

 

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LPL – Little Rock, AR

Living Proof Live – Little Rock from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Thanks, Rich!

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LPL – Fresno, CA

Hi ladies!
I apologize for the delay in posting the Fresno recap video. We had lots of posts to get up last week. Many thanks to David Lowe for sharing his talents with us!
Love,
Amanda

Living Proof Live- Fresno by David Lowe from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

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2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 8!

Hey, Darling Things! I am on my way to our Little Rock Living Proof Live with much joy, anxiousness, and anticipation and pure-dee desperation for Jesus to show up. He’s all we’ve got to offer. And, gloriously, He’s all we need.

Don’t even think of dropping out of our Scripture Memory Team! If you let the Word dwell in you richly, I promise you that, when this calendar year closes, you will have experienced a completely different 12 months than you would have if you’d let your own opinions, agendas, quandaries, fears, feelings, insecurities, and bondage dwell in you richly. God’s Word WORKS. He sends it forth with accomplishing power. Don’t just memorize the words. BELIEVE THEM. Take them all the way to your heart and apply them to your real, live experience.

My verse this time around is one I’ve loved for a long time, especially as it’s worded in the NIV, but I’ve never committed it to memory. You’re welcome to join me if you don’t have another one planned. Here goes:

Beth, Houston. “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18 NIV

I love you guys. Stay with it, Sisters! Jesus is so worthy.

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Come Home With Us To Little Rock! LPL Ticket Giveaway

Packing my bags for my childhood home. My soul is stirred up like a mixer on high in a bowl full of cake batter splattering all over the kitchen. I feel gratitude. Grace. Homesickness. Happiness. Sadness. I have hard memories. I have wonderful memories. I have a faithful Savior who has promised to meet with us this weekend. Heading back to where you were raised rouses up all sorts of things. I love those hills and I am profoundly blessed and humbled to head back to Arkansas. Land of Opportunity. Arkansas, oh, what you do to me. Prettiest place I ever saw. Yep, I’m going back home to Arkansas.

Because of our wonderful Siesta Scholarship Fund, we have the joy of offering comp tickets to the Living Proof Live event Friday night and Saturday till noon to the first 20 Siestas who call our LPM office during business hours. If you would like to come to Little Rock LPL but can’t afford a ticket, call toll free 1-888-700-1999 and ask for Kimberly or Susan. And tell them I told you how much I love them and appreciate them when you call.

I’m crazy about you guys. Thanks for praying for us! Your surveys were incredibly insightful so rest assured that I am taking you with me in spirit this weekend.

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