Melissa’s Fall 2008 Top Ten

Greetings blog-land! I do believe it has been months since my last entry and I could not wait another minute to say hello. Seriously, I miss all of you fine women! Unsurprisingly, my Mom has been working me harder than ever before over the past few months. The name of the game has been ‘focus’ and ‘more focus’ and so unfortunately my blog time was obliterated. So, in an effort to catch up with you, I’ve composed a list of my top ten Fall 2008 highlights. You’ll find that they are in completely random order. I know, how predictable, right? So here goes:

1. Living Proof Christmas Pictures. Have I mentioned how awful our Christmas pictures were last year? They were beyond hideous. The weather was so humid in Houston that not even photo-shop could cover the multitude of our hair sins. Well, this year we were determined to have better results. All was going well until my Mom looked at me half-way through and said, in front of everyone, “Melissa, check your barn-door.” This was my Mom’s archaic way of telling me that my zipper was wide open. Yes, apparently, my fly had been open throughout the entire first half of the photo-shoot. So much for earning respect from my fellow LPM staff!

2. Seeing a true Autumn season for the first time in my life. I walked around my neighborhood in Atlanta last weekend with tears in my eyes. The trees were raining leaves in all kinds of glorious colors. I will ponder that moment in my heart for as long as I live, a moment when I was content with merely having a set of eyes to see the beauty of God’s creation.

3. Reading Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N.T. Wright. What a great and refreshing read. Here is just one quote I love, “the Bible isn’t simply a repository of true information about God, Jesus, and the hope of the world. It is, rather, part of the means by which, in the power of the Spirit, the living God rescues his people and his world, and takes them forward on the journey toward his new creation, and makes us agents of that new creation even as we travel” (191). Just a glimpse into this wonderful book.

4. The Siesta Fiesta in San Antonio still makes the list! Not only did I have such a wonderful time seeing many of you in the flesh, but I am still pondering the profound implications that the theme of inheritance has for us as the covenant people of God. I have a feeling that we have barely scratched the surface of that one. What a great time of fellowship, worship, and the Word!

5. Walking into my home in Atlanta last week to find an embarrassing display of flowers and a new sweater from Colin Fitzpatrick. The best part was that it was completely unexpected. I mean, we weren’t in a fight or anything! I never knew that a little bouquet of flowers could mean so much. I’m learning more and more that little thoughtful things make the big things in marriage a whole lot smoother. I love my husband madly and I’ve had so much fun settling down into ‘normal’ life with him.

6. Auditing a Hebrew Reading class. We have translated Deuteronomy, some of the Psalms, and are scheduled to translate some of 1&2 Kings for next week. That is a whole lot of Hebrew, let me tell you! It has been so fun to be back in the formal classroom. My strength as a Biblical Research Assistant would be greatly diminished if I did not keep up with my Hebrew and Greek reading skills.

7. Driving to Macon, Georgia to visit our very own Georgia Jan. She is even more charming in person than she is in blog-world. We ate at a quaint little French-country restaurant called “The Back-Burner.” If you live near there, I strongly recommend it. Georgia Jan is my kind of woman- she can cook and talk some Scripture. A rare woman, indeed.

8. Teaching LIT. My Mom and I have been co-teaching a class for 17-25 year old women. This Bible Study is unlike anything we’ve ever done at Living Proof. For better or worse, I planned and outlined the study. It has been fun to actually see it run its course, in spite of how absolutely over-ambitious it was. I am really proud of my Lit ladies. They’ve paid attention to all kinds of tedious things, including transmission issues, translation theory, and biblical genres. And that is only a start. Just in case you may be interested, we asked them to do the following for their bonus project:

  • Choose any passage (about 5-9 verses) of interest, preferably a passage that you are not overly familiar with.
  • Read the passage several times, at least twice out loud.
  • What book of the Bible is your passage in? Who is the author? Who are the Recipients? What is the occasion and genre of the book?
  • Compare your original Bible translation (whether it is NIV, NASB, etc.) to other translations- use at least three or four translations. Make note of the significant changes/differences in a chart or some other helpful way.
  • If there is a word that sticks out to you in your original Bible translation, use a concordance to do a word study on that word. What is the Hebrew or Greek word that your English translation is rendering? Where else is it used?
  • Are there any topics/places/concepts in your passage that are unfamiliar to you? Use a Bible Dictionary to look up unfamiliar concepts and to answer general questions.
  • After you have done as much of the leg-work as you know how or have time to do, then consult one or two solid commentaries on your passage.
  • Conclude with how these resources contributed to your understanding of the passage. (P.S. I just noticed that I created an outline within an outline. I am annoyed by my own self. Anyhow, I really am so proud of the Lit girls. Some have already turned in their assignments. I could have cried reading one of them today. I was astounded by the spiritual insight. We all bring something important and different to the interpretive table, with our various experiences and backgrounds. It is beautiful. I can’t wait to read the rest of them.)

9. Making the entire Thanksgiving menu in Mid-October for our next-door neighbors. I made my very first Turkey! I labored for two days straight. I stuffed it with fresh sage and quartered onions and all kinds of stuff. I also made two different kinds of stuffings, a traditional cornbread stuffing and an apple-rye stuffing. Both were divine. Did I mention that my husband has gained ten pounds since we got married? Blush. I’m so proud.

10. Waiting in anticipation for my sweet niece that is coming into the world this February! Glory to God in the highest! I got her the cutest little diva boots. I am not sure Amanda went for them, though. Boo. (Amanda says: Whatever! I LOVED them!)

Enough talk about me, though, what the heck have y’all been up to? What have been the highlights of Fall 2008 for YOU? So please, de-lurk and tell me how you are, if only for the sake of proper social reciprocity!

Much Love,


180 Responses to “Melissa’s Fall 2008 Top Ten”

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  1. 101
    Kasey Ewing says:

    Loved the list! Thanks so much for the assignment. Will we be able to purchase this study when y’all are done? I would love to be able to learn all of that!!

  2. 102
    Ashton says:

    Hi Melissa!
    This year was a year of loss. Lost my job, then my dog, lost a friendship, then, a very close friend of mine whom I’ve know since 82, she lost her husband to a brain tumor. They were married for 49 years. My mom sold her house that I grew up in. She sold that in May.

    Thankfully, two weeks after my layoff I got a contract job at Baker Hughes through an agency and now they want to hire me at the first of the year and keep me as a contractor until then. That certainly is good news for a single woman! It is funny, where I am now working I go in the same direction as I did to my old job and take the same exit but instead of turning left I turn right and it’s about the same distance down the street.

    And with my dog, I do miss him. It was so neat to baby sit a puppy when I did! I fell in love with that sweet dog and want one like that. But, I am still missing Hershey and struggling with replacing him.

    Just a couple of days ago I opened my bible. Guess the book I opened to, just opened to….OBADIAH! #2 (oh…what does this mean…?? 🙂 Well, then I turned to Hebrews 11 (just turned to it!) I read both chapters 11 and 12 out load. I was stirred about faith. Didn’t Jesus say when He came back to earth would He find faith? And the Centurion who just told his servant to tell Jesus just speak the word and his servant would be healed. What faith! And Jesus marveled over this. Only place that Jesus said He did not found faith like this no not in all of Israel. Take note! And there were no whiners or complainers in the Hebrews 11 chapter! Wow. Who for the JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Faith, wow. That seems to be what Jesus was asking when He went around, wasn’t it?
    Ok…have a great week!
    Love, Allison

  3. 103
    Anonymous says:

    I think that this fall has been a time of waiting on the Lord. Waiting for the house to sell then waiting on prayers for my daughter starting college and stuggling socially.
    Liz Hinze

  4. 104
    bethany says:

    Hi Tara G from Monterey! Just wanted to say “welcome” to Ca! I am sorry that you miss your beautiful fall display. Not much beautiful fall foilage to see out here in Ca. but you will enjoy Monterey! (that is my getaway place when I need quiet time!) God will bless you in many new ways as you serve Him here in my home state!
    Welcome again sister!
    Bethany in Merced, Ca.

  5. 105
    Stephanie says:

    Melissa, just the other day I was thinking and praying for you. My sister (Melissa) just got engaged to a sweet man and I couldn’t be happier. I was thinking back to your wedding preparations and your beautiful portrait that was shared with us. And I recalled a video series where your mom talked about getting a basketball in your hand and and now you are talking about translating HEBREW!! Girl, you have come along way!
    The Best of Fall 2008 for me is my sister’s engagement. He got down on one knee after they skydived for her 30th birthday! It was such a sweet moment that I will never forget.
    That night, my first born attended his first Homecoming dance and I had to suck in a sob as his date (friend) pinned his flower on. I flashed forward to one day his bride being there….. needless to say….it was an emotional day!
    Blessings, Stephanie
    And watching my first

  6. 106
    Jill_in_AL says:

    Love your top 10 list, MMF! Autumn is so gorgeous. I am daily amazed and in thanksgiving for tree that are bright red, orange, yellow and every color in between. Blessings, J

  7. 107
    Shannon says:

    Melissa, I am having lunch with N.T. Wright on Wednesday! He goes by Tom. 🙂

    I shouldn’t make it sound like he and I are just kicking it; he is speaking here at Harvard Divinity School and a few of us are lunching with him before. Having labored through all 900 pages of his “Resurrection of the Son of God,” I am super excited to see him! He and Peter Gomes are two of my favorite modern theologians/preachers–how excited am I to be meeting him? (And Gomes is my professor for scriptural interpretation!)

  8. 108
    Traci@TotalMomsense says:

    Okay sister- I’m a cook too. I thought you might enjoy the recipes so I provided the link- I’ve fattened my husband up too. And Amanda- I have prayed for that baby girl over and over- hang on, you’re in for one wild ride. I had a boy first- then the girl. All I can say is wow- what a ride! And Beth- thank God for you- your studies and your teaching have been a blessing to me that you will never know! God love you all, and may all of you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving together!

  9. 109
    Blair says:

    You could have simply written you cooked a Thanksgiving meal for your neighbors to impress me much less the other 9 cool things. I picked up some great chicken sandwhiches tonight at Chick-fil-a!

  10. 110
    R says:

    my brief Fall Top 10:

    1. our 7-year anniversary this month

    2. college football!!

    3. preparing for our third baby’s arrival in May (we all have winter birthdays, so this is uncharted territory for us!)

    4. seeing the holidays through my 3-year-old daughter’s eyes (our oldest): she’s finally old enough to “get it”, and experiencing the magic from her perspective has energized me for the stressful time with our divorced families and having to juggle all of those holiday obligations with them.

    5. red Christmas cups from Starbucks and their winter specialty drinks!

    6. getting all my Christmas planning, shopping, gift wrapping, etc. done EARLY–before december!!

    7. my daughters’ birthdays–my 3-year-old is was born in october, and my 11-month-old was born in november.

    8. looking forward to me and husby’s birthday in december–we were born on the same day, same year, in the same hospital about 2 hours apart!

    9. getting to put the down comforter on the bed (we’re in north texas, so we don’t get to use our winter bedding for very long! which is sad for me because i love layers of bedding!)

    10. autumn baking and warm comfort foods for dinner i love baking pies and cooking casseroles, pot pies, roasts, etc.–winter foods are my favorite!

  11. 111
    Three Fold Cord says:

    Wow Top ten

    I would have to start with
    1. Birth of my third son- it was truly miraculous and we named him Sean because he truly is a precious gift from God!

    2.Homeschooling my daughter and teaching her how to read-at IHOP today she read “KIDS EAT FREE” and was grinning from ear to ear.

    3. A son who has now learned how to pee standing up and is VERY proud of himself!!

    4. Hearing from the Lord that I needed to stay home more so that He could be my true identity. A choice that is so hard it makes me cry some days, but is settling me in ways I only hoped to one day feel.

    5. Rearranging and decorating my living room. I love it and we have been keeping it so clean since the change

    6. I. LOVE. FALL!! I took a walk with 1st and 3rd child the other day and just absorbed the beautiful colors that no man can make only my God could create.

    I think I will stop there since all three of my babies are in bed and I can get some uninterrupted sleep.

    Melissa, I am so glad you have been able to enjoy the seasons here in GA. I have grown up here and there is always a feeling that takes over my heart and emotions when I hear the crunching of leaves under my feet in the FAll. Thanks for checking in. Oh and tell your sweet man that you are just getting him ready for when you bear childrena nd he sympathy eats with you when you have your cravings. He will gain another ten then too!-hehe

  12. 112
    Laura says:


    So great to hear from you. I know you are enjoying Atlanta. We went ther this summer on vacation and visited all the sites. We stayed out at Stone Mountain. It sounds like you are enjoying marriage and work.

    Love you

  13. 113
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Mrs. Melissa! Girl, good to hear from you again!:)
    You are funny:)…The trees in the South are georgeous!-vivid yellow and reds. The reds remind me of blood-Jesus’ blood, does that make me weird or what?…That quote is profound. It is true. I want to learn more about what he has to say about being a new creation:)…I do wish I could have been there, will the message be offered on cd? I hope so. Knowing our inheritance is important:)…Aww, Colin is a sweetie, gift from God to you:) Got a lot of respect for you learnin’ Hebrew and Greek…That’s cool that you got to meet Georgia Jan!…I’m interested, that LIT class would have been good for me, I have much to learn, Aww diva boots for Little Siesta!:)

    Let’s see, this Fall…transitioning from a very hard Spring and Summer, but the Lord had done soo much in me, amazing…to a break of sorts; a breather if you will. Also, getting ready for Missions Conference at my church this weekend; then in Jan-Feb, an overseas mission trip, and then in May, most likely invitro. Lord help me!! It will be an adventure for sure…never been overseas on missions and never had to have soo much courage…The Lord is with me, that’s all that matters…:)

    Love in CHRIST,

    Psalm 119:25-26

  14. 114
    Cindy- My Life HIS Story says:

    So glad to catch up with you, Melissa! I must admit that this fellow Texas girl is envious of your new discovery of His creation – I want to see a real fall, too!!! Sorry. I know there’s no whining in blogland.

    My Fall Favorites:
    1. Siesta Fiesta – Too fun!!! Loved “meeting” you, Amanda and your mom.
    2. And I agree, I think the conceptual understanding of our inheritance is going to take me awhile.
    3. And there was that other really significant learning of the weekend – Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. Hallelujah!!!
    4. Trip to Alabama – Went to Refuge – a refueling for youth ministers (this wife went along!)- Worship with Chris Tomlin and teaching from Louie Giglio – Oh, yeah. There was some glory in the room!!
    5. Trip to Alabama – I married an Alabama boy, and for his birthday I got us tickets to the opening home game. We stayed with one of the most gracious, Godly couples. Old friends of his, new ones of mine. What a blessing they are!!! Oh…one more thing about that – ROLL TIDE!! (sorry, again)
    6. Leading your mom’s study on Paul. I did it years ago, so it was so cool to make the journey again with a wonderful group of ladies.
    7. Friday Night High School Football in small town Texas!
    8. My baby girl, McKenna, being named 6th grade girl Student of the Month by the teachers at her junior high. Certainly it is a great honor, but it is also reassuring to a mom. I KNOW how she behaves when I’m around, but it is nice to know it must be “sticking” since she is obviously pleasing adults when I’m not around!!
    9.Venti No-Fat Xtra shot Peppermint Mocha with 4 splendas.
    10. Visiting classrooms and seeing how far some of our most challenged students have come: a precious little girl with Down’s syndrome who is learning to sign and is trying to talk; a sweet little boy with autism who is participating with other kiddos and loves to “boxercise” and is learning his letters; playing ball and laughing with a little guy who was all but non-responsive a year ago. As the special education director, I need those times to remind me why I keep showing up everyday. Those teachers and kids are my heroes!

  15. 115
    Kelli says:

    Top Five:

    1. Enjoying my first fall with my little girl!
    2. Slowly learning how to cook.
    3. Spending so much sweet time with my mom now that we live in the same city.
    4. Meeting new friends.
    5. Reading the book of Exodus and learning more than I ever knew before!

  16. 116
    *~*Pilgrim*~* a.k.a. Jesla says:

    My Top….well let’s see if I can come up with THREE….

    1) Falling more and more in love with Jesus Christ, and wanting to know more about Jesus and God.

    2) Quitting my job as a special education teaching and becoming a nanny.

    3) Believing God and seeing the fulfillment of some prayers and God’s promises of the Bible. Hurray!

  17. 117
    Go-Between says:

    Melissa, it was so good to hear from you and read your top ten!
    And it is alwasy fun and amazing to read what the Lord is doing in all the other siestas! I am constantly amazed at the unity of the Holy Spirit when clicking on so many different blogs (from the comments) and seeing the Lord saying the same thing!

    My top five would be:
    1. I too love the fall and was particularly moved by the colors this year – as obviously many others were too! But I was especially pleased this year because my middle daughter was well enough to actually get out and take some beautiful fall pictures of God’s amazing creation.

    2. Having God’s peace as we eneter a new season of having my oldest daughter away from home at college. It is quite a different experience to “hear” about all her adventures through email, blog, webcam and phone. (Although we still get to say goodnight either by text or email chat!)

    3. Doing Stepping up with two different groups. (God knows I am a slow learner and needed to lead two groups just to get it!) It is the perfect follow-up for our ‘nog’ study this summer!

    4. Starting a blog but really enjoying all the other siesta blogs that I read from seeing their comment here. Boy have I been encouraged. And now getting to know a precious siesta across the country for the Christmas Ornament exchange!

    5. Getting ready for Christmas and playing Christmas songs starting in October – It is never to early to start listening to Christmas’ songs of hope!

    Thanks for asking about us. Loved the outline for lit and can’t wait to share it with my daughter! Who is so like you!!!
    who is hoping this one goes through unlike the others recently that just don’t seem to! 🙂

  18. 118
    tealovingmom says:

    Marvelous Melissa,

    What a great post! Loved the book suggestion! Thanksgiving has totally snuck up on me. I also live where there are no seasons (Hawaii) so that happens!

    My top 3:

    1. An extremely difficult start to fall that led to some major spiritual growth for me. So grateful and thankful for how God will use everything!

    2. Making some new friends!

    3. Enjoying with my sweet babies the final countdown before Daddy gets home from his deployment! 3 weeks exactly! Thank you, God!

    Love you and your mom and sister so much!


  19. 119
    Deewee's World says:

    I was just noticing how beautiful the changing leaves were on my way to work one morning this week. I live in Dallas and drive to Marietta. A small portion of the drive goes thru a national park and the leaves were breathtaking! Maybe I’ll remember to take my camera along for a ride this week so I can snap a few photos. I hope I remember…

  20. 120
    Constance says:

    Every Fall, My Hub and I take a trip since our children are all grown up. This year we spent 2 weeks at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The weather was wonderful, getting out of the Texas heat was such a plus! Every element was wonderful, animals, scenery, snow, time for the 2 of us, hiking and so on… I had one of my nicest birthdays which we celebrated in Yellowstone.

    Worshipping the Creator in the splendours of His creation, it doesn’t get any better than that for me!

  21. 121
    Kay says:

    Each fall in Atlanta I say this is my favorite time of year, and then spring comes, and I say no, this is my favorite time of year! Love the leaves, football, soups, sweaters, afghans, hot tea or coffee and blog-reading time. I am now a grandma and this fall has been transformed by thoughts of this sweet 3 mo old boy! God is so good! I forgot my southern upbringing and didn’t welcome you to GA when you moved here (my grandma would have baked you a pie for sure), but this seemed a perfect time to make amends!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Kay in Atl

  22. 122
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Didn’t you get to see the Fall colors when you went to school at Moody ?

    Anyhow, here is a great website for seeing our Lord “show off His glory” —

    Love, in Christ Jesus,

    Southern Wisconsin

  23. 123
    Christal says:

    Hi Melissa! So glad to have you back! And I would have to agree the leaves in GA are just so wonderful this year….ok one of my highlight of the fall was dancing at my brother’s wedding.
    blessings from Ga

  24. 124
    Melissa says:

    Jennifer (Southern Wisconsin),

    I did get to see some Fall colors at Moody but really does pale in comparison to what I have seen here in Georgia- the colors sparkle. And in Chicago it is very short since it gets cold so quickly.

  25. 125
    Nadine says:

    I know I’m late but it took me a while to think about what really mattered this Fall. Here is my Top 3 (in order):

    1. The wonderful gift of repentance and the realization that my heart had grown cold.

    2. God’s Word which finally became exciting again. This includes my awesome church, my own quiet time and awesome teachers. I was in San Antonio as well and that was a huge part of reaching my turning point.

    3. God’s favor. I can’t even begin to fathom how He has already blessed me beyond measure, truly restored the years that the locust have eaten and taken me far beyond anything I would have ever imagined. He is amazing!

  26. 126
    Cindy says:

    Hi Melissa it was good to hear from you! Thanks for sharing some of your highlights with us.

    Here are some of the things that I have enjoyed this fall:

    1. The Siesta Fiesta was wonderful. I was able to visit with my real life siesta who lives in San Antonio, meet so many wonderful siestas, and get a Word about my inheritance!

    2. My husband and I just began teaching our church’s 11th grade SS class. They are an awesome group of young people. We are doing the Daniel study and they are really hanging in there.

    3. I started a blog. Up until now, I had always been a lurker. I enjoyed everyone’s blogs but usually didn’t comment. Then in October God instructed me to begin a blog. I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination. But it will be exciting to find out why if He chooses to reveal it.

    4. The fall itself is always a huge blessing to me. I live in the North Ga. mountains and God puts on a display of color every year that is something to behold. I think it just gets better every year.

    5. I led a small group of ladies from our church in the “Stepping Up” Bible study. Psalm 130 was my favorite. God will fully, completely redeem us.

    Thanks for wanting to hear from us.

  27. 127
    Kerin says:

    So good to here from you! We have several Siestas living here in Rome, GA – come for a visit. I will do your “homework” – I can’t wait.

  28. 128
    georgia tarheel says:

    Loved hearing from you!!!

    My top three:
    1. My five year old son accepting Christ in May, baptised in June and starting Kindergarten in August!

    2. Celebrating twelve years of marriage—some days it feels like forever and sometimes like just yesterday I was walking down the aisle.

    3. I am waiting for this one…cuz I just KNOW my three year old little princess is GOING TO BE POTTY TRAINED BY THE END OF 2008. (she has a stubborn streak that seems to be interfering with her desire to get out of diapers.

    So…are you cooking for Thanksgiving this year? Can I come? 🙂


  29. 129
    Heather says:

    Loved your top ten. We lived in ATL (or just outside but doesnt everyone call the out skirts ATL?) and I loved the fall leaves. now we live some where more glorious! oh the leaves are so georgous!

    My favorite fall of 08:
    1. The birth of my thrid child and first daughter! It’s ben so fun to have a girl after 2 boys!

    2. Taking a vacation to visit family … gosh I wished we lived closer to each other.

    3. Not a favorite but definitely can’t wait to see how God meets our needs by supplying my hubby with a job.

  30. 130
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, for the sake of proper social reciprocity:

    It’s always a joy to hear from you!

    I’m an Atlanta native, but this past year moved close to Athens, GA. The autumn colors in this neck of the woods have been stunning – to say the least. I thought to myself whoever came up with the notion that Jack Frost brings the fall in with his paint bucket is sadly confused, because only God can do something like this..

    My fall highlights:

    1) Have been overwhelmed at God’s magnificent creation and beauty. While driving, have clapped my hands and told the Lord how awesome He is. My husband saw one of our favorite trees – a hickory with the sun glistening on its gorgeous yellow leaves, and said that tree seemed to speak: I am the I AM of all the trees. After reading Georgia Jan’s comment about her tree named Mr. Glory, I thought how interesting it is for these trees to speak to different folks in different ways, yet each bringing glory to the Lord with one of the different names He has for Himself! The Lord has uplifted me through His creation because our family is going through a tremendous time of suffering in family relationships.

    2. I completed “Believing God” study for the second time in four years. It is life-changing. One thing I will remember: Your mom said if you don’t know what to believe God for in a certain situation, just believe Him to be HUGE.. What comforting words.

    Lastly, thanks for the Bible study tips.. We are hungry for such information so we can feed ourselves..


  31. 131
    Anonymous says:

    Great to hear from you Melissa. Sounds like your fall has been very full. How sweet of Colin to think of his “honey”.
    Our fall in NO MI is gorgeous….however it is bittersweet for me….cause now the white stuff comes for several months. Snow is gorgeous and so beautiful hanging on the trees, but I personally am so tired of it by late March and early April and we can still get some pretty bad storms.
    Our church moved into our new building on Nov 9th….Praise and glory to you Father!! We have been renting out one of our high school auditoriums and several rooms for the children. This is a very young church, only six yrs old and God has provided a beautiful building. Again, to Him be all praise, honor and glory. He is so Faithful!!!
    Our group did the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Now everyone is chomping and I mean chomping at the bit to do “Esther”. We being on Jan 6th. WHOOOHOOOOO!!!!!
    Have a great Thanksgiving!!! I pray it is a blessing for all. What with the state of our economy and people being without jobs, I am concerned. May God richly bless us all!!
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  32. 132
    HisTreasuredPossession says:

    Hi Melissa! So glad you wrote us a note! I am just busy being a mom of 3 littles. It’s good, exhausting and rewarding. But besides that, I’m being put through a HUGE season of refining. I’m not sure where the end of it is. But I am so glad to know the Refiner is close and watching, making sure the fire is just right. Trying not to be too Pollyanna about it, but if it’s going to hurt so much, I’d just as soon laugh a little =) I love fall – it’s one of my favorite seasons, anywhere I’ve lived. I love your list and wish I had time to write, let alone think of mine! Thanks for sharing and hope to hear from you again soon! Ah, and I’m so looking forward to getting into Esther!

  33. 133
    Susan Murphy says:

    Hey Melissa Glad to hear all is well with ya’ll . Your Hubby is a sweetheart with with flowers and sweater.

    Dealing with my kiddos they’ll be off for a week for Thanksgiving . I’ll be married fifteen year on the 27th of this month. Oh one more thing My Husband went to church with me this morning and I never bugged him to go either.

    God Bless You I love the Fall weather and the leaves but living in Lousiana you never really get the Fall weather like you are suppose too.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Colin

    Love your Sister in Christ

  34. 134
    baseballmama says:

    De-lurking to say that the highlight of the season was tonight when my husband started his first ever bible study! PTL! He does answer prayers!

  35. 135
    Teresa says:

    Sooo glad to hear from you, Melissa!
    I too have had tears in my eyes at the beauty the Lord has displayed here in West TN! I think it has been one of the most glorious!

    Since you asked…I am preparing to teach on Ruth and Boaz in a couple of weeks…love this story! and how I wish I could have you over for a cup of coffee and apple crosta (Yep! I’ve made 3 this fall!) and discuss this scripture…
    blessings, sister!

  36. 136
    revjen says:

    Great top 10 list! Here’s mine…

    1. finally cutting down some HUGELY overgrown bush/trees in the backyard (just call my lumberjill)

    2. Teaching a highschool class about world religions and having them be able to tell me where those religions fall short of the mark (Makes me grin thinking about it)

    3. having our a/c replaced, our alternator die and our pipes back up all within a week…and NOT loosing my mind!

    4. Studying Daniel with a great group of women.

    5. Experiencing first-hand the saving power of God when I choked on my pizza and no one could hiemlich it out of me- but “somehow” it just unlodged itself. 🙂

    Sounds like I had a crudy fall, but really it was wonderful. I learned that everything is really out of my control, but it is all in God’s control.

  37. 137
    Lauren says:

    N.T. Wright preached at our church today, and he was AWESOME!!!

  38. 138
    Gayla says:

    Hey Melissa! Thanks for helping me know how to do some Bible study on my own. I live in the Atlanta area where my husband pastors. Would you ever be interested in doing the LIT class closer to home?

  39. 139
    Anonymous says:

    Definitely on my top ten ever: being surprised with a miracle pregnancy and beautiful baby girl after 17 years of marriage, 2 gorgeous adopted boys who are 10 and 8, and being totally content with life. We were half way to empty nest and totally content! God has been so generous!!

  40. 140
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve been doing the Stepping Up study with an amazing group of women from my church.


  41. 141
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, with that “bonus” question, I dare say it would be interesting to see what the other content of your class is! WHEW! As I read through that bonus question, I couldn’t help but think of the small group that is benefiting from your school (master’s degree) greatly!

    You have kept us bloggers on our feet by sharing the bonus question with us. I feel challenged just reading it and thinking about my fav verses. I guess I will have to partake of the challenge of this bonus question myself!!

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be challenged!!


  42. 142
    Lauren says:

    Hey Melissa,

    I wrote a post about Wright’s sermon today and posted a link where you will probably be able to download an mp3 of it.


  43. 143
    Laura says:

    Typically a lurker… I figured I would leave a message because never does it fail that when I need encouragement, your blog and the wonderful comments of the amazing siests lift my spirits and remind me of what ever it is that I need reminding of!!!

    My Top 3 list-

    1. Its beautiful Fall!! I love the fall- the colors, the weather, the football, Thanksgiving, everything about fall is wonderful…. I look forward all summer to fall!

    2. I am an AUNT!!! My sister had her first baby, a wonderful baby girl!!! She is beautiful and after a quirky birth and a few day stay in the hospital, she has been home for 2 weeks and is doing GREAT!!! Praise the Lord!

    3. I have been listening to a series of sermons from a church near where I live. The series is called Beautiful (from Newspring Church in Anderson, SC… all are available from Itunes for free as podcasts). The series is for women, married and single, and for men who want to understand women and God. It has really opened my eyes and changed how I think and the life and person God wants for me to be as HIS daughter and his beautiful creation. Wowy! Zowy!! God is So good!!!!

  44. 144
    Jen says:

    My best fall blessing? My 21-month-old, who a year ago age NOTHING, got her G tube taken out on October 30th! What a LONG road, but we survived! Praise the Lord!!!

  45. 145
    Becky says:

    Hello Melissa sounds like you are having a busy and wonderful fall here is a quick update.
    1. Over half way through my fall semster in seminary. Got a couple of outlines to complete and 130 questions in church history.
    2. Enjoying the beautiful fall colors here in Attalla, AL.
    3. Helping Troy decorate his new house and get it ready for us to have Thanksgiving there.
    4. Teaching youth discipleship training on How to Study the Bible. Writing a lot of the study myself, which is a first. God is good.
    5. Planting fall flowers and enjoy the colors.

    I know there is probably a lot more but these are a few that come to mind. Enjoy your fall and look forward to reading your next blog.

    Attalla, AL

  46. 146
    Michele says:

    Beloved, what does “de-lurk” mean???

  47. 147
    Kristy says:

    I am just thrilled right now, that here in south Louisiana, it is COLD!!! I just love it. I love the season and feel so much happier when it’s here. One BIG highlight is that I studied Daniel with our group of ladies at church and we have ONE week left!! I never thought the pages of Daniel in my bible would look so wonderfully weathered! And that I could explain just about everything in there to someone else! Praise God and thank you Beth!!!

  48. 148
    karilynn says:

    Amazed at how God is preparing our family for a short-term missions trip. (This is like the culmination of a 2 year period of knowing God was asking us to do something – just not sure what, when, where, etc.) He has shown us where and has connected us with the people we need to. Now we trust Him to show us the when, how long, and provide the financial end of it!!

  49. 149
    Deirdre says:

    I know you don’t know me, but I feel connected to you as a fellow Atlanta. Stop by the Emory Chemistry Department sometime and say Hi.

    My biggest thing I’ve got going on this fall is my tiny little 11 week old daughter. a real gift from God.

    Glad you are enjoying Fall here.

  50. 150
    Leslie Young says:

    What a great fall! Thanks for the update!

    My sweet hubby and I just enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary! We flew to California and drove from the gorgeous Humboldt redwoods to the wild coast at Big Sur, hiking and taking many (many!) photos along the way. What an amazing Creator we serve! Beauty and variety that defy words. Mmmmm.

    Back on the homefront, we’re still adjusting to an empty nest – thankful every day for our two wonderful, Jesus-loving college-age kids – and our women’s group at church just finished Psalms of Ascent – wonderful!

    I SO want Christmas to be a sweet season this year – not mired in stress, overscheduling and buyer’s remorse. Any tips?

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