Thursday, February 25, 2010

Advertisers Needed!

"The only advertisement Jesus has here on earth is us!  We are His billboard." - Jim Cymbala

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting in my car for about an hour, doing nothing but waiting.  Exciting life huh?  As I sat in the parking lot waiting, I started doing one of my favorite things:  people watching.  Most everyone I saw had two things in common, they were in a hurry and they looked very unhappy.  I saw a mom who seemed disgusted with her child for taking too long to get out of the car seat.  I saw people in their cars not letting others "out" in the traffic line.   I saw people passing one another without smiling or even speaking.  

Not too shocking in the world we live, is it?  Not shocking, but sad.  Sad because I was not sitting in a Wally World parking lot but in a church parking lot.  Say it ain't so?  I'm afraid it is.  My observation from the car played over and over in my head for a few days. I even wondered what I would look like if I could see myself as I walked through the parking lot.

Riding down the road yesterday (I'm in my car a lot!), I was channel surfing on the radio when I heard a familiar 80's Bon Jovi tune.  The line "you're to blame, you give love a bad name", was unfortunately stuck in my head all day (hate when that happens).   

I certainly don't pull any spiritual advice from Bon Jovi.  However, I must admit I wondered if, as a Christian, am I to blame?  Am I giving "love" a bad name?  Worse yet, am I giving Christ a bad name by the way I act toward others?  Today I listened to a sermon by Jim Cymbala (Brooklyn Tabernacle). In his sermon, Pastor Cymbala said, "The only advertisement Jesus has here on earth is us!  We are His billboard."  

In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples."   

There is an unbelieving world watching us.  As the above quote from Jim Cymbala states, we are Jesus' adverstisement.  So how am I doing?
  • Am I courteous to the grouchy cashier? 
  • Do I treat my waiter respectfully when he gets my order wrong?
  • When I am insulted, do I turn the other cheek or lash out?
  •  Do I let other drivers "cut in front of me when I'm stuck in a traffic line" and on a tight schedule?  
  • Do I treat my family and friends with love (when no one else is watching)?
  •  Do I look like I am full of His joy so others will want what I have or do I look like I have been sucking on lemons?
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." - St. Francis of Assisi 

Sorry Bon Jovi---Love has a good name.  His name is Jesus. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Skinny Jeans, Uggs and old people

Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:4
Yesterday my Facebook status read:

going to a concert tonight with our youth group. Maybe I should borrow a North Face jacket, skinny jeans and some Uggs to try and fit in. Thinking about how I'm going to feel in the morning with ringing ears, aching bones and sleep deprivation. Hmmmm, am I getting too old for this behavior.......we shall see!

(here is part of our group at WinterJam)

Despite not rockin’ Uggs, skinny jeans or a North Face - I survived our trip to WinterJam with our youth group last night.  This arthritis laden chick was breakin’ it down to some Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North and Fireflight (even though I continuously called them Firefly).

Four hours of sleep found me feeling pretty chipper this morning.  (As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise Surprise Surprise!).   Even woke up to the Newsboys playing in my head. 

 “Because the toast is burned and all the milk has turned and Captain Crunch is waving farewell. When the big one finds you may this song remind you that they don't serve breakfast in hell.
I was feeling pretty hip and cool  kewl hanging with the youth when I was brought back to my reality.  One of the most comical moments of the night was when I found myself trying to find the bathroom when intermission happened. I was not expecting to get stuck in the middle of 5,000 teens.  Out of nowhere they appeared.  Talking, texting, giggling, texting, jumping, texting. 

I suddenly found myself stuck in a sea of teenagers.  Talk about a panic attack waiting to happen!  Wall to wall kids.  I couldn’t move to the right or to the left.  Teen traffic was at a stand still.  So much for my bathroom break.  All I could do was pray I could "hold it" and that these kids didn’t start body surfing their way to the popcorn stand including me in their mosh-pit.  

 In the midst of  trying to squeeze through the chaos someone stepped stomped on my foot!  (No doubt it was an Ugg wearer).   The foot stompin' crazy quickly apologized to me then loudly exclaimed to their buddy , “Hey dude, watch out for the old people!”.   Old people?  SERIOUSLY?  I must need a hearing-aid because I KNOW he didn't just say that.  Me=an old person.  Was it the fact that I can’t text and walk at the same time that gave it way?  My lack of Uggs?   Sigh—whatever gave it away there is no doubt they were referring to little old me!    

Well, all I can say is I am so glad my Jesus loves us old people too!!  

I'll leave you with some of my new favorite verses: 

I've been carrying you on my back from the day you were born, And I'll keep on carrying you when you're old.    I'll be there, bearing you when you're old and gray. I've done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.  Isaiah 46:4 MSG

And this verse:

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.  Proverbs 16:31

Let’s not forget this one:

Job 12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?

Now I better go buy some of this:

Thursday, February 18, 2010


My man wrote a great note today that I wanted to share with you.  His note served as a personal reminder to me to "invest" in what really matters during these tough economic times.  I love my man!  He has such a way with words.  Take a read:

Have you seen any of those commercials recently about buying gold? They warn of the falling dollar, rising debt and volatile stock market while talking about the solid value of gold.  

Yesterday Becky and I were eating supper and the TV was on when an ad for “” came on. It depicts a professional looking couple in their mid 30’s, preparing some dinner, as if they just got in from “the office.”
They are discussing money and the man says something like “Maybe it’s time we rethink our investment strategy.”
I started pondering this statement. “Maybe it’s time we rethink our investment strategy.” 

The ad was obviously designed to convince people with stocks or savings of some kind to consider investing in gold but I began to think about my own investment strategy. I have no stocks to worry about or other monies that I need to be careful with but I have been blessed with very valuable commodities. We all have. 

One very valuable commodity that we all are given is time. Time is so precious. We are only given a certain amount and we only have one chance to invest it.

It is not hard to see, in our day, that much time, if not most of our time, has been invested in earning money. So we can have things…more things…bigger homes…newer cars…security for the future. Is this really a wise investment of our time? 

What have we sacrificed for more money? Many times we trade our one and only chance to raise our children for more money. Is that a wise investment of our time? Has this strategy been good for our families?
We sacrifice time with our spouse in this endless pursuit of money. What kind of returns have we received on this investment? Dividends of broken homes and shattered lives, but we have more money! Guess the divorce lawyers are getting that return.  We foolishly put very little investment into the most precious of earthly relationships and then wonder what happened. Why didn’t it work? Where did we go wrong?

Marriage and children are precious gifts. We would be wise to rethink our investment strategies in these areas.

And if we are courageous enough to rethink our strategies to invest the precious commodity of time, what about our faith? How much of our time are we investing in such a precious gift as our faith?
There seems to be less and less time left in our ever busy schedules to invest in our faith these days and so many appear to be trapped in the relentless cycle of busyness. So consumed by this world.
The Bible says that our faith is more precious than gold and the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls. So how can we invest time in our faith?

If we really would rethink our strategies and invest less of our time in the pursuit of money, we are, at the same time, cultivating and exercising the precious gift of faith so its genuineness may be tested.
If we consider what scripture says is valuable instead of all the other influences and desires that we follow, the constant pursuit of money is just not a priority.  

But what about our stuff? What about our standard of living that we have worked so hard to achieve? What about our retirement goals? Education and travel plans?

The Bible says the world and its desires are passing away but the one who does the will of God will abide forever. I believe that is why Jesus seemed to care so little about obtaining money. Why he said that God considered the successful farmer who built bigger barns so he could store his crops, a fool. Why Jesus said not even to worry about what we would eat or wear….that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
Maybe that is why Jesus said even to sell your possessions and give to the poor and provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old. Treasures in heaven.

Time to rethink our investment strategies?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Put A Sock In It!

If you are looking for something spiritual you may want to skip this video. If you want to see what happens when my little watch dog raids my laundry basket, then take a peek!

Put A Sock in it! from B Burton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time is running out

I received my weekly newsletter today from our state home school association.  It posed the question, "What's Really Important?".  I thought it was worth sharing.

What's Really Important?
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get sidetracked from the truly important things in life? Days and months pass before we realize we've neglected what really mattered.

As we work with our children this week, let's not forget what's really important. How well our children do on a test or whether they enter college early is not the most important thing. What matters is eternity! We have but a short time to prepare our children for their futures--and the most important preparation is that of the heart.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.  Psalms 127:3

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

30 Weeks and counting.....

Here is our soon- to- be grand baby, Jaelynn, at 30 weeks: 

Please continue to pray for baby Jaelynn.  She has heterotaxy syndrome and some issues with her heart.  Doctors think she will be in NICU for a short time after being born.  

We serve a mighty God and He is still control.  Our trust and hope is in Him.  Baby Jaelynn is His amazing creation!!  

Psalms 135:14-16 The Message 

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I'd even lived one day.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cardboard Baby

One of the bloggers I enjoy following (Kelly at Kelly's Korner) had a post today about cardboard testimonies.  (If you have not seen the cardboard testimonies I will post the powerful video at the end of this post).

She asked what our cardboard testimony would be.  Here is what I wrote for mine:

Pregnant as a High School Senior. Afraid and scheduled an abortion.

The Lord intervened. Had my baby girl and now my baby is 22 and having a baby girl of her own in April!!!

Praise The Lord for the "back" part of my cardboard testimony.  How timely was Kelly's blog today as I just got this picture of Amanda today.  She is 30 weeks pregnant with her own little baby girl:

And one more pose:  

Here is the video about the cardboard testimonies.  What is your cardboard testimony?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Keep on truckin' (for Jesus)

 Saw this great poem on Courtney's blog last week. I have needed to read and re-read this a lot recently. 

(BTW--being in ministry doesn't necessarily mean you are on staff at a church as a "minister".  Maybe you are a stay at home mom ministering to those precious gifts from God.  Maybe you minister to your co-workers each day. Maybe you minister through your blog or Facebook.  Regardless of who you minister too-- you have a ministry!!  Keep on doing it all in the name of Jesus.  Don't quit.  Press on even when it is tough.  Our reward in heaven will be great.) 


Ministry is....

Giving when you feel like keeping...

Praying for others when you need praying for...

Feeding others when your own soul is still hungry...

Living truth before people when you cannot see results...

Hurting for others when your own hurts cannot be spoken...

Keeping your word when it is not convenient...

Being faithful when your own flesh wants to run away.

-Author Unknown 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Oh Scrap!

Many of my friends are in love with scrapbooking.  I'm not there yet, however, I stumbled across a neat and FREE resource for all those who love this hobby.  Many of the themes, stickers, etc. are free.  FREE!  Can't beat that now can ya?

Be sure to check it out: Scrapblog

Though I am not a scrapbooker (or is that scrapbookie) nor do I plan to become one anytime soon,  I did enjoy making this picture of my soon to be grand-baby for my prayer wall:


Here is my prayer wall where this print will go:

I ripped off this idea from an area Youth Pastor (Thanks for the idea Wint & Vicki!).  The YP had pictures of all his students decorating all four walls of his office.

Though I don't have as many pictures covering my walls as he did,  I still enjoy looking up while I am working in my office at home to see pictures of friends and family that I am praying for-- or that I have prayed for in the past.  Some of the babies that are pictured on the prayer wall are now close to two years old.  Some of the people on the prayer wall are in Heaven now worshiping Jesus.  Some of pictures represent people who are still waiting patiently for an answer.  On the wall, I have included a few letters and notes that I have received. Even included a small token gift someone gave me (a plaque that says, "The higher the hair the closer to God.") so I can remember this precious woman and pray for her when I see the gift.  Yep--there is even a poem my hubby wrote for me.  A hodge-podge of visuals reminders.  Reminders that it indeed is a privilege to join along side of people to pray for them and with them.

All in all, the items on my prayer wall are all visual reminders to me of The Lord's faithfulness.  He indeed hears our prayers and answers them each in His perfect timing.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2


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