Monday, December 30, 2013

The War on Christmas by Bodie Hodge

I took on reading Billy Hodge's book this season. It had several interesting facts and theories surrounding the birth of Christ. I'm not sure that it had more to bring to the table than A Case for Christmas by Lee Stroebel. There was quite a bit of criticism about a pastor's sermon being lacking in how he explained the root of Christmas. I think the meaning could be explained without that criticism. I don't honestly think we need a war on Christmas. We don't need to reclaim it from our culture. It isn't about keeping Christ in Christmas. It's about what Christ is doing in us. We should be walking grace and merciful explanation of the true work of Christ. Warring with culture is distraction. Let's battle our own flesh and honor Christ by how we honor those around us. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lonely, Hurting, or Stressed.

I am praying for all of you right now. May your hearts be lifted up to the joy of Christ. You are deeply loved. Happy Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Come Caroling

The Home inspector comes at 10 a.m Thursday morning. Y'all  can be praying about that.

My man asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told him I wanted to finish the bathroom. The two rooms that were the most hideous and scary when we moved in were kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen is coming along and I would love for the bathroom to come with it. I found the cutest shelf at Hobby Lobby for all of our towels. They were always hung over the bath or on a rickety hook. We hung it and it inspired Denbigh to start hanging bead board. Of course, there is always something crazy we have to do. We have to re-seat our toilet and fix the floor. There is a hole in the floor that needs to be fixed. 

Thursday brings carols, my dear friends. Stop on by for some s'mores, cocoa, Christmas cheer, and the world's best cup of coffee. See you at 6:30 p.m.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Talk to me, Abba.

I have been blessed to do many things. Even though I have never taken an art class, it seems that I am becoming an artist. It was a wild (Holy Spirit) hair that I had to start painting. Every time I sit down at a canvas, I pray for God's creativity. I pay attention to the shape of the world around me. I pay attention to people. I pray for the recipient of the painting and everyone who sees it to be touched by the Irit of Jesus. I have been humbled by the people I have been able to pray for. People I most likely will never know. I shed many a tear when asked to do a painting for a young mother of four when she lost her husband. Many times have I wept and prayed for those in cancer treatment or recovery. I have hated and loved every minute. It has changed me. I have been humbled by being allowed to pray for them. What grace to allow me to intercede on their behalf. Very often, the words on the canvas become my own prayer. 

Eleven years ago I stepped out of severe and life-long depression. Last week, I was commissioned to do a painting for a dear friend. 

"You have taken my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy."

Yes, You did. Do it for her.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Jesus Story by Dr. William H. Marty

The Jesus Story is something akin to a cliff notes version of the New Testament. It sums up all of the story of the life of Christ and puts it in a tidy little package. I think it would be a great book for someone who had no grasp on the text. I personally just found it dry the story itself, is of course, wonderful. How it was choppily put together was not. The Bible itself is such a poetic and beautiful book. I had a hard time with it becoming "they said or they did." I can see how it would be a benefit to some. I think it would be helpful in gleaning understanding of the life of Christ. Don't stop there. Indulge in the beauty of His word. 

The book was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers for review. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are You Stephanie Cherry?

Well, y'all, my house is a wreck, but I've been creating art left and right. I was invited to attend a women's mission dinner at First EV Free on Friday and sell some of my paintings. It was fun. I sold several bigger pieces. People kept asking me if I was "Stephanie Cherry." Every lady who walked by laughed out loud at the laundry signs. Most importantly, I had a couple of divine appointments. As with our house, art isn't the goal, it's a vehicle. It's a way to connect with the hurting people around us. I was grateful to be right where I was on Friday night because I was allowed to stand with the broken hearted and share the love of Christ. Besides that, the food was amazing. The cupcakes had edible pearls on them. What southern girl doesn't love a cupcake with a pearl on top?

Our house loan seems to be going along okay. We are waiting for an appraisal. I guess I should clean up for that. Just a few more paintings...We also have quite a bit to take to the table from selling fish, pie, and art. Yay, Jesus. 

Our heat went out the other night when it dipped down to twenty-seven degrees. Our heat pump seems to shut off when it gets above 95 or below 32. I am not exactly sure why the gentleman who installed it thought it was a good idea. I am grateful for when it does work. Sunday morning, however, it was 47 degrees in my bedroom when I arose. My girls and I ate breakfast and got dressed in the bathroom. It didn't really bother me. I was grateful to have a warm space for them. We reset the heat (when the temperature rose) and bought some heated mattress pads. You simply must get one of these. They are amazing. My kids fall right asleep. I do as well.

We also don't have heat on our first floor. There is no HVAC unit down there at all. I refuse to cook at under 55 degrees. One year I burned my hand and didn't know it for hours because my hands were numb. I went "cookieless" to a cookie swap because I didn't think the glory of my cookies were worth the 29 degree temps of the kitchen. So, I took flowers and a tray I bought from the deli. My witty banter was a hit. I'm just making stuff up now. Here's to getting heat for our whole house. 
Blessed be the Lord.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Jesus, Take the Wheel. No, Really.

What a crazy last few months. Don't think we are settling into normal either. I think the wild ride is just beginning. As you know, our financer had the option of getting a balloon payment at the five year mark. He chose that and we had been working with a mortgage broker for months to get it in the works. Then, that fell through at the last minute due to something unforeseen to us. Our note matures Tomorrow. As of this past Monday, we were still scrambling to figure out what to do. We have possibly found a lender. We are going through all of the paperwork for this to happen. Next, it's appraisals and so forth. Please say a little prayer that it all works out. All of our proceeds from art and pie in December will be going towards the payoff. If you want to get involved in the redemption of Gomer, this is your big chance. Visit my Etsy store. Contact Denbigh to order a pie.

On Saturday night, our family was out to eat and Chayah started choking. I performed the Heimlich on her and pulled out everything I could from her throat. When I saw blood, my nerves were shot. Mini strokes. Car wrecks. Car breakdowns. Miscarriage. Cancellation of policy. You may lose your house on a technicality...

What would we ever do without Jesus?

As I have been staring in the face of all of these things, that is the one phrase that kept entering my mind. My neighbor said it again this morning as we were on our four mile jaunt around Fentress. What would we do? What if all I had to lean on in times of great stress was a false hope? What if I could only look to the stars and not the One who made them? That's what we are doing here. That is why Gomer is so important to us. We don't want anyone going this thing alone. Life is too hard to go alone. We want to be the house that holds up the light for people to see. Come rest your weary bones in the love of Jesus. May God redeem what He has called us to oversee. We are but caretakers in the house of a mighty God. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills... and in the words of my dear friend, Robert Barge, "all we're asking for is a bar-b-cue."

Hosea 3:2

In Other News

**Fourth Annual Caroling w/Gomer- December 19th**

The pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church is coming out 12/5 to see about getting work crews out here.

I'll be at First EV Free this Friday (12/6) with an art booth at their Women's Mission Dinner.

love y'all.

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Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...