Life Scraps

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Singles Conference Huge Success!

We said goodbye to Kent Bottenfield a little over an hour ago while outside of Farmer's Restaurant in Highland. It was such a let down to see him go. After the months and months of planning the FIRST Singles conference at FBC Maryville was an incredible success. Some might be inclined to follow that comment with the question, "So then, you had a large number turn out for the event?". To that I would reply "No, not a large number but the perfect number showed up." It was a success not because of numbers but because we honored God in every aspect of this event.

The preparation began Friday morning about 10:00 a.m. when my friend, Sheila, and I went to buy bottled water, soda, and various items for Kent's welcome bags. We arrived at the church at 12:30 p.m. and met up with others on the team to begin setting up tables & chairs in the gym. We decorated tables, arranged plates/napkins/utensils, stuffed carry-out bags, sorted through prize give-aways, etc etc. We left the church around 4:30 exhausted. We went to eat at Applebee's where we were entertained by Tyler and his impressions of Stuart & Lorraine. Okay, I was entertained and I entertained everyone with my hysterical laughter.

Saturday morning many of us arrived at the church by 10:45 a.m. to take care of the final details of getting registration tables in order, sorting t-shirts to sell, making copies of ice-breaker questions. The anticipation was mounting as 1:00 p.m. rolled around. We looked as though we would pounce on the first person to walk through the doors. It really was quite comical to look at. People began to arrive and the buzz started. My feet were insanely sore already. Soon it was nearing 2:00 p.m. and it was about to begin. Years of praying and a year of planning was about to unfold before us. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning eagerly ready to see the gift beneath the wrapping paper.

The worship band opened with 4 songs to bring us into an attitude of worship led by Brian Carr and the college band. Next was the human video by our very talented Steve Moutria. His ability to minister through these human videos just amazes me. I kid you not, you do not take your eyes off him the entire time he performs. We were so glad he had the forethought to ask us to move the video to the beginning of the conference vs. beginning of the concert.

Then it was on to the break-out sessions....1, 2 & 3. I was only able to listen in on 2 of the 3 due to a few glitches that came up. What I heard on the subjects of Flexibility, Unity and Purity was the heart of God and nothing short of that.

Now we are coming the really good part of this event. Yep, you guessed it, the food. Come on, we are Baptists and we love our food fellowships. Cuz let's face it, is there such a thing as a fellowship without good eats??? Oh no, no such thing! LOL We had purchased extra food just in case and there was SO much left over it was sickening! Farmer's restaurant out of Highland prepared it and we had Fried Chicken, Italian Roast Beef, Mostaccoli, Green Beans, Corn, Mash Tators, 2 Gravies, Salad, and bread. PLUS, delicious Boston Creme Torte Cake donated by our Sunday school teacher from his business. Seriously....insanely.....out of this world good eats!

We opened the concert at 6:45 with prize drawings and then Kent Bottenfield took the stage for his first set. Sitting in the very front row was bittersweet. While one moment I could sense Pastor Fred's presence and could easily picture him in my mind with that big grin on his face, lifting those eyebrows and doing that quick little head bob and giving us a thumbs up.....the next moment I was seeing the events of March 8th. Both visions would bring me to tears. And of course, I did not have my kleenex! Hello? I thought it was church policy to have boxes of kleenex in the front pews. If not, it should be!!!

The remainder of the concert was super and the presentation by African Vision of Hope was so informative but done in a way that did not bore you or turn you off. I pray their ministry was hugely blessed by the platform given through this event. Kent ended the night by grabbing the mike from Pastor John to make this announcement "I have NEVER, EVER done this in my performing career but I am asking you to please go out and buy my CD's. Every dime from those sales will go to AVOH." I just could have cried when I heard that. Humble, gentle, kind, compassionate, selfless man of God = Kent Bottenfield.

Afterwards we took Kent to......Applebee's! I don't eat there for 6 months and then I am there 2 days in a row. It was nice and relaxing to just sit and enjoy Kent's company.

Sunday Kent did the sermons of all 3 services. Wow!!! I could have listened to him speak all afternoon. He is a visual speaker and I LOVE visuals! He spoke on the subject of 'Intentional Pursuit of Godly Passion'. Purpose-Attitude-Satisfying-Sacrifice-Invest in Others-Non Negotiable was the acronym he used in his sermon. As always God gave yet another confirmation this was all HIS plan when Kent touched on several key notes of our class lesson from the previous hour.
After church our class & the speakers of the event took Kent to, no not Applebees, Farmer's in Highland. It seems most restaurants follow this code of architecture that states "Always design the dining rooms with high, open ceilings & tile floors so every sound echoes and when there is a room full of diners it is so loud no one can hear what the person sitting next to them is saying.....thus, your table turn around will be much faster and you will make more money" SERIOUSLY! Still, it was a delicious lunch and a great 1 1/2 hours of fellowship with Kent.

And then it was time to let Kent go so he could get back to his family and rest. This was an amazing weekend filled with great purpose....an attitude of worship....satisfaction of jobs abundantly well done....sacrificing of time and sleep....investing in others in our church and surrounding community....and the bringing forth of the non-negotiable Word of God. All this combined made for changed lives and what an incredible honor that God allowed me to be a part of it all.

Here I am with Kent outside the restaurant.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This little girl has my heart!!!!!


She is my Baby-girl, my Puddin'-pop, my Silly McGilly, my Sassy Mafrassy and a zillion other goofy nicknames I have for her. I am not just her HUMAN, I am her mommy and when she is suffering, I am suffering. Four weeks ago today, I had her at the vet for an insane case of itching & scratching. She received a cortizone shot which helped dramatically. But, as steroids go, it wore off and she is right back to itching terribly again. So, another 2 hour round trip to the vet for another shot. I am praying it is the allergins in the air still and not something in MY house that she is allergic to. All I know is this....I want her to feel better again. If I had the meds and the ability to administer them to her, I would. Gosh, I can't believe how sick it makes me feel to know I cannot really help her right now. Other than giving her a dose of children's Benadryl and taking her next door to my mom & dad's to see if that brings some relief. They called and it seems she is much calmer and not scratching like she was. I will find out when I go to get her shortly if it is my house. If she gets back here and becomes stressed & starts scratching obsessively again, I think Grandma & Grandpa just became surrogants to a Papillon for the night & tomorrow until the trip to the vet!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Miracles In The Midst of Agony

I promised you (7 days ago) a story about how miracles can be happening even while the world around us is in chaos. Read this story from my cousin's blog

"K was born on February 21, 2001 in Galveston, TX. Sadly, she was born very sick and it took a while to find out what was wrong. The doctors figured out there was something wrong with her liver when she was six weeks old. They tried every thing to make her better but nothing worked. In the end they said only a liver transplant could save her life.

When she was six months old she was severely ill, sick in the hospital waiting for a liver transplant. One bright September morning K's parents and doctors learned that a donor liver was available 800 miles away (in Nashville). However this was no ordinary morning, it was September 11, 2001. America was under attack, and as a result all airplanes were grounded. K's liver could not be flown to her in time. But nobody wanted to give up on K's liver. Many phone calls too place between Houston, Nashville, and Washington D.C. The Pentagon gave permission for the Air National Guard to fly the liver to Houston on a giant C130 military plane.

As a result K's life was saved. This heroic act saved one life on a day when thousands of others died. On the 8th anniversary of 9/11, K is a 3rd grader.

Such an amazing life story. As someone once phrased 'it gives me chicken skin' when I read it. You might know the phrase as 'goosebumps'.
I have been scrapping but just not posting, sorry. I will put a few on here before I leave. Dont' expect to see much from me until after 9/27 sometime. The Singles Conference & Concert that has been in the works for this whole year is now just 6 days away. All the loose ends must be tied up this week. I am taking off work Friday to allow for all the church prep work. Hopefully that will all me to rest up Friday night & Saturday morning before the event starts. Basically I will be living at FBCM from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. Hoping Grandma & Grandpa will take Molly for the weekend so she does not feel like an orphan doggie.
This was for a journaling challenge at Scrap Orchard. Since the 6 month anniversary of Pastor Fred's death and the 9/11 attacks fell in the same week AND I had failed to take my meds for depression for over a week......well, let's just say I was not in a happy place. I was terribly weepy that week. When I get weepy like that, I find writing is a great outlet. That was the inspiration for this LO.....my weepiness & love of writing!
This was for another SO template challenge. I used a new kit from LCC Amy Stoffel called Hanabi's Heart. The colors lend themselves to gorgeous fall pages.
Here is a LO I did last Saturday while sitting up at the church waiting for potential ticket purchasers. I was trying to decide what I wanted to scrap and came across this photo of me and my precious doggie, Little Bit aka Itty Bit. So, I did a Christmas page.
And you know my post would not be complete without a layout of at least ONE of the boys. These were some photos I stole from Andrea's camera while I had her SD card in my possession last week. I loved this series of pics with Trevor and his bubble lawn mower. My favorite photo is the one on the bottom to the left of the 2 smaller photos with his hat off. I think it looks like he is would be saying "I give UPPPPP....I have HAD it!!!!"
And here is another yesteryear layout using a photo of me from 17 years ago, yikes! Yes, this is a Glamour Shot photo and yes, I know, I had very big hair. No need to post comments about the hair, LOL!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

M.I.A.

I knew I had not been on to blog for a while but did not realize it had been 12 days. As I look back over those days I cannot see exactly why I have been MIA on my blog. I have not been "that" busy. Busy, yes. Hmmm, I really don't know. But, I am here now.

It is Sunday morning. I have 14 minutes before I need to get up and get ready for church. If I have time when I am ready I will come back to the computer and work on unzipping & loading some awesome new Pea fonts I just downloaded.

This has been an odd morning. My mind has been racing with thoughts. The kind of thought processes that remind me of the magician pulling the colored scarves out of his pocket and it never ends. The colors change (as my thoughts are) but there is just one after another after another after another...you get the idea. Oy! I wish there was a pause button on my brain. Okay, maybe I should watch what I wish for. Really, I don't want to check out in the brainwave department permanently....just pause it for 30 minutes. As I say that I think of the word PRAYER. See, another thought process! Maybe instead of wanting to close my eyes and go numb for awhile I should PRAY. Praying takes the focus of you and whatever is surrounding you and your mind at the moment and puts onto the outward things. Well, I guess that depends on how exactly you pray. If the prayers are filled with God help ME....God I need this or God please grant ME, well then.....the purpose is kind of defeated.

This past week was the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as well as the 6 month mark of losing Pastor Fred. Ugh, double whammy! I didn't turn on the TV Friday as I did not want the images of 9/11 flooding my brain. Don't get me wrong, we ALL need to NEVER forget. It is just that I am still dealing with the images of our churchs' own 9/11....only our date is 3/08. I could not handle anymore "images" this week.

However, there is a wonderful story I would like to share about 9/11. Yes, I said wonderful. It is a story of how even in the midst of our country's most tragic moments, God was still working miracles. More on that in the next post....I am 8 minutes behind where I said I needed to be to get ready for church. Last thing I need is to start running late and then get all "in a mood" before church....wouldn't that just make the devil so happy. I won't give him the satisfaction.
Be blessed!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hope....

This little four letter word that comes out of my mouth probably more than realize stands for something much larger than I give credit. What do I hope for?
  • the conference sales are enough to cover costs
  • more work comes in to meet the weekly obligations
  • all my plans for vacation go according to my wishes

What should I hope for?

  • God sends to our conference the ones who are desperately seeking the kind of change only He can offer through Jesus!
  • That I can be the shining light of Jesus in the work place, even when things seem bleak
  • That God give me the opportunity to share His love to someone while on my vacation

So, what IS the difference between my first set of hopes & my second? OBJECT OF MY FOCUS! If I could have a recorder that only recorded those times when I say the words "I hope [fill in the blank]" and then replay those words I bet 99% of them would all be selfishly spoken with only my own concerns & comforts in mind. The hardest thing to remember is that hope is NOT this switch we turn on only when "we" need something to go our way. Hope is an eternal flame that should burn inside us....with the main focus being on God....the giver & sustainer of our Hope [in Jesus].

I don't believe it is wrong to hope for all the little things we hope for. After all, God lays on our hearts certain hopes and desires to take us in certain directions at different times in our lives. But, if we never place Jesus in the center of those hopes then are those things really worth hoping for? Sometimes the hardest thing for me to remember is "It's not always about ME" even though I often feel I "deserve" to have those hopes and dreams realized. In reality, all I deserve is what Jesus did for me over 2000 years ago in the greatest act of love imaginable through His death on the cross. That's what I deserve! But, my Jesus loves me so much He paid that price for me and has bridged the gap from my heart to God's with His blood.

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:7

What are YOU hoping for today? Hope in Jesus and you will not be let down.