Monday, March 31, 2014

Burn the Plows...

...and Eat the Cows!

No, I didn't come up with that, our pastor did. Clever, huh!

Sunday's sermon was an introduction to the life of Elisha. 2 Kings 19:19-21 tells how Elijah found Elisha and threw his cloak around him as his calling. Elisha was all in. He went home and threw a big good-bye party. He burned the plows and ate the cows! "Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant."

Elisha was ordinary, faithful, and obedient. He literally burned up his back-up plan (plow and cows) and followed Elijah. Total commitment. No turning back. A leap of faith.

This sermon went along with what I've been thinking concerning my own purpose in ministry. Part of me feels my cancer journey is the beginning of a new calling or ministry. Not necessarily a new vocation, but using my experience in a more organized way. I'm just not sure what. My oldest daughter has had some good ideas, and I've been praying that God will show me what He wants me to do.

The songs we sang Sunday also spoke to me... or more like they were my prayer to God. We sang a favorite hymn (I Surrender All) and a favorite contemporary song (The Stand). So, I'll keep doing what I'm doing now - with all my heart as unto the Lord - and stay ready and willing for however God wants to use me. That's a little bit scary, because the last time I prayed that way I ended up with cancer - HA! But He's made it all work together for good and for His glory!

I love this song!!!

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

~ The Stand recorded by Kristian Stanfill

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What's the Point in Running???

Really. Tell me. What's the point in running? Especially when I can't be running in the Caribbean!

I was mostly excited when Daryl and I started our Couch to 5K last year. Even though it was tough, we stuck it out and participated in two 5K runs. I even managed to run the 2nd race with no walking. Then we had to "fall back" for daylight savings (or whatever you call it in the fall) and it was too dark to run after work...and too cold... So, we pretty much quit training.

A few weeks ago we registered for the Amazing Grace Run in our home town (college/early marriage) of Joplin, MO. It's in TWO weeks! We started back to the middle of our C25K training and hope to make it through the race. Which brings me to my question... What's the point???

I keep asking that question while I'm running and not really enjoying it. It's a scary conversation going on in my head! I originally wanted to run in 5K races to help with fundraising for cancer research or other worthy causes. But... I can register for a race, get a t-shirt, and STILL be contributing to the cause without actually running! And don't think I haven't thought about this.

Then I think how maybe the challenge is a good thing. You know, facing the obstacle and overcoming it. But I stinkin' survived cancer and chemo, so who cares about running?

So for the last part of my run today, I had a hard time talking myself into anything good about it. I even chanted out loud, "I don't like this!" Finally, I set a goal to run to the end of the road and pressed on. While walking back to the house, I was still trying to think of what's good about running!

Listening to Building 429 is good during my run! And the song All the Glory had me wondering how my running can be glorifying to God. I've never been big on physical discipline, but part of I Timothy 4:7 came to mind - discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. I realize this verse is about spiritual discipline, but I'll try to focus on how my physical discipline and running can be a way to glorify God!

It’s here I find you lift me up just to lift You high
It never was about me, You get all the glory
And if I stand it’s only that I am in Your hands
It never was about me, yea You get all the glory

~ All the Glory by Building 429

Friday, March 7, 2014

Terri's Top Travel Tips

We had a WONDERFUL cruise vacation! It was a great time with great friends doing great things! We enjoyed wonderful food and wonderful entertainment (broadway type shows, ice dancing show, Donovan and Rebecca, and The Texas Tenors! We were never bored and almost didn't have enough time to just sit on the deck doing nothing. We played miniature golf, climbed the rock wall, rode a boogie board, and went ice skating... on the ship! We also participated in a one mile walk for the Make A Wish Foundation... on the ship! We did a zip line adventure in Roatan, Honduras with Caribe Sky Canopy Tours, a cave-tubing adventure in Belize City, Belize with Butts Up Cave Tubing, and enjoyed kayaking and snorkeling on Palancar Beach in Cozumel, Mexico.

The best vacation!

A God-ordained moment was being in the boogie board line with a lady whose mother is a five time cancer survivor... four of those being non-Hodgkin lymphoma!!! After we finished the boogie board, her mother and I shared a survivor's hug! So special.

Here are my top travel tips for first time cruising...
  • Travel with friends who are experienced cruisers! Not only did their knowledge ease our stress, they also got some nice perks!
  • Carry-on bag actually means a bag with WHEELS! There is a lot of walking just to get from the van to the line... and a lot of walking through the line... and a lot of walking to find our stateroom... There's even more walking if the ship is late because of fog and you have to spend a couple of hours walking around town until you can get in line to board. Next time our carry-on bags will have wheels!!!
  • Let the bank know you'll be out of the country so that your card will be accepted at the port cities. Oops! Thankfully the ship had an ATM!
  • Have a no-frills hair style... like my post-chemo short curly hair... because it is WINDY on deck!
  • Make sure your hat has some kind of under-the-chin strap/string... because it is WINDY on deck!
  • Pack LESS! Now that we know what a cruise is all about with formal, smart casual, and casual nights for dinner, we will pack less next time!
  • Book your excursions directly and save money! I was nervous about this because the ship will not wait for late groups unless they are on a ship-sponsored excursion. But we were in the same groups as the ship tours, so we finished when they finished. No worries!
  • Don't pay full price for anything. The shops on the ship will have sales - like t-shirts for $10! At the ports - you can walk away from a "deal" and the shop owner will keep offering the item at a lower price. It's a weird system!
  • Use a backpack that has more than nylon cording for the straps. Hauling a bunch of seashells from the ocean in a simple cinch sack can hurt your shoulders. Don't ask me how I know!
  • Be brave and do new things. The only things I had already experienced were miniature golf and ice skating. Everything else (the boogie board, rock climbing, zip lining, cave tubing, kayaking, and snorkeling) was new... and FUN!  
  • Be brave and eat new things. I didn't know what a lot of items were on the menu, but I made it a point to order the unexpected - escargots bourguignonne, chilled banana and rum soup, caprese salad, garlic tiger shrimp, smoked duck breast, creamed wild mushrooms, BBB creme brulee, tiramisu... YUM!
  • Pack WARM clothes in the van for the trip home. It was 74 when we got off the ship in Galveston and 22 with ice by the time we got to Dallas. Brrrr!
  • Start saving for the next cruise!!!
This is the life!

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
~Psalm 8:1