Click SMC Intro (under Labels) to learn about the Scripture Memory Challenge - and then look for posts on 1st and 15th of each month!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Caswell Challenge Recap

I don’t even know where to begin! Have you ever wanted to say and share so much that you can’t even figure out where to start so you end up speechless? That is where I am today. Well maybe not totally speechless…that would take some serious intervention from God…a miracle of the proportions of parting the sea! ha

We went to the Caswell Ladies Retreat over the weekend. Make your plans TODAY to attend next year. It is always the last weekend in Feb and we will take you whether you attend our church or not…because I feel that passionate about its importance. Phyllis Elvington was our guest speaker. She is speaking for our church on 3/27. You do NOT want to miss it…she is wonderful! You can go from laughing to crying and back to laughing in 3 seconds flat! She challenged us, encouraged us, fussed at us, and loved on us all weekend long. She is so inspiring!

I think my favorite part was an illustration she did showing from Genesis to Revelation of who Christ is. It was 10 scripture references of Christ as The Lamb. It was very moving and very powerful. I had plenty of “ah-ha!” moments but that one brought me to tears and just resonated in my spirit.

If you went to Caswell…share your favorite moment!

I think the first full day back in your life is the hardest part of coming home from a spiritual retreat. Apparently no one tells your circle of people that you have tasted heaven and would like to keep the sweetness on your lips. Instead they try you, test you, tempt you, and trip you up…and most times they don’t even realize they are doing it. That is what satan does…he uses folks who don’t ever know they are his puppet. So how do we survive the first days back to reality? On our faces! Jesus is the ultimate answer to that question. Praying for strength and then finding confirmation in His Word is the best survival tactic in ANY situation. Did you get in His Word before you left the house this morning?

Then there is an Accountability Partner…find one NOW. Ask her to hold your feet to the fire and make sure you are walking the walk that you are talking. You don’t have to have a single thing in common except for loving Jesus with all your being! But be cautious…find a good one! Don’t pick a friend because they have always been your friend. Pick someone who is earnestly seeking Jesus as hard as you or maybe harder. Pick someone consistently lifting you up. If you partner drags you down or encourages you to falter in your walk with Christ…she is the wrong partner! Sometimes you have to make hard relationship choices to get the right fit for you…but looking at the grand picture…eternity trumps this life any day so choose wisely!

Then there is fellowship with other believers. Get to church Wed night. In fact, every time the door opens…try everything needed to get there. With or without your husband…get there. Children clean or muddy…get there. Not because you want to be seen and see others…but because you want to worship God while surrounded by like-minded believers. I believe you can’t stay full of the Holy Spirit without interaction at a worship center. This morning Beth Moore said “We were created for relationship!” We need to worship with other believers. That is what makes Caswell and other retreats so spiritual…the people there are seeking the same Jesus together! I know there are times you must miss church…no one can be there every single time the doors open…but they should be far and few between! And there must be a reason worthy to stand at the throne of God and say “thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins…but I couldn’t worship you on Wed night with the other believers because ______”. The only things I can think of are sickness and travelling!! So if healthy and in town…see you Wed night!

Lunch is over I know the two of you are glad I am signing off…
Be a blessing to someone this week…

In Him,
Kristy =)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All Clear...

That's what the doctor just told me about going to Caswell. You see, I still have the crud. And I didn't want to share it with my friends so I went back to the doctor to make sure it was not contagious. And she said it looked like I was having an early allergy season...yeehaw! So I can go...and y'all don't have to worry about catching it...I just might not be a pleasant bunk mate with my snoring and I will bring Nyquil. ;)

Have you decided what to take for Discipleship Training? It is tough to choose this time! The nerve of the church offering so many good choices...ha! If you have never participated in DT...I absolutely positively insist you sign up! Nothing will grow your faith like studying God's Word with a small group of like-minded believers! If you don't know which to choose...I'll help you pick one out! With the options available you CANNOT go wrong with any choice! If you are lurking from another church and you do not have DT at your church...come join us for ours and get some ideas to take back to your church. Sundays at 6pm and anyone is welcome! Starts March 13th I think!

Y'all have a great Wednesday...go to church tonight and get refilled!

In Him,
Kristy =)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Ramblings

The Caswell Countdown has begun! I am so excited about our trip this year. It is one of my favorite Women’s Ministry activities we do. I am so thankful that several years ago we decided to go with FBC-Smithfield and check it out. This year having Phyllis Elvington back to speak is going to be an awesome treat! And the weather is going to cooperate nicely it seems! Tonight I will make it through Leviticus and I must confess that I will be happy to move into a NT Book for a few days. Don‘t get me wrong. I love all of God’s Word because He spoke it into existence, but those laws of sacrifices make me tired. When I read through the Bible I try to put myself in it…yes in the text right beside Moses and Aaron and the 2 million whining Israelites. And I tell you between the whining and all of the laws of sacrifice…it is a wonder Moses was sane! Without God in control and being his Friend, it is very clear Moses would have been suicidal at best. Moses saw in Exodus Aaron was going to be no help after the whole golden calf incident. And then last night Billie showed us in Numbers where Miriam turned out to be a stumbling block too. But Moses clung to God through it all…no matter the circumstance he cried out to God for deliverance, safety, and just to unload his mind.

That is the example we need to follow…cling to God instead of other humans. I’ve said it before that humans will let you down every time…can I get an amen?

Be a blessing this week and CLING TO HIM!
In Him,
Kristy is an update!!! woohoo!!! I am hanging in there!!! If you are this to catch up!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One thing I stink at...Resting!!!

I have been quarantined to my bed for about 3 hours and you would think I had been sick a week. I am just so bad at resting. I honestly tried, but since I don't watch much tv that leads me to read..and when your head hurts reading is no fun. So now I know EVERYTHING you could possibly need to know about the Major League Baseball's Pujol's failed negotiation for a contract, and that Dale Jr crashed at practice today and even though he won the pole he has to start at the back of the pack in a back up car. That is so unfair. And I know that the NFL has been very busy this off season with negotiations. And is sad that my favorite tv is Sportcenter...especially since my hubby hates sports!

At any rate, I somehow managed to get a couple of fresh words from Sportcenter...(yes that may be even sadder!) the first...franchise tag. It is a term used in the NFL under the quickly expiring labor collective bargaining agreement that indicates you are the player worth the most on the team that has a contract expiring and they have not been able to convince them to stay yet. They pay you a salary equal to the average of the top 5 paid players on your team's roster. And it forces you to not talk to any other teams and remain committed for one year. Each team only has one franchise tag to use per season. This year there are several big name players getting the franchise tag this year...Peyton Manning, Michael Vick to name a couple. I want to get the franchise tag for God's Team. I want Him to see me as so valuable to His offense that He gives me the franchise tag!

The second fresh word is a big word called redemption. In case you don't know, I am an avid football fan. Peyton Manning is my favorite player. Although I admit I have a second player I follow for the last few years. Michael Vick. I watched him when he played for Va Tech and new he would play on Sundays. He was so athletic and gifted. When he started playing for the Atlanta Falcons I was pleased. And then the scandal broke. His role in the dog fighting ring. The shame and disgrace he brought to the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons was monumentous. Disappointment he brought fans like me who saw so much God given talent...wasted on a thug. Financially ruined him; friends and family deserted him. He served 2 years in prison and then something amazing happened. He applied to the NFL for reinstatement. Folks talked about him like a dog. They called him what he was...a felon. No one every dreamed the NFL would reinstate was too risky. But they did. Of course the odds of a team taking a chance on him were slim. The Falcons wanted nothing to do with him...and that was their right. Most NFL teams were shying away from the trouble makers. But then Andy Reid from the Philadelphia Eagles did the unthinkable. He hired him as a back up quarterback. Third string quarterback behind Donavan McNabb. A veteran. A very good role model. And Vick did something no one ever imagined...he humbled himself and became a student again. He learned everything he could from McNabb on and off the field. He was mentored by the great, Christian, Tony Dungy. He overcame the most adverse odds and is back to his best. Have people forgotten what he did...nope. Does he face it head on daily...yep. But does he let it rule his life...nope. He uses it to teach others, young people, about the dog fighting way of life and how to rise above it. He has been redeemed. Given a new chance. Second hope. And I am rooting for him to succeed. What a story!

But I have the same story. Well maybe not the whole dog fighting, been in prison, NFL Superstar story...but I have been redeemed too. I have been given a second chance. Jesus paid the price for my salvation so that I do not have to dwell on past sin and mistakes. I can face each day humbly as His redeemed child. And my future is guaranteed to be a success because at the end of the age...I am heaven bound! Praise Him!!!

One of my memory verses from a couple years ago was from Job 19:25 "I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth". Amen.

Resting in Him,
Kristy =)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quiet as a mouse...

I know...the two of you have MISSED my blogging lately...haha I have been quiet as a mouse! I have the crud...that is the official term the doctor used yesterday which means no I don't have a lot of encouraging words flowing through my brain. Mostly just mucous up there right now.

So this was my valentine supper:

But I did read in Leviticus last night before I went to sleep at 8:15 and it made me appreciate Jesus even more! If I had to figure out what offering was fellowship vs sin vs etc...I think God would zap me! It was so complicated to my simple little mind. So today join me in Praising God for sending Jesus to be the once and for all sacrificial Lamb! Just Praise Him for it, ladies!!!

Go bless someone today!

In Him,
Kruddy Kristy =)

Friday, February 11, 2011


That is what I am. I don't even have anything encouraging to say to you. Sitting at a hospital wipes you out! Bless Billie and Tim...I don't know how they hang out there so much and still carry on normal lives! I was at JMH yesterday from 6:45am until 12:30pm and I was ready to jump out of the 3rd story window! Last night I went to sleep before 9:30 and never heard the clock this morning. I think a lot of it is that I have been too busy "living life" to process anything mentally and emotionally. I am sure you other wives and moms can relate. I would like nothing more than to crawl in a hole and cry a while and ask God why me? why now?, but then who would load and unload the dishwasher, fold the towels, wash one load from the mountain of laundry, get the daughter to dance and home again, visit grieving families, check homework, pack book sacks, feed the dog, the list is endless. Sound familiar? All our lists are basically the same. And God says "I give rest to the weary". And He does. So we press on...stifling the whining as best we can as humans...head high and looking up for strength and peace! Peace that only comes from Jesus and knowing that this life is temporary! Regardless of the situation or the outcome...this is temporary and does not really matter in the grand scheme of things...because better days are ahead when we leave this world! Amen!

Y'all have a great weekend! The weather is going to be awesome. That will help me not pout too bad over cancelling the ski trip weekend!

In Him,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Greatest Compliment....ever!!!

Today I received the greatest compliment I have ever received. It went a little something like this…

Scene: Kitchen….Mom is packing snacks for school, Peyton is sitting at table eating breakfast, Caleb is in living room being Caleb =)

Me: “I really need to skip church tonight and stay home and wash clothes so we can pack for our skiing trip this weekend. And wash dishes too! Being at the hospital last night with my mom has me way behind in my chores. (sighs deep)”

Peyton – so is that what we are going to do?

Me – “absolutely NOT! I know it is just satan trying to get in my head and I say to him…Get behind me satan I have no room for you today! Can’t let him win!” (she giggles)

Peyton (grinning) – When I grow up I want to be just like you!

Me – what, you mean crazy?????

Peyton – no….organized and godly

Me (off guard) – you can be…(smiling)

End scene

Pick me up off the floor!!!! Organized I expect…but godly…me???? That one threw me for a loop. In a split second I had to decide how to take the compliment. If I agree…am I arrogant, self righteous? If I disagree am I discrediting the work God is doing in my life? Right, wrong or indifferent I took the compliment with humility and gratefulness. Humble because I am so unworthy but grateful that God is using me to shape a child’s life.

So…who is watching you? Who is seeing how you react in adversity? What kind of example are you setting? The Lord knows I don’t always have the correct reactions and the most glorifying to God moments every time. But I am aware more and I do actively choose to glorify Jesus first in every situation. And when I fail and fall short…He picks me up. He always picks me up!

If you have nothing to pray for today…lift up my mom. She is a patient at JMH being treated for pneumonia but also planning to undergo a heart cath tomorrow to rule out heart problems. Pray for my sister…she lives with mom and is very scared.

In Him,
Kristy =)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A new book

I am reading a new book...SURPRISE! I actually am juggling a couple. The title of one makes me giggle..."Becoming More than Just a Good Bible Study Girl". The title implies exactly what it is to make your life more about LIVING what you study vs just checking off the list that you studied and have head knowledge. Head knowledge is easy to obtain...but can you apply it in life...especially in a crisis? I'm only in Ch4 but it is an easy read! She tells great stories that are easy to relate to. One in particular made me laugh at ball practice until I almost cried...the woman sitting next to me surely thought I was crazy. I could just SOOOO see myself in her shoes! She had volunteered to do something for her child's school without getting enough instructions to do it...which really is the STORY OF MY LIFE! And like me she decided instead of clarifying she would just figure it out for herself...and she messed up...royally. But then she did something I don't always do. She fessed up and moved on. She did not cover it up, or dwell on it, or beat herself up about it (which is often my reaction). She threw satan out of the equation by not letting her mind talk her down the ugly path...I am so stupid, why do I bother, no one really wants me to help because I ruin everything, I am a failure, if God loved me He would have stepped in and saved from being so stupid, where was He at?...sound familiar??? They are EVERY ONE lies! Lies that satan fuels to try and bring you down and make you doubt. But you can overcome those thoughts by refusing to participate in the pity party. Dust yourself off and get back up and move on. In the name of Jesus! And then laugh at your is never as bad as it seems if you can separate your identity from your situation. That is what the book points out...despite the worldly view...YOUR IDENTITY IS NOT YOUR CURRENT SITUATION. Whether your situation be mourning, discouraged, sick, tired, fed up, angry. Situations change...but if you remain can survive anything! And you do not need to base YOUR identity on anyone else (ie baseball mom, preacher's wife, deacon's wife, cheer coach, stay home mom, wife without a supper plan, professional whatever, etc, etc). See yourself as you and your situation as temporary and things will look much better! I tell my children all the time that life is temporary and no matter what really at the end of the day does not matter because we are only passing don't get too comfy in this world!! God made you to be you and no one else! Anyway...I only meant to tell you it was a good book if you need something to read...HAHAHA

The other book is Joyce Meyer's "The Mind is a Battlefield" I am doing it as a mentor study with a good friend. It is good too. I especially have liked the way the homework in the study guide is laid out. It is mainly scripture research and a little heart searching. I get a little burnt out on the Bible Studies that are constantly heart and soul searching with no scripture to study.

And last night...I completed Exodus. woohoo! The Isrealites are behaving for the moment. Tonight I get to start in Mark. I love the way this Yearly Bible Reading Guide swaps between the OT and NT. It is so easy to follow and not get bogged down in the Law!

So anybody else reading anything great right now??? Please share!

In Him,
Kristy =)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Evaluate your peeps!

This is our dog, Breezy...she is an outside dog. We are not inside animal kind of people =). And she was never allowed on the furniture until Caleb showed her how easy it was to jump on the couch on the back porch. Now...she owns it!
and oh the dog hair!!!! It will take me forever to clean it. She is supposed to be lying on the sheet (which is balled up with the purple popper gun on top...evidence that she might have had some help)!

Here is an example of how Breezy was brought down by the company she kept. She was living a good life, with little strife or discourse, but the first day I caught her on the couch...she knew she had messed up. And her partner in crime was no where to bail her out. Now granted...I am a softy for her and it worked to her advantage over time. But what about us? It doesn't always work out so well when we do things we know we should not but feel we can justify it because others do it too (and with us!).

It made me does the company we keep effect us? How about when you notice you are constantly gossiping with someone and then feeling remorseful about it but as soon as you can you call them again...or answer quickly when they call you. Or when you drink too many adult beverages when you eat out with a certain couple and don't feel the best the next day but as soon as they invite you again you are calling a babysitter and ready to go assuring yourself you will only have one drink this time but you don't. Or you don't read your Bible because there is something on tv that all your friends are constantly talking about and you want to be able to participate in the conversation but you have to put the kids in bed because it is too racy for their eyes but you can't wait to see it with yours. Any of this sound familiar...we have all been in similar situations if we are honest to ourselves.

So what do we do? Personally...when I faced some of these challenges I caved and regretfully participated...but then I sought God like never before. And with the help of Jesus...I reacted like Joseph when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him...I FLED!!!! Eventually, with the help of Jesus and Jesus alone, I took myself out of those situations. It was hard, it was lonely, and it meant being left out and uninvited to things at first. But with Jesus I survived and even thrived in other relationships.

So in short...evaluate your peeps...they do effect your decisions whether you believe it or not!

In Him,
Kristy =)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And Let the Whining Begin...and Studying! the night before last the Lord sent quail and manna to the whining Israelites. And I could hear in Moses's of my daily pleas...."God they are your deal with them!". Because honestly...we all belong to Him. I empathize with Moses...because the Gardner house last night was FULL of whining! lol

Then last night came the 10 Commandments. I have a studious as I try to be...and as much as I dive into the Word because I LOVE IT...I failed a basic Bible test last summer.

It was at WMU Associational training...and Phyllis Elvington was the speaker...I just love her. Anyway she asked us to rate our selves on Bible knowledge. 1-10 with 10 being a scholar and 1 being a beginner. Well I was trying to be modest in the crowd and rated myself a 7. I mean come that time I was in my 3rd year in a row of reading the Bible cover to cover. I am the Beth Moore Bible Study Queen, and I have read more Christian books than most women because of my LOVE to read about my Jesus! So I honestly thought a 7 was holding back. She had us get into pairs to do a quick test.

AND I FAILED! And I drug Ms Amber down with me...LOL

The test...list the 10 Commandments in order. It sounds so simple. I mean they are in many sermons, books, etc. We have been exposed thousands of times to the list. But I have to fess up...we did not even get all 10!!! We missed 1 (I think...maybe 2!) and I think we only had 3 in the right order. I was humiliated but not alone. EVERYONE of us failed. There were like 35 ladies mostly 20 years older than me...and we all failed!!!! so I vowed to study them...only I haven't yet! I completely forgot! So last night I made me a study guide while I was reading them!!!! know Phyllis will be at Caswell this year....and she is speaking at WMBC in March...and I am so afraid the test will come again...and I might fail again!

So do what you want...but I recommend...REVIEW THIS:

1 - No other gods
2 - no idols
3 - do not misuse the name of the Lord
4 - remember the Sabboth
5 - Honor your father and mother
6 - Shall not murder
7 - Shall not commit adultery
8 - Shall not steal
9 - Shall not give false testimony (lie)
10 - Shall not covet your neighbor's anything (greed)

Have a blessed day!
Come to church tonight!

In Him,
Kristy =)