I Dropped the Ball….Again

I know, I know….I promised y’all a Mandisa winner MONDAY for crying out loud.  My first excuse is that I road tripped to Andrews, NC to serve the precious women of Valleytown Baptist.  Loved spending the weekend with them and the drive through Ocoee, TN was just what I needed.  It was so wonderful to look at lovely, unscarred landscape again.  Girls (Analisa and Kay!), thank you for extending this invitation to me so long ago.  God was working from underneath all along for our mutual benefit.  He is so good. 

More excuses…I think I may have whined a time or 7 about not having internet access at home.  I started to say something to the effect of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” but I won’t stop you if your name is Argentina (Tina will do) and feel so compelled.  Adding insult to injury, when the tornadoes blew down all the telephone lines a phone crew guy working on my road told me they were upgrading the equipment and that we should be able to have dsl soon.  Turns out, he is a liar who smells like the devil but unfortunately I did not know this at the time my kids and I were doing the happy dance in the car because INTERNET!  WE LOVE YOU!

Needless to say when I was given this intel I couldn’t call the phone company fast enough.  Imagine my distress when the customer service lady told me that not only were they giving us back the tin can and string aka copper wire we now have for a connection, but that we may never get upgraded to fiberoptics because of the tremendous expense of service restoration.  And then she gave a sinister, patronizing laugh and hung up on me.  

Diabolos.  All of them.

Now that I’m depressed from thinking of it again, let me go ahead and cast myself headlong off the roof by lamenting the fact I am not in Louisville, KY with 15,000+ of my closest friends attending the very last Deeper Still.  I needed myself a word and some girlfriend time.  Guess I’ll have to wait until the study is replicated and duplicated and sitting on the shelf of my favorite LifeWay to see what I missed.  For the rest I can rely on Twitter.

Okay, back to business.  I combined the entries from the giveaway post and the M2M Blogroll post to randomly choose a winner.  By random I mean I asked my daughter to tell me the first digits that came to her mind which was risky because she could have said something like 1,394,949.  Rather she chose 17, her softball number.  That means a huge congratulations to…

Gail at Pandemonium in the Parsonage

To enter I asked y’all to share what gets you going in the morning.  Gail answered..

We love Mandisa around here! I hope I win! If I don’t, I might just be stuck listening to “Freedom Song” a million and two more times, as it is the girlies’ favorite.  We bought a coffee pot with a timer. I love waking up to a pot of coffee ready to pour! Now I grab a cup and slip off to my Bible study chair first thing. Love it!

Yay, Gail!  Send your mailing address and I will get this cd to you.

Be sure to check the Called Out column tomorrow from another article from YOU.  I’ve enjoyed reading your submissions so much and appreciate your being a part of the ministry of this site.  And, may I take this moment to brag on Rachel and Chrissy for working so hard to make Fridays happen.  I love y’all, man. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Called Out:  A Kick Off Giveaway

A few days ago Rachel gave you details about our fun new column entitled, “Called Out”.  The intent is to feature guest bloggers who want to impart their God-given wisdom in matters of life, church, and/or ministry.  In case I haven’t been clear, this is about YOU girlfriends! To celebrate, how about a giveaway from one of my favorite artists, EVER?

Back in 2009, I had the privilege of meeting Nicol Sponberg at a women’s conference in Granbury, Texas where I was teaching and she was singing.  If that name isn’t ringing a bell then shame on you and then think Selah – as in sister of Todd Smith and original female vocalist of the group.  Her music owns my iPod so to say I was a little nervous about meeting her would be understating it a wee bit.  Instead of finding a diva in the green room, there was this humble, unassuming woman who I adored instantly.  She and Greg, her hubby, suffered a devastating tragedy in the loss of their baby boy Luke to SIDS and the word I can best use to describe them both was tender –  but not fragile.  Fragile suggests weak but they are anything but.  Spending the weekend with these two has been a huge highlight in my life and I won’t soon forget it.

Nicol released a cd a couple of months ago entitled On Our Way Home.  I have a ton of favorites but “Downpour” and “Hallelujah for the Cross” are tops.  “Home” is intensely personal and is written about baby Luke.  Warning:  you will sob. SOB.  But hear me well, if you have a loved one who has gone home before you like I do, it is filled with hope only Christ can bring.

I am delighted to tell you Nicol has given me a copy to give away.  To enter, simply leave a comment in support of Evelyn on her first Called Out post, “Wai…ting”.

**Note: There was a little confusion on how to enter this giveaway. Comments are closed on this post because you are to enter through the Called Out link I provided directly above. Click on through or scroll down to read the post and leave your comment. I will randomly select and announce the winner on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!**

Surprised by Worship, Not Snow                               (A Giveaway)

Y’all are some thoughtful girls.  Just loved reading your responses about the things God is working out in your hearts and the fabulous books you are reading to prepare your mind for some action in 2011. 

Which is a perfect segue into my telling you about yet one more book that I’ve had for a while and haven’t yet mentioned.  It’s called Surprised by Worship by Travis Cottrell.  (You may have heard of him.  He leads worship for this chick named Beth that I hear is a decent Bible teacher.)  His marketing group sent this book to me a couple months ago and truth is, I just got busy and didn’t read it for a while.  But as God frequently proves, His timing is always right on and it turns out I was able to work through the theme of this book during a season I needed it most.

Travis talks about worship and how we find it in the most unexpected places.  How we can learn to praise when the thing didn’t turn out like we had hoped.  How we can not freak the freak out while we are waiting on Him.  How we can trust God’s good thoughts toward us when the future feels incredibly uncertain.  And perhaps the most important thing, the bursting forth of joy that comes when we finally catch up to the place where God has gone before us. 

The part of the book that resonated with me the most is Travis and Angela’s processing of the call as worship pastor at a church in Jackson, TN.  I laughed out loud when he talked about the ‘coincidental’ things that confirmed the oughtness of their pursuing this mode of ministry because Luke and I totally get how God does.  He’s just hilarious up there laughing when He gets to toss out some random thing that means nothing to anyone but us.  Ain’t nothing like having an inside joke with Jesus. 

So as my first little gift to you in 2011, I have a copy of Travis’ book that is up for grabs.  Simply leave a comment telling us if you are getting any snow right now.  Our schools are already cancelled and we haven’t seen the first flake.  We might be surprised by worship but no Severe Winter Weather will be catching me without bread and milk.  Or orange sherbert ice cream and a box of sugar cones.  

I’ll leave the post open until Wednesday and announce a winner Thursday. 

Good luck!!

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