Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Monday


Looking for a yummy, warm soup on a cold winter day? Check out this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Stand

An AMAZING song! Take a few minutes to listen :-)

It's from Hillsong United and available on iTunes!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I'm not a HUGE fan of Black Friday because of the consumer mentality that has made it what it is, however I am cheap ... which means that if there is something I'm looking for, or wanting to purchase for Christmas ... I will go out and get it at the best price!

So this morning ... after only about 3 hours of sleep my mom and I ventured out. I saw the first tiny snow flakes of the season and found a few good deals! Here's a couple observations from the day...

#1 - Hospitality. Let's face it - everyone is tired ... shoppers and retailers and its early in the morning, but hospitality still goes a long way. We were at 2 different Wal-Marts before 8a this morning. At store number 1 we had a TERRIBLE experience, and I mean TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE. There were cops patrolling the aisles, including one on a bike. The store is brand new and had taken the opportunity to hide "doorbuster" items in the nooks and crannies of it causing complete frustration and chaos. And because they had hidden the items the employees were unable to help frustrated shoppers find items ... to say the least, it was utter chaos.
At store number 2 items were near their normal locations, the employees were helpful and there were lots of them! There was no need for the cops because the store had things well under control ... they were friendly, greeted you at the door, and were more than helpful in helping find items. To say the least ... a smile went a long way this morning :-)

#2 - Early Hours. There's a widely held belief that 4-5am is PACKED and CHAOTIC ... well we always head out a little after 5 and (other than the TERRIBLE Wal-Mart experience) crowds weren't bad, people know exactly what they're looking for and lines move fast ... simply because the serious shoppers with a plan are the ones out at this time. The trouble seems to arise when the "gazers" arrive between 9 and 10a ... these are the people who think they missed the crowds and are now out to shop and look at items ... they have no plan.

So my advice ... go early and go to stores you are familiar with (you know they have good management, friendly people, etc)

So all in all ... did we get some good deals??? YES!!!

Bath Towels for $2, 4gig photo cards for $8, some great deals on clothes and much more!

Hope you had fun today! Anyone else find good deals?

Now, I'm heading to bed!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had a post ready to go, but then I came across these words yesterday and I think it touches on something I so often take for granted ... thanking God for who He is ...

"And so this Thanksgiving, although we still have much to be thankful for, I am reminded that some times, some seasons of life, we must be thankful simply for who God is, not just simply for the pain we have avoided." You can read the rest of the post by clicking here.

Simply who God is ... not what He's done for you or provided for you or not done or what you're still asking Him to do ... how often do we just simply rest in WHO God is and be thankful for that?

I don't know what this past year has held for you. For me, I have a lot to be thankful for and I don't take any of that for granted, but I think its important to remember that ultimately we need to thank God for WHO He is and that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow - no matter what those times may have held, are holding, or will hold for your life.

So today, as you enjoy time with family and friends, take time to reflect on who God is to you and how He is the constant in our ever changing lives ... and thank Him for that!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mercy Me

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to help out with the MercyMe Concert that was held at FarHills in Dayton, Ohio. I spent the day "running" for the band ... anything from dropping off the bus drivers at their hotel to running to Walgreens for some cold medicine and chapstick ... basically whatever the band needed, or wherever they need to go - it was my job to make it happen. I honestly have no idea how my mom and I ended up with that job, but it was pretty cool! During the event I got some good pics! Here's a few...

Johnny Diaz (the opening act for the opening act)

Tenth Avenue North (the opening act)

Mercy Me

There was also a proposal at the show ... catch that below!

To see more photos go to...


Monday, November 23, 2009

B ::: Bible

Continuing on with the Thankful Alphabet ... B is for Bible.

I was thinking the other day about how thankful I am that I can read God's Word in my language and that I can legally have a Bible and that I have the money to purchase a Bible ... even several Bibles. I take it for granted that I can at any moment reach for God's Word and simply begin to read it. Many find themselves unable to get the Bible, restricted from it, or simply unable to read it because its not in their language.

While at Cedarville I heard a Wycliffe Bible Translator speak during the MIssions Conference one year and her story simply fascinated me, but also reminded me that I take it for granted that I have an English copy of the Bible! There are so many waiting around the world for the Bible to be translated into their language!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I saw this last night while at the Mercy Me Concert and just had to share it! Pretty funny!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Website

Kate Mcrae has her new website up! Check it out at!

Friday, November 20, 2009



So, one thing that God is teaching me more than anything right now is ... FOCUS. With the changes in my job lately I am learning in a tangible way what the Bible means when it talks about focusing on the prize.

When I stay focused ... I can function. I get my stuff done and I don't get overwhelmed. But, as soon as I allow my mind to wander to all the things I need to do and lose focus I am overwhelmed.

When we focus on Jesus the problems of this world are manageable, but when we allow our focus to drift we become overwehelmed by our problems.

Stay focused on Him!

What are you focusing on?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I saw this cool idea today ... its called the Grateful Alphabet. Over the next several weeks I'll be blogging through the alphabet, stopping at each letter to identify something I'm thankful for. Let's start with the letter A!

A ::: Africa

I am thankful for Africa. It is the place that God used to change my life. The people, the culture, the land ... I'm not sure that I would be who I am today or if I would have experienced God in the way I did without traveling to Africa seven years ago! I hope to return to this amazing place soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Steven Curtis Chapman has an incredible new song out that he wrote after the loss of his daughter last May.

Here, he shares about the song...

Now, take a moment to listen to his new song...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Joy

I found this video on a friends blog today and it could not have come at a more perfect time. Yesterday, I was sharing with someone how my trip to Africa changed my life completely 7 years ago. And this video pretty much wraps up the reason why.

You see, I landed in Africa less than two weeks after my dad had died. It was a time that could have been all about me, all about my suffereing, my problems, my wants and needs ... BUT ... the JOY of the people in South Africa (and all around Africa) showed me a different way of thinking, a different way of life. My happiness isn't based, on what I have or don't have, or the sorrow that was currently surrounding me in my life. My happiness is based on WHO I know ... and knowing that this life isn't all there is ... there's so much more with Jesus!

What are you basing your happiness on?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The planning for Thanksgiving has begun! This will be the second time that I've cooked the meal for my family. I LOVE cooking ... and especially Thanksgiving Dinner! It also makes it easier for me to know what ingredients are in the food and makes the day much more enjoyable without having to avoid a potential allergic reaction!

So as I put together the Thanksgiving menu ... what's the dish you can't go without at Thanksgiving?

Social Networking

The other night I had a few of my friends' kids over for a little bit. We watched a movie, colored, and ate snacks. Then, it came time to go home and that's when I had a conversation with the two year old that really struck me...

It went something like this...

(After seeing my Macbook laying on the countertop)

2yr old: Where's your big 'puter? ('puter = computer)

Me: What?

2yr old: Your BIG 'puter (now gesturing with arms), where is it?

Me: That's my computer.

2yr old: No, your BIG 'puter (once again motioning with arms)

Me: Oh, that's my computer, I just have a little computer.

2yr old: Do you like your little 'puter? Do you want my big 'puter?

Me: No, I like my little computer!

It was a strange conversation, especially with a two year old, but then I realized ... he only knows a world WITH computers ... MULTIPLE computers. He sees a desktop and a laptop on a regular basis, sitting next to each other many times! Wow how things have changed ... it makes me wonder how fast and far technology is going to go as these kids begin to grow up ... and how the church MUST change the way it communicates as Web 2.0 begins to take hold. I don't think social networking is just online fun, I think its the future and how we utilize it is going to determine how we reach people!

What are you using ... how are you connecting with others? Is your online networking meaningful? Have you ever thought about the potential you have to reach people? The internet is never going to replace real life connections with people - and it shouldn't, but it is going to change the world as we know it.

In the last two days I've seen three examples of social networking and the church at work. People are seeing a need, sharing a need, and being the church to people they don't even know! You can check out some of these examples at the links below... ::: raised $25,000+ in less than 24 hours to build a kindergarten in Vietnam (original goal: $30,000 by December 31st) ::: collecting Christmas presents for children at Phoenix Children's - already have more than enough Children's Bibles two days after they posted the need

realtimechurch ::: bringing social networking and the church together to share the need and be the church

Maybe one way you can do something this Christmas is by helping someone you've never met by following their story and bringing it into your home via the web, blogs, social networking sites and getting it into your life through prayer and actively doing something to help!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This past weekend I was looking over some materials for the upcoming month of December. As I read through the stuff I was thinking through resources and materials that can be provided to help bring home the point that Christmas isn't about YOU ... its about JESUS.

Just after reading those materials I read this post at

"So we wanted to share an idea that we have been talking over for some time. I kept stalling, not sure about doing it. And then well, the night one of the kids up here passed away I felt an urgency to go ahead with it. It is about Christmas. Reality is, we could be up here for Christmas, which means, no Christmas with all of the kids together. And Kate's birthday is the day after. The thought is so very discouraging. How could we not enjoy such a special holiday together. 2 kids at home, and one in the hospital going through an extremely tough and rigorous chemotherapy? No family breakfast, no opening stockings together, no traditions, no Christmas with the 5 of us. So the more we thought about it, the more we realized, we may get the chance to be home, we just don't know. But the reality is, there will be families up here. On the oncology floor, away from the traditions, their immediate families and extended families, fighting for the lives of their children. Some their resources spent to get their children treatment. Others deciding which children to spend Christmas with. Others wondering if this will be their last Christmas together. The thought never ceases to bring me to tears."

Would you begin praying about what you and your family will do this Christmas to help someone less fortunate or who is going through a difficult time in life? Is there a family who's lost a loved one you could come alongside this Christmas, open your home to a widow and share Christmas with her, buy gifts for those who have none? The possibilities are endless ... but begin now praying about it, and asking God what HE wants you to do this Christmas to honor JESUS!

Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Years Ago


An era ended ... but its one of the first things I remember. At the very young age of 5 I remember seeing the people coming over and through the Berlin Wall as it fell 20 years ago today. I didn't understand what it meant at the time or even where it was, but I remember watching the television, knowing that the people had been kept on their side for a long time and that they were ready to get out. Its one of my earliest memories of the world outside my home (I have earlier memories from childhood in my home) and rivals only with watching the Gulf War begin that same year (which I thought was happening in Arizona ... it was the only place where I knew a desert existed!).

Times have changed and honestly I'm not sure how many 5 year olds should really be watching these types of things, but I think it helped me begin to understand that there were people all over the world and that not everyone lived like I did - there were people hurting, in trouble, happy, sad, and of all races and sizes all around me. For that, I am thankful - not only that the wall came down 20 years ago today, but that it began to help me grasp a world that was bigger than me. I think its one of the many things that God has used in my life to develop a heart for people, the oppressed, and a passion to want to help others.

A Word

From the Book of Common Prayer...

"Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; nor the hope of the poor be taken away"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Solo Sunday

The story of Joseph and his brothers is a familiar one, but have you ever really thought about the story of forgiveness that is wrapped up in this Old Testament story? I mean, really thought about it. About how God used the brothers plans for evil, for good and how Joseph forgave his brothers for those evil plans.

To me the word forgiveness means unconditional. Forgiveness doesn't expect anything in return. Often in our consumer world we expect that if we do something for someone, then they'll do something for us. But, that's not how it works. Forgiveness can't be earned and its not a trade for anything. It is a heart issue that is up to us. Forgiving someone means letting go of a hurt, and expecting nothing in return.

Do you forgive unconditionally?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Something Bigger

We all want to be a part of a story. 21,000 people learned the moves to this dance for the season kick-off of Oprah this year ... they were part of a bigger story ... they helped play a part in the overall story.

What story are you a part of? What story can your kids play a part in? Are you living for something bigger than yourself?

Friday, November 6, 2009


Follow the adoption of bringing home another Ethiopian Orphan here...

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Ok, so I've been a little MIA this week ... I mean there's been a lot going on and I just haven't had time to sit down and type, in fact I haven't even had time to think about what to blog over the course of the day. Oh wait ... am I complaining? I HATE complaining ... I mean really really really really hate complaining.

After a long day yesterday I couldn't wait to get home, I just wanted to sit down and rest, but what I wanted more was to tell someone all the things that were stressing me out at the moment. I wasn't about to pick up the phone and call someone, because like I said ... I HATE complaining.

Then, I opened up my devotional last night and it said ... "If you were to complain to God right now, what would your complaint be?" Um, woah!!! Complain ... to God??? What is this about???

You see, the Israelites complained to God ... they complained that there was only Manna and Quail and that the Manna only came at a certain time and that they couldn't take whatever they wanted, and that ... well it could go on and on. But, they were missing that God had provided for them EVERYTHING they needed, it just wasn't what they thought they needed.

So, how has God fulfilled things in ways you weren't expecting, or maybe haven't even realized yet ... is God "enough"?

Take some time to tell God of your "complaints" and ask Him to show you how He's provided in those situations!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday