Monday, September 29, 2008

Internet Accuracy

Truth finding is very important to me. I consider myself somewhat a truth-teller and a truth- seeker. Hopefully, most Christians, would relate.

I think most people want to believe that their beliefs are truth.... otherwise why would they have them. But it is really interesting to see what people do, not what they say. Your real believes can be seen in your actions.

I want to make sure that what I believe and what I inform others of is the truth. Maybe that is why I so enjoyed attending the Truth Project Conference this weekend. (I am sure I will be blogging about it.)

In the age of frequently forwarded e-mail, although it is losing its popularity, I found that I would always background check a story before forwarding. The first stop I would make was snoops. Then I did my own research digging into the background and authors of sites before I would even read the stories. I wanted to make sure the material I read was not bias or plain out propaganda.

There are wonderful sites that do data research on the Internet. I find it so interesting and very informative. Just this year "porn" search dropped from 20% to 10% with new social sites like twitter increasing to 20% from 10%! What a nice shift! You can read more about it on this great story

It amazes me how many false e-mails circulate. Sometimes I get the same inaccurate stories over and over. So I recommend, if you are going to forward an e-mail, website or blog to someone try to check it out first. You could actually take the first steps toward being an Internet truth-teller! There is enough deception and lies in our world without having good willed people adding the inaccurate data by forwarding or copying lies by not taking time to validated it.

As a Christian, it is especially important to me to not pass around lies or highly edited videos or cut and paste quotes. It is so much more ethical to find the whole truth by finding the entire video footage or reading the entire speech given instead of a quote often given completely out of context. I know it takes more time, but the time invested is worth the time it takes.

Isn't this exactly what happens to the Bible? Someone tries to twist God's Word in their favor by quoting a part of a verse...or a few verses spattered through the entire Bible or even worse using a quote completely out of context to support their agenda and points.

We can all make mistakes, but we all need to repeat information carefully...if we don't, are we not falling into an electronic form of gossip?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If You Are Living a Hectic Life, You Can Relate!

Our family life has no reflection on my dear husband. All kinds of "opportunities" (sounds sweeter than deadlines, responsibilities, obligations) pass by because I do not getting a minute to remember to tell him.

We are working together very hard to slim down our life season started and pushed us over the edge.

Two weeks into the football season, we left for family vacation (which was an unrestful hotel under construction story); we returned exhausted.

We all tried to get back on the merry-go-round of life traveling at the speed of sound. Every now and then we are more hanging on the merry-go-round bars flying horizontally through the air hoping we don't fling off...the rest of the time, we are on one of the up and down horsys that never get very far but keeps us moving in the circle of life.

We are trying to desparately run to the merry-go-round operator (God that controls the universe), and to tell Him we want off or at least would like to sit as a family in one of the "old people's benches that don't move" for a little rest.

We possibly could get our thoughts straight, figure out how to set our priorities straight, and pray for a just seems every time we inch our way toward the operator, pulling ourselves across the carousel floor...we get knocked in the head by a moving horsy or the "darn" merry go round starts spinning faster....

Have you ever lived through this? We have, and eventually life slows down and we rush into God's big safe-haven arms to return to the abundant life He intends for us to live...a life of rest, peace and well,...let me not get carried away being too creative...I might starting sipping on a Coke and singing about "perfect harmony"...of living in a world of peace on earth and goodwill to all men.

I think you get my point! Where do you think my cupcake, 11 year old daughter, gets all of her drama and imagination? (o:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can Hugging Be A Mistake?

I am a hugger! I love people and I love to get and give hugs. Hugs can fill me up when I am emotionally or physically running out of energy...when I have given and pushed beyond my reserves.

Just as it has been proven that physical touch is necessary to release the chemicals that allow an infant to thrive, not only survive. I am going to be just plain honest....I need hugs; all humans need some type of touch...even if it is a gentle pat on the back or a caring handshake.
Last night I was helping out at a very active and fun youth (6-8 grade)Bible Study. The lesson was on Ruth and Boaz. Part of the girl's-only discussion time was on what questions girls had for boys at this age. At the same time in a guy group, the guys were telling the male leader what questions they had for girls.
The girls asked why guys lead them on to believe they like them "in a special way" when the guy really may just want to be friends or part of a group of friends. Not every young person is wanting or needing a paired-off dating type of relationship. In fact, I personally, discourage "dating" until a college age. Dating is a separate blog topic, so I will not expand on the topic here. A lot of young people just want to enjoy their teen years doing fun activities and building relationships with friends.
A discussion about how girls and guys say and do things for different reasons also started. We talked about how a lot of what takes place is just miscommunication. Enough books and seminars have been given about how men and women are just different when it comes to communication (and everything else)! For example, if a lady says, "I know you love me, don't waste money on a valentine's gift" she means "I don't want to tell you to give me a gift, but it will break my tender heart if you don't and I will remember for years to come." Of course, the man hears, "I don't need to by a valentine's day gift", and knowingly appreciates how practical his sweetheart is... until the big day comes and he realizes there has been a major miscommunication!

The girls agreed that having a guy touch their waist, even to give a pinch or squeeze was too close for comfort. I found this interesting, and something I noted that I needed to tell my 13 and 15 yo sons.
Then the subject of hugs came up. Call me naive...I was called it last night...but I have hugged people (male and female) for more than 40 years and never dreamed anything was wrong with giving a caring, accepting hug.

The girls' leader started explaining that when a guy hugs a girl on the front they may being hugging to feel boobs the girls were cautioned to give side hugs. The teens responded with a lot of "oooh...yuck...I'm never gonna do that again...I can't believe it!" talk about the "I want to feel your boobs mindset" of why a guy might give a front hug.

Being a mom of 2 teen boys and also being a big hugger, I spoke up and wanted it emphasized that not ALL guys give hugs to feel boobs! I know I never have felt hugged by a guy and thought he hugged me to get a "boob feel" except from my loving husband...and he should hug me that way!

At church and lots of other places, in friendly settings, when a male offers a hand, I occasionally will say, "I'm a hugger. Let me give you a hug!" I'm am just a bubbly, friendly, out-going, loving woman.

Wow! I never knew I was being "forward or sexual"...I just thought I was letting the person know that they were cared about and loved....that the friendship or relationship was loving, like a brother hugging a sister. I remember singing a song in grade school about being a Christian that said, "I am one in the spirit, I am one in the Lord, I am one in the spirit, I am one in the Lord and together will spread the news that love is in our hearts....and they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.... yes, they will know we are Christians by our love." Christians are suppose to show their love for one another.

When I got home and talked to my sweet hubby about it. He told me that my family not only hugs, but we will give kisses on the cheek. I don't think I am going around kissing everyone on the cheek...I am pretty sure I reserve this for ... brothers, sisters, in-laws, etc. I never even realized that we did that, but I wish I had my siblings right in front of me now so that I could give each of them a big hug and cheek kiss! We all live far away and don't see each other even once a year...sometimes once every 5 or so years! When I see my siblings I express my love openly. I know this is common to a lot of families.

With this new information (a guy may be thinking I want to feel her boobs), I hope I don't go around self-conscious ...leery of giving hugs because a guy may think it has a sexual feel to it! In my heart of hearts (my spirit), I suspect that males giving and getting hugs for sexual pleasure is few and far between. I just think a person would sense this in their spirit, if something odd/ extra was going on in a simple hug.

Let me end with a little explanation. My mental definition of a 'front hugs' is to be face to face but over to the side (as my son says 'touching shoulders' - not boobs/breast).
To me, a 'sexual/intimate front hug' is be face to face where the "private spots" (or as some youth have called it 'my special place') can possibly touch....I would NEVER hug anyone but my husband that way!!!!

And let me also clarify, that there is nothing wrong with teaching our youth (or even adults) to give side by side not mistakenly lead someone on or innocently stir up the natural biological chemistry God gifted us each with. Yes, it can just happen...physical/intimate attraction...but it can't 'just happen' if we set up proper boundaries, like not giving lingering or intimate front hugs to anyone but our spouse.

I totally agree it is probably the best for teens of opposite sex to side hug...just way too much hormones flowing... and a lot of new feelings emerging. It is best to be on the safe side, and remain innocent both in giving and getting hugs.

Matter of fact, just this Sunday... I asked one of our staff pastors (that had allowed me to attend a conference) if I could give him a side hug, and with his permission I side hugged him, as a way to express my gratitude. I did it in a way to honor him by asking permission because I am aware of how many pastors have stumbled in this area...but as I write this I realize...we all, in general, are vulnerable in this area of life, so maybe I do need to reconsider my hugging ways.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stunning! Recieved my 1st blog Award!

I am totally honor by because I am totally such a blogging novice!

I love to write, and anyone that knows me - knows I love to talk. Blogging is a whole new world and I am meeting so many friends. The best part is that I am watching God make divine appointments in my life and the life of others. It is totally amazing to me!

Here are the instructions for the following Brillante Weblog Premio award recipients:

1. Place the logo on your blog

2. Link to the person who awarded you.

3. You can nominate up to 5 blogs.

4. You can then add their links to your blog.

5. Leave a message in the comment section to each nominee on their blog.

So my five are:

I love each of these for different reasons, but besides Three Channels, these are truly the bloggers and blogs that I have discovered and truly enjoy!

Hope you enjoy them! Lindylou

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Get Rid of Rules, Once and For All!

Everywhere we go it seems we are having to learn the rules or laws that must be kept in order to not be punished. We have driving laws, school rules, social rules, contest rules, tax laws....its never ending! As parents, we are encouraged to come up with about 5 family rules to establish expectations and order in our homes.

Our conscience, regardless of our religious faith, helps us make choices between right and wrong. It responds to moral law stamped in our hearts from birth and more closely, it is linked to our family law we grew up under. Our con'science' is not a perfect science...a little pun on the word. It can be weak because we were conditioned with overly strict, very legalistic expectations. It can be seared because we ignored it so much and did whatever felt good in the present that it can't even tell right from wrong anymore. It can also be mature. A mature conscience has been spiritually trained and accurately reflects God's standards/ view regarding behavior. God's standards are based on the absolutes in His written Word, the Holy Bible.

While our conscience can be also can be warped...and it is not the same thing as the Holy Spirit who can live in us. When we accept Jesus as the Lord of our life, and desire a loving relationship with Him more than anything else. This love relationship can lead, follow or come at the same time we recognize our need for help from the pain and bondage of living under making so many wrong decisions, living in sin. We often get to a point that we feel loaded up with guilt when we do anything we perceive to be wrong.

God created you and me because He wanted to have a loving relationship with us. It had no thing to do with getting us to follow a bunch of rules and laws....that is religion! It is also known in churchy-circles as legalism. God's solution to our to free us from the pain and suffering caused be sin is provided through grace! His grace to us is and always will be sufficient for any need we have because all sin was paid in full by Jesus on the cross. That is why there is no guilt or condemnation for anyone who is in Christ Jesus! Don't be saved and stuck in a life of guilt.

It all comes down to the LAW OF ONE! A relationship of love is what God wants for us not a life filled with rules. The law of one is Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, With All Your Soul and With All Your Strength. (period).... This is Deuteronomy 6:5 which was repeated again by Jesus in the New Testament. God tells us that these are the words that we are commanded to have in our heart. This Law of One, the Law of Love, is what we are to diligently teach our children. We are to talk to them about it when we sit around in the house, when we take a walk or run an errand, when we return home getting ready for bed and when we rise up in the morning preparing for a new day.

This relationship of love should be something that we creatively make into the designs on our clothes, jewelry, accessories and home decorations. We should find a nice way to post this loving relationship reminder on the entry way to our home and even in our yard...maybe on a gate, mailbox or garage door. Frankly, we need to do anything we can to help everyone in our family (including ourselves) to observe and not forget this loving relationship that will have an impact on everything we do everyday of our life.

How many sins can keep you away from an open relationship with God -One! How many times did Jesus have to die for each and every sin - One! How many times do you need to get saved - One! How times can you be regenerated and born from the spirit above - One! How many rules and laws do you need to remember to obey - One!

Can you allow yourself this freedom? Can you erase your traditions, family ways, controlling false beliefs? Can you dare to be free from a life of laws and rules? Can you trust yourselves, others, and most importantly, God? Can you finally live in grace and a loving relationship with God? Check your motivation, are you walking with God because you love Him or is a fear, guilt, looking good, being accepted that motivates you?

You see, GRACE is the answer to Rules. If you live by His grace, if you love Him with all of your heart, if you listen to His still quiet voice, if you speedily repent of known sin, if you just let yourselves be overwhelmed by His precious adoration and acceptance of YOU, you can live by love and not by laws.
This is the big IF - if you are "in Christ" - You are Free! Salvation is not free, it is so expensive you can't afford it! Once saved, you accept Jesus' provision for spiritual guilt. Jesus paid it on the cross.

What you are left with is emotional guilt. Why would you try to continue to emotionally be guilty for something that Jesus already paid for spiritually! After you are in Christ, you will never be happy living in sin. The Holy Spirit, living in you, will motivated you by conviction.

This is the good news - the freedom, hope and healing - sought for by people of every Nation!

Are you ready, able, to trade your life of rules for the most incredible, satisfying, constant love relationship available? The choice is yours!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What Everybody Ought to Know about Teenage Pregnancy

This is such a difficult topic to talk about. I can not speak about it from first hand experience, but it has hit close to home. I have had personal experience with relatives and friends who have had teen pregnancies. Some chose to abort. Some chose to let the child live. Some were forced by parents to abort. Some were encouraged and helped to give birth. Some gave the child up for adoption. Some began the life of a single mom. Some mourned the death of their baby. Some felt some comfort knowing a caring couple was raising their child.
Most teenage mothers-to-be never see what their child inside looks like. This is a picture of an 11 week old baby, about 2-3 months old. It is not just tissue, and a positive pregnancy test is a baby.
Of all the people that I have ever talked to about a teen pregnancy, the only people that suffer piercing regret and inner pain are the people who aborted their children. Countless mothers live under shame, condemnation and guilt. They go through life believing that God will punish them or when bad things happen to them that they deserve it or He is punishing them.
One dear friend believed she was given children with learning disabilities because she aborted a child. Another felt she could never be clean, loved or forgiven. One constantly wanted to punish herself and didn't think she deserved to live. One left a baby bed up 15 years...a sign to her that her child never got to be her baby. Another went down the road of promiscuity, drugs and alcohol feeling she would never be wanted.
I have talked to some friends and family that have been teen parents. None of them told me it was easy. When they look back at those years they wish they would have made better choices. They wish they would have not had sex that lead to the pregnancy.
All of these people were looking for love, acceptance, "a way out of a bad homelife", security, or "to hold on to a relationship". Some had sex for pleasure but the real need went much deeper. None of them ever told me that they wish they would have killed their baby. They love their child! They can't imagine life without them. They had to sacrifice and live a hard-knocks life in order to be a teen parent. The teens with family support and encouragement fared the best.
I have seen a video, a music video, sung and written by a child that was in a womb in 1979. He now hugs his mom and says, "Thank you!" He thanks her for letting him live! This is not an easy video to watch. I can't imagine how hard it would be to see it if I had an abortion.
One of my dearest sister-friends cried out, "Stop!" when she was on the abortion table....but she was ...too ....late....her ...child ...was...already ....killed. I think this is why this video hit me so hard. I can see my sister-friend as the mom in the video and my heart cries out for her, even right now, that her story could have ended the way it did for this teen mom and child in the video. I am not sure I could ever let her see the would hurt her too much...I would not want to see her relive the pain and cry, again, for her child.
If you can, watch this video If you can't I am praying for you as I write these words that you will know deep in your soul that you are valuable, that God was there, that He cried when you cried, that He suffered your pain and that He can forgive you. You can be clean. You are acceptable. He, alone, can heal your hurting soul and restore your spirit!
If you need me to pray with you, let me know. It would be my honor and privilege. If you know of someone that has had an abortion, pray for them, comfort them, accept and love them. If you know a teenage mother, help her, babysit for her, encourage her, mentor her.
Open up your spiritual ears and hear the children crying, even now in a mother's womb, crying..."Let me live!" Stand up for this baby. Fight for this baby. Be a voice for the innocent and voiceless in our world.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Discover McCain-Palin reason to Stand up and Fight!

I am thrilled. I am honored. I am energized. I am an American and proud of it! I am ready to fight with McCain-Palin, because the change they are going to bring to Washington business-as-usual, do-nothing-Congress, pork-barrel-spending, free-loafing-unemployment; is the change America needs!

Here are some exciting quotes and thoughts given by McCain in his history-making acceptance speech, tonight, September 4, 2008 at the RNC:

He intends to earn his trust -

We are fellow Americans and that is an association to me that means more than others...

Let there be no doubt, we're going to win the election!

We are going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot to get the country back on the road to peace and prosperity.

Please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static. America wants us to stop yelling at each other.

We need government to stand on our side and not in our way.

Governor Palin, she stands up for what's right and she doesn't tell anyone to sit down!

I am very proud to have introduced her to the country, but I can't wait to introduce her to Washington...change is coming.

We have the strength, courage and backbone to keep our word.

A maverick is someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. What is means is I understand who I work for....I work for you!

I will make pork bill spenders famous and you will know their names!

I would rather loose an election than to see my country loose a war.

I don't mind a good fight - for reasons only known to God I have had my fair share - it matters less that you can fight, what you fight for is the real test. I fight for you!

Republicans - we were elected to change Washington, but we let Washington change us. We lost their trust when we valued power....

...Like Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagen ... we are going to get back to the basics!

We are all God's children and we are all Americans.

We need government that doesn't make your choice for you but makes sure you can make more choices for increasing the child tax deduction from $3,500 to $7,000.

Our unemployment system was designed for the economy of the 1950s....government assistance for unemployment will change...using Community Colleges government will help make the pay difference from the job you lost to the job you take while in Community College to change to an employable career.

Education is the civil rights issue of this century! Equal access to public education..empower parents with choice. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I am president they will! We will help back teachers find another line of work.

We are going to stop sending $700 billion to countries that don't like us too much!!!!

It is an ambitious plan but Americans are ambitious people. We will show the world that we will lead! We face our problems with confidence, wisdom and resolve. We cannot turn our eye from evil.

We face many threats in this world. I am not afraid of them! I am prepared for it.

I hate war! It is terrible beyond imagination.

I was blessed by misfortune...

McCain shared how he changed from a self-serving young man to a man that would resolve to serve his country...when he wouldn't leave imprisonment after it was offered to him because his captors found out he was the son of an Admiral...he was tortured endlessly for hours...he was a broken man..after he was finally dumped back into his cell box a fellow captured solider tapped on the walls and told him..."Get back up and fight again"... for the men with him and our country because they had fought for him.

Then McCain continued....

Our country is just not a place but its an idea - I was was not my own man anymore, I was my countries. My country saved me and I can not forget it. And I will serve/fight for Her as long as I have breathe, so help me God!

Nothing brings greater happiness in your life than to serve a cause higher than yourself....

Every American...Fight with me!

Fight for what is right for our Country!

Stand up for each other!

Stand up and fight!

We never quit, we never give up!

We are Americans!

We never hide from History....We make History...

God bless you and God bless America!

I didn't know John McCain...I didn't know Cindy McCain...I didn't know Sarah Palin. And I didn't know their families. I know them now! This has been the very best National Convention I have ever over 20 years of watching them, watching both the RNC and the DNC.

I pledge to McCain, Palin, and our Country to "Stand up and fight!" with them for our country!

What about you...are you ready to answer the call...are you ready to serve a cause higher than yourself...are you ready to stand up and fight for what is right for our Country? I encourage you, I implore you....Stand up and fight!

God loves us all...people of all Nations. God loves and blesses America, and we need to stand up and do what is right. We are only blessed as a Nation because we were founded on God's principles...Jesus' principles, the standards of the Bible. We have been pushed around. We have been losing the fight. We have been knocked down in many social, economic and political arenas in America. It is time for us to get back up! It is time for us to fight again for our country, because our countrymen fought for us! Freedom is never free! We need to stand up and fight and be willing to pay the price!

We cannot forget our History...we cannot allow altered "evil-America" history to continue to be taught in our schools...We need to fight for Her! America need us! We live in a country that gives us freedom to worship, to raise our families to know and love God. So I will serve Her! As long as I have breathe, I will stand up and fight for Her and do all I can to return Her to Her Biblical standards and foundation!

Are you ready? The time has come...Are you ready to stand up and fight?

What is a "Community Organizer"

In an effort to discover what a community organizer is or does, I ran a few google searches to look for a community organizer position. I wondered when these jobs became popular or started. I wondered what I might have to do and how much I might get paid.

I am sure these position vary widely in both depending on the person or organization you are working for...but here is what I found...just in case you also were wondering.

How about a little Community Organizer History?

This the History from Neighborhood Resource Center .... (I think it is interesting that some people noticed the change in the funding of United Way programs in the 90's and tapped into the "Building Strong Neighborhoods" as one of the new six community solution areas to be funded by United Way Funds!)

In the early 1970's, there were only a few neighborhood organizations in Nashville. By the early 1990's, there were dozens of new neighborhood organizations being formed, with over 250 groups being identified in 2002. But with all of these new organizations, came many questions about just how to get started and how to deal with various problems in the neighborhoods. The Neighborhoods Resource Center (NRC) arose out of the needs of Nashville's neighborhood organizations, the vision of its founders, and the mission and strategic planning of the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. (NNA). During the early 1990's, when so many new neighborhood organizations were being formed, the NNA was the primary resource and support for these new and evolving groups. As an all-volunteer organization, it was unable to provide the in depth attention and specialized services that the neighborhood movement needed. The NNA needed a sister organization to do just that. In the mid 1990's, the United Way of Middle Tennessee was undergoing a major transition in the way that it was providing funding to Nashville area non-profits. They were moving to an Outcome Based Investment model, centered on six "Community Solution Councils." Interestingly, one of these was entitled Building Strong Neighborhoods - a designation that caught the attention of then Alliance president John Stern. With the support and assistance of the other officers of the NNA, Stern spent considerable time participating in the evolution and definition of the work of that council - usually focusing on the issues of neighborhood self-determination and empowerment. As the Council's work became known, it was obvious that the real interests and needs of existing and future neighborhood organizations needed to be attended to by an organization that was created and managed by neighborhood leaders.

This is an example of a job posting I found...but I also read that anyone could be trained to be a community organizer if you fit this description:

Are you active in a neighborhood association, but want to make it more effective?
Would you like to start a new neighborhood group, but need some advice on how to begin?
Would you like to give more structure to an existing organization, getting more residents involved?
If any of these apply to you, consider signing up for our next Leadership Training Institute!
What is a Leader?
A leader is an ordinary person who takes initiative to solve problems and bring people together for a common purpose. We can all be leaders in our neighborhoods. No prior experience is necessary to participate in this training.
In each training, we cover various topics to help you gain perspective into issues related to your neighborhood and the people who live around you. People are the mortar that holds a neighborhood together.
Topics to be Covered In Training: Organizing residents to obtain more power, Finding key stakeholders in your community, Reasons why people join / leave organizations, Conducting individual meetings, Conducting a neighborhood survey, Planning and executing an effective meeting, and Converting a vague problem into a specific issue

This is a real job description that I found for a current open position:

Job Requirements and Related Experience:
The successful candidate for this position will have demonstrated experience in community mobilization and training. Experience in education is a plus. He or she will also have strong verbal and written communication and organizational skills.The ideal candidate:
Has 2-3 years experience in community organizing, preferably in the City
Demonstrates an understanding of how parents should support and guide their children's education
Is familiar with current educational events and issues
Has a strong knowledge of the community
Has the ability to build relationships with public, private, and charter K-12 schools
Is able to mobilize and work with low-income and low-literacy communities and parents
Displays a proven commitment to education and educational development
Is self-motivated with the ability to work effectively both independently and within a team
Pays close attention to detail
Meets deadlines and follows through on all assigned responsibilities
$15.00 -$22.00 per hour, depending upon credentials and experience. This is a part-time position (approximately 10 - 15 hours per week). This position will require scheduling flexibility around evenings and weekends. We are asking for a commitment of at least one year.

Here are some posted for Nashville:

Neighborhoods Resource Center

East Nashville Community Organizing Program $25,614.00, North Nashville Community Organizing Program $62,445.00, South Nashville Community Organizing Program $62,063.00, West Nashville Community Organizing Program $42,576.00

The Neighborhoods Resource Center was formed to offer organizing assistance to help community groups build membership, identify common goals, and develop strategies to move their groups ahead.
NRC's community development staff provide the motivation, guidance, and technical assistance necessary for Nashville neighborhood organizations to realize community-oriented goals.
Most neighborhoods face common issues, so the lessons learned in one community can be quickly put to use in another.
We currently offer intensive assistance to approximately ten Nashville neighborhoods, and serve as a consultant to many more.

I hope this informs you on the now famous job, "a community organizer".

I think many of us have held unpaid jobs like this in scouts, volunteer fire and rescue departments, schools, churches, sports teams and other volunteer positions. We just never plugged into United Ways funding by organizing it into a position that "build stronger neighborhoods". For over 200 years many moms and pops all over this country have been dedicated, serving community organizers. After all this time...people found a way to volunteer to help their community get stronger...but then again some of us would apply for the paid job...

Some of us enjoy serving our neighborhood and community for the love of God, people, our neighbors, and America. Now don't get me wrong, if God lead a minister or missionary to serve full-time...this person should be compensated...I am just saying that all Christians are ministers and missionaries whether they get paid for it or not. Do you get my point? I have found this search to be very interesting. Hope you have also. If you know more information, please comment about it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Secrets to a Teen's Heart - Tender Touch at Nighttime Prayer

I love posting about victories of love! It is especially great when I can share it about my teen son. We have been a nighttime praying family. When our first (now our teen son) was a toddling baby we would lay him on the floor between us listening to soft music and take turns praying over him and loving on him until he went to sleep...we did this until he was at least two....It gets harder to give one child such attention when baby number two needs to be included.

So we got into the habit of praying in the boys room at night before they went to bed and we passed out of exhaustion.

By baby #3, we were stumbling into each other, making grunts and noises that I think were human and racing to see who could be the first in bed fast asleep, of course the last one to the bed was the rotten egg...that had to finish putting the children to sleep...OK, I am only half-joking, but at least it felt this way some...many nights.

As the children all began walking and toddling around, we initiated our famous 'family devotion', this was in constant reconstruction mode...always trying to find the one "devotion" that would hold the attention of 3 children under the age of five....I laugh now but we really did try so many different books written by all those famous authors that make it sound so warm and cozy.

At our home, it was a circus to get them bathed and in nightclothes...oh, I forgot...nightie snack and teeth brushed...bathroom visit...Well, you get the point...

Eventually we would make it to the living room and try to get everyone on the sofa...this could take at least 10 minutes...because cupcake would want to sit by mom and then GreatKnight would want one end of the sofa that of course Teddybear wanted also...and so cupcake would go sit next to dad and then GreatKnight and Teddybear thought that would be a better idea...but dad only had two after we worked that out and all got seated, dad would start READING....

Now I am the one with the degree in early childhood and know that we better be fun and quick, but how can a wife break her devotion desiring husband's bubble when so few husbands even are attempting to tread out in these unknown I would do my best trying to prop up...wake up...keep quiet the little ones as dear hubby would read and ask bunches of questions that got more strange looks then comments...oh, he did get "Can I have something to drink?....Are you done?...She's leaning on me..." you get the idea.

Then we would pray, the children would all fall asleep and we would carry them to bed.

This went on hit and miss for several the children got older and wanted to go straight to their room before devotion and prayer ...we did the 'traveling devotion' moving from room to room giving each one a turn and then carrying only two to bed...or sleep walking them if they were getting a little heavy.

Now that the children are tween and teen, my dearhubby reads straight from the Bible (Hark!) and we either pray together or tell them to go to bed so mom and dad can come and pray individually with them.

I don't want it to sound like we are the family floating off on a heavenly cloud.. "devotion time" happens 2-3 times a week...on good weeks because church, Bible Study groups, Connection groups, football, meetings and the such get in the way of the bedtime routine. We still like to pray with the children after they go to bed.

Sometimes we go together, but most of the time....we make our rounds alone when we are getting ready for bed. Cupcake stays up as long as she can because she wants me to not only pray, but to sing her a soft song... I want you to know that she and God are the only ones that truly enjoy my joyful noise...but as long as she loves it..I will cherish it and continue.

Most of the time teddybear and greatknight are half asleep and barely make a sign of acknowledgement that someone is creeping in their room and praying....but teddybear will occasionally be bright eyed and full of comments and questions to keep me in his room at least 30 minutes....which of course is time well spent (I keep trying to tell my sleepy body this!)

GreatKnight is a solid, still body. He doesn't turn, lift his head, open his eyes, and occassionally I have to pray with him completely under his covers....I think that may be to keep the mommy kiss from touching skin.

A few nights ago, my heart leaped, as I prayed over GreatKnight! I rolled the covers off his head and touched his arm ever so lightly and began to pray. GreatKnight rolled over toward me and to my wonder and amazement laid is hand over mine.

What joy went through my heart! That tender touch of love and acknowledgement from him spoke volumes to me about how well our relationship is progressing. Oh, if we can learn to be prayerful, patient, consistent in grace, love and encouragement (and to bite our tongue when God whispers "don't you say a word"), God can soften and turn the heart of our children.

I have had a framed Bible verse on GreatKnight's bedroom wall for a few is the one we needed ....Malachi 4:6 "And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.." This has been my prayer for my son toward me.

Through the years I find this framed verse in the closet, under the bed, in a dresser draw, on a book shelf....and I just quietly return it to the nail on the wall....never giving up....always believing God for my son's heart to be His (and tender toward me).

I share this to give a good report and to encourage others, and myself. This is how important one tender touch can be to a mother's is a sign of restoration, promise and hope! Praise God! His grace is sufficient (specifically designed for every need)!