Thursday, November 30, 2006

Musings on recent events

It has been hard to get back in the swing of blogging after the events of the last couple of weeks. I have been thoughtful, and not really wanting to post my internal thoughts here, so I just didn't have anything to say!



I will say that while our dear friend Debbie has passed from this life, her influence will not quickly be forgotten. She was a person who made an impact in whatever setting she was in. She genuinely cared about people, and was a great advice-giver. She knew how to make a special occasion out of everything; hence, no one was surprised that she chose Thanksgiving to be her last day on earth... probably so no one would ever forget! Young people especially felt drawn to Debbie because she was "cool" - and understanding and godly. I began a Facebook group (if you don't konw what that is see my previous posts here) calling "People Who Are Praying for Miss Debbie" on November 16. By the day of Debbie's celebration service 11/25, there were over 250 members. Keep in mind that this is a relatively small demographic that can access Facebook - high school, college, and those recently out of college. What a tribute to a woman who loved young people. I can't help but hope that I can live a life that will be a light to others as hers has been.
Please pray for Alan (her husband), and Alex and Mitchell (sons), Leigha (Alex's wife), as well as all the family and friends who are grieving this loss. Especially during the holidays.

As for Christmas, I have not even gotten my tree up or anything! That has to happen this weekend. Josh and I will also be celebrating our 6th anniversary this Saturday! Yea!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Debbie has gone to be with the Lord

Click here for the latest update on the Moltz blog.

I will post arrangements here when I know them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Prayers

Just wanted to let you all know the website www.moltz.blogspot.com is now being updated at least daily so you can know how to pray for Debbie. Keep praying!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Waiting in Line

I don't like lines, never have. Grocery stores, Six Flags, the interstate, going to ballgames, all of them very annoying. Even though just last week I waited in an unbelievably long line of people hoping to be Wheel of Fortune contestants (3+ hours), I am now currently in another line that is probably going to be even more frustrating and patience-testing. However, this line has a great reward at the end of it! (Guaranteed, not just a stupid drawing at random like the WOF tryouts!!!)

We were just accepted onto the waiting list at our adoption agency! We are very excited about being on the way to becoming parents. Here are a couple of things you might be wondering.

How long will it take to get our child? It should be 4-6 months from this point until we are matched.

Why do you have to wait so long if there are so many kids who need to be adopted? Here's my best answer. There are many, many children that need to be adopted, but because the interest in adopting from Ethiopia has increased dramatically in the last couple of years, it is taking longer to get adoptions processed. Also, our agency's care center is receiving children in as other children are adopted out all the time. When a child that fits our family (we have asked for a 0-12 month infant) comes into care, the agency will match that child to the next family on the list. They estimate 4-6 months from now we will be at the top of that list.

More news about the adoption later.

Keep praying for Debbie Moltz! News about Debbie will be available soon at www.moltz.blogspot.com .

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Retreating

No, not backing up, I mean "retreat"-ing. This week HYG went on a retreat that was themed "24". It was a great encouragement to us all. Thanks to all the adults who helped so much with our retreat, and to all the teens who were so well-behaved and focused on growing in their faith and in relationships this weekend.
Todd Loyd, youth minister in Russellville, Kentucky, was our speaker and he added his own flare with baseball stories and movie clips and self-deprecation. :) He did a great, great job and I think our teens were really encouraged about how to live PRACTICALLY day to day as a Christian. The best thing I heard all weekend was a little idea for what to do before you ever leave the house each morning. As with all good youth group lessons Todd had a pneumonic device for each point. Now I'll share it with you, my blogging audience. (p.s. Just so there's no copyright violation, I'll give credit to both Doug Fields and Todd Loyd.)


Shout it!

This one has to do with telling God how amazing He is. When you wake up, acknowledge who he is, our Lord! Tell him in a quick word of prayer. Deuteronomy 4:39 - Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.


Feel it!

Bask in the knowledge that God loves you, and his love is better than life! Psalm 63:3 -Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!





Hide it!

Make time for reading and memorizing Scripture. Then when you are in a situation, maybe a word from God will be triggered in your memory! Psalm 119:11 - I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.





Say it!

Open up your day long conversation with God before you leave the house. Ask Him to be a part of your day. Then talk to him all day long! Psalm 5:3 - Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

HYG: Hope this helps you remember some of the points we learned this weekend. Try this tomorrow before you leave the house... and then tell me how it goes!

Hilarious

You may remember a certain dream I mentioned recently.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another Look at Generosity


Matthew 6:3-4 But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly.


Last week on one of my rare Oprah watching days, I saw her give $1000 debit cards and video cameras to the entire audience. Unlike some of her other giveaways, this one was different. Each person was supposed to use that money any way they like, as long as its NOT for herself or her family. She told them to find someone who needed this money and then film the act of giving it.
Admirable idea, I thought. I wondered though whether the filming of the gift actually took away some of the meaning.

Then, the other day in my grad school class we were discussing how as a minister, and as a Christian, we can avoid getting caught up in materialism and the love of money. But how do you measure whether you are "caught up" or not? How can one measure a heart of generosity or stinginess?

We might say, "Well, I give to my church every week, so I'm pretty generous."
Or, "I give to my child's school, that's a good cause."
Or, "I give to the local hospital, they really help our community."

All great things to give to; of course, church is obviously an important part of the life of giving to which God has called Christians. But as we were discussing this topic, I realized something. When I looked at where I am more likely to give, it is in places where it will benefit me directly or indirectly or where I can see the results. We all want our money to be used effectively and efficiently, to be maximized, to go the farthest they can possibly go. I think we claim some entitlement wherever we give, too. Surely you know what I mean. I heard a story once (this is not anywhere I've ever been) about a church member who was frustrated because they heard that the teens were buying pizza every week and "that is just not using the Lord's (read: MY) money for furthering the kingdom". I realize we are called to be good stewards of our money, and therefore, before we give we want to make sure our money is given to places where it will be used responsibly. I'm not saying we shouldn't do that to some extent. But, sometimes I think we/I take it to the extreme. We analyze the recieving end of our giving, and if it doesn't stand up to our standards of scrunity then we just stop giving. That can't be the answer.
Is this ringing true for anyone else?

So how I test my own heart? Perhaps if I am able to give money to where I see a need and then let it go. Set it free. Let God take care of the rest. That is the kind of giving that would be a real sacrifice for me. So, join me and try it. Give to someone or something today where you think God would be honored. And don't obsess over whether it is used in the absolutely best way that you think it maybe should be. Just rejoice in the act of giving. Pretend you have $1000 in your hand right now! What might you do?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Praying



A dear friend of our family, Debbie Moltz, is in need of your prayers. Debbie has been around as a second mom to me for many years, because she and my mother are the best of friends. She is beautiful inside and out. She and her husband Alan are active leaders and encouragers among our youth and our entire church. She is always throwing a party or getting ready for the next one. She is constantly giving and showing love for those she cares about. There are few people who are as full of life and faith.

In the last year Debbie has been diagnosed with melanoma. She had been clear of this for awhile, but now more difficult news has come. Her melanoma have metastasized and is now in her bone, particularly her femur. She had surgery last night to repair this bone, during which they found out this out. Now only does she have to recover from this surgery, but also face decisions about how to proceed.

But Debbie being Debbie is very optimistic, and feels the prayers that surround her! Here are two of Debbie's current favorite psalms, quoted from the Message.

Psalm 71: 1& 2
"I run for dear life to God,
I'll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well;

GET ME OUT OF THIS MESS AND UP ON MY FEET."

Psalms 18: 20. . .
"God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I TRY NOT TO MISS A TRICK.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

Thanks for adding her to your prayers today and in the coming weeks. I love you Moltzes!