Tag Archives: family

That’s Important To Me Joey and Rory Feek

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Lord, thank you for reminding us to live fully in the moments that we are given. To hold on tight to what is important to us. Hold us close Lord with tender love and help us to slow the crazy pace for moments of refreshing and to be in all the together places that we cherish. Our souls need each others attention and time committed for no television, no phones, no laptop, no commitments but to that which has been our covenant before God.

Things my heart and life will never take lightly or for grated…

God first. Time for you, my beloved for life and me. To deeply love and care for my family. To let them go to be the amazing man and woman, husband and wife, helpmate, provider and parent that they have been created for. The beauty of our ministry together for almost all of these 35 years. The conversations about the tomorrows and hope.To never miss one sunset together even if it means driving 30 minutes to do so or to be okay with just rocking quietly in the chairs on our front porch.

And honey, did I mention I’d like a treehouse in our backyard?? Please??

Hang tight…..the potatoes are ready to be mashed and the meatloaf smells divine…… And my man is sweetly calling…… “Are the potatoes ready yet dear?”

My heart always turns to him because I love doing the things for him that make him happy. We ate dinner together. Nothing else in this moment mattered. God would speak later if this was His time to whisper something beautiful to my heart. We chat and all the while my spirit is listening. Monty Self promises to clean up the kitchen so that I could get back to that thing that God is giving birth to. He sees it in my eyes and how I smile when words flow from my communion with the Father. Suddenly in my distraction he taps my leg and smiles that smile that still makes me love him all over again. I quietly move back to the computer with grateful heart.

God you speak so softly, sometimes so carefully that if our heart is not devotedly attuned to You we walk right over our Savior’s breathing message so alive. Once again my heart is schooled in learning to live even in death. I cannot quiet His voice. Truths worthy to be held and considered.

The Lord brought this verse to mind tonight.

As we remember those who are experiencing pain and loss, we see it also described in Isaiah 66:9.

The promised delivery of God’s only son would be painful but would be necessary for the new covenant to be born. Prophesy. The gift of a baby- God’s only son. Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God who would bear the sin of all mankind. God knew the pain of loss. Don’t you know if He could have made it happen any other way He would have? We are made to rescue and protect. The heart of God, our defender, His heart knew it necessary because of His great love for His creation and the only way to restore the love relationship that was broken at the fall of Adam and Eve.

Prophecy spoken. Promises kept. The enduring hope for all of mankind. For Rory Feek. For Joey. For their family. For you. For me.

Redeeming love was their love story too…….until death do us part..

Joey & Rory

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9

Death and Life

craftsbydaniellelee

My life has been far from perfect, even still sin’s nature in me will win when I drop my arms in battle. A scared little girl way too grown up for the time when this small heart came to know such great love.It still overwhelms me in all of the right and surrendered ways that God created me for this moment and has plans that are uniquely for me to live out. The beauty of my heavenly Father to trust me enough to speak to others about His love, mercy, grace and goodness. To serve Him with my life, a privilege to represent and bring honor to His name. The joy it brings when He places in my heart words that have always been my art. (well, not really art. Truthfully I CAN draw flowers and…. oh yes. Stick people. No lie I can even draw clothes on stick people. Did I mention that I am verbose? This lover of words is ALWAYS in need of an editor!

Monty and I have known what it is like to have much and to have little One thing I know is true in this very moment of our marriage is that we know what it means to be content. Our resolve to lose no more ground to the enemy who has been persistent in the fight for our hearts is foundational and steadfast. Our love has endured and God has been faithful and true.

Yes, we have known our own sufferings but we sincerely pray for opportunities to share our story raw, honest and so very real. My connection in heart was immediate when I first read something written Joey and Rory last Fall. It is a beautiful thing to read words that cut in all of the right ways and make you better for time spent alongside of their lives.

There was no glittering up the truth. Joey wrote and the powerful nature of God was alive even in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. There was comfort as their lives encouraged others in the daily.

Joey and Rory wrote words that were born in their hearts. We will remember that love tucked sweetly away in moments that we need the reminder. To watch God ever redeeming their love for each other as the whole world watched. The sunset tonight filled my heart with gratitude all in the middle of sadness for the precious little one who albeit tragic WILL know her mama because those who loved Jesus became invested in her journey. Out of love, her husband lived the words he wrote to tell her grace-filled story.

Collective hearts agree tonight that life is short even when you get to live for many, many years. We the broken, frail and surrendered lives want to do it differently in measuring the loss of another life and spirit gone too soon. It is so easy to move along and forget. Lord give us the days to tell of Your love as You will.

This I know at this day’s end……

God is love.
God lavishes grace.
When life seems hopeless, mercy is poured out.
God’s character is to redeem, restore and reconcile.
God prepares hearts for such a time as this.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted..

To be absent from the body it to be present with the Lord.

Hallelujah!!

We rest in truth tonight.

Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

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Looking for support for those achy places? What I love most about living the simply essential life is that you can do simple things and experience great outcomes with little to no time and always inexpensive.

How have you incorporated Young Living Essential Oils into your life?

My advise: Learn one new thing every day and before long, you will be the ones giving advise to friends and family.

P. S. I found sock just like these at The Dollar Tree!! Yep. One buck. Grab the rice while there too, add the essential oil of choice and voila! Instant Happy!! Of course, you can always use an old sock that you already have or can only find one of the pair!

Finding sabbath moments today!

Check out my website to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils!

http://www.yldist.com/melanieself/

Source: Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

Faith In NASCAR on Dirty Mo Radio with Kelley Earnhardt Miller

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Faith In NASCAR on Dirty Mo Radio with Kelley Earnhardt Miller

http://www.dalejr.com/radio/kelley/default.aspx

Thanks so much Kelley K Earnhardt @earnhardtkelley for the time, love and care that you took in opening your heart to share the unassuming role of this small heart. I love my job. I am passionate about the mission of Motor Racing Outreach and serving NASCAR families but I cringed inside when I left wondering if anything that was recorded would be salvageable. Ugh. Tonight when I listened to the beautiful compilation of our many conversations, I am overwhelmed that you found such beauty in all of my endless ramblings. I am the interviewers worst nightmare for a concise and short sound bite. But oh the stories my heart longs to tell of God’s beauty, grace, love and faithfulness in my life.

Monty and I have spent the entirety of our 34 1/2 years of marriage finding joy in opening our home to serve men, women, children and families. Tonight I am humbled In light of every amazing heart that spends time sharing with you @ Dirty Mo Radio. http://www.dalejr.com The Fast Lane Family show reminds me of how very small I am and how great a God who uses surrendered hearts to give their lives to the Lord’s service for the greater good of the kingdom of God.

Motor Racing Outreach has blessed us with the opportunity to live in community, encourage the faint of heart, speak life into broken lives, live alongside of the people we serve, fall in love with every heart, laughing and crying together, celebrating all things glorious and good related to success in NASCAR and hold each other tight in prayer on the hard days..But above all of that which is so wonderful, we have the freedom to openly share our faith in Jesus Christ. Faithfully we offer the same opportunity to hearts prepared to hear the message of the Gospel and receive the free gift of eternal life that was secured for all of mankind through the birth. life, death and resurrection of Christ.

My heart swells with such fullness of joy when I reflect on all the years of life shared with our NASCAR family. We have been honored to share so many beautiful moments as we have witnessed the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the lives surrendered their to be in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. Heaven will tell of the work that the Lord continues to so quietly do day in and day out. Thanks to every person that has opened their hearts to love us so real.

My sincere gratitude for creating a glimpse into life at-track. Many blessings sweet friend for your love and support through the years. God has been very good to us!

I Can Learn the Bible: 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know Resource

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Are you looking for new ways to excite your children about memorizing Scripture? Get the new FREE printables of Scripture memory cards, progress reward chart, and coloring sheets based on the key verses from I Can Learn the Bible: 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know by Holly Hawkins Shivers.

Also, take advantage of a 40% discount on the accompanying devotional book that goes along with the daily Bible verse that your child will be learning.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your (God’s) word.” Psalm 119:9

http://www.faithgateway.com/bible-memory-verses-for-kids-scripture-memorization/?utm_campaign=icanlearnbible&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=ICLTB-twitterad&utm_term=

A Life Remembered ~Lynda Petty

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My heart is saddened to hear of Lynda Petty’s passing….. She was a blessing to me personally and professionally. Every moment we shared, she spoke wisdom into my life. You are and were the true strength behind your man. Your example in the NASCAR community is one that has been modeled by many women. And sweet friend, it continues to influence and lead women to this day.

Treasured friends Gaye Joy, Lynda Petty and Stevie Waltrip

Treasured friends Gaye Joy, Lynda Petty and Stevie Waltrip

You spoke often of God’s grace, your faith and reliance on your Savior, Jesus Christ. A faith that you did not hide but readily shared even in moments we shared together with other women in the community. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, you assured me that your life as a racer’s wife would have been next to impossible.

I am grateful for every little shared visit and was honored when The King allowed me to drive the 43 Dodge Charger Bandolero, minus the Hemi engine, in YOUR honor in the 2011 Inaugural Better Half Dash. In this moment it seems only appropriate to share just a few special memories that are a part of my life forever.

 

Miss Lynda's Petty Blue Dodge Charger

Miss Lynda’s Petty Blue Dodge Charger

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The Beautiful Miss Lynda

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A treasure to carry the Richard Petty name in honor of His wife, Lynda Petty.

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The King and I just before the race

I will likely not step onto a platform to speak of her life, except to share with you the small segments of time that we shared and how very special they are to me. But if there is one thing that I do know, it is that Lynda Petty would want me to share with you at her passing, to give up striving and surrender your life to Christ by believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. You can know for sure that being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Heaven will tell and I can know with great assurance that Miss Lynda’s passing from this life was made into the presence of her God….

What legacy will we leave? Will I leave? Will there be more to the story than what I do for a living? Where I live? My status in life? Or will it be filled with stories of a life of faith in Jesus Christ that has been invested in others?

Is my life defined by education? Worldy success? Earthen treasures? Or will it be defined as a life that represented a love for mankind, living for Christ and serving others in His name?

It is a joy to celebrate, while yet in sadness the memory of a life lived well and in relationship with the Lord. She has won the the greatest victory of life eternal. And she rests for good in being reunited with the heavenly Father.

On one of our last at-track visit’s, I dropped by for a visit. Toward the end of our time together, I asked Lynda what her favorite Bible verse was. She thought for a moment before handing me her well-worn Bible that was tucked right by her on a shelf. Her eyes were failing by then, so she passed it to me and asked me to read it to her. 2 Timothy 4:4-8 (I am sharing it with you today from the New Living Translation)

“…..keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant. You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! You can depend on it…..”

No more taking the hard times with the good precious one. Heaven has been opened and is now your great reward. As for me, I will always remember, be challenged in my faith to walk with great strength because of the time that you have invested in my life.

And above ALL else….This IS a race worth running. I long to run hard right to the finish. I am committed to keeping my eyes on the Lord’s work and WILL do all within my ability, with the Lord’s strength, to keep the Message alive……for the building of the kingdom of God for His glory.

Until then…..

From Glory to Glory

From Glory to Glory

Giving Thanks In ALL Things

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I pray that you will be encouraged and as a way of reminder, find a place for thanksgiving today as we enter into a time of remembering. Affirmed and grateful for how timely God always is when we need a “word in due season”. God continues to stretch & shape my heart as I bend and surrender my will, to each committed new mercy-filled day to give thanks in ALL things. The last few years have been filled with some challenging, fear-full, one step at a time, God-Sized and yet “hard” eucharisteos–the giving of thanks for my family and I. This joy journey, the purposeful pursuit of grateful living, where “thanks-giving” rewrites the habits of ingratitude into “thanks-living” has caught me off-guard, captured my thoughts, and is continuing to transform my heart. As a way of transparent confession, this truth-teaching that transforms hearts at the same time has opened the door for warfare unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Yet. Will. I. Praise. Him.

It is easy to say, I give thanks in ALL things. It is another to give thanks as you walk THROUGH the “hard eucharisteo’s” and come out of life’s most difficult “opportunities” to learn that giving thanks is the only way to fullness of joy. Sigh. You see for me it has settled deep, opened, exposed and removed dark places closed off to the Lord and recreated a beautiful place for God to fully live. Emptied. To. Fill.

The Lord dwells there. His presence makes known to us the path that leads to life according to Psalms 16:11 Apart from HIM there is no joy-filled life, rest for my soul, nor surrender to His sovereignty. He is working ALL things together for good, from His view of ALL that is going on. And on the days when thanksgiving has truly transformed my life, we meet there. Without the giving of thanks, I am left empty with nothing of the Who He is in His fullness to spill out one drop of thanksgiving. Lord. Help. Us.

Today, I stopped and with a burdened heart, gave thanks. He IS the mighty warrior, supreme and powerful ruler…the God of the universe; yet in His mercy, His presence sees. Knows. Leads. Comforts. Provides. His presence fills every emptied out place with peace in this life when ALL things seem to be shaking in  this world and the spiritual realm. We will never understand the ways of God, nor comprehend how His unfailing love is working in ALL the days of our lives for our good and His glory. Lord, Your ways are higher, stronger, greater and every moment of thanksgiving back to You is a small gift from this veiled view. The mystery. We. See. Dimly.

Such love…..so pure, rich and deep. Oh, the JOY that floods my soul.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Tonight we give thanks. WE. GIVE. THANKS. Tomorrow’s mercies will be there for every bent and spilled-out surrendered heart to what seems so very simple. It will likely challenge every programmed response we have ever learned to date. Yet, His promises are trustworthy, sure and steadfast. He is God and HIS character, nature and attributes remain the same ALL-ways! Sure as the sun will rise to greet each new day, if the Lord wills.  New. Every. Morning.

“Eucharisteo…always, always precedes the miracle.”Ann Voskamp

To give thanks

“Eucharisteo, always, always precedes the miracle.” Ann Voskamp

Thanks Ann Voskamp for validating my heart’s journey towards fullness of joy! God has taught me so much in 2013. I am grateful that He does not give up or abandon His creation but continues to long for a relationship with His beloved! The privilege that I have had of leading women, children and families along the same path that this simple life traveled has been beautiful to watch from my view. My heart leans in to their stories of their journey fills my emptied heart with such deepened love and joy around the living Word received and applied so powerfully in their lives. God’s message and directed course for this season has led surrendered hearts through the “hard eucharisteos” into the places where THEIR messy story began. Their pathway still meandering, as does mine, around the field of mines that vie for the lies and affections of our life. Hearts rewritten with gratitude and Thanks-Living are among the best in this season of remembering.

Thanks-Giving. Miracles. Thanks-Living. Fullness of joy.

Excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s Journal Entry Today…..

http://www.aholyexperience.com/

“They were simple people, but they knew it because they had lived it:

No matter what the headlines shout, the world only has two stories: bless God or curse God.
No matter what the world tries to sell, we all only get to choose from two shelves: Give God thanks or Give God the door.
No matter what we’re facing, there are always only two roads: thanksgiving to God or dismissing of God.

“They were simple people but they had decided that they….

…..would not let hard times steal their thanksgiving.
…..if you let something steal your thanksgiving, you let something steal your joy, and if you let something steal your joy, you let something steal your strength.
…..would let nothing steal their thanksgiving to God – so that in everything they could stand strong in God.

Simple people – keeping it simple……. we will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is.

No disaster, no storm, no cancellation, no termination, no catastrophe would stop them from giving thanks. Because…….they knew it:

No matter where they were, every thanksgiving always brought them home —- giving thanks always brings you home to the heart of God.” ~Ann Voskamp

My children, grandson and family will be together around the inherited family table, the gathering place of so many great memories. It represents a lifetime filled with so many blessings. Countable gifts. The measure of a gracious God. We. Give. Thanks.

Home. “Thanksgiving” is bringing them home. Around the table, our collective hearts will pause and find peace above ALL circumstances through Thanks-Living EVERY DAY IN ALL THINGS.”
Yes, and this I know……Thanks-Living will lead us directly to the heart of God. “In His presence IS fullness  of  joy….” Psalm 16:11

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Memories of Days Gone By

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Love these ladies, Morgan and Jamie Grace. They lead us to a place deep inside the “old souls” they know so very well. I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside of them on several occasions. I love watching them “make music” and somehow the “old” HAS become “new” again. Grateful! I pray that you are blessed by their spirit as much as I am!

This song takes me back to a special place, so very long ago…..

My family: Godly men and women who lived a heritage of faith in service as pastors, teachers, musicians, people of conviction and the example of service that I hold dear in my heart to this day. My great-grandmother was the organist at church. My grandmother, her daughter, was a gifted pianist. The old, upright piano she purchased used so long ago, now has a treasured place in my home. Often asked when someone visits, “Why two pianos?”  My reply, The newer piano has provided opportunities to grow musically and meet the financial needs of my family. The old one…The black giant? A reminder to myself and my family that the work of God continues through His faithfulness and should be passed on to the next generation. Three generations of us have either learned to play on the black giant or continue to lovingly play her today.

Fond memories of life and lessons learned while spending time on my great-grandparent’s 200 acre farm down a long and winding dirt road with only two other neighbors. Family joy. Simple people. Simply Living…..in the boondocks!

Pictured memories flash through my mind:

A dozen folks eager to eat at the simple wooden table in the kitchen. The children were seated on a long wooden bench made out of a rescued, fallen tree. I would fondly run my hand down the grain of the well-worn “provision”. We prayed. Not just at meals or bedtime. We PRAYED!! We thanked God for His goodness throughout our day, for the abundance of the good food we ate, for the rains that came just when they were needed, for the Lord to hold back the rain at the precise moment necessary for a successful harvest, etc… The farmer truly knows what it is to live by faith!! And the meals that were made from scratch in that kitchen, were amazing and meant for royalty. Well, that’s the way I saw it anyway. Stacks of biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, collard and turnip greens, numerous pies for dessert and all that your mind can dream…Manna, cherished nourishment that comes because “Our faithful God rewards faithful hands.” A surrender to work hard.  A quote worth remembering and spoken often by both Larry and Emma Fisher, my great-grandparents, as a reminder when someone may lack gratitude in any of life’s important moments and especially around the dinner table. :-)They knew how to trust God for everything. And I mean EVERY THING!!!

The days were filled with…..

playing and rolling around on the ground with my great-grandfather’s Coonhounds, watching the guys head off to hunt, quietly listening as the ‘coon dogs got farther and farther away, standing under the Muscadine and Scuppernong grape vines~eating the fat grapes sweetened by the rain and sun until we had a tummy ache, family reunions, tobacco barns, tractors, busting watermelons in the field to make sure that the crop was ripe. And when we did get a break from work, on a hot day, running down the road to the neighbor’s house to cut a bamboo pole, and head over to the pond to go fishing. For the children, we hoped we didn’t get “caught” swimming more than being concerned about  “catching” fish to eat.

A distant place and simpler time….

My  great-grandparents were likely considered “poor”. They worked hard but I more remember the good times after dinner at the last shades of light led to the day’s end. We would sit quietly on the porch, in the cool of the evening and I never remember things being anything other than good. Life was good. We hoped for a breeze, as we fanned ourselves. I can always remember moments in the quiet, when out of nowhere, someone would start singing. We made up songs. They were simple songs, silly songs, old hymns in harmony. It was music. Strings, improvised percussion with hands and feet and a quiet hum would fill the air as someone made melody from their soul. The stories were intense and remember when. So much so, that the children including myself sat intently hanging on every word. We laughed at each others jokes, hoped someone might drop by for a visit and the fun we kids would have dancing, singing and playing until it was almost dark. The days would always end in togetherness. We were truly grateful when we lay our heads down at night to say our prayers.

Some days I wonder why my heart and soul has been filled with so many words? Could those quiet moments in the boondocks have given me a bent for speaking and writing words that build hope, encourage, lead others to trust, to dream, to believe, to know His love by hearing, gathering words, telling a story and faithful living and working hard at it? There are days when I care, share, teach, love, give, serve and reach for someone to love like Jesus would and at day’s end, I am out of words. Then the Lord lovingly and quietly reminds me that He, the author of love, life and promise sent His only Son to this earth with the mission of loving, teaching, leading, inspiring and empowering us with the message of hope and to go, to serve, to tell. Our individual relationships with God have been restored and reconciled with God through the life, death and resurrection of His promise of a Savior. Tell others the good news!! And just as Jesus exampled for us; He spoke of His life, His Heavenly Father, His living, His coming, His dying, His resurrection, ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Helper. We are here to continue the message of hope to all.

Jesus would come in an unassuming way, live simply among ordinary people, not as a king but a servant to all. His story, God’s Word, His message to us still lives on through His children, long after His Ascension and return to His rightful place, at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus told stories. Parables, short tales that illustrate universal truths, one of the simplest of narratives. Sketching a setting, describing an action and showing the results. It often involved a character facing a moral dilemma or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable was often not explicitly stated, the meaning was  not usually intended be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.

We all have a story. We share our lives with every relationship we build. Words that tell our life’s journey paint a picture of the where we have come from. In our relationship with Jesus Christ, His story becomes ours and we spread the joy of our beginnings while He is still writing, loving, leading, honoring our days and endings until our days on earth are done. Will our children become followers of Jesus Christ as modeled by our example? Will their lives tell of His goodness, shout praises, pray always, word hard, laugh, love others, serve everyone and live a loving, surrendered life in service to the Lord?

I am grateful for words. For the author and finisher of my faith and the privilege to serve Him with all of my days. Lord find me  faithful. May I be first and foremost about the things of God, wherever I am, serving with all of my heart the story that You have written for me and made my heart to do……

Lord, leave our families, those we love and serve the LIFE’S legacy and the WORDS to keep painting our world with YOUR story.

“…the details of our days do make a difference in our lives… no experience is ever just for drill…
everything can be a springboard for inspiration if we are willing to be open to the goodness of life.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Simple Abundance

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out…………The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord…………..And the Lord will make you abound in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12a

You Version Christmas Story Tracker

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Christmas Story Tracker

Check out this phone App that will show you where the Christmas Story is being read all around the world. A great family project and reminder to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. A beautiful thought that hearts are connected all over the world around the Christmas Story!!

The Birth of Jesus

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the
Roman Empire. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to
their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David,
he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth
in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there,
the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in
strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no  lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly,
an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They
were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that
will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in
Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped
snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others
—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on
earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven the shepherds
said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby,
lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what
the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but
Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their
flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Luke 2: 1-20

2012 ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Schedule

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2012 ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Schedule

Looking forward to a Christmas season filled with heart-warming movies, specials and shows. Taking a slower pace this year. Expectant. Excited to share Mason’s first Christmas and introduce him to the family traditions that fill our hearts with joy.

What traditions do YOU have? I’d love to hear from you!!

Living Simply~Simply Living!

Mel

2012 Second Annual Better Half Dash Fundraiser

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2012 Better Half Dash

Better Half Dash Race Returns with Ladies of NASCAR During Bank of America 500 Week

Girls, have at it! When racing returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, the ladies of NASCAR will add their own element of speed, danger and fun to Bank of America 500 Week when they take to the frontstretch quarter-mile for the second annual Better Half Dash on Bojangles’ Pole Night.

The charity race, supporting Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) and Speedway Children’s Charities, will pit the women of NASCAR against each other in Bandolero race cars provided by U.S. Legend Cars International.

The entry list for this year’s Better Half Dash

Defending champion Jacquelyn Butler, fiancée of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan;

Michelle Gilliland, wife of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland;

Patricia Driscoll, girlfriend of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch;

Ashley Allgaier, wife of NASCAR Nationwide Series standout Justin Allgaier;

Kristen Yeley, wife of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver J.J. Yeley;

Amy Gordon, wife of NASCAR crew chief Todd Gordon;

Wendy Venturini, reporter for SPEED TV and wife of Jarrad Egert

Angie Dillner, wife of SPEED TV reporter Bob Dillner;

Lyn-Z Pastrana, wife of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana

Adriene Pattie, wife of Brian Pattie NASCAR Cup Series Crew Chief

Katrina Childers, wife of Rodney Childers NASCAR Sprint Cup Crew Chief Rodney Childers

Melanie Self, representing MRO;

 

“The Better Half Dash was so much fun last year,” Butler said. “It was a very successful and entertaining event for the fans and a great way to let everyone know how much MRO and Speedway Children’s Charities means to the NASCAR community. I am so excited for this years BHD race, we have some exciting things planned to make it even more entertaining for the fans.”

The Better Half Dash will be a 25-lap race, with a competition caution set for Lap 15. A random inversion will shake up the field before the final 10-lap shootout. Caution laps will not count. If necessary, there will be up to two chances at a green-white-checkered finish. The starting order for the race will be determined by qualifying on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While the better half takes the wheel, her significant other will serve as crew chief and spotter for the race, but drivers and crew members are not permitted to make any engine, chassis or suspension modifications.

Butler said there is added pressuring to do well this year after her success at last year’s Better Half Dash race.

“This is the one thing David get’s to watch me be competitive at, and we are competitive people,” she said. “I want to make him proud and at least finish in the top three.”

The winning driver will receive $10,000 to be paid to the charity or charities of her choice.

Better Half Dash practice sessions are scheduled for Sept. 25 from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. and before qualifying on Oct. 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m. p.m. All practice sessions will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Updates on the race and entrants can be found at http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or motorracingoutreach.com or by following #BetterHalfDash on Twitter.

On a personal note:

Six years ago the Lord put on my heart to bring the women in NASCAR together for a fun and friendly racing competition as an opportunity to raise funds for Motor Racing Outreach. I love serving women and children in motorsports as the MRO Women and Children’s Ministry Coordinator. My husband Monty and I joined MRO in 2001 after his retirement from the U.S. Air Force. It is my honor to represent MRO in the race. Pay close attention, as I will once again represent a legendary race car driver in sponsor and car number. 🙂

A special thank you to Charlotte Motor Speedway, Legends Cars International & Racing Electronics for making all of this possible. If you would  like to donate, you can do so online at http://www.betterhalfdash.com

Spotter, Coach and Friend Matt Dillner