Monday, February 21, 2011

a new book I am reading

I have heard about this book from my friend Erin, and also from Becky, who is the missionary in Sierra Leone that we will be working with in June when we go. 

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

The author was the CEO of Parker Brothers at the age of 33, and then the CEO of Lenox.  Then God called him to leave Lenox & serve as the president of World Vision.

I’m only in the 3rd chapter.  So far, here are the quotes that have made me think the most.

pg. 2  “The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple.  It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.  If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith – and mine – has a hole in it.”

pg. 3 “When we committed ourselves to following Christ, we also committed to living our lives in such a way that a watching world would catch a glimpse of God’s character – His love, justice and mercy – through our words, actions, and behavior.”

Any thoughts? Have you read this book, and if so, what did you get from it?

Friday, February 4, 2011


some random thoughts….

Life changes so quickly.  In the last month, we have had 2 major changes in our family.

Jay unexpectedly changed jobs – he is still with the Missouri Baptist Convention, just in a different position.  A little more travel, different kind of stress, more responsibility, but clearly right where the Lord wants to use him for the time being. “For such a time as this…”  I know that so many people are praying for him/us right now, and that is calming for me. 

And then 2 weeks ago, my grandmother died.  Muner (pronounced like the mon in money with the er sound – my oldest cousin tried to say “grandmother” and it came out “grandmuner” & it stuck) would have been 90 this April.  In the last years, Kelli & I have gone down to see Muner several times, the last being this past August.  We had the best visit with her. She had lots of energy, she laughed, she told us stories…it was precious.  A few weeks ago, she fell & broke her hip.  Recovery from surgery was going smoothly, but then she got pneumonia & just couldn’t fight it. 

I remember the night I called to tell her that our baby was born, she was spending a few days with her friend, Sadie.  I called & told her it was a girl, and we were naming her Mary Margaret…there was silence on the line, and I said, “Muner, we wanted to name her after you.”  More silence….then, very quietly, “Well…I’ll be.” She was nearly speechless.  Then, my crazy dad had fun telling people, “Mary Margaret was named after the  mother of Jesus & the mother of Tom!” followed by a laugh every time – his laugh, I mean.

It’s been almost 17 years since someone in my family died.  It’s a part of life, but man, it’s hard.  Really hard.  I am so thankful that I know I will see her again, and that tonight, she is not having any trouble breathing, she’s not tired & worn out anymore. I do find comfort in that.  From her, I believe that I got my love of reading, my love of cookbooks, my love of planning and so much more. 

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I love this picture – her senior year of high school, studying Julius Caesar, dressed in togas. Muner is on the far right.


This was taken in 2000, at my cousin Brian’s wedding.  Muner had so much fun with Katie that weekend.

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This was in 2002, Mary Margaret crawled all over Muner’s apartment, and she kept getting Muner’s Kleenex box & pulling them out, one by one.  Muner just laughed & handed her another box.

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This is my favorite picture of Muner.  Precious  memories.


Only 4 months & 2 weeks until I go to Sierra Leone.  We are having our fundraiser “A Heart for Africa” Feb 13.  Several friends have asked about contributing.  If you feel so moved, you can make your check out to Memorial Baptist Church  (marked for Sierra Leone)  1120 Madison St, JC, MO 65109.   Your gift will be tax deductible. 

I know this blizzard has caused much upheaval around here, but I have loved having these days at home.  Perfect timing for me, a blessing.