Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mysterious Incident

So my kids were bored today. Our three who attend public school were home due to the ice, and our homeschoolers were having a moment of creativity.
They've made up crazy news releases to explain the incident: Dancer Attacked While Snacking. Several pieces of evidence were tagged at the scene including a half eaten bar of chocolate, one pointe shoe. and a nerf gun.

As you can see by the photo, the victim appears to have moved during the investigation. No suspects have been named. Witnesses and others with information should comment below.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ask Me Anything?

Our Air Force base was blessed with opportunity to host Dan Clark, world renowned speaker, for a weekend of encouragement. I was particularly intrigued my one of the principles he addressed - Are we asking the right questions?

As I sip my reheated coffee this morning (Yes, I reheat. Why waste a good thing?) I pondered the premise of asking questions that lead others down a positive path . Clark comments that the media is often trying to "solicit negative answers" and this dominates our cultures and attitude.

It's much more than "looking on the bright side." Clark boldly challenges every one of us to talk about things that really matter instead of focusing on negativism and what people have done wrong. He gives the example of the first free elections in Iraq which he personally witnessed. The media was swamped with stories of bombings at the polling places. The reality of the situation was out of 5,578 polling stations - 11 were targeted by explosives. What happened to the success story? 5,567 election sites were NOT bombed. Why didn't someone ask the question - "What did people have to say at the other polling places?"

So what kind of questions can we ask to change the tenor of conversation in our home, our school, our city? Instead of asking our kids: How was your day at school? We could ask: Who helped you the most today? Don't give them the opportunity to whine about it. Or what about asking "What is one thing I can do to make your job easier?" or "What are some positive things that customers said about our service today?"

I understand that we need to fix problems and make changes to improve upon past mistakes, but let's start the conversation without the barrier of negativism.

What questions are YOU going to ask today? Grab a cup of caffeine and leave me a comment. I want to hear YOUR ideas.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Who Loves Free Books?

I am magnetically attracted to words like "sale" and "free." But that offer becomes an unavoidable temptation when it is related to books. Christian Publishing Tips is giving away some of their new titles to avid readers like YOU!

Those of you who may be involved in Beth Moore's study may want to check out the newest title by Jennifer Spivey - Esther: Reflections of an Unexpected Life. Or perhaps you have an interest in the Isaiah. Songs from the Vineyard reflects on the restoration of believers through devotions written by Russell Lambert.

One fun title that I'm interested in reading is called Time Out for Tired Moms. "Have you ever sent your kids to their rooms for a Time-Out and wondered…When is it MY TURN?! Well, Today it is finally Your Turn to GO TO YOUR ROOM!"

Entering the drawing for free books is easy. Just leave a comment on their site and tell others about this great offer!

Grab a Cappuccino and get ready to READ!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry

I never tire of Bible study, but occasionally I am looking for something new to make the lesson fresh. I want yummy treats and a cute devotional that I've never heard. I love skits that make me laugh. My eyes light up when I notice creative table decorations. That's why Julia Bettencourt is my new favorite resource.

Today's Mocha Java tasted even better after reading one of her devotions about COFFEE! (A woman after my own heart!) Her most recent post appeals to the homeschooler in me, applying botany terms to our faith. Who knew that the Holy Spirit was working in my xylem? I'm feeling energized already. Although, I think the caffeine could be helping.

Let me know if you find a useful Bible Study resource online. I'm always eager to pass along info for women's ministries.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

To Tell the Truth

In a recent article, Beth Henderson calls fiction writing the "business of telling lies for a living." Maybe that's my trouble. I enjoy real life too much.

My friend Lori Poppinga and I encourage one another in the writing process. We attend conferences together, blog, tweet and even use a real telephone to keep up with the latest writing endeavors.

Through the process I've discovered that I really love writing about real life. Frankly this scares many of my family members and good friends. Inevitably their names will end up in print, for better or for worse. But whether its humorous or devotional, informative or editorial, I get a kick out of living every moment.

Sure, I play the "what if..." game like most people. This leads to most of my humorous posts or emails. But most of the time, I observe the world in living color and tell what I see.

Maybe I should consider the occasional fiction story. As Beth explains, it gives us permission to imagine all the possibilities and then "prepare to tell lies." What an awesome world we live in!

Check out Beth's article HERE.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just Like Mom Used to Make

I've been making excuses. Last week while we hauled furniture to a new house, I hurt my neck. The pain started as just an uncomfortable "catch" and then progressed to burning pain in my shoulder.

"No problem," I thought. "I'll just take some ibuprofen, and it will get better." By Friday, I experienced pain into my head and jaw, down my back and in my arm. Later, my arm went numb.

"No problem," I thought. "I really don't have time for this. It will go away on it's own." I finally submitted to my husband's offer to massage my neck and back.

Saturday was a bit better. I could turn my head in one direction and pretend like there was nothing wrong. Sunday morning I attended Base Chapel without too much difficulty. On the way home I texted my daughter to find out "whassup?"

"I'm just trying to control the pain."

WHAT? What did that mean? I offered to take her to the urgent care clinic.

"No problem," she texted. "I'm fine"

What a legacy I have left for my children. Excuses: just like mom used to make.

I read MamaArcher's blog about legacies this week. What if I replicate myself into a bunch of kids who neglect their own needs? I'd rather let them imitate me in other ways - prayer, trust, generosity, self control. You get the idea.

Today I've set two goals.
  1. Go to the chiropractor.
  2. Give my kids something of value to imitate.
It's time for another cup of decaf. Blessings to you!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions create quite a stir this time of year. Television news programs dedicate time to offer strategies for being successful. Pastors prepare sermons about how to be more Christ-like in 2009.

Health concerns seem to top the list of resolutions. Last night at a party, a friend of mine shared that she had started a new diet so was unable to enjoy the hors d'ourves. Too bad. They were really good!

Something happen when we take time to reflect on the past. We evaluate our progress. We examine our strengths and weaknesses. When the people of Israel contemplated on their journey, they acknowledged God's acts of mercy and compassion. Have you considered evaluating the past year by God's faithfulness rather than your own successes or failures?

When we take into account the hand of God in our past, it is easier to look forward with the same eyes. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God knows the plans He has for us to give us a future and a hope. When I think about what I will resolve to do (or not do) in 2009, I submit myself to the plans that God for me.

This could still mean that eating healthy food and exercise are part of God's plan for me. I might give up a bad habit, or be a safer driver. But more importantly, how will I be focused on being conformed to the image of Christ?

Casey's New Year's Resolutions:
  • I will spend more time encouraging others.
  • I will seek God's will in my daily schedule with willingness to say "no" to some events that God wants me to step back from.
  • I will communicate my faith to my children, friends, and family instead of simply "thinking about it."

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm Back!!!

"When it rains, it pours."

The past two weeks have been a flood of challenge for the Pitts family. We shared a "special" family trip before my husband deploys. The day we returned from our trip we signed a lease on a new house and moved our belongings less than half a mile. We love our new home! It has carpet!

As many of you military wives know, moving even a short distance presents unexpected challenges. I had to wear the same shoes for three days because I couldn't find the box that contained alternate choices. When our phone company explained that they weren't certain that we could have Internet service, I said, "I might die."

To complicate matters, I was helping my husband develop advertising for an upcoming event and my laptop crashed.

So after more than a week without "contact from the outside world" - I'm BACK!!!

I missed you all! Let's get together for coffee in the morning!