Posts by Monica

One Thing I LOVE To Do…

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in Valentine's | 2 comments

With all of the talk about love going on around me these days, I can’t help but want to share something I LOVE! Well, this might actually be two things I love to do… wait, make that three. But two of them pale in comparison to the other one. So, we’ll just go from last to first, k?

I love to sing. Now, those who know me well will affirm that I love to sing in my shower, while dancing with my girlies in the living room, as I calm a crying a baby, and around campfires with friends. You won’t find me singing in front of large groups of people. I tried that a few times in Junior High at church camp. Yeah, Amy Grant’s “My Father’s Eyes” was about as good as it got.

I love to go for walks. Since I was 13 this has been my main way to  exercise. The forms have changed. I mean, at 13 I would be scaling our 3/10 of a mile gravel driveway in a swimsuit seeking a tan, and now I’m trudging behind a double stroller pushing at least 40lbs down the street. Regardless of the mode, walking relieves stress and is a fun way to get out of the house.

This leads me to one last thing I’ll share with you today that I LOVE to do.

I LOVE to tell the story. It’s definitely my favorite thing.

As I was walking this afternoon with my girls, God brought this beloved hymn to my mind. I think we sang it at least four times on our walk today. (I say “We” because even though my two year old and ten month old don’t know the words, they enjoy singing any song I start!) Enjoy these precious words as you read them slowly. I pray you can sing them with passion and learn to LOVE to tell the story as well.


I Love To Tell The Story

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

Image Source: here

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An Empty Swing Revisited

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Christian Living | 3 comments

Today I am thinking and praying for my church group who leaves for their annual Winter Camp. I wrote this post last year after returning from camp and thought I’d repost it today. To all those serving from our church, and to those of you around the world who selflessly give of yourselves for others, thank you!


Last weekend Matt and I loaded up our car and headed to Giddings, Texas, with around 50 youth from our church to our annual winter camp. This is my sixth year to attend, and Lakeside Bible Church’s fifth year to use the facilities at Camp Tejas. I enjoy winter camp. It seems to come at a much needed time each spring when I’m ready to hear from God’s Word and simply spend a weekend away from normal life building relationships with youth.

This year, being both my fifth on staff and at this facility, I had many memories engulf my mind as I walked around the campus. I remember sitting on the swing pictured above as I listened to a young girl pour her heart out to me. I passed a bench where one young woman shed hundreds of tears expressing her desire to be right with God. There was a rickety, old bunk bed, where a girl and I both sat crying as I prayed and pleaded with both her and God for her heart to follow Christ, and she  continued to reject Him. The chapel brought even more memories where I’ve heard dozens of sermons preached, seen the conviction of the Holy Spirit in people’s faces, and laughed with and hugged more girls than I can name.

Where are these individuals now? A few are loving and serving Jesus. Some have rejected Him completely. Still more are trying to love both God and the world.

As names and faces of girls I’ve interacted with over the last five years flooded in and out of my mind this past weekend, I couldn’t help but praying for them. My mind also filled with questions: Why do so many of these girls walk away from God? Church? Their families? Is it really worth my time and effort to love and mentor them? Did I do all I could for these young women?

As the discouragement increased, I walked into my bunkhouse room. All alone, I laid down and continued to think and pray. Shortly, a few bubbly girls bounded into the room. We laughed and chatted. I made breakfast plans with one and listened to another tell me about the new “friend” in her life. Not long after, I had a heart to heart chat with another young woman.

God then reminded me of a story. Two years ago the youth staff stood in the back of the chapel room at winter camp as the speaker invited the students to come pray with us. A young man, with his head held low, shuffled back and grabbed my husband. Matt later told me that this fifteen year old had started praying for his unbelieving family members with huge tears pouring out of his eyes. Matt said they knelt, weeping together, and begging God to transform this young man’s family.

Last Saturday, I sat in my bunk house, chatting with a girl on fire for the Lord. She told me about her desire to be a witness for Christ. Her conversation was saturated with the name and a love for Jesus. This girl is the older sister of the boy in the story above. She’s now a child of God.

God then reminded me that He is in control of these students lives. He will be the one to draw them to Himself in His timing. Each of those individuals are responsible to respond to His calling. They will be held accountable for their actions.

My job, as a youth worker, as a mother, as a friend, and as a Christian is to remain faithful to Christ. He does hold me responsible for my actions and attitudes towards others, but I can not make any of these young ladies seek God. As my daughters grow, I will not be able tomake them become a Christian. My mission must be to glorify and stay faithful to the Lord, knowing that He is in control and will take care of these precious souls.

As I walked back by the empty swing, I thanked God for allowing Him to use me for even a small part of these young woman’s lives. Next year, there will be new girls around, and who knows how many lives will come and go within the next five. No matter what, may my life be used of God as I remain faithful, trusting Him for the results.

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What is Love? ~ by Kids

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Valentine's | 10 comments

It doesn’t take long around a little one to realize that they always have an interesting perspective. For some reason, we adults lose clarity as maturity muddles the simpleness of life. I’ve received the following adorable quotes from 4-8 year olds describing love numerous times via forwarded emails. As I was thinking about the vast ways to describe love, I couldn’t help but recall these precious definitions. Enjoy!

This question was posed to a group of 4 to 8 year olds. What does love mean? The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

1. When my grandma got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her now all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.
Rebecca- age 8

2. When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouths.
Billy- age 4

3. Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving Cologne and they go out and smell each other.
Kari- age 5

4. Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.
Chrissy- age 6

5. Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.
Terri- age 4

6. Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.
Danny- age 7

7. Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and my daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.
Emily- age 8

8. Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
Bobby- age 7

9. If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.
Nikka- age 6

10. Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.
Noelle- age 7

11. Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.
Tommy- age 6

12 During my piano recital, I was on stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.
Cindy- age 8

13. My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.
Clare- age 6

14. Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.
Elaney-age 5

15. Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.
Chris- age 7

16. Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.
Mary Ann- age 4

17. When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.
Karen- age 7

18. Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and doesn’t think it’s gross.
Mark- age 6

19. You really shouldn’t say I LOVE YOU unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.
Jessica- age 8

20. A 4 year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly man who had just lost his wife. When the child saw the man cry, the little boy went over into the man’s yard and climbed on top of the man’s lap and just sat there. When the boy’s mother asked him what he’d said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

Text Source: here Image Source: here
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Oh to Understand the Depths of His Love!

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Valentine's | 1 comment

My favorite thing to sing on a Sunday morning is a hymn. You know, the good ol’ classic, written 200+ years ago hymns. They are soaked with sound theology, rich Scriptuure, and are usually dripping with the gospel message. While I enjoy the classics, a few newer songs have found their way into my heart. Here are the lyrics to one of my new favorites that, I believe, attempts to capture the love God has for us. The last verse of this song is probably my favorite:

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

written by Stewart Townend

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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What is Love?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in Valentine's | 3 comments

 February – the love month.

Some hate it. Some relish in it.

Regardless of your thoughts on “the romance month,” love remains one – if not the - most sought after feelings and largest motivations for life.

But, what is love?

I mean, I love my husband. I love cheese. I love my brother. I love my church. I love listening to the rain. I love ice cream. I love my daughters. I love chatting with a friend over coffee. I love God. But certainly, I don’t love cheese the same way I love God or the same way I love my husband. As English speakers, we throw the word “love” around like it’s meaningless.

So, what IS love?

I’ll be exploring this topic over the next few days. (Perhaps even diving into my love for cheese??)

To begin, however, there is no better place than God’s perfect words in 1 Corinthians 13. Below you will see verses 4-8a. Following each description you will see a list of synonyms for each word. Read them slowly – and search your heart. How does your “love meter” look today?

4. Love is Patient – (calm, enduring, even tempered, forgiving, gentle, persevering, quiet, uncomplaining, understanding)

Love is Kind (benevolent, compassionate, considerate, friendly, gentle, goodhearted, 

gracious, neighborly, sympathetic, thoughtful)

It does not Envy (begrudge, crave, itch for, long for, lust after, spoil for, want, yearn for)

 It does not Boast (blow one’s own horn, exult, gloat, pat oneself on the back, puff, shuck, swagger)

It is not Proud (bragging, conceited, flamboyant, haughty, imposing, inflated, overblown, pompous, presumptuous)


5. It does not Dishonor others (belittle, debase, demean, diminish, humiliate, lower, mortify, shame)

It is not Self-seeking (egotistical, greedy, hoggish, mean, self-centered, self-indulgent, stingy, ungenerous,wrapped up in oneself)

It is not easily Angered (aggravated, annoyed, to blow up, enraged, exasperated, fret, get on one’s nerves, irritated, offended)

It keeps no record of Wrongs (errors, mistakes, trespasses, unfairness)


6. Love does not delight in Evil (abomination, brutality, crime, horror, inhumanity, iniquity, offense, sin, viciousness, wrong)

But rejoices in the Truth (authentic, genuine, honest, just, pure, right, valid)


7. It always Protects (care for, defend, give sanctuary, harbor, insulate, safeguard, secure, shelter, watch over)

Always Trusts (affirm, approve, believe, give favor, place confidence in)

Always Hopes (accepts, gives assurance and constancy, dependence, faithfulness, loyalty, reliance, surety)

 Always Perseveres (be determined, be resolved, continue, endure, hold fast, persist, pursue, stand firm)


8. Love never Fails (abort, backslide, be defeated, be in vain, come to nothing, decline, deteriorate, fizzle)

May we seek to apply perfect love in our lives starting today!



Image Source: here


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