Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Pedaling Pastor Project

So some of you Thinking Out Loud readers may already know this, but my daughter Addi is a fundraising fiend. Once she sets her mind to raising money in support of something, she sets her goal and always reaches it. Since our pastor Ken passed, she has been asked to help another friend of ours, Steve, you may remember this fundraiser (who is also a fundraising fiend) with a fundraiser that Ken had planned. Our church is a church of missions, an outward focused church, a serving church; and that is largely in part to Ken's leadership. Last year, we did the book study The Hole In Our Gospel which got our congregation asking the question....What If? What if we helped people who live right down the street? What if we helped people across the world? What if we became the hands and feet of Christ? What if? We adopted a few different areas near and far to specifically serve, and we lovingly refer to them as The Villages. So on May 21, the Pedaling Pastor Project will take place. We will all ride our bikes and make pledges in honor of the villages and in memory of Ken. Addi and our friend, Steve, shot a funny video to show in an upcoming church service. Make sure you mute the music below in order to hear it.

Scripture to Get Me Through Each Day!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, April 25, 2011

Will I?

As I've said before....I'm so extremely sentimental and when I start to get discouraged about something, I try to remember why I should be grateful instead of discouraged. As I sit and ponder things that I don't particularly enjoy right now, I wonder.....will I miss those things so much in a few years? Will I?
Will I miss waiting in the carpool line full of inconsiderate parents?
Will I miss picking up toys and shoes and pajamas off the floor every day?
Will I miss helping my kids make their lunches and sometimes making them for them?
Will I miss washing my little girls' oh so long hair, so I can make sure it gets good and clean?
Will I miss Cal's rigid, 20 minute, bedtime routine that is not in the least bit flexible?
Will I miss all the trash in my car?
Will I miss the food remnants on top of the trash can lid, because they forget to remove the lid before dumping their plates in the trash can?
Will I miss McDonalds?
Will I miss doll clothes and shoes buried deep in the sofa?
Will I miss the tune to Thomas The Tank Engine?
Will I miss the texts from Addi that say...."I'm ready to be picked up! Wait, no I'm not! Come to the carpool line. No come to the field house." ?
Will I miss the gazillion notes I get from the schools each week reminding us of this and that or asking us for this or that?
Will I miss the unmatched socks that turn up in the clean clothes?
Will I miss the many pleas for "just one piece of candy"?
Will I miss being a taxi service?
Will I miss the constant reminding them to brush their teeth and hair?
Will I miss their stinky shoes?
Will I miss the bickering that only occurs between siblings?
Will I miss all this stuff? This stuff that is not my particularly favorite stuff right now.
I can honestly say....YES I WILL!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


As I sat in my bedroom sobbing this morning, I asked God the following: Why am I such a baby? He didn't answer, in case you're wondering, but He did get me up and moving and onto a wonderful day full of baby shower games, gifts, food, friends, and fellowship. He got me up and ready for an evening full of egg dyeing, egg stuffing, and preparing for a wonderful day tomorrow. He got me up and put a smile on my face which had been lacking the last few days and said...."You can do it!" And I discovered.....once I should have known all along....I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I still don't know why I can be such a baby, but I do know that I am so grateful for how He shows me the way to be a grown up. As we celebrate Our Risen Lord....please remember:

"Blessed are those to whom Easter is not a hunt; but a find. Not a greeting; but a

proclamation. Not an outward fashion; but an inward grace. Not a day; but an

Eternity." And Have A Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We Shouldn't Have To Choose

Let me start this post with a disclaimer: My name is Lorie, and I'm on my 7th day of steroids. Being that I'm not a big medicine taker, and that steriods and I DO NOT mix; I am feeling easily agitated and annoyed. With that being said, read only if you want to hear my latest soap box! You've been warned!
It's Holy Week....a huge week for Christians! The week that Our Savior carried His own cross to His crucifixion for us....His beloved children. Now I know that Christianity is not prevalent around the world, and no here to make judgements on anyone. But where I live, I can think of at least 7 churches within a few miles from my home; so I think there are probably quite a few Christians in my area. What I'm getting at is this.....I can't help but wonder why there are so many people who don't realize what Holy Week is....what it signifies. I can't help but wonder why there are so many organizations....I'll go ahead and say what I'm thinking here....(one of my kids's schools) who don't respect the fact that it's Holy Week and that today is in fact Holy Thursday. They encourage children to skip out on any Holy Thursday activities to participate in the once a year talent show which happens to be tonight. Then there's the other organization (in my child's school) that has called a MANDATORY PARENT MEETING tonight about expectations for her in high school and this summer. I just don't get it. Could we have not planned these things a little better....for those of us who want to be reminded today, all week, all season....what Jesus did for us? GOD FIRST! GOD FIRST!! GOD FIRST!!! We shouldn't have to choose! Everyone knows a year in advance when Holy Week is, can we please try to schedule around that from now on? I'll climb down from my soap box now but please know that there are no guarantees that there won't be another soap box for me to climb at some point! Thank You for those who braved my agitated post!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Isn't it funny how kids, who come from the same gene pool.....the same DNA....the same two parents, can be so different and yet so alike?
Take this child, for instance, she is so very much like me....her makes me giggle sometimes. She is a granola girl, who is grounded but gets her feelings hurt easily and takes things personally. She is very creative and loves nature. She eats healthy, thinks healthy, acts healthy. She needs a lot of sleep, or she gets cranky. She loves the Lord and bases most of her decisions on the following familiar question: What would Jesus do? She loves to read and write and can often be found outside with her nose stuck in a book. She treasures time alone with mommy and daddy and would rather be home playing with her sisters than just about anywhere else. She is tidy and organized and is easily annoyed when someone gets in her "stuff" and doesn't put it back in its place. She is a planner and likes to know what to expect. She has a very unique sense of humor and cracks up at a given moment. She does not like scary movies and covers her eyes and ears when she's scared. She has a warm spirit and a full heart and is always content. She has a black/white personality....not much of a grey area for her. She's really shy, and she's the best friend a person could ask for!

Then there's this child....who is remarkably like her dad! She use to be a meat and potato eater (until she gave up red meat), but she still likes herself some sort or pork or chicken on a regular basis. She is EXTREMELY laid back....I can't even begin to tell you how much so....honestly you wouldn't believe me if I did. She is kind to everyone and makes friends easily. She lets things roll right off her back, and she has a big grey area. She would rather play on the computer....creating cool stuff or skyping with her friends....than reading a good book. She is a really hard worker when she is working on something she is passionate about. She is not the least bit tidy and in fact will live out of a laundry basket of clean clothes as long as possible before being threatened asked to put them away (for the hundredth time). She has lots of friends...some who are very different than her and from each other.....and a very unique relationship with each one. She is not the least bit judgmental and really embraces people for their differences. She is completely fly by the seat of your pants and only plans when she feels it is absolutely necessary. She is very sensitive and was completely literal as a young child. She has a wonderful gift in music and uses that well. She has one of the most generous hearts I've ever experienced and encourages people in their strengths. She is not the roll your eyes, talking back, wanting to be anywhere but here teen. She loves her family and loves spending time with them. She loves Jesus with all her heart and would rather be at church than just about anywhere else.

Then there's these two....they definitely march to the beat of their own drummer! Not remarkably like their mother or their father....but each his/her own strong, quirky but ever so lovely personality. Both of these two have characteristics from NPayne and myself, but unlike the two's not like looking in the mirror. The child above is about the happiest person I've ever met....YES ALL THE TIME...even when she's tired! She is completely unaware of her surroundings most of the time, because she is living in the moment....the precious moment. She lives her life to the fullest and has not a care in the world. She loves to dress up, fix her hair, take the time to look nice. She is by far the most high maintenance of the 7 of us. She is not much of a leader but seems to be a follower who is finding her way. She has a strong opinion about many things but can also be easily persuaded. She lives her life as each day could be her last. She doesn't hold in her feelings, and she is not in the least bit embarassed to tell you that she loves you or give you a hug. She tells her friends that "She loves Jesus let's go play!"
The child below is rigid and organized and structured. He thrives on a schedule and needs his 100 questions a day answered each time he asks it....even if he's already asked it 5 times in 5 minutes. He is happiest in the simplest of settings and although his thoughts can be very confusing to me, they make perfect sense to him. He has a complex yet simple mind, and he can remember anything you have ever taught, told, or read to him. He's the child who will ask you exactly one year after an event....why we aren't doing that same event on that exact same day! He never forgets a birthday or a song. He is silly and serious. He is my undeserving, yet so greatly appreciated, child who has taught me so much about the important things in life.
Then there's this child. She is a culmination of all of the above. She is full of life, loves to sing, likes to clean, would rather be with her daddy than anyone else. She is smart as a whip with a great memory and an ability to remember all sorts of interesting things. She definitely has a grey area, but she lives most of her life in the happy zone. She has a mind of her own but is pretty good about respecting authority. She loves to play at home, play at school, play..... She is not inhibited or embarassed by life but embraces it to its fullest. She has a definite opinion about what she wants to wear, eat, watch, read; but she can be persuaded. ;) She is curious about Jesus and mentions Him often in her casual conversations. She is cranky when she doesn't get enough sleep and still loves a good nap. She loves a good audience and will definitely give you a good show! Her questions are thought provoking and hilarious all at the same time.
So that's FABULOUS a nutshell!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Over the last few weeks, I've discovered a lot about myself....some good and some not so good.
I'm not as strong as I thought I was....not so good!
I am really leaning on My God....really good!
My unsettledness is still present.....not so good!
My unsettledness is not a problem for me....good!
I'm listening to God and trying to follow His will.....good!
Sometimes following His will is really hard....not so good!
I know it's not all about me....good!
Waiting for His will to be done is becoming more challenging....not so good!
Change is HARD....not so good!
I must move forward....good!
I don't believe that God doesn't give you more than you can handle, I think there are lots of things that seem impossible...not so good!
I know that anything is possible with God, and He can get me through anything.....good!
I think living in the fog of grief is easier than the reality of it....good!
The fog is lifting....not so good!
My mind and heart are ready for God to lead me through the impossible....good!
Looking UP is.....really good!
I'm ready to go where He leads me.....good!
Although it may be "a bit scary" (as my boy often says), it's all for His glory.....really good!
Bring it God.....I can handle it with you right beside me.....the best!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


It's been 9 weeks since my beloved pastor suddenly passed away from natural causes. A few short weeks after Pastor Ken died, a pastor in a neighboring city also passed away. He, however, did not die from natural causes. He was brutally murdered. Two young, vivacious, healthy, God loving men were taken....just like that. When we heard about the pastor who was murdered, a friend of mine said something like...."I'm so glad Ken just never woke up and was not brutalized." Altough death is a heartbreaking thing no matter how it occurs, I sort of have to agree with her. The shock, the grief, the overwhelming sadness that follows is almost unbearable at times; but we are slowly but surely moving forward with the seeds that both of these men planted. Please be in prayer for the congregations and family and friends of both of these men as we all try to move forward. Change can be hard, but oftentimes that is what we are faced with; and we have to embrace it. I can do all things in Christ, and I know I can!
Jesus said, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen." Mark 9:23

Friday, April 15, 2011


Got myself a little injury....nothing serious....thank the GOOD LORD....but an injury nonetheless. It seems I have pulled a muscle in my back....the doctor said my back felt like a boulder there were so many knots in it. Wanna know how I pulled a muscle in my back? Why picking up this little lady in church a few Sundays ago. Now I have to admit that my little is getting big, but seriously big enough to pull a muscle? You know what? Once my back is better, I'll pick her up again and again and again and again until I physically can't pick her up anymore. You may be can't physically pick her pulled a muscle, but that was just a bad move on my part. Next time, I'll lift with my legs! :) And just for the record....muscle relaxers are a good thing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where Has The Time Gone?

One of my childhood friends' sons is graduating from high school. He's graduating from the same high school that we graduated from. How can we be old enough to have kids graduating? Time is your greatest investment....even more so than money, because once you've spent can never get it back.
Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

To see more photos from this shoot, click here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


God is my refuge....He's my strength...He's my all in all! What I've noticed is that many included....cling to Him in dark times, in hard times, in lonely times. When things are good...we may have a casual conversation with Him, but many of us don't cling to Him and sit at His feet. I've been thinking about this a lot and how God is my wonderful times, good times, not so good times, horrible times, the list goes on. He is my refuge always. I know He knows my heart, but I need to become more intentional about letting God know how much I worship much I need much I want to live my life for Him. I just need to praise Him and let Him know this....not because He doesn't already know....but because it helps me to stay focused on.....HIM and HIS WORD! I attend a church, that means the world to me, the people there are family! During the season of Lent, the church staff puts together a's not just written by the clergy....but the entire church staff! I must say, it's just plain remarkable to read it daily; and I am blessed by reading their perspectives each day. Not too long ago, I read a devotional written by Melissia. Melissia is our very talented Communications Director. When I read this post by Melissia, I literally clapped my hands and said out loud...."YES, that is what I'm talking about!" It was like she read my mind. Here it is. Take it to heart and to practice! I have been, and it has made a huge difference in the way I approach my daily life. STAY GROUNDED IN GOD'S WORD! Stay grounded in God!

Thursday, March 24 by Melissia Mason

Read Mark 4:13-20.

“The cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word.” Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes it just feels like the circumstances of life are actively choking us, trying to cut us off from the life-giving breath of God.

To be honest, I have trouble making Bible study a priority. But what if I practiced hearing the word and accepting it when times are easy? Then maybe when “life happens” it will come naturally to be grounded in God’s word. Maybe my roots would be strong. Maybe the cares of the world would just pass through my branches like wind through the trees. What once was a devastating gale might now become a mere whisper.
Let’s try it. Not just during Lent, but every day beyond this day. Let’s just experiment… start with continuing to spend ten minutes in prayer and ten minutes in scripture each day (remember Ken’s 10 & 10 Challenge?). Who knows how our world might change if we become strong and bear fruit “thirty and sixty and a hundredfold”!

God, sometimes we forget about you in the good times. Help us to be vigilant, growing closer to you each day. When the cares of the world press heavily upon us, give us the strength that can only come from knowing you. Amen.


How many people can you fit in a photo booth photo?
But five fit more comfortably.


I'm not sure, but I think life as I know it may be about to change. I'm not sure, but I think it could be good....or not so good....but definitely not bad. I'm not sure, but I think things may change for NPayne as well. I'm not sure, but I think it will affect my children. I'm not sure, but I think I may have to grow up. I'm not sure, but I think I may be okay with that....or I may not. What I am sure of is that change is hard, it's a little scary, it's unsettling, and it can be good or not so good; BUT with God in the's meant to be!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ADDICTION...It's Ruining Lives!

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to somethingthat is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, tosuch an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Historically, addiction has been defined as physical and psychological dependence on psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco, heroin and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.

Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought, however over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.[1] Some psychology professionals and many laymen now mean 'addiction' to include abnormal psychological dependency on such things asgambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, internet, work, exercise, idolizing, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, cutting and shopping.[2][3][4][5]

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has this definition for Addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in the individual pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. The addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can involve cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

The main thing I know about addiction is that when someone you love is addicted to something, it's the most important thing in their lives....whether they want it to be or is! And in turn, it affects your relationship....the way they feel about you....and the way you think they feel about you! It's an ugly ugly thing.

Monday, April 4, 2011


April is many things:
The month of Palm Sunday
The month of the Eater Party
The month of Good Friday
The month of Earth Day
The month of Easter
The month of my niece's actually....Happy Birthday Michelle.
The month of taxes
The month of the lamb
The month of many things.
Did you know that April is Autism Awareness month? If you feel so inclined, you can put blue lights in your windows or lamp posts or wherever to show your support for early is the key! See our blue lights below! We support early diagnosis, and we support finding a cure!