Saturday, February 28, 2009

Amazing Grace- The Movie

Last night I watched the Amazing Grace movie for the first time. What an amazing story of Will Wilberforce and his calling to help abolish slavery in Great Britain. I was motivated by his level of committment and also with his own internal conflict of knowing his true calling. John Newton's overwhelming guilt, regret and sorrow over the horrible treatment of slaves on his ships, on his watch, was not only heartbreaking, but in a sort of an uncomfortable see how far God can bring a man. If you've seen the movie, you might remember the statement John Newton makes when asked what he knows...he says, "There are only two things I know for sure in life. One, I am a great sinner. Two, He is the Great Savior." I love that statement. Isn't that what we all are. It really didn't matter that John Newton had witnessed or been party to, or even participated in the beating and killing or countless slaves, his need is the same as anyone's. He needed a Savior. It was when he found that Savior that he penned the words to Amazing Grace.

I also loved the way the movie writers paid tribute to others who Will Wilberforce. The woman, the former slave and others that shared a meal around a table and helped influence his decision to make this a life-endeavor. It shows that it really has never been about one man...except one time...on a cross. Most of the time it takes many people to make things happen. I love that teamwork concept.

Certianly, I was motivated to stay the course as I watched this movie.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This says it all....

Sick Kids...Cold Weather....Ideas for occupying their time...

I'd like to think my kids are exceptionally smart. They are certainly at least average. Therefore, when I realized that after the 3rd time of watching the newly acquired High School Musical 3 DVD, the language had been changed from English to Spanish, I'd like to think it's because they are know Spanish. Contrary to that, Savannah, instead of brushing up on last year's Spanish lessons, said "It sounds like a totally different movie!" -- Geez...she's brilliant!

The kids have barely been outside in a week...since the dreaded flu started creeping it's way into our house. We've found a slinky, portable basketball Nerf goal, and sticky notes are going a long way in remedying the boredom factor....and yes...don't forget the Spanish HSM3.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fooey on the Flu

Both my sweeties have Type A Influenza this week. Tucker is recovering and is just about out of the woods....but, Savannah's just started we are still in for a few more days of flu type symptoms. One good thing is I have had plenty of snuggle time on the couch with both of them, but if I manage to avoid getting sick...then it will be nothing short of a miracle!!!!

Say a prayer for them...ok maybe the whole bunch of us could use a prayer!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things I am learning at Bible Study

The ladies at church get together once a week to discuss our Esther Bible Study, what God is showing us, and for fellowship. It's one of the highlights of the week.
God is showing me so much in this study. Here's a glimpse of what I am learning this week:

1. "I" am not as important as I sometimes think I am. (Haman)
2. God's timing is perfect (King Xerxes reading the journals just in time to make a way of escape for Mordecai)
3. Prayer and Fasting releases me from doing anything and gives God permission to do everything.
4. God takes care of His matter who or what...He will always take care of Israel.
5. Past experiences of trusting God should help me trust easier, quicker and more fully in the future.
6. Less of me=More of HIM.
7. No recognition, praise, honor, money, thing can compare to the glorious moment when I stand before Christ. My prayer is He will be able to say "well done". Nothing else should matter.
8. Fear of failure is more than likely for me, fear of humiliation...which is pride.
9. My insecurities should be checked at the door as I am reminded who I am in Christ.
10. Dying to myself will be the hardest battle I will ever face.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Greater Things...

For Christmas Bruce bought me 2 tickets to see Chris Tomlin in concert. The concert was Saturday evening. He suggested I take Savannah since she loves Chris Tomlin's music. So we made an entire GNO of it. Shopping (Target), dinner at her place of choice (chick-fil-a) and the concert...which also included drinks, chocolate and nachos (the girl can put away some food!)

We enjoyed the opening act ...Israel and New Breed. We knew way more of their songs than we thought and before you knew it...we were standing, clapping with the thousands of others in the Nokia Theatre. Chris Tomlin was up after intermission and for the next hour people stood listening, singing, praising, worshipping. It was quite an hour.

About halfway through his concert he sang "Jesus Messiah". Savannah and I were standing there together when he got to the chorus. As if on cue, from a rehearsal earlier in the day Savannah's hands lifted into the air in praise and worship. It was a moment I will never forget. She hadn't looked at me to see what I was doing. She wasn't trying to draw attention to herself. She wasn't doing it because people around us were pressuring her to raise hands.

I know some might not understand why this is such a big deal to me. I'll try to explain. There's only been one really constant praying in my life in regards to my kids. It's been that they know Jesus from an early age. I don't mean that they just ask him into their "heart" and that's it...I mean I want then to begin knowing HIM in a growing relationship while they are still young. I want Savannah and Tucker to worship our God in an uninhibited way...from an early age. I want them to know nothing they could ever do can separate them from God's unconditional love. I want them to know that no matter where they are, HE is available, willing and able to take care of them. I want them to grow in the understanding of their salvation.

So, in this moment of worship and total consumption of our Jesus, Messiah, my heart was touched to tears as I realized to some degree she is on her journey to know Jesus more. Her total liberty and passionate worship overflowed to me and even those around us as she unassumingly lifted her hands in praise and worship to our Jesus Messiah.

Greater things are still to come...I can't wait to see how God chooses to use her life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

HSM3 Movie Night at Casa Stinson

Tonight was family movie night at our house. Everyone snuggled in on the couch, comfy chair or in our case...the kid's bean bags. The movie of choice (not mine) was High School Musical 3 (3 guesses who picked this one?) Well, there's enough music to keep this movie mildly entertaining...especially when the kids decided to add their own dance moves. But the funniest part was at the end...when I heard sniffles from the comfy chair where Bruce was sitting...and I said...."Dad, are you crying"....and he said "This movie is so sad...they are all growing up". Boy, will he never live this one down....I was rolling - laughing so hard!!!!

On a mildly serious note. I've been thinking of all the things you can learn from that movie. Here are a few:

1. What comes around goes around (Sharpay)
2. You have to follow your true calling no matter what others think (Troy)
3. It's always nice to have a friend in your corner..but sometimes even the best of friends move away (Gabriella).
4. Do your pays in the end (Ryan and Kelsy)
5. Always be prepared (understudies)

A fun night here at the Stinson house! Hope you had a good day too!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Not Saying....

I haven't been talking about it. If I actually say the words "I'm dieting", then I am surely setting myself up for failure! What I am really trying to do is eat a little more healthy, make better choices and not eat impulsively. If I lose a few pounds in the process then GREAT!

I've discovered a few things. Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea is a great replacement for my Diet Coke on most days. I am trying very hard to only drink 2 diet cokes a week, but since I'm already on #3, we probably shouldn't talk about it for long. The green tea is yummy and I really like it! The other thing I discovered this week was v8 soups. Campbell's has partnered with v8 and is making a variety of soups. I tried the butternut squash and the tomato herb this week and they were very very good!
I also found Smucker's red raspberry sugar free jam. Partner that with some whole grain bread and a tablespoon of peanut butter....and it is heavenly!

I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow...share your favorite low cal snack or meal with me so I don't fall off the wagon!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Music to My Ears

I love music. Whether it's the radio playing in the car, a cd at home, my mp3 player as I work, playing the piano for fun or for church or listening to my kids sing silly songs, I love it. There's a daily recital of Hannah Montana, The Wiggles, Boz and The Jonas Brother from my kids.They are hilarious with their tinker toy microphones and play guitars. Recently I have developed a few favorites to add to my staple all time favs (besides my kids, that is).

1. Kari Jobe
2. Chris Tomlin
3. Hillsong United
4. Leeland
5. Monk and Neagle
6. Shane and Shane
7. Casting Crowns
8. Laura Story
9. Building 429
10. 5 Browns

I would love to hear your favorites.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Planting Time

The Mission Garden (Mission Field) is almost ready to be planted. We are getting ready for our first community garden. The soil has been worked, we are getting the rock out with a Harley rake next week, and then we will bring in the compost and yes...manure. Funny how that would takes on a different meaning when you are planting a garden!

We are going to be planting tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, green beans, squash, corn, watermelons and more. It's going to be an adventure!

Do you garden? If so, what do you enjoy planting? eating? cooking? To me, there's nothing like a fresh tomato and mayo sandwich in the hot summer. Or a cold cumcumber tomato salad. That's good eating!

Above are pics from my garden last year. Enjoy!

Let's talk weather...

Overcast skies, a misty drizzle, a little chill in the favorite kind of day. I sounds crazy, but these kinds of days call for snuggling on the couch, taking a nap, reading, catching up on things around the house, watching a movie with the kids, making homemade cookies, listening to music, and playing board games.

I'm hoping to enjoy maybe at least one of these things today!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Drama...I hate it! Recently my 6yo daughter asked me what did overacting mean. I told her something like..."it's when you make a big deal over something that isn't really a big deal". The answer seemed to suffice, and then later in the day when she over-reacted, I pointed it out and told her..."that's what it means to over-react".

Well today...I think I might have over-reacted. Some news I received didn't sit very well with me and I did it..I over-reacted. I threw away everything I KNOW for sure about God and trust and faith...and I over-reacted. I got stressed, my blood pressure went up, I got a little hot under the collar, and even shed a few tears. It wasn't pretty.

The thing is...I trust God. I have faith that He is in control over everything. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He holds my days in His hand. He's invested. He's interested. He's concerned. Yet, when things happen that I don't have any control over, I somehow forget all that for just a moment. And in that moment...something happens. I over-react...I let the enemy come in and steal all the joy for that moment...I lose sight of the absolutes of His nature...HIS joy, HIS peace and HIS sovereignty.

So...what did I do? Fortunately it didn't take long for me to get it together and realize who was stirring the pot. I hit my knees...asked forgiveness...received it and then...asked God for direction, wisdom and some peace. And guess what? I got it.

Thank you Lord, for loving spite of me. If I am going to over-react...let it be about something YOU do!

Friday, February 13, 2009

20/20 - Tonight

I've missed blogging this week. A couple of big work assignments, family and The Mission had me in over my head this week. Sorry to those faithful readers...I'll try not to let it happen again.

Did anybody see 20/20 tonight? The story was on the Appalachian Poverty Epidemic. Those who know me will understand that it was terribly hard for me to see it, hear the story and feel the pain that exuded from faces of innocent children, toothless parents, and drug infested teenagers. What a terrible shame. I was first made aware of the enormity of this problem a few years ago when American Idol did their first Idol Gives Back. Savannah and I watched as they spoke about a town in the Kentucky Appalachian Mtns. that needed books for their library. Savannah was only 4 at the time and said she could start collecting books for kids and we could mail them to Kentucky (she is her mother's daughter isn't she?) Anyway, tonight those emotions were stirred again as I watched this horrible picture of poverty on TV. People who drop out of school because for them their employment doesn't require a high school diploma. A teenage boy was living in his car because of the alcohol abuse. A young girl was molested by a relative. An 11 year old was taking care of her drug abusing mother. It broke my heart.

Most people need a reality check to know that these circumstances exist in America. Money, education, jobs, training, dental work, health care, housing, transportation, and other things are all needed to help these people get out of the pit they are in. But first they need Jesus. They need someone to show up and be Jesus. Someone with skin on. Someone who will work along side them and show them how to improve their lives. Someone who looks, smells, feels, talks and acts like Jesus. Someone who will teach with humility...not a super saving self serving attitude. Someone who will get their hands dirty...not worrying about the dirt, grime, smell, filth. Someone who will give a smile to a toothless stranger....share a bottle of water with a coal miner...and in the midst of it all share the story of how valuable they are to much they matter to much Jesus can fill the loneliness, the hurt, the poverty of spirit, the hole that engulfs their body and soul. After all that is all that matters in the world and the world to come.

A commentator said something like this...maybe instead of judging the poverty we need a change in the geography of our hearts. I agree.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Best CD EVER!

If you love female led praise and worship music then you will want to be sure to pick this treasure up! She's gifted! Kari Jobe sings Revelation Song like nobody else! She will help make your worship experience just a little bit sweeter. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Kids Have the Greatest Dad!

Tonight was the Daddy Daughter Dance at the school in our area. Savannah went last year with Bruce and she wouldn't have missed it for the world this year either! Times like tonight make me incredibly thankful that Bruce is such a devoted father.
Tucker lucked out and got a movie night at home with me!

Friday, February 6, 2009

What I've Learned from My Uncle

The Special Olympics begins this weekend. After hearing about it on Good Morning America it really prompted me to take a glance back to my childhood. I had the privilege to be raised in a home where there was someone who had Down Syndrome- my uncle. Yes, my heroic mother, was the primary care-taker of my uncle during my childhood and even now, my aunt takes care of Steve.

Steve's nickname was PAL. One great thing about him was that he was a loyal pal. He loved things deeply...Coca-cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken, bowling and Batman. He loved people deeply too. I remember the way he hugged and gave slobery kisses. He loved to joke...I remember him calling my boyfriend at the time by the previous boyfriend's name...Hilarious now...not so much then! He shuffled his feet down the hallway and left toothpaste in the bathroom sink. He watered down the 2 liter coke bottle so that no one would know how much coke he drank!

But the greatest lesson I learned from growing up with someone special like Steve, was that every person is valuable. No matter what their physical, mental, economic make-up, they have something to offer thier world and their God. Steve was like a child, he got excited about Christmas and Jesus and the Easter Bunny. His child-like faith was just what he needed to accept Jesus as his Savior.

As I listened to the bit on TV this morning about the Special Olympics I was reminded how uniquly wonderful and rich my childhood was because of Steve. His unconditional love, his humor, his shuffle and even the water in the coke...make me smile as I realize really how special he is.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

American Idol

Ok...I admit it...I am addicted to American Idol. I think I have watched every episode of every season except season one. Savannah was born right before season 2 started and we were home bound until she was about 9 months. My TV habits were strange and varied and none have stuck through the years with the exception of Idol. If you are tuning in to this season then you are highly aware of "bikini girl". Warning....I need to vent....

Bikini girl has gotten excessive attention..not because of her talent, but because of her body. Simon and Randy have to wipe the drool from their mouths as she trots along the stage. It's nearly nauseating. While my frustration is partly due to the lusty element it adds to the show, I am also very dismayed that so little attention has been paid to the blind man who is HIGHLY talented. Last night's show spent minutes covering bikini girls bad attitude, language, high drama and lack of team work...but they didn't even show the guy who is beating the odds by just showing up to audition...not to mention that fact that he has an awesome voice. FRUSTRATING!

It shows me that we as a society have placed our values so low that we would rather watch a scantily clad young women, with obvious Paris Hilton type issues, walk across a stage than to watch a man, who needs assistance getting to the stage, because he is blind, but can actually sing and inspire people. Are we that shallow? Yes, we are.

Check out the audition here:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I need to get quite a bot done in the next two days to be able to enjoy my weekend. I've gotten into the habit of doing laundry only once a week and tomorrow's the day. I also need to do a big run to the grocery store. I am wondering where the $105.00 worth of food I bought on Saturday has gone?!? Here's my list of to do's. I'd love to know your secrets for getting things done. Do you get up early, stay up late, have a housekeeper (I do), make your kids do chores (I do), make meals ahead of time? Give me your tips (comment below). I'd love to hear you tips, short cuts and easy recipes! I don't need to be super-woman but I'd like to be a better home-manager! Looking forward to hearing from you!

1. School with Savannah
2. Work KCWC
3. Make lunch
4. Make forms for tutoring program
5. Make dinner
6. Praise Team Practice
7. Savannah ready for TeamKID
8. Laundry
9. Groceries
10. Get Savannah's dress for Daddy-Daughter dance
11. Weed flower beds and prep for spring planting
12...I'm stopping now...I am breaking out in a sweat just typing this....gotta go get started!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Good Name

I've been thinking a lot about the word "reputation" lately. It means:

  1. The general estimation in which a person is held by the public.
  2. The state or situation of being held in high esteem.
  3. A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing: a reputation for courtesy.

Being in the ministry, I become more and more aware of how important it is to guard my family's reputation. Sure there have been plenty of times where Bruce or I have failed in doing or saying the right thing. Those have been heartbreaking times for us. For the most part, your name is all you have. I've heard it said hundreds of times, "I don't really care what people think about me", yet, sometimes we NEED to care. When your reputation is in question and you are a Christian, it places a hazy image of what Christ looks like to the world. Sometimes our reputations are damaged by malicious lies and anger by others and sometimes by our own actions.

Bruce being a pastor has been a good and challenging lifestyle for me. I have had to learn (not mastered yet) to hold my tongue, to keep a smile when I'd rather throw a punch, to embrace instead of push away, to lovingly correct instead of proudly walk away, to wait to react instead of reacting off the cuff, to wait until the truth comes out instead of defending myself at every inaccurate assumption that is made. It's a learning process...and it goes against almost every thing in our humanness.

Someone recently shared this verse with me: The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7. Encouragement comes from knowing you are living a life that God is defending.

Don't get me wrong. There are times when we need to defend ourselves...there are plenty of scriptures that speak in regards to fighting too! But instead of jumping the gun and always SPEAKING up and defending ourselves...maybe we should watch the GREAT DEFENDER do His Work first!