Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Playin at the Park

Yesterday was such a pretty day, my dad and I took the boys to one of many local parks. This park features a small pond which is home to several Canadian Geese, Mallards and some other creature of fowl.

The boys enjoyed chasing and watching the fowl more than playing on the equipment. It was nice getting out in the fresh air. We are looking forward to warmer days to spend more time outside.
A few pictures below from the day.
Until next time, HB

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Art Exihibition

Hi, my name is BB. Remember that name because one day I am going to be famous for my art work. I would like to invite you over to my house to view my 1st mural. I am so proud of it that I even named it "Randomness"

As you can see above, why I named it "Ramdomness". I took a red crayon and just drew random lines all over the bathroom wall. Why the bathroom wall you ask? I wanted it to be a surprise for Mommy so it had to be in a conspicous place so that she couldn't see me while she was cleaning the kitchen.

I am so proud of my work of art. You see, my brother and I had already been coloring earlier that morning in the presence of Mamma. But she put the colors up on a shelf so that she could clean the kitchen. And some cleaning she did...emptied the fridge, dishwasher, swept, cleaned up breakfast...anyway I knew she would be distracted for awhile so I decided to draw her a mural. I even pulled up a stool to get the red color. I thought about a yellow but figured it wouldn't show up as well. Also you will notice in the pictures above, that my mural is so big, it had to be taken in 2 pictures!!

Well, to my dissappointment, Mamma was not as proud of my mural as I had hoped. It led to a swat on my booty and now I don't know where my colors are. Regardless, I am proud of it. And I know Michelangelo would be too. I admire him...he even colored upside down. I thought about this but couldn't reach the ceiling so the wall had to suffice.

I over heard Mamma and Daddy saying that they would have to paint the whole bathroom. I tell you, they don't know good art when they see it.

"Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.”~Al Hirschfeld

Until next time, I'll be learning how not to get caught! BB

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Busy Bees

We've been busy bees the past few days. Wednesday we ventured to our local library for "story time". The last time I tried this, it was terrible. The boys were only about 18 months and cared less about listening to the story, instead wanting to walk around the room getting in everyone's personal space. This time was much better. They actually sat in my lap and listened to the story. After the story they participated in a little Valentine activity, tracing hearts onto paper. This too went better than the last time as the boys actually colored on the paper and not the library's walls.

We left the library, drove through Chic-fil-A for some nuggets and french fries only to head to Wal-Mart. The boys do well if I have food for them to eat while riding in the buggy at Wal-Mart. All was well until I had to take a bathroom break. BB hates the sound of toilets flushing in the bathroom, so when I told them that they would have to go with Mommy to the bathroom, he declared that he "Don't want it." (His way of saying NO!). Let me tell was awful trying to get him into the bathroom. He hollered, screamed, would have thought that I was kidnapping him. I was so embarrassed and would have put off the the bathroom break until we got home, but the sweet tea was getting to me. Finally got done with bathroom break. By that time, I was so frazzled that we left with only diapers and milk. That ended our outing for the day as I couldn't take anymore.

Thursday started with a trip to the Y, then to deliver monogramming orders. While driving past McAlisters, the boys declared that they wanted some "sweep" tea and gil-cheese. My mom was with me, so we stopped and had lunch. The boys thought it was funny to holler at the employees as they walked by, "Hey, come back here" for no apparent reason other than to make a seen and be as embarrassing as possible. At least the employees thought it was cute.

We then ventured to Hancock Fabrics for me to look for some fabric of which I found.

Today started back at Hancock's with a friend and her 2 children. We were quite a circus. None of the kids wanted to stay in the buggy or stroller. Needless to say we out of there as fast as possible only to head to Hobby Lobby to look for more fabric. Again, the children made their presence known. And again, we didn't stay very long. We then went to Wendy's for lunch. And again, the children performed their circus act. Even the man a few tables down asked if I wanted him to sit with them while I ordered as his observation was "You've got your hands full." I told him thanks but that my friend would be here in a few moments.

After Wendy's we left for yet another fabric store. This was the last destination for obvious reasons. My boys were tired and let everyone know it. They both walked out with "doo-doo" and wouldn't even sit in their car seats until they were changed. Which I can't blame them, but there wasn't a convenient place to change them. So the back of my friends van became the changing table.

We then left for a local hospital to deliver another monogramming order. And then home.

I'm tired and now I am going to bed. We have a birthday party tomorrow to start the day.

Until next time, HB

Monday, February 11, 2008

Simply Living for Christ

This past Sunday, as a congregation we sang a song that contained a verse "Simply Living for Christ". Although the song itself was not that appealing to me, the words spoke more than the actual arrangement of music. Our pastor even admitted that this song speaks to him greatly as we are called as Christians to "simply live for Christ".

As you have read in previous posts our church has experienced changes in mighty ways. Some of these changes have met much turmoil, confusion, discussion, appreciation and all other emotions that come with changes within a church. I, myself, have been against and for some of the changes as well as the way they have come about.

But this post isn't just about my church. It's about today's changing church. However, most of my experience is based on the experiences of my church. As I see a much need for some change in today's church, especially when reaching the unchurched and unsaved, I ask myself all the time "Where do we draw the line?". How much do we change to accomadate, to appeal, to make comfortable those who do not attend church rather they be Christians or not in order to bring them into a worship setting. This "worship" setting according some consistent, professing church goers can be anywhere besides an actual church. If the unchurched can be brought to worship in a bar, let's have worship in the bar...if the unchurched can be brought to hear the gospel on a softball field--well let's make a tent and have church. If it's more appealing to have church in someone's home, come on in and stay get the picture. It's about whatever makes the unchurched the most comfortable to hear the word of God. Remember however, the unchurched may not necessarily be a non-Christian. He or she just may not attend church for some reason or another.

Some church goers believe the best way to bring in the unchurched is to promote more appealing ministries and programs within the church. New children's programs that seem to reach young ones better than the outdated, traditional ones...New women's ministries that reach more than the typical SAHMs who seem to live in a perfect world...New recreational ministries that reach the community through various sporting activities. All of which are very much needed and useful to it's own extent.

But here is where I am constantly asking myself this same question over and over...where do we draw the line? You can build programs to be the best in the area, you can meet in the most comfortable surroundings...but the message is still the same. We seem to want to make it comfortable for the it the surrounding that makes them uncomfortable, do they not like
dressing up and sitting in the pew of an actual church (never mind the denomination or the actual size of the church). Or is it the message they are uncomfortable they not like to be convicted of the sin in their they not like to hear that non-Christians will not go to they not like hearing the truth for fear or frustration that it makes them uncomfortable. You see, I fully believe that no matter where you meet...the message should be the same. You can't water down the truth in a bar, you can't water down the truth on a softball field, you can't water down the truth in a home. What is spoken in truth while sitting in a pew is the same truth spoken other than an actual church setting. So in trying to make the unchurced comfortable, where do we draw the line?

I believe that more than any program, ministry, preaching, songs, worship style or whatever logistical change the church may plan or pursue it's not until we as professing church-going Christians start to live our everyday live "simply for Christ" will any of these ministries actually work to the best that they can. It's just that SIMPLE. There are no programs that are more effective than we individuals living our life fully devoted to Christ OUTSIDE of the church. That means duplicating your weekly life to be same as your church life. That means living for Christ at work, at home, at the resturaunt, at the softball game, soccer game, football game, ballet, cheerleading, basketball, bunko, girls night out, guys night out, movies, watching tv, surfing the web, grocery shopping...literally in everthing we do.

A few Sundays ago, we stopped at our local grocery store to pick up a few needed items. To my dissappointment we saw several active church members with their children selling raffle tickets for their ball team. This is what I am talking about. (It is at this point that I say... I am in no way judging individuals, as I too have my own faults...this is simply an example). How much of an impact would we have had for Christ, if those dad's had said..."No, we will not be selling raffle tickets during church time nor on Sunday as it is God's day. Instead, I as a Christian father will teach my children that worship is more important than playing ball." Now they may have gone to church for awhile and left early, but to the general public, it didn't give that appearance. I like what our pastor said one time..."Do for your church what you do for your children's extra-curricular activities." I'll take it farther..."Do for Christ, what you do for your extra-curricular activities". Saying no to such activities as I just mentioned is "Simply Living for Christ". It's not a program, it's not meeting in a "comfortable" location. It's "Simply Living for Christ" to the point of making an eternal impact for your family, your church, and your community.

I have a friend who told me that the reason he doesn't go to church is because of the hypocrits. My initial reaction was,"yeah, yeah, yeah...the easy excuse and justification" Until he mentioned a fellow church member. And he was right. The person he mentioned is much involved on Sunday mornings but you would never know it by their lifestyle during the week and weekend. Now, I am not advocating that this be a justifiable reason not to attend to church, but he has a point. And if I was searching for the truth...I wouldn't know the truth if I followed the example and witness of the person he mentioned. (Again, this not pointing to any individual but the church as a whole). We don't "Simply Live for Christ".

Are the shows we record because we don't dare miss an episode glorify our relationship with Christ? If he were sitting next to you, which he actually is, be proud of what we are watching? Same with the movies we support by buying the tickets and renting them? Are our actions outside of church "Simply Living for Christ" or are they "Hypocritically Living for Christ". It's that simple. If we as consistent, church going Christians simply live for Christ...I believe it would make more of an impact than any "comfortable" setting, program, or ministry a church can promote.

Sadly though, not enough do this, including myself. There have been times I should have walked out of a movie due to events that took my God, my Savior's name in vain. I should have walked out in my way of "Simply Living for Christ". There are times that I have should have turned the radio station because the song blasphemed all that my God, my Saviour, my Christ died for. The movies glorified sin, the songs glorified sin. There are times I should have walked away from a group of friends that brought out the sin in me and kept me from "Simply living for Christ".

We boldly confess through fun surveys, through MySpace profiles, through Facebook profiles our favorite tv shows, movies, songs, books, bands, and singers through...some of which clearly do not glorify our relationship with Christ nor do they allow us to "Simply Live for Christ". What does this say about us as Christians? Would we dare bring some of those shows, songs, books, movies to church to share with our fellow members? I know I wouldn't bring some of the ones I've seen.

As I have shared examples of ways that we don't simply live for Christ, I would like to share one that I find honoring. I have a dear friend whose mom told me about a situation that she had to either live for Christ or go with the crowd. She was asked to help host a couple's wedding shower that would require each hosting couple pay several $100...just to host it, mind you. After she learned what most of the money was supporting, alcohol of course, she "Simply Lived for Christ" by kindly turning down the offer. You see, she has a Christian witness and testimony that she knows is more important than any party that can be giving. She knew that "Simply Living for Christ" is what she is called to do as a Christian. She followed her convictions and "Simply Lived for Christ" in that very moment of a decision. As uncomfortable and difficult it was to turn down the offer, it was a "Simple way of Living for Christ". (She didn't actually tell this story as a way of promoting her witness, it was actually told because of the ridiculous amount of money that each hosting couple was gonna have to pay.) Little did she know that her "Simply Living for Christ" moment made an eternal impact and a sense of hope for me.

A challenge to myself is that I "Simply Live for Christ" and to not only rely on any program, ministry, or comfortable setting to be my witness or outlet to show God's love or my way of living for Him.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and convictions. And please excuse any grammatical errors or misspellings as it late. HB

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sleeping Spiderman

Sorry for the poor quality but this picture was taken in the dark without the flash so not to wake our sleeping Spiderman.

Every night before I go to bed, I peek in on the boys to make sure they are ok and to crack their door open for the night. The pose above is how I found CB sleeping. He must have so tired because when JB re-arranged him, he never opened his eyes to awake.

Also a few nights before when I peeked in on them, BB had crawled over in CB's bed and they were asleep side by side. This was the first time they had slept in the same bed together. I was so touched at the sweet scene that I woke JB up to witness the innocent moment. I hope there will be more nights like that I will be able to cherish such sweet brotherly love. (And then they wake up only to fight the day away!)

Until next time, Sleep tight, HB

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Fantastic Four

I had a fellow friend and blogger to invite other bloggers to join in on the Fantastic Four "game". This is the perfect blog to post as I am sitting here while my machine is monogramming.

4 Movies that I could watch over and over: (I am not much of a movie watcher but I'll try to think of some)
Anne of Green Gables
28 Days
Miss Congeniality
Steel Magnolias

4 Jobs that I have had:
daycare--I had bed babies
BCV--RA, Intake Counselor
SAHM--the most rewarding

4 TV shows that I enoy: (I am also not much of a TV watcher)
I enjoy the oldies:
Golden Girls
Designing Women

4 Vacation Spots:
Hilton Head with the Cox's
New Hampshire
Smokey Mountains

4 Food that I enjoy:
Chips and dip

4 Websites that I visit daily: (thanks MAS for introducing me to this site)
other Bloggers...too many to list

Ok, fellow readers of this's your turn!

Until next time, HB

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Are you an Antique?

While my mom was visiting my grandmother the other day, they decided to shop at a new antique store that had opened in the area.

As they browsed around the store, my mom noticed a book that was quite a shock to see displayed with a price. She quickly called over to my grandmother to announce that they needed to leave and no longer stay to find out what else they had. For she had seen enough...and found out that she was part of this antique store in an indirect way.

You see, she ran across her high school annual from her senior year for sale in this antique shop. I don't think I would want to stay either only to find out that I am older than I thought I was.

Until next time, HB

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Today at church, we were blessed to have the Children of the World Choir perform as our worship service. The description of who the Children of the World are, is best explained using the description from their site: "Children of the World includes 47 orphaned and disadvantaged children from countries like India, Uganda and the Philippines. These children raise the level of awareness of the plight of homeless and orphaned children all over the world. Each concert includes powerful testimonies of their personal experiences, several songs in both English and native dialects, and a video presentation including footage of the children’s home countries. The choir began its 2007-2008 United States tour in September 2007 and will travel through June 2008, singing in churches, schools and other organizations."

We decided to take CB and BB to the service with us for their enjoyment of watching other children sing. They loved it, at least for about the 1st 20 minutes. The boys sat in our laps and watched with wide eyes as the Children performed songs and dances that represented different countries of the world. When the amazement wore off, we took them back to their "children's church" where they waited with anticipation to see the puppets.

I, too, watched in awe at the Children's performance. It brought tears of joy, amazement, sorrow, and hope. I have never been made more aware of just how "universal" God is. We tend to live in our box here in America and take for granted all that God has blessed us with. I have even been on a mission trip to Mexico and seen the poverty and lack of hope. But to see these children from all over the world made God so much bigger to me. He loves and cares for everbody, every culture, ever society, every orphan, every disease and poverty stricken country...not just Americans. What an amazing praise of God's love to see those children being rescued from the situation that this world had destined for them. To see God's destiny and plan being fulfilled through Christian missionaries doing what God had called them to do. These children were orphaned due to varies circumstances only to be adopted into God's kingdom. And to think that they have experienced God's love through to their abandonment.

I must say that watching them and learning about WorldHelp, brought back the memories of when I worked as a "social worker" at a local Children's Home. I loved helping orphans, abused, and neglected children. Although, some of my time there was not working directly with the children, I was part of the process of getting a child admitted to the Home that would love them, teach them, help them, show them God's love, show them God's grace, and show them God's mercy. It wasn't a job to me, it was a mission. A mission that I fulfilled in order to spread God's love and hope.

Children of World are being shown God's love, grace and mercy through WorldHelp...
I encourage you read about them and furthermore pray for this ministry as they continue to reach the world's orphans.
Until next time, Jesus loves the little children...all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. HB