Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Getting Ready!

I am preparing for a trip.  An overnight trip.  This trip is going to be fun!  I'll let you know all about it when I get back....

You should see my list of supplies to take.  I've started a spread sheet list.  I don't want to forget anything!  But I probably won't take everything that's on my list. 

I have two piles of stuff to take with me on this trip.  In two different rooms.  I have already started packing some of the stuff I feel I will need on this trip.  I think I am going to have to reduce the stuff in those piles, so it will be manageable.  And you can't blame the piles of stuff on me being a girl, because nothing in those piles is girly!

I have been doing some research for my upcoming overnight trip.  I have searched various websites looking for information on what I will need to take with me, how risky my venture will be, what to do if something happens, how much fun I should have, etc.

Oh!  Want to know where I am going?  Camping (primitive!) and canoeing on the Black Water River in Milton, Florida!  Looking forward to some fun with my Sunday school class!!  And coming back with some good stories and great photos to share!

All of this planning and preparation are reminding me of the verse in II Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  Just like preparations for my upcoming camping/canoeing trip, if I study and prepare myself in the word of God, I will be much better prepared to follow where He leads me.  I will be much less likely to be embarrassed if I am prepared, whether it be my upcoming trip or spiritually!


Friday, July 22, 2011


Apart from my dad, the man with the greatest influence on my life was my Papa, Howard Lee Hill.  When he died last year (July 21st) we tried to think of a verse that fit his life.  The above photo shows Papa witnessing to a man at the rescue mission in Montgomery, Alabama, and the verse is one that is marked in my Bible, and which we felt fit Papa perfectly.  It's Romans 1:16 which says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."  Papa was a man who was not ashamed of the gospel.  Even during his illness when he was in the hospital a couple of times, in rehab, and then sent home for his final month, he was constantly witnessing.  Whether he was lucid or not, he was witnessing.  At one point he was desperately trying to get my dad (who he had led to Christ in the 1960s) to accept Christ -- not knowing who my dad was.  To help ease Papa's mind, Daddy finally accepted Christ (again)!  Papa wanted to be read to out of the Bible during those last days.   You won't believe what he wanted to hear -- Revelation! 

My Papa and me

It wasn't easy letting Papa go.  After all, this man had been my hero for 41 years.  I loved him with all my heart.  Both Papa and Nanny were and are special to me.  I was privileged to be their oldest grandchild, even though I was born to their youngest child.  I was the "world's most photographed baby."  Being the "world's most photographed baby" means that I have a lot of pictures of me with my grandparents.  Those pictures are treasures now.
"Old Fashioned Sunday"
Any time and anywhere Papa and Nanny wanted me to go, I went.  I didn't care if I went with them by myself or with others.  The point was to be with Papa and Nanny.  I got upset with one of my brothers one time.  We were the two oldest (he's the little boy in the photo wearing the overalls), so we were allowed to stay in Alabama with Papa and Nanny at Nanny's mom's house until they were ready to drive back to Indiana where we were living at the time.  Unfortunately, this said brother who will not be named, got homesick and we had to leave early!  I was so disappointed!

My Papa and me!
Papa was so full of wisdom.  When I was about 20 and going to college in Savannah, Georgia, Papa and Nanny brought my sister for a visit at Thanksgiving.  Papa took me aside and told me that people thought I was stuck up, but he realized that I was an introvert. He encouraged me to work on that.  Of course, I was also and still am very tenderhearted, so I began to cry and Papa had to comfort me.  The last couple of years of his life Papa told me on a couple of occasions what he thought about certain situations, but he always qualified it by saying that I didn't have to take his advice.  My response was that I would be foolish not to listen to him, he was older and wiser that I. 

Papa and Nanny, June 2010
I could tell you about Papa's war experience -- he earned quite a few medals, including the purple heart and bronze star.  I could tell you about his service to Christ.  Or about his work ethic.  I could tell you about his technical mind, a very smart man!  But what I remember most is his spiritual influence over our family.  Because of his salvation and his willingness to share with others, his three children and their spouses, his twelve grandchildren and their spouses, and all of his nineteen great grandchildren who are old enough have accepted Christ as their Savior. What a wonderful testimony!
I am so thankful that God allowed Howard Hill to be MY grandfather!
Last picture of me with Papa, July 2010

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Women of Faith, Imagine Conference, Atlanta, Georgia

I am so very excited!  This morning I opened my e-mails and had an invitation from Women of Faith to join them at their Atlanta Conference on August 12 and 13 (if any of you are planning to attend, I would love to have a chance to meet you)!  I have been to one other Women of Faith conference, and that was probably ten years or so ago.  I am looking forward to being refreshed in so many ways.  Believe me ladies, if you have an opportunity to attend one of these events, your life will be changed.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Who Made the Sacrifice?

I have been reading Max Lucado's book A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God's Love.  Very good book.  I know I have mentioned this before, but everything I have read of Mr. Lucado's makes me think.  Really think! In chapter 12, A Cloak of Love, Mr. Lucado brings out the point that Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, made themselves coverings of leaves, and hid themselves from God.  When God came looking for them (of COURSE He knew right where they were), He asked why they had hid themselves, and why they were covering themselves.  Genesis 3:21 simply says "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."  Mr. Lucado points out that God made the sacrifice of life, God made the clothes, and God dressed them.  He didn't tell Adam and Eve to put on the clothes, God put them on them Himself.  

Here's something that I have been thinking about.  I'll bet Adam and Eve knew the animal(s) that was killed for their sins.  Something else had to pay the price.  Can you imagine how they felt?  Maybe they were thinking "No, God! Please don't sacrifice that one!  Or that, or that one!  They mean so much to us.  Didn't you tell us to take care of them? Didn't you allow us to name them?"  On top of the tremendous guilt of disobeying God and being separated from Him, they were totally responsible for the first loss of life. 

Brings to mind the sacrifice of the Perfect, Sinless Lamb of God for the sins of the whole world. He freely, willingly gave his life for ME!  And YOU!  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Just some ramblings...


Monday, July 11, 2011

What could have been considered a disaster...

Some days it seems that EVERYTHING goes wrong!  And I mean from beginning to end.  Friday was one of those days for me.  Fortunately, things did get better...

It started out with getting to work and finding out that the a/c was not working.  We called the repair company who gave us a price and later a time frame (Monday or Tuesday of this week!).  It kept getting hotter and hotter in the office.  Granted, I do live and work in the hot, sticky south, so being hot is not anything new -- if I am outside.  However, one does expect a certain level of comfort inside.  That wasn't happening Friday.  I had a fan blowing, but by the time the afternoon rolled around, I had sweated (oops, one of my friends says I should use the word "glisten" instead of sweat) so much that my entire backside was wet.  Yuck!  I asked my boss not to ask me into his office if clients came in, I was so embarrassed.  By the time I left at 20 'til 5:00 it was 85° inside the office. 

I went home and thought I might go to the gym and sweat legitimately.  But when I walked into the sunroom at my house, I started smelling something and noticed water on the floor along the wall.  What on earth!?!  I tried to clean it up, then traced it to it's source and found the door to the freezer popped open, and the freezer dripping.  I don't know if the freezer died, but everything inside it had!  I spent the next couple of hours emptying the contents of the freezer -- I was able to save all of the non-meat items for my compost pile.  And I really didn't have that much meat in there.  And I had bought the meat at Winn Dixie in their buy one get one free deals, so it really wasn't that bad.  Then I pushed the freezer outside onto the back patio so it could air out.  I took a mop and cleaned up the water, then used a heavy hand with the Lysol and mopped the floor again.  By this time I was drenched with sweat!  No need to go to the gym, I was literally worked out!  Oh, the rain started to fall!  The temperature dropped -- well maybe a degree or so. 

That wasn't the end of the day.  The boys were stirring for a fight.  Two teenage boys.  Why don't you do this?  Why don't you let us do that?  We are old enough to make our own decisions (NOT!!).  You don't let us have any freedoms (SO not true!).  Why?  Why?  Why? they said. You don't love us.  We don't love you... Hey, guess I'm doing a good job if I'm getting these kinds of complaints, right?

Oh my, the day was finally over and I was totally exhausted, physically and mentally.  I think I finally went to sleep about 1:30 in the morning.

Then I was up at 8:00 on Saturday.  I tried to sleep late.  I really did, but I couldn't (don't laugh, mom!).  So I dressed to exercise.  I tried to wake up my youngest and see if he wanted to go play tennis, but being a teen and having stayed up so late, he was not interested!  So I made cinnamon rolls (the kind out of a can, I wasn't going to be THAT domestic), told both boys through their haze of sleep that I was going to the gym, and went and had a very nice work out.  Isn't it amazing what physical exercise will do for you mentally?  Well, it also makes me want to do stuff physically, too.  When I got home, I made home made bread pudding, potato salad for supper, meat loaf for Sunday's lunch, pasta salad as a special request for Sunday and prepared pizza burgers for dinner.  Then I "walked" the freezer out to the shed and left it inside with it's door open (later I'll plug it in and see if it still works, but I'm not moving it back to the sunroom!).  I even managed some time to make a pillow case for my youngest son out of some camouflage fabric he found in my scrap bag. 

Sunday was a great day at church.  The sermon was from Ephesians 3:14-21 and our Sunday school lesson was on Revelation 13.  At six my regular Sunday night Bible study group met a my house and had a great lesson on the topic of prayer by Max Lucado.  Getting together with girlfriends, my sisters in Christ, is always wonderful and a highlight of the week.  To finish it all off, I had a phone call from another girlfriend, and the boys and I went out and had ICE CREAM! 

And what girl doesn't need to hear this every once in a while:  "hey, you look like you've lost weight!"  Spoken by a friend while at the gym yesterday afternoon.

Listen to this (pointed out in yesterday's sermon) from Ephesians 3:20 - 21 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end."  Think about this.  God is able to do what we ask or think.  That's great! But not only is He able to do anything we ask or think, He is able to do ABOVE ALL that we ask or think.  And He is able to do ABUNDANTLY above all that we ask or think.  And finally, most importantly, He is able to do EXCEEDING abundantly above all that we ask or think! I feel that's exactly what He did for me this weekend. 


Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Review: Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away
By:  Alister McGrath
Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Copyright 2010

When I ordered this book I was eagerly looking forward to reading and finding out "why God won't go away."  I felt that as a believer, it was and is my responsibility to stay informed about what others believe.  Since Alister McGrath is a former atheist, I hoped he would give me facts I could use if I ever came across a situation where I had a discussion with an atheist.  Why God Won't Go Away truly was an eye opener for me, and I read with pencil in hand and underlined many parts of the book.   

Mr. McGrath divided his book into three easy to read sections, the first being "What is the New Atheism?"  I had never before heard this term, so I found this section very informative. Basically, Mr. McGrath points out that New Atheists not only refuse to believe a God exists, they also believe that anyone who believes in God is irrational, that all evil comes from belief in God/religion (they reference Sept. 11, 2001).  According to Mr. McGrath, New Atheists also go one step further and say that all who believe in some form of god or religion need to be eliminated.

The second section is "Engaging the New Atheism: Three Core Theme" whereby violence, reason and science are called into question.  Once again Mr. McGrath points out that New Atheists believe that "religion poisons everything".  In chapter 4 Mr. McGrath points out that "New Atheism seems to think it has a monopoly on truth, refusing as a matter of principle to concede the rationality of other positions, above all of religious faith".  New Atheism also believes that humans have invented God, and a "nasty" God at that.  Here's an interesting excerpt from the book: "God can be scapegoated for everything that's wrong with society, and that allows some people to feel better about themselves.  But if there's no God, the spotlight of blame shifts relentlessly onto us."  In other words, from my understanding, New Atheists state that all evil comes from God; but since they believe that there is no God, where does the evil come from?

Section three concerns "Where Does the New Atheism Go from Here?"  According to Mr. McGrath, interest in New Atheism is waning.  They have been unable to prove that there is no God.  Also pointed out is that mainstream atheists are embarrassed by the accusations and manner in which New Atheism presents itself.  Also, Mr. McGrath points out that "one of the reasons Christianity makes such a powerful appeal to humanity is its ability to make sense of our experience."  Even Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet (two of the "four horsemen" of New Atheism) agree that human beings are preconditioned to believe in God! 

A final excerpt:  "Christian beliefs, like those of the New Atheism or any other worldview, ultimately lie beyond final rational proof.  But they're clearly of no small importance in understanding the current worldwide resurgence of interest in faith and its implications for more aggressive forms of secularism...There's something about human nature that makes us want to reach out beyond rational and empirical limits, questing for meaning and significance." 

Once again, this was an easy to read, enlightening book, which I found very interesting.  I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know what the other side thinks.  Also note that there is an extensive reading list, a bibliography and a section of works cited. 

In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of Booksneeze.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Women of Faith Imagine

Have you ever had the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith weekend?  If not, you don't know what you are missing! 

Several years ago my mother, grandmother, sister, a couple of my sisters-in-law  and myself (I know, really big family -- and there are even more of us now!) loaded up in a van and made the drive to attend the Women of Faith conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  Not only was the fellowship with my family wonderful, but the experiences of being in so large a crowd of women, all praising, honoring and glorifying God, was truly amazing!  The teachings were right on target.  The humor was... hilarious!  And hearing all those thousands of women lifting their voices (hearts and souls) in song was breathtaking!  The experiences of that weekend were a great encouragement to me. 

If you ever get a chance to attend one of these conferences, I guarantee your heart will be renewed and your soul just might be set on fire!


Women of Faith 2011 Conference Schedules