Saturday, June 28, 2008

Noah's Party....

Here are the pictures from Noah's party. We had so much fun! We are so thankful that so many of our family were able to come. He had a Hot Wheels theme and we enjoyed decorating before everyone got here and WOW did he get lots of stuff! I didn't post every single picture of every gift, because that would be too many pics, but here are some of the best pictures! It was a really fun night!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Noah Carter Thompson

Tonight is Noah's 4th birthday party. He turned four on Monday....here is a look at Noah through the years....




Thursday, June 26, 2008

If you are without sin then go ahead and get your stone ready....

*stepping up on soapbox*

I just don't understand why people don't think Christian ministry shouldn't be successful. Why is it that if a church has a lot of members or a huge youth ministry, then many non-Christians judge that as being bad?
This also stretches to the actual church building as well. Some people are automatically against a church with a nice big beautiful building because they feel it is unneccesary and extravagant. Why should God's house...a place where people go to fellowship with other Christians and to worship Him on Sunday mornings...why does it have to be a tiny hole in the wall to be considered "modest" enough for God?
In the Old Testament when Moses first built the tabernacle, the people gave EVERYTHING of value they had to be able to construct the building and its furnishings. Almost all the items built were overlaid with bronze, gold, or made of pure gold.
If nothing else, I would say that people don't give ENOUGH to make a church worthy of God's presense. You can't every say that anything is TOO beautiful or nice or valuable for a place to worship God, in my opinion, because who can put a "value" on the "worthiness" of something for GOD?! Nothing we could EVER construct on this earth could even come close to being worthy, so why not give it all we can?
Why should Christians worship in an ugly building? I am not saying that shouldn't or can't worship anywhere, but why would a nice church be wrong? Why should God have anything less than the best the members of the congregation can provide? I have never once heard anyone criticize the huge beautiful cathedrals in Europe for their "extravagance." And those people had much less to give than we do in the spoiled US.

Why should the children of Christians and church members not have fun activities in fun facilities? The world provides tons of alternatives for them if there is nothing fun to do at church. Why make them go there? I know you can meet with a group of teens or children at the park or at someone's home, but let's be realistic: kids are going to go where their friends are going. So, if there aren't enough friends that think hanging out at church is cool then they are going to go elsewhere, end of story. Therefore, church should be cool for kids. Children and teens have more distractions available than ever. Church can offer a good distraction from all that if the leaders are willing to provide it and if the parents are willing to support it.
Just because the church has a gym doesn't mean they have wasted money that could be spent on other ministries.

The church can't be a powerful influence in the world if their own families and children within the church aren't being spiritually fed and guided so that they can be WORTHY to influence the world for God. Some churches are trying to reach out to the community without minstering to their own families first. Yes, there are bad churches who don't follow Biblical beliefs. But, we can't "fix" churches without fixing families, we can't "fix" families without fixing the individual...we can't "fix" the individual without God.

Just because lots of people attend a church doesn't mean it is bad.
It's not always the minority that have things figured out correctly.
Just because the people who attend a church wear nice clothes and drive nice cars, doesn't mean it is bad.
That is just as ridiculous as judging people who DON'T wear nice clothes or drive nice cars.

Just because the choir at a church doesn't sing songs that you like, doesn't mean it is bad.
Everyone likes different kinds of music. I don't think that God speaks only one language, He speaks every language. Therefore, I don't think that God only likes one kind of music. There isn't a right and wrong way to pray to God as long as it comes from the heart, so I have to believe that praise is accepted in the same way.

Don't even get me started on worship dance. My own daughter does worship dance...David danced for the Lord, Miriam danced in worship....no reason why we can't. Nothing innappropriate of course....but just like singing or playing an instrument, anything can be done for the right or wrong reasons and who has appointed a judge on this earth to see someone's heart? It is just as wrong for a person to get up and sing a song about God when they are living a life of intentional sin as it is for a person to get up and do worship dance when their heart is in the wrong and their life is a lie....but WHO can know? No person can. So, do we cancel all the singing and all the playing of instruments and all the teaching, preaching, reaching out, etc just because we can't be sure who REALLY means it? Absolutely not! Then there would be NO one on this earth to share God with others because who are we to say who is and who is not worthy to do God's work? Anything that a person does on this earth can be done for God. Even washing your family's clothes or making a dessert for a potluck can be done for the right or wrong reasons. God accepts our sacrifices of praise from those who are offering it with a sacrificial and willing heart. We are not to judge.

Just because a church has their outline on a screen for the sermon, doesn't mean they are bad. It shows me they have planned and prepared something meaningful and want everyone to be engaged in the sermon. Like with teens, adults also have many things to distract them that having an outline helps to focus our thoughts on what is being said, to write it down and ponder later for ourselves. You don't have to use it...you don't have to even look at it...especially if you actually bring your own Bible to church!

If someone believes that the Bible is true...then attending church shouldn't be an issue. Not all people agree on biblical doctrine. I don't believe that heaven will be "baptist" or "methodist" or "church of God"....I believe it will be CHRISTIAN. A Christian is an easy thing to become....but living as one isn't always very easy. Especially when Christians themselves get so caught up in judging their own that they can't look out and see the real purpose....to love the world and bring them in....and disciple them to spread the word of God further. I am so frustrated with people finding things to criticize...it is just a way to disctract themselves from doing what they are supposed to be doing for God. Getting all caught up in the rules or the law or whatever....they will find anything to fuss about or anyone to judge as long as the attention is drawn away from the fact that THEY are the problem.
When I was teaching, there was always "that kid" who, no matter who they were sitting with, no matter whose class they were in, they just "couldn't get along." The parents just couldn't understand why no one liked their child or why everyone kept getting them in trouble.
There is a point where you want to just say, "you know...it may not be EVERYONE else...the common factor here is THAT child!"
Like the Christian who can't find a church that fits all their "needs and requirements." It may not be THE CHURCHES that are the problem here...the common denominator is YOU.
I attend church because I couldn't survive without the fellowship and encouragement of fellow Christians. I need to be taught by those who have studied the Bible intensely to the point of having a degree or even a doctorate in the study of God's word. Today's youth need someone who has studied the Bible inside and out because the questions they get from their educated peers are TOUGH ones...unlike when most people were uneducated and didn't question anything that was from the Bible. Without a mentor who can answer the "logic" thrown from the world at every opportunity a Christian can easily become convinced that their belief is folly. I attend church because I want to serve God. I attend church because I want to be a part of something that is reaching out to the community to get people to a place of peace. I attend church because my children will value the things that I show value to. I attend church because I want my children to have a Christian family through their fellow church members. I want it to be a place where they have fun and feel loved, but where they can also receive truth to apply to their lives. I realize that there are some people who don't feel the need to attend church to be close to God. That is all fine, they must be better Christians than I am, because I couldn't begin to understand the Bible on my own. I couldn't handle the onslaught of attacks against what we believe without a briefing in Apologetics every so often. I wouldn't be very likely to worship God all day every day and am happy to have the time and place set aside just for Him every week. I am after all, only human, and life happens. Giving God Sunday morning is the least I can do. Going to hear wisdom from someone that God has placed as a teacher is the least I can do to learn more about the Bible on Wednesdays at church. "Study to show thyself approved."
If someone can do all that on their own and maintain a daily relationship with God, then they must be a super Christian. God established the church...because He knew we would need it.

But, before He established the church He established the family....and family is what has brought me to the point where I am right now. I want my children to have a relationship with God. I want my children to have a heritage....a church family, ....I want them to pick their friends at church....I want them to pick their spouse at church....I want them to make church a priority, so therefore it must be a priority to me. I want them to have respect for me and their dad, and if you truly respect someone and admire the way they have lived their lives then you are likely to try to do what they did so you can have the same...and so on and so on down the generations. That's what I want for my family. It doesn't matter if we attend a tiny one room church or a huge church with lots of instruments a huge choir and a youth game room. Neither are perfect nor can they ever be so. As long as the members of that church are DOING something for God, then I am happy. I am happy to participate. I am happy for my children to participate. I am happy that they can use my money to reach places that I don't even know about. I am happy that I can contribute to helping them sponser an even so that my teens are at church on Friday instead of at a party. I am happy to obey God by giving my tithe to the storehouse to do God's work in my community. I am happy to donate my time, my abilities, my offerings...because when it is all said and done, what is going to last? The only things that will last will be the things that have been done to build God's kingdom...the one that actually WILL be perfect.

For anyone who has persevered through this entire blog:
If you happen to be looking for a perfect church...a perfect pastor, a perfect ministry, a perfect worship leader, a perfect sunday school teacher, a perfect youth minister, or anything.....you can just STOP RIGHT NOW. There is no such thing. Perfection will never be reached on this earth. No one is made perfect by becoming a Christian, though we can be called perfect because we have an advocate....someone covering for us....all we can do is strive. Humans just strive. We strive and we fail. Your pastor will make mistakes. Your parents will tell you something that isn't true. Your best friend will betray you, your spouse will disappoint you, your children will disobey....and they all may attend your church. No one on this earth is capable of being 100% faithful, if we were, then we wouldn't have even needed Jesus to die. We could have obeyed all the rules on our own...we could have worked hard enough and achieved perfection on our own. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try 100% all the time, because not trying is not obedience, but that is not my area of expertise to explain (which is why I go to church)

When someone answers a calling on their life to pastor a church or teach a class, there is no ceremony where God bestows upon them "perfection" and they can now do everything right. There is such a thing as praying for God to reveal what He wants you to do...and doing it to the best of your human ability.
Criticizing a church is criticizing God...and I wouldn't want to have that on my head! You can say that God isn't with a church, and how are you to know? Are you God?!

I know I probably have not said all of things things in a perfect way. I apologize if I have sounded like I am on a rant, but hey, I am! ha ha!

I just get so frustrated....because people feel the need to criticize the way Christians conduct their work on earth, when those who are criticizing aren't really doing anything themselves. Either make a decision to live a life for God and do what you can to help, or go home and SHUT UP! (well that was kind of confrontational wasn't it?)

I know someone could say "well you are being very critical yourself there." Well, yeah.....but....it's my blog...so there. I just happen to need to vent about this particular subject and defend God on this one.

okay, I have said all I wanted to say. Feeling much relieved to stand up and say it, I will stop now. I kind of considered deleting this post since it is so "flaming." but, I don't think I will.

*stepping off of soapbox*

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Noah!

We had a great weekend! We got to go to Nashville and visit Corey at a trade show and celebrate Noah's birthday while we were there!

Twice a year Corey attends the NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants)....in January they have it in Anaheim and in the summer it has been several places. The first two years (when I couldn't go due to being pregnant/having newborns) it was in Nashville, then it moved to Indianapolis, IN and Austin, TX. So, we were so happy to find out it was being moved back to Nashville this year and we got to go up Sunday morning and spend the day hanging out at the show, seeing all the booths...musical instruments of all kinds, sheet music/books, audio equipment, accessories for musicians/instruments, just everything and anything musical was there. We saw some interesting things like the piano that would play on its own (not new) but it can be coordinated with a video computer thing...the kids loved watching a Tom and Jerry episode where Tom played the piano with Jerry inside and the piano actually played the song while the episode played...it was pretty cool. We got to meet Jean Larrivee, the man who invented/built the guitars that Corey sells. We didn't see any famous people, unless you count a guy named John Sebastian from The Lovin Spoonful. Ha ha, he was in the booth and none of us could think of any of their songs for a long time. I know my brother will be disappointed about that fact.

So when we got tired of being at the show (very overstimulating with all the noise going on) we went to the hotel to hang out and nap. Later, when Corey got back, we played in the pool for a while, but I didn't get any pictures.

Yesterday was Noah's FOURTH birthday! He wanted spiky hair so his do for the day was the faux-hawk...I thought it was so cute! We played in the pool again in the morning and then we went over to Opry Mills Mall and ate at Rainforest Cafe. We shopped for a while and played Glow Golf. Katie and Noah had never played "putt putt" before...it was an indoor glow in the dark black light place. They had a lot of fun. Ben and Kilie played with us too.
Noah had a fun birthday. It will continue this Friday night when we have his party at our house...he is having a "Hot wheels race car" birthday, to quote Noah.

Oh, one more thing...update on my "wishing and hoping" blog. Found out yesterday that Corey's dad, Poppa, has decided to bless our homeschool with the kidney table from our Amazon school wish list!!! YAY!!!!! I am so excited and getting the table will get me in the mood to get stuff ready for PEACE academy '08-'09!
Thanks so much!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A somber entry with a smile at the end....

My husband's great granddaddy passed away this afternoon. Yes, that is correct...his GREAT granddaddy....Katie and Noah's great great granddaddy. It was not unexpected...today was his 30th consecutive day in the hospital. He had been pretty much unresponsive for a week or so now and in his own words was "ready to go home." Although somewhat prepared, of course the family will still miss him so your prayers are appreciated during this time.
I told Katie and Noah this afternoon that Little Granddaddy had gone to heaven. Of course they wanted to know why and we talked about it some. They had been to visit him and knew he was sick. I also felt the need to explain why if he had gone to heaven that his body would still be here at the funeral home/church when we go. So...I told them. He does not need his body any more, he will get a new body in heaven that will never get sick.
Noah.....as always...with the priceless thoughts. He said, "So, when we get to heaven we will get a new body too?"
"Yeah," I replied.
If you have seen it before you can picture his "thinking brow look."
"Do you think we will change colors?" he asks with a big smile.
?!?!?!?!?!?
"Well, I don't know." I had to say.
*pause*
"I think we will still be peach." he decided.
Well okay then. There you go. Noah's opinion on heavenly bodies.
Katie was comforted by the fact that he will be reunited with his wife who had died many years ago. She didn't say much though. Katie, the ponderer, I am sure we will hear from her later. Most likely at bedtime. :)
Anyway, I am not in any way trying to make light of any situation, but I know some of the family reads my blog and thought a little story about the "great great" might bring a slight smile to someone's face today.
Keep us all in your prayers.
Thanks!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day...

As Noah put it yesterday evening at dinner: "So, today was a good day, huh?"

ha ha! Yes, it was!


We started the day by attending church....making a foam frame craft for a Father's Day gift, and enjoying the "Men love meat" breakfast! (everyone brought meat to go with biscuits!)
Then, it was off for a day of fun at the Imagine It Children's Museum in Atlanta.

We visited last year, bought a family membership bc it was so fun vowing to visit regularly...and well....our membership expires next month so we better be visiting at least two more times between now and July 21st! ha ha!

It was so fun. The theme they have right now is "Under the Big Top" so there were some Circus themed activities like the tumbling area, the fun mirrors and some other little things. The time that we went and got a membership the theme was Sesame Street and it was really cool! The Circus thing was okay...but Katie and Noah really just love the stuff they always have: the pretend farm, truck, grocery store, house, where they can "follow food" from the farm to the table. Also, the huge moon sand play area and the painting on the wall and the ball play areas are big hits. The ball area has all these tunnels, conveyor belts, cranes, etc where you can play with little plastic balls sending them through the different areas and dumping them out, etc. Sort of like the game "Mousetrap" maybe...that's the only way I can think to describe it to someone who hasn't seen it before. The also have an area with a green screen where the kids can dress up in themed clothes (circus stuff this time) and play in front of a green screen and see themselves on tv. Corey loved it too! They were fascinated by covering themselves with the green drape and being "invisible!" or, Corey's favorite: a floating head! We listened to a storytime presentation about Father's Day and overall had a really fun day. The place was practically empty, esp. the hour before they closed so it was great being able to let Katie and Noah just kind of have the place to themselves. Last time we went it was very crowded...so it was really fun to be able to do everything over and over and over with no interference or long lines.
On the way home we ate at Sweet Tomatoes (YUM! Thanks Corey!) and as we were eating Noah summed it up as I said at the beginning.
It WAS a fun day....and I actually had my memory stick AND batteries in the camera so we can prove it!
Everyone at church is taking pictures of themselves in their Graceland tees wherever they hit the road this summer, so here is our contribution so far: Atlanta! ha ha! Corey thinks we should get a pic in front of the Adairsville sign! lol. I am the only one wearing my shirt...the kids shirts were in my bag and Corey had worn his the day before...we will do better next time when we go to Nashville to see Corey at his trade show.
Hope you had a great day yesterday too! Happy Father's Day to all the dads in our family:
Corey (daddy), Grandpa, Poppa, PawPaw, Grandaddy, PawPaw T, and Little Grandaddy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Octagons and other news...

First of all....a note for those I had disussed this with at some point in the past couple of weeks....
According to: http://www.mathleague.com/help/geometry/polygons.htm#octagon
There are two different types of octagons: regular and irregular. As you would guess, a regular octagon is an eight sided shape in which all the sides and angles are equal. So, naturally, an irregular octagon is an eight sided shape in which the sides and angles are not equal.
Therefore.....Katie DID, in fact, cut the pictures for her scrapbook in the shape of octagons, though they would definitely have been labeled as IRREGULAR! ha ha. She loves the photo trimmer and is definitely not afraid to use it!

In other news: The FLOORS ARE FINISHED!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!
They look beautiful and gorgeous and feel so good under your barefeet after having been outside in the heat and humidity! We have even bumped our thermostat UP to 72 degrees since having the new floors (try not to faint Bethany! ha ha!)

I will take some pictures in the next couple of days and post a synopsis of the project....though I will warn you.....there aren't a ton from the actual process of putting the floors in because, in general, one takes photos of things they don't want to forget!