{life in instagram} - July edition

July is my busiest month out of the year for work... hence, the lack of photos here!  But the beauty of that iPhone is you can snap some quick - and sometimes pretty cool - shots wherever you are.  So here's my small, random collection of instagram moments for the month:

:: happy hour @ Sonic

:: inside the cart

:: "millions of peaches... peaches for me"  {name that tune!}

:: best. invention. ever.

:: this dude showed up on our job site one day... looking for work



This humorous post by my brother inspired me to chime in on my favorite part of summertime:  homegrown tomatoes

I could live off of BLT's made with fresh, off-the-vine tomatoes every day in the Summer.  It is a thing of beauty to see that first burst of red on the garden vine... and so sad when only one remains at Summer's end.  Depression sets in when you make that first trip to the grocery store in Fall, only to be met by those grainy, mushy tomatoes that are supposed to suffice until the next summer cycle of homegrown goodness.  {I digress...}

My parents usually grow tomato plants every year.  Sometimes the crop is hit or miss, depending on how hungry those pesky deer are, but they always share their bounty.


Mouth. watering.

I'm reminded of this funny scene from 'Steel Magnolias' when Ouiser brings in a sack {not 'bag'} of tomatoes to Truvy's beauty shop:

Ouiser - Tomatoes. (puts them in Clairee's lap)
- Don't give these all to me!

- Somebody's gotta take 'em. I hate 'em. I try not to eat healthy food if I can possibly help it. The sooner my body gives out the better off I'll be... I can't get enough grease into my diet.

- Then why do you grow them?
Ouiser - Because I'm an old Southern woman and we're supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don't ask me those questions. I don't know why, I don't make the rules!

Classic.  So true!

I'll leave you with this little ditty from John Denver... an ode to the crown jewel of Summer!


tee time

Fourth of July was celebrated a few days late this year, but it was a great time together with our family at my parents' house.

While there, I went to the golf course with my brother one morning and witnessed his playing skills... it was fun!

I promise this is not turning into a golfing blog -- just seems like it lately.  That being said... here are some pictures of our golf outing:

Here's a little live action from the cart...

I can assure you this was not staged... if you know my brother, then this comes as no surprise.  Funny guy!  I know my laughter only encourages his antics. :)

And not to leave out this little guy:

He was there sporting his red, white, & blue for the holiday!  SO. CUTE.

Happy 236th, USA!


Happy Fourth!

This is my memory of July Fourths of the past...

{circa 1985 or so...}

Every July 4th, we would start the day going fishing with Dad and usually cousin Jay.  We'd bring back our catches and then spend the rest of the day with family and friends in the hot, hot summer sun... eating barbecue and homegrown tomatoes, playing horseshoes, and always finishing it off with late-afternoon homemade ice cream and nighttime fireworks.  Always.  Those are good memories.

The below quote was in the bulletin at church this past Sunday, and it's a good one.  We're always faced with the reality of this broken world, but man, do we have Goodness to look forward to now and forever! 

"I thank God for our country -- broken as she is, and for the liberties and privileges we enjoy as citizens of the United States.  But the freedom for which I'm most grateful, as I think of the Fourth, is the consummate freedoms we enjoy as citizens of heaven -- grace-made members of God's chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, set aside that we may declare his praises for calling us out of darkness into his wonderful light.  There's no freedom like the freedoms we have in the gospel."

:: Scotty Smith, founding pastor of Christ Community

H A P P Y   I N D E P E N D E N C E   D A Y !


ordinary people

Have y'all seen these hilarious doctored photos by Danny Evans of Planet Hiltron?

It just strikes me as so funny to see these celebrities in an ordinary light... and man, is Danny good at the art of Photoshop or what?!  All photos belong to Planet Hiltron... enjoy!

Brad and Angie... just the couple down the street, Olan Mills style

Jay and Bee in the church directory

Gwyn, just back from the beauty parlor

You can see even more of these gems here for a good laugh!


Sunday reading

The following is a blog post written by Jake Harvey, on a subject that I wrestle with from time to time.  I know we all have had {and will have} moments in our lives that we are not proud of and wish that those would not be the moments for which people remember us.  But from those moments, lessons are learned, faith grows, and life continues.

I think Jake sums it up better than I could ever say...

+ + + + + + +

If You're Really a Christian...

I was a moron in college. Don’t get me wrong, my GPA was really good and I kept my scholarship. I was a also moron in Southern Missouri. It has nothing to do with the geography, because my useless knowledge skills shine there.

The problem is that my past is in both places.

I’m not in line to be sainted or anything like that now, but I have a fancy seminary degree and write super religious things on a blog. I even teach Bible stuff and talk about repentance and grace. Heck, I even discuss religious stuff with other religious people. But I’ve done some really dumb stuff and the whole time I’ve belonged to the label “Christian.”

To the people who knew me in college, I must sound like the biggest hypocrite in the world.

To the people back home, I must be affirming every reason why they hate church people and why they refuse to participate. To the people who despise Christians who shame the name of Christ, you can add me to your bad list.
I am not making light of my bad decisions and depraved lifestyle at times in my life. Far from it. I wish I could take it back, and that’s the dig. I’m fixin’ to open the spiritual warfare door, so hang on.

After Jesus spent forty days in the desert, not eating anything and probably ready for a roof over his head, Satan showed up to try and trip him up. Right before Jesus had gone into the desert John the Baptist had baptized him and that’s when God said, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” So the stamp of approval had been given and Jesus was ready to do some Jesus stuff.

So what did Satan go after to try and take Jesus out? Not the tests themselves, but how did he twist the question? He said, “If you are the son of God…” He was trying to get Jesus to prove himself, even after God had made it clear who he was. And that’s the exact spot where I have my disconnect.

If Satan is the accuser then he’s still doing it, and I hear that condemnation sometimes.

If I’m really a Christian then why was I so willing to ignore God in college?
If I’m really a Christian then I should be ashamed of how I’ve represented Jesus back home.
If I’m really a Christian how could I act worse than people who claimed no god at all?

And out of that accusation I start to try and make up for the harm I’ve done. I have to be extra good now to make up for (fill in the blank)! And it twists what should be a joyful and peaceful walk with Jesus into a triathlon of religiosity to prove something to God that he’s already said about me.

When Jesus said it was finished, he meant that the atonement for sin was finished.

For all past and future sin – mine included. When Paul said if I would confess and believe that I would be saved, he didn’t include a revocation clause for sinning too much in a particular gap of time.

So when I try to unburden myself of something God’s already forgiven, I’m taking the bait of the accuser.

Repentance is huge. Conviction over sin is a good thing if it brings someone to the throne of God for confession. I’ve repented, I’ve confessed, and I try to be mindful that repentance is more of a way of life then it is an aisle walk during fall and spring revival meetings.

Believe it or not, I still do stupid stuff. You probably do too. If you said, “No, I don’t,” then saying that was your dumb thing. But those earlier times of my life that I mentioned are probably my most regrettable, and I think that’s probably why those get picked at the most.

If you have something that causes you guilt and shame look at it from the “If you are…” perspective. It doesn’t mean those things aren’t a part of your past, and you may wish you’d done things differently, but don’t try to keep proving something to God that he’s already said.

It can be easier said than done, because those spots are vulnerable. But let’s remind each other that God’s not the one who’s saying we have to prove that we really belong to him.