Fun in the water

alyssa playing in the water sprinklers


A note from Anneke...

...Today Marcail turned 1!!! I never would have believed that a
year could fly by so fast! I have to admit that today I had an
emotional moment while I was getting ready for her party, as I
realized that she was getting married soon : ) I mean, if one year
is any indicator, the next 18 are going to be gone after I blink....
In other news, Andrew has gotten his cast off, his pins taken
out, and he is now wearing a walking boot, although the doc has told
him to not walk on it until at least after the baby arrives.
Donovan's due date is this Saturday! I am very ready to have
this very active baby boy kicking outside of my belly : )

Pictures from Marcail's 1st Birthday!

Click here to see all the pictures!

Marcail's First Birthday Party!

Cherry ice cream soda from MCG

Thanks everett!

The Father's Song

I have heard so many songs, listened to a thousand tongues. But there is one that sounds above them all.
The Father's song, the Father's love; You've sung it over me and for eternity it's written on my heart.

Heaven's perfect melody, the Creator's symphony. You are singing over me the Father's song.
It's heaven's perfect mystery, the King of love has sent for me. And now You're singing over me the Father's song.

- Matt Redman

Zephaniah 3:17

Happy Birthday, Marcail!

I'm so glad you are here!
Happy 1st birthday!


Pictures from Johannah's 1st birthday party last Saturday

April reading...

...to Alyssa, Ellie and Evan.
Wow - those are a lot of kids and a lot of books!!!

The power of lightening

Last night there was a beautiful thunder storm with crazy rain and lightening. There were flash flood warnings for Macon, Jackson and Swain counties. About 10:30 there was a terrific crash that hurt my ears. The results of that are shown below.

This is our shed. It use to have windows on each side and in the back. The 2 side windows blew out (you can see one on the ground) and the back one almost came out but all the glass shattered.

That's just the damage to the shed. Inside about 3/4 of our circuits were tripped, the tv is now blue and green and the desk top computer screen is green and red. My car, which I park about 15 feet from the shed, is in the shop because on the way to Waynesville today my tachometer stopped working, then my odometer and speedometer, then my radio, then the check engine and abs lights came on, and finally the engine died because my alternator is totally fried from the lightening blast so my battery can't recharge. There is one light that won't come on, our stove blew and probably will have to be replaced and we still don't have a dial tone.
Pretty awesome.

It's electric!

The one unbroken window...although it still fell on the ground.

Close-up of the peak.

The tree behind the shed.

Holy Smoke!

The door knob to the shed...


Whose baby is she?

While I could never really tell you who Marcail looks most like, there are certain faces that remind me of one parent more than the other...

This one is definitely her papa.

And this one has her mama written all over it.

But all in all...she's just herself.

(By the way, she's almost one year old already!)

Look at Marcail go!!!

She walks!


On a more serious note...

That previous post had just a tinge of sarcasm in it, and I wanted to follow it up with a more serious post on the same topic.

I cannot imagine living in a country where I cannot even style (or not style) my hair the way I want to. Where I cannot go to a salon, pick up one of 24 hairstyle books and choose one of the hundreds of hairstyles illustrated and have it cut that way.

Yesterday I went to Asheville to see a movie, and in line were 2 women who, in my opinion, should never have left the house looking the way they did. Crazy sequined fairy skirts, hair a rats nest, spaghetti strap tops that showed off unattractive tattoos...not at all what I would call respectable or mature. But I wouldn't want the police to give them a ticket or take them to jail for bad fashion. That would be crazy.

Reading such articles remind me how thankful I am that I live in America where we enjoy so many freedoms that a lot of the rest of the world has never experienced. And it reminds me to continue in prayer both for my own nation and leaders and for Christians living in other countries hostile to everything they believe.

Iran launches new crackdown on unIslamic fashion

I especially like the part where they talk about skimpy head dresses, tight over coats, and wacky hair-do's. It must be nice to live in a country where you don't have to make any decisions because the government makes them all for you and will send you to "counseling" if you keep forgetting.


Kristen in the pool.

I'm watching the one kid who stayed to go swimming. It's hard to play in the pool by yourself, but she's doing a good job entertaining herself with the diving sticks. There are 33 of them.


in her plumb dress from aunt amber

I got to talk to Marcail on the phone tonight. She laughed.

Look who's blogging!

Look who's joined our ranks in the blogging world! A Day in the Crazy Life.


"Men in masks can't be trusted."

Guess what I'm watching?
(We'll say I'm doing follow-up work on today's sermon.)

By the way, this has to be the easiest and best movie ever to quote. Every line is a classic.

Why do I love...

I love it when our pastor quotes a certain movie in his sermons, which happens nearly every Sunday he preaches. :)
Today it was, "perhaps you will not find it common, now."


Click here for the official announcement.

Once upon a time...

there was a boy...

And this boy wanted something special; he wanted to have a special friend.

He tried to be friends with different people, but he kept getting picked-on.

Or worse, he got the cold shoulder.

Then one day, he saw someone who looked very special.

She was the sweetest, nicest person he had ever met (and she was beautiful too) and the boy wanted her to be his special friend.

At first, he was too shy to even say hello.

But then he worked up his courage and sat next to her.

Shortly after that, they became pretty good friends and had all kinds of fun together.

Sometimes, he would even make her dinner!

She was also looking for a special friend, and prayed every night before she went to sleep that God would send her a special friend of her very own.

One day, this girl realized that the boy was kinda cute...

...she hoped that he would be her special friend.

And the very next day, he asked for her hand...

And she said "yes!"

And there was great rejoicing in all the kingdom!

My roommate is such a sweetheart!

Cam drove a seperate car to lunch so she could return my call and talk to me about something that happened this morning. What a great person. :)


The Call, Nashville

I've heard so many different numbers, but the one I keep hearing most is apx. 55,000 people showed up on 07.07.07 to fast, repent and pray.

The Call Nashville was an incredible, intense time. I went with a group of youth from church, and we spent 14 hours together in prayer and worship.

One of the things I really appreciated about the call was how the focus was never on who was on the stage but on what we were doing. None of the worship teams were ever introduced so there was absolutely no feel of a concert, and most of the people speaking/leading prayers were never introduced. I only recognized about a third of them.

For me, personally, the more impactful moments were in the morning hours. At various times something would be said and my heart would break and I would be crying, sobbing, grieved in my heart. There was a senator there, Sam Brownback, who was there representing the US government and recognising and asking forgiveness for governmental policies that were injustices against certain groups throughout our nations history; such as the native americans, africans, the latinos, and the unborn. For each group there was a representive to accept and extend forgiveness on behalf of the group he represented. It was very intense and moving. There is such power in forgiveness, you could tell things were happening when those words were spoken aloud.

We were challenged as a group to repent of speaking evil against our nations leaders, for being sarcastic and not speaking the truth from a heart that was in the right place. Not saying that we should agree with everything they say and do, but that our disagreeing is from the place of a right heart attitude.

When it comes to praying for the unborn, that is something I know is very close to the heart of God. It is so important to do what we can in the natural and to every day pray to God that He would change hearts and we would stop murdering our babies.

Really, the whole day in a nutshell was worship, confess, repent, intercede, repeat. It is nearly impossible to keep that up for an entire day, and I definetly chilled out and almost napped a bit in the afternoon (3 hours sleep the night before didn't help). But really, I have to say that I experienced the grace of God in that I was exhausted on Friday before I left, slept only 3 hours on a hard floor Friday night, was outside from 7am to 10pm in the sun and heat on Saturday (oh, and we were doing a water fast too) and slept another 8 hours or so on another hard floor in a hot room with 50 other people, and when I woke up Sunday, I felt fine, got home, went to bed at a normal time, wasn't exhausted that night or the next day or the next. I know there is no way that would happen normally. It was kinda a seal on my heart that this really was God's doing and I was where I was supposed to be. Thank you God for the grace to walk out what you call me to do.

Oh well

There's too much going on and about to go on for me to not blog for 3 weeks.
So expect a report on The Call Nashville and other little tid-bits in the next few days...


One more for the road. Besides does it really count if It's from your phone?

Unloading at new covenant in Knoxville.

Today starts the 21-day media

Today starts the 21-day media fast... I'll post again in 3 weeks.

Wake-up little Suzi, It's time to home


The silent siege

Praying for the ending of abortion and for those hurt by abortion.


Right now isa is singing

Right now isa is singing rend the heavens during the pre-start worship. sAmanda M.

Lots of walking...

Repentance walk.

repentance walk

Watch the Call today from

Watch the Call today from 10 am to 10PM on direcTV channel 365. maybe you'll see me!
Amanda M.


First of my weekend blogging.

French fries and maple syrup...must mean i have teenagers at cracker barrel! :-)

I forgot to add...

I still haven't packed. And I didn't sleep well last night so I am exhausted. Maybe you could pray for me.
So I have to leave my house in an hour for the weekend. (check this out, 'cuz that's where I'll be)
To do list:
Take a shower
Clean out my car

It's not looking so great.





Happy independence day!

Fireworks on the lake - so pretty!

Babies everywhere!

Yesterday I met Mr. Josiah Morris for the first time, and today Mr. Everett Zapata is at my house (with his sister and brother and mother, of course).


Everyone in my house seems to be unable to actually go to sleep tonight. So far we've gone to bed about 5 times. Except April; she has the best reason for not sleeping and she's out like a light!

Happy Birthday, America!

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
Oh beautiful, for pilgrims' feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!
Oh beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Til all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!
Oh beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!


A great post about the need for relationship

This is from a guy I met out at IHOP, Zack Hensley. He was a core group leader for the boys.

So here we go! kicking off “Working with interns week” I’m going to share funny stories, and my 5 Big Lessons Learned. So…

Lesson #1: An once of relationship, is worth a pound of advice.

When I first started leading young adults I had a habit of assuming things about different interns. Sizing them up, or putting them into certain categories based on my initial interaction with them. I categorized them in my mind so I could lead each one a certain way based on my assumptions. Making definitive decisions about those you lead without relationship will cost you their respect. I found the reason I preferred to make assumptions was because I lacked the time to really build relationship with them. Therefore the easiest route was to assume I knew how they worked, and what they struggled with. The problem with this is when addressing issues, or offering needed advice, I didn’t have their respect. Often they would be in a relationship with a girl that was volatile, or walking the line between righteousness and unrighteousness. Ultimately I didn’t have their attention. My words blew right over their heads, and weren’t heeded because I had no relationship with them.

When you have no relationship with the people you are leading, you also find your self trying to defend your authority. This puts you into a “Stalin” like form of leadership, where they either do what you say “or else”. Leading in that way has a shelf life of about 2 weeks before either you or those you are leading give up out of frustration. No, leadership is about serving and loving. In order to love you have to have relationship. When they see you sacrifice your time to hang out with them, they feel respected because you actually start having respect for them. I had a group of guys once that were all very young (17-19). For most of them it was their first time living outside their parents care now that they had graduated High School. Needless to say many issues had been addressed, like MANY issues. I found that my requests to, be on time, study the material, get along with each other, were being obeyed about as well as the speed limit on the interstate. I realized that I had become the “Rule Nazi”. Always correcting but never having actually gotten to know them. So that week I had them all over to my house for a BBQ. I cancelled our meetings and instead we all watched the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game that they had all wanted to see. After that I spent two days a week at their apartment chatting before they went to bed. I rarely had to address an issue after that. If I did, my advice was always heeded because I gained their trust, and they had gained my respect. If some one was late or broke a rule instead of enforcing the issue, I asked them what was going on. More often than not there would be something else completely un-related going on internally which caused the rule to be broken. For instance one guy was 40 minutes late to class. At first I was about to give him the “grow up and be on time” speech. Instead I asked him if everything was alright. Turned out his Grandpa had just passed away that morning and He spent the morning on the phone with his dad, and in his room crying. The “Stalin” form of leadership would have made this guys day unnecessarily worse. Worse it could have cause him to give on maintaining the life in prayer I was trying to help him cultivate.

Relationship is vital to serving people well. When you respect them, and they respect you, only then do you actually have a door to speak into their lives. It’s not completely dogmatic; there are exceptions to the rule, but not many. Lesson #1 wrap-up: Invest your time into establishing relational equity, and your checks of advice will never bounce.


"Now it's time for random posts with Amanda, the part of the show where Amanda writes whatever she wants!" (as if that doesn't happen all the time)

Random thoughts/actions of the day:

#1 - "I want Marcail. Now. Right now. Why can't I convince Anneke and Andrew they should live in Franklin or somewhere else that isn't more than an hour away?"

#2 - "I should just get my own adorable baby!"

#3 - "I want to live in Worcester, South Africa."

#4 - "I should learn Afrikaans!"

#5 - I am learning Afrikaans on-line. (For today, at least. But since it's so close to Dutch, I can probably speak it to Cam which will be fun and an incentive to keep going.)

#6 - I took paint stains out of pants that have been sitting in my room for 3 months waiting for me to do so and I washed and dried them and on one pair you can't tell there was a stain unless you get really close and on the other the stains are very, very faded, so I'm glad.

#7 - I sewed/patched/repaired 2 other pairs of pants that have also been sitting on my floor for months awaiting my attention.

#8 - I have lit every candle in my room.

#9 - "I'm not in my room, I should probably go check on those candles."


It's the adorable baby!

Whoo Hoo! She's standing on her own two feet!!!

"Look mommy! It's a camera!"