Thursday, December 9, 2010

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Aren't they sweet? I love these kids and yes I know I'm partial, but WHATEVER! They're great and I'm blessed...

Anyway... Here it is the 9th of December, and it has been over a year since I've posted. WOW, slacker ay?

I've been vacillating between extreme happiness and frustrated sadness lately. I feel a bit like a manic depressive, but it's not that bad really. I guess all my life I've been a feast or famine kinda gal. I'm either bouncing off the wall with enthusiasm or screaming my head off in frustration at the "unfairness of it all." GOOD GRIEF AND FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! I think after bordy deben (that's 47) years, I'd start to level off a bit. Maybe I am, maybe I am finally learning not to be lead around the snoot by my emotional highs and lows. I'm learning more and more that God is for me, He is with me and guess what? It's not about me anyway. It's about HIM and HIS mission. I get to be a part of it even if sometimes I don't "feel" like it. I struggle with feeling compassion for the needy even though I expect others to "feel" for me when I'm needy. That's JACKED UP! I get annoyed when I'm inconvenienced, yet I find myself inconveniencing other all the time. Praying I would be more like Christ and that I would find my complete joy and contentment in Him. The mission at our church "The Roots Community" is to help people place their confidence in Jesus ALONE. We added the "alone" just recently and boy is it HUGE. Have to remind myself daily (sometimes hourly) that Jesus is my provision, my everything and I can't do a dang thing without him. I have to trust Him with my family, my work, my church, my ministry, my money, my friends and everything else! Oh Jesus, help me trust you.

Now for Christmas, I love it.
Here's some fun things I'll be doing in the next couple of days...
1. Having a cookie, coffee and cocoa get together for the residents at Home Suite Home!
2. Girls night with 5 ladies from the ROOTS. These girls rock! I think we'll head to DTD (Downtown Disney) for a walk among the decorations and free Ghiradelli chocolate!
AND maybe a moviee?
3. Going to Universal on Sunday with my son Alex to enjoy a great day of fun and coasters and 79 cent popcorn!
4. Picking up my Boolah Boo from college on Tuesday to bring her home from college for the Christmas break. It's always good when the chickens are home!
5. Cookie Exchange at NMFN with my work buddies. I'm making peanut something?
Well this is the most random post I've made, but that's how I roll peeps!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Calling On You

Wow, it's been January since I posted anything. Time has flown. My good friend Rachel posts several times a week. I enjoy her blog so much, and am inspired to share more often. Bottom line - I'm a bad blogger, but hoping (like in so many other areas of my life) to get better.

Warren and I recently took Alex to see STRYPER's 25th Anniversary tour at the House of Blues in Orlando. If you don't know who STRYPER is, Google it. Warren and I saw them back in 1984 when we were dating. They were great, actually better than we saw them so long ago. I digress... One of the songs they sang is "Calling on You." Here's a youtube video...(as they did it in the 80s)

Anyway, I got to thinking how often I am relunctant to call on anyone, especially God. But... as is often the case, adversity makes me rethink my normal ways.

As many of you know, our family moved to the Orlando area in July of last year to be part of a church plant in the Four Corners area. We felt called to leave our Palm Beach County roots and become part of "The Roots Community Church." It's been quite an adventure, one I never could have imagined. Our lives have been filled with joy and struggles and most recently frustration, but we are confident that God led us here for a reason and we want to be faithful to His call.

The reason I'm posting this blog tonight is to call on YOU. I've prayed about what to say, and so here it goes...

We have been blessed to find work in this area as well as receive support funds from a group of friends back home. I'm working at Target as a guest services team memeber and also as an assistant to a financial rep at Northwestern Mutual. I am enjoying both jobs, but between them and my responsibilities to my family and the church, I find myself quite often a bit overwhelmed. Warren had been working at a local golf course part time and dealing professional poker at night for a company based in Orlando. Both the girls are working and Brittni is also taking college courses. Alex and Bailey are enjoying high school and staying busy.

Over the last 16 months, Warren has been offered 3 different full-time jobs that for one reason of another have fallen through at the last minute. As you can imagine, he is extremely frustrated and feeling very upset. It's been a very rough two weeks as this latest job opportunity fell apart without explanation or reason. We find ourselves in need of God's grace and povision in extra measure for this season in our lives.

I'm asking you to consider being part of our support team. What does that mean? Since I do not receive a salary from the church, we are asking friends and family to prayerfully consider partnering with us. It can be a one time financial gift, a monthly donation and/or a commitment to pray for our family and the church. We know that these are tough economic times and things are tight for many families. God has been so faithful to us through the years and we have always had what we need, so we are not worried or frantic. However, we do need to support our famiy and without steady income for Warren, it has been a struggle.

If you are interested, here's how you can help. You can donate through the paypal link on the right (please be sure to designate for the Brooks Family)or send a check made payable to "The Roots Community Church."(Again designated for the Brooks Family) All gifts are tax-deductible. The address is TRCD - P.O. Box 2867, Davenport, FL 33836

If you have any questions, please drop me an e-mail or call me.

God is good. Call On Him! We are!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hope on a Rope

Found another gem from my pal Chuck Swindoll...

When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, HOPE points to the light at the end.

When we are overworked and exhausted, HOPE gives us fresh energy.

When we are discouraged, HOPE lifts our spirits.

When we are tempted to quit, HOPE keeps us going.

When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination, HOPE dulls the edge of panic.

When we fear the worst, HOPE reminds us that God is still in control.

When we must endure the consequences of God's decisions, HOPE fuels our recovery.

When we find ourselves unemployed, HOPE tells us we still have a future.

When we are forced to sit back and wait, HOPE gives us the patience to trust.

When we feel rejected and abandoned, HOPE reminds us we're not alone.

When we say our final farewell to someone we love, HOPE of life beyond the grave gets us through our grief.

HOPE isn't optional. It's essential to our survival. HOPE is basic to life.

Where is my HOPE found? Food for thought...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Tell The Truth

So, I've been struggling alot with the inner turmoil that seems to roll around now and again. Mostly, what am I doing with my life, how am I loving God more, why can't I seem to make the changes in my life that I want/need? Depressing stuff, some of it...And, for those of you who know me well, you know that I tend to try and AVOID any kind of FUNK. I hate feeling blue/low/depressed/ WHATEVER and most of the time I'll allow myself a tear or two, a scream of frustration and then just bury/ignore/busy myself and NOT DEAL. I accuse my dear husband of avoiding things and just "checking out" in front of the TV or computer or whatever, but I am guilty of exactly the same thing, however my favorite weapon of choice is FOOD. I'm at my heaviest weight ever and I HATE IT, yet I've done nothing to change my patterns. Anyhoo, enough poor Karen... What I want to write about is the devotional thought that captivated me this morning. Here's the text and my comments in paranthesis

From: A 40 Day Journey to the Cross and Beyond by Chuck Swindoll

Four Lessons for Truth Tellers

Few weapons against evil can rival the sword of truth. Though readily available to anyone brave enough to hold it, few will. And it's little wonder. The privilege of wielding so powerful a tool comes at great cost; misunderstanding, false accusations, broken relationships, loneliness, frustration. Furthermore, standing for what's right frequently involves terrifying bouts with self-doubt and even self-recrimination. Sometimes the choice to take truth by the handle results in glorious victory, but more often the counterstrike of evil comes with startling ferocity and lasting devastation.

First, knowing your mission will help you stay focused on the goal.(Wish I could keep my mind focused on the goal) Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats or even dissension within His ranks to distract Him. He remained steadfastly focused on that mission, though not without due care for those around Him. He worked hard to make the truth plain. He often repeated the invitation to embrace the truth. But He never allowed the failure of others to pull Him off course. (YIKES)

Second, encountering evil requires confrontation. Few people enjoy confrontation, (this is incredibly true about me) but standing for the truth against evil will inevitably require it. And sometimes what must be said will be difficult to say as well as difficult for others to hear. Only rarely - perhaps once in a lifetime- will confrontation require the kind of severe rebuke Jesus brought against the Pharisees.(read Matthew 23 - the seven woes) The greater the evil, the stronger must be the confrontation. In general, I advise kindness unless a kind approach is irresponsible, but never kindness at the expense of plain talk. Be prepared to state the truth plainly. (OK, this is really difficult for me, cuz I'm always wanting to protect feelings, relationships, etc. - gonna have to work on this one.)

Third, boldness in the course of a noble fight is worth the risk. Standing for truth requires boldness. Some will be offended by it, so expect to be criticized for style when the opposition can find no fault with content. (this makes me think of people who criticize styles of preaching, rather than content) Furthermore, boldness may require strong action to accompany strong speech. You may have to quit a job, end a relationship, confront a powerful opponent, cope with a fear, deal with threats, perhaps even face certain defeat.(NOT what I want to hear) Dont' back down. if you stand on truth, you'll only regret your timidity later, but you'll never regret being bold.

Fourth, truth telling offers NO guarantee of victory. We live in a world that does not operate according to God's rules. The present world system punishes good deeds and rewards those who choose evil. in the words of James Russell Lowell, "Truth forever on the scaffold; wrong forever on the throne."

A two fisted grip on the sword of truth, while sacrificial, does offer great reward. Truth grants freedom from guilt an shame. Truth breeds contentment, instills confidence, stimulates creativity, fosters intimacy, encourages honesty, inspires courage, and sets people free. But, most importantly, it puts us on God's side of the issue. We have His promise that He will amply reward any sacrifice that truth demands, if not in this lifetime, then certainly the next.
(Thank God for his precious promises - now if I can only move forward)

Pray for me that I will contemplate all this and more. And not just be a hearer of the word but a doer!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Memories (not lighting the corners of my mind)

It's a typical Monday for me. Tried to get out of the house a bit early to make it to work by 8:25 to participate in a new prayer get together here at work. However, there were several things blocking the way. One, I couldn't find my sweater on the way out, but still left 10 minutes earlier than usual. Was making good time, then was suddenly stuck on 544 for EVER (it seemed), so got to work just after 8:30 and rushed into a required meeting/presentation from a memory expert. Interesting stats on our brain (which I'm sure I've heard before, but forgotten - no pun intended) - We only use 3-9% of our brain power. WOW! God has made this brain of ours capable of so much and yet, we're not using even 1/4 of what it is designed for. I found that fascinating as I pondered how much more I could remember (including my constant struggle for scripture memorization), and utilize with this noggin. Hmmmmm

One of the things Alan, the memory guy, suggested is slowing down, taking a deep breath and letting ourselves be in the moment. I find that extremely hard as I struggle with the never ending to-do list, what's pressing in life, etc. I'm reminded again that I'm not honoring God with my crazy hectic ways and I'm not a good mom, wife, employee, or servant when I'm overwhelmed with worry and stress. Plus I can't remember squat!

At $400 plus for the entire course (and that's the corporate discount) it's a little steep for my budget, but I was intrigued... It would be kinda cool to have some new skills to help utilize this wonderfully complex organ God blessed me with.

In the mean time, I'll try to remember these things for today...
I can add NOT one second to my life by worrying
God is in control
I must be a God pleaser, not a man pleaser
He who began a good work... and now I can't remember the rest... : ) HA

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Fall in Florida?

I heard on the radio that Monday was the official start of autumn. Statements like that always make me smile. The word autumn brings images of chilly air, beautiful colored leaves and new sweaters to wear. HA! Not really our reality here in Florida.

It's hard to believe that the end of 2008 will soon be here. Seems like New Year's Day was just celebrated. It was just a few short months ago that Jesse and I had our first conversation about what God was doing in his life and the vision of church planting was strong in his mind. I remember thinking, "Wow, good for you Jess. I'll be praying for ya." Never in a million years did I think my family and I would be part of this amazing ride. Now that we've been here a few months, the reality of our "fall" into this season is upon me.

My initial idea of how things would play out is not at all what's unfolding and you know what, that OK. I was pretty sure we (the church plant) would be in full swing by now with me working pretty much in the same capacity as I did in South Florida. That is NOT what I'm doing! : ) And, it's a good thing right now. Jesse has really challenged us to a new way of thinking; one that resonates with me on multiple levels and one that God has been preparing in my heart for some time. It's always sweet to look backward and see the steps God has orchestrated in my life to bring me to new revelation and greater appreciation for his sovereignty and plans for me and my family and for those around me.

It's hard to accurately articulate everything that's been discussed, prayed about and worked out in the life of the church formally known as "Church of the Highlands, Four Corners" (more about that later), but in a large nutshell, here's the plan as I understand it...

We, the launch team (Launch Team = good - Not CORE TEAM = BAD - that's kind of an inside joke) I DIGRESS...

We the launch team, have been challenged to not just do church, but be the church, (I know that's a very over-used phrase) by being incarnational in our ministry. Basically we need to be building relationships with others in our community and circles of influence not as a "to do," but in order to make our Christianity a 24/7 deal and learn to truly love others and serve them and naturally share the gospel with them. We don't want our future church services to be the end all for when folks hear the gospel or make that our only vehicle for life change. We do believe that the approach of incarnational ministry and attractional ministry together is a formula that works well, but it's the percentage of each that we're dealing with right now. Jesse said, right now, we should be 90% incarnational and 10% attractional. So... our services, which are on Saturday night right now are more of a teaching time for how we can be equipped to do that. We've been spending the last several weeks talking about our plans. It's so much info, but here's some bullet points...

  • Small Groups Starting in October
  • Triads Starting in October (this is an intensive discipleship model)
  • Community Outreach events (like Trunk or Treat - see end of post)
  • Preview Service Christmas Eve
  • Recruiting launch team members to total 100 adults by Launch Date
  • Launch Date - Easter 2009
  • Re-naming of the church (which we've already done) - We're now known as "The Roots Community" - We've got to change all our documentation, etc. so that's in the works.

Anyway, if you need clarification on any of that, call Jesse! : )

On a personal note, tomorrow the kids and I leave for Lake Worth/Boynton Beach to see our pals "down south." I'm looking forward to Genie's CD release and seeing my South Palm family. Big surprise, I'm going to run media on Sunday! Thanks Drew and Genie! I can't wait to see my sister and Daddy and all my other dear ones.

I'm still working the Target gig part-time. CRAZY! And... I've started working full time for my friend, Matt Burks (my other Matt B.) at Northwestern Mutual in Winter Haven. It's a haul from my house every day, but I'm starting to enjoy it. At first I was completely out of my element, but every day gets a bit better. I still have my church duties, so my plates pretty full.

OK - so about the Trunk or Treat thing - Here's our idea (leave it to Jesse to come up with this!) We want to have "Florida's Largest Trunk or Treat!" Don't know what that is? GOOGLE it! Basically since we're kind of in a rural area, we want to have a HUGE trunk or treat event and we need HELP! So, we've been challenged with getting 10 friends to commit to helping us and so, wanna help? I can give you details, so send me an e- mail - KBrooks777@gmail or phone me (561) 283-9293 or Home (863) 424-8396 - AKA -Toe I Bite 96 - GROSS

Warren and the kids are doin great, keeping busy, etc. All in all, we're finally feelin less homesick and more connected, but some days, I still shed a tear for "home." WHAT A BABY! Huh?

Well, if you've made it to the end of this novel, congrats. I'm not really sure what the rules of blogging are, but I think I break them.

Enjoying the chill! HA,

P.S. To all my financial/prayer supporters. A million thanks for your constant blessings. I can't tell you what it means to my family and I. Praying for you all too! Also, big news, if you want to donate on line now, just click below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

20 Years Ago Today

So 20 years ago, I married my darling husband on a very overcast Saturday late afternoon. It seems likes such a short time ago. It was a total 80's hair band wedding. You've never seen so much "bad hair" in one place (especially the wedding party.) However, our dear friend and mentor, Pastor Tommy Kiedis, helped make our wedding ceremony a holy and God centered event. We shared our day with so many wonderful friends and family. It truly was one of the most special days of my life.

Our life has been full of ups and downs; delights and disappointments, but always throught it all, we've stayed together and relied on God to keep us hopeful and pressing on. Our union has beget our three lovely children. Each of them are so dear to us and they amaze us with their unique personalities and giftings as they grow and live their lives.

War and I share so many funny and often disgusting inside jokes, stories, adventures and our history is rich with examples of God's faithfulness to this family.

I am blessed to be Mrs. Warren Alexander Brooks.