Because of Thanksgiving, our week-night service at church is changed to Tuesday night instead of Wednesday. And our 4th week service of every month is youth service. Of course, the theme for the night is "thanksgiving" and "thanks" along with the goodness of God.
Here is a recap -
To begin the service, the congregation joined in to sing this classic:
the Easter Brothers song - "Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me"
There's a roof up above me
I've a good place to sleep
There's food on my table And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me
As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along
They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong
In my heart I'm rejoicing, how I wish they could see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me
Now I know I'm not wealthy, and these clothes , they're not new
I don't have much money, but Lord I have you
And to me that's all that matters, though the world cannot see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me
Then the children's choir has a turn:
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
God is good, yes He is,
He’s good all the time
God is good, I know he is
He’s good all the time
You can search the whole world over,
No greater friend you’ll find
He’s not good just once in a while
He’s good all the time [Gaither song]
Psalm 33:5 “…the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD”
God is so good
God is so good
God is so good
He is so good to me!
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Thank you Lord for saving my soul
Thank you Lord for making me whole
Thank you Lord for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free
The youth choir sings this Thanks Medley:
I give you thanks
For all you’ve done.
I am so blessed
My soul has found rest
Oh Lord, I give you thanks
Thank you Lord for the strength you give to carry on. Through life’s toils and tests, in the worst and best, I’m not ever left alone. You are always right beside me, you hear me every time I pray. And since I first began, you’ve been my dearest friend and I give you all the praise
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the holy one
Give thanks for He's given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
[Thanks! found on Red Rocks Homecoming - Gaither Series] [Give Thanks by Songwriter Henry Smith]
Mix in some verses - all Psalms.
No surprise there - since that book is full of thanks and praise.
Psalms 100 - the children quote
Psalms 136:1-9, 23-26 - the youth choir has responsive reading
And Finally - "Ain't God Good"
Ain’t God good. He gives us so many blessings.
Undeserving, that’s what we are.
We ought to thank him, love and praise him,
a little more today, and a whole lot more tomorrow.
Forty long years, God’s people journeyed through the wilderness
Searching for Canaan, that blessed promise land
They never got too hungry, nor never got too thirsty
But the more that God kept blessing them, the more they did complain.
Now in this world that we live in so many, they’re unthankful
Many Lord have failed to see that God has given all
They never have the time to stop, they’re always busy working
Just to pay for cars, new homes, and carpet wall to wall.
For the object lesson of sorts - we talked about things to give thanks for, ways to give/show thanks, and people who were not thankful. Coincidental that I read this morning on (In)courage about the only one who came back - this was part of our service last night also. Out of the ten lepers that Jesus healed, nine were not thankful. The only one who came back to give thanks was made whole - and not only received healing, but undoubtedly received salvation. Just like the one, we should always give thanks. We should not let one day go by without giving thanks and praise for what God has done for us.
And then to end the service - we filled in an acronym.
(Children under 10 giving the majority of these answers.)
We are thankful because GOD is:
A ll powerful
F riend (so thankful God is "our" friend)
My thoughts swirled as I copied this down, I think of
To wrap up the evening, we had FOOD in the fellowship hall.
A contrast from the turkey/dressing menus,
we indulged in hamburgers, chicken wraps, chips.
The desserts, however, had a touch of thanksgiving.
Pumpkin picks, turkey cookies, orange swirled icing, and "cones of plenty" completed the menu.
Because I left my camera at home, I have ZERO photos.
However, I did use my brother-in-law's camera, so I should get some later.
This has turned into one LONG post.
However, I could not decide which parts to delete.
(Consideration takes extra time.)
And I am mostly posting for my memories.
In addition, I tried to give copyright credit, however I am not sure where to find some.
I am thankful for the composers who can weave lyrics into memorable songs.
Tonight, I am also thankful that I do not have to work tomorrow.
That the front porch is clean - and the storage unit is in use.
And that God blessed me to see another Thanksgiving Eve.
And for this pretty apothecary jar from Hobby Lobby:
(photo taken at our church's Senior Citizens Dinner 11.20.09)
Photography lessons and new techniques make blog-reading worthwhile -
For me anyways.
On her blog this week, MckMama had a live Q&A on photography info - and then posted about collage storyboards. She gave instructions for "complete control" of the collage, which is always beneficial.
However, I think the easy way out is beneficial too.
The "Actions" tool in Photoshop is a time-saving, easy, just-discovered treasure. From Pioneer Woman's site - I found this contributor from MCP site. Incredible action tools are for sale here. That will reduce the amount of time I have to spend editing. Which might decrease the dread I feel as I face the processing of photos that need "help." Instead of taking a lot of time to "fix faces" - this site has an action to click a button and voila - results. I have to charge the credit card to use the face editing tools - but I used a freebie to see how easy actions are to use. And this freebie involved creating a collage (or storyboard).
So, I practiced with a few rehearsal shots -
hmmm - the hands picture would look better in black and white.
As a recap...
Because I have time issues - the action to create a storyboard is SO my preference. Yeah, yeah - this post involves some technological mumbo-jumbo. However, I learn and retain information by writing. So this blogging could help as a way to process useful tips.
In other random notes...
The wedding shots from Saturday are not even in the editing stage yet - cleaning up to do, reading over a new cookbook (Pioneer Woman again), a birthday dinner to shop for & cook for, church Wed night, babysiting Thurs night and decorating for Friday night's Senior Citizens dinner - all this took the place of my editing time. And the regular 8-5 job kind of manipulates my time also. It would also help if this "over-a-week-long" lingering cold would disappear.
So right now, the weekend is up in the air regarding my productivity.
High-stress days preparing for the wedding shoot.
And now I am relaxing on Sunday.
Several texts, comments, and well wishes sent my way are much appreciated.
With my bro-in-law's "co-shoot" help, I survived the wedding.
Now, I have many "to-do" items to catch-up on while also trying to sort through over 1300 photos from both cameras.
And because I am not posting wedding shots until the bride&groom views them, I thought I would share a photo from the bridal portrait shoot.
But since the wedding is over, I CAN go over to my photography site and unlock that album now. However, I think I might just wait until tomorrow.
It is time to get ready for PM church this Sunday and I have some things to wrap up for our youth choir's practice.
I kept my dates with archived pictures, with idea-giving photographers' sites, and with my prayers. I think they helped....rather, I know they did.
So thankful God hears and answers, and pays attention to even the little details.
But I am not really sad. Actually just searching for humor. :) Because I am nervous.
It is time for another wedding job. And I am looking over poses and ideas.
My first wedding was for a friend. I am grateful for her trust. Mistakes a plenty. Triumphs too.
I like this:
Why do I like this?
A tee-niny detail makes me smile. The background is nicely blurred. And the detail is on the small frame. The handwriting is a special touch from the bride. Handmade adds an extra something to the day. And those lights from the Christmas tree - this result is called bokeh. (Thanks to the Pioneer Woman's photography lessons on that term.) Of course I took this photo before I learned that lesson.
After this December 2008 wedding, I "second-shot" or served as "back-up" for my brother-in-law for this March wedding.
I liked this because I helped create:
and one of my first Photoshop collages that I made later:
Taken in the "bride room" and deliberately focusing on "Butterfly Kisses" lyrics. Without her knowing, her dad planned to sweetly kiss her cheek after this song ended in the ceremony. No other thought but "awwwwww."
So this week I am researching pose ideas for this Saturday, for this couple's wedding:
My first "defined collage" - and I am not sure if I posted this before. Either way, my prayer is that God will direct my thoughts and ideas to create some memorable photos from the sacred day as these two become one.
As I prep for my third wedding shoot within just ONE year, I would appreciate any prayers that you would send my way. Before Saturday's appointment, I have several dates to keep.
I am in love with the piano music on this blog that pulls my thoughts towards beauty, gifts, thanks, worship, and God.
So, I finally delete an email I sent myself.
I find the artist David Nevue on iTunes.
And the music selection "The Gift" is downloading as I type.
Music wraps around my heart.
And I pull up "my" One Thousand gifts spreadsheet.
My last entry is #508 - "knowing that perseverance pays off"
The first entry on my list reads "God, my Father in Heaven"
To finish by Thanksgiving, I have to add around 30 "gifts" per day.
So while I have over half of my list completed, my Sunday School class is now at the 400 mark. With only two students in class Sunday, they added 102 items. Of course they giggle and come up with funny entries, but they have to think also.
Beauty is found in the little things.
Right now, I find it hard to see beauty in a few things.
But with a personal list and this Sunday School list, my heart is finding thanks for things I often take for granted...
That I woke up this morning.
That I can go to work.
That I do not have a headache right now.
That God listens even when I question why.
I have not checked for duplicates, but here is the update from Sunday School - see here and here for prior entries.
301 laffy taffy
302 wal mart
303 dollar tree
304 dollar general
307 chair legs for support
313 wall paper
315 juicy fruit gum
316 tic tacs
319 sinks - without them, where would we wash our hands?
320 hot tubs
322 song books
328 George Washington
329 Benjamin Franklin
333 body parts
338 The Ark
341 Daniel in the Lion's Den
348 yoo hoo drinks
350 ice cream
359 United States
362 funny names
363 smiley faces
372 chalk boards
373 dry erase boards
I laugh as I look over a few of these.
My heart is thankful for these children.
And we have 600 more to go now...
Waiting on Him today. Which does NOT fit my personality. I want to schedule, plan, "know" what I can do. So, I try to understand. Search the word. Affirm his promises.
A few lyrics resound, like repeat mode, in my brain. Just the phrase, real simple. "While I'm waiting, I will serve You." [All the lyrics found here.]
The song writer mentioned that while he was waiting, he was hurting. That waiting is painful. It is definitely not easy. But he still hoped.
Here are promises. And I can claim them for ME. So can you.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For further promises, these scripture references were posted with the song lyrics.
Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Psalm 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. Lamentations 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
He will hear. He will strengthen. He will bless those that wait.
And so I wait. I struggle. Hope seems distant at times. But He touches my heart. And...I wait some more.
Oh - that I had wings...I would fly away...and be at rest Psalm 55:6
I am updating the “1000 Gifts” project from my Sunday School class, from ending the last post on 36. They have a total of 298 - and I started my personal list as a competition with the class. I have 428 entries on my list and I have a goal to reach 1000 by Thanksgiving. By working on this, I have noticed that I am more thankful. I am trying to see the good instead of the bad. Although I have always paid attention to the details, I am even more thankful for the “little things.” My attitude is reflecting gratitude even more.
Here goes entry 37 to 298 from my class... I am trying to post before midnight to accurately reflect "Multitude Monday."
The final days of October were filled with a family vacation weekend, Homecoming at church, and a week of revival.
10/22 - Thursday, we left for Surfside. My mama and I left with 3 of the kiddos (how I refer to my 6 nephews/nieces) - 2 of my nieces who are not school-age and my nephew who homeschools. After a lot of to-dos, arriving after 10:30 pm, and the unpacking, it was quite late when we ended the evening. Thank goodness for a Friday off of work.
10/23 - Friday. Not expecting an early morning, but a coughing little girl gags and has a "throw-up" incident in bed around 6:30 am. Giving medicine and cleaning up after accidents are definitely mommy-in-training experiences. =) Finally back to sleep, and the other little girl is bright-eyed around 8 am. "Wake up, get up" - or something like that were her words as she peered in my face. I think I referred her to Grandma. Fabulous memories after finally getting up between 9 and 10. Drinking hot chocolate on the balcony while hearing waves crash on the shore. Walking to the beach. Picture perfect scenes. An afternoon nap. Ahhh - the enjoyment of a low-stress, relaxing day.
Some pictures from the day:
The two 3-year old nieces Sweetness.
The memories wrap around my heart, a band squeezing tight as I thank God for the precious moments shared with these loving girls.
My heart smiles as I remember capturing this totally un-posed scene as they sit side-by-side facing the water. Both pony-tailed girls hold Tootsie Roll pops as they unknowingly create a picture of pure innocence.
And here is my miracle nephew - the first of the 6 kiddos. He is so smart, loves to read, and reminds people of me. Big smile on that one.
Friday night, more of the family arrived. Talking, laughing, sharing. The night scene at the shoreline appealed, so most of us went for a late stroll (ended well after midnight) and even enjoyed some interesting crab sightings.
Especially the crab with a defensive attitude, provoked of course by some dirt thrown and some prodding by one of my dear sisters. Look at those pinchers. Oh, the thankfulness for a camera to capture these memories that knit our hearts together in laughter and fun.
As everyone drifted off for a late (early?) bed-time, I enjoyed the silence to finish some photo editing, update my blog design (earlier posting), and finally shut down after 4:30 am. Crazy, right?
10/24 - Saturday moments will crystallize into one of my favorite days of the whole year. After a short night...Beach-time with everyone. Pictures of course. (I would post more, but this photo upload has problems tonight. Will post on my photo website soon.)
Walking and running through the water with kiddos. Drawing in the sand. Feeding the birds is a must – luring them to our spot and seeing if they can catch a piece of bread thrown into the air. Holding the family baby – the warm snuggly feeling of having arms intensely latch.
Satisfying the hunger increased by the salt air with a simple meal of hot dogs, trimmings, and dessert. Laughing over funny clips my brother-in-law saves. Leaving the kiddos with the guys and going outlet shopping with my mom and sisters. Funny conversations with the guys while we drove back and planned dinner. Hot now at Krispy Kreme. Chic-fil-A and Zaxby’s orders. “Munchies” time again – vacation and good food are kind of synonymous. Clean up time and food prep to take for Homecoming the next day. Simple pleasures of helping little children bathe. Brushing soft hair. Curling up with a child and blanket. Reading tear-jerker blog postings. Another late AM morning. Amazing Memories at:
10/25 - Sunday. Leave before 7 am to make it home, get dressed, and arrive at church for Homecoming Sunday, our 5th annual occurrence. Different church service, singing, many visitors, visiting preacher, and a covered-dish gathering for lunch. An afternoon nap and evening service completed the day.
10/26 - Revival week started. I hope to post sermon notes at some point in November. The messages inspired me to draw closer to God, spend more time with my Bible, prepare for the trying times ahead, and deal with the problems that I face now.
10/27 - A celebration before church for my nephew's 2nd birthday. I arrived late because I have to work later than most of the family. I did not see the candle scenes, but I captured the present-time and took a picture of the already-cut cake.
My sister at work again with cake decorating. Cifford is one of my childhood favorites. I loved my "book-on-tape" with the song about Emily Elizabeth loving that big, red dog. Am I really already 24 years old???? I miss those childhood days with no worries, but it is amazing to see the memories I have surface in my nephews/nieces. Nostalgic moments there. :D
10/28 - Wal-Mart trip before church. After another good service, I came home and read a new release by Karen Kingsbury - "Shades of Blue." Interesting book, but I kind of expected a different ending.
10/29 - Blog help for others with some Photoshop tools. A phone conversation with my dear cousin Randa. Off to church again and a dreaded headache developing.
10/30 - Relax before church. Last night of revival. Some talking after church. Download some super-cute, free fonts - found here. Updated my header and forfeited some sleeping time.
10/31 - Picked up my first bridal portrait prints with a photo order. Whew - they were okay. Going with my mama to debate buying or having someone build a storage building. An evening spent cleaning and organizing at the house. One kitchen blog tip I used - moving magnets from the front to the side. My mom's refrigerator looks so much better with just a few choice few on the front. Oh - and I also planned our meals for the next week. I might include that in a later post.
And this is my current profile photo - but here is a photo of me to remember for the October 2009 archives. Photo credit to my bro-in-law Daniel, but enhancements are "my touch."
And that is how October ended - a typical busy month in my life.