littlelaughalot

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quick change

Just had the kids home for lunch today so that they could changed into their costumes for their Halloween school party. One word....HECTIC! With just half an hour to feed them and get them both changed...hair done...make-up etc.....hey...it's pretty stressful. Needless to say all the rooms I tidied today have ended up looking back like they did this morning ...so now I have to tidy them all again.

Never mind...my girls look great!
Dayna is dressed as you can see as an Indian girl. Takes me right back to my days as
"Little laugh a lot"
Miriam loves Cinderella so the outfit is perfect for her. Have a great party girls......your Mum and Dad are looking forward to taking you round the doors tonight!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Be encouraged!

Another fantastic night at Alpha! Tonight's topic was about "Why and how should I read my bible?"

As usual we started off with great conversation over a bowl of Isobel's soup. To hear the noise of so many different conversations going on at the same time is music to my ears. People are so relaxed and really do appear to be happy to be in each other's company.

Our worship tonight included three songs "Shout to the Lord"..."There is a Redeemer"...and the beautiful song "How deep the Father's love for us". Before singing the last song, I had chosen some bible verses that would just help people to realise just how awesome and amazing and deep God's love for them really is. God really works in amazing ways. Some of these verses I had chosen were then used in the talk tonight and worked so well with what we were discussing....how the bible is just like God's love letter to us all. Billy...who is experiencing Alpha for a second time said how he doesn't really read the bible...he enjoys listening to the sermons on a sunday and enjoys the verses of scripture being explained to him, but can't really get into the bible. He then went on to say that all through tonight from beginning to end he had felt God near him. The songs which B.L.O.C. led through he said really touched him, and the verses of scripture chosen in that worship and the verses included in tonight's discussion had made him decide that tomorrow he is going to go out and buy a bible in a translation that will be helpful to him and he is going to look the verses up.....WOW!

Jim, who is a neighbour to our dear friends Bobby and Diane, has been attending Alpha with not having any real "church" experience in the past. He came to our meeting on Sunday night. I was blown away. God is SO Good...and praise God He is still working in people's lives today.
Laura brought another couple along tonight as well, and they participated well within our group.

More and more I really feel that this part of the ministry, is where I feel most comfortable, most useful, and most blessed. This is Church! This is where I want to be. Talking about Jesus to folks, ...what an amazing priviledge! I am truly blessed to be part of this. These people just amaze me...they are so open to what is being said...and it just blows me away. And why should I be surprised?...who am I to limit God?

As usual there is always something that comes up to try to bring us down...and I would just like you guys to pray for our corps and also for Kenny and Sarah...good friends of ours from our church who are part of the "A life worth living" team that is running alongside Alpha. Word has come to us that some individuals within the church feel that what has been going on for the last wee while is going to cause a split in the corps. This kind of talk really concerns me, because what has been happening for the last few years has been God working through people...God speaking to His people ...and God ministering through his people to bring others to Him. We have seen house groups starting from 3 or 4 growing to mid twenties. We have seen Alpha really take off and has seen many new people into our church services. We have really developed a thirst and hunger for God's word....and people are noticing this change in us. We have changed! We are listening to what God wants us to do are we are seeing amazing results...but sadly there are a few who see this somehow as a threat. How very sad, and discouraging to the folks who have done nothing else but respond to the call of God.

The way our church used to be is changing for the better may I say.....(People getting serious about God is always a change for the better!), yet that is too scary a change for some. Sometimes folks can't sit and just think, well maybe I am the obstacle here, maybe I should get involved, or maybe I could just encourage...but unfortunately these folks don' t like change, even when it's in God's plan.... so they become very defensive and the prickles stand up. This does genuinely worry me because we are not doing anything radical or crazy here...we are studying God's word, and learning more about Him. We are trying to serve Him better every day.

Kenny and Sarah are really feeling it just now...so just be encouraged you two, to know that you are both in our prayers,...we are praying for the whole situation and for ourselves too that we would deal with this resistance in the best and God loving way we can...which is hard at times....but that's why we need God's help. Be encouraged...we will continue to listen to God's voice...we will continue to do what He says...whatever that may mean we are up against.

Remember the words to this song...
"I'll not turn back
whatever it may cost
I'm called to live to love and serve
The lost."

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 11:59 pm :: 6 Comments:

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Funny!


Saw this on google video and thought it was funny.

[[link]]

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 4:02 pm :: 1 Comments:

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Impossible Dreams

A few weeks ago Ruth, Roscoe's mum, gave me a loan of a book that she thought would be of help to me. I always seem to be rushing about trying to be everything to everyone... especially to my family and my church! Sooner or later you get worn out. She kinda picked up on how I was feeling and gave me this book to read.

Have you ever read Proverbs 31? Well I can't say that I was overly familiar with the passage...and so I thought that I had better read it before commencing the book!

It goes like this...

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

Rather impressive eh? She certainly was an incredible woman, but what did she have to do with me? I have to confess that sometimes I struggle at times with the woman's role which is depicted in the bible, and also with the fact that within the culture at that time a woman was very much the second class citizen.

I struggle with this....and sure...one reason is because..hey...I don't want to feel second class or or something of far less worth than someone else...but mainly I struggle with the idea that people of that time had (and needless to say some people even today have) of a woman, because Jesus said He loves the whosoever, he loves us all equally, he died for me too! Surely I am as important to him and as worthwhile and as useful to Him as a man?

Am I?.....

Yes I have to be!

Bear with me while I try to tell you about the way this book has changed my thinking. I am certainly not out on a war against men, so please read on... that is certainly not what I am trying to explain...(I think you are all great!!!) but rather to express to you my change of thinking on a matter that in many ways has held me back perhaps subconsciously in my spiritual life.

This book which didn't necessarily grab me initially is about a wife and mother who has nightmares about this proverbs 31 wonderwoman. She goes on throughout the book trying her best to out do her if not at the very least to somehow match up on an equal par. She realises very quickly in each circumstance that "She"... as the wife refers to her....always comes out tops. This woman soon becomes totally depressed and feels inadequate as a wife and mother and so as each chapter goes on you see her trying new and strange things to try to be like "her" but each time ends up feeling even more bewildered about "her".

The book goes through a year of this womans life, and as I got to the last few chapters I could see it all making sense for her...and for me! I can remember feeling really sorry for this poor wife and mother who was comparing herself to what I thought was an old fashioned, dare I even say sexest, description of a womans role. Why did she think that this was an impossible dream? Did she not value herself at all? Why even try to be like her, there are other more powerful and intelligent role models to follow....aren't there?

Why do we have such hang ups about roles? Here I am beating myself up and trying to prove to the world that yes I am a woman, but give me a chance... I really am worthwhile. No way...that is nonsense. And you know something...it was my nonsense! No matter how hard I try to be different to the stereotypical woman, I can't help the fact that I want to be at home with my kids, I can't help the fact that I want to take care of my family and my husband. And it's funny because sometimes my head is fighting with my heart and saying "you're weak....your nothing...don't think that way.....think what you could be doing...think of what you could be!'
I can't help the fact that as much as it sounds so stereotypical , I do actually want a nice clean tidy house for my husband to come home to, and I do to like taking care of them all and feeding them and all that kind of stuff. Does that make me weak? Does that make me less worthwhile.? Does it make me less important? NO WAY!!

The lady in this book soon learns through all the incidents that she has trying to be like "her", that a noble woman as described in proverbs, is one that sees to her family, not just physically, but more importantly spiritually. She realises that she just needs to relax in God's presence and bring each new day before Him in prayer, and even though her tasks to some may seem trivial she learns to ask for God's guidance in all that she does. She learns how to be a good wife and mother. A "good wife" ..the phrase used to make me cringe.

On Sunday night when I finished reading the book, I suddenly felt such a peace coming over me. I married Thomas 9 and a half years ago and we have two lovely girls together. It's been great, but there have been times when I have felt undervalued....and that's not just at home...in other situations too..and I guess we can all say we have felt that at some point in our lives. Yet this peace remains within me...and I have an excitement within me to be the best wife and mother that I can be. I am not ashamed to say that and I don't believe that I have to be the subservient one because of that. I am going to try my best to do the best for my family...I am going to give 100% to menial tasks because it's for them! I am going to try to get through my ironing pile...because it's for them! I am going to try and not blow off the handle when my body is tired, but try to seek God's guidance to help me resolve a situation.

I never felt called to a particular career...maybe I am called to be this wife of noble character....but if I can be a good spiritual role model for my children and a supporting and encouraging wife then that is what I want to aspire to.

I know that not everyone might agree with my opinions or feelings but its no longer about roles and stereotypes...it's about what comes naturally for you. For me...and I'm not ashamed to say it now...I love what I do. I love God..I love my family...I love my husband and I love me for who I am....just the way God wanted me to be!

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 10:30 pm :: 1 Comments:

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Stolen!


Yesterday while I was working at Hamilton Salvation Army, my car was broken into and my bag was stolen. I don't make a habit of leaving my bag in the car...infact I didn't even know it was there or I would have taken it in to work with me, but I must have left it in the car on Sunday. I usually put it down below my seat but someone obviously has been on the lookout. I couldn't believe it. What a mess...glass EVERYWHERE! You know what it's like. The absolute hassle of cancelling ALL your accounts, and trying to get by over the next few weeks without having to use them.

Of course when trying to get the glass repaired it did come to my attentions as to how exactly I was going to pay for it since my purse and all my cards had been stolen....aaaahhhhh! Thomas had to come home early from work to withdraw money and get that sorted.

The most heartwarming thing was that my two lovely girls after hearing the story ( and Dayna bursting into tears) ...my girls came to my room and presented me with their piggy bank....saying "here mum, you can have our money since you don't have any" WOW...I was so touched. I didn't accept of course...but as the week goes on and the craving for a wee chocolate bar comes on ...as it does...who know girls....fancy treating your poor mum to a bit of Cadbury's?

I was later presented with a card from them both saying "I love you Mum" and I was also given two shells from their collection to help me feel better. They made me laugh after a horrible day. Thank you girls...I LOVE YOU TOO!

The day was finished off with another great night at Alpha. The talk was about "How can I be sure of my faith?"...and Alec presented that to the group. B.L.O.C. played three songs..."Come, now is the time to worship"..."Open the eyes of my heart, Lord"...and "Blessed be Your name"
A good end to a pretty horrible day!

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 7:54 pm :: 3 Comments:

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Tour Diary


Tonight I was trying to find a picture of the amazing green retro delirious hoody I bought at the concert on the net when I came across this...[[link]] - check it out. Martin Smith from delirious is keeping a tour diary...read what he has to say about it!

No joy finding picture of hoody though! Will take a photo of it and post it soon!


Posted by littlelaughalot :: 7:36 pm :: 0 Comments:

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B.L.O.C.


On Saturday morning we were absolutely shattered from our busy week and of course from the concert, and we weren't going to be having a relaxing day either! B.L.O.C. and my sister and brother-in-law (who became part of B.L.O.C. for the night!) had a programme to do for the Blackburn Gospel Hall...which is the church where Thomas' mum and dad serve.

It was a brilliant night. The programme was well received and we enjoyed it too which just confirms that God was in and through all that took place. We went as a group of people who just wanted to spread the gospel and tell others of God's love for them. We had been waiting for this event to come for quite a while and I think we were all a bit nervous and unsure as to what to expect. We all serve God in many ways and express our worship differently, and so we knew that we would be something different, not necessarily radical, but different to what the folks there at Blackburn would normally be used to. However, the gospel doesn't change. God's love remains the same for everyone, and to every church and it doesn't matter how we do it....it matters why we do it!

Thank you God for using us to spread your love to others. What a joy and an amazing priviledge!

And thanks to B.L.O.C....Bobby, Ross and Liz for all your hard work... and for your support to Thomas and I when it's been needed which has been a lot recently! To Caroline and Daniel....I love singing with you guys...it was great! To Jane and to my mum and dad who came along and supported us....thanks...it means a lot!

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 7:00 pm :: 3 Comments:

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DELIRIOUS?



Wow...what can I say. Delirous were amazing. And what a priviledge to have heard Tim Hughes too! Fantastic. I had a great time. Delirious put on an awesome concert and the just put their all into every bit of it. Thomas has captured the night much better than I would be able to in his blog. [[headphonaught]] Can't wait to hear more of their latest songs!! Thanks to everyone who came along as well...it was great to share the experience with good friends! Oh...and I just have to say.....they performed "Majesty" ...my favourite Delirious song....and they did not disappoint!

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 6:48 pm :: 0 Comments:

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Wee Break!

Had a nice week off last week, although it wasn't much of a rest. Spending time with the kids, the hubby and the in-laws (thanks Angus and Elizabeth!) was great!! On Monday it was my uncle's funeral...and it was a wondeful service. One of the best funeral's I've been too....sounds weird but it's true. He's been promoted to glory, and so I am able to rejoice in that! At night Thomas and I were at Alpha and had another great evening there. It's great to see people opening up and feeling relaxed and comfortable enough to speak freely. Late that night we travelled through to Livingston to stay with Angus and Elizabeth for a few days!!

On Tuesday we went to Edinburgh Zoo. On Wednesday we went to various shops in Edinburgh including IKEA (I lOVE IKEA), and on Thursday we spent a lovely day with our friends David and Yvonne and their two daughter Claire and Emma. David made his famous curry and a good time was had by all! On Friday morning we headed back home...went to Asda...got our messages....packed them away and then got ready for the delirious concert!!!

P.S. The picture is of one of the penguins we saw at the zoo just incase your wondering what that's all about!..Thank you Roy for pointing that confusion out. I should have made more of a comment on that days proceeding but hey...never mind.

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 6:24 pm :: 3 Comments:

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Kick me when I'm down!

Can't believe after the dreadful few weeks I've had that now...there's more! My Uncle Eck died this morning. Now he is actually my great uncle but means as much to me as an uncle would. He was my Papa's brother, and he was hilarious. My papa died in 1994 and it was a total shock to us all. I was extremely close to my Papa and seeing my uncle just always made me feel that he was still around as they looked quite alike at times. Isn't it sad when as the years go by one by one of that older generation dies. Now my Aunt Cath is the only one left out of her siblings. Only last week my Aunt Cath and Uncle Eck celebrated there Diamond Wedding Anniversary......60 YEARS!!! How amazing but now so sad! I suppose it was great that they got a chance to celebrate that.

But he lived a good life and lived to a good age, and he leaves behind him a great legacy. Most importantly he loved his Lord and Saviour and so I know that one day I will see him again. In the meanwhile I have to pray for my aunt and for the family, that they will get through these tough days, weeks and months ahead.

So thank you Uncle Eck for the great example you set us all. Your love for God was very evident in all that you did. I am so grateful that I knew you and had you in my life.

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 1:23 pm :: 4 Comments:

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Phew!!


A few folk have been asking how last week went with the recordings. To be honest I have been exhausted all week and would have liked to have got blogging sooner...but now is better than never! The recording was alot more stressful than the last time....of course trying to record 2 CD's in almost the same time as doing one, may have had something to do with that. Emotions were very high at times, and I found the whole experience, including my recordings, very stressful and sadly not as enjoyable as the first time.

I think both Gemma and myself felt very rushed to get our songs recorded and it was hard to relax, but nevertheless we got it done. I just pray that the tracks will bless someone out there...otherwise what is the point? I've always said, and I said it to our bandmaster and to the engineer who was doing the recording... that the minute that anything I sing hasn't got the chance of blessing someone... then I will stop... and I don't mean that like it's anything to do with my voice, but rather that you need to be challenged and blessed yourself with the song before you can sing it out with any hope to bless others. I will never sing anything if it has no meaning for me.

The second track I recorded was for a musical CD. This CD is going to have some of Andrew Llloyd Webber's music and some army musical stuff. I have to confess that I struggled with my choice, which was to pick something from the army musicals. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do army songs as solos. I use backing tracks and the songs are usually from Twila Paris, The Martins, Jaci Valesquez... etc... etc..... so this was a real challenge for me to just sing with Yvonne accompanying me on piano and singing Burning, Burning... as it was the only song... out of a not so desirable bunch... left to sing. I must confess that over the summer holidays I really felt that God had placed this song on my heart and that I was meant to sing it. The chorus features such strong words... and even for those of you who have heard it sang so blandly over the years... you can't deny the power of them...
"To Your will my will is turning...
What YOU will, I WANT to be."
I don't think the idea of the song, Burning burning appealed to a few people; their views on the song after hearing it sung by songsters so many times may perhaps have blinded them to the fact that it is actually a great song. So I felt that I really had to prove something. Yvonne and I changed the very rigid style of the song into something more laid back. I was very emotional while singing the song and I just tried to blank everything else out and just sing to God. The song I believe comes over to be very vulnerable and stripped bear of all that fancy singing... yet I believe its pretty gutsy too!

I was really really upset over the weekend with the lack of encouragement I got for singing the song. I was made to feel as if it in some way would "spoil" the CD, and certainly wouldn't have the effect that "Written in red" had. Well this isn't "Written in red"... but I put as much of myself into this track as I did with that one too... so I guess I just have to leave it in God's hand, and that He will use this song not necessarily my voice... to at least bless one person out there.

I just have to say before I go... a BIG THANK YOU... to everyone for their support. It has not been the best of weeks, but your support and the support from my mum, dad, close friends... and of course Thomas... have certainly got me through.

Thanks everyone.

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 8:15 pm :: 5 Comments:

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

So so so sooooo nervous!!!

Tonight, tomorrow and all day Saturday...our Senior Band from Bellshill Salvation Army are recording another CD...well actually two more. We released one a year and a half ago and we are now recording another two...one based around musicals...Salvation Army musicals and also some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's...and the other will be a Christmas CD.
I was asked to sing a song on the last CD as was the lovely Gemma Gunn. The experience was nerve racking but absolutely amazing.....I was left on a high for a few days. You would think that I would be a little bit more relaxed this time....but no....my stomach is absolutely churning. To be honest is has been for about the last week. I have so much going on in my life and in my head at the moment that I feel like I am going to take a panic attack!! And just to top it all off my throat is bothering me...perfect timing as always.

We will be recording 2 songs...one for each CD...so tonight I will be doing the Christmas one "Heaven's Child ". So today I have set all my usual things aside and have decided to totally chill out. I watched tv this morning and drank plenty of tea and have just tried to relax as much as possible....don't know if it's working. I'm going to have a nice bath, wash the hair...and spend some time in prayer before I venture out at 4'clock.

My singing has always been for the glory of God....and certainly not for my glory. I love to sing.....but I don't like to mess things up either. I want to give 150%, and I'm scared that my throat won't allow me to do so. So please I would really appreciate your prayers in what to others may seem not very important but to me is incredibly so. On our last CD everyone seemed to really enjoy listening to "Written in Red" and I even heard a few amazing stories about how some man listened to the song on the CD and came back to Christ because of it. This is what the singing's all about. Most times you don't think that it can do anything other than hopefully bring some enjoyment to someone....but playing a small part in bringing someone back into faith is phenomenal! So...no pressure for this one.....eh!!!

I probably won't have time to blog during these next few days but I will try to let you all know how it goes.

Posted by littlelaughalot :: 10:48 am :: 6 Comments:

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