Friday, April 25, 2008

Long Time Gone

Ok, so I must catch up. Work has been crazy busy the last few weeks and I can't believe I have NOT ONE sport to cover this week, that is, unless I choose to go score a little baseball on Saturday, which I may do just because. Anyway, I must recap what's been going on.
Two weekends ago, my best childhood friend, Lauren Brown, or as I like to call her, LB, married another good childhood friend, Joey Pape. It's amazing how you can sit next to someone in your first and second grade class picture and then end up marrying them almost 20 years later. It was a beautiful ceremony. Of course, my mom sang. I wish LB's mon, Mrs. Madonna, could have been there but I know she was looking down on the whole shindig, smiling as she always did.

Here a pic of me and the couple at the reception:

Last weekend I got to go to the OVC Tennis Tournament with my tennis teams in Nashville. Fun times. I wish I could've done a little bit more in Nashville because it's one of my favorite cities but I had fun getting to actually cheer for my team this time. It was fun because I've actually built relationships with the coaches and some of the girls and a few parents.

Both of my teams won the championship! The girls pretty much manhandled everybody and the guys' final match came down to one of our best players. He had to go to the hospital after the match, if that tells you anything. It was so fun to see it happen though. The guys have gotten so close to a championship for the past three years and finally got it this year. Fourth time is a charm! They were very close to winning the regular season title this year too but lost their last match to the other team that was undefeated too.

Our girls one the regular season again this year and then won the tournament title this time. They were close last year but lost in the finals. However, they did win the tournament title two years ago. But this one was special because there are only two seniors on the team and they have been doubles partners for the last four years. There rest of the team is freshmen so I'm excited to see how they will be next year. We did have the conference freshman of the year.

So now we are going to the NCAAs. Well, I say we...I hope I get to go. It's Mother's Day weekend so that's a bummer but it depends on where they go on if I get to go or not. If they go somewhere close, then I'll get to go but if they have to fly, I won't go. I'm excited either way. We will find out Tuesday when the selection show airs.

Here's a slideshow of all the pictures I took during the finals.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Missing Person

If any of you live in the Jackson area, please keep your eyes and ears open for clues about this. This family is a pretty close family to mine. The wife/mother worked and is friends with both my parents and the three children are childhood friends of mine. I talked to my dad today and he said that Mr. Mark had open heart surgery two weeks ago and this do not look good. This is incredibly sad and scary. Please keep the Ginn Family in your prayers.

XYZ...I'm done!

This alphabet game things was more work than I thought it would be. I'm a little bored with it and would like to get back to blogging about more important random things like my favorite foods and who got married this weekend.

So, I'm wrapping it up because saying...XYZ! I'm out!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Marathon Blog: The Glory of God

Exodus 33:17 – 34:7
17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name." 18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." 21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

1 The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain." 4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

Several things have happened in my life recently that have really made these 14 verses come alive in front of my face. I won’t go into detail about the things that have happened but I do want to go into detail about what I’ve learned and what God has taught me and shown me through all of this.

A few months ago, I went through a series with my church about being desperate for God and desperately wanting to know him more intimately. The dictionary defines the word desperate as follows: reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency; having an urgent need or desire; leaving little or no hope; extremely bad, intolerable or shocking; making a final, ultimate effort; giving all.”

When I look at our lives on this earth, desperate is the exact word that describes our situation. We all are born into sin. There is nothing good in us. Nothing. In all of our wretchedness on this earth, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We deserve eternal damnation. Our lives are desperate. We are in constant danger. Our fate is sealed, made final, ultimate, we have no hope. BUT…there is a GOD who loves us, who made a promise long, long ago that he would never leave us and that he would send a final mediator who would sacrifice his perfect life to save our far-from-perfect ones. Someone who would bring hope to a hopeless world and light to darkness. And he kept that promise. GOD sacrificed his only son to save us. And what did we do to deserve that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But He loves us anyway. Through all the nastiness that we find ourselves in, he loves us.

So when we believe in the things I said in the previous paragraph, we become desperate in a completely different way. We now become more aware of our wretchedness but we also now know that we have hope through Jesus Christ. And our desperation becomes one where we are willing to do what the last definition says, and give all. We give all of ourselves to Christ and he gives us a new heart. A new heart that has the commands of God written on them with the Holy Spirit instead of on two stone tablets written in ink. Now, we are to be desperate everyday in seeking after the Holy Spirit and seeking to know God more. This new heart gives us, like the Bible says (“Then you will know truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32), freedom to do what we want to do now. However, what we want to do is not what we used to want to do now. It is now what God wants us to do because if we are really desperate for the Holy Spirit and earnestly seek to know God more, our desires now become what God desires.

As Christians, we all, at one time or another, have those moments when what we believe and what we put our faith in is tested and reinvented in a whole different way. We can be put in a “pit of despair” and choose to try to climb out ourselves (causing us to only dig ourselves deeper into the pit”) or we can realize that there is only one person who can hear our cry for help and only one who can rescue us from that pit. And that one person is GOD.

That is what has happened to me and around me in the past year. I’ve experienced firsthand God’s faithfulness and his miracles and his persistence to not let us give up. He’s said plainly to me, “Katie, I made a promise to you and I’m going to keep it. I don’t go back on my word.”

A couple of months ago, something happened that made my world come to a complete standstill. I couldn’t believe what was happening because things like this weren’t supposed to happen to people like me. However, I said something to a friend without thinking twice about it, and God used that one little phrase to wake me up.

As I told my friend the circumstances that I was drowning in at that moment, I said without blinking, “It’s okay though. Because God is going to get the glory from it.” This is not something that I usually say but in the past year, I’ve learned through the study of scripture that everything happens and everything exists, even us, to bring glory to God the Father and show how amazing his power is above anything else.

As details unraveled, God allowed me and those around me to grieve. He allowed us to cry out and ask why and to be somewhat angry. But all the while, he continued to tell us that he is unchanging and that he keeps his promises. So many scriptures at that point started to just come alive to me. One in particular: 1 Corinthians 10:13

“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond
what you can bear. And when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God provided ways to get out of that pit of despair me and those around me. He showed how infinitely good he was. He displayed his power over sin and death. He showed us how He rules over everything and how He is in control, not anyone else. He demonstrated his love through protection and prevention. HE IS GOD! And we are so not!

A week after my world started spinning again, my pastor spoke on Exodus 33 and 34, the verses I included at the beginning of this. During that study time, God’s voice became so very clear. He said to me, “This is who I AM.”

The focus of that passage was verses six and seven in chapter 34. “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

This passage is the clearest picture of who God is. First of all, he is LORD. LORD over everything, heaven and earth and everything in it and under it. This is the outline of the characteristics of God that were presented to us:

· To the downcast, I am compassionate.
- The second part of verse six. He is “the compassionate and gracious God.” He has compassion on all of us. He showed that in with the cross.

· To the undeserving I am gracious.
- “The compassionate and gracious God.” We all are undeserving but he gives us freedom through the grace of the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ on the cross.

· With the defiant, I am patient.
- “Slow to anger” – That was God is. Time after time, we fail. We slip back into old habits and do things we know we shouldn’t do. But God is patient with us. He constantly pursues us.

· With the undesirable, I am loving.
- “Abouding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands” – There are so many people today that think that God could never love them because of what they have done or because no one else has ever shown them the love that they really need. But God continually shows his love to us no matter what we have done or do. He loves us in spite of that.

· For the doubtful, I am faithful.
- “Abounding in love and faithfulness” – This is exactly the characteristics that God made clear to me throughout my circumstances. He continually told me that he would take care of things, that he was in control and that he was undeniably faithful. And he was…and is! He keeps his promises to us. He will never turn his back on us as long as we put our faith in him.

· For the disobedient, I am forgiving.
- “Forgiving wickedness rebellion and sin.” Those three words (wickedness, rebellion and sin) sums us humans us quite well. We are unknowingly wicked, we constantly rebel and we are born into sin. And God forgives us of that. Think of all the bad things you have done in your life, big and small. Think of all the forgiveness you have had to ask for. This of the forgiveness you haven’t gotten. Everything we have done, every sin, has been against God. And he forgives us of that. Amazing love, how can it be?

· Regarding the demands of the law, I am just.
· Regarding the devotion of our heart, I am jealous.
- “Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that we have a God that will put us in our place. A God who punishes us for what we’ve done wrong. As an adult, I look back on my childhood and appreciate the times that my parents punished me for doing wrong. How would I have ever learned otherwise if they had not cared enough to teach me what was wrong, what could hurt me, what was bad for me? I wouldn’t have. So how much more will God do to teach us how to be like him? He is also jealous of the things of this world. He wants our whole heart to worship him. We can’t be 75 percent devoted to Christ. Would you be 75 percent devoted to your spouse? No, and that is definitely not how we should think God would want to be treat. We can’t be 75 percent, or even 99 percent devoted to God. He’s going to be jealous of that 1 percent. He wants all of us.

· To all who desire to see My glory, I am Jesus.
- The picture of God in these verses is still only a partial picture.

Let me just try to explain what is happening in Exodus 33 and 34 to you a little bit. Moses has asked God to show him His glory. A very bold statement. No one has ever seen God’s glory to this point. So God said, “Ok, I’ll do it but I’m going to put you in the side of this rock and cover you up and pass by you, and when I’ve passed by you, you can look at my back because if you look at my glory in its fullness, you will die.” So Moses is content with just seeing God’s back.

We see in Moses and throughout the rest of the Old Testament, a people who are constantly longing to see the fullness of God’s glory. (Psalm 27:4,8) Exodus 34:6-7 was quoted numerous times in the Old Testament. It sort of became the working definition of God. Then we get to the New Testament, John 1, he talks about Christ, the word, the revelation of God, becoming flesh and in verse 14 is says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now we realize that the privilege that was reserved for Moses is not a rightful of all who see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Those who know Jesus have finally seen God’s glory, revealed through Christ. Fall on your face before him and see him for who he really is – all of these characteristics listed in Exodus 34. We have now seen what those in the Old Testament were so desperate to see.

Ok, so now I’m not really sure how to close this. I’ve shared with you what I’ve learned because I truly think that when you learn something you are supposed to go share it with others, especially when Jesus Christ is concerned. I hope you’ve been blessed through this and I hope that maybe you’ve learned something as well. Just remember, God keeps his promises and he will never leave us or forsake us.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Ok, so it's taken me way longer than I expected to get through the whole alphabet, but my life has been mad crazy and all I've wanted to do with my free time is eat, sleep or sit still. So, needless to say, I haven't really felt like blogging lately.

So, I guess my next letter is W, which should, no doubt, stand for Wheel of Fortune. I'm obsessed with this show. I'm way too good at it for my own good. I solved a bonus puzzle the other day with just two letters up there. I've also been know to do the same thing with the big puzzle. I don't know what it is; I just can see the letters up there or something.

I will be on that show one day. I've applied several times and am still waiting for the call. I think the crew was in Birmingham sometime recently but I missed the audition because nobody advertised it like they should have.

Oh, well I'll get my chance one day.