Palin Power

 I have been pretty distant and uninterested in politics for the most part this year until Sarah Palin. I’ve always known that I probably would vote McCain because he best aligns with my beliefs and values, but because of his new running-mate I am more confident than ever.

Sarah Palin speaks with integrity and most of all leads with dignity. Last night, a few lines that spoke to me the most were that she wanted to serve the people (our country). I looked over at my husband and said “She said serve?” I was shocked. When was the last time we’ve heard the word “serve?” It’s a rarity. Many critics in the news today have called her “negative” or “harsh” towards Obama. But the truth is that she is being real about the critical differences between her Opponents. She’s speaking truth we need to hear.

I appreciated her truthfulness about the war in Iraq and the need to protect our homeland from terrorism. Drawing from a story about McCain in Vietnam was touching for the fact that he has lived a life of service to our country. I know I would feel safer in the arms of a President who has lived it rather than someone who merely speaks of it and claims “hope” and “change” without defining really what change means.

I’m not at all for bashing anyone, but I am all about exposing truth and really digging in the dirt to understand what kind of leader it will really take to lead America in the next four years. Set aside being a Repub or Dem… who is best qualified to me? Who will lead without hypocrisy? Who has the values and beliefs I can follow? And who truly cares for people?

It’s pretty evident to me that McCain and Palin are the ticket to do that. Overall, I was so impressed with my first introduction to Palin. I really could sense a genuine concern and she is someone worth following. Who doesn’t love an elegant woman who isn’t perfect, is likable, and is down-right real?

Simply- He Knows Best

It’s hard to believe that in just under two months, our little baby boy will be in our arms. The way time has been going so far I know he will be here before we know it. In fact, we’re packing that emergency hospital bag this weekend.

I was just thinking last night about God’s timing in our lives and the way He works. We found out we were expecting just two weeks into my brand new job at Bluefish- talk about a surprise! I didn’t know exactly how everything would unfold and I honestly never even knew if we’d be able to conceive (I’m guessing it’s easy for women to wonder this since it’s something that’s never happened!). Jeremiah had fears about being a dad and the reality of growing up and I had my own. But now, all of that seems to be cast in the shadows. We’ve done less worrying about ourselves and our plans and have been more focused on what God is doing and how we can serve and invest in our child. We aren’t always perfect in this focus but it’s so freeing to know in our hearts that He is in control.

This is God’s precious life inside me. His plan. His sovereignty. His future. We have been given the task as parents to help mold and shape this life for God’s glory. What a task that is! And we will have to daily continue to trust in His plan when baby John arrives into this ever-changing world. I hope you’re encouraged that whatever God does in your life (even if it’s unexpected), usually His timing and plan is often far better than what you may have chosen for yourself.

Simply because He knows Best.

Thoughts on the Faith Forum at Saddleback- David Nasser

 I was reading David Nasser’s most recent post today. The issue (of when life begins) has been on my mind and heart constantly as I research these two candidates and where they stand on the sanctity of human life. I’ve talked about this with my friends, Jay and Julia, and Jeremiah. It’s an issue in my mind that just cannot be ignored. I figured I would post what David wrote as I agree with everything he says. So here it goes:

Thoughts on The faith Forum at Saddleback, with McCain and Obama: (David Nasser)

Before I get started I want to make sure that you understand that I am not endorsing either candidate. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. I will however go on record to say that you should get out and vote. Make your mark.

Saturday night’s Faith Forum at Saddleback has been swimming in my mind, my heart, and on my tongue since the moment it aired two nights ago.

First of all, I want to declare a winner! The winner of the forum is…(drum roll please)…

Rick Warren. Whatever you think of Rick, his mega church, or even more mega selling book, you’ve got to give him points for asking questions that were both revealing and timely. Rick did a great job of asking the kind of questions that everyday people want to know the answers to. He was also fair and gracious to both candidates. Hats off to you Rick… Now, if we can just convince him to get rid of the goofy Hawaiian shirts…

There is so much to discuss here, but as you might have guessed, what got me blogging was the question about when life truly begins, and the candidate’s stances on abortion. Don’t get me wrong, everything they talked about was important.
Their heroes? Important.
The war? Important.
The economy? important.
The education of our children? Important.
The responsibility to care of the needy in the world? So-so important.

But to me the plight of the unborn, is still the most important.

Why? Because every other decision that a president makes flows out of his core belief about the sanctity of human life. Not just the sanctity of life for an already born adult, but for those in a mother’s womb as well. This is not just a pro-life stance, but what many conservative evangelicals like myself like to call a “whole-life stance.”

Here are the facts, no matter what your opinion:
1. Although abortions are on a decline in the past few years, almost every third baby conceived in America is aborted.
2. Since 1973 (Roe vs. Wade), when abortions became legal in the United States, there have been nearly 46 million abortions to date. This is not to mention the illegal, and untraceable abortions now more frequent because the abortion pill.
3. Most scientists, Christian or not, agree that some form of a “new living” cell begins at conception.
4. Combine these facts with the belief of billions of people that abortion is the termination of that “new life”, and you can see why this is a searing hot topic to say the least.

So here are a few thoughts on each candidate’s response to Rick Warren’s question.

John McCain:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: “At conception.”

I know his voting record on pro-life issues before the forum. I know that he was in favor to uphold the ban on partial birth abortions. It’s also important to note that I also know that, unlike me, McCain approves of embryonic stem cell research. I fail to see the difference between a parent who discards an unwanted or leftover in-vitro embryo, or an unwanted embryo in a womb of a mother. While I recognize the urgent need for stem cell research in the fight against such things as Parkinson’s disease, I see adult stem cell research as the only ethical choice. Is a human embryo a human life? If so, when is it OK to kill a human embryo for any reason?

Barrack Obama:
The question was: At what point does life begin? His answer: Basically, “I’m not sure… I’m pro-choice, because I believe that women make this decision with much thought and serious consideration. I want to see abortions reduced by offering better options.”

Rather than taking potshots at his “above my pay grade” comment, I will pose a question instead. Let’s say that no one really knows when life begins. Let’s say that none of us can really ever be sure. Let’s just say the question is above everyone’s pay grade. Since we don’t know, Senator Obama, could it be that we MIGHT be killing babies through abortion? Aren’t you admitting that they might be alive, by saying, “I don’t really know?”

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the FDA approved a drug that we think might be killing millions of people. It’s a highly controversial drug that many people disagree about. Let’s say no lab really knows for sure whether the drug is safe or not. All we know is there is a valid argument on both sides that this drug could or could not be lethal. Would you be OK with allowing this kind of Russian roulette game go on as the president? Would you say that since you don’t know if the drug is really killing people or not, that we should continue to use it? How is that not a pro-death stance?

I heard both men profess Christ as their Savior, and I heard both men stress the need to stand against the innocent killings in places such as Darfur and Rwanda. I heard both men say that 150 million orphaned children need a home, and that this great nation must rise for the oppressed. But, I also heard both men agree that evil exists. What greater evil can there be than the holocaust of 46 million innocent children in our nation alone?

Our prayer:
Oh Lord, we repent. We repent for the lack of tears, the lack of shouts, the lack of passion, and most of all, the lack of vigilant prayer for the unborn. Revive this land, Lord. We are a desperate people in need of you. We pray for our leaders, both present and future. Break their hearts for the things than break Yours. We don’t need a king, Lord, we already have one. You are it. We need You.

You are loved, John Samuel Krieger

Yesterday baby John hadn’t been moving the usual way he had been in the past few days. His punches and kicks had subsided quite a bit. My doctor has me counting 10 kicks within two hours each night. A few nights ago, there weren’t really kicks but subtle movements. I remember the doctor telling me to call if I ever didn’t feel much going on.

This is strange, I thought. I told Jeremiah and he got a little worried as well so we called my doctor. The doctor said he didn’t think anything was wrong and not to panic, but to come in anyway and get a biophysical exam. Jeremiah was quiet and thinking about things the whole time as we waited. He was so nervous.

They did an ultrasound and he was moving and I caught another glimpse of his precious little face. He had grown and matured so much. I really fell in love getting to see him again and everything was absolutely perfect with little John. The doctor said his movements will change now as he is running out of room and that his head has dropped into position, so the movements may different now as well. We were very thankful to hear this. My doctor also told me he would have been mad if I didn’t call about it. I was glad about that too because I didn’t just want to go in to go in for nothing.

So we are at ease now and if anything, we are more excited for John to enter the world in approx. two months. I also forgot to officially post that we are naming our baby, John. He has been named after Jeremiah’s father. Life was pretty hard at times for Jeremiah growing up due to several things, but he wanted his dad to know that despite anything, he loves him and there is favor towards him. We chose to honor his name in this way. We are also delighted that the name John is strong and is a biblical name. Samuel comes from the fact that we liked the way it flowed and that it’s like my name: Sam-antha.

the meaning of JOHN– Hebrew for “God is Gracious”  SAMUEL– Hebrew for “God heard” ; “requested of God”

LeadNow & Fusion 2008

I’m getting really excited about our LeadNow and Fusion events coming up in November here in Dallas. It will be here before we know it! This year is different than any other year because we’re giving leaders the opportunity to host a simulcast at their church or attend a simulcast at a location close to them. This definitely helps with gas prices and the way the economy is functioning as a whole right now.

These events are for you if you’re a leader of twenties and thirties and if you are in your twenties and thirties. I can’t think of a better place to grow in my relationship with God and others- learning under great leaders like Erwin McManus, Matt Chandler, Margaret Feinberg, Francis Chan, and my very own pastor, Todd Wagner. I can’t wait to show the promo DVD to my small group and other friends. Baby John will probably be about one month old then so I am hoping we can have a little outing together, if possible. He’ll get to have some early exposure to some great people.

You can visit Rightnow.org for way more information than I will post here. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have questions about these events and I can direct you to the right person here at Bluefish/The Rightnow Campaign. I really hope you will take advantage of this opportunity- especially my twenties and thirties readers!

The Sacred Echo in Crested Butte, Colorado

This past week our crew filmed The Sacred Echo DVD in breathtaking Crested Butte, Colorado. The Sacred Echo DVD is based off Margaret Feinberg’s new book, The Sacred Echo. I was able to read her book a few weeks ago to begin brainstorming story ideas for the project. I was really touched by her stories, the way she uses Scripture, and most of all her heart for Jesus.

During the filming, our crew put in long hours, sweated in the heat and froze with the cold, as Margaret said. She even said she has 30 mosquito bites to prove they were really in the middle of nowhere. They shot scenes with waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers, and the beauty of God’s creation was their backdrop. I can’t wait to see the final project.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be seeking out people for specific stories that intertwine with the themes addressed in The Sacred Echo. Check in for updates on The Sacred Echo DVD release at Bluefishtv.com.

What a Pillow!

On my lunch break today, my co-workers, Cheli and Dustin and I were talking about sleep patterns and how good it is to be on the same sleep schedule as your husband/wife. Then Cheli starts to inquire about what it’s like for me sleeping being prego. I told her that generally they don’t recommend sleeping on your stomach or back, but rather on your side. I explained how I strattle several pillows to make sleeping with a baby in my belly more comfortable at night (those of you who’ve been prego understand).

Then… they brought up these special kind of pillows that people buy. I couldn’t believe the idea of them. I had never heard of them. So, when I actually saw what they looked like, I just couldn’t stop laughing. I was sitting in my chair laughing (out loud. At work).

Am I the only one who has never seen these? Do any of you out there own these? Husbands? Wives? Singles? (Just between you and me… would you get one for yourself?)

Memories in Mackinac Island

Jeremiah and I just returned from our vacation/babymoon in Mackinac Island in Michigan. This trip was sandwiched in between two baby showers given by Jeremiah’s family, a trip to Lake Michigan to see the gorgeous Dunes, and staying with his Uncle Rick and Aunt Sue and their kids. This was truly a special trip for us and it was great to get away from the busy life we lead here in Dallas.

The time we had alone, just him and I on the island was such a gift. He surprised me with a charming suite at the Inn at Stonecliff- a tucked away inn on the northern side of the island. We took a horse and buggy up to the inn and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the green, lush lawn with the inn in the distance. We stayed at their summer house.

Every meal we had on the island was superb (and the service was great). We rode bikes (several miles) right on the road near the coast, visited the historic sites, watched sunsets, played crochet, ate fudge and icecream (Mackinac is known for their fudge), spent time relaxing at the library right on the water, ate more fudge and icecream, and did what normal married couples do. 🙂 Most of all, it was a wonderful time of bonding in our marriage and realizing this would be one of our last vacations, just him and I.  All along, we had prayed the Lord would really bless the time we had and He did above and beyond that.

I’m so thankful for the ability to travel and see God’s creation. Michigan is such a beautiful place in the summer (I can’t say I love the winters there). Mackinac was a little treasure for us. Jeremiah blew me away with that gift and more and more, I am amazed that God has given me the gift I have in Jeremiah. He’s a leader, takes initiative, adores his wife, cares for people, is a man of integrity, is consistent, makes me laugh, talks to his soon-to-be-born son, and most of all- seeks to know Jesus with all his heart. I know not every woman has this in a husband, and all I can say is that it’s solely God’s grace on my life.

Mt. Elbrus & The Last Well

It’s not every day that I run into a bunch of guys who are willing to risk their lives by climbing one of the tallest mountains in Europe. But their their purpose behind climbing the mountain is what gave them greater hope and motivation. Their purpose inspired me in what it means to help someone who doesn’t have access to such a critical need.

Chad Madden, one of our producers was one of those guys, along with Todd Phillips who works with us regularly with our resources and at our Fusion and LeadNow events.

Chad shares his account of Elbrus:
I was asked earlier this year if I’d be willing to film a group of climbers attempting to summit Mount Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe at 18,500 ft.  Of course this meant I would have to climb the mountain as well, otherwise all the shots would just be of the group walking away from me, which isn’t good video.
 
I grew up in Houston, which couldn’t be flatter, and I now live in Dallas, which is, well, flat.  The last time I remember even climbing a hill was in elementary school, when I went to Colorado with a friend and his family.  We woke up one morning and looked out a window and decided we’d climb the nearest mountain (it was just a hill, but to 6th graders it looked like a mountain).  We made it to the top and planted a flag (a burlap bag with my name on it that my mom sent for dirty laundry) at the top, which probably was a federal offense or something, littering in a state park.
 
All that to say, I was woefully underqualified to climb a mountain.  But I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I said yes.
 
The group I went with was climbing to raise money for 
The Last Well, a movement to provide clean water to the entire nation of Liberia in the name of Christ.  Weird, climbing a mountain to raise money for water, at least that’s what I thought, but it’s funny how much you think about water on the mountain.  Staying hydrated is about the most important thing up there. That and not falling off the mountain. Or being eaten by a Yeti (we actually met someone looking for him/it?).
 
What seemed at first to be a strange connection turned out to be, I think, a great idea.  Basically, these guys took something they loved to do and found a way to help people while doing it.  They already had to pay for the trip, it could have just been a mountain climb, but by using it to raise money for clean water, it connected them to something bigger, it gave them a greater sense of purpose, and I think ultimately it made the journey much more satisfying.  And the non-mountaineering video guy survived without losing any fingers or toes, which was also quite satisfying.

At the end of the trip, Chad filmed teaching segments from Todd Phillips to be used in an upcoming series on leadership. I really enjoyed hearing Chad tell his story this past week especially how he didn’t struggle with altitude sickness like the majority of the crew. I’m not sure how I would handle the mountain. Maybe I would get sick, maybe whine or complain but I hope that I would be thinking about the people in Liberia more than anything. That is certainly what kept these guys going forward.


Youth Series’ off to the Press

This past week, our production team just finished reviewing and editing the DVD’s and leaders guides for the new 2009 Youth Ministry kit that will release August 1. After all the editing and reviewing, the kit is now off to the press. A lot of filming, producing, graphics, and writing went into the series so to celebrate Brian treated our entire team to some good Mexican food!

The 2009 Youth Ministry kit includes teaching from Marcus Goodloe, Sean McDowell, and David Nasser. Marcus Goodloe and Sean McDowell’s teaching was filmed in LA and David Nasser’s was filmed in Rome. All three of these leaders are extremely gifted and they really meet youth where they’re at.

This will actually be our third year working with David Nasser. Having the opportunity to go to Rome and film David’s teaching was a life-changing experience for our crew. David always had wanted to teach on the life of Paul in Rome as well so it worked out perfectly.

In the next few posts, I’ll be writing on what I learned in writing the Paul in Rome series alongside of David Nassser’s teaching. God really spoke to me about a lot of things as I was researching, reading, and writing the series. I’ve learned truths I’ve never seen before in a whole new light. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Our prayer is that all of these series will truly impact this generation of youth and that they will be challenged to live out their faith radically in a culture that is in desperate need of Jesus Christ.

Page 42 of 47« First...102030...4041424344...Last »