Friday, January 23, 2009

Security Alert: We Have a Gate Breach

Christian kept his mommy on her toes today!

While I'm working during the day, Christian is free to explore the upstairs world. He's got his favorite spots, and I know what noises come from those spots - toys that talk, cabinets that slam, book pages that turn. The moment I hear an unusual noise of any kind, I spring into action to see what the lil' guy is doing.

Today Christian was very self-entertaining ... and wasn't at all interested in being in my office with me. I would check on him frequently, and all was well.

And then I heard a noise that doesn't belong upstairs. I jumped up to discover the source of the noise, only to find the gate at the top of the stairs was wide open. We keep it closed with velcro, and I had not heard the sound of velcro ripping apart (the velcro has become worn over time ... guess its time for new velcro).

I stood there - heart racing - thinking "What the ..." and then I heard that noise again and it occurred to me: Christian is DOWNSTAIRS playing with his toys!

My nearly-15 month old child had crawled down the three segments of stairs all by himself - and without incident! (Like most small children, he loves the stairs - but we are always by his side when he's on them, because all it takes is for Christian to be distracted for one moment, and he'll fall down, down, down ...).

I walked back to my office to get something, and headed back down to get Christian ... only to find he was halfway up the stairs again.

Later on, I discovered he's learned how to get up on the couch. I walked into the room to find him on the couch, peering over the side.

So that now makes a chair, a couch and the stairs that he's conquered. And he's still not walking. I guess climbing is more important than walking right now! :)

The Week of Philippians ... and Thermometers vs. Thermostats

Earlier this week, Jonathan sent me scripture to pass along to friends who are going through a hard time:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Philippians 4:8
In my post about Kurt Warner below, this scripture came to mind:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13
This past Sunday at church was the final sermon in a series from the Book of Philippians. The topic was about Paul being content and how we all should be content.

Lo and behold, in today's weekly e-mail from Skip Heitzig (, was this message about Paul and his message to the Philippians that I want to share with you, our blog readers. Considering the many times the Book of Philippians has entered my life this week, I would be remiss if I didn't share Skip's e-mail:

Dear Connection Friend,

I've noticed that the world is filled with two kinds of people: those who are like thermometers and those who are like thermostats. The "thermostats" regulate their surroundings, staying steady so that the environment does not control them. On the other hand, the "thermometers" change with the situation, going up or down emotionally and spiritually depending upon the circumstances.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather be a thermostat like the Apostle Paul. He had bad weeks, good weeks, times of prosperity, and times of poverty. His environment was always in flux. Yet, instead of rising and falling with the state of his outward conditions, he was inwardly steadfast.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:11-13).

What was the secret to Paul's consistency in good times and bad? Contentment. It's a good lesson for all of us. Unfortunately, contentment is not something we're born with. As Paul said, contentment is something we must learn. And that lesson comes through the happenings and hardships, the ups and downs of life.

Paul was a man who had experienced many ups and downs in his life. He was born of excellent lineage, given an outstanding education, was a leader among the Jewish elite, and was a Roman citizen. However, after his conversion to Christianity, he was forced to flee several towns, attacked by mobs, shipwrecked, and imprisoned for his faith. Truly, Paul had experienced many highs and lows in his life.

So how did he survive the trials and spread the good news of the gospel? He said it clearly, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I love it that he didn't say, "some things" or "a few things." He said, "all things." The bottom line is simple: Christ in us strengthens us to do everything He calls us to do. Jesus won't abandon us in the hard times; He'll walk with us through them. We can find great contentment in that truth.

What about you? Has life turned up the heat? Are you responding like a thermometer, going hot or cold depending on the circumstances? Or are you allowing Christ to consistently regulate your life? This week, let Jesus be your thermostat. When things get hot, remember to say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kurt Warner Gives Glory Where Glory is Due

I admit, I'm typically not a sports fan ... not until its a "big game" and there is an underdog playing. I always root for the underdog. And the Arizona Cardinals have been the underdog for 60+ years. So naturally, as a new Arizona resident I (we) watched yesterday's NFC Championship game.

By now ya'll know that Arizona won the game and is headed to the Super Bowl for the first time since their inception in 1898 (yes, that's right ... they are the oldest football franchise out there).

If you follow football, you probably know that the quarterback, Kurt Warner, is a Christian and is not shy about making public statements about his faith.

In case you missed this little statement Kurt Warner made after the game, here it is:

"… everybody is gonna get tired of hearing this, but I never get tired of saying
it: there is one reason that I'm standing up on stage today. That's because of
my Lord up above. I gotta say thanks to Jesus …"
Since I don't know much about Kurt Warner, I was surprised - and thrilled - to hear this statement. Jonathan was around the corner with the baby and I called out to him, "Did you hear what he just SAID!??!" It brought tears to my eyes!

In looking for this video online, I came across some people who say they are tired of hearing Kurt Warner constantly praising Jesus. Some criticize Kurt Warner for not acknowledging his own talent that brings him these achievements.

But, if you are a Christian yourself, you understand exactly where Kurt Warner stands: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13 (which, by coincidence -or not - is actually a verse the pastor at discussed at church today!)

The Lord has given Kurt Warner talent and a voice that reaches millions of people on a day like today ... and should the Cardinals win on Super Bowl Sunday, millions more around the world will hear his profession that he is a follower of Christ. God knows what He's doing ... and He uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary: He uses a football player to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I came across a blogger who also commented about Kurt's statement yesterday. He wrote

... you can’t always tell a true Christian when they
give God thanks for their success, but you can always
tell a true Christian when they give Jesus thanks for their success.

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals won the Luceros as fans last night! What a game ... and what a guy ... and what a God we have!

Onto Super Bowl Sunday ... go get 'em, Cardinals!