Friday, May 27, 2011

Congratulations, CLASS OF 2011!

Well, it’s high school graduation day for many. I love this time of year. New beginnings are everywhere. Naturally, it takes me back to my high school graduation. There were only 6 of us – 3 boys, 3 girls. (I went to Christian school, in case you’re wondering…) What a sweet night that was! I felt so grown up. And I was. We all were. I cherish the memories of high school and college, too. Sure, there are some things that I’d like to forget. But most everything I remember about those years is wonderful. I made some great friends – friends that will always be in my life. We don’t see each other every day anymore. Actually, I do see one of my fellow high school graduates EVERY day. My husband! Josh and I had the privilege of attending 7th-12th grade and college together. We just couldn’t get enough, so we got hitched, too. AND we work at the same company, too. I tell you, we just can’t get enough! LOL 
Though I don’t see the other 4 every day, they are in my thoughts. I think back often to fun class periods and school trips we had together. Lots of extremely fond and funny memories.
One of my favorite songs is Rascal Flatts' My Wish. It sums up my thoughts and feelings for all of my school friends – both high school and college – and for those of you who are graduating in 2011. Here’s to you…

Friday, May 20, 2011

Listen to the Sound

Happy Friday, blog buddies! I love Fridays...and I LOVE music. So, since today is fave song Friday, it is only right that I share with you one of my new found favorite songs!
Building 429 is a Christian group that I really like. They have some fantastic music - great meaning in their songs.
Listen to the Sound is one of their new songs, and I am a HUGE fan.
You know, we all mess up sometimes. Every one of us has done something that we regret or said something we would like to take back. Maybe we've had something done to us that we think we will never overcome.
I think alot of teenagers today, in particular, feel that they can't be forgiven - they can't overcome their problems. They are stuck in this never ending cycle of mistakes.
GOOD NEWS! That type of attitude couldn't be further from the truth. Isn't it safe to say that the God who said "Be of good cheer - I have overcome THE WORLD!" is perfectly capable of rescuing us out of the pit of sin and lifting us up into a purpose-filled, successful, Christ-honoring life? ABSOLUTELY.
Friend, I don't care who you are, what you've done, where you've been - it really doesn't matter to me. And it certainly doesn't matter to God. He wants you. He loves you. He desires  a relationship with you.
Listen to the Sound talks about that hope we find in God. He is all the hope we need. And in the end, if we follow Him and His plan for our lives, that hope will be turned into reality.
Be happy; be encouraged - He has overcome the world. Pretty sure He can overcome your problems, too. Just ask Him!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Stone's Throw from Sane...

Well, bloggy buddies, sorry it has been so long since my last post. I didn't even get to do a favorite song Friday last week. Boo! It has been a hectic week in the Shackleford home. My sweet husband has been battling a kidney stone. This is his second one. The first he had four years ago, and it had to be broken up by laser. This one we are still - STILL - trying to pass. Please pray that he can pass that thing tonight. We are headed to the doctor tomorrow morning to see what he thinks is the next step if Josh hasn't passed it by then.

Also, I have been had a couple writing jobs lately, so that has been taking up some of my time. I am thankful for it, though! I enjoy writing advertising or human interest pieces, and that is what I have been doing lately on the side. For my most recent job I earned $100 plus a night stay and dinner at a beautiful Inn in Lewisburg, WV, about 1 hr away from us. Check it out and stay there if you ever have opportunity - it is fantastic all around! The food, the rooms, the service - everything is great! And it has a great history. Here's the link...

So, I will do my best to get a favorite song on here Friday! Check back for more blog posts, and tell your friends about "It's an Adventure!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

No, Never Alone

We have been in revival at our church this week with Bro. Dave Young and his family. What a blessing it has been! The Lord has spoken to my heart on many levels, and I am thankful for that. I don’t ever want to stop hearing from God.  
In addition to having some great evening services throughout the week, I have personally had some great devotional time alone with the Lord. How I wish I would’ve been more consistent with my devotional life during my teenage years! I feel I would be even closer to God now than I am if that had been the case. But, nevertheless, better late than never, right?
               This morning, the Lord laid something on my heart that I had never truly grasped. I have always prayed for my brother each day, but lately I have been praying even more fervently, as he is at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, going through BCT and AIT in the Army National Guard. I wrote him a letter yesterday and put some Bible verses on the back that I thought would encourage him. This morning, after my devotions I was thinking of more verses I could share. One popped in my mind: Hebrews 13:5b, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” What a fantastic verse! God is with us. Always.
               As I thought about that verse and thought about my brother, I was picturing him going about his day – doing his PT, going to the shooting range, etc. He had mentioned in his last letter that he needed to do better on his pushups. The military does those “special” pushups, ya know? He is struggling some with doing those properly. He also has to pass a shooting test to move on to the next phase of training. There is just so much he has to do, and it is difficult, no doubt!
               But as I thought of all this, I pictured him there with Jesus standing right by him. And isn’t that how it REALLY is? I feel that so often, as Christians, we fail to take God at His word. He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We know He has given us His Holy Spirit who dwells within us at all times. God didn’t lie, did He? NO! He is always right there - every moment of every day.
               So, as my brother is working hard, trying to get those pushups right, and the Drill Sergeants are standing over him, he is not all by himself. Jesus is right there, too. When he is practicing his shooting at the range, Jesus is right there by his side. When he is just standing in formation, he has a true battle buddy standing right next to him – Jesus! What better battle buddy can you have?
               Thinking of that encouraged me SO much. And when I share it with my brother as I write another letter to him, I think it will encourage him, too.
               Since it is “favorite song Friday,” I wanted to share the words to a hymn that I love. I think it fits right in with my post today. It was written by Ludie D. Pickett.

                                NEVER ALONE

I’ve seen the lightning flashing,
And heard the thunder roll,
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
Trying to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior,
Telling me still to fight on,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing,
Temptation’s sharp and keen,
I have a peace in knowing
My Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger,
When earthly friends are gone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

When in affliction’s valley
I’m treading the road of care,
My Savior helps me to carry
My cross when heavy to bear,
Though all around me is darkness,
Earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise,
“I never will leave thee alone.”

He died for me on the mountain,
For me they pierced His side,
For me He opened the fountain,
The crimson, cleansing tide;
For me He’s waiting in glory,
Seated upon His throne,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

No, never alone,
No, never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.