Shaunna Jennings McNatt, 1975 – 2014

8 Jul

ShaunnaSweet friend,

I remember the first time I met you. Cancer had already inserted itself into your life, yet you never broke your stride. You fearlessly forged ahead, taking on more projects and responsibilities than most “healthy” people I know.

I remember the first time we went to lunch. You admitted you faced periods of utter exhaustion and uncertainty, but for the sake of your children you never let it show. You always seemed upbeat, positive, and concerned about the wellbeing of others.

What a privilege to know you. I will hold every moment we shared forever in my heart. The only thing bigger than the void you have left is your legacy. The only comfort to be found is in the certainty of this – you are snug in the arms of your Savior.

You will be sorely missed until I see you again in glory. May this poem bring the rest of us peace as we wait to be reunited with you and all of our loved ones.

In sadness and blessed hope,

Rebecca

From Jesus to Us: Death, From Heaven’s Perspective

It’s time to set your burdens down;

Exchange your pain for a crown.

Your work is done, your toil through…

The angels are awaiting you…

Those who’ve gone before in death, are waiting now with baited breath.

Death is not the end you see, you’ve only just begun.

You’ve kept the faith, you’ve fought the fight, your battle now is won.

It’s time to gather your reward, your treasure now awaits;

Leave this world of tears and strife, and enter through my gates.

Pain cannot exist here; not darkness, only light –

Your body is eternal, your robes are sparkling white…

A mansion has been built for you; your treasure will not rust;

Leave your earthly tent down here, and let it turn to dust.

Yes, you’re leaving some behind, and they will mourn and grieve;

Trust Me that I’m with them too, and to them I will cleave.

It’s time to follow Me now child, but this is not the end.

It’s time to enter into to rest.  Well done, My faithful friend.

Funeral Services for Shaunna: (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ The Model Plane

10 Jun

Genesis 5:1 – This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. ~NASB

photo (2)I looked down at the pile of screws, nuts, and round things, and sighed. A model airplane kit for his seventh birthday. This can’t be for a seven year old, I thought to myself, and looked at the box. Yep, ages 7+.

“Nick, are you sure you don’t want to wait until Daddy is done working on his car?”

A pair of big, beautiful, woeful brown eyes looked up at me. The brows furrowed and the lip quivered, but it didn’t matter. The eyes were my undoing.

“Okay sweetie, hand Mommy the directions.”

The two of us sat side-by-side, Nick in his element, me nowhere near mine. My son already had the first few pieces we needed; now it was time to build.

Slowly, methodically, we turned screws and attached round things. Proud of our work, I held it up and said, “Look Nick, we did it!”

An engineer in the making, Nick looked at the picture and looked at…whatever it was I had made. “Mommy,” he wailed, “you did it backwards!”

Backwards, indeed. Undo screws and round things. Start over from scratch.

At that moment my husband, fixer of all things big and small, walked in to check our progress.

“Okay Nick, I need a round thing, a square thing, and a little screw. No, not that one. The big square thing.”

“That’s also called a bolt,” he said cheerfully, as he strode to our work-space. “Here buddy, let me take a look.” (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ Cool Moms

24 Apr

Proverbs 31:25 – Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. ~ESV

Mom 2My mom was not cool.

Not at all. Not one little bit. Not even close.

Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a wonderful person. She is funny, witty, and smart. She is generous, compassionate, and gentle. She gives objective, balanced advice, a well-blended cocktail of truth and love.

My mom met my dad in college and they married shortly after graduation. I came along five years later, the first of three daughters, so she set aside her masters’ degree and teaching career so her children could have a stay-at-home mom.

I have a deep appreciation for my mother. That being said, she was not my buddy, and she was not cool.

Recently, my on-air co-host (90.9 KCBI) Jeff Taylor, posted a question to our listeners:

“When you think about the world your kids are growing up in, what concerns you?”

I knew well in advance we would be talking about this, so I had plenty of time to formulate a response.

My number one concern for our children today is cool moms.

When did it become okay to follow the trends our kids are setting?

Case in point #1, the selfie. Two years ago, it was considered obnoxious and narcissistic to post a picture of oneself on social media. It was something our teenagers did on instagram, and we, as adults, collectively shook our heads and sighed.

Some of the recent selfies I’ve seen on Facebook – by moms: “Bored in the carpool lane,” “Dramatic eye make-up, whatcha think?” and “New outfit, feeling cute!”

As moms, we must understand that we hold more influence in our daughters’ lives than anyone else. The goal is to train them, guiding them to be gracious, intelligent, caring, and compassionate hard-workers. I want my daughter to love Jesus first and others second. I want her to hold herself in high regard and walk with dignity.

My heart breaks for the woman who needs to be propped up by the comments and “likes” of people she may scarcely know on Facebook.

Case in point #2, following their lead. Sisters, we do not need to impress our children by “speaking their lingo.” Shorty shorts with the pockets hanging out and spaghetti straps are not appropriate for six-year-olds, sixteen-year-olds, or sixty-year-olds. Our daughters don’t need mani-pedi partners, they need moms. And moms who sound like a Disney Channel sitcom aren’t cute.

They are, however, guiding the next generation of leaders.

The question is what are they guiding them into?

My sweet eight-year-old orbits me. She wants to do what I do. She says what I say. She tries on my dresses and teeters around in my shoes. I have a tremendous, God-ordained duty to love her well and provide her with a godly role model.Reb and Caitlyn

And that means we’re not friends.

It means she has firm boundaries that are not crossed.

It means we have showdowns that sometimes end with her stomping down the hall to her room in an angry huff.

It also means we have sweet conversations about wisdom. I explain to her that, just as God knows more than I do and therefore doesn’t give me everything I want, mom has been around the block a few times and loves her enough to make tough decisions on her behalf.

Like a family cell-phone instead of her own, not just now but for many years to come. Bedroom doors as privileges, not rights. Tablet devices charging overnight in our room, and heavily restricted usage terms. No unsupervised computer time, ever.

Caitlyn doesn’t get to do everything her friends do. She still uses a car-seat booster, because the law says she needs to; a point of contention, because she has classmates half her size who don’t.

Sorry, honey. I love you too much to bend on this. I will sacrifice my status in your eyes for your safety any day of the week.

Nope, I’m not a cool mom. My daughter is not my friend. Her long-term character is far more important to me than her approval. My speech, my clothing, and my behavior toward others, in life and on social media, must be a reflection of who I want her to become.

If they can’t look up to us, moms, who will they look up to? #HollywoodAintCuttingIt

Proverbs 31:26-30 – 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. ~NIV

 

Today’s Bread ~ The Day I Met Beth Moore

26 Feb

Mark 6:34 – When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.

Beth-MooreIt was the year 2000. I was a DJ at 99.5 The Wolf in Dallas, Texas. My life was all about good friends, good times, and good wine. I had money, things, and a cool loft in Uptown. I also had a secret.

I was absolutely miserable.

One day a co-worker invited me to her church.

I will never forget that day.

I stood there, tears streaming down my face as my friend lifted her hands and sang. I was right where God wanted me: broken, empty, and defeated. With nowhere to turn but up, I rededicated my life to Christ.

Soon church once a week wasn’t enough, so I investigated Bible studies. Having never attended one, I wasn’t sure where to start, so I asked the girl at the information desk for suggestions.

“Have you ever done one of Beth Moore’s studies?”

Beth who?

“Um, no. Is she good?”

“Oh, you’ll love her! The class starts next week, so let’s get you signed up.”

I filled out a form, gave her my check, and three days later walked timidly into my very first Bible study -“A Heart Like His: Seeking the Heart of God Through a Study of David.”

Not sure what to do, I walked up to the petite brunette who seemed to be in charge.

“Excuse me, are you Beth Moore?”

How sweet of her, not to ridicule me. The girl, named Tianne, smiled as she introduced herself.

“The Bible study is a video,” she kindly explained. “Trust me, you’ll really like it.”

I didn’t just like it.

I was absolutely blown away.

Fourteen years later, I serve as a morning show co-host on a Christian radio station. I am a frustrated wanna-be-seminary student.  I read commentaries and concordances for fun, and get grumpy when I don’t have my “quiet-time” with Jesus.

I totally blame Beth Moore.

Fast forward to February 21st, 2014.

My friend Amanda and I loaded up her SUV and turned south on I-45 to Houston.

Destination: Women of Faith (WOF).

Speakers: Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, and Christine Caine.

Because I work at 90.9 KCBI, the WOF organizers promised me credentials and backstage access to interview the speakers between presentations. Having chatted on-air with Sheila, Priscilla, and Lisa, I was hoping for a quick “hello” and a picture.

We picked up our tickets at will-call, only to discover we had no media passes.

Undaunted, I texted the backstage coordinator (thanks for your help, Dawn) to see if interviews were a possibility.

Everything fell through.

In all honesty, I was fine with it. This wasn’t a rock concert, it was a ministry event. These women were not there to make much of themselves; they were there to make much of God and His Word. We were there, and that was enough.

Or was it?

The next morning we were forty-five minutes into the first session when I decided to try one last time.

Dawn texted me back immediately with the following: “Meet me to left of stage (by camera operator) at the break. We can try for a pic during break with whoever is around. Key is getting to this spot super quick at break. Talent moves quick.”

Say no more.

“Amen” had scarcely left Lisa Harper’s lips when Amanda and I shot out of our seats like a bullet. We made it to stage left at breakneck speed only to discover that Dawn was right. Talent moves quick.

A stern looking gentleman moved swiftly in front of us as we attempted to get their attention.

“Do you have media passes?”

“Um, well, Dawn told me to meet her here to speak to Sheila and Lisa, so…” My voice trailed off uncertainly as I looked to Amanda for help. Finding none, I looked back at the man.

“They have to head to make-up, because this is only a thirty-minute break.”

With that, he turned and strode off.

Amanda and I looked at each other.

“Come on,” I whispered, “and let’s try to look like we’re supposed to be here.”

After a winding series of turns we found ourselves in large sitting room. I spotted Sheila Walsh over by the corner. Sheila Walsh

“Sheila!”

She graciously took a picture with us before hurrying off to reapply her make-up.

Amanda and I looked around. We were clearly out of place. Everyone else was quietly chatting or snacking from the buffet line, and there we stood, credentials conspicuously absent.

We knew Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper, and Christine Caine were signing books, so we turned to leave.

That’s when I saw a flash of blond. (more…)

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