Friday, February 24, 2017

A Real Hero

There are many songs, books, t-shirts, quotes - well lots of stuff- that are all about Heroes.  Most people claim to have one in life.  Many are famous people or people who are very accomplished in their career.  Some have heroes who are considered "unsung" because they have gone unrecognized for their contribution and/or bravery.  According to Webster's the definition of hero is - a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. : a person who is greatly admired. : the chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.

I heard a real hero speak over the weekend.  You may have heard of her although many have not.  Her name is Gracia Burnham.  You can read about her story HERE! I was excited about the Voice of Martyrs Conference was coming to my church! My husband and I signed up to attend.  Then I heard that Gracia Burnham was coming.  Several things came up the week before and it would have been understandable (and easy) for me to back out of attending. The Lord prompted my heart that Mike and I needed to be at the conference.  

I enjoyed every single speaker.  The Lord taught me so much about those who suffer and are persecuted for their faith.  The Lord convicted me greatly of how I do not pray often enough for my brothers and sisters in the faith who risk their life to live for Jesus.  The Lord gently convicted me I don't thank Him often enough for the freedom I have been given to safely worship and live for Him.  It was oh so encouraging to hear reports from those who work in hard places all over this great big world of how many are accepting Jesus.  It was encouraging to know that even though the "news" reports of so many bad things that the Light is shining bright! 

I discovered that Gracia Burnham would be speaking at a local church the next evening.  I wanted to hear more.  The most impressive thing about Gracia sharing her story is that she has an amazing ability to use her experiences to challenge and encourage her listeners in the places they may be at the moment.  

Gracia was a missionary serving in the Philippines who was taken hostage (along with her husband, Martin) in 2001.  They remained in captivity for over a year.  Captivity ended after a gun battle where the Philippines military attempted to rescue the hostages.  Unfortunately, Martin died in that gun battle and although Gracia was wounded, she survived.  I am currently reading her book In The Presence of My Enemies!  I also have purchased To Fly Again  and can't wait to read it! 

Here are some things Gracia shared that are great reminders and encouragement to all believers...

  • In every situation, if you look, there is good because there is God.  He has not abandoned you! 
  • Pray for those who spitefully use you. 
  • Ask God to help your attitude toward your enemies.  
  • Change is hard and as Mark Twain said - the only person who likes change is a wet baby! 
  • We can decide to trust ourselves or trust God. 
  • Do not hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your heart's door. 
  • God takes us in hard situations not to crush us but to show us He is good. 
  • Keep planting even when you don't see fruit. 
  • Maybe you are in a dark place due to no fault of your own or totally your fault....maybe you are there to praise Him in that dark place.  
  • God has not abandoned you.  He may have you in this "special" place so you can Praise Him- the one who can take you through any trial.  Simply Praise Him where you are.  
Gracia Burnham / Tara Waldrop 

I was thoroughly blessed by hearing of Gracia's experiences and have her speak into my life!  I highly encourage you if you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak - GO!  Don't let anything stand in your way.  And in the mean time - read her books! 

Much Love! 
Mrs. Tara  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Creator

This morning I heard a song for the very first time ....Creator by Yancy!  The words rushed over me and reminded me what an incredible Creator we have in Jesus!

The post on Facebook by Yancy encouraged it is "a great song for dedication, first birthday or any day of the year!"

Will you take a few minutes and listen to this song and praise the Creator who fearfully and wonderfully made you?  This song is found on Yancy's Roots for the Journey CD.



Creator (Listen to the song here) 
Provided to YouTube by Syntax Distribution Creator · Yancy · Yancy Roots for the Journey ℗ 2013 Dried Rose Music Released on: 2013-05-21 Mixer: Stephen Leiwe.

Today is a great day to Praise Him- wherever you are and whatever situation you are in....He is worthy to be praised and He is good ...All the time!  Amen?
Much Love!
Mrs. Tara




Monday, December 8, 2014

Journey to Bethlehem


I am excited for a special upcoming night at church.  Families from our church and community will have the opportunity to step back in time.  Each participant will begin in our sanctuary with our Co-Pastors leading in "setting the stage" for what they are about to experience.  Then they will begin their journey for their family to take part in the census.  They will then enter in the marketplace area and experience the different shops to barter and buy for all your family needs.

Then they will step outside to try and find a room in the inn.  However, because there is no room they will be offered space among the animals.  Participants can interact with the animals before they come to the manger where baby Jesus was born.

Families will then have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas cookies and drinks together as they come back inside the church.   It is our pray this night will provide many opportunities for teachable moments about the greatest gift ever given - Jesus!

Join us on December 17th!  Please sign up online for a time for you and your family to take part in this incredible experience - Sign Up Here!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Trusting God

Today started X-Play at our church.  It is a fun week where children get to pick different tracks (like animal lovers, creative cooking, rainbow loom, etc.) and experience some of their favorite things or for some try brand new things.

We are using the new Zip for kids! curriculum for part of X-Play  Which by the way kudos to Lifeway for this incredible help in planning.  I've been doing a day camp type thing for over 15 years and finally something that can help us with this fun week.  If you haven't tried it you should.  And no I don't get anything for saying that- no free stuff, no kickback- nada, nothing.  But what you will get is some great tools to assist you!  By the way it is not just for day camps but you can use it in a variety of settings.  Click here to go learn more!


So one of my main reasons for blogging today - is I decided to show the kids how I would trust in God.  I showed the video that comes with Zip today- it is an intro video and they followed up in Bible Study.  The video shows a kid named Matthew who is afraid to jump off the diving board at his community pool.  He decided that he could face his fear and trust God to help with overcoming this fear.  So I told the kids of my silly but real fear.  I am almost a little embarrassed to even write what I am afraid of ...........but here goes.... I am afraid of frogs.  I have never touched one or held one but I told them if someone would bring one tomorrow I would face my fear and hold it.  Now I am sitting in my office while they are having fun in tracks- thinking what in the world was I thinking.  Now tomorrow if Austin really does bring a frog- I have to hold it.  Yikes!  I don't know why I am fearful of something so small that can't harm me but I am .
What is something you fear?  Are you trusting God today with it?  
Although my fear of frogs is a silly fear there are other things I seriously fear.  I am thankful for a God who is trustworthy.  I am thankful for the fear of things like being accepted, fitting in, walking through a sickness, etc. that God is right there with each of us.  He wants us to trust Him with the silly and small things to the big and serious things in our lives.  
So back to this fear of frog thing.....
I hope he is a nice frog.  Tune in tomorrow for pictures and possibly a video of me and a new friend! 

Much Love! 
Mrs. Tara 



Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

I am sure you all have heard about making a bucket list.  When you Google bucket list the definition you will find is - a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.   Adults may have even seen the 2007 movie, The Bucket List, where two terminally ill men (played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) go on a road trip to do the things they wanted to do before they died (kicked the bucket).  I personally haven't seen the movie but according to the online "urban dictionary" this movie made the term popular.  Well not just the term but people actually making a bucket list increased.  I haven't personally made a bucket list but would like to do so.  

I have the privilege to facilitate a group of moms who meet monthly.  The speakers, topics, crafts, etc. are varied.  As I began to prepare for our May meeting, I looked for activities I might tell our moms about as they began to plan for their kiddos summer.  I was able to tell them about lots of things - reading clubs, cheap movies, parks, where to pick berries, etc.  It was a great time of sharing ideas.  However, in my preparation I came across the blog The Happy Family Movement .  It was full of different families summer bucket lists.  I began to print out and copy some of them to share with our moms.  Well, I got a little copy crazy and realized I had better stop or I would be responsible for the elimination of a small tree with all the paper I was using!  At that time their 2014 Summer Bucket info was not posted- but good news- it is now.  I sat and read for a while (a long while) all the lists posted.  It is fun to get ideas from other families and also see some of the fun things they have available in their corner of the world.  I also enjoyed seeing all the ways some of them posted them for the summer- on chalkboards, pennants they hung, creative bulletin boards, charts, lists, etc.  

On that May day I challenged our moms to begin to make their Summer Family Bucket List.  I did however ask them not to complete their list.  I asked them to allow their family to join together and all add something.  I understand that sometimes it can be scary to ask your kids what is something they want to do during the summer.  However, they may surprise you.  Often times you may be afraid they are going to ask for that trip to Disney or the beach that you know is not in the budget this summer.  When you begin sharing as a family your kids just may surprise you.  They may want something really simple.  Something you know your family can easily achieve - a campfire, a family bike ride, flying a kite, going to a local park, etc.  They may still ask for that destination you know you can not check off this summer but you can turn that into a positive as well.  This can be a teachable moment when you share that your family can begin to save for that special destination.  If so, make a special bank or decorate a jar to begin saving.  

Along the Summer Family Bucket List journey, remember to document the memories being made.  Display pictures and souvenirs in a prominent place in your home.   I realize some of those souvenirs may not go with your decor.  Especially if your son or daughter has collected rocks all summer because that is what they wanted on the Bucket List.  But when you do give their souvenir (or collection) a prominent place in your home, you are speaking volumes to your child.  You have just told them what they care about is important to you.  

So a few weeks ago, our moms started bucket lists for the summer.  I did too.  I don't have children in my home so I collaborated with my husband to finalize our Summer Bucket List.    Listed below is our list.  I encourage you to make one too- it is not too late.  Many consider Memorial Day what kicks off summer, so it has just started!   I also created a Facebook page to post things your family plans to do (with information about where, when, how much, etc.) so others can learn about as well.  In the beginning I planned on it being a page for our area- but quickly realized others were joining outside our area as well.  I am excited about that because we can learn things to do not only in Cleveland, Tennessee  but many, many other places as well.  Take a moment and "like" the FBC Summer Bucket List Adventures page please!  Also please post pictures and information about your family's adventures!  

I also encourage you to check out The Happy Family Movement's resource page- this year there are facebook groups, pinterest boards, guides, sponsors, etc.  

Waldrop's Summer Bucket List 2014

Go to an outdoor movie 
Build a fire and make Smores 
Picnic at White Water Center 
Make Homemade Ice Cream 
Fly a Kite 
Watch the Stars 
Go to a Lavender farm 
Geocache 
Pass out treats to neighbors 
Plant a container garden 
Visit Point Park 
Mike take Tara Fishing 
Go to the Farmer's Market for produce 
Swim at least every 2 weeks at parents / in-laws 


Looking forward to seeing and hearing about the things you do together - things that will create memories.  And memories last a lifetime! 
Much Love, 
Mrs. Tara
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lessons from the Lunch Room

During the second semester of each school year I have the incredible privilege to visit my young friends from church at lunch.  I love seeing them in their environment and with their peers.  I have decided to blog each week with what I learn from these visits.  I have had the privilege to have 3 of these lunches so far (two in public schools and one lunch at the church for homeschool kiddos).  The snow has my schedule a little off.  I always take my lunch.  From my best recollection I almost always took my lunch as a kid too.  I know at one point I had a strawberry shortcake lunch box.  It probably looked something like this:
 
 
Lunch boxes are very different now.  I will have to try and take some pictures of lunch boxes.  I sure wish I still had my metal lunchboxes because I hear they are worth a lot of money now.  However, I am so sentimental I would most likely never be able to part with them. 
 
 

Here are some lessons I have learned so far this year:
  1. Google can not be trusted for directions- instead of taking me to South Polk Elementary the directions took me to Benton Elementary. 
  2. When you are lost the school secretary is your best friend!
  3. Some children you think are quiet and shy will really open up when you spend one on one time with them at the guest table. 
  4. As I met one child for lunch (after she had been through the lunch line) she had purchased her an ice cream but also purchased one for me! I loved having a push pop - it had been a long time since I had eaten one.  More than anything I loved the kindness she displayed. 
  5. Homeschoolers loves being able to get together for special outings.  (and so do their parents!)
  6. Some of our schools have unbelievable diversity.  As I sat with 4 young men at lunch- 3 of them knew 2 languages and one knew 3 languages.  The languages they knew were English, Spanish, Arabic and Filipino.  
Lesson number 6 was perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned so far.  Why?  It was a great lesson perhaps a reminder, of the many nationalities that live in Bradley County.  You may wonder about what the importance of this fact.   The opportunity to share Christ among our neighbors in our city and county is far reaching.  Among those who may never leave Bradley County are people who will leave.  Some will move to different places within the United States.  There are also many who will leave this great nation and return to their homeland. 

This lesson reminded me I need to be about telling others about Christ and facilitating ministries that can reach children for Christ.  It will have a great impact on our country as well as many others.  My Co-Pastor Jim often says - we can reach the world for Christ from Bradley County.  So very true.   

It also reminded me it starts with my physical neighbors.  Do you know your neighbors?  This is something I need to be more intentional about because I do not know all my neighbors. 

Lessons often bring challenges.  I am challenged and am asking God to help me in these areas.  How is HE challenging you today?


Much Love!
Mrs. Tara




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stressed Out?


Deadlines, volunteer spots to fill, leader training, Fall kick off, meetings, new Family Check in procedures,  new kid's ministry schedule........just to name a few things that are occupying my time these days.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I commented to a friend tonight- All the things we are encountering God knows we can handle.  Can you imagine the things that we are never faced with because He knows it is way too much?  It reminds me that all the things on my plate right now I can handle and conquer in and through Him!

Glad I can rest in Him and place all my worries (STRESS) at His feet.  Working diligently to accomplish many tasks.  Will you take a moment and pray that our church staff would follow His steps as we are preparing for some exciting things in the life of our church?

Personally you can pray for the following for me and the Children's Ministry:

  • I will listen and follow God in leading the Children's Ministry 
  • God would continue to bring together the two teams for Kid's Church  
  • Volunteers that are needed for weekly, monthly and quarterly positions would be filled with people ready to teach children how to love Jesus with their whole heart (Discovery Zone, Kid's Church and AWANA) 
  • Pray God will help me be faithful to follow up and discipleship with children who accept Christ 
  • Pray God will help me launch a new Neighbor to Neighbor Ministry this fall 
  • Pray that on a personal level that I am diligent and faithful in my quiet time 
  • Ask God to help Mike and I to continually strengthen our marriage
  • And on one last personal note- pray for me as I try to continually work on eating dinner home more (because I've cooked) rather than eat out..... I keep telling myself  = "The crockpot is my FRIEND!"  As you pray that prayer for me (I am serious too!), I am asking if the Lord reminds of you of a quick and easy recipe or crockpot recipe to please send it my way! 
Thankful His love and mercy are new every single day! 
Thankful I know He loves me! 

Much Love! 
Mrs. Tara