Friday, July 25, 2014

IDENTITY

As I've grown older, I've come to realize that my identity is not found in what I do. Not found in whether I work or stay home (or both). Not found in whether my house is clean or messy. Not found in how I dress up or dress down. Not found in my hair style, my marriage, my motherhood. Not found in my weight or size or shape. Not found in my devoutness to spiritual disciplines even.

No. My identity is found purely in Christ. It is He who has covered me with his sacrificial blood who determines my identity and worth. He says I am beautifully and wonderfully made. He says I am worth sacrificing for. He says that He has a plan for me, a purpose. He says I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. He says I am loved and worth loving. My identity is Christ.

Identity is very important to a person. It shows us who we are and points us in the direction of where we go and who we are to become. On August 1, a television series will help point people in the direction of their identity. Please read on below in this press release:

Nashville, TN (July 22, 2014) – City of Peace, the company behind the upcoming Ray Liotta-Ashley Judd film THE IDENTICAL, is launching a groundbreaking new series of television specials this August focused on helping viewers discover and live out their identity in Christ.

A co-production of Gray Media, in:ciite Media and City of Peace Films, THE IDENTITY SERIES will air Aug. 1-Sept. 5 on some of the most popular secular and Christian television networks in the country, including . ABC Family, CMT, Lifetime, Discovery Channel, TBN, Daystar, The Word Network, INSP and TCT.

Each half-hour episode will feature a prominent Christian leader speaking before an audience about a key aspect of what it means to follow God’s call on your life. Among those appearing in the series are best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado; Lifechurch.tv founder Craig Groeschel; Australian pastor and activist Christine Caine; Bishop George Bloomer of the Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, N.C.; and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. 

Also featured are Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore; Mike Breaux, pastor of Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas; Miles McPherson, pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego; author Lisa Harper; author Holly Wagner; Bil Cornelius, pastor of Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, Texas; Raleigh Washington, president of Promise Keepers; David Nasser, pastor of Christ City Church in Birmingham, Ala.; and best-selling author Lee Strobel.

"Once we understand our identity, it's natural for us to want to talk with others about what God has done in our life,” Strobel explained. “I call this 'the unexpected adventure,' because you never know what opportunity might come up to have a spiritual conversation that could change someone's life and eternity. I hope my segment encourages and equips people for these kind of interactions." 

The television series was created to support the nationwide release of the film THE IDENTICAL, coming to theaters Sept. 5. Though the film is not overt in its Christian messaging, City of Peace hopes the content-focused series draws the audience into the themes presented in the film. 

“THE IDENTICAL is not religious; it’s where people are living right now,” said Yochanan Marcellino, president and CEO of City of Peace Films. “It was always imagined to be a movie both for the masses and for Christians.” 

Each episode of THE IDENTITY SERIES will feature content – much of it exclusive – from THE IDENTICAL. The film, about the son (newcomer Blake Rayne) of a preacher (played by Liotta) who feels a calling to pursue a music career, not follow in his father’s pastoral footsteps, touches on some of the very themes explored in THE IDENTITY SERIES. 

“Our IDENTITY SERIES brings relevancy to the modern churchgoer,” Marcellino explained, “by elevating the movie's core truth, that Jesus Christ alone can answer the question we all ask ourselves: Who am I and what am I here for?"

One of the truly groundbreaking aspects of the series is that churches have the opportunity to gain access to streaming versions of all 13 episodes to broadcast during services. All they need to do is commit to purchasing group tickets for THE IDENTICAL. More information on group tickets for the film, and details about the series itself, including broadcast schedules, can be found at http://www.theidentityseries.com

Chris Thomason, president and CEO of in:ciite media, said the time is right for THE IDENTITY series in the church – and society at large.

“The subject of our ‘identity’ is widespread in culture from ‘identity theft to ‘social media and online profiles,’ he said. “We are all inundated with this theme of ‘who we are.’ As we created the concept for this series, it was obvious that some of the most well-known and respected Christian leaders and pastors are speaking directly to this relevant subject in our lives.

“We believe it is unprecedented to gather the caliber and breadth of leaders who are participating in this broadcast series in one place around this one theme,” Thomason added. “We at in:ciite are honored to be a part of this remarkable opportunity in association with THE IDENTICAL film to connect this content and speakers to an awesome film that will resonate with audiences of all types.”

About City of Peace Films

City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films includes, but is not limited to, the following list of creative services: major physical and digital distribution, record production, artist management, artist development, music publishing, song development, art direction, graphic design, website development, music video production, film production and film development. City of Peace Media also consults in the following strategic areas: marketing plan development, public relations planning, radio promotion, publicity, advertising, touring and name branding.

The primary focus of City of Peace Media and City of Peace Films is to provide a framework where music, films and video with “redeeming value” can be developed, produced and distributed worldwide, bringing a message of hope, love and encouragement to this generation.

About Gray Media
Gray Media is a full-service marketing, PR, and media-buying agency that specializes in reaching the faith and family audience. Placing TV programs in over 200 countries worldwide, Gray Media represents some of the largest and most popular TV ministries in the world - including T.D. Jakes, Bill Winston, and Samuel Rodriguez.

About in:ciite nedia
In 2005 a group of like minded leaders gathered around a mission statement and launched in:ciite media.

THIS MISSION: “Helping build God’s Kingdom by creating remarkable experiences through media products and events that are culturally and spiritually relevant”.

Everything we do is filtered through our mission and executed with a team of creative and innovative people with over 20 years of experience and success in production, product development, marketing, and live event production.

Driven by this mission in:ciite has developed music, video, film, and video curriculum products distributed worldwide by partnering with some of the most well known artists, authors, ministries, and book publishers. These partnerships and products have also led us to launch an innovative simulcast event division, in:cast events (incastevents.com) which has become the leading resource for ministry simulcasts to churches worldwide.

THE FORMULA: INDELIBLE + CREATIVE + INNOVATIVE + IMPACTFUL + TECHNOLOGICAL + EXPERIENCES = in:ciite

SIMPLY…..We have a passion for bridging the gap between ideas and the delivery of remarkable experiences through products and events that are helping build God’s kingdom.



I don't have cable so I hope this is shown online somewhere because I think it sounds interesting. I hope you'll all tune in to help discover what your identity is. Or rather Who.

Disclaimer: I was shown this press release and asked to share it with my readers. No compensation was given for this post.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My husband only reads my blog once a year

That day is on his birthday, which is today. So I like to leave him a little love letter. Here it goes: 

I am so blessed to be called your wife. You cook, clean, take care of bills and cars, play with the boys (take them camping and fishing and for walks and bike rides), love me even when I'm not lovable, you lead us toward the Lord, you make each day special. I love you.


I don't care what your facial hair looks like or how awfully you match (or don't) any more than you care my body size or about my stretch marks. I love you for who you are, not what you look like. Although, I like your outside, too (those eyes have been my favorite focal point for almost 10 years now). 


You are the quintessential family man: you love your sons - playing Legos, assistant coaching t-ball, passing on your love of Husker football. You love your nieces and nephew, even showing them your awesome tricks on the trampoline. And you love me, taking the time on your day off to come to my job to read to the littles. The only thing I dislike is that I always end up looking lopsided in pictures because I hold the bigger of our sons - what's up with that?

You love God, too. I love when you read me out of your devotional and tell me what you're learning. I love going over Sunday school material with you. I love to pray with you; it's never often enough, of course. And I love learning to love you better each year.


So happy birthday, my love. You are the best.
Lovely

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

our busiest time of the year

I'm not a fan of being busy but it seems to slip into my life unbeknownst to me. Thankfully, this July hasn't been nearly as busy as past ones. However, we still have birthdays to celebrate (Moose - 1, Squirt - 10, Big A - 24) so there's always some hustle in our bustle this time of the year. Here are some pictures of our birthday celebrations for the kiddos.


First up: Moose's birthday. I've been buying the boys a balloon from Dollar General for a few years. They kind of end up with the same kinds of balloons because the selection is...small. But they don't care! Squirt was disappointed I didn't put streamers over their doorway to break open this year. Oops.



On the days of the birth, I made them pancakes. I even made a 7 and 5 on their respective days.


Instead of a picnic playdate this year, we invited one friend to lunch. Moose chose his friend E to have lunch. Then they played in the sprinkler, watched a tv show, painted faces, played Don't Break the Ice. Then we ended up staying at her house for a few hours, me chatting with her mom and sister. Very great.



I love this picture. What a handsome little guy.


My painting skills are about this good. Squirt as Batman. I didn't get a picture of E and I don't paint Moose's face because he rubs it off in 5 seconds.


Next up: Squirt turned 5. Yes, that's the same balloon that Moose had...well, same kind. 2 balloons, both Spider-man. DG is lacking in the superhero balloon department.


Miss B came and had lunch at the park with us! Then we played for awhile and ended up at her house for awhile. Her family is lots of fun with 5 kids.


Big A & I had a good time at lunch together until he had to go back to work. Jeez, it's like he loves his job or needs to pay bills or something.



On Moose's birthday we had chocolate chip banana bread. For Squirt I made something similar but more in cookie form. Both only semi-healthy. The boys love it if there's an inkling of chocolate in it.



On to the big ol' party!!! I drew this Emmet by hand from only looking online. Woo! If you know my lack of artistic skills, this would impress you. It was used for Pin the Piece of Resistance on Emmet's back. If you haven't seen The Lego Movie, this makes no sense and you should see the movie because it's awesome.


My homemade pinata! I love Emmet's face! Wouldn't you look like that if a bunch of 2-7 year olds were going to whack you?!



This cake frosting was amazing (except the black which is always disgusting because of too much food coloring) except the color was separating from the frosting so if you look too close it's kind of gross-looking. However, Emmet came out just fine for me.


My niece playing Pin the Piece of Resistance on Emmet's Back. I think pin the... games are fun for littles this age. My pictures are taken by Moose so excuse any fuzziness.


Hamburgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese (homemade), mashed potato salad (via The Pioneer Woman), juice, and chips. That makes a great birthday dinner.



After lunch we headed outside for the pinata. We had nothing to hang it from so we precariously hung it from the bottom of our trampoline. It worked just fine. However, my pinata was a little tougher than I thought it'd be (seriously, I used a broken box I taped together with Scotch tape...these kids need more muscles).


Squirt started us off, followed by Moose (below).








Then Grandpa A took out his pocket knife and made us a few holes to help the kids out. It really didn't help them. LOL



After this hit, Big A tore it open with his hands and out came the candy! Yum! It was funny the kids really didn't go after all the candy, so the moms helped out.



I love singing happy birthday is one of my favorite parts of birthdays. I usually sing it a few times to them on their birthdays and then the big finale when we do the cake on the birthday party day.



After everyone had left, my dad, Grandpa R, helped Big A to put in a new light fixture in our kitchen. It's nice having someone who knows electrician-y stuff around!! Except we need a step stool rather than balancing on our barstools.





The boys got a slip n' slide for their birthday! I had to don my bathing suit and show them how to do it (ouch) but they sure had fun!




Neither goes on their belly - Moose goes on his hands & knees and Squirt goes on his bottom or like below (doesn't that look painful?!). Fun!


Next up is Big A's birthday this Thursday. He turns 3-0 but instead of throwing a big shindig like I want to (it's not about me!), we're having some of our dear friends over for supper. I'm totally excited!

Monday, July 21, 2014

summer lovin' - had me a blast!

Summer is winding down (although we still have a whole month including a vacation!), so I thought I should share some of our highlights into June.


Big A finally shaved in May (he'd been growing this beast - I mean, beard - since October). He did not shave it for me, although I'd told him I was growing tired of it. I never minded it, I just missed his face. Isn't it a lovely face?




We grew Duck Dynasty fever in a trip to Wal-mart with my parents. I think I should grow a beard.
Yes? No?



This kid makes a cute Scooby-Doo and if I can bribe his big brother, these will be our family costumes this Halloween. However, Moose insists he's going to be Spiderman again (not sure if Spiderman will fit though...).


Moose lost 4 teeth. The bottom two and the top two. Some of the words he says are just precious without teeth. And he can now whistle.




Squirt passed level 1 and 2 in swimming lessons. He did great!



Moose learned to swim across the pool the short way and sort of to dive. They'll both be in level 3 next year.


I made a few more superhero masks for Squirt. The top is Kid Flash (from Tiny Titans comic books) and the bottom is a different Wolverine. I'm surprised he hasn't asked for a new Wolverine shirt to match.




Big A surprised us with a spontaneous trip to the Omaha Zoo! Love that place! We picked a day that threatened rain but only a few sprinkles rained on this parade. The rest of the day was a nice day - not even too hot!




Then we stayed the night in Lincoln so we could have lunch with my big sister and her husband. Loved getting to see her!




I love this family!


We spent some time at Sycamore Springs nearby for a day of mini-golf, roller skating, and walking around and good food for Big A's part of the company party. It was a lot of fun!


And falling more in love with this almost 30-year-old. Isn't he handsome?! I picked well. :)

I hope you're having a good summer. If I can be praying for you in any way, please leave a note in the comments or email me at sclubmama (at) gmail (dot) com.

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