Showing posts from 2015

Giving Thanks

Tis the season of thankfulness and giving. This time of the year brings out the thankful side of everyone as we all gather around a dinner table and enjoy good food and good company. Why does it seem like this is the only time people express their thankfulness? Sure, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what God has blessed and provided us with but should that stop just because Thanksgiving is over? "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God."  -2 Corinthians 9:11-12 When you are generous to God's people, you are expressing your thankfulness to God. While you are gathering around a table this year, think about all the ways you can be generous to all of God's people all year round! Your generosity never goes un

Scarier than Halloween

"Nassarah." In Arabic, this means "Christian." To mark homes and businesses of known Christians, the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) spray-paints the Arabic letter "N" as they threaten an ultimatum: convert to Islam or residents will pay the price. The Arabic letter "N" in red I cannot help but recall that there was a similar situation in Nazi Germany. Men, women, and children forced to wear yellow stars upon their clothes...tattoos with their serial to an "uncertain" death. Or perhaps another one in the American South. Unfit outhouses deep in mud with the sign "Colored." It is true that history repeats itself. Christianity is the most persecuted religious group worldwide, likely because it is the largest. However, on average, 322 Christians are killed each month for their faith somewhere in the world. (Source: Open Doors USA) Beyond death, Christians globally face mutilation, rape, beatings, tor

Let the Fall Cooking Begin!

Happy Fall!! I love October and just the fall season in general. The weather becomes cooler, I get to bust out my scarves, and hot beverages abound. The other thing I love about fall…. All the tasty treats! I absolutely love to cook, and baking… ahhh… baking is my therapy! I thought since the kitchen is such a huge part of my life, I would share some of my favorite fall recipes with my SAO sisters, friends and family! First up, Crockpot Applesauce! I wish I could take full credit for this one, but I found it on (side note, if you haven’t already, you need to check her website out!!) Put this easy peasy recipe together and enjoy an amazing smelling kitchen that will rival your favorite fall candle! Crock Pot Applesauce 8 medium apples (Use a combination of Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.) 1 strips of lemon peel - use a vegetable peeler 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 3 inch cinnamon stick 5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) - or agave P

The Top Ten Best Things About Fall

It's that magical time of the year again!  Here in Alabama we just had our first night below 70 degrees since who knows how long, and let me just tell you.... it was ah-mazing!  A breath of fresh air!  A relief, after our long and oppressive summer heat.   I'm told it will not last long, that we will be back up over 90 in the next few days.  But, man.  It was great while it lasted, and I can't wait for the days coming up.  The ones where each morning greets you with a cold, swift peck on the check.  I'll try to be patient.  I woke up on Saturday morning with my sweet baby girl, brewed some coffee (out of necessity more than anything else), and went on a walk with our dog, Oliver.  There was a light breeze, Cora and I were both clad in long sleeves and pants, and we just strolled around for a bit taking it all in.  This is the good stuff.  This must be what the Lord intended when he said, "There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink a

The Real Teal.... to me

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month- a month when SAO sisters everywhere paint their nails, wear teal shirts, and bake teal cupcakes.  This year our theme is The Real Teal.  I (Meghan) chose this theme because to me, cancer is real .  And not real pretty colors or real yummy desserts. But real pain, real  fear, real loss. Back in 2012, my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor that turned out to be a glioblastoma,  a very aggressive brain cancer.  It had a 25% five year survival rate, and a rapidly decreasing percentage after those 5 years.  On my trips home from college on weekends, I saw my strong, beautiful mother rapidly decline due to the chemo and radiation treatments. I saw her lose the ability to walk on her own, eat on her own, and eventually even sit up on her own.  I sat by her even when she was forgetting who I was, who my dad was.  I listened as she became frustrated being unable to speak a coherent sentence. At the end of February, three short months after bein

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” - Esther 4:14

The story of Esther is a famous one that has been recounted everywhere from Sunday school classes to the Hollywood big screen over and over again.  The sort-of Reader’s Digest version is that an orphan girl from no means finds favor with the King and ultimately saves her people from mass genocide.  But there is more to Esther’s than just that, right?  I mean there are only two books of the bible that are named after women:  Ruth and Esther.  So we have to ask ourselves what it must be that makes these women so worthy.   Ruth’s story can be summed up in a sentence  as well:  A woman’s husband dies, she follows her elderly mother in law to a foreign land where she finds favor with a wealthy land owner and ultimately becomes something like the 28-times great grandmother of Jesus.  The obvious commonalities in these two women’s stories are that they are both displaced from their homes, they both find favor with wealthy, powerful men- but risk their lives in doing so. These women stood i

Ideas to Inspire

TOP TEN IDEAS FOR 2015-16 YEAR! AUGUST Move-In to Recruit... Take the opportunity to lend a helping hand to incoming freshmen and their folks by standing outside dorms on move-in day offering bottled water or your own "brawn" to get items up stairs and set up. Do this while wearing a shirt advertising SAO Christian Sorority and your chapter's recruitment and contact info on the back. Great way to serve AND advertise!  TIP: Don't have enough money as a chapter to order shirts? Order at our Teespring campaign by July 20th! SEPTEMBER Let the walk do the talk... Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is September. Our chapters participate in events taking place once per week and one monthly to spread awareness for this disease and its symptoms to their campuses and communities. One fun way our sisters can advertise OCA is by wearing it on their feet! Teal Toes, a non-profit OCA group, asks women to paint their toe nails teal in an effort to start awareness conv

Some Words of Wisdom

As some of you already know, I used to be a high school English teacher. One thing I really enjoyed during that time was my ability to be a positive impact directly in the lives of students. When a colleague decided to put together a "Girl's Night Out" for the young women of our school to enrich them through mind and body, I was excited to join in. While I really just guided groups from classroom to classroom, I was able to put a smile on a few faces and take away a little bit of advice for myself. In the Orangery (Girl Reading) Charles Edward Perugini (1839-1918) One of the things I brought home was a print-out taken from Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican author and Bestseller. While he is not a Christian but a "spiritualist," he expresses some universal truths that we know are sound because they are truths we also read in Scripture. (I have supplied some references along with his text below.) These truths, from one of his books, The Four Agreements , (I haven&#

Cinderella: The Risk of Being Who You Really Are

Recently I turned twenty-seven years old, and my mom took me out to see the movie "Cinderella" on my birthday.  It was part of the day of festivities of my special day that I spent with my parents, the two people who have truly taught me to be myself and to never let obstacles come in my way.  Cinderella is my mom’s and my favorite Disney movie of all times.   There is something about this story of such an ordinary girl having her dreams come true in such a big way, that is inspiring and encouraging.   The idea of that chase for what we believe in and achieving our dreams is so very exciting.   I am such a sucker for “chick-flicks,” but this one seems extra special for some reason. So as my mom picked me up on my birthdays morning, she unveiled that we were going to see Cinderella.   I was beyond excited as I looked forward to seeing this animated fairy tale “come to life” on the big screen.   I will add that I shed a few tears throughout the movie, but I was left wi

Dear Valentine,

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace... Isaiah 54:10 Dear Valentine, I promise to love you before you are born and long after you die. I promise to watch over you as you sleep and as you face both the joys and tragedies of each day. I promise to raise you up when you fall, and teach you to sing a new song. I promise to show you beauty through a morning sunrise, a cool drink of water, and the milestones of your life. I promise to see you as a work of art that I will never be able to put down. I promise to mold you into something greater than you expected and always see you for who you are and not who you think you are. I promise to always love you so much that I would take your place and your guilt and shame all over again. I promise that I have conquered death over you and share with you my triumph in a new name as a co-heir with me. I promise to catch you with open arms and chase away t
Have you ever looked back on your MySpace account?  All the random surveys on the bulletin board, your top 8, your choice of song to play on your profile page?  And then there's those of us who had Xanga.  For all you youngins, that was a blog site that existed before MySpace.  Unfortunately I still remember my login information for it and recently went back to read my posts from the Xanga days.  Wow.  How I still have friends from that era of my life is beyond me. Embarrassing. Thankfully, we don't look back on our questionable social media days to pick our friends.  To join SAO, you did not have to give up your MySpace password so the sisters could read the poems you posted as your notes (Oh, is that just me?). We've learned to move past all that. Yet how many times do we question our standing with God because of our past?  How many times do we limit ourselves from pursuing positions He puts in front of us because we think, "You don't know who I was before.  

What Will Be Your Story of 2015?

      There is something so refreshing about a new year.  I love to reflect on the past year and reflect on what I will accomplish in the new year.  This time last year I really thought a lot about what I wanted to do, and what I hadn’t made time for in my life.  I guess you could say I was beginning to create my “bucket list” of trips to make and people to visit.  One thing really stuck out to me, and that was to make a visit to a truly special friend.  And guess what!  I made it happen and it truly is one of my favorite memories of 2014.       Miss Jenny is one special woman that I will always look up to in my life.  She was my Children’s Minister who baptized me on Father’s Day on June 21, 1998 at Northside Christian Church.  She taught me what it meant to be selfless and to love the Lord with all my heart.  I remember her always running around on Sundays hugging the kids that may have had runny noses, or just painted with finger paint, but she did not care how “dirty” it