Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2007 America World Adoption Agency Louisiana Family Reunion

We went to Audubon Park in New Orleans for the 2007 AWAA Louisiana Family Reunion. We had over a dozen families that have adopted and several that are waiting, in the middle of the adoption process. We had families from North Louisiana and even a family from Mississippi. Check out some shots:

More Mother's Day Photos

Jada and my mom at the Jambalaya Splash Park.

Jada at the park.

Jada playing well with others.

My 2 beauties.

We stopped by the park for pictures after Sunday service. We went home got her bathing suit, picked up my mom and let Jada play for the afternoon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I was just thinking about the moms in my life over the weekend and realized exactly how blessed I am. I though it was appropriate to honor the wonderful women in my life and wish them a belated Happy Mother's Day.

I look back on my upbringing as I hear some stories of other people's experience and I realize the importance of my mom in my life. I had the awesome experience of being raised by wonderful parents, which included a stay at home mom. While dad was busting his rump as a self employed entrepreneur, mom held it down at the house. She chased after 3 boys, kept us fed, cleaned the house, did the laundry and whatever else was necessary to maintain the household. And from what I remember, did it all with a smile on her face with a great attitude. Ever faithful, she was an integral part in my walk of faith. Both her and dad were active in church. She was in the choir and thankfully, she comes from a family of musicians. I haven't tapped that potential to the fullest, but I like sitting with my guitar and strum with my limited abilities.

As far as my mother in law, well, I'm the envy of all my coworkers each time I talk about this way or that way that she has been a blessing to us. Brandi's mom is simply a giver. Her love language is gift giving and mine happens to be gift receiving. She's the kind of mother in law that you have to argue with to pay a diner bill if you go eat with her. She's the kind that you have to be very careful about saying that you like or want something. Cuz in a few days, if you go visit her, she'll hand you a bag on your way out filled with a couple things you said you like or wanted. The best part of my mother in law was that she was an integral part of building the character and value system of my wonderful wife.

As for Brandi, I feel like a king whenever I read Proverbs 31. We've been together since October of 1989, and we've simply grown up together. I love everything about her and how God has created her. Over 17 years, I've come to better understand God's definition of love. I'm encouraged that we've grown through ALL the things we have gone through. I know alot of times we get discouraged because of issues we go through in a marriage; issues that EVERY MARRIAGE goes through. But, I look back at all our valleys and lows and I am VERY encouraged. I know now that it is IN the valleys and the lows that we define who we are, what we believe and what we are made of, but most importantly, Who we trust, rely on and believe in while we walk through these issues. I hear, through case studies of marital problems or testimonies of marital problems on internet forums, that many women go through things and for whatever reason, don't make it through these problems. I know there are hurting people out there and sometimes, during a tough season, many people lose their marriage or turn from God as a result of the pressure and disappointment.

The #1 reason my love for Brandi continues to grow even today is NOT because we haven't been through anything, but, because we HAVE been through alot and she hangs on to God, she hangs on to me and she never stops fighting. She's a fighter. Brandi comes from a broken home and statistically, she was supposedly "at risk" for all the dangers that children from broken homes face. But, because of the faith and values that her mother provided and she received, she's an honors graduate from high school, she's an LSU graduate with a 4.0 in her major, she's a Certified Public Accountant who landed a job out of college with one of the five largest Accounting Firms in the world. All that was just a springboard or a way to train herself up for her current job of serving on staff of Healing Place Church in the finance department, serving the Kingdom of God.

Her professional resume is impressive. But, its not what I've fallen in love with for the last 17+ years. I've fallen in love with her heart, her love for God, her unfailing trust in Jesus and the spirit that God has blessed her with. All that other stuff is just icing on the cake.

Happy Mother's Day to the mothers in my life. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. Your value is more precious than rubies!

P.S. I was looking at Jada last night and all of a sudden I thought about Jada's biological mother. Wow, what a sacrifice! I'm blown away that Brandi and I are the recipients of the joy and blessing of what may have been the hardest decision she could have made. Does she think about Jada? Does she miss or mourn for Jada? I still can't be angry at her. I know they may not celebrate Mother's Day in China, but I sure do wish her a Happy Mother's Day. I pray that she comes to know a peace that her daughter is treasured here in our home and I pray that she has a peace about her decision.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shout Out to Ouachita Parish High School Seniors

I don't know about you guys, but I'm secure enough to admit that this was the last thing on my mind as a highschool senior.

I believe this is a great story. Please read and share.

"In Jesus' Name!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jada at Jambalaya Water Park

Decided to take Jada to Gonzales' Jambalaya Water Park today. This place is FREE and its very nice. Something the citizens of Gonzales need to be proud of.

Here's Jada getting used to the water. She was hesitant at first, but it didn't take long.

This is what I was waiting for, and it didn't take long. Curious little 2 year old. I could have warned her, but we wouldn't have this funny video if I did that, would we?

More of Jada running around sticking her head in the water.

Again, more Jada running around with the other kids.

And this is when we know its time to go home: its our version of the turkey popper! I forgot to put Jada's swimmer's diapers on. If you add enough water, that gel will bust out of the diaper. Tune in tomorrow to see if its bad for Jack Russel Terriers to injest said diaper gel.....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

More Jada Vids: Dancing & Flips

Brandi taught Jada to do a front roll or a flip. She's catching on pretty quick.

Jada has taken on her own little language. We tried to catch her in the act with a hidden camera, but we got busted.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I reviewed my blog and sort of evaluated the direction it was going and I discovered that I may need to do some clarification.

I want to ensure everyone who visits our blog that we haven't become obsessed with money. We have become obsessed with helping ourselves and others get from under the weight of debt and help people achieve financial peace however THEY define that.

We don't believe that tithes and offerings ENSURE an abundance of financial gain. We believe that tithes and offerings, given by a CHEERFUL giver and according to what God leads each of us individually to give, will bring us contentment, peace and help transform us into the very image of Christ, the Ultimate Giver.

Philippians 4:11-12, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (NIV)

Money is amoral. It has no morals. Money takes on the moral and character of that who possesses it. We believe that it's not a annual income that makes us content or makes our lives acceptable to God. We believe its a state of mind and state of heart that makes us content. The evidence of this spiritual truth is this: Many poor people AND many millionaires and everyone in between file for bankruptcy. No matter how much resources they have, they don't have the ability to manage or steward it responsibly.

Also, depression and unhappiness does not stay away from the rich man's door, the poor man's door or anyone in between. It isn't what you HAVE that defines your joy or contentment. It's WHO you are trusting and following to direct you in HOW you manage or steward your resources. It's WHO you are relying on for the source of your joy and contentment.

Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (NIV)

When we try to help people, we do not try to get them to a certain annual income and we don't judge them on how little or how much they make. We want to help people achieve financial peace WHERE EVER they are. We know we need to be just like Jesus and help people change their hearts, not their income. We prefer CONTENTMENT over CASH and PEACE over financial POSITION.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Latest pics of Jada & Family

Some shots of us & Jada at a friend's wedding shower. Thanks to Candace Mula for the wonderful shots.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Volunteers Needed

At Financial Counselor Training last week, they challenged us to counsel with someone at least 10 days from our graduation. So, we are looking for a couple of families or individuals locally in the Baton Rouge/Ascension Parish area who would like to get some help with their personal finances. You could be in some crisis, on the verge of bankruptcy, repossession, or foreclosure. Or maybe you just want to get out of debt and get freed from all that mess. Or maybe you just want some help to take a snap shot of your personal financial situation and maybe see if there is anything that you are missing.

I have enable my comment moderation feature, so if you would like to volunteer to help us get our Financial Counseling ministry kicked off just leave a comment with your contact information (email or phone #) and we'll get in touch and delete your comment so your contact information will not be on the blog.

Looking forward to serving you guys and helping you on your way to "Financial Peace."