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Dec 18
You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

December. The last month of the year that seems to pass like a whirlwind. People are running around at break neck speed to find the perfect gift in hopes of receiving the perfect gift in return. It is also the time of year we are encouraged more than any other time to give to those less fortunate. We become explicitly aware of those who are unable to celebrate the holidays with their family, or purchase gifts to place under the tree, or may not even able to purchase a tree. The world monopolizes this time of year to promote their product/business for self gratification.

But what have we, the People of God done to encourage and bring light and hope to others during this season. Have we followed suit of the world's agenda with regard to "giving to others"? Have we misconstrued the idea of "passing it forward"? No, we may not directly receive kickbacks for our "acts of generosity", but how do we react? Do we take this opportunity to exploit the less fortunate by posting our good deeds on various facets of social media for all of our "friends" and family to see? Do churches volunteer to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or house the homeless so they can brag on church websites and Facebook pages to show up their "brother" at another church? When did acts of generosity actually become acts of self gratification?

I am not against any of these things. We as the People of God are called to give, feed, clothe, and house. But who cares if no one else knows about it? When God robed himself in flesh and came to this world, He came as the lowliest of low, FOR the lowliest of low. There were no parades, parties, or even masses of people following to see this precious baby in a manger. So why don't we follow Jesus' example as instructed in His Word? I challenge you all to give generously this year, but without the hype of recognition. Give selflessly. Give anonymously. Share the gift of Christ's love genuinely.


Dec 22

The season of giving is fast approaching. Maybe you are already involved in the hustle and bustle, making sure you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Or perhaps you're leaving hints here and there to make sure you receive the perfect gift ;). Either way, this time of year seems to not only bring joy, but also a bit of stress - the shopping, the cooking, the decorating, all of which are part of the fun and festivities, but all of which can overwhelm the easiest of schedules. With all of the busyness of this wonderful time of year, I encourage all of us to reflect on the important things.

As I look over the past year, I realize how truly blessed I am. Several times recently, I've been asked for a Christmas wish list. Each time, my answer is the same, "I really don't have one." I'm not in dire need of anything in particular, which is a huge blessing. But even in this stance, I find myself occasionally getting caught in the excitement of receiving the "perfect" gift. Hmmm... maybe money, clothes, a new watch, purse, a puppy, or perhaps a new car. However, I remind myself that I have chosen to celebrate the Christmas season with a different approach. This year, maybe you'd like to join with me. How about we make it our responsibility to receive the perfect gift.

Through scripture, we learn that God chose a pure and willing vessel named Mary to give birth to the greatest and most perfect gift of all, love through Jesus Christ. Why not open ourselves with willingness and prayerfulness during this giving season for Jesus to be born in us! Let us make our heart His Bethlehem. May He shape us into something new and incredible. And above all else, let His light and love shine through us to the broken and to those bound in darkness. May God's gift to us be received without reservation, and may the time we have set aside to celebrate this marvelous gift of love through Jesus Christ bring hope and cheer. And may HIS Christmas story speak through us all!

Dec 24

Well, as one of my favorite carols states, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  That time of favorite time of year is already here!  I love this time of year so much because all around there are constant reminders to love, share, care, and give.  It is a time of year for families to grow closer and create precious memories that will last forever.

I love spending the holidays with my family.  We have such a fantastic time together!  We eat waaaaayy too much food, play all sorts of games, sing, laugh, and just simply "be" together.  I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am and my heart is so full.

The joy of the Lord surrounds this season, and we as believers and followers of the King should embrace every opportunity we have to spread the joy.  Never forget the reason for this season.  Christ came so that "we may have life and have it more abundantly."  So GO!!  Love, share, care, give, and make wonderful memories!  Wishing you all a very blessed and merry CHRISTmas!

Nov 30

A chill was in the air this past Saturday as Christmas Downtown kicked off its festivities in West Monroe.  As Hayley Masters and her band filled the lighted streets with music, young and old alike stopped by the main stage in Antique Alley to escape the hustle and bustle.  'Twas absolutely fabulous!

Nov 29

Here are a few pics of Hayley recording her new hit Christmas single, "O Holy Night"!

Nov 25

YAY! I am super excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas being right around the corner! All the preparations are so exciting! Among all the Christmas program practices, decorating the house, cooking more food than we will EVER be able to eat, the FREEZING cold weather, and the Christmas lights everywhere, it's really starting to feel like the 'happy holidays'. This is also such a great time for friends and family to come together.

This past weekend a few friends came into town, and we went to the ULM campus and took soooo many pictures by the Christmas lights. The lights were so pretty, and we had a bucket load of fun! Here are just a few of the pics we took... ENJOY!

Hayley ;)