Raising Two ADVENTURERS to Love Jesus

Raising Two ADVENTURERS to Love Jesus

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#rogersfamilysummerbucketlist2016 {We did it!}

We completed our Summer Bucket List! The first few days of August allowed us to cram as much in as we possibly could!
 Playtime Pizza!
 Kilwins for Ice Cream!
 See a movie with the McConnell's!  {Ice Age}
 Watch the Olympics! (Not on the bucket list, but it played 24/7 on our TV for two weeks!

Remembering {Daddy Vell}

My grandfather went to his heavenly home at the age of 89.  I'm honored to have been his granddaughter.  He was a man of God, a leader, a fighter, our Daddy Vell.  I 'm thankful that my boys got to know their great-grandfather.  Below are some of my favorite pictures.  Beneath the pictures is a blog post that our dear friend, and preacher, Danny Dodd wrote about my grandfather.  I cherish these words.  Daddy Vell and Danny were the dearest of friends even though their friendship had only been for the past 4 1/2 years.  
The Power of an Ordinary Story

Ordinary is an interesting word. It was a word once used for some of Christ’s disciples (see Acts 4:13). It usually denotes “nothing special,” “average,” “normal.” Nothing to see here, so just keep moving on.

An ordinary story? I’ll pass. Give me the extra-ordinary; the dramatic; the one filled with exciting special affects; the tearjerkers. Those move the needle. Those create blockbusters and best sellers. Ordinary is just not interesting.

Until it is.

Until ordinary reveals something else.

Those Jesus followers in Acts 4 certainly were ordinary guys without any special pedigree, but yet there was something quite different about them.

What was it?

It was noted that they “had been with Jesus.” Jesus has a way of making ordinary interesting.

I am not sure that LaVelle Travis (L.T.) Blevins would ever be considered just ordinary, but his story has ordinary beginnings. Born during the Great Depression in the small backwater Arkansas delta community of Gordneck, L.T. grew up like so many others of his era—poor but happily surrounded by a loving family.

Again like thousands of his contemporaries, L.T. answered his nation’s call and served in the U.S. Navy during both WWII and the Korean conflict. He married his sweetheart, began a family, started a successful small business and worked diligently to provide and care for them. 

On the surface—this describes an ordinary life. It was the kind lived all across America. Yes, he lost his first wife too soon. He retired early to care for her. Later he had serious health concerns of his own from which he was not expected to survive. But really that is all fairly common. It is normal. L.T. Blevins? Not much interesting to see here, so let’s just keep moving on.

But before you do, I ask you to look a little closer. There is more to this ordinary story. Remember how I stated that Jesus has a way of making the ordinary interesting? If you spend any time around L.T. Blevins it becomes obvious. He has “been with Jesus.”

He just turned eighty-eight years old. The ever-present twinkle in his eye reveals a joyful soul shaped through the years by his relationship with Christ. He has this wonderful adventurous side that once led him to wrangle horses on the back lots of Hollywood movie westerns after WWII; ride across the country on a Harley knucklehead motorcycle; fly (and crash) without lessons or licenses in small planes; and physically build a lake house with his second wife, Kathleen, while in his seventies.  He has all kinds of extraordinary stories to share.  

But his most extraordinary stories are about being with Jesus. They are about his beloved Levy Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Arkansas; it’s beginnings; it’s growth; it’s ministry. He has been here through it all—serving as teacher, shepherd, cook, missionary, and everything in between.

Always here. Always faithful.

He reared his family here—now into their fourth generation. He carried the burden of leadership. He made personal and financial sacrifices for the Levy family. He mentored the current generation of leaders. He did not waver. He never created any drama. He is a peacemaker, a visionary and a great friend to preachers.

He has been with Jesus. Just an ordinary man in some ways, made extraordinary through faith in the Christ; just another boy from the Arkansas countryside, but one whose legacy of quiet dedication to God, family and church continues to shape and influence them.

He is a part of what has been tagged “the greatest generation.” Great—because of sacrifice, hard work and personal integrity. Once this was just considered ordinary and normal. It was simply how you were supposed to be.

It certainly does describe L.T. But that is not why this “ordinary” man is great.  Rather:

The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11-12

The power in this story really is found in the Christ and in the good, humble man who allowed Jesus to do the extraordinary within him.

L.T. inspires me. Throughout his life he just consistently did the right thing without any big fuss. It is an ordinary story, but it is not. It is a story of quiet and consistent faith lived out through the normal variations of life, but never wavering.

I remember one summer camp session where several people shared their faith stories with the campers. All were dramatic and meaningful. One brother showed the needle marks on his arm and gave God the glory for empowering him to overcome his addiction.  It certainly was a powerful story.

But there is also the need to share the power in stories absent of all of this—a story of faith that never ventured away. That is the power I see in L.T. Blevin’s story and in his person, which is why it is so meaningful to me.

It is the kind of life I wish to live and for my children—just consistently being with Jesus everyday in a normal, ordinary, drama-free, yet incredible kind of way.

Monday, September 12, 2016

#girlstakeNYC2016 {July}

This group of friends has been getting together once a year for the past 10 years to Scrapbook for the weekend.  We decided to plan a fun trip to commemorate our 10 years of doing this.  I became the travel agent, and we booked a trip to NYC for 4 days/3 nights.  I have a TON more pictures, but these are some of the highlights.  It was full of fun, laughter, adventure, and a few little hiccups along the way!  I do love NYC!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Randoms. {July}

Date night. Love these girls and spending time with them and their husbands. 
Fun fishing with the McConnell boys. 
Pineapple Whip date with my boys. 
Caleb read his first word! 7-13-16
Old school fun with Pop! 
The boys climbed Pinnacle Mountian with Daddy for the first time. They were so proud!!
Dylan went to golf camp for the first time! He loved it!  
Dylan requested "the fire place" one night for dinner. It was super fun! Caleb wasn't into pics that evening.