Welcome to my first blog. I am delighted to have you here and hope to share a little insight into ME!! Feel free to leave any notes you have especially any tips you may have since I'm new to this. Take care and God bless!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

12 Days and Counting

Exciting times around here.  We just finished up a BIG reception for my oldest daughter.  We go to Navy Graduation for my son in 12 days and then my baby girl will be home for a little while before she moves on to bigger and better things.  Whew!  I'm worn out just typing it all!  LOL

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just a Day???

It's a sad day for me.  I just dropped Caleb off for his stint in the Navy.  I know it's what he wants and that makes me happy but I miss him already.  I thought dropping him off in Michigan was hard but leaving him across town was so hard.  I know it will only be 9 weeks before I see him again but someone please tell my heart...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The New Chief of Police

We were honored to be at the swearing in of Doug's brother David as Knoxville's next Chief of Police on Friday evening.  It was a sweet touching ceremony with many family, friends and police officers in attendance.  I was amazed at how my bil is such a man of the little people.  I watched afterwards as a small group of motorcycle cops laughed, kidded and patted him on the back as they each shook his hand in congratulations.  It was an endearing moment that I was glad I witnessed.

All I have to say is I sure wish Durham was that way...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jesus - Love Him or Hate Him

Pastor JD preached from Luke 4 today where Jesus stood up in the temple and read from Isaiah.  Surely this would spark some sense of recognition in the Jews that prophesy was being fulfilled and their Messiah had come.  Instead His words of proclamation of God's grace to outsiders (those other than Jews) infuriated the Jews.  So why did it make them so mad?  Pastor JD gives 5 reasons for such a reaction:
1.  Jesus' kingdom included other ethnicities -- it shattered racism, even today it does.  None of us earns God's grace.  We are each the ultimate outsider. 
2.  Jesus' kingdom included people with dark pasts and present sins.  Is 64:6 states that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.  The word filthy actually means the most disgusting filth, like rags of leprous, diseased people.  So again, none of us earns God's grace.  It is freely given to those who accept Him.
3.  Jesus movement was not a political movement
4.  Jesus would not immediately right all wrongs or end all suffering.
5.  Jesus was focused on heart change, not external obedience -- the Jews were into rituals and legalism instead of caring about what was inside. 
Jesus wants us to love Him from our hearts and let our actions show this love to those around us.  Real faith is where the inexplicable meets the undeniable.  The undeniable is that Jesus is Lord, the Messiah, the King of Kings.  Sometimes you just can't explain why things happen the way they do but God has His reasons and is in control.  Sometimes He withholds the blessings so we know we are searching for Him not just His blessings.  Real faith is believing He is who He said He was despite the unusual aspects of His appearance and the fact that He would not always perform the miracles typically associated with the Saviour.  When he fed the 5000 with the loaves and fishes, the flocked to Him so much that He his in the mountains and the next day instead of feeding them again, preaching the Sermon on the Mount so they would know that it's all about feeding the inside not feeding the body.  Some people still don't get it.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and all your strength, despite your circumstances. 
If you'd like to join me at church sometime, I'd love to have you.  We have many services and I can go to whichever works for you.  Let me know if you have needs I can pray with you about and I'd love to have some feedback.      

The Rose

Today I heard a story about a beautiful rose that was used to illustrate the virginity of a young woman.  This rose was given to a young man in a speech someone was giving on abstinence.  The rose was passed from one young man to another throughout the group while the speaker gave his speech.  At the end of the speech, the speaker asked for the rose back.  It was bruised and weary and falling apart as it had been passed through many men during the course of the speech.  The speaker then asked the crowd, "Who would want this rose now?" as he tossed it over his shoulder in disgust.  Pastor JD illustrated today and I am in firm agreement with him that "Jesus would want that rose!"  Jesus takes the unloveable and gives them His love and grace and forgiveness.  Do you feel like this rose today?  Give yourself to Jesus.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Broken Hearted

I am broken hearted tonight at the division within "Christian" people.  I wish people who would want to invite and invoke arguments and such would not label themselves at all.  Matt 5 says "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."  Inciting anger and agitation, especially within the confines of a church community is unnecessary and goes against everything the Bible preaches.  I am ashamed to be associated with such instigators.  I'm not taking sides.  I'm just calling it like I see it.  Right is right.  Forgiveness should be rampant among the redeemed, assuming they are living right before God.  My heart breaks...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In a Closed Mind

I am saddened to think of all those who suffer with dementia and the turmoil they must be in.  I watched this week as my great aunt who suffers from a severe case of it wondered where she was and why she was there at her brother's memorial service.  She was polite and in quiet control and even sang the hymns (from memory, I might add) but it broke my heart when she introduced herself to her brother for the second time and introduced my mom to my aunt (my mom's sister).  I thought of how the mind was closing itself off so as not to hurt her anymore than she was already hurting.  I thought of her siblings and children who it was obviously wearing on.  I pray for dear aunt Louise, that she will have peace and be in a peaceful state causing those around her more joy than pain.

So Many Lost...

Ok, so I've lost 15 lbs now but I'm gonna switch from Jenny to Weight Watchers.  Jenny is just too costly for us right now so we've got to cut back but the premises are the same so I think I'll do fine.

But what I really wanted to write about was the lost in the world.  My heart aches knowing that there are so many that don't know Jesus as Lord.  No, I'm not a preachy kinda gal but I'm a realist and reality is that apart from Jesus life is empty and condemned to hell.  I pray for my friends who don't know Him.  If you are one of those and you are reading this and curious, ask me.  I'll tell you how He changed my life.  He really changed ME and died for ME and for YOU too.

With all my love...Joann

Friday, February 18, 2011

Depression hurts!

Depression is a battle I fight almost daily.  Sometimes I hardly know which way is out but I know this.  I know that God made me and loves me the way that I am.  He cares for every time I shed a tear.  He cares for every time I feel blue.  He loves me!!!  I pray for healing and I know that one day I will have it, even if that day is when we meet Jesus face to face.  I hang on.  I hang on.  I hang on.  What more can I do except leave it with Him and do my best.  If this is a battle you fight too then my prayers are with you for I know each day is not easy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jenny -- Week 2

Well, week 2 has passed and I still sit at -10 lbs but I'm happy with that.  I was sick part of this week so my activitiy level has been down and I've eaten out a couple of times so I don't feel bad about it.  I'm really only supposed to be losing 1-2 lbs / week anyway so I'm still ahead of the curve.  Now let's see what this week brings....hmmm, Valentine's Day and dinner out again.  Oh well, I'll do my best and that's all I can do.  Thanks for all the encouraging notes and messages.  Keep 'em coming.  I need all the help I can get.  Love y'all!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Sunday!!!!

It's Sunday and I'm looking forward to the day.  I'm going to church with my honeyman (yes, I went yesterday but it was so good, I'm going back) and then of course, we'll watch the Superbowl together.  So a day of togetherness it is for the Rausch family.  Yippee!!!

Jenny -- Week One

Well, I made it through week 1 with 10 lbs to show for my efforts.  I am excited about the prospects and hopeful for the future and looking forward to a few new cohorts joining me on similar diets next week.  We'll keep each other accountable.  I don't know if I will have as much success in the coming weeks but if this is a taste of what is to come, I think I can do it this time.  But I sure do miss ice cream!!!  teehee

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jenny -- Day 4!!!

Well, the food is good (except for the cottage cheese which I hate but I'm eating).  I'm doing the 1700 calorie plan and down 5 pounds already.  I'll keep blogging about it to keep myself accountable but so far I like the plan.  There is so much food to eat and it is ALL the time!!!  I think I'm gonna like this plan...I hope it works.  145 days til the reception and I hope to be down another 25 pounds!!!  Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Delay???

I can't believe it.  I finally take the plunge and join Jenny Craig and my first shipment of food is delayed by the weather.  Here I am ready to begin and having to put it on hold for snow delay???  Please wish me luck with my new endeavor, if it ever begins...

to be continued...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Children

My children make me very happy.  I am proud of all they have accomplished and are accomplishing.  They have a lot going for them.  I wish them only happiness in the future.

Julie and BJ....



May God bless each of you and reveal Himself to you mightily.  I love you!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Heart Aches

We had a wonderful day at church today but aside from not feeling too well my heart is aching from some burdens that lay heavy on me.  Please join me in praying for these needs.  I would really appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Such greatness

It is such a great thing to be able to share time with my girls.  I can't even tell you how thankful I am right now.  This has been truly a growing and fun couple of days.  Ahhhhh.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

YAY for me!!!

New news!!!  I get to go see my oldest and her husband this week!!!  An unexpected surprise in my world but I am thrilled and can't wait to sink my lips on those two.  I haven't seen them since June 26, the day they got married.  YAY for me!!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Day...

Don't ya just love when each new day brings a new day -- ya know what I mean???  New opportunities, new hopes, new dreams, new chances, new changes, new everything???  We used to sing a song that says weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning.  I don't know if that's Scriptural or not but it sure is true.  I may not always be a morning person but I do love my mornings!!!