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December 2009

The Salvation Army Reclaiming lives through your donations


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Individual faces that n reflect the So

Elgin Christmas Tree Farm A forest of perfect trees

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Austin's Top 10 p.10

Publisher: Lee Eddins, H.O.T. Publishing, LLC (512) 689-2717 Editor: Marcy Lytle Contributing Writers: Lee Eddins, Marcy Lytle, Lauren Lacey, Joe Elliott, Dr. John Tuggle, J.L. Lewis, Don Spann, Lauren Turner, David Lawrence, Miranda Bradley, Debbie Stevens, Amy Carr, John Murphy, Karen Moore, Lucy Howard, Charles Hankins Photos: Caleb Fox, Lee Eddins, University of Texas Art Direction/Graphic Design: Beth Rountree Sales: Brenda Smith (512) 966-1874 Lee Eddins (512) 689-2717 Austin Faith and Family is committed to encouraging individuals in their daily lives by presenting the faith stories of others and providing information that will point every person, at every stage of life, to a deeper, authentic, personal and life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. Views expressed in Austin Faith & Family do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by the Austin Faith & Family staff to ensure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information, nor the absences of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be, or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009 by H.O.T. Publishing, LLC. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. Austin Faith & Family is published monthly and is available at high traffic locations throughout the metropolitan area. Copies are also available by subscription, $25 for one year. Single issues available for $3 an issue.

Volume 1, Number 7


p.15 MercyMe Visits Austin Music Hall

In This Issue 9 Travel: Winter in Hawaii is Better Than 10 Feature Story: Austin’s Top 10 12 Golf Tips From the Tour: Playing the TOUR 12 In the City, For the City: Be a Part 14 Mommy Time With Miranda: Making the Most of a Slim Christmas Season

18 19 24 25 26 27

The Home Front: Holiday Safety Tips

God So Loved

Special Features: 7 Divorce Care: Helping You Recover From the Pain 8 Juvenile Diabetes: Erika’s Story 13 God So Loved 15 MercyMe Visits Austin Music Hall 17 The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm: Where Families Make Memories 21 Jeremy Camp: Speaking Louder Than Before Tour 21 The Salvation Army: Adult Rehabilitation Center in Austin

Leadership Filter: The Cause of Christmas 20 Words: ACC-Austin’s Most Overlooked Mission Field Daniel and Justin Show: Generation Bridge A View From the Blue Roof: Sharing the Joy Catching the Light

Focus: 14 Focus Music: Speed Limit 180 20 Focus Non-Profit: Texas Parent to Parent 22 Focus Kids: Logic Students 23 Focus Restaurant: Main Street Grill LifeStyle: 6 Health Matters: Holiday Blues 6 Back Talk: Good Health in a Bad Economy 16 Top 10: Ribbon, Scissors and Paper...Oh My! 19 Dollars & $ense: Money Saving Tips from Moms Who Shop

In Every Issue: 4 Letters 5 City Scene 26 Don’t Miss 28 Calendar 30 The Back Pew 30 Rave Reviews

p.16 Ribbon,

Scissors and Pap er...Oh M y!





The Gift of One…

ustin Faith & Family thrives on stories about awesome individuals who give not only at Christmas, but all year long. It takes people like you and like me to make a difference in our city. We are excited about our cover this month, including ten of the many thousands of people who present the face of Jesus to our city in many ways, making a real difference. It is amazing how one lady can tell the story of Jesus through her Christmas decorations, how one volunteer makes a difference in the lives of young pregnant girls, or how one athlete can affect an entire team, college campus and football community. Inside this month’s issue, we have included an article about one group of kids who stood up for their belief in God as our creator, another article about one church that offers a healing place for divorced individuals, and a story from the Salvation Army that celebrates one individual who has given over 20 years of service to her community. One child, born in a manger, changed the world and our lives. If everyone who reads our magazine will consider one gift, one hour, one prayer, etc., we too will collectively change our world…


of the month


frequently go to Pluckers Wing Bar to have lunch while I am out on the town. I can always find a big diet coke and the best Philly Cheese Steak around. In addition to the tasty beverages and great food, they always have a wifi signal waiting on me when I walk through the door and by the time I pull up a seat to order my drink, I am online checking emails and finding out what all you great readers have to say about our magazine! Check’ em out sometime if you need to go online away from all the comforts of home! If you know of your favorite place to get online while you’re out and about during your day, please let us know. We’d like to feature that business in our HOT Spot section.

Marcy Lytle Austin Faith & Family

Marcy, Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the latest publication of AF&F. I was eating dinner last night and reading it, including your editor's article. God is really using you to reach out in the community and branch out beyond our church walls. What a blessing you are. Keep going! –––Doug C. Lee and Marcy, We are so surprised and honored to be thought of as difference makers. Thank you for thinking of us! I read through the entire magazine and loved it. You guys are doing a fabulous job. –––Jane F. We really enjoy reading Austin Faith & Family. This year’s issues are so much better than last year’s! We picked up a copy of three month’s issues at the event this weekend! –––Anonymous Hi Marcy, Just wanted to say thanks for the AF&F magazine. I have enjoyed the articles and the recommendations, and ads, etc. –––Starr H. Dear Marcy, I picked up a copy of your magazine at Spring Hill near Lakeway. I loved it. What a ministry. –––Gayla K.


Celebration and Honor in Austin


n October 24, 2009, KLGO 99.3 The Word radio station and Love Talk, hosted by Evelyn Davison and Cindi Vana, held a listener appreciation celebration for all of their loyal listeners. Over 250 people showed up to show their support and meet the staff and on-air personalities, and to tour the studios. The Word also hosted a Pastor's Appreciation Breakfast to honor Pastors for the work they do in our city. It was held Thursday November 12, 2009 at the Double Tree Hotel in Austin. Lee Eddins

Nicole and Alex Hutchenson with Lora DeBord and Adela Cochran

Gene Bender, GM of 99.3 The Word KLGO

Evelyn Davison, Jimmy Gregory from Texas Disposal Systems, Danny and Debbie Davison

Lora Debord with The Word and Rev. Ed Hagan

Gene Bender and Ryan Rush

Gene Bender addresses the pastors

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Holiday Blues

Good Health in a Bad Economy

Depression: This time of year can be really sad because of loneliness, the loss of a loved one or a falling out with a family member, friend or loved one. Here are some ways to help with the sadness that may come: • Live "in the moment" and enjoy the present • Try not to compare this holiday with “the good old days” from the past


or most people the holiday season is a fun time of year with parties, celebrations, time with family and friends and social gatherings. But for many people, it is a time filled with sadness, selfreflection, loneliness and anxiety. These feelings also differ from person to person. If you don’t get the holiday blues, chances are you know someone who does. Here are some tips for you or your loved ones who struggle this time of year: Stress and Tension: For most, December is one of the busiest months of the year. Here are some ways to avoid stress and tension: • Use a day planner, your cell phone or even a wall calendar to keep track of all the events and important dates going on • Set realistic goals and be realistic about what you can and cannot do • Don’t commit to anything until you look at your calendar to be sure that time does not conflict with another important event • Learn to say no. It’s perfectly o.k. if you cannot attend every party you are invited to. Many times the idea of all of the social events to attend can be extremely overwhelming • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable

• Be careful to limit your consumption of alcohol which can increase your feelings of depression • Surround yourself with positive, caring and upbeat people • If you feel lonely, try volunteering and helping out others • Reach out to a long lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer • Get out of the house and out in the sun, even if the temperature is cold. The darkness of the house and lack of sunlight on your body can trigger depression Family Gatherings: For some, family time is great, but for others it can be extremely difficult. Here are some ways to cope with family challenges: • Look ahead to your family gathering with a positive attitude • Try seeing your family members as they are now, instead of letting the roles they once played color your whole view of who they are now • Bring a new game or activity that you think will be fun and not cause conflict • Remember the reason you are together, to celebrate the season and to spend quality time together Exercise: Exercise should be a part of our everyday lives. Make sure that when the business of the holidays comes, your exercise routine does not diminish. Exercise produces chemicals that make you feel better, relieves stress that we all go through and helps burn all of those extra calories we end up eating anyway. Be sure that exercise remains a top priority every day, especially during the busy month of December.


here are many great concerns in our nation today. Many are worried that they won’t be able to heat their home or put food on the table. Americans are cutting their spending. However, one area where we should be investing our money is health. The last thing anyone needs is to have a major health problem during these challenging economic times. Here are some helpful tips for you to experience good health in a bad economy. 1. Reduce Stress – Engage in healthy activities that reduce stress, like meditation, exercise, and yoga. Stay organized so that you don’t create more opportunities for stressful situations to arise. 2. Prioritize – If you find yourself in a situation where you must cut spending, eliminate costs that are not necessities. I know you don’t want to hear it, but you may have to cut the cable and break out the antennae, with a new digital converter box of course. Invest in things that will keep you healthy, such as nutritious foods, gym memberships, fitness equipment, massage appointments, or chiropractic treatments. 3. Be Fit – Exercising will keep you healthy and help you manage daily stresses. There are low-cost gym memberships available or you can exercise at home to save some cash.

5. Think Well – Stay Positive. Even though we are experiencing economic challenges now, this is just a cycle. We will come out on the other side even stronger than we were before. Don’t believe everything you hear on the evening news. In fact, I would suggest eliminating or drastically limiting watching the news. Nearly all that they report is highly embellished bad news. Surround yourself with people and things that lift you up. Watch a funny movie or spend quality time with your family and friends. 6. Chiropractic – Maintaining a healthy spine and nerve system is a priority for health. Your nervous system controls, regulates, adapts, and heals your body. The lifestyle stresses of today’s world are more than our bodies can adapt to. Chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations, which interfere with your body’s ability to control, regulate, adapt, and heal itself. Chiropractic adjustments are a necessity for you to experience optimal health. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to find out what you can do to restore, maintain, or improve your health call WBHC today! Dr. Tuggle (512) 257-2225

4. Eat Right – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you want a rocket to run well, you must feed it rocket fuel. If you want to run well, you must fuel yourself with high quality human fuel. Remember, if you want to be more alive than dead, eat foods that are more alive than dead. Don’t fuel yourself with highly processed, preserved, nutritionally inadequate industrial garbage.

So, with a little bit of preparation you can make this a wonderful holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Lauren Lacy Fitness Coordinator CHASCO Family YMCA


SPECIAL FEATURE DivorceCare–Helping you Recover From the Pain…


f you are divorced or separated, you don’t have to go through this experience alone. There is help, hope and healing available at Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown, Wednesday evenings 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. DivorceCare is a special weekly support group and seminar conducted by people who know and understand the pain of what you are experiencing. At these seminars, you will be given ways to deal with the pain of the past and look forward to a great future.

At DivorceCare, there are small support groups of people with like experiences. As you meet others, you yourself will be encouraged and find a place of understanding. Some people say these small groups are the “most helpful part of the program.” DivorceCare is a nondenominational organization and features biblical teaching for recovering from divorce and separation. A $10 fee is suggested for participation in DivorceCare, with that fee including a workbook and as many sessions as a person chooses to attend. Some weekly topics include: • What’s Happening to Me? • Facing My Anger • Single Sexuality • Moving On, Growing Closer to God • Facing My Depression

DivorceCare features 13 life-changing video seminars conducted by 32 renowned experts on divorce and recovering, including: Kay Arthur, Dr. Tony Evans, Elsa Kok, Dr. Jim Talley and many more. After attending a DivorceCare seminar, one participant stated, “I have rejoined the land of the living.” DivorceCare has touched hundreds of thousands of lives in groups meeting around the world. In our area, DivorceCare meets in SOLO House, located adjacent to the west parking lot at Crestview Baptist Church in Georgetown, Texas (2300 Williams Drive). To learn more about the seminars, visit or call 863-9370, or 635-0670. You can also email the facilitator at

In addition to the ongoing DivorceCare group, Crestview Baptist also offers DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids). DC4K, designed for kids ages 5-12, is a 13-session series for kids from families dealing with separation and divorce. Two cycles of DC4K are offered by the church each year with one starting in late August and the other in late January. Each session combines games, videos, music, crafts, and other activities to provide a safe and fun learning environment for the kids. Information about DC4K can be obtained using the same contact information listed earlier, or by visiting the national website at

Marcy Lytle


SPECIAL FEATURE Juvenile Diabetes–Erika’s Story


rika is a beautiful, vibrant young girl who was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes on February 15, 2007. She had become excessively thirsty, began urinating frequently, experiencing aching feet and weight loss. When Erika’s parents received the diagnosis, they were devastated and in disbelief. They didn’t really know anything about Type 1 Diabetes at the time, and had Erika’s grandmother not noticed the symptoms early on, Erika could have become very sick. She was taken to Dell’s Children Hospital where she was diagnosed. Even though diabetes may be hereditary, neither side of Erika’s family had shown signs of this disease.

Type 1 Diabetes in children is on the rise. Parents need to be aware of the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes, because it has been misdiagnosed and can be deadly if not treated. It is not contagious, and one can live a healthy life if diagnosed and treated properly. The exact cause of this disease is unknown. What is known, however, is that in most people with Type 1 Diabetes, the body’s own immune system, which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses, mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Whatever the cause, once these cells are destroyed, little or no insulin is produced. Instead of sugar being transported into cells normally, the lack of insulin causes sugar to build up in the bloodstream, where it can cause life-threatening complications. Warning signs for Type 1 Diabetes include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, fruity or sweet breath odor, increased appetite, sudden weight loss, drowsiness or lethargy, heavy breathing, stupor or unconsciousness. If you or someone you know exhibits one or more of these symptoms, call your doctor.

Erika at the 2009 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

Erika’s prognosis is very good; with continued advancement in research and proper treatment, she can have a normal, healthy life. Erika’s mom states they are “professional carbohydrate counters now.” She and her husband must take into consideration everything Erika eats and give her insulin, based on mathematical equations, which they adjust on a constant basis in order to keep Erika’s diabetes under control. Erika also has to endure at least 10 finger pricks a day to have her blood sugar checked. When Erika’s mom was asked if other kids treat Erika differently because of her disease, she answered, “Not at all, the kids are very interested and sympathetic at this point.”

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Austin Chapter’s mission is to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and its complications through research. JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes worldwide. The Walk to Cure Diabetes is the fastest growing fundraising event in the history of JDRF. The walk draws over 3500 people throughout Austin together in a healthy activity to raise money for the cure. It’s fun for families and builds camaraderie among company employees. Your support can help kids like Erika obtain an early diagnosis, proper treatment and ultimately a cure. Visit for more information. Marcy Lytle (Erika is the daughter of AFF’s Graphic Designer, Beth Rountree.) **All of the above info regarding JDRF and diabetes can be found at and

Erika with her family


TRAVEL Winter in Hawaii is Better Than….


awaii is Paradise here on earth, year round. As we approach the winter months, here are reasons why you might rather be there, than here…. Because the average daily temperature in Honolulu is 73F. This happens to be only a few comfortable degrees down from the warmer summer months. The average nighttime low is only seven degrees cooler. Weather in Hawaii varies little from season to season because it is surrounded by the ocean, which stays much warmer than a continent. Because 10,000 whales winter in Hawaii. There are more humpback whales in the North Pacific than ever, and at least 10,000 of them make the journey from the cold waters of Alaska and British Columbia down to the warmer waters of Hawaii. They start arriving in November, and population peaks from mid-December to mid-April. Because you can golf. To the avid golfer, Hawaii’s mild temperatures and lack of inclement weather mean frequent trips to the greens. There are close to 100 golf courses and they are up and running all winter long. Because you can predict your chance of sunshine. Location matters, and on any given island different areas can have different weather, all at the same time. On each island there are wet sides/dry sides, mountains and beaches, so if you don’t like the weather, drive 10 miles. Because there is big surf. During the winter, the surf on Hawaii’s north-facing shores becomes awe-inspiring. The best area to observe big surf can be found on Oahu’s North Shore, and even some residents play hooky to drive up and watch.

Because there is even snow. Yes, snow. Not the shoveling kind. But you can ski. Hawaii’s three largest mountains can get snow in the winter: Maui’s Haleakala and The Big Island, both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The best bet would be the last two weeks in February. If there is snow when you go, you just have to try it. Because winter is the season of waterfalls. Because waterfalls depend on rain, you can visit in the summer and the waterfalls are OK. But in January and February, especially after a storm, they are magnificent. A Helicopter tour is the best way to experience them. Because you can go camping under the stars. Grab your tent and sleeping bag. Hawaii has state-recognized camping sites on five islands, ranging from thick lush rain forests to coastal areas with incredible views. Because you can run the Honolulu Marathon. There is no better place to run a marathon than in Hawaii. It takes place in midDecember and is open to everyone and promises no cramping muscles from bitter cold. You can do both your pre-marathon carbo-loading and post-marathon recovery in paradise. Because you can rent a convertible. Driving in Hawaii is a fun way to see entire islands and see how locals live. The best drive is the Road to Hana on the island of Maui for its waterfalls, cliffs and floral displays; not to mention the 617 hairpin turns and 54 one-lane bridges. Because you can hit the beach. It just wouldn’t be winter in Hawaii if you didn’t…………… If you’ve never been to Hawaii, a good way to see the highlights is to cruise around the islands, spending a day on each of the popular ones. That way, you’ll know which islands you’ll want to return to next time.

Debby Stevens 3D Cruise and Travel


0 1 p o T s ' Austin


Individual faces that n reflect the So



David Cloud

Gayla King



difference maker? I have never thought of myself in this context. If I made a difference in my career and now in my retirement, I know it is a very small ripple in a very needy world, which needs gigantic difference makers who are powerful men and women of God. I have seen evidence recently that God’s word, like a two-edged sword, has touched many of my students’ hearts. When I directed the Vikettes at Lanier High School, I read I Corinthians 13 to them, and in unison, we repeated the Lord’s Prayer before every performance. I told them recently at a reunion that I Corinthians 13 had pierced their hearts with His love message. I watched them love each other deeply and lovingly, attending to each other. This reunion was the idea of one student who simply spread the word via email, about three weeks prior to the date. Nearly 100 came. I read God’s word, but He made the different in any heart that was receptive to His Spirit. There are no accidents with God. About five years ago, God brought one of my students back into my life after 33 years. She was very needy and I loved and taught her, but as my other students became aware of her situation, many stepped up to love and help her. At the reunion that I mentioned, without my knowledge, the girls took up a monetary love gift for this lady, which was used to pay for her funeral, with some left over for other needy Vikettes. She died this last July from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Our hearts were broken, but this was another beautiful example of living out I Corinthians 13. Some of my students, even back in those days, had never read the Bible or prayed the Lord’s Prayer. I know God’s word made a difference. I recently got a precious message from an English student, a young man. All the message said was, “Stand up for what’s right even if you’re standing alone.” This was a bumper sticker type poster that plastered my English classroom. Maybe this made a difference. Also, on the left top corner of every desk, I taped the word INTEGRITY in hot pink laminated poster paper. The students knew that word was important to me. I stressed it, preached and tried to be an example of it. Once, a young man was talking about the cheating that was rampant in another classroom. I asked him if there was cheating in my class, and he responded, “No, Mrs. King, not with that word taped on my desk.” I pray that these things made a difference. I loved teaching and now I try to teach Biblical concepts by using my Christmas decorations as visual illustrations.



Vicki Lancaster


am a 52-year-old lady who is totally inspired and amazed at what God continues to do in Austin through my children’s generation! God has opened my eyes to see that he is ALWAYS working, no matter what the circumstances, even when on the surface it looks like he is not working. My husband and I were pulled out of a traditional church, not because we did not like it but because we were drawn by His spirit to move out of a comfortable place into an uncertain one. Austin Stone Community Church’s mission to make the name of Jesus great in Austin and to love the city was eyeopening to us and completely inspiring. I taught Sunday School most of my teen/adult life and worked in the church but never had time to do anything else while raising my own family, school, etc. I was excited to step out of my church setting into sharing Jesus with people outside of the church, who really need to see Jesus’ love and work in real life. There are many, many people all over Austin and the world, doing the same thing. God is moving His church in this direction, I believe. Long story short, I have landed at Travis High School Young Lives trying to share Jesus’ love and grace to young, unmarried teen moms by serving a healthy dinner once a month, donating baby clothes and hopefully starting a mentoring program in the near future. Young Lives is a part of the Young Life organization that is working to help teen moms stay in school and have some help with parenting while pointing them to Jesus, who loves them and wants to reveal Himself to them in tangible ways. This organization is great, as they use college students who have a heart for ministry to embrace these young ladies in a non-judgmental way and help them see a different direction their lives could take. The college girls are really the heart and soul of this ministry as they are so close to the moms in age. They go and visit with them at lunch and before and after school. They love on the babies and moms and provide an outlet for fun and laughter that many do not get to experience very often. What I do is such a tiny part of the whole picture of love and grace provided by Young Lives. The ministry truly does need prayer and donations to keep it going in the future!

Erica Simmons


have always had a passion for wanting to work with people. Throughout my life I may have struggled with the “where” and the “how”, but never with the knowledge that people would be my life’s work. Looking back on it now, I can honestly say if I had been presented with 10 professions that involved working with kids including teaching, and been asked to rank them, teaching would have been at or near the bottom, but God has a way of helping us see things His way.

It was through my boys that God put me in a position to discover His will. They have been and continue to be one of the biggest impacts on my life. When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was told by my doctor not to work, because it was a high risk pregnancy. Not being able to totally take off work, I decided to substitute teach. I not only loved it, I was really good and teachers began to request me. It was through God opening this door that my journey to becoming a teacher began, a journey that led me to Texas. I finally had the “how”, I just need the “where”, and God in his faithfulness brought me to Hopewell Middle School. Although there have been obstacles to overcome, I just started my fourth year here at Hopewell. In that time I have lived in God’s unmerited favor. I have had the honor and the privilege to be voted “Teacher of the Year” and been able to move out of the classroom and work with teachers as well as students. Adding the teachers has led me to all new levels of God’s grace and mercy So many times teachers are asked why they teach. For me, the answer is simple: watching a student who at the beginning of the year who is hesitant and unsure of himself, work with confidence and surety at the end of the year. It is the knowledge that the students become successful, simply because I love them and believe in them and give them the chance to shine. It is with this goal that I strive to make every interaction with each of my students positive and sincere. I often times wonder if teachers truly recognize the power we have to shape lives. This power can go beyond the classroom; this power can lead the way to the cross for students and teachers alike. We may not be able to talk about God, but we do have the freedom to live a life for Him. That is my life’s goal. Not just for the people I work with, but most importantly for my boys.


or almost fifteen years now, I’ve been pursuing music as a ministry. After writing my first song, “Where Do We Go From Here”, I was faced with a difficult decision between my passion for writing and music. After praying and seeking counsel, I finally chose to pursue music, believing that God could use it for His Kingdom. It was one of the single most difficult decisions I ever made, but ultimately one of the most rewarding. For over seven years I toured with a local rock group called Point of Contact. I have also served in many roles in the worship team for Lakeline Church, which I believe prepared my heart for where I am today. Currently attending New Hope Community Church in Round Rock, I’ve had the honor of sharing the stage with some truly devoted worshippers, and have even had the honor and pleasure of being able to serve the church as worship leader on several occasions. I’m also blessed to be able to lead worship for an emerging ministry at ACC called LIT (“Love in Transit”), meant to build a presence at the community college. God has moved notably in my life through music, and it is a facet of my relationship with him that I will always cherish. When I play, whether it’s leading worship or singing my own material, I am very intense, emotionally. I can share those powerful moments where the presence of God is near, with my church family, and I think it’s something I want to see more of in the church. Not emotional excess, but rather ‘us unbound’, so to speak, where we can be real, pure and honest with God when we worship –“ emotionally unfettered”, if you will. Leading worship is still somewhat an adjustment from the three piece rock-band, but its intensely rewarding. I’m still working on my own material, which mostly stems from my own personal trials and triumphs, and it’s truly a blessing when I get to share it with people. The venues in Austin are constantly changing, and now more than ever when I’m transitioning from Hard-Rock to singer-songwriter or acoustic rock. I ‘m still working on getting a new CD put together, as the one I’ve got now (acoustic stuff) is getting a little dated, since I recorded it with a single mic plugged into the back of my computer! Still, I expect that I should be back at the Club Realm (see Pursuit Austin) soon enough, as well as local coffeehouses around town, singing my heart out for anyone willing to listen. Go to the website: and for dates, audio samples and more.




y name is Chris Hall and I play center for the Texas Longhorns. I grew up a pastor’s kid in Irving, Texas. My Dad dearly loves the Lord Jesus, and I knew he really had something special with the Lord. I also knew that I didn’t have what he had. I received the Lord during my freshman year in college and knowing Him has made the past four and a half years of my life the best by far! I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be without Him. Two older Christian brothers with the football team quickly took me under their wing and helped me to know the Lord. I was greatly encouraged in my Christian life by their shepherding, and by so many others as well. Just as so many other brothers and sisters, I longed (and still do) to express Christ in any and all situations. That includes speaking, praying, studying, lifting weights, and even playing football. When we are filled with Him, He can only overflow into all these normal activities. However, I could do nothing apart from Him and His Body! The Lord has been faithful to bring many more precious brothers around me on the team. We enjoy fellowshipping together, reading the Bible together, praying together, speaking to others about Christ together, studying and playing football together. Just as the thumb is useless and lifeless when detached from the hand, so a believer is when detached from the other members of the Body of Christ. In our enjoying Christ together, we think something of eternal value has been gained on the football team. We believe that as we continue to strive to be perfected into one (John 17:23), we will enjoy the Lord’s commanded blessing (Psalm 133), and this testimony will cause the world to believe that God the Father has sent God the Son (John 17:21), Jesus Christ!


Joe Elliot

Chris Hall


moved to Austin after graduating from Texas State in 1999 and spent the better part of 10 years in a sales career, while serving in youth ministry at my local church. My incredible wife, Ramona, and I have three kids and live in Jonestown. About 18 months ago, God opened a door for our family to be in fulltime ministry and we jumped in with both feet, selling our house, most of our possessions and doing whatever we could to flee from the materialistic lifestyle in which we had become trapped. Currently, I am the youth and college pastor at Northwest Fellowship Church and have a hunger to see this generation of young adults truly embrace all that God has created them to be and do. My passion is to see the church in Austin working, dreaming and praying together like never before, and Austin Lit is one of the ministries that Jesus is using to make this happen. At ACC, my heart’s desire is to see every student come in contact with the message of the Gospel on campus and have the opportunity to experience the truth, love and fellowship our churches offer in Christ. I am just as committed to serving this city and these unreached campuses as I am to my local church, friends and family. Thanks be to God that He still uses wretches like us to change the world!!


, Maddie Hartline, attend Walsh Middle School and I’m in 6th grade. I was inspired by my third grade teacher, Mr. McConnell, to think of something I would like to do some day to help the community and world. I wanted to start a charity club for girls to serve in their community. On my 9th birthday, I held the first meeting of the Charity Girls. The group is made up of 3rd-7th grade girls that want to help children by doing service projects. At the meetings, the girls and I work on projects, get ready for other service projects, and have a devotional. Some projects we have done include making blankets for the Linus project, volunteering at the Texas Baptist Children’s home, having a food drive and helping stock food at the Round Rock Serving Center, making cards for sick children, donating Christmas presents to children, and volunteering for Brown Santa. We have also helped with the Round Rock Family Volunteer Day and bagged school supplies for the Round Rock School District for the past two years. We all love to help other children and are continuing to look for ways to make an impact on children in need. I am also involved in my youth group at church, I love volleyball, and I play the viola in orchestra. I hope to be a teacher, writer or an artist when I grow up.



As a school administrator for more than 25 years, I have had the awesome opportunity to get to know hundreds and hundreds of children and families. Serving in four different areas of the country, I have personally grown by knowing each child, parent, and family member. Yes, there have been days when broken relationships have created much stress, but our loving God has always provided ample strength and wisdom. Serving God in a “relationship-building” position is challenging but overflowing with the opportunity to touch lives for Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

BBA, (Austin Bridge Builders Alliance), is about PEOPLE! Our hearts desire is that every man, woman, and child in Austin will SEE and HEAR of the love of God for them! For this reason, ABBA works to CONNECT the Church Community and its Resources to the NEEDS of the city. “In the City for the City” is the culmination of our year to connect pastors, ministries, and individuals, and to educate others to the needs, and


Laurie Loew


eally positive things can come from a negative situation. It’s just depends on how you handle it. Having been raised in a large family where I was one of 10 children (8 brothers, 1 sister), we were taught to always count our blessings. No matter how bad we thought we had it, we were never allowed to feel sorry for ourselves. I credit my parents for instilling in me a good work ethic and the ability to have faith, to realize that there is a Higher Power who helps me navigate through my life. It was during the darkness of my divorce when I received the inspiration to create a business that is completely focused on serving the client and supporting the nonprofit community. I believe the nation is going through a cultural shift due to the financial and employment crisis. We are realizing that it is our relationships with people and our spiritual relationships that make life rewarding. You don’t define success by what is parked in your garage, hanging off your earlobe or the size of the flat screen TV you have on your wall. Giving of yourself, whether it is with your time or money, is not always easy (I)but is always rewarding(I). Stepping outside yourself is the best way to see yourself clearly. Every day I get goose bumps, knowing the business, Give Realty, is making a difference in the lives of others. I like to think of the business as being a model for social good first, and a real estate brokerage second. The rewards I have received are priceless. I have a fabulous business partner, Robin, who “gets it”, I work with great clients who feel it is important to give back to the community and have met 100’s of wonderful people who devote themselves to the nonprofit world and are dedicated to helping others. I am truly blessed.


Donn Trautner

t was nine o’clock on a Friday morning and I just experienced the highlight of my day: greeting children and parents as they enter our building for another day of learning, growth, and excitement. The students in Kindergarten came dressed for Pajama Day, other younger children came in the arms of a parent, some children came tired, some skipped into the building, some even came in crying, but each one entered as a special gift from God! A gift we have been given to nurture in the faith and knowledge of God’s world. By no means is this time the only highpoint of a day working in ministry to God’s children, but it is a special time of connection that I treasure.


Madeleine Hartline


to find ways to unite to meet them. When the Body of Christ UNITES behind a compelling Vision and a clear Mission, it becomes the greatest resource for good and change the city has ever seen! Through collaboration, building alliances, and serving our city, we believe God will bless and prosper Greater Austin, for His glory!


Golf Tips From the Tour with J.L. Lewis By: J.L. Lewis

Playing the TOUR of traveling and playing golf against the best competition is no small feat.


eople often comment that living the dream of being a PGA TOUR player is the best occupation in the world. This statement is true, especially when performing at a high level. To fully enjoy the thrill of success, a player needs to know what components are necessary and how to execute each one. The physical and mental grind of the PGA TOUR is demanding and requires a desire that is unflappable for a player to achieve their potential. To correctly balance the physical, mental, and emotional wear and tear


J.L. Lewis, PGA

The body takes a pounding from the constant travel, walking seven miles a day, and making several thousand golf swings each week. To keep the body in top shape, a healthy diet, workout, stretching and rehabilitation schedule is very important. Having a trainer, physical therapist, masseuse, sports medicine professional, and an acupuncturist are a few methods of healing and preventing injuries. A healthy body is paramount for a player to compete on a consistent basis against the best players. To live the dream and win on the PGA TOUR, being mentally and emotionally strong is a reality that has to be attained. The constant stress of having to play well to keep the job is a huge challenge. Methods for improving your mental capabilities include consulting with life coaches and sports psychologists, as well as listening to positive affirmations or practicing yoga. Practice of these or other

forms of mental and spiritual advancement can lead to remarkable results. Each week on the PGA TOUR, 155 players begin on Thursday with the hope of winning. At the conclusion of Friday’s round, the top 70 and ties make the cut to play on Saturday and Sunday. There will be one winner and the top 25 finishers will make a good profit for the week. The next 45 places will make enough money to cover their expenses, and those who missed the cut will receive no winnings. Over half of the players each week will lose money. Some players have endorsement contracts to help offset expenses. These facts, along with the traveling lifestyle on the PGA TOUR, add to the strain that players must be able to perform under. Players who exhibit the physical, mental, and emotional proficiency to handle the pressure will prevail. For those players who find the formula to play their best and execute successfully, the life of the PGA TOUR player is second to none.

Be a Part...


he second annual In the City, for the City event was held on November 15 at the Bob Bullock Museum in Austin. Churches, non-profits, organizations, businesses and Christians all gathered to find out what God is doing in their city. After the event, the first ever In the City for the City Youth Rally was held across from the museum. It is amazing to see what God is doing in our city, and I challenge you to find out what He's doing and be a part of it. Will Matthews and Marcy Lytle

In the City for the City Youth Rally in Downtown Austin



ome celebrate the season as First Baptist Church of Round Rock presents God So Loved…, a musical celebration of God’s extravagant, everlasting love. In this our sixth season, our music and drama ministries have combined once again and are presenting an all new, original musical based upon the beloved scripture, John 3:16.

SPECIAL FEATURE God So Loved… Throughout scripture, one thing is certain: God loves us. His love was never more evident than when He sent His divine Son into an imperfect world. He would then allow this Son to become a holy sacrifice because He loved us. God’s love is perfect. God’s love is complete. Join us as we seek to express how “wide and long and high and deep” is this love of God.

Preparations for the musical begin months in advance. Our 300+ member volunteers tirelessly combine their talents, gifts and abilities to bring the musical from text to life. We weave the music, drama, costumes, media and special effects into a seamless production which we offer as a gift to our community each year. First Baptist would be

honored if you would be our guest for this special musical presentation. It is sure to touch your heart with the love of God this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 12; 7:00pm Sunday, December 13; 9:45am, 11:00am and 6:00pm See more information at or call First Baptist Church at (512) 255-3454 First Baptist Church 306 Round Rock Avenue Round Rock, Texas 78664

Debbie Bowman


M om

da iran

Time with M y m

Making the Most of a slim Christmas season


ecking the halls may be a bit tougher this year for most of us. I know in our family the tree will be slightly bare, but that doesn’t mean our joy will be diminished. If anything, hard times require us to be a little more creative with our gift giving. Just how is a parent or grandparent to give fewer gifts than the year before? It can be a struggle for children to understand the financial climate or why they are being penalized for it. Here are a few ingenious suggestions from some local moms to help you make the most of a slim Christmas season.

Three’s a Charm Cynthia Smith* of Round Rock said she felt convicted a few years ago about the amount of toys and gifts her children amassed during Christmas. To address the issue, she returned to her strong Christian roots and made a new gift-giving rule. “Our kids each get three gifts from me and my husband,” she said. “We explained that Jesus received three gifts, and if it’s good enough for Him, then it’s good enough for us.” As for Santa, Tracy Hern of Georgetown* said she limits the Man in the Red Suit’s giving as well. “We give him a limit of two gifts and the value of those gifts can’t go over $30 each. So far, it’s seemed to work well and our kids appreciate their presents much more,” she said. From the Heart Nothing says “I love you” better than a homemade gift. From the pioneers to the sons and daughters of the Depression, hard times have often required us to become more resourceful with our talents. “Last year, I dusted off my sewing box and cross-stitched a pillow for my mother,” said Melanie Miles* of Austin. “She got teary eyed and said it was the best present she could have received from me.” Encourage your children to dig into their crafty little hearts for a good gift-giving idea. You can make a hand print-painted terra cotta pot for a gardener in the family or frame a

painting of the family made by your own little Picasso. No matter the level of talent or ingenuity, these are indeed the gifts that your family will treasure for years to come. The Pick of the Litter A family tradition was born out of necessity in our family many years ago, when I was just a child. These days, it’s even more necessary and appreciated. Instead of purchasing gifts for everyone, we pick a name out of a hat. Whatever name you get is the person you buy for, with a $20 limit on the gift. Of course children still in school or college receive gifts from everyone, and the matriarch also receives gifts from us all, but in the end, it does save on money and frustration. It also forces the entire family to put more thought into the gift. For the Children Let’s face it. Christmas is a holiday based around a child – namely Jesus Christ. Since then, it has become, and remains, largely a children’s holiday. For some families, they choose to take this a bit further, forgetting gifts for the adults (what do we really need anyway?) and choosing to give only to the children in the family. You could probably impart the three gift rule here as well. “We were talking on New Year’s Eve one year and realized that we just got way too much stuff for Christmas. There’s nothing the adults in our family really even needed, so we made an agreement to only buy for the kids in the family from then on,” said Barbara Cooper of Leander. “That was 10 years ago, and we find

that we look forward to Christmas even more now because a lot of the pressure is off and we can just enjoy the kids’ reactions.”

However you choose to spend this season, remember what truly makes Christmas magical is the spirit of hope. Though times are hard, the spirit of Christmas doesn’t reside in things, but in the loved ones that surround us. So hang the holly, decorate the tree and hug your family. In the end, that’s all anyone needs to make the season bright. *Names have been changed by request.

Miranda N. Bradley


Speed Limit 180–Round Rock’s Newest Kid Band who began with piano lessons. However, a quick side trip into a guitar store led to two new electric guitars and a new direction for their music.


new band was born August 10, 2009 in Round Rock, named Speed Limit 180. The proud parent is American Academy of Music and Dance, AAMD, founded by Dean Kline and Lisa Maher in 2007. Speed Limit 180 is a band born to play classic and pop rock. They made their first appearance October 12, 2009 at Junior’s in Downtown Round Rock. The crowd was standing room only. Their goal was to play so well, their venue would wow those who had come to listen to them. They exceeded their goal! People who heard the band thought it was an adult band, only to turn the corner and discover there were kids on stage. The members of the band are kids ranging in ages from 9 to 14. Let me introduce them: Taylor, guitar, her favorite song is “All the Small Things.” Marley, bass, her favorite song is “Barracuda.” Taylor and Marley are sisters


Mason, vocals, favorite song: “Kansas City.” Some kids are born with a silver spoon; Mason was born with a microphone. There has never been a time when he hasn’t performed. The band gives him the opportunity to develop as a professional.

Jonathan, guitar, favorite song “Taking Care of Business.” Jon has wanted to play guitar since he was four. He began taking lessons in the spring of his third grade year on acoustic, but quickly switched to electric where his true passion lay. It was a small leap from there to his desire to play with a band.

Nicholas, vocals and guitar, favorite song: “Barracuda” and “Beat It.” Nicholas has always been interested in music. He began voice lessons when he was eight. He moved on to acoustic guitar in grade school and added electric in middle school.

Camila, vocals, favorite song “Beat It.” Daniel drums, favorite song “Will It Go Round in Circles.” Camila and Daniel are siblings who love to rock out. They both began with piano, but ventured into new territory with the band. Camila took her love of singing to the group. Daniel began at three with his own kid drum set that he daily played for fun. After a couple months of lessons, he was ready to join the band.

Kate plays keyboard & provides vocals, favorite song “Barracuda.” Annemarie, guitar & vocals, favorite song “Barracuda.” Kate and Annemarie are twin sisters who began with a keyboard and lessons for their 6th birthday. Their parents’ ulterior motive was to provide a fun way to help Annemarie strengthen her hand muscles, which had required physical therapy. Kate came along for the ride, singing along the way. Since then, Annemarie added the guitar to her repertoire.

All the kids in the group participated in at least one of the Rock Camps that AAMD organizes about every six weeks and one week in July. These day-long camps focus on developing the students musically and providing real life experiences of being a band member. Dean and Lisa are very concerned about providing music that is kid-appropriate and maintains a high standard that the kids and their families can be proud of. They also set high standards

for the members of the band. Each musician is fully aware that the way they present themselves on stage and off is a reflection of not only themselves but their families and AAMD. ( So watch out Round Rock, there’s a new band in town! Speed Limit 180 may be made up of kids. But don’t be misled; these are some serious musicians! (To hire the band or learn more about the American Academy of Music and Dance, call 751-2263 or email Dean, Director of AAMD, at Lucy Howard


MercyMe visits Austin Music Hall for a benefit concert for Elizabeth Toon Charities

CL Baskin, Ashley Aune, Jessica Gates, Larry Toon and Laura Toon 10th Avenue North


n Nov 14th, Christian music sensation MercyMe played a benefit concert for the Elizabeth Toon Charities. They were joined by Alexander Webb who was a friend of Elizabeth's and performed a song he wrote called "Elizabeth", as well as popular Christian band, 10th Avenue North.


Alexander Webb

Madison Toon with MercyMe

Bart Millard


Jessica Gates, Executive Director of Elizabeth Toon Charities with Laura Toon

Christopher Reyes and Evan Ogden with MercyMe

10th Avenue North

Alexander Webb sings 'Elizabeth' a song he wrote for his friend Elizabeth Toon

Ashley Aune, Kaylee Aune, Rachel Richardson, Adra Richardson, Katherine Richardson, Rumer Richardson, Renee Franchese




Ribbon, Scissors and Paper…Oh My!


Start now, saving your newspapers for wrapping paper. This is a great way to recycle your papers, and if you add red or green yarn, the gifts look nice beneath the tree. Just write in red marker on the package To and From, and eliminate the need for tags.



White butcher paper can be used for wrapping and decorated with drawings or stickers. If you like, you can designate what gift goes to which person by including a different color of ribbon for each person. For example, mom’s gifts are all wrapped with red ribbon, dad’s with all green, etc.






If you sew or do crafts, you may have extra leftover material. Use fabric remnants to fold around packages, using no tape, and tie with cording, piping, rick-rack or other string or ribbon. These are easy to open and can be very elegant if you wish, by adding sequins, appliqués or bows. If you are having many guests with multiple gifts for each person, try wrapping each person’s gift in their open paper sans gift tags. This makes the gift opening fun and adventurous. Make a chart indicating which wrapping paper belongs to each person, and let the treasure hunt begin!


Purchase gift bags in solid colors in bulk. Place all packages in gift bags instead of boxes. These look so pretty under the tree, when they are of only two or three colors and all different sizes.

Wrap tiny gifts in tiny bags and hang on the tree as ornaments, allowing these to be “surprise” gifts when everyone thinks all the gift opening is over. What fun to find these little gifts among the lights and other ornaments on the tree!

If you save shoe boxes or other boxes with lids, it might be fun to wrap the bottom and the lid separately for easy gift opening and less ripping of paper. If the lid and bottom are wrapped in different, yet coordinating paper, this looks festive and unique for that special gift for that special person. For gift decoration, bows and ribbons can be costly. Visit a park or even your backyard and use twigs, leaves, berries (make sure they’re not poisonous!), etc. and have your whole array of gifts under the tree full of nature and its beauty!

One final way to save on gift tags is to use the same wrapping paper in which the gift is wrapped to make a gift card. Just cut a piece of the wrapping paper in card size, and fold it in half writing your message inside, and affix to the top of the box. Coordinating gift and card – sure to please! While you’re wrapping…light a candle, sip some hot tea, put on some Christmas music….enjoy!

Marcy Lytle


Try placing your gifts in related wrapping: kitchen items wrapped in dish towels, bathroom items in tissue paper sitting in an organizer, purse items in a tote bag, tools in a bucket, etc.




hen you make the drive out to Elgin, you soon realize why Texans love Texas so much. The wildlife, the big Texas sky and the very definition of God’s Country is what you’ll see. Ask any Texan about their state and you’ll quickly understand what pride means. I had only been here a short while, when I realized the meaning of “I am not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could,” which was on a bumper sticker I saw.

The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm…where families make memories…

The first thing we did was hop on a trailer, pulled by a tractor, while we were sitting on bales of hay. We rode the tractor out past rows and rows of Christmas trees until we found the perfect spot to unload the kids in search of the perfect tree. One thing I did not anticipate was how hard it was to find the perfect tree with a five year old, a three year old and one year old. In fact, I am somewhat surprised we made it out of there with all three! The other thing I did not anticipate was how we would all find the perfect tree, and once we walked away from that perfect tree, we’d never be able to find it again. I felt like I should have left a breadcrumb trail like Hansel and Gretel that would have led us back to that perfect tree! After all was said and done, we did eventually find the one perfect tree of the many perfect trees we had found.

Now to cut it down! The Elgin Christmas Tree farm was happy enough to provide me with a new saw that sliced right through the trunk like a knife through butter. Of course Asher and Izzy had to take their turns, but we made it through without incident, and now we have a really great experience to add to the memory bank and the photo album, thanks to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. The fun experience of sitting on a hay bale, riding on a trailer being pulled by a tractor, and the kids getting to play in the Haze Maze and getting to see the live animals they have out there, sure beats buying a tree under one of those tents on the side of the road or in front of a grocery store any ole day! The prices at The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm for the trees are very reasonable. And the memories? Well, they’re priceless. Lee Eddins

Hay Ride at the Pumpkin Festival

ers of Mark and Twyla the own Elgin Christmas tree farm

Take the short drive out to Elgin, and among all the beautiful landscape and that big Texas sky, you’ll find nestled right off Hwy. 290, the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. We drove out there this year for our first experience with cutting down our own Christmas tree.


My first thought was that we’d drive out to a field and cut a tree down and strap it on the top of the mini van and be on our way. I soon learned that it just does not work that way; and for a city boy like me, I was in for an experience.

Daddy finishes the job

Pumpkin Festival at the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm held two weekends out of the month every October

Izzy looking for the perfect tree

Hay ride to the Christmas trees

Asher cutting the tree


heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

Holiday Safety Tips


appy Holidays! It is hard to believe that the holiday season is in full swing and before we know it, we will be ringing in 2010. Here are some holiday safety tips to keep your children, pets and family safe. Christmas Trees When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because


Lights Check all tree lights-even if you've just purchased them-before hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks and make sure the lights are for use outdoors! Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. Plants There are many holiday season plants that are poisonous to pets and children. Holly and mistletoe are both highly toxic – especially the berries. Poinsettias are a potential danger too, but it’s the sap, not the leaves that are toxic. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep these items away from both pets and children. Ornaments and Toys It is best to keep fragile and breakable ornaments on the top of the tree and place

wooden and plastic ornaments towards the bottom. Make sure the ornaments are nontoxic, and they shouldn’t look like candy or food. Watch for small buttons and other removable parts on toys, as these can be easily swallowed and may be a choking hazard. Also be watchful of pull toys with strings over 12” in length.

Give Realty is a local Real Estate brokerage who is committed to giving back and investing in our community! When you sell or purchase a home using our brokerage, we donate 25% of our commission to the nonprofit of your choice in your name. We have donated over $30,000 in 2009, averaging more than $2000 per transaction. Go to to find out more or call us at 512-338-4483.

Laurie Loew

Find out more safety tips at ENJOY! The holiday season can be a very stressful time of year. Make sure you take the time to realize that the season is not about buying or receiving lots of gifts. It’s a time to count our blessings and be thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives. Spend quality time with your friends and family, and don’t forget to take some time out and help those who are less fortunate.

Funny Church Bulletin Bloopers 1. This week our Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

Have a safe and blessed holiday! Do you have a real estate question? E-mail it to and it may be featured in a future column! Robin LeTourneau, Realtor®, SRES®, GRI Laurie Loew, Broker GRI, ABR, GREEN® Give Realty Inc. 3420 Executive Center Drive Ste 300, Austin 78731 Phone: (512) 338.4483

2. The Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 3. Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

Leadership Filter | The Cause of Christmas


just finished viewing the Hillsong United I-Heart Revolution-We’re All In This Together documentary. I encourage you to join their conversation at It was an incredible challenge to unite local churches by going beyond our walls to serve the needs of our communities and our world. Christmas is not about getting; it’s about giving. It’s not about presents; it’s about people. It’s not about tradition; it’s about the heart. It’s about Jesus, who gave the greatest gift for all of humanity: Love.

We live in a consumer culture where everything revolves around one thing: Ourselves. Christianity has become safe and in some circles insignificant. What could happen this Christmas if the community of Austin stood up against injustice for one month, showed the Love of God to someone they didn’t know and came together, regardless of denomination and religious preference, and unveiled God’s Love to Austin, TX? 1. It would force us to leave our comfort zone. Jesus brought a dangerous message - give before you receive, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hurt you and live a life to serve rather than be served. It says in 1 John 4:18,“There is no fear in Love; but perfect Love casts out fear.” (NKJ) Jesus left everything in Heaven to come to earth knowing the cost he had to pay. He was motivated by pure and unconditional Love. What will motivate you to leave your comfort zone this Christmas?

2. It could tear down denominational lines. Churches joined together to affect the streets and fight injustice for one month could bring the cause of Christmas to Austin. We would not be defined by tradition, religion, or denomination. We would not be defined by what we are against but by what we are for – as one voice responding with the Love of God to the injustice, the hurting, the desperate, and the abused. Perfect Love tears down the walls of fear and unites people to action. 3. It would draw us closer to the heart of God: The church must become more outward focused in functionality and priority to sustain and reach this generation. The heart of God is for the broken, the poor and the defenseless. I encourage you this Christmas; don’t wait for a gift, be the gift in someone’s life. That’s what Christmas is all about. David Lawrence

David Lawrence is the editor at –Where Church Leadership & Millennials Converge (soon to be re-launched as Follow him on Twitter @DavidLawrence2 and friend him on

Dollars & $ense

Money-Saving Tips From Moms Who Shop


his is a monthly column full of tips for saving money. This month’s focus is on Christmas gifts.

Melissa C. (married, four children): • Start early - look thru magazines for ideas BUT go to the internet and shop for good pricing. However, buy from reputable companies, like Amazon. Watch for free shipping offers – you can save a lot. • Look at clearance aisles for toys for kids. You can get very good deals. • Homemade items are great for kids to do make cookies together and deliver to friends with a homemade card. Make holiday pies or breads, and homemade Christmas ornaments for family and friends. • For someone that you just do not know what to get, donate to their favorite ministry/charity in their name and send them this in their Christmas card.

JoAnn A. (single “mature” mom, living alone): • Instead of giving all family members a gift, you can, with everyone's agreement, draw names. • Shop for sales, if possible, and do comparative shopping (check for the best price). • Make or bake gifts to give a personal touch to those gifts. • If shipping packages, shop early and ship early to make sure that the packages will arrive on time. Patricia J. (single mom, two children): • Put away the credit cards! My philosophy is - if I can't pay cash for it, I don't need to be spending that much money! • Shop sales, clearance and store closings throughout the year, with gift-giving in mind. With a large family, I can always find something appropriate for all ages, and I just store items in the closet until it's Christmas time! • Board games are a great gift idea. Most of them are under $20 and it encourages family time together, new traditions and great memories! • Make flavored breads in canning jars! Bread-in-a-Jar recipes can be found on the internet for pumpkin, banana, chocolate, cranberry and more. A case of twelve pint-size jars costs around $12. Make your batter, pour into jars, bake, and seal. Decorate with a bandana, Christmas fabric or tissue paper. Put the recipe on an index card and secure with a ribbon and a jingle bell! • Instead of traditional gift giving, agree with friends or family members to sponsor a less fortunate family, serve holiday meals at a shelter, or go Christmas caroling.



A Life’s Purpose Found: Austin Mom Develops “A Hand to Hold” Program New Program Will Help Parents of Preemies after They Leave the NICU


itting on her desk in her home office is a framed quotation: “The purpose of life is a life of purpose” which sits nearby a portrait of her two children laughing. The quote and photo of her blessed, healthy children is a simple reminder for Kelli Kelley, mother of two children born premature, to press forward.

Kelli and Michael took their baby home,where their challenges had only just begun. “Leaving the hospital after a NICU stay can feel like jumping off a cliff without a parachute,” says Kelli. She and Michael spent the next year navigating seas of doctor appointments, medical equipment, therapy, medical bills, and insurance forms while caring for Jackson.

Kelley Family Her odyssey began early in her first pregnancy in August of 2000. Kelli began having contractions. Because she knew something wasn’t right, she and her husband Michael called 911. Her water broke not long after she arrived at the hospital, and doctors performed an emergency c-section to save her son. Jackson Thomas was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound 8 ounces and was immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in critical condition.

Shortly after Jackson’s second birthday, Kelli learned she was again pregnant. And though precautions were taken, her daughter, Lauren Elizabeth, was born at 34 weeks, once again a premature birth. A birth is considered full term if infants have gestated more than 37 weeks. Though Lauren was a healthy weight, she experienced complications due to a blood disorder, and Kelli and Mike were forced to leave the hospital without their baby who remained in the NICU.

“My heart was broken when Jackson was born so early and faced so many challenges,” shared Kelli. “The experience shook my foundation. It sent me to my knees in prayer. When all the control was out of my hands, I could only pray. And that is what my husband and I did. Hand in hand on our knees we prayed. Over Jackson’s bed in the NICU we prayed. Our friends, family and people we had never met prayed for Jackson.”

Today the Kelley children are healthy and both attend elementary school at Canyon Creek Elementary. They participate in gymnastics and piano. Jackson plays baseball.

The NICU stay was an exhausting, emotional four-month rollercoaster ride. Kelli and her husband watched as their son surpassed setbacks and began to thrive. After having his first surgery at 5 days old, they nicknamed him “Action Jackson” and put up a tiny pair of boxing gloves in his bed because they knew he was a fighter. After 105 days in the NICU,


Most people probably would have counted their blessings and returned to the hustle and bustle that a life with children inevitably brings. Kelli, on the other hand, has taken her experience of preterm birth and made it her life’s purpose to help other parents in similar circumstances. “I didn’t want to be just ‘going through the motions’ as Christian Artist Matthew West describes in his song ‘The Motions,’” she says. A member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Kelli drew spiritual sustenance from her Lamplighters Bible Study, and a spiritual gifts

class which helped her discern her gifts of mercy, encouragement, and intercession. “I truly believe that God is using my experiences with preterm birth to help me minister to others after the NICU,” she relates. Starting a needed social services program she named “A Hand to Hold” has not been an easy mountain to climb. “In the beginning, I really did not know how to get started,” says Kelli. “I told God I was willing if he would just show me the way. He has opened doors, led me to the right people, helped me secure funding and brought together a host of volunteers and supporters to help me champion this cause.” Ultimately, Kelli met Laura Warren, Co-Director of Texas Parent to Parent and also a mother of a premature child, and found the program a perfect fit with their mission to help parents of children with special health care needs or disabilities. “It made sense for Texas Parent to Parent to expand services to meet the needs of parents immediately following the NICU,” says Laura Warren, Texas Parent to Parent Co-Director. “As a parent of a preemie, I know firsthand how difficult taking a child home after a long NICU stay can be. No one else had taken on the cause of parents, post-NICU, when their need is greatest. Because of our two decades of experience supporting parents of children with disabilities, we are well positioned to meet those needs.” Last month was “prematurity awareness month” to raise awareness of this growing problem. The United States has the second highest rate of preterm births globally according to a recent study. One out of every eight births is born preterm, and it is the leading cause of permanent disabilities such as mental retardation, chronic lung disease, Cerebral Palsy, learning difficulties, blindness and deafness. In Travis County, 12 percent of all births are preterm—that is, 34 out of 275 births each week.

I could imagine.” A Hand to Hold which was announced last month will be launched as a pilot program first in the Austin area. Then, Texas Parent to Parent will duplicate the program across the state and plans to share it nationally with Parent to Parent USA. Currently, there are 33 parent-to-parent organizations across the United States. Local pediatrician Ari Brown, M.D., FAAP agrees that supporting families is essential for babies to thrive. “When premature babies go home from the NICU, their day to day care and its impact on the family can be overwhelming…A Hand to Hold… will help guide families through the medical, psychological, and economic challenges that lie ahead.” Headquartered in Austin, Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) was founded in 2002. Many of the staff worked for a local parent-to-parent program started in the early 90s. The great demand for community-based services across the state led Laura Warren and Sue Regimbal to agree to lead Texas Parent to Parent as a statewide nonprofit organization created by parents to provide support and information to families of children with disabilities, chronic illness, and special health care needs. Parents and caregivers receive one-on-one support, resource referral and education to help their children. Their staff also train medical residents and provide a statewide educational conference specifically for parents of children with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. Since 2002, Texas Parent to Parent has helped more than 2,800 families. If you would like to help by volunteering or donating, learn more by visiting Texas Parent to Parent at or call 512-4588600 / toll-free 866-896-6001. Amy T. Carr

Beginning early next year, A Hand to Hold will assist Austin area parents of preemies postNICU or in the event of infant loss. The program will match parents with a trained parent volunteer who has experienced a similar journey and can quickly help them find resources and services for their child and family. Programs will also include a peer support network, parent support groups, bereavement support, an online resource guide, online social network, family outings and baby play dates. Kelli originally thought she would be founding a local program for parents in the Austin area. She says, “God’s plans were much bigger that

SPECIAL FEATURES Jeremy Camp-Speaking Louder Than Before

The Salvation ArmyAdult Rehabilitation Center in Austin


t The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Austin, we are celebrating 20 years of service and a life-long commitment of one of our most loved and respected employees: Mrs. Claylia Miller.

Jeremy Camp with the His Shoes staff and volunteers Jeremy Camp


eremy Camp, Natalie Grant and Bebo Norman joined together on October 31 for the Speaking Louder Than Before Tour. In each city where they stopped, they highlighted a local ministry. His Shoes was the local Austin ministry that was highlighted, and Jeremy even donated a pair of his own shoes to the cause. The concert was at Riverbend Church. Jeremy Camp high five's the His Shoes volunteers

Jeremy Camp presents a pair of his own shoes to Lee Eddins, Founder of His Shoes

Natalie Grant

Lee Eddins

Many have forgotten where they came from, but not Mrs. Claylia Miller. She is a woman who knows firsthand, the pain, struggle, and despair of addiction; as well as the promises, rewards, and hope of recovery. Her every moment, indeed her life’s work for the past twenty years, is carrying the message to those of us still suffering. Whether you only know “Miss” Claylia as the one who admitted you to The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, or as the faith-filled counselor for “Healing Damaged Emotions”, she is a woman whose very being radiates the fruit of the spirit. She is a woman of excellence who trusts God with her life, believing that God is love, and knowing that her salvation is in Christ alone. She can love and serve, trusting in her heavenly Father to meet her needs.

Austin the Adult Rehabilitation Center has been ministering to people with a variety of social and spiritual afflictions by providing a clean living environment, food, work, individual counseling, and spiritual direction. Since The Salvation Army does not solicit government funding for this program, the Adult Rehabilitation Centers are made possible through the donation of goods that can be sold in our Family Stores. Our recovery program is 100% funded by the proceeds from these stores. All donations remain in the community where they originate and 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends goes directly to community service. When you shop at our family stores or donate goods to the Adult Rehabilitation Center, you will be helping others by reclaiming lives, healing families, and promoting spiritual restoration.

Affectionately known as “Mama Claylia”, she is a great lady with a heart larger than Texas, a true heart of compassion and understanding that always has the best interest of the men as her first priority. As a hope-giver, she nurtures men who are mentally, physically, and spiritually bankrupt. She gives assurance that there is light at the end of every dark tunnel, and she is always there for a hug or word of encouragement. Thank you “Miss”Claylia , for choosing to share with us your fruit of the spirit, and for your willingness to use your life to save ours.

Claylia and her dog

The Salvation Army is a 129 year old, faithbased organization that helps people with all types of social needs in virtually every community across America. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name. There are many branches of The Salvation Army, and here in

You may visit our website at for personal testimonies of damaged lives that were transformed by your donations, or give us a call at 1-800 SA-Truck (512) 416-0607 to arrange for our truck to pick up your donations. Charles Hankins



Logic Students Take Skeptic to Task


n Tuesday, April 28, 2009, The University of Texas hosted "A Skeptics Forum and Scientific Scholar Panel Debate" featuring Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fuz Rana of Reasons To Believe (RTB), a Christian science/faith think-tank. These gentlemen offered their reasons for believing in the God of the Bible before a general audience, a panel of UT professors and Dr. Michael Shermer, executive director of the Skeptics Society. Dr. Shermer offered critique and rebuttal to the theists’ presentation. What Dr. Shermer did not anticipate, however, was that his own arguments that night would soon become the object of a much lauded critique by a group of high school students.

Tuner Ashton Murphy, Logan and Hannah Thoms

In the audience that night sat Logan Turner, Hannah Thoms, and Ashton Murphy, students at Grace Academy of Georgetown, a local classical Christian school. Among other things, classical education places a special emphasis on learning proper logic, honing effective rhetorical skills, and discerning fallacies. This event offered an opportunity to put their learning to the test. During the debate Logan began making a list of the logical fallacies employed by Dr. Shermer. Afterwards, when Mr. Murphy asked about their observations, the students produced quite a list. They said they “were surprised to find so many fallacies dispersed throughout his [Dr. Shermer’s] presentation.” Each began listing various fallacies, such as his frequent use of the “straw-man” argument. The “straw-man” fallacy is the misrepresentation of the opposing argument in order to make it less convincing and easier to defeat. For those accompanying the students, the drive home proved as educational and stimulating as the debate itself. Ashton’s father had volunteered to drive Dr. and Mrs. Ross to the airport later that week for their return trip to California, and he shared with them the account of these logic students vocalizing the many fallacies they recognized in Shermer’s presentation. The Rosses seemed genuinely impressed. The following week Mrs. Ross contacted Mr. Murphy. The staff at RTB wanted the students to write a paper detailing the fallacies employed by Mr. Shermer for posting on the RTB website. The students gladly agreed.


In late May, the students met to review their lessons in Logic, collectively recall various particulars of the debate and organize their thoughts. Logan started the paper and Ashton finished it as Hannah had to leave for work as a camp counselor. The paper was submitted to RTB and Kathy Ross graciously replied “It exceeds my expectations in every way” while Dr. Ross noted “I’m impressed by the keen attentiveness and astute application of analytical tools their paper demonstrates.” The Austin chapter of RTB, which had organized and hosted the debate, obtained a copy of the paper and invited the students to attend their next meeting in June in order to be recognized. The Murphys had thought this was likely just a polite gesture towards these “kids” in honor of the time they took to write the paper. Mr. Murphy said later, “We were simply not prepared for the events of the meeting.” What was expected to be token recognition turned out to be genuine admiration. The organizers transformed the paper into a power-point presentation which the group dissected word for word. This is an educated group with many PhD’s in attendance. Many expressed a desire to obtain a copy of the paper for themselves. Some noted there were a few fallacies presented of which even they had never heard. Bob Davis, coordinator for RTB Austin, commented these “God-fearing intellectual young Davids had slain one of the Goliaths of Godlessness on the battlefield for the mind!” At the end of the presentation the students were invited to return and offer a lecture themselves in regard to common informal logical fallacies. The students have tentatively agreed to do so in January. The apostle Paul encouraged believers to “demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” (II Cor 10:5) and Peter encouraged us to “do this with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:15) It is encouraging to see young believers arming themselves with the laws of logic and the persuasive use of language. Theirs is an example from which we all could learn. You can read their “Logical Assessment of Michael Shermer’s Arguments” on the RTB website at For more information on the Logic program at Grace Academy visit

John Murphy Karen Moore


The Main Street Grill–Tasty and Satisfying

he Main Street Grill in Round Rock turned 10 years old on November 12, 2009. They had a 10-year anniversary party to celebrate the event with live music, special food and lots of fun!

drinking pleasure. I started off my meal with the Shrimp Diablo. I am sure they have a more technical way to describe them, but here’s my rendition…they were some of the biggest shrimp I have ever had, stuffed with jalapeños and wrapped in bacon, and every bit served up in a way that you would expect from a fine dining place like the Main Street Grill. We both had their Caesar salad as well. My wife ordered the Filet Elizabeth, a petite Filet Mignon dusted in Cajun Spices, topped with Gorgonzola Gratin, and set in a rich Buerre Rouge served with Pepper Jack Polenta and Vegetable Du Jour. I am more of a New York Strip kind of guy, a steak which the Main Street Grill also offers on their dinner menu. I had my steak blackened, served rare (cooked perfectly by the way, which is not always the case in many restaurants), topped with a Gorgonzola Compound Butter served over Tamale Whipped Potatoes with fresh vegetables. My wife finished her meal with Crème’ Brulee and myself with the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake.

Main Street Grill, located at 118 E. Main Street in Round Rock, TX has become a local favorite for the residents of Round Rock. The building at 118 E Main Street was built in 1877. However, in 1916, the original building was destroyed by fire. In 1920 the Farmer’s State Bank was chartered to build the new building, a brick structure, and it has been the home to everything from a bank, an auto parts supply house, a television and radio store to an opera house, and most recently, Round Rock’s finest dining experience since 1999, The Main Street Grill.

Overall, we were extremely satisfied with our experience at the Main Street Grill. The atmosphere was laid back-yet refined, the service was impeccable and the food was outstanding. I cannot think of anything that would have made our experience better. As with so many of the more upscale dining restaurants, many times the portions are small and at least in my case, leave me wanting more. From a big ole 280lb guy, I can honestly say that the portions were adequate and filling. The Main Street Grill is open for dinner Monday- Friday at 5pm and is closed on Sundays.

Under the direction of Chef Mike Davis, diners can enjoy fabulous menu items for both lunch and dinner. Their lunch menu consists of favorites like the Sam Bass Burger, a half pound Angus Beef burger served with Longhorn Colby Cheddar cheese, bacon and served open-faced on an onion roll, as well as lunch entrees like the Sunflower Crusted Trout seared to order with a Sunflower Kernel breading, set over a bed of Corn and Cilantro Risotto and laced with a Roasted Corn Butter. Lunch is served MondayFriday from 11am until 2:30pm.

I highly recommend that you visit the Main Street Grill in downtown Round Rock. The staff will make you feel right at home and Chef Mike will serve up some tasty treats that will leave you satisfied and eager to come back. Lee Eddins

and Mike Davis, Jerri Stroup

Jeffers Haile


Several years ago, researchers at Cornell University and Michigan State University conducted a study of restaurants in three local markets over a 10-year period. They concluded that when restaurants open their doors, 70% of them had failed during that 10 year period. I decided to take my wife out for dinner at the Main Street Grill the night after their anniversary party, so I could see why this place had fared so well for ten years right here in the heart of Round Rock.

Jill Vaca, JoBeth Hoebermann, Brandy Jones, Kristy Self, Magan Theil, Natalie Townsend

As we entered the Main Street Grill, we were immediately taken to a table and within two minutes greeted by the lady who would be taking care of us that evening. They had an extensive wine selection, and for the lightweight like me, they even had a nice cold Diet Coke for my Mike Davis, Nacho Grinaldo and Scotty Stroup


ACC-Austin’s Most Overlooked Mission Field


he name of my column is '20 Words' which has a dual meaning. It speaks to the 20 something’s crowd I am writing to, but I highlight 20 words from my article in bold that send a message or summarize what I am writing about.

Brace yourself. Here come some facts that have the potential to light the church on fire for Austin Community College students in central Texas. With a current enrollment of over 40,000 credited students spread across 8 main campuses in our city, ACC is one of the largest community college districts in our nation. Yep, you read that right, in our NATION. In comparison, HCC in Houston has 55,000 students in a metro area that is 6 times our size! The University of Texas at Austin currently enrolls 49,000 and in the next few years, with the opening of ACC’s 9th campus in Round Rock, UT will be eclipsed in size by ACC. From a missional perspective, UT has experienced some major breakthroughs over the years thanks to faithful, committed servants such as Justin Christopher (Campus Renewal Ministries) and now has over 60 Christian ministries with 200 ministers working together across denominational lines to see the campus transformed for Christ. If we hop the fence to scope out the mission field at ACC we will find less than 5 active Christian clubs and only 1 ministry (Austin Lit). The total student involvement in these 5 clubs is less than 40 people total. If a campus can starve from spiritual malnutrition then it’s safe to say that ACC is withering away due to the lack of Christ’s presence. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, our lack of involvement in such a significant harvest is embarrassing and must change! Martin Luther King, Jr made an observation that I feel applies here. He said:

would our inaction have on the future of God’s church in Austin should we continue to neglect such a large mission field? Here is another way to look at this: What if mobilizing the church to reach and disciple campuses like UT and ACC holds the key to unlocking real revival in our city? If this generation of young adults was exposed to and equipped with the transforming truth of the Gospel on a consistent basis, could it be a mission field that produces a harvest 10, 30, 100 times what we could imagine? Is it possible that God is looking down from heaven right now searching Austin for those faithful servants who will answer this calling? If you are currently an ACC student or perhaps a follower of Christ whom God is stirring as you read this, then I want you to know that there is an immediate step you can take. Visit Austin Lit,, a new ministry to ACC that has created a bridge for the church in Austin to get involved in ministering and serving students on campuses in their geographic regions around town. Just imagine this: If 10% of the 800+ churches in greater Austin took action now by investing in a local college campus near them, this could be a move that would radically impact the spiritual climate of our city! I believe that God desires to use His church to transform the hearts and minds of college students all over this city. Don’t you believe the same? Joe Elliott

e email m Callaoyr for mor!e tod ormation inf

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" If we as the church in Austin do not adopt a local ACC campus as our mission field and commit to serving the students and staff there, then what will happen to those who do not get an opportunity to experience the truth and love of Jesus Christ? What effect


Fast, efficient & reliable graphic design (512) 507.4795 •

Generation Bridge


he Daniel & Justin Show airs on Sunday evenings 8p.m.–10p.m. on The Word (99.3 FM). Daniel & Justin are youth leaders at New Hope Community Church in Round Rock. Each month, they will offer their insight on things they think parents might like to know, in order to “bridge the gap” between generations. We hope our readers find their comments informative and helpful… AFF: What are some current problems with the way kids dress today?

brands, it’s most likely because he/she wants to fit in a certain “crowd” or “group”. Talk to them and find out what they’re really after.

Justin: Mainly the lack of clothes. I think kids are allowed to put too much into “personal expression” in what they wear.

AFF: Do kids treat each other differently, depending on their style of dress? How so?

Daniel: Too much skin! The simple fact is that the clothes don’t make the person! You don’t have to wear revealing clothes to look “good”.

Daniel: Unfortunately, yes. If you wear black, you’re depressed and “emo”, and if you wear expensive “in style” clothes, you’re spoiled. It’s kind of sad. We categorize people like we categorize clothes.

AFF: Does the outfit affect the attitude, and vice-versa? Justin: Most definitely. Image is everything to kids, whether they admit it or not. There are a few basic themes: country, dark, sporty, casual and fashionable. Which is your kid? Daniel: A lot of times, yes it does. If I wear a suit, I feel different and my attitude is more professional. But your attitude can affect anything that you do, and the clothes that you wear won’t, and shouldn’t, change who you are. AFF: Should dress for church be different than dress for school? Why or why not? Daniel: I agree that God wants our best, but your clothes don’t have to affect your attitude. I can bring God my best and be in shorts, a t-shirt and sandals.

Justin: Yes, I think they do a little. Kids can be mean, and one of the first things kids go for is outward appearance, because that’s easy. AFF: If kids show too much skin, how would you counsel them to be “modest”? Justin: You need to explain self-respect; that you don’t need to show skin to be attractive or to get attention. Parents, are you encouraging this behavior? Many times this answer is no, but some parents try to help their kids become more popular or sexier. Daniel: Cover up! Seriously, there is a line between being “cute” and being “revealing” and I think we need to come to a happy medium. AFF: What’s the main thing you want to say to parents regarding how their kids dress?

Justin: Yes, but it depends on the parent. At school you can wear a pair of gym shorts all day, but you shouldn’t wear that to church.

Justin: Explain your stance on why some things are okay and some are not, and your tone in explaining is important.

AFF: What would your advice be to parents whose kids only want name-brand, expensive clothes?

Daniel: Pay Attention! Young people dress to make a statement. Pay attention to what they’re wearing and try to see what message that’s portraying. Use this issue as an opportunity to get closer to your kid and find out what makes them tick.

Justin: If they want it, they pay for it. A compromise can and needs to be reached. This is a classic case of where parents get in trouble of being too much of an “understanding friend.” Put together a budget for clothes and tell your kids what you can afford. This could be a good chance to teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees.

Marcy Lytle

Daniel: Clothes do not make the person! I can’t emphasize that enough. You shouldn’t let your child’s identity be found in something as trivial as clothing. If your child wants name-


A View from the Blue Roof |


n the classic television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown just can’t get into the Christmas spirit. His friend Linus says, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.” The holidays are wonderful for most of us, but for many people it can be a difficult and joyless time: the recently widowed person holding back tears at the sight of the empty chair at the dinner table, financially struggling parents worried about how to provide Christmas gifts, lonely souls dreading the idea of spending another holiday alone. I’m not trying to pull a “Charlie Brown” and turn the holiday season into a problem, but rather to note the tremendous opportunities this season presents. We can share our joy with others in desperate need of good news. As you plan your holiday activities, visit someone you know who is facing their first Christmas without a loved one. Buy a few extra toys to give to a financially strapped family. Gather friends and visit a nursing home to sing carols. Invite a neighbor or co-


worker you suspect will be spending the holidays alone to share the festivities with your family. Many local churches have a host of opportunities to help those in need this Christmas. Last year, our congregation gave gifts to Galveston families who had lost everything to Hurricane Ike. We collected presents for New Life Treatment Center in Canyon Lake, and our youth provided Thanksgiving meals for local families in need. If you’re looking to help, there are many ways to do it. The one constant is that the giver experiences even more joy than the recipient. A cartoon I saw recently depicts three little boys, coming to the manger bearing gifts. The first two boys bring the traditional gold and frankincense. The third little boy offers a large box of disposable diapers. Mary could only have wished! Jesus said, "Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me." Grab the kids and head down to your favorite store and buy a large package of diapers and take them over to Round Rock’s Agape Pregnancy Center or the Pflugerville Pregnancy Resource Center!

Sharing the Joy May you discover the joy of Christmas, as you receive God’s gift of love to you—the gift of His Son, Jesus. This is joy to be shared, by giving to others of your time, your skills and your treasure. Have a safe, joyous and blessed holiday season!

! T


his group of volunteer, exceptionally skilled musicians, who are dedicated to performing free, family-friendly concerts, invites you to attend one of their concerts coming up in December. WCSO is one of the area’s most respected community organizations. Director of Music, Dr. Thomas E. Rainey, states “WCSO is so proud to share with the community for Williamson County, making music accessible and appealing to all ages.”

Pastor Keith Our Savior Lutheran Church

For more information and a calendar of concerts, visit

Catching the Light...


amilies that pray together and play together, grow together. Below is a small sample of the type of family devotions you will find in Catching Fireflies, written by Marcy Lytle. Take one evening, gather the family together, and catch the light from God’s word as you have fun doing it! ( Receive! You will need your bible and a large box with the following items placed inside: bottle of water, small cups for each person participating, matches, a scented candle, slices of fresh bread and a nice placemat or cloth. Put the lid on the box and wrap it nicely with paper, tape, ribbon and a bow. Place a nametag on the box with John 3:16 written out on the tag. Sit together in a circle on the floor. As you slowly unwrap the gift, follow the instructions below and answer the questions together. • Read the gift tag. Who is the giver? What is being given? Who can receive it? (Remove the gift tag.) • Examine the ribbon and bow and how it makes the package pretty. Read Isaiah

61:10. What kind of clothing makes us attractive? (Remove the ribbon and bow.)


• What keeps the paper on the box? Read Psalm 121:7, 8 and see who keeps us in his watchful eye. (Take off the tape from the paper.) • The paper is used to cover the ugliness of a plain box. Read Psalm 32: 1, 2. What covers the ugliness of sin in our lives? (Remove the paper.) • Now we have a box that holds the gift. Read James 1:17. Where do all good gifts originate? (Set the box in the middle of the circle). • (Open the box and set out the things inside. As you read the following scriptures, enjoy your gift together.) • John 4:10-13 – Jesus brings us living WATER (pour the water and drink together). • Ephesians 2:8 – Jesus is the BREAD of life (break the bread and share). • Acts 1:4,5 – He gives us the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT (light the candle and smell the scent). With this gift, we receive peace, joy and love. This gift can be opened every day to be enjoyed. Pray together that as the Christmas season takes place, every man, woman, boy and girl in the world who has never received the gift of Jesus will be given his love to unwrap and call their own.

Celebration Church Weekend Sunday Services: 9:30am 11:30am 1:30pm (en español) 6pm (Children's Ministry:

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First Baptist Pflugerville Sunday Bible Fellowship Groups8:00am & 9:30am Worship Services 9:30am Traditional 11:00am Contemporary Pecan St. @ 10th Street Pflugerville, TX (512) 251-3052

MidWeek Wednesday Night Service: 7 p.m. (English and español) 1202 County Road 116 (Rabbit Hill Road) Georgetown, TX 78626 (512) 763-3000

Solid Rock Baptist Church (512) 410-7458 A Church for the Deaf and Hearing

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DEC CALENDAR 1 Holiday in the Woods: Tree Illumination 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Buescher State Park. Ring in the holidays at the park with the grand illumination of our holiday tree, 6pm at the Picnic Pavilion. Gift shopping, hot drinks, holiday treats and family photos.

2 Signing Santa 6pm – 8:30pm at Barton Creek Square Mall. N.A.O. will provide a signing Santa Claus for the hearing-impaired children in the Austin community.

3 “Making Sense of the Hard Times: How the Arts Helped Americans through the Great Depression” 7pm at Harry Ransom Center.

4 A Dickens’ Christmas in Lockhart 7pm at Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart is transformed into a Dickens’ style Christmas. Lighted parade Friday night. Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Holiday Tree Lighting 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Heritage Oak Park. The holidays begin with the Holiday Tree Lighting in Heritage Oak Park. Over 50,000 lights illuminate the largest Live Oak in Cedar Park. Santa Claus, caroling, and free carriage rides. St. Nikolaus Market 4pm – 9pm in downtown Fredricksburg. Enjoy live German and Christmas music and Nutcracker performances by the Fredricksburg Youth Ballet Ensemble.

5 19th Annual Festival of Lights 10am – 11:30pm in downtown Smithville. Smithville’s Main Street area is transformed into a Texas-style winter wonderland featuring a holiday market, a kidsfest area, holiday themed games and contests, live music, and food court. A Dickens’ Christmas in Lockhart 9 am – 6pm at Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart is transformed into a Dickens’ style Christmas.


Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre. Ballet Austin’s 47th Annual Production of The Nutcracker The Long Center for the Performing Arts.

The Singing Christmas Tree 9:30am at Bannockburn Baptist Church.


Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Home Slice Pizza’s 4th Annual Carnival-O-Pizza 12pm – 7pm at Home Slice Pizza in South Austin.

Other Worlds Film Series: “Stardust” 7pm at Harry Ransom Center.

Round Rock Symphony Holiday Spectacular 8pm at Anderson Mill Baptist Church. Cost is $15-$20. The Round Rock Symphony and Texas State University Choirs will perform holiday hits, selections from the Nutcracker and Handel’s Messiah.

8 Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Sights and Sounds 5k 4pm in San Marcos. Spicewood Vineyards Half Marathon/10k 8:30am St. Nikolaus Market 10am – 9pm in downtown Fredricksburg. Enjoy live German and Christmas music and Nutcracker performances by the Fredricksburg Youth Ballet Ensemble. The Heroes of Texas 10am – 3pm at The Alamo in San Antonio. Wimberely Market Days 7am – 4pm Sponsored by Wimberley Lions Club. 475 booths, live music on three stages, and eight concession stands. Winter Fair at Austin Waldorf School 10am – 4pm at Austin Waldorf School. There is music, food, fun and games. It is a place to make handcrafted gifts for the holidays.


Glory In The Highest Acoustic Christmas Tour 8pm at Concordia University Fieldhouse.

9 Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Glory In The Highest Acoustic Christmas Tour 6:30pm at First Baptist in Boerne.

10 Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.


Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre.

Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre.

ARC Decker Challenge 7am. While you pick up your race packet join us for some great food, door prizes and some pre-race chatter. Price includes all you can eat buffet, non-alcoholic beverage, tax and gratuity.

Christmas Family Night in Round Rock 6:30pm in downtown Round Rock on Main Street. A free event includes activities for the entire family including live music, dancers, candle-making, carriage rides, games booths, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and more.

Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Christmas Puppet Show 8:30pm at Round Rock Library. The puppet show is based on childrens books. Other activities include crafts.

Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Holidays at Heritage Park 6pm – 9pm. Revisit Christmas Days from the past. Holidays at Heritage Park offers choirs, carolers, children’s arts and crafts and free pictures with Santa.

Holiday in the Woods: Campsite Decorating Contest Buescher State Park. Bring your decorations and celebrate the holidays at the park. Decorate your site with light and other seasonal items. The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre. Family Force 5 7pm at Celebration Church in Georgetown.

12 2009 Old Town Holiday Stroll and Christmas Parade 10am – 8pm in downtown Pflugerville. Parade at 6pm, shopping, kids activities, antique cars and cycles all topped off with the Christmas Parade and Community Tree Lighting. Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre. Christmas Concert FBCRR “God So Loved…” 7pm at First Baptist Church Round Rock. This is a collection of familiar carols, classics from Handel’s Messiah and a combination of music whose lyrics are as powerful as the melodies are beautiful. Free Interpretive Hike at McKinney Falls 10am – 11:30am at Smith Visitors Center at McKinney Falls State Park hike along Onion Creek to the lower falls and by the horse trainers cabin. Hikes are 1½ hours. Wear comfortable shoes and bring drinking water. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Santa’s Workshop 6pm – 8pm at Heritage Oak Park. Join us for Santa’s Workshop and enjoy music, games, inflatables, yule fire, art and crafts and Santa Claus.

Happy Holidays 18 St. Judes Children’s Emergency Shelter Jingle Bell 5K 7:30am. All proceeds from the run will benefit the St. Judes Ranch for Children.

Trek Women Series: Half Marathon/10K/5K 8am. Start and finish and festival area will be located at Tanger Outlets.

Tax – Free Shopping at Austin Children’s Museum Store 10am – 5pm at Austin Children’s Museum. Come get all your holiday gifts for kids – tax free. All profits from the Museum Store go directly back to support Austin Children’s Museum. The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre.

The Singing Christmas Tree 9:30am at Bannockburn Baptist Church.

The Young Texas Harp Ensemble’s Capitol Christmas Concert! 12pm – 1pm at Capitol of Texas Rotunda. Family-Friendly Holiday Concert 7:30pm featuring special guest guitarist David Asbury along with many holiday favorites.

13 Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre. Christmas Concert FBCRR: “God So Loved…” 9:45am, 11am, 6pm at First Baptist Church Round Rock. This is a collection of familiar carols, classics from Handel’s Messiah and a combination of music whose lyrics are as powerful as the melodies are beautiful. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Science Sunday 3pm – 5pm at Austin Children’s Museum. Join UT Hands-on-Science as they bring big ideas down to a small-sized audience using a variety of hands-on activities. The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre.

Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.


The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre.

Christmas Puppet Show 7pm at Round Rock Library. The puppet show is based on children’s books. Other activities include crafts.


Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

15 Christmas Puppet Show 10:30am at Round Rock Library. The puppet show is based on children’s books. Other activities include crafts. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

16 Christmas Puppet Show 10:30am at Round Rock Library. The puppet show is based on children’s books. Other activities include crafts. Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

17 Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre.

The Singing Christmas Tree 9:30 am at Bannockburn Baptist Church.

27 Twas the Night Before Christmas 4pm at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville by the Bluebonnet Ballet.

31 HEB Presents First Night Austin 2pm – 12am in downtown Austin between 4th St. and Auditorium Shores.

Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread. Monthly Breakfast Meeting 10am – 12pm. Women passionate about the environment. The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre. Drive-Thru Nativity at Concordia Lutheran in San Antonio.

20 Annie at The Georgetown Palace Theatre.

Austin Faith & Family Magazine would like to wish you & your family a very Merry

Gingerbread Workshops Austin Children’s Museum. Parents and kids can build and decorate their very own gingerbread house with candy and icing, using real, soft gingerbread.

Christmas. Have a Blessed

The 9th Annual Austin Children’s Nutcracker Showtimes vary at The Dougherty Arts Center Theatre.

Holiday Season!

Twas the Night Before Christmas 2pm at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville by the Bluebonnet Ballet.





MOVIES Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. –Eric Sevareid One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. –Andy Rooney Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget. –Hugh Downs

2010 The special effects in this movie are worth seeing. This is a long movie, but full of entertainment and suspense. The world is coming to an end, and one family is on a quest to survive, in more ways than one. John Cusack and Amanda Peet star in this movie that brought screams from the audience, as the main family narrowly escapes one disaster after another, and the same audience applauded at the end, as the movie concluded with an incredible visual. If possible, see this movie in one of the new extreme HD theaters in town… Marcy Lytle

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. –Hamilton Wright Mabi

Where the Wild Things Are


Let the wild rumpus start! Maurice Sendek's 1963 masterpiece is resurrected to modern culture through Spike Jonze's artistic film interpretation that came to theaters October 16. An exclusive featurette of the film interviews Sendek and finds him to be thoroughly content with Jonze's spin on his treasured story. He explains how the story is perceived differently through other eyes yet still respectful of it. Main character Max frolicks with the wild things and learns the difficulties and triumphs of friendships, leaving the viewer's inner childlike perspective to explore and delight in simplicity. Where The Wild Things Are may be a fictional place, but the innocent playfulness and loving relationships displayed are a portrayal of reality.

– A policeman parked his police van in front of the station, while gathering his equipment, his K-9 partner Tops was barking, and he saw a little boy staring in at him “Is that a dog you got back there?” he asked. “It sure is,” the policeman replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at him and towards the back of the van. Finally he asked; “What did he do?” – Little Johnny “why is your homework in your Dads writing?” the teacher asks. “I used his pen,” he replied.

Lauren Turner

Q. What do you call cheese that's not yours? A. Nacho cheese!

MUSIC Leeland–Love Is On the Move Twenty-one year old redhead Leeland Mooring, frontman of Leeland, utters in his signature whisper of a voice that "love is on the move" on the title track of their third album with the same fervor for God's kingdom and craftsmanship as projects past. However, while nodding gently toward past efforts, Leeland's new album explodes with a sense of creativity and renewal. Songs such as "Weak Man" and lyrical gem "Carry Me On Your Back" make for brilliant worshipful expressions in a similar progressive-rock style, while the ethereal "Pure Bride" and their cover of "Via Dolorosa" permeate the album with a breath of both musical and spiritual life. Other highlights include "Follow You", featuring Brandon Heath on guest vocals. Lauren Turner


Austin Faith & Family- December 2009  

Austin's only faith based entertainment magazine!

Austin Faith & Family- December 2009  

Austin's only faith based entertainment magazine!