Friday, June 26, 2009

Please Pray 4 Clarksville

It is with very mixed emotions that I write this post this morning. 

I totally believe that God has some very big plans for this area that my family and I call home. You may not know that Clarksville is the 9th fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation. Nearby Ft. Campbell is growing and the city just landed the largest single investment in the state's history with the commitment of a major company to build a factory here. While most areas of the country have been hit with growing job loses and a suffering housing market, Clarksville is in the unique position of not having enough homes for the area's projected growth. Yes, Clarksville is on the verge of something big . . .

With my husband working for our local association, we get a unique perspective on what God is doing across the area. Churches are growing. New ministries are being started. It is an exciting time to be in Clarksville if you are a Christ follower. 

BUT . . . (here is where my prayer request comes!) Satan and his forces are attacking. They see the potential too and aren't sitting idly by. 

World Changers has come to Clarksville for the first time. They are poised and ready to spread the gospel as they lovingly, sacrificially work on the homes of needy residents. However, there has been roadblock after roadblock as Satan has attempted to block their work. Yet, our God is bigger and more powerful as He has brought each obstacle down in His timing. Pray for the students and the leadership as they work for Him this next week.

Another area that Satan has attacked is in some devastating news from one of our churches. A young youth minister has been arrested this week on some horrible charges. Unfortunately, they appear to be true. The church is in shock, as I am sure this man's young wife is too. Personally, I thought I knew this young man and am having trouble thinking through all of it. I am turning to God through prayer. It is the only thing I know to do. Please join me. 

I never thought Clarksville would be the center of so much . . . but we do live in a fallen world during evil times. God, in His word, encouraged us to on our guard for Satan as he prowls around like a lion looking to devour. Pray for your area too. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere . . . It is only by His grace. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Missions

I was so excited to learn in my first days as a college freshman that I could do summer missions. I had grown up in GAs and had always adored and admired missionaries in any form. Now, I was going to have the opportunity to be one. The opportunity totally changed my life. 

That first summer I ended up in the spot I would eventually transfer colleges to keep. God led me to work with the middle school students at First Baptist Church, Clarksville, Tennessee. I fell in love with these students, their families and this church. I grew in so many ways that, in a way, I felt like I no longer "fit" in my old place back at college my sophomore year. I wanted to do more than just attend class, BSU meetings and sorority socials. So, when God called me back to Clarksville and then prompted me to transfer to Austin Peay State U to stay with this church, I knew that was where He wanted me to be.

Ultimately, that is where I met my husband. God used the dear family I was living with to shape me in so many ways, we named our first born daughter after them. I got so much firsthand knowledge about church work, that God really grew my love for His bride. And He used His bride to do it!

Do you have a summer missionary story yourself? Have you seen God do amazing things for and through a summer missionary that you know? Has God placed a young person near you this summer for a purpose? Please share your summer mission experiences and prayer requests .  . . God does amazing things for and through those who are willing to follow Him in obedience- even through temporary, short-term summer mission assignments!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Ministry

When I married Wally he was serving a church in Kentucky as their youth minister. I had served a church as a youth intern and thought I knew what I was getting into. Things were going alright and then summer hit. 

We went from one activity to another. We helped teach the children's VBS recreation in the morning and led the student activities that night. The Saturday after all that, we left with a group of older kids and middle schoolers for Crosspoint, a Christian themed sports camp. 
Upon arriving home from that week-long event we had only a couple of hours to do laundry and re-pack before leaving with the rest of the youth group for Nashville, the location of a week of Mission Fuge. 

I had done alright until about three-fourths of the way through that last week. 

I was tired. I was stressed. I missed my husband. I had been near him for the previous month, but we hadn't really seen each other. The kids had become overwhelming and hard to love. Somehow, sensing that I needed to "get away," Wally took me to a Wendy's on the West End. After a quick trip through the drive-through, I had me a good, old-fashioned cry right there in the front seat of the church van. 

Recently, Wally and I had a good laugh over that good cry. I just wanted to let you dear ladies know that I know that ministry can be crazier in the summer. Church calendars seem to get busier as school lets out. There is VBS, camps, fellowships, mission projects and other events that get added onto an already busy weekly schedule.

Hang in there. Stay connected to God and don't let that relationship slide as you might let other things go. Be sensitive to other staff wives at your church or in your area. As the Music Minister's wife your summer may not be too crazy, but just look at your Student Minister's wife as she tries to juggle her husband's absences with the needs of their two small kids. Pray for these families. Minister to each other as our men minster to our churches. 

Do you have a funny summer mission/ministry story? Please share . . . I know we could all use a good laugh. Even if it isn't funny at the time, we need the reminder that what we are dealing with in the summer of '09 may be hilarious this time next year!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ultimate Extreme Makeover

As you know summer is in full force. It is hot and humid. It is the kind of weather that almost smothers you. It is the kind of weather that makes me only want to sit by the neighborhood pool or better yet float on my raft in the pool.

Although I am a true southern girl with a thick southern drawl, I am not a fan of our southern weather. First, I sweat. It is not a ladylike glisten but a very unflattering dripping wet sweat. It is the kind of sweat that makes you feel gross and grumpy. Second, no amount of hair washing or hair products will keep my blonde locks from wilting. Third, summer clothes are just not flattering on me. They reveal rolls, bumps and all the flabby spots. At times I really wish I could have an extreme makeover.

Okay, I have whined enough. After glancing back over these words, I realize that one day all Christ believers will experience the ultimate extreme makeover.

Girlfriends, when we meet Jesus we will have bodies that are whole and perfect. No more flab, wrinkles, rolls, disease or sore joints. Rev. 15:52 declares we will be changed “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.” Even better Rev. 21:4 states, “He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” Halleluiah!

Our old sinful, worn out, stressed out lives will be made perfect. Talk about the ultimate extreme makeover! Girlfriends, let’s not bemoan our current imperfections but look forward to the hope of perfection.

P.S. I am just wondering if anyone out there is planning to attend the SBC ministers wives luncheon. Yesterday, Dana posted that she has a free ticket. If you planned to attend, let me hear from you because I would love to meet you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Free Ticket

I have an extra ticket to the SBC's minister's wives lunch/event coming up this Tuesday and I would LOVE to bless someone with it. Email me at if you would like to have it. They are lots of fun, fellowship and you usually get lots of great "sussys" (that means gifts, surprises, etc.)!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing Your Life Story

I believe God was smiling on May 30, 2009 was our oldest son married the love of his life. Although it was a hot and humid south Louisiana day, God provided a little shade and a cool, gentle breeze to blow across the garden pond. Friends and family from across the country joined in the celebration of Stephen and Robyn’s new beginning. My youngest son, Bryan, served as best man and was the perfect gentleman. My handsome husband amazingly made it through the ceremony without his voice faltering with emotion. Personally, I was smiling from ear to ear because I was gaining a daughter not loosing a son. Yes, God was smiling as this young couple began to write their life story together.

Everyday each of us adds a page to our own life story. Our story began at our birth. Each chapter is filled with memories that are special. Some of the chapters in our story bring tears of joy or sorrow while others produce laughter that make your sides hurt.

Several chapters in my story have taught me lessons. There is the chapter of how God revealed Himself to me as a young mother in my backyard. I truly did not know my eternal fate. Instead of closing the book, I chose to add a few more lines and settled my salvation need.
There are many chapters on raising children and giving them the freedom to grow as individuals. Of course, my story would not be complete without the many ministry joys and frustrations which all led to a teachable moment.

My life story is not finished. God is still writing it. I love to glance back at the chapters prior to now and remember special times. I love to read and savor a good book but there are times when I want to know the ending. Although I live in this present time, I often wonder how the end of my life story will read. Will it be a tear jerker, a lesson teacher, provide a smile, or allow the reader to laugh with joy?

So I ask you my fellow sisters, what is your life story?

Monday, June 15, 2009

When God Says "Not Now"

After months of preparation for a mission trip to Brazil due to leave June 4th, my husband finally had to make the decision to reschedule for July. The problem was not due to lack of preparation, money, people, etc. It was due to the powers that be not processing our visas on time. From there all other connections and schedules fell apart. I can honestly tell that stress and frustration has been high in our family due to this conflict. While I munched on my favorite stress relief, chocolate, my big question was “Why God?”

After a week of wedding events prior to our scheduled Brazil date, the stress of returning home and having basically three days to get everything in line to fly out of the country made for some sleepless nights. In the three days leading up to our team leaving, everyday brought a new set of problems. Over and over my husband was promised by the government that our visas were being processed, however, in truth, we finally discovered late on Wednesday they had not. Apparently, God was not ready for our team to go to Brazil.

So what do you do when God says “not now?” My first reaction is disappointment followed by confusion. After the prayers and preparation put into this trip, I believe we were as ready as can be. I felt we had a wonderful team going. They were excited. Some individuals had even agreed to learn the fine art of clowning in order to win children. Each of us was willing to do whatever it took to share Jesus. So why did God say “not now?”

I do not have an answer to that question even today. Maybe when our rescheduled trip takes place in July, we will see the answer. Of course, God may choose not to reveal the answer until eternity. I know that God has firmly said “No” or “Wait” to many prayers I have sent up to Him regarding something I desired to do. When I was obedient, I caught a glimpse of why God answered the way He did.

So girlfriends, even we gals in the ministry face times when God says “Not Now.” Just as the song says “Thank God for unanswered prayers,” we have to trust our Father that He does know what is best for us and that He is in control of things.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's A Heart Issue

I spent the entire day and night yesterday (June 12) in the labor and delivery room with my daughter and son-in-law and left early this morning (June 13) after helping little Anne Elizabeth safely into this world from the security of her mother’s womb.

Each time I experience the delivery process (either first hand with my two or with our daughter’s) I am in awe of the power and mighty hand of our God. As they laid little Anne on her mother’s chest after delivery it is unfathomable to me how she could have “fit” inside her belly just a few moments ago!

There was a scare during labor. Anne’s heart rate dropped considerably and immediately a team of medical professionals rushed in to deal with the crisis. We all knew the heart rate was not where it needed to be and something needed to be done ASAP in order to make sure she survived the trauma and distress she was in. As a result of their intervention, before too long, the heart rate was steady and strong and labor continued.

As I reflect on that incident (and a few others during the long labor process) I am reminded of how we, as Christ followers, must come to the aid of those whose hearts are in crisis; those whose hearts are dropping away from God and into the pit of self and sin. Do you know someone who is having an unhealthy or emotional relationship with a married co-worker or friend? Do you know a child or teenager who is doing ungodly or unethical or potentially dangerous things? Do you know people in your church who are critical and/or negative or stirring up strife? Do you know someone who is addicted to prescription drugs? If so, these people, and countless others, have hearts that are in need of someone to intervene and help deal with their heart issue.

Often we are fearful to speak up…fearful to intervene….fearful to point out heart issues. The enemy for sure does not want us to. He fools us into thinking 'it is none of our business' and ‘who are we to say something, after all we are not perfect’ or some such lie as that. Yes, we must make sure that the ‘log is out of our own eye’ and we must be covered in much prayer before we come to the aid of someone with a serious heart issue…but come to the aid we must! It is critical! The Body of Christ will not be healthy unless we deal with the crisis’ we see in our midst.

How grateful I am that the doctors and nurses who were aware of baby Anne’s heart problem did not hesitate to run to her rescue for fear of getting involved or too busy to stop what they were doing or felt incompetent to deal with the critical concern. How thankful I am for those who have come to my rescue when my heart was sick with rationalization and with self and with sin! May our churches be full of people whose heartbeats are healthy and strong and beat for only One!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


It was October 21, 2008 when I first saw her in the entrance of a busy strip center in Jackson, TN where I was about to meet a friend at Starbucks for coffee. She was standing next to a grocery shopping cart full to the brim and overflowing with plastic grocery sacks tied to the sides and stuff hanging over each edge. She wore a hat similar to Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island fame and appeared to be waiting….but for what? For a ride? Perhaps she had walked across the busy street from Wal-Mart to wait for her ride to come pick her up and take her home and in my mind….done. Finished. Over. On to meet my friend.

Approximately one hour later (or longer!! I think we had a lot to catch up on!!) I am leaving Starbucks and driving out of the parking lot and I notice that she is still standing in the same place. Had her ride not come? Or was she homeless?

I was in a hurry and I had someplace to be. The traffic was horrendous. I was exhausted when I heard the unsaid whisper of the Holy Spirit say “Stop”. “What?” I respond as I look both ways to find a car who will let me in to turn out of the parking lot so I can get far away from her. “Stop and talk to her.” that pesky voice says. Seriously? I am pulling out into very heavy traffic and I can easily turn right and get into my lane and head home….and there it is….an open lane!! It must be from God!! Surely it is a ‘sign’ that I really don’t ‘have’ to stop and talk to her. “Stop.” I hear it again.

Just a few hours earlier I had been talking to God about how I really, really wanted/needed to hear from Him. I desperately longed/needed/wanted for Him to speak to me. He gently reminded me of my recent request and so I have a decision to make!!! Obey or continue on to do the next thing on my agenda.

I rationalize all sorts of reasons why I should not stop. “I can’t help every homeless person” I argue. He responds, “I am not asking you to help every homeless person, but I am asking you to help this one!” Of course, by this time, since I did not obey immediately, I would have to go through all kinds of traffic at the busiest intersections in Jackson and make all kinds of turns in order to even make my way back to her.

Finally, I make the determined decision to obey. Amazing!! So many times I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something and I excuse it away. Oh, how I want to do what we are teaching our grandchildren to do--obey right away, all the way, with a happy heart!! After eventually making my way back to her (all of the way hoping she will be gone by the time I get there!!) I roll down my window (I don’t dare get too close) and ask, “Do you need some help?”

“I have been standing here for a while waiting for some assistance”, she replies. Assistance? Me? Am I her assistance? Has she been waiting there all this time for me? I park the car. I talk to her and then and there begin a relationship I cherish and will never forget.

Her name is Sarah. She lives on the streets. I tell her she is special and loved and over the next several months God gave me such a love for her that remains even though I have not seen her since I moved to Indiana. She so appreciated each provision God gave her through me from gift cards to Steak N Shake to books she wanted to read to blankets and hats and gloves to protect her from the cold winter....but rejected the Gospel each time I shared it with her.

I longed to take her to a place where she would be warm and fed and cared for. I longed for her to know my Jesus. But she was content with where she was….and I needed to love her in that place.

Oh, friend…..I wonder how often God is offering to you and to me shelter and provision and care and we ‘think’ we are fine. Doing ‘OK’. When He has so much more for us…more spiritual food and spiritual places we cannot even fathom. Are we spiritually destitute and not even know it?

I love Sarah. I pray for her. I miss her. I worry about her. I wonder where she is and how she is doing. Father, I ask that You continue to provide for Sarah, enable her to see You, run to You and love You with her whole heart. I ask that You would show each minister's wife your Truth about where we are spiritually. That we would long for more of You. That we would recognize our need for You. Thank you, Father, that we are not homeless. You have prepared a home for us...a mansion!! We love you and wait for You. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Unknown Prayers

God laid this ministry on Lana’s heart over a year ago and she was obedient to follow Him and make it happen. I had not met most of the remarkable, Godly, talented women who write/post on this blog before this adventure…but I did know Karen.

Actually, I knew about Karen long before I had the privilege to meet her. She and Doug worked with my husband (who I had not met yet) in Fort Worth, Texas in a non-denominational ministry to high school students called Young Life. He has many stories of the three of them hanging out, actually four of them….often it would include my now husband’s dog Parnelli!! Time-table: approximately the mid 1970’s.

The first time I actually got to meet Karen was several years ago when Ernie invited her to come and share with our church in Tennessee. I picked her up at the airport and immediately connected with her and loved her right away. She is the real deal. Genuine. A lover of God and a lover of life. Those of you who know her know this to be true…and those of you who read her postings know that she is deep, yet personal.

The short time she was with us during that visit, she shared something so profound to me that I have never forgotten it, I am continually overwhelmed by it, and awed at our amazing God! Here is the gist of what she said...

“Doug and I prayed for you. We did not know your name or who you were, but we knew Ernie needed and wanted a wife and we prayed for God to provide you for him.”

Ladies, I never knew anyone was praying for me…much less someone I did not know! Often times we think we are alone. That God is unaware. That nothing seems to be happening. Yet…our Father raises up people to intercede in our behalf. He is at work behind the scenes. The question is this: who do we need to be interceding for that we do not even know? Never underestimate the significance of the insignificant things you do.

Karen, thank you for praying for me before you even knew me! Please know that it has been my privilege to pray for you as you “enjoy your journey” and you must believe that God has raised up many, whom you do not even know that read this blog, praying for you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Enjoying the Journey

Yesterday I had to go to another doctor. Many of you know I am battling cancer. It has been an interesting journey to say the least! I have learned much and am learning more.

One of the major lessons God has driven home to me has been to enjoy the journey. I realize that sounds like an unusual lesson to be taught during constant hospital stays, unbearable pain, chemo, no hair, weakness, nausea and countless surgeries, yet that has been the lesson.

God has gently and persistently used His word to walk me through the circumstances of my life. Scripture I have read my entire life has become the "Living Word" in my life.

I Peter 4:1-2 "Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God."

Knowing time is short, I desire to live for the will of God. It is a desire that He Himself has planted in my heart and watered with suffering to help it grow. The suffering is so worth the changes He is making in my heart day by day.

I Peter 4:12-13 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you particpate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."

As I am learning to rejoice in whatever circumstances God is walking me through, I am experiencing a joy that is unexplainable! To see the hand of my God purposing every test, every doctor visit, every day - how humbling, exciting, pure JOY!!

Sisters, I know that ministry can sometimes be discouraging, hurtful and even disappointing. I also know it can be exciting, joyful, surprising and fulfilling. Time is short and I pray that you will "enjoy the journey." Get into the Word and allow God to grow you up in your circumstances in order that you can rejoice and be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Seeing God

This morning I offered to help a friend. As I was driving the sun was coming up and the sky was turning a beautiful blue. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.

I have just recently finished teaching a class on the beatitudes and one of my favorite beatitudes was "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." As we studied this beatitude we began to talk about 'seeing God.' Of course, we all referred to the time we would see Him face to face in heaven, but we learned that each of these truths also applied to the here and now.

I so enjoy talking to my Lord in the car. We have some wonderful conversations each day as I am driving. Today I began with praise and followed with confession. As I began to confess and ask for God to shine His light on my heart, He was faithful to show me changes of attitude and actions that needed to be made. He gently demanded repentance in areas of my heart. I responded and gratefully accepted His forgiveness.

Now what does this have to do with 'Seeing God?' Everything!

As I allow God to clean me, purpose in my heart to 'think on things above', He begins to open my eyes to everything and everyone around me. I see His hand as Creator, His mercy as forgiver, His love as Savior - I see God in every step of my day.

I pray you will take time to see God today. Let Him start with your heart and agree with Him about sin - You will be blessed and you will 'see God.'

Monday, June 1, 2009

Free Face Lift!

We live in a country that is obsessed with looks. Everyone I know is on a diet, using tanning lotions or tanning beds. A friend of mine reminds me that tan fat looks better than white fat.

Each morning when I face the mirror, I see that the gift of aging comes with the gift of lines and wrinkles. Fortunately, my eyes are not as good as they use to be, so I cannot see how deep the lines really have become.

Before I had cancer I was caught up in the quest to "look young." As I walked through cancer I could only be concerned about putting one foot in front of the other. I began to make sure I had shared everything wanted to share with my boys. I wanted to finish the task the Lord has given me with grace and victory. Seeing my bald head in the mirror caused me to realize each day was a gift and my focus needed to change.

No one wants to look older than they really are, yet most of us are not satisfied looking our age either. Where should we as christian women fit in our society of "forever young" women? Is it wrong to care about wrinkles?

This morning I was reading in Luke and it reminded me of a passage in Exodus 34:29b-30a. "...Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone,..."

Being in the presence of the Lord caused the face of Moses to shine - not makeup, not creams, but spending time with His God. Then I went back to the passage I was reading in Luke 9:29 "As He prayed the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening."

Sweet sisters, if we will spend as much time in God's Word and in His presence as we do in front of the mirror, I believe people will begin to see Him and not our wrinkles and flaws. The price is right and the results are guaranteed!