Friday, July 30, 2010

Let the Adventure Begin

When we arrived in Brentwood at the TBC on Sunday evening, June 11th Randy decided we would go by the offices to look things over and prayer walk through the building. As we stood at the door of each of the offices and prayed I couldn't help but wonder about each of these people. Who were they? What do they do? What are they doing to make an impact on the Kingdom?

Over the last three weeks we have begun to get to know some of them. What an excitement there is in seeing "eternal" work and hearing them tell their stories.

Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly". I wonder if abundantly could be described as adventurous. Ladies, we do live a life of adventure as God leads us into various roles. He allows us the opportunity to witness lives changed for His glory. You have to admit, life with Christ is never boring.


When Randy resigned from FBC Sevierville that Sunday morning, something changed. All of a sudden people began to tell us how much they would miss us and we shared how we would miss them. Some said they wished they had more time to spend with us and we certainly wished the same. We realized how deep our love went for one another, although we didn't always take the time to express it when we could.

Why are we like that???? Why do we wait until the very end to say something we should have been saying all along? How many people live with regret when a friend or love one passes away suddenly and they didn't get a chance to tell them how much they cared? Don't be one of those who live with that regret....TELL THEM!!! Take all the opportunities you can to love on your church members. If there are some people sitting on the pews in your church that mean a lot to you, tell them, or hug them, and let them know. Because some day you will walk out of those doors for the last time, walk slowly to your car and open the door, place your Bible and the plaque they gave you on the seat, and drive out of the parking lot as you watch the church disappear in the rearview mirror. And then it will be impossible to say the things you just assumed they knew.


So much has happened since the last time I visited you here on this sight.
Back in November Randy was elected President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. At the same time a search was on for a new Executive Director to replace the retiring Dr. James Porch. From the time of the election, Randy began a journey that would take him over most of this State, encouraging people to attend the next convention and support the new Executive Director. God certainly has a HUGE sense of humor because on June 2nd Randy was then elected as the Director!!! We NEVER expected that. From that time until now our life has been turned upside down. Virtually everything has changed. (This year was even the year I was required to have a new photo taken for my license!!!)

Randy resigned as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sevierville on June 6th and tears flowed as we told our sweet precious church goodbye. However, we have seen God's hand in it all. So many affirmations, so many prayers answered...but isn't that how God works? We have started an entirely different ministry and it is...TO BE CONTINUED!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

Discouragement and disappointment love to hang out together. Where one is, the other usually is close by. The tears that flowed like a broken faucet last Wednesday came as a result of becoming overwhelmed with the fact that our house in Tennessee has still not sold after being on the market for almost two years. The majority of the time my mind has been focused on Truth—that God is in control and that He knows what He is doing and that He is using it for His glory.

However, there have been a few days where doubt and despair and discouragement and disappointment fill my mind and heart over the issue. And….added to all those “D” words is guilt. Did we do something wrong? You did lead us here to Calvary didn’t You? Were we unfaithful to You and are You punishing us?

After suffering under the lies and doubts….Truth begins to settle back in. Yes, God did lead us to Calvary. No, we did not do anything wrong. No, He is not unfaithful. No, we are not being punished.

Truth says to me, “I want you to experience more of Me than you already have.” “I want you to know Me in ways you have never known Me before.” “I love you and know what I am doing.” And Peace comes.

Are you in a circumstance that you do not understand? Or like? Are you confused about what is going on? Are you dealing with disappointment? The root word of disappointment is appointment….make an appointment with God and ask Him show you His perspective on the circumstance.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dealing with Discouragement

Last Wednesday afternoon I was about to call Sharon and tell her she would have to facilitate the Experiencing God class for me. I could not do it. I was in NO shape to see anyone, talk to anyone much less lead Experiencing God!! I had been in tears all afternoon with no relief in sight.

The only problem was….if I did not show up….I would have to explain to my husband and to my daughter and to anyone else who would ask….why I was not there. To be honest….I think that was what motivated me to get myself together, take a shower, put on my “happy face” and go class….well, that and God really wanted/needed me to be there! He had some encouragement waiting for me!!

I am so thankful that discouragement did not defeat me for that entire day. Unfortunately, it had been lurking its ugly head for a few days prior planting seeds of doubt and frustration and fear in my fragile mind and it needed to be dealt with!! After Bible study Sharon and I stopped outside on the sidewalk to chit-chat….and the tears began to fall again. Knowing I needed a friend, we talked and shared and both cried some more.

Ezra 4:4 says “Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and frightened them from building,…”. You see, God’s people were rebuilding the temple and their enemies had heard about it and wanted to discourage them. Ladies, we have an enemy who wants to be sure we do not build our lives strong in the faith, focused on what God wants, fellowshipping with Him and loving Him with our entire lives and hearts and minds. He wants to discourage us!!

Oh, dear friend….if you are discouraged, take note….be warned…..the “work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia” (Ezra 4:24). Do NOT allow the enemy to stop the work in your life!! Do NOT let him delay one more second!! Please cry out to God, and if need be, someone He would lead you to for help, prayer and encouragement. After all….the only difference between being DIScouraged and ENcouraged is a few letters! I would LOVE to encourage you….just let me know!!! Take Courage!! Take it!! It's yours for the taking!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Several years ago there was a show hosted by Bill Cosby where he posed questions to children. The children then responded to the question in typical kid style. Some of the answers were serious but many were hilarious.

This past Sunday I was asked to assist the candidates for baptism. I basically helped them get in the water and waited with a towel for them. While I was waiting for the service to begin, I was listening carefully to the conversations of our three candidates-two teenagers and an upcoming second grader. The teens were excited about their decision and couldn’t believe it had taken them so long to decide to accept Jesus. The teenage boy was so excited about his decision for Christ he was literally shaking with excitement. The teenage girl who is usually a quiet child was babbling unstop. I just smiled at their excitement.

The second grade boy, who was waiting, was being a typical little boy. He was wiggling, dancing, making boy noises and singing songs about Jesus. This little boy is precious and very intelligent. I absolutely love his energy. We began discussing different issues involving his baptism such as how deep water was and if the water was hot or cold. Then, he wanted to know if he could jump and swim to my pastor husband. My response was, “if you jump and swim, then water will get all in his waders and on his clothes.” “Well, how do you know that,” replied the boy. I laughed and said, “A little boy about your age tried it and that is what happened.”

Although he quieted for a moment, I could see this child’s brain working. Suddenly, without any warning, he asked in childlike innocence, “Can I pee in the baptismal pool?” Okay ladies, I just about laughed myself into tears. Between breaths I tried to become serious and replied, “Well, I don’t think that would be very appropriate since there is another person going to be baptized after you.” Unhindered by my answer, he shrugged his shoulders and stated, “Man, all they are going to do afterwards is let the water out anyway.” I threw the towel over my face to muffle my laughter once again.

Yes ladies, crazy things happen at church each week. The sound malfunctions, a Sunday School teacher does not show up and you must fill in at the last moment, and sometimes you get to bond with a little boy who is being baptized into the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Interim Pastor's Wife

Recently, my husband and I traveled back to Arkansas where he was asked to lead a spiritual renewal revival. While there we stayed in the lovely home of a retired minister and his wife. He now serves as interim pastor in churches when the door opens and she follows as a supportive wife. We felt so comfortable and secure to be among fellow servants.

Prior to the final service I was chatting with my new friend. She asked what I enjoyed doing. Of course, the topic of chocolate came up as well as being outdoors and beach vacations. However, when I mentioned that I blog with four other ministers wives, she quietly posed the question, “Can you tell me where an interim pastor’s wife goes for help and encouragement?” Understand, this lovely lady had only been a married to her husband for about 10 years. Both of them had lost their previous spouses to cancer. For her, being a pastor’s wife was uncharted territory.

I was speechless. While I was gathering my thoughts, this sweet lady told me that being an interim wife means you really never are able to plug into the church or develop close friendships. You simply serve for a time and then move to the next interim God provides.

Honestly girlfriends, I have never even thought about what an interim wife goes through. My contact is mainly with wives whose husbands currently serve on a church staff. In the past week I have ponder her question and she shares in the same issues that all ministers’ wives deal with. One thing I believe God has placed on my heart about an interim’s wife dilemma is that she not only deals with loneliness but she gets a dose of never finding her place in a church.

In my ignorance, I sought advice from our state convention. Bill Northcott, who trains Transitional Pastors and who also serves from time to time as an interim pastor, had several suggestions.

1. The spouse can visit with her husband-hospitals, nursing homes, outreach, homebound, etc.)
2. Bill says his wife does not join a Sunday School class. Instead, she visits different classes each Sunday but she does make the classes aware of her plan on the front end so she does not offend anyone as she moves from class to class.
3. Volunteer from time to time in an area during worship-preschool or nursery.
4. Although, you may not join the church, you can still be useful as a listening ear and encourager.

I would like to add one more idea to what Bill has shared. Any minister’s wife, whether full-time, bio-vocational, or interim, should seek to find fellowship in a wives fellowship. If you would like more information where you can plug into a network of ministers wives, contact Lana Rose at the TN State Convention ( If you are in the Nashville area, I would love to meet you and get you plugged into our group of wives.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I have to have choices. First, I am a female. Second, I am blonde. Third, choices just make life more fun. However, if you took me in a store full of delicious chocolate goodies, I would never be able to make up my mind. For example, my husband and I once went into a gourmet chocolate store in Brazil. Being the nice husband that he is, Ricky said, “Go ahead, pick out one and I’ll buy it for you.” Oh, the stress that simple decision put on me.

Well, life often presents us choices. You can either pay the bills or buy a luxury item. You can choose chicken or beef; to be in tune to God or tune Him out. Choices are just part of everyday life.

Recently, a gentleman in our church was presenting a bible study lesson and made a profound statement that captured my attention. We can choice to come to church or we can stay home and play. However, he took this statement one step further. People often will pay big bucks to attend a concert. They will buy the most expensive seats in the house and not think anything of it. However, when it comes to attending and being involved in church, many people will simply turn their backs even though our venue is free. People who do attend church service regularly will choose to sit in the middle or back, however, if they attend a concert, they want to get as close as possible.

I must say this discussion put a little guilt trip on me. When I am unable to sing in the choir, I tend to sit toward the back of the worship center. Don’t ask me why, I just do. However, I am going to attempt to get a more “expensive” seat not because I want to be seen but because Jesus made the choice to die for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th!

I am so glad and forever thankful that God chose me to be born an American.

I am thankful for our freedoms and our provisions here.

I am thankful for the the brave men and women who have fought and continue to fight to keep us free.

I am thankful for the ample supplies of food and resources I so often take for granted.

I am thankful that I live free of religious persecution.

I am thankful for our country's beauty that so majestically proclaims our God's glory and greatness.

I am thankful for my family to spend this long weekend with.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I compare my life as an American to all other countries across this globe.

Thank You, thank You God for making me an American and for making this country what it is.
Be with her leaders, her soldiers and her people. Guide us all and use us as an instrument of Yours to bring honor and glory to You until Your return. Amen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I Learned From Twilight

Last night, after I posted, as I watching a little TV with my sweetie, I saw the same television commercial twice. I thought I had seen these movies selling just about everything, and then came this ad for Volvo.

Advertisers spend big money on ads and they know their target audience. This one was directed at affluent, young adult women - not pre-teen girls. Using scenes from this most recent movie, they enticed women by appealing to their needs of being loved and their desires of being wanted.

I wish I could remember their exact words. They showed every issue I had with the movie. It was right there. I was so shocked that all I could do was lean back in my chair and say "wow." The very issues and needs I feel this series exposes were being used to sell, of all things, cars. Cars?!

You may have your own issues with these books. The fact that they told about vampires and werewolves was enough to turn many Christians off from reading them. As I write for teens, I wanted to know what they found so appealing about the books. I didn't have to read far. What I didn't expect to find was how this series appealed to these girls' mothers as well.

No matter what society, public schools and the media have been selling, women today want to be wanted. They still find their worth based upon the love of a man. I thought women's lib, supposedly cured us ladies of that! We set our expectations of our men way too high, expecting them to be our saviors and putting them in a god-like place. Then they fail. How can they not? We women are left hurting and angry because our man isn't a "Jacob" or an "Edward."

Anytime we try to fulfill any aspect of our lives or worth in anything other than Christ, we are going to get ourselves into trouble. Granted it won't be some mega showdown between vampires, but it is every-so-much more serious.

I don't know if you have read the books or seen the movies. Maybe your daughter has. Maybe you haven't allowed your daughter to read or watch them. My oldest daughter is still too young. Even at seven though, she can still identify the characters and has asked me questions. When she gets older, I think I will let her read the books and watch the movies. I plan on being very intentional and discussing all this with her. I see it as a teaching opportunity. I can teach her about our world, our gender and, most importantly, our Savior.

In the meantime, I pray that God would use this crazy obsession for His glory. I have a non-Christian girlfriend that I plan on seeing the movie with. I am praying that God will use this story as a way I can talk about His story. Supposedly, the heroine has found her true love at last, but it is shallow and temporary compared to the amazing love of my Jesus.