Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Betrayal by a Friend

As I have said time and again in many of my post, God has blessed me with many girlfriends. They encourage and inspire me. They pray for me and cry with me. Some of my dear friends live in other states. We have shared tons of laughs over chocolate chip cookies and Diet Cokes. However, although miles and distance keep us from seeing each other daily, our friendship is still strong because it is rooted in Jesus.

But what happens when a so-called friend betrays us? As ministers wives it is so hard to let our walls down and trust. We feel we have to protect our families and our lives. Yet when we finally open ourselves to another person who we hope will be our girlfriend sometimes that friendship goes sour.

Years ago at one of our churches I allowed a woman a few years older than me to be a friend. She seemed to love my family and even kept my children so my husband and I could have date nights. She was a children's Sunday School teacher and worked in our youth department. We shared many laughs and special times. However, one day she turned on our entire staff for no reason.

The things she did and said broke my heart. She embarrassed her family and caused many people to remove their children from her Sunday School class. Our church was forced to remove her from her teaching position. We not only lost a wonderful teacher but I lost a friend. A few months later I learned this precious lady was suffering from a medical condition that made her irrational. Still, the damage was done.

It has been many years since this friend betrayed my trust but the wound is still there. I have forgiven her but it took me several years to truly be able to trust in close friendships. Thankfully, God is good and has since provided me with truly wonderful, loving girlfriends.

Let me remind you, my dear sisters, that even our Lord was betrayed by a kiss from one of his cloest friends. He was handed over to be crucified for thirty pieces of silver. I have to believe that Jesus' heart broke because Judas chose to turn his back on the one person who could be the best friend he ever had. Yet Jesus did not give up on friendship. He allows us to be friends of God.

Monday, April 25, 2011

"You Just Gotta Love It!"

If you are a minister's wife you know that there are times when you just go nonstop. Personally, there are days when I think I barely breathe between each "must do" thing. By the time I realize I have not stopped to rest, I am worn to a frazzle and fighting tears. That is when God usually gets my attention.

So today it is confession time. For the past several weeks my "go"button has been pushed and my body's "acceslerator gear" has been whining for relief. I have been subbing as much as possible and taking care of responsibilities at church and home just to name a few. Add in the mix the spring Tennessee allergies that I always get and you have a disaster in the making. I love all the activities that I do for the Lord but apparently I was not focused enough on Him. Well, He got my attention.

You see for about a week and a half I had no voice. It was just kidnapped. (My husband jokes that his prayer life is getting better). As of today I get about three sentences out and then voice disappears for a few minutes. In my complete voiceless stage I was forced to cancel several substitute teaching jobs, miss a ministers wives retreat planning meeting, and was unable to sing in our Easter musical. Girlfriends, for days I could not even manage a whisper so that kept me off the phone. All I could do basically for days was to take meds and be still. Oh yes, I also ate some chocolate.

All I can say, girlfriends, is that if we do not take time to take care of yourselves in the midst of our very hurried, crazy life, the Lord will force us to take a break and be still. As a dear friend always says when God does something "You just gotta love it!"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Dawn broke the sky with hues of pink, purple, gold. There seemed to be a sense of anticipation floating in the gentle breeze. Gone was the previous day’s utter darkness; a blackness that would never be experienced again. Although the reality of the Jesus’ death still hung in the air, the two women walked silently to the tomb where he was laid to rest to prepare His body. What a surprise these two ladies received when they arrived! An empty tomb; a risen Savior; the promises of the Bible truly came alive for them. Yes, there was anticipation in the air. There was hope for all followers of Jesus.

I cannot even imagine what these ladies experienced when they discovered that truly Jesus was alive. The heaviness of death was gone. The beauty of a new day had dawned through the resurrected Lord. Wow, what a first Easter!

Still, take a look girlfriend. The empty tomb was discovered by two ladies. In biblical times, females were often second class citizens. Sadly still in places today, they have the same rank. Jesus, the Savior, crossed all barriers of race, culture, and sex to freely offer Himself for all who would believe.

On this Easter Sunday, I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be His adopted child. I am thankful that as far as the east is from the west; Jesus forgives me sin and does not remember them. I have the assurance that there is nothing that can separate me from His love.

Girlfriends, this Easter take a moment and just reflex on God’s grace and mercy in your life.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Mark 15:25 "Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS."

Mark 16:6-7 "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go tell His disciples--"

Mark 16: 15 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Luke 20:38 "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Luke 22:-65 "Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you?" And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him."

Luke 23:33-34 "And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."

Luke 24:5-6 "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!"

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."

Revelation 1:7-8 "Behold, He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 1:18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen."

Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For you created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."

Revelation 6:11 & 13 "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

"Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friendships of Women

I am sure you get the idea that each of the writers of this blog are pushing the minister's wives retreat in May. I want to assure you that we are not paid to do that and there is no impure motive involved. In fact, I am speaking out of state that weekend and will not be able to join you.

The reason for the emphasis is because we each know the importance of friends. In ministry there are various opinions about having friends. I believe as women, it is essential for us to develop friendships. It is a need in our lives.

At this retreat you will be able to meet women who truly are facing some of the same issues you face. You will be able to hear solutions to those things that plague you in your service at church. It is a time to share your victories and get prayer for your struggles. Not only do you need to go for you, but the other wives there, NEED you! You are part of a very special body and you need each other.

Jesus said in Mark, "Come Away, Rest Awhile." He said these famous words to His disciples after they had been out serving, healing, teaching and sharing. They had been so busy that scripture said they did not even have time to eat! Can you relate? Jesus, their Creator, knew their need. They needed to get away with Him for awhile.

You too, have that need. Make an effort to "Come Away, Rest Awhile" with women who are able to relate, strengthen and encourage you. I assure you, Jesus will be there to prepare you for your next challenge.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Weekend - Another Retreat

This is the time of year that I do a lot of traveling. It is spring retreat time! I love the opportunity to speak and share what God is teaching me. I love meeting new women (sisters) and hearing what God is teaching them.

I believe one of the dangers of being in God's service is apathy. We become accustom to sharing and doing and before long we are fulfilling obligations instead of proclaiming the Greatness of our God.

This past weekend I had the priviledge of sharing with a sweet group of women. As we met for the first time we told a little bit about ourselves and what was going on in our lives. I love this, as it helps me to better relate as I share.

As we spent time together, I was reminded of how special it is that because of Jesus we have intimate connections immediately. I listened to different conversations around me and without fail, I heard the Name of Jesus during those conversations.

Let me encourage you to not grow weary in your service. Rejoice that God has placed you in the middle of a very special family. Be bold! Be an encourager! Share what God is doing in your life with those around you. They need to hear and you need to share.

Go to the upcoming retreat for minister's wives! It will be a blessing and give you strength to keep going!

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to the, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

Friday, April 15, 2011

West Tennessee Ministers Wives Retreat

Ladies, it is not too late to register for our first West Tennessee Ministers Wives Retreat, May 13-14 at Natchez Trace State Park. You can find all the information at www.tnministerswives.org.

Our theme is "Friendship & Chocolate--the Rich Things in Life." Now doesn't that sound like fun. Kathy Chapman Sharp from Hendersonville will be our main speaker, along with Daphne Murrell from Paris, Tennessee leading our worship. Four breakout conferences are offered:

Finding Joy in the Ministry--Rhonda Sinquefield from Faith BC, Bartlett

Penny Pinching--Alicia Fawbush from Donelson View BC, Nashville

Count Your Hugs and Kisses of Ministry --Erin Dickson from FBC, Millington

The Richness of Being Real -- Vicki Leavell from FBC, Millington

Some fun times are planned in the evening to help you relax and of course lots of chocolate. Don't miss out on this great weekend just for you. Hope to see you at Natchez Trace!


Thursday, April 14, 2011


I would like to take a few minutes to give you some updates on some previous posts.

My 6th grade student with stage 3 Melanoma is taking five treatments a week for a month and then will take three treatments a week for a year. The treatments are really taking a toll on her body, but she is a trouper. Continue to remember her in this process and remember her family as they travel from Spring City to Knoxville for these treatments. Also, keep praying that during this trial, the family will find God.

Our son and his new fiancee have set a date: January 7, 2012. The bride’s mom is so very nice and considerate, for she is including me in all the “planning”, etc. Pray for this young couple as they prepare for the rest of their lives.

Our son-in-law that had ankle surgery in January due to a severe break during a sledding accident is slowly recovering. He had another surgery last week to remove one of the main screws, however when they went in, the screw was broken and they were only able to remove a small portion. Continue to remember him in prayer as he continues to heal.

My husband, Roger, has not had any more attacks and is doing well. In fact, we are in South Carolina at the National Bi-Vocational Minister and Wives Conference this week. He is watching his diet, taking his medication and will have a gall bladder scan run next week.

Thank you very much in advance for all of the prayers.
James 5: 16b
“…pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wake Up Call

I want to begin by saying that March 31st was my husband, Roger’s milestone birthday. He is the first male in his dad’s direct lineage that has lived to the age of 55. His dad died at the age of 54 by a freak accident. His granddad died at 54 of a massive heart attack. His great granddad died at twenty something of a missive heart attack and his great-great granddad died in his twenties also. Needless to say, that has been on his mind all year. Well, he made it to 55 and our family celebrated by going to the Tennessee Aquarium and out to eat.

Then, last Thursday, one week from his 55th birthday and one week ago tomorrow, Roger ate supper and went outside to weed eat and work in the yard. I made a trip to Wal-Mart. I was still at Wal-Mart when Roger called and asked if I was on my way home. Then he said, “I think you should come home. I do not feel good at all and I am hurting very badly in my chest.” I told him he needed to call 911, but he said, “Just come home.”

We only live four miles from Wal-Mart and when I got home, he was sitting on the porch waiting on me. I told him to load up (fully expecting him to argue with me, but to my surprise he got in the van.) I called our doctor and got him immediately and he talked with Roger and told him to go straight to the closest ER. We did and they begin working with him ASAP. After giving him shots, doing an EKG, getting blood, giving him Nitro pills, giving him a Nitro patch, giving him baby aspirins, and consulting with our Family Doctor, they decided to transport him by ambulance to Chattanooga.

Anyway, to summarize it, In Chattanooga, they did blood work, scans, and the next day did a cardio stress test. Roger passed EVERYTHING. The cardio enzymes in his blood were negative and he passed his stress test with flying colors. So, the doctor said with all that said, they still had to find out what was causing his pain. They suspect it is upper GI related, with possible inflammation and acid in the esophagus, which can mimic a heart attack and be just as severe in pain.

The Chattanooga Doctor told him that we would treat this as a “wake-up call” and now slow down long enough to do all of the things we know we should already be doing, like:
• eat healthier

• add cardio exercise to our daily routines

• loose the extra 10-20 lbs. that he is carrying around.

He went to his Family Doctor as a follow-up and will be doing a scan in a little over a week to check his gall bladder just to make sure, but in the meantime, they will treat the problem with diet, exercise and medication.

Everything happened so fast that we did not have time to stop and think on Thursday, but since then I have done a lot of thinking. Roger was blessed with a “wake-up call” this time, but we are never promised that. There was no warning. His pain suddenly started and was very severe. We are never promised a tomorrow and we never know when it will be “our time” so we need to stop and live each moment as if it were our last. This means to make sure that all of our ducks are in a row. Be ready. Do not leave any unfinished business such as disharmony, broken fellowships, etc. God could choose to take us home in the “twinkling of an eye” and we need to be ready.

Be Ready!!! We are not promised a “Wake-Up Call”.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Busy Signal

Do you ever feel like if a recorder was recording your life all they would get would be a busy signal?

As a teacher, this is a very hectic, busy time of year. Testing, planning field trips, and lots of end of the year tasks must be completed.

At church, things are hopping. We had a Mission Yard Sale last weekend to help fund two upcoming service projects; flooring in an elderly couples kitchen and a new roof on an elderly lady’s home. This is our year to host the sunrise Easter service and breakfast. We will have a giant Egg Hunt. Vacation Bible School will be right after school is out and the following week we will host the Fishers of Men Pro Fishing Group by feeding them supper and preaching to them.

Our daughter lives thirty minutes from us and our son live five hours from our. Both of our moms live three hours from us, so lots of time is spent visiting immediate family.

Anyway, you get the jest….my life is truly a “busy signal” and I am sure you share my feelings because it seems as if everyone everywhere is busy, busy, busy. Let’s not get so busy with “things” that we loose focus on the “WHO”.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10

Monday, April 11, 2011

TESTING: 1-2-3 Testing

It is T-CAP Time in Tennessee!!

Teachers have spent the entire year "teaching the test." Well, not actually teaching the test, but taking the practice tests and teaching from those. We are assuming that someone smarter than us have studied and determined what the students really need to know in each subject area of each grade-level, so we have been teaching from the materials they have provided to us. Many hours have been spent teaching the standards, reviewing, re-teaching and practicing. Our school even had a week of "mock practice testing" while in their groups.

This week, FINALLY, "the real test" will be given. Now, as the teachers patiently wait, we will hope and pray that all of the hard work pays off and the students score well.

What if we approached "the Second Coming of Our Lord" with as much preparation as is given to T-CAPS? We would spend hours studying the Bible and learning. We would read it, study it and share it. While preachers preached the sermons and teachers taught the lessons, we would be absorbing everything and memorizing it so we could share it and live it. We would practice, teach, re-teach and do EVERYTHING we could to assure that everyone was prepared for the coming of our Lord.

If we would approach this command with as much preparation as T-CAPS, then at the moment of "the real test" we could hold our head high as our Lord says, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21.

Shouldn't this be our process of preparation anyway?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Births and Deaths

The Bible tells us that there is a season for everything under heaven. You are familiar with the passage from Ecclesiastes that the Beatles made famous for their generation and generations to come.

People are born and people die everyday. But have you ever noticed that they seem to come in waves?

In the last six weeks I had five friends birth six babies. I have two more friends that are due in the next six weeks. Before then, it had been over a year since I had the blessing of holding a newborn. In the same time frame I have learned that several more friends will see their families grow this fall, as they have received exciting news of babies themselves. It has been a joyous time of praise.

In the last week, I have had three co-workers lose loved ones. In addition, two family matriarchs have passed this week too. Even one of my sweet friends has miscarried. Before this week, I can say that God has been gracious that I have not visited the funeral home in nearly a year. While I did not know any of these five people, I do know people who loved them. Each situation was different, some sudden and tragic while others were peaceful and expected. But each has been a time of sorrow and loss - in some circumstances, praise.

God is God in each family I have mentioned. He is the Author of Life. None of this has come to a surprise to Him and we are sent back to Him as a child runs to her Daddy. Whether we are excited to welcome a new life into the world or sadden to see one go, we know that He is in charge. He is there and He is taking care of everything.

I am spending a lot of time in prayer and in the kitchen making meals. Please join me in praying for these families. Please pass on your insights in ministering to these families as they experience these life cycles. And, on a less spiritual note- I would love a new recipe or two for chicken casserole!

By the way, last month we celebrate God's gracious blessing of two years of life with our little one. Here is a picture from her birth!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Change of Perspective

The other night I was putting my soon-to-be eight year-old to bed. I could tell something was weighing on her heart, so I asked her what was wrong. She began to complain about how her little sister was getting all the attention.

The irony was that I had been praying about just that dynamic and had been very careful to give Riley that extra time so she wouldn't resent her little sister. So I gently reminded her of the events of the last two days. As I mentioned shopping with just me and helping me decorate cupcakes her furrowed brow eased a bit. I refreshed her memory of the time she and her daddy had spent in the backyard with her golf clubs. She admitted that was fun and was smiling again by the time I mentioned the game of UNO she had played with her daddy and I the night before.

As I was retelling this conversation with her daddy later, I was convicted of how often I approach our heavenly Father with the exact attitude. All too often, I come before Him asking, "What have You done for me lately?" My selfish attitude gets the best of me and my perspective is limited to my immediate view of my life.

The truth is that I do not have to look far to be reminded that the world is bigger than me. There are people hurting all around me -in my church, my town, my state, my country. My heart continues to break for the people of Japan.

By comparison, I am so blessed. God has been so incredibly good, yet like a selfish child I come to God asking for more. It isn't that He doesn't want us to come before Him with our needs, we just need to acknowledge those things He has done.

When I start to become down, allowing Satan to steal my joy, I just need to take a minute and count my blessings. I need to ask Him to give me His perspective on my situation. It is amazing how when I do this the peace, joy and faith I need to go on are supplied. HE must be my focus, then He can change my perspective.

Riley brought this issue up again last night. I sighed. And I realized that it is a process . . . I am so thankful that God is patient!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Need YOUR Input!

Happy Rainy Monday Ladies!

I wanted to post earlier today, but was told never to sit in front of a computer during a thunderstorm! I don't know who told me, but it seems like pretty good advice.

Speaking of advice . . . I need some!

Currently, I am teaching a Seminary Extension Class on the ins and outs of Women's Ministry. It occurred to me that I have a great resource at my finger tips with the readers of this blog.

Last week we were discussing practical ways that we as individual women and as a women's ministry could support all the ministries and functions of the church. As we were listing things that we could specifically do to support the pastor, staff and their families, it dawned on me to ask you the same question I was asking the class.

How can individual women and/or the women's ministry of your church show you, their minister's wife, their support?

So often I hear ministers' wives complain about the lack of support that they receive, how they are critiqued and criticized. What are some good things that your church has done to show you their love? Free babysitting? Meals? Trips? What are some practical things that you wish that they would do? Or at least offer?

It also occurred to me that even though God has gifted every minister's wife in different ways, that many of you may have experience with and thereby, valuable insight into women's ministry. I would love to pass on your words of warning or encouragement to the ladies in my class. Whatever input you would give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for all your help.