Monday, April 30, 2012

Do the what and wait for the how

What an amazing weekend it was getting to spend a few days with Tennessee minister’s wives at the retreat!!  It was fun!  Refreshing!  Challenging!  Encouraging!  And we ate a ton of yummy food!  Thank you Lana and the planning team for all of the hard work and prayer and time you put into making it so special for all of us!

We had such sweet times of sharing during my sessions thanks to Jeannie Davis who sensed God wanted her to relinquish her time to me and was so willing to be obedient to Him!  Thank you Jeannie!

I learned so much this weekend and the main thing is this.  Do (or follow or pursue or go after) the “what” and wait for the “how”!!  I don’t know if this makes sense—but it means, do, go after, follow whatever it is God is telling you to do/be/say and don’t worry about the “how”!  He will work out the “how”!!  That is exactly what happened this weekend with me!

I felt God wanted me to talk “with” the ladies as opposed to talk “to” them…which I was all excited about and super willing to do.  I would simply not do all of the ‘material’ I had prepared and take more time with just one.  But then, later, I also felt the Lord wanted me to do the other material….and so there would be no time to “slow it down” for the first session.  I was confused.  Was I hearing Him wrong? 

Bottom line—I heard God right.  He was not contradicting Himself.  I was just too focused on the “how” instead of doing the "what" and waiting for Him to show me the how!  He had the “how” all worked out!  He knew Jeannie was going to relinquish her time to me.  She didn’t know it.  I didn’t know it.  But He knew it!

Ladies!  Let’s all grasp that concept.  Not sure what the first word needs to be—I am totally open to ideas!!  Do/pursue/go after/follow the what and wait for the how!

By the way—I will finish up the last session during this week’s blog—Lord willing!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Perfect Job

A dear recently called to tell me that she found the perfect job for me.  It is actually ranked number two on a list and is only preceded by  a “bed tester” who actually goes from hotel to hotel testing beds.  However, I am fully qualified for the second ranked job-Godiva chocolate taster.  You actually get paid to eat chocolate!  This is one position I know at which I would be highly successful.

 Have you ever wondered if there is a perfect job for you?  I know I am not called to be a nurse.  That requires blood and needles and I can’t stand to see people suffer.  Do not give me a position in the preschool class because these toddlers and their tantrums give me hives.  Teaching a Bible study class terrifies me.  However, I love teenagers, singing, and serving through hands on missions.

 In our churches there are always positions that need to be filled.  When no one steps up, to whom does the committee come?  Haven’t you been asked to take a position because no one else will fill it? Haven’t you been told that because you are the staff wife and they cannot get anyone else to step in the position that you should take it on?  Oh, I have.  After suffering for years in positions that were not where God wanted me, I have learned to respond by saying, “well let me pray about it and see what God tells me.”  Just because we are ministers wives does not mean we should be assigned a role in which we do not feel led of God.  

 I met a ministers wife a couple of years ago who did everything from cleaning the church to being the youth leader.  In addition, she had to care for her family in her spare time.  She did not have a time to take care of herself.  This poor lady was so used up, burned out, and overwhelmed that she was completely useless to God’s kingdom and her family. 

 Ladies, I have been in the same shoes as this sweet sister.  When I finally went to the doctor because I was physically sick, he told me to resign everything except from one position at the church.  I can say that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I love my church and my Lord, but I realized I was not being useful for His kingdom.  I did resign everything then began to pray where God wanted me to serve.  When He revealed the place and I began serving again, I was at complete peace.  I knew I was in my perfect job.

Yes girlfriends, there is a perfect job for all of us in the church.  Our job is to prayerfully seek where God-not a committee-is leading us to plug in.

 Ok girlfriends, what is your perfect job (within the church or out in the world)?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Say a Prayer

Vickie Lee just posted a blog about what she is going through this week. She shared about her Mom being ill and in hospice care but for whatever reason she did not share that her Mom went home to be with Jesus last Sunday afternoon. As you read this blog this week please say a prayer for Vickie and her family. It is no accident that this is her week to blog. The funeral will be Thursday morning in Arkansas. Let's lift up our sister to the Father in these next few days.

The Grand Scheme and Every Deail

Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.”

Sometimes it is hard for me to comprehend that God can control the universe.  Out there beyond what I can see, the universe is full of cosmic events-stars exploding; comets crisscrossing paths with asteroids; and our planets perfectly placed around the sun.  Here on earth, life for billions of people goes on daily.  There are major economic issues, wars, illness, births, and much more yet God perfectly plans the events in His grand scheme.

It is really difficult to imagine that God knows every detail of my life and that He has a purpose for every one of them.  For a while I could not understand why God would move us from our ministry in Tennessee.  However, He knew that shortly after arriving at our new ministry here in Arkansas that my mom would be told she only had a few months to live and be placed in hospice care.  I certainly can’t understand why our house in Tennessee has not sold but God knows I cannot drop caring for Mom in order to relocate to a new house right now.  Then of course, we live in a temporary home that is fully furnished from towels or pots and pans and all we have to do is pay utilities.  God knew that in the midst of Mom’s illness I would not be able to work and that there would be no way we could pay rent and a mortgage.  Yes, He even knows the dark days when discouragement or weariness takes root in my life because it never fails I receive a sweet card from a friend or a bag of M & Ms (my favorite) from a church member.

Yes, God has a grand scheme for His creation and He knows every detail of our lives.  I would love to hear how God is directing your life in His grand scheme. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

He Is Always There

During this time of year when the Easter Holiday is celebrated (of course, God’s children can celebrate Easter everyday!), certain passages from the Bible always seem to be front and center.  These biblical accounts validate that the Lord was resurrected, and that He was seen by some of the disciples before ascending into heaven.  I was reading in these passages recently, and the Lord reminded me of a very important truth.
The first passage deals with the account of the risen Lord walking on the road to Emmaus with two of His followers.  It is rather interesting that these men were engaged in a very intense discussion about the Messiah and the recent turn of events, but they did not even realize that Christ was in their midst.   The Word says they were prevented from recognizing Him, yet He was there.
The second passage tells of our Lord manifesting Himself at the Sea of Tiberias.  A few of His disciples had gone fishing the night before, and as the day dawned, the disciples looked toward the shore and saw someone standing there.  It was the Lord Jesus, yet initially they did not know that it was Him. 
I thought about these two incidents and pondered……many times I have engaged in the various activities of my day, and yet did not acknowledge that the Lord is there.  His presence is ALWAYS with me, and I sometimes don’t even think about it.   This is very sobering, very convicting.  As I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I desire to ALWAYS sense Him walking beside me throughout my day. What about you?   Are you aware of the Lord’s presence in your life each day?
Our Triune God is there, and here are some reminders for us:  
He is there watching over us.  “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”  Psalm 121: 8
He saves us forever and is praying for us.   “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”   Hebrews 7:25
He has gone to prepare a place for us.  “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:3
One of God's names is Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is There, and I thank the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us,  for reminding His daughters of this very important truth!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Wonderful Creator

I teach a Sunday School class for children ages kindergarten to second grade, and one of the lessons we had recently was the Creation Story.  I have taught this lesson many times before, heard many sermons on it before, and even read it several times before. Yet this time I must admit, I paused to think about the sheer majesty and glorious genius exhibited by God as He spoke, and all the cosmos transformed from being a void mass to becoming a vibrant world full of life and beauty.
I remember going through the lesson and drawing on our dry erase board what the Father created on each day. (Now, I must admit that I am not the best artist in the world, but the kids rather enjoyed it, and it helped to keep their attention during the lesson.)  When we got to day six, I made it a point to emphasize that not only did God create the land animals, but He also made His most special creation of all: US!  When I teach, I truly enjoy seeing the wonder and amazement in the children’s eyes as the many attributes and truths about God sink into their young minds.
When was the last time you looked at a sunset,  watched a flock of birds fly in formation, or gazed at a beautiful field of flowers and thought, “Wow, God You are an Awesome Creator!”  Also, every time we look in a mirror we are reminded that God made us in His own image, and He tells us in His Word,  that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  (Psalm 139:14)  The first five days of Creation God saw what He made and said it was good;  after He made us, He said it was Very Good!
When was the last time you worshiped Him as Creator?
“On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.” Psalm 145:5

Monday, April 16, 2012

Facing Our Giants

Do you have a GIANT in your life?  Do you have a huge, nagging issue that you are dealing with, a monumental situation that simply will not go away?  Is there a “GOLIATH” in your midst that keeps taunting you, robbing you of inner peace and joy?  Well, my sisters, there is hope and encouragement found in a very familiar story that many of us have known since we were little kids.

You are probably familiar with the narrative of David and Goliath, found in 1 Samuel Chapter 17.  It is the triumphant story of a brave young shepherd boy who singlehandedly took on the fierce, nine foot tall Philistine warrior named Goliath.  David’s use of five small stones (it only took one to bring the giant down) and a simple slingshot brought an end to many days of threats and taunts spoken by this tyrant who spread fear among the entire army of Israel.

But wait!  Was it really David’s weapons that ultimately slew the giant, or was it his huge, unrelenting faith and trust in the Almighty God, whom David described as “The Lord of Hosts”!  This name of God pictures Him as commander of the armies of heaven and earth. Who can stand against Him?

We have much to learn from this brave, future king of Israel.  David knew that Goliath was no match for an all powerful God. Can the Lord conquer anything? YES!!!  Whatever you consider a “GIANT” in your life, it is no match for The Lord of Hosts!

So, what is your GIANT?  Is it a difficult spouse, a rebellious child, a back stabbing co-worker, or a hostile neighbor?  Could it be an unforgiving attitude, anxiety, depression, selfishness, pride, or outbursts of anger? Right now, one GIANT that my husband and I are facing is raising a teen and a pre-teen in today’s tough culture…what a task!

Whatever your GOLIATH is, lay it before the Lord, and fervently pray for God’s wisdom and guidance on how to handle it.  If you get an opportunity this week, read this awesome story again in 1 Samuel 17, and let it inspire you to take on the GIANTS in your life!  And be reminded of what David said in 1 Samuel 17:47 “…..for the battle is the Lord’s…..”.  With the Lord of Hosts on our side, we can face our GIANTS!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prayer Requests

I know that it seems like each time I blog I have a list of prayer requests.  I firmly believe in the power of prayer and what better play to petition those requests than from "my sisters in Christ"?

  1. Roger - my husband; his male blood work did not come back good so he has to go back to the doctor for re-testing in June and from there they will decide the outcome.
  2. Our children and their temporaty separation situations.
  3. Our daughter - who has health issues. 
  4. Our son-in-law - that his company sees fit to move him back to East Tennessee where there are at least three openings.....or that God would show them what is in His Plan for them.  (Our daughter has a job teaching and is currently under a doctor's care for her health issues, so they would prefer not to have to relocate at this time.)
  5. Our daughter-in-law - as she seeks out a job in May.
  6. Our son - has an "unspoken" request...but God knows.
  7. Glenda - my co-worker that has been diagnosed with a rare cancer and is having to travel to Nashville monthly for treatment.  (On the bright side...she is a wonderful Believer and sister in Christ.)
  8. Several of our church families - they are going through marital difficulty and desperately need God's Hand Laid upon their marriages.
  9. Our church.  We do not have any major issues, but it is time for us to get out of the "comfort zone" and make a difference in our community.
  10. Our V.B.S. - It's that time of year, and like most churches, it is many times difficult to get folks to "committ" to giving a week of their time.
  11. One of our Female Youth - she has totally gone astray and is seeking out things of the "world" instead of keeping her eyes on Jesus.
  12. A Friend - (young married couple with a one year old) - wife has decided she just does not want to be married any longer and is trying to convince him and herself that this is God's will.
  13. The list could go on and on.........because there are Lots of Hurting Folks.  Just remember them all in general.
Thank you in advance for your prayers.  They are much appreciated.  The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:20 --- For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 
I believe in the Power of Prayer.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Awesome God

We serve an AWESOME GOD!!!

Even through trials and tribulations, we see God's working hand all around us.  I can not even begin to list all of the answered prayers we are experiencing daily.  Being a Christian, why should this surprise us?  I don't think it really surprises me, I think I am just always in AWE of witnessing HIS POWER.
Please continue to pray for our family.  This is not an easy time for any of our kids.....  We live in Rhea county.  Our daughter is in Meigs County where she is teaching school and our son-in-law is in Dyer County all the way across the state during the week where his job as of March transferred him.  (They are in the process of praying and seeking God's will about what they will do when school is out.)  Our son is in Sumner County where he works and our daughter-in-law is in Cumberland County trying to finish up her Nutrition Field Study so she can graduate in May.  This is not an easy time for any of them, but with God's help, they are surviving and making do with this temporary separation.  Praise the Lord, they do manage to spend the weekends together.

My husband and I feel like we need to "take care of" everyone, so therefore we are checking on all four kids regularly to make sure they do not need anything.  Guess that is just the "parenting".  You should see me during "weather alert days".....I am trying to keep up with the warnings of five counties!  We will ALL just be glad when they can ALL be back together all the time.

As "the parents", it has been refreshing to observe the "growth" that these separations have caused.  Both couples have grown closer to God and closer to each other.  They have shown their maturity by taking an undesirable situation and making the best of it.  God is still in control.......ALL THE TIME.

Aren't YOU glad we serve an Awesome God?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Fun, Relaxing Trip!!!
RELAXATION.  What is that?  It is such a rare word in the vocabulary of a pastors home.

Two years ago one of our church members gave us a couple of nights in a condo in Gatlinburg for Pastor's Appreciation.  And....we have never slowed down long enough to take it.  This past October our church gave us two nights in downtown Gatlinburg with the stipulation that we take it on Sunday.  Needless to say, that had not been used either.  Does that surprise any of you?  smile.

SO....last week I was on Spring Break and we planned ahead of time......told the church and told the kids and we went to Gatlinburg for four nights.

We did not look at our watches or clocks.  We had no schedule.  We got up when we wanted to.  Ate when we wanted to.  Went to bed when we wanted to and thoroughly enjoyed the few days away.  It was soooo nice to not be locked into a "schedule".

Driving to our destination, on the spur-of-the-moment, we whipped into the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show.  They tried to sell us another show for just ten more dollars, but we by-passed it because that would mean we HAD to be somewhere at a certain time.  We've never had our pictures made in one of the "Old Fashioned Photo Studios" so this was another "fun" "spur-of-the-moment" activity.

This trip was very enjoyable and relaxing and it made us stop and think that....apparently the church realizes we need a "break" sometimes and so we need to stop and realize that WE DO need to take time for us too.  We are going to make a point to take occasional "breaks" so we can come back to our families, our church and our secular jobs "Refreshed".

Monday, April 9, 2012

Because He Lives....

Because He Lives....there is Hope.

As we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior this weekend, I did a lot of reflecting.  Because He Lives, there is Hope.  Without Christ there is No Hope.  I look around me and there's lots of folks without that "hope" because they are focused and driven by the wrong source.

Our daughter wears a "HOPE" bracelet that serves as a special reminder for her.and while looking at it this weekend, I got to one word holds a lot of powerful meaning. 

"HOPE."  Life without Christ is a life without hope or meaning.  Many people live their lives without Christ, so therefore there is no hope.  They have put "things",  money and other things before Christ.

He Lives. I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today; I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, ...

Ephesians 2:12
"that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world."

Because He Lives....there is Hope.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why I Say Happy Easter

This about sums it up.

Happy Easter Ladies! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Morning

Here is another one:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Videos


My favorite time of year is upon us!

Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas, celebrating Christ's birth and the incarnation, but if it weren't for Easter, December 25th would be just another winter day.

Our music minister interwove some really neat clips throughout the choir Easter performance yesterday. They really were influential in my worship on Palm Sunday and I want to share them with you. I think you will find that each gives you something to think about this Holy Week.