Friday, August 31, 2012

Recipe For Rejoicing

Rejoice always.   1 Thessalonians  5:16
One of the greatest Christians ever, the apostle Paul, found it very easy to rejoice even in the midst of trials and suffering.   The Holy Spirit even inspired him to pen the letter to the church at Philippi from a prison cell, and throughout this awesome epistle, Paul continuously spoke about being joyful and having joy.
Unfortunately, everything we encounter in this life is not always joyful. Yet when we are faced with situations that attempt to steal our joy, the Lord does work all things out  together for our good (Romans 8:28).   I thought about having a recipe for remaining joyful in the midst of discouragement, so if I were to create my own recipe for continuous rejoicing, it would have the following ingredients:
Remember. When Christ saved us, He began something wonderful in us; a brand new "me" and a brand new "you" were given birth.   In Paul’s joyful letter, remember what Philippians 1:6 says, " being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ  Jesus.”  God is not through with us yet; that’s good to know when life deals its heaviest blows.
Refocus.   Thinking of others is always a great way to get the focus away from ourselves and our problems.  When we purposely look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else in the form of perhaps sharing what we have, performing a service, offering  prayer or encouraging words, or just giving a listening ear, we live out what Paul instructed in Philippians 2:4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Recommit.    Dwelling on or living in the past can hinder us from moving forward after life crashes in on us, and we can get stuck there indefinitely!  When we refuse to allow past wrongs, hurts, decisions, failures, and tragedies to define who we are in Christ, it frees us to recommit our lives to Him, the One who gave His life for us. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it.   I absolutely love Paul’s directive in Philippians 3:13-14, “Forgetting  what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
After we remember, refocus, and recommit, perhaps then we are set free to experience that unending joy the Lord calls us to when He says in Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shape Me

Believe it or not, ladies, it’s hard to fathom that the end of August is upon us, and fall will be settling in very soon.  During this time of year, school routines once again kick into high gear, high school football games bring back a Friday night tradition and fuel old rivalries, tail-gate parties abound during the Saturday college football frenzy, and the days slowly seem to get shorter and cooler.
Transitions occur all the time, so do you ever take an inventory of your life as the seasons change?   Have you made commitments to make changes in your life, yet you find it difficult to follow through with your intentions? Do you ever ask God to take inventory of your heart and soul, allowing His divine probe to show you areas of your life that need a make-over? 
There have been many times in my life when I have asked the Lord to show me myself, my “real self”……..that part of me that is in desperate need of a divine touch from the Master’s hand. When we sincerely ask the Lord, it’s amazing how He will show us things about ourselves that we had no idea needed “fixing”, things we do not want to see, but need to see in order to continue to grow in His grace.
I remember the illustration that the Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah of the potter working on a piece of clay in Jeremiah chapter 18.  The vessel was “marred” in his hands, yet the potter was able to fashion it into what seemed best to him (Jeremiah 18:1-4).  My friends, do you feel that God is working on you, molding you and shaping you into a vessel of beauty for His divine purposes?  The Lord spoke these words through the prophet, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand……..”   Many years ago these words were spoken to God’s people, the children of Israel, but they also speak to our hearts today.
As the Lord shows us areas of our lives that need a divine tune-up, may we always yield to His shaping and molding because the ultimate purpose of our renovation is to be used for His glory as we become more like our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
May we all say, “Have your way, O Lord, have your way!”

Friday, August 24, 2012

Until We Meet Again

The End of Time

Roger and I have been counciling with a "hurting" Christian male lately.  He keeps saying over and over some things that have really made me think.  He keeps saying that his entire life he has had two nice piles.........the Christian Pile and the Unsaved Pile.  The Christians all acted and conducted themselves in one certain way.  The Unsaved Peoples all acted and conducted themselves in another way.  In other words, it was VERY easy to see who fit where...........the Christian Pile and the Unsaved Pile.

However.....that theory does not ring true today.  Today, more and more the PILES are getting all mixed up.  It is hard to tell the CHRISTIANS from the UNSAVED.  It seems like there are no longer any boundaries.

Ladies....this is just another sign of the end of times.  I am afraid that we are just beginning to see the results of this.  The future of America looks bleak.

Let us NOT get caught up in the norm (which for me is not hard, since I am rarely considered's make sure when folks watch us, they ALWAYS know which PILE we belong in.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Matthew 18:20 -  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

  • Our daughter, Kacie and her unborn son.  Pray for a healthy pregnancy, easy birth and healthy baby.
  • My husband, Roger.  He has got to have some more test run the end of next month.  Pray for a good report.
  • My co-worker, Glenda.  She has cancer.
  • The Rose family in our church.  They are going through a nasty divorce.  Especially pray for the protection of their children.
  • We have a small church and in the past two weeks, we have had three deaths of family members;  a lady lost her husband, a lady lost her sister and a man lost his son.  Please remember their families.
  • Pray for our church.  It is really beginning to grow.  God has sent us help.  When God's people committ themselves, satan is standing by to try to discourage us.  Pray that we will stick together and not give satan a chance to tear down what God is building.
  • Our son-in-law, Chase had been transferred to Dyer County Tennessee.  Our daughter's job and doctor were in East Tennessee.  He got transferred back to Bradley County and given a promotion.  Praise the Lord.
  • Our daughter-in-law got a job in Gallatin where they live.
  • We have been at our church for almost 16 years.  Over the years, God has sent us many, many wonderful folks.  Recently, God has sent us some young, grounded couples that are on fire for God.  Praise the Lord!!! 
Thank you for your previous prayers and thank you in advance for the prayers you will pray.  I truly believe in the power of prayer!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Time Marches On....

In July I attended my 40th Year Walnut Grove Junior High Class Reunion.  Back in the dinosaur days, we went to 1st (Romper Room was our Kindergarten) - 9th grade in the same school.  In 10th grade, we were split in group went to Buchhorn High School and the other group went to Hazel Green High School.  I am writing all of this to let you know why having a Junior High Reunion was special.  This was our first.

It was so exciting seeing everyone.  I was surprised to learn of some of their health problems and disabilities.  It was sad to learn that seven of our classmates had passed away.  All and all, after everyone got over the initial shock of the physical change in everyone.....we soon realized that we were still basicly the same people.

Not one person in that school cafeteria could BELIEVE that 40 years had actually passed us by.  It seems as if yesterday we were marching down those halls.  However....time does march on.  God only placed us on this earth a very short time.  We are not promised another tomorrow....or even a moment as far as that goes.  My classmates and I all looked at each other as we were hugging goodbye and making promises to not wait another 40 years......and it was sad.  Realisticly, the next time we meet, all of us probably will not be there.

In the mist of all of the fun, laughter, sharing, etc., I met the wife of a former classmate.  We wound up eating across from them at lunch.  She was a shy lady, but kept following me around.  Before we left, she came up, began crying and asked if she could have my address and phone number.  She said....."I have needed someone to talk to for a long time and I just feel a connection with you.  I want what you have....I want that inner peace."

I would love to tell you that I sat down and lead her to the Lord right then and there.....but that is not what happened.  During the day, she shared that she was a Christian but that they did not go to church.  We live three hours apart.  We have since written "snail mail" several times to each other and the conversations are getting deeper and more personal.  She is hurting but really seems to be opening up and is even making plans to drive the three house to spend some time with me in person.

I am sharing this to seek our your prayers.  Pray for guidance for me and pray for God to somehow use me to reach out to this lady that is hurting.  Pray that God will heal her hurt.  I am not sure why she reached out to me, and not sure how I can help....but so far, just "being there" seems to help her.
Time marches on.......and sometimes we get so caught up in our every day tasks that we do not realize that there are hurting folks all around us.  My prayers are that we ALL keep our EYES and HEARTS open to others.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baby Hicks

Baby Hicks is a BOY!!!  Continue to remember baby Cameron Lee Hicks and mom in your prayers.  They are both doing very well.  Baby Cameron was scheduled to make his appearance the first of December, but because he is growing so fast, the doctor is now saying the end of November.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

You might want to pray for me too....or at least everyone that comes in contact with me.  Baby Hicks is not even here and I am already carrying around two photo albums with pictures.  (Kacie is taking a picture each week.)

Thank you for the continued prayers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why does bad things happen to good people?

Why does bad things happen to good people? 

Probably the same reason good things happen to bad people.  (Bad things also happens to bad people.)

If we never saw the valleys...... the mountains would not be so precious.  Problems help us to grow.  Many times, problems help us to let go and allow God to guide us.  As long as our little worlds are rocking along uneventful, we tend to get so caught up in "things" that we lean on ourselves instead of leaning on God.  Sometimes the "trouble" is just so God can get our attention so that he can guide us and teach us to be more dependent on him.

I was told once that it is easy to live a Christian life as long as you are surrounded by roses, but once you get into the thorns....THEN we can see what you are made of.  Over my years I sometimes feel that some of the "troubles" my husband and I have experienced were put into force just so others could see our reaction to it and how we handled it.  I am ashamed to say, that there were times when I probably failed the test and did not react in the best manner.  But, like the song says....He's still working on me.

Your glass can be half full or half empty.  The choice is yours.  My dad had polycystic kidneys and was on the kidney dialysis machine for twenty and a half years.  Some patients gave up.  Others became mad and bitter with God.  Up until the day my dad died, he praised God for his disease because he said it totally changed his course of life and made him focus on the important things. 

If you are down in the valley.....just remember, it will make the mountain top so much sweeter when you get to the top.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I was interested in finding out what the word “retreat” really means.  After all, there is a “retreat” for ministers wives next month, (are you going?  Oh, I hope so!!  I’d LOVE to hang out with you and get to know you!!  Go to link here and sign up!!).  Churches have "retreats" for students, women, men, staff, etc.  So I wondered….what is “retreat”?

To find out, I decided to see what Wikipedia, says “retreat” is and I was quite amused and struck by the various references.

1.      Retreat (spiritual), a religious or spiritual term for time taken to reflect or meditate.  Ahhh….yes!  This is exactly what I was hoping it meant!!  Time taken to reflect and/or meditate!  Oh how we desperately need to do this on a regular basis!!

2.      Retreat, in Indiana, is a small town!!  Who knew!!  I have lived in Indiana for over 3 years and never knew there was a Retreat, Indiana!!  Wouldn’t it be awesome to live in a place called “Retreat”?  Where every day was a retreat?  Hummmm…..perhaps every day we should live in “retreat”!  Daily taking time to reflect and meditate!  Pull out your fictitious suitcase and head for “retreat” town today!!

3.      Retreat (military), a withdrawal of military forces.  This was the one I am most fearful of and most often guilty of doing.  God does not want us to tuck out tails and “retreat” from the powerful enemy that is attacking us.  We are victorious over this enemy!!  We are not to be like the whipped, worn out army who has run out of ammunition, armor or strength and are raising the white flag of defeat!!  NO!!  We are to fight the good fight!!  But we must gather our armies together for reflection and meditation and to be sure we have put on the full armor!!  Do not “retreat” by withdrawing from the fight!

4.      Retreat (survivalism), a place of refuge for those in the Survivalist subculture or movement.  Oh, my chili!!  I have so many thoughts about this reference but space and time won't let me elaborate!!  Maybe another post!!  Ministers wives are definitely "Survivalists" in our own "subculture"!!  I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one!! J

5.      Retreat (bugle call), a military signal for the end of day.  How awesome would it be if at the end of every day we would stop, call out to our commander our praise and worship and love for who He is....for how He has led us....and for the victory that is His.

6.      Re-treat, to treat again.  Love it!!  “To treat again”!!  And again.  And again.  And again!!  Do it!  Treat yourself again and again and don’t feel guilty about it!!

Well…..are you ready to retreat??  Ready to reflect and meditate?  To depart, withdraw, flight, evacuate, hideaway, sanctuary, haven?  Do it today.  Do it every day.  Do it September 21-22 in Sevierville!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Scripture Prayer for Your Church

Recently, women in churches from Texas to Tennessee to Indiana have contacted me asking me to please pray for their churches.  It is unclear to me all that is going on in the Body of Christ but one thing I do know…..the enemy (which is NOT flesh and blood) is out to steal and kill and destroy our husbands, their ministries, our marriages and our churches.

A week or so ago I asked the other staff wives at our church to join with me in scripture praying for our church.  Because there seems to be so much attack going on in so many churches right now, I thought I would share the prayer with you.  You might want to share it with the women in your church and ask them to pray.  God used women all throughout scripture to do great exploits for Him….and I am convinced He continues to use women to accomplish much in His kingdom.

Praying for you!!

Praying for Our Church (I sometimes will replace the tense to first person—we to I, etc.)
1Pet 5:6...........Heavenly Father, we (I) humble ourselves (myself) under Your mighty hand.
1Jn 1:9.............Forgive us for our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Heb 10:22.........Let us draw near to You with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
Heb 10:22.........having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
Heb 10:22.........and our bodies washed with pure water.
Col 3:16............Let Your Word dwell in us richly.
Col 1:9..............Fill us with the knowledge of Your will,
Col all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
Col 1:10............that we may live and conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of You,
Col 1:10............fully pleasing You, and being fruitful in every good work.
Eph 4:23...........And, by being renewed in the spirit of our minds,
Col 3:12............that we put on tender mercies, kindness, humility,
Col 3:12............meekness, longsuffering: bearing with and forgiving one another.
Eph 4:13...........That we dwell together in the unity of the faith,
1Thes 5:12........recognizing those who labor among us,
1Thes 5:13........esteeming them highly in love for their work's sake.
1Cor 1:10..........I pray we all speak the same thing, with no divisions among us,
Phil 1:27...........standing fast in one spirit, striving together for the faith.
Heb 13:9...........That we're not carried about with various and strange doctrines,
2Tim 2:15..........But we study, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Jude 1:16..........That we're not murmurers, complainers, walking after our own lusts,
1Tim 6:18..........but are rich in good works, ready to give and willing to share.
Eph 4:16...........I pray that the whole body be knit and joined together,
Eph 4:16...........and that every part does its share causing growth to the body.
1Pet 4:10..........As each one has received a gift, let him minister it,
Phil 2:4.............looking out for the interests of others.
1Pet 1:22..........Let us all fervently love one another with a pure heart,
2Jn that we do not lose the things we have worked for.
1Pet 4:7............Let us become serious and watchful in our prayers,
Eph 5:16...........redeeming the time, for the days are evil.
Heb 12:1...........Running with endurance the race that is set before us,
Col 3:2.............setting our minds on things above and not on things on the earth.
Phil 3:14...........But pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God.
Eph 6:11...........Putting on the whole armor of God that we may stand against the devil.
Acts 4:29..........That we will speak forth Your Word with great boldness
Acts 4:30..........and that You will stretch forth Your hand to heal,
Acts 4:30..........that signs and wonders may be done in the name of Your Son Jesus.

Let's faithfully pray and believe!

Friday, August 3, 2012

M & M Family

As you already know my mind works in weird ways.  The other day I was sitting in church, listening intently to my pastor husband deliver God’s word.  Suddenly, a point he made birthed a comparison between our church family and M & Ms.  See, I told you my mind was weird.  Just hang with me while I make my point.

M & M candies make me happy.  There is a vast array of colors that appeal to my senses.  I am more drawn to the bright blues and greens but I love the soft Easter pastels too.  Being with my church family makes me happy.  Our congregation is sprinkled with an array of people.  I am more drawn to people who are outgoing and fun, but I am also keenly aware of the quiet, gentle souls. 

M & Ms also come in a variety of favors-plain, peanut, coconut, almond, and the list goes on.  You can eat each flavor of M & M separately but it is much more interesting and fun to pour them all together and savor them at the same time.  Each flavor tickles the taste buds and satisfies and fulfills my varying moods.  The church family comes in a variety as well.  It certainly does not matter if you are highly educated, rich, poor, tall or short.  There are those who are gifted to teach, some to serve, some to provide prayer support and so forth.  Sure you can worship alone, but it is much more interesting and fun when God brings us all together.  Each person in the body, like an M & M, has a specific ability God has given them to satisfy and fulfill His purpose. 

The next time you are in church look around you at your “M & M” family.  See the assorted flavors, colors, and talents.  Celebrate that you are all mixed together to fulfill and satisfy God’s purpose for building His kingdom.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Psst! Rumor Has It


I am not one to spread gossip but I heard a rumor that a retreat for ministers wives will be held on September 21-22 at the Governor's Inn in the Pigeon Forge area.  Now, I heard that when these ladies get together they do not wear dresses and panty hose.  Shocking!  Why I even heard some of the ladies wear . . .SHORTS! 

The rumor mill also says there will be two guest speakers.  Jeanne Davis-oh my yes-the wife of the Tennessee Baptist Convention executive, will be there.  I heard she is so sweet and alway has a smile on her face.  I bet she has some secrets to share.  Oh and Dana James, a precious pastor's wife, will be speaking as well.  I heard that Dana is dymanic and full of energy. 

Hey, have you heard this rumor?  I heard that last year the retreat was a riot.  Now I do not know if there was an actual "storming the doors police involved" riot.  I mean it could just mean that there was a lot of laughter echoing through the mountains.

Now I know for a fact that last year's ministers wives retreat involved chocolate.  However, I hear that because of the overdose of chocolate last year that a healthier retreat has been planned.  I think they are eating fruit or maybe they will be talking about "Living Fruitful in Ministry."

Hey girlfriend, I think I may just want to check out this retreat.  I mean we are ministers wives.  I hate panty hose and I love to laugh.  Let's make a date to meet for this event and put the rumors to rest.

For more information on cost and how to register, contact Lana Rose at or Heather Beard at or call 800-558-2090, ext 2008 or 2061.