Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Has Risen!

Can you imagine how you would have felt,  as one of the women coming to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus?  Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, they came expecting to see His body, but received a greeting that would change their lives forever.   The angel said to them, “…I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” (Matthew 28:5,6)
Rejoice, for the tomb is empty and Christ has conquered sin and death forever!!!
We serve a risen Savior……Happy Resurrection Day!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Easter Acronym

As I was pondering what to write about in the blog, I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted me to say.  Also, realizing that this is the time when we “celebrate” Easter, recognizing the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Blessed Savior, I wanted to honor Him in a special way.  
However, when I think about Easter, I know that for me it is not just a once a year observance, but an everyday reality of what the Lord has done in my life, in the lives of many of you who read this blog, and in the lives of countless believers all over the world.
 I truly praise God for my Savior, who loves me and sacrificially gave His life so that I might know what new life and abundant living are all about.  In honor of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit placed on my heart an acronym for EASTER.  
 E---Everlasting Father   When the prophet Isaiah announced those wonderful attributes about our Savior hundreds of years before His birth (Isaiah 9:6), the name Everlasting Father, speaks of His eternality, that He was, is and is to come, the One who has always existed and knows the beginning from the end. He knew in eternity past that He would come to take away our sins.

A---All Sufficient Sacrifice  The Lord’s death on the cross paid the precious price for our sins, and no other price needed to be offered or paid.  The writer of Hebrews says, “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)    It is finished, hallelujah!
S---Savior of Sinners    The Lord’s mission when He was physically on earth was to seek and save those that are lost.  He came to preach the Good News about Himself,  so that all who would receive Him would become part of God’s forever family.    In 1 Timothy 1:15, the apostle Paul declared that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”   Rejoice that our Lord saved us and is still saving the lost!
T---Truth    Many times throughout the Gospels, the Lord would say “Truly I say to you”, and His followers could know for certain that He always spoke the truth.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).  Knowing Him, who is Truth, sets us free from a life controlled by the deceitfulness of sin.
E---Exalted King   He is the Exalted King, of whom Paul spoke about when he declared that , “…one day every knee will bow…… and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:10,11)  He will reign forever and ever and His kingdom will never be destroyed. How awesome it is that we who belong to Him are part of that kingdom!
R---Righteous  Ruler   The apostle John called Christ the Righteous One (1 John 2:1).  He is righteous and true in all of His ways; He will always do what is right because He is the perfect, blameless, holy Son of God.
This week and beyond, let us worship Him for who He is,  adore Him for why He came,  love Him completely, serve Him passionately,  and share Him with others. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


He's Alive....and I'm Forgiven....PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Taking Care of Your Body

We all are aware that we should take care of our bodies.  That is a given....especially when you begin getting a "few years of experience" under your belt like me.  Smile.  My husband and I have great better, etc.  HOWEVER....we get caught up in this busy world that we live in and many times the exercise is a time factor and the diet is lost by eating on the road.

God finds ways to help us with all of our problems...and excuses.

Our daughter, since giving birth, as developed pre-diabetes so she is on a strict diet.  Since her carbs are limited, I have been forced to come up with more creative methods, etc. 

Also, I mentioned the last time I blogged that our son got a new job in Chattanooga and he and his wife would be moving in with us for a while.  Well...she is a nutrition major and they are always "watching" what they eat, so we are now eating more meals a home and making better choices on the road.

We have a "Fast Fitness for Ladies ONLY" in Dayton but it is hard for me to motivate myself into going alone.  My daughter-in-law has asked if I would go with her.  NOW...I have NO EXCUSE.  Smile.

Anyway, I say all of this to say....we all know that "exercise" and "diet" are big factors to our over-all health.  I would like to challenge you.........If I can do it...anyone can.

I am publishing this on Friday, but writing this on Thursday night becauseThursday afternoon was our first day at "Fast Fitness" and I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow.  Smile.

Thursday, March 21, 2013



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where Did They Go?

We have been at our church for 16 years.  During this 16 years, many folks have come and gone.  Sometimes you expect it and sometimes it comes as a shock.  Where did they go?

We have some very good friends that were missionaries.  When we first went to our church, he would call and ask how the church was going.....and we would really be down and say, we thought it was doing well, but two families just up and left.  His reply would be, "Amen, praise the Lord!!!  We have been praying that God would get rid of the dead wood at Whites Creek."

WOW....what a way to look at it.  I am not saying that all of them are dead wood, but they may be dead wood at our church.  By this I mean, for some reason this is not the church for them so they are not able to serve God the way they essentially, they are dead wood.  It has always amazed me when folks leave..........I always remember what this missionary said and most of the time, our church begins to "grow" or "re-new" when I am expecting it to hit a slump.  It is as if God DID prune the dead wood.

Recently I discovered that one of our couples had joinned another church.  At first it bothered me a bit..........then I thought about it and realized that the couple had probably only attended our church 2-3 times a year in the past several, maybe they will become more regular at their new church.  They have only been members by name at our church.

I guess we should not always question, "Where did they go?"......just accept it as God's will regardless of the reason....and keep looking to the future.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Conference Update

The last time I blogged, we were getting ready to attend the Bi-Vocational Pastors and Wives Conference in Pigeon Forge.  What a blessing.  If you are a Bi-Vocational Pastor's Wife, I would like to encourage you to make plans to attend next year.  You will not be sorry you did.  It is well worth the $175 for the conference.  Since we are bi-vocational and do not get to attend the Southern Baptist Convention, our church sends us to the Bi-Vocational Conference every year.  They tell us it is well worth it because through the conference we get renewed and come back excited.

This year's conference was about Renewing Your Relationship with the Master, with the Ministry and with your Marriage.

On Friday, we had a special service where we re-newed our wedding vows.  What a special service.  The day before, our husbands were instructed to write us a letter and give it to us after this ceremony.

I am telling you....the conference is well worth the money.  We left feeling closer to God....closer to our spouses and excited to about our churches.

On top of the awesome conference every year........and yes, every year we go away saying it will be hard to top THAT one....and every year it seems as if we manage to top it.  But, on top of the awesome conference, you build friendships.  We have met couples through our 14 years of attending this conference that we would have never met any other way.  We fellowship, laugh, cry and keep in touch during the year.  It is important to have this, especially as pastors and wives.

So....we watching for dates and times.....and plan to attend next year!!!  Hope to see you.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baby Dedication

Yesterday was a very special day.  We were able to attend our daughter and son-in-laws church at First Baptist Church of Cleveland, TN and attend the Baby Dedication ceremony of our grandson, Cameron Lee.  What a special day.  All four of his grandparents were there and so was his aunt and two of his uncles. 
The preacher held Cameron and prayed one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard.....and then he kissed him and handed him back to his dad.  He prayed that Cameron would accept Christ at an early age and prayed for his parents, his family and his church as they all have a part in molding the child into the man he will become.

I really appreciate that we serve in a church that allowed us to take a day and go and be a part of this very important day in Cameron and Mom and Dad's lives.

When both of our children were babies, we too dedicated them to the Lord and made a vow to train them in the ways they should go.  Also, we have been privileged to be a part of many, many baby dedications at our church.  They are all very special and nothing to be taken lightly.

We are looking forward to the plans God has in store for little Cameron's life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Please Pray

Dear Sisters,

I am writing this morning to request your prayers.

The last 48 hours have been unreal and the next 48 will also be so very hard to comprehend.

My husband's older brother passed away very unexpectedly Saturday evening from a very sudden and very fierce infection. After nine cardiac arrests, the specialists at Vandy could not resuscitate him one more time and James went to be with Jesus.

Those of us left behind are in shock. A week ago, he was at my house giving me a hard time as he and his wife, Cindy, beat us in yet another card game. I can't believe that we won't play again!

Please keep us all in your prayers - especially Cindy, their 12 year-old daughter, Chandler, and my precious Mother and Father-in-Law.

I would also value any scripture you could post on this blog as an encouragement to our family.

Thank you in advance for keeping us before the Throne!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

You be You

I remember the day my husband sat me down and shared that he sensed God was calling him from serving the church as youth pastor to shepherding as senior pastor.  I wanted to be supportive, I honestly did!  I wish I could say I was totally excited and that I had dreamed of being a senior pastor's wife my entire life.....but I wasn't!

Alice and Lynda were the only two pastor's wives I knew.....and I was NOTHING like either one of them!  NOTHING!  I had a very limited view of what a pastor's wife was suppose to be like and it was based on those two women!!  (That is quite daunting to me now as I think about that!  Yikes! What if I (or you) are what people picture when they consider what a pastor's wife is....hummmm something to ponder for sure!!)

I actually told my husband that it was fine if he wanted to be a senior pastor but I could not be a pastor's what were we to do??!!  The Lord spoke to my heart not too many days later and said, "Dana, I am not asking you to be Alice (after all she wore stretch polyester pant suits and there was NO WAY I could do that) and I am not asking you to be Lynda (she had big hair and big jewelry and thick fake eyelashes and there was NO WAY I could do that!)!  I am asking you to be Dana!"

Really? You mean I can be a pastor's wife? Me? Just who I am with my personality and my taste in clothing and hair and jewelry?  You, God, think I can love the marketplace and business and be a pastor's wife too?  "Yes, He said, you! I still have much sanctification and more molding and refining to do in you but you be you and I will take care of the rest!" Such freedom He was offering me and I honestly was shocked!

You might struggle with the "am I being/doing what I am suppose to be being/doing" junk or wondering if you need to be more like so-and-so.....or "do I need to have a different personality" like I mentioned in the last post.  Once again, let me assure you using the words of Isaiah, "...You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are the Potter. We are all formed by Your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

So...let go and be the you you have been created to be.....enjoy every bit of it!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quiet and Gentle Spirit

For the past several years the Indiana Baptist Convention has held an event for preteen girls and their moms called "Pure Girl".  This year I will be speaking from 1 Peter 3:3-4 that says "Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is so precious to God." NLT

I remember the first time I read that passage.....and panicked!! Did it mean I was suppose to be an introvert?  I mean, I suppose I could be an introvert occasionally....but all of the time?  Did it mean that I needed to not be loud and crazy?  I suppose I could not be loud and crazy some of the time....but always?

As I matured and continued to study the heart of God through the entire Word I realized He was not talking about my personality!!  Yea!! Such freedom!  I can be who He created me to be....even if I am a little loud and crazy!  So what is He talking about?

I know a woman who is very quiet and somber and not at all loud.  You actually might not even know she is in the room. She is beautiful and calm and does everything 'right'. I actually envy her (a sin I have had to repent from!!) at times.  Yet, here is the thing....she worries very easily.  She gets stressed out easily.  She is anxious and fearful.

I also know another woman who is vivacious, outgoing, energetic, loud, eccentric and the life of the party.  When life brings trials and storms into her life she is full of peace and calm and grace.

Which one of these women have the "gentle and quiet spirit" Peter is referring to?  I believe it is the second woman.  Ladies, don't strive to change your personality....strive to know God and allow Him to create in you this kind of gentle and quiet that does not fret or "stem and stew" over the stresses of the day...One that trusts in God no matter what.  That kind of response can only come from God!!

Blessings to you!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Trust and Exalt

Our church is going through a very difficult season right now.....unlike anything we have ever experienced in our ministry before.....and we have been in ministry for a long time!

Over the years as we have walked through challenging seasons the Lord has taught me so much!  I would be paralyzed by fear or worry over small things and large "issues" would really defeat me! I can tell that He has molded me and chiseled me and refined me to where I am learning that being fearful and worried and defeated is sinful and that I can't "fix" most everything and make it "OK" but He has taught me to do two things when fear and worry begin to take over....


I can remember the time He so gently took my face and heart into His and said....."Dana, you can't fix this.  I am not asking you to. I am asking you to do only two Me and exalt Me!  That's it! I will take care of the people, situation, etc. your job is to trust and exalt."

So, I pray you are not going through a difficult or hard or hurtful time right now in any part of your life or ministry....but if you are....let me encourage you to stop whatever response you might have that is ungodly and trust Him and exalt Him.

May He be glorified in all things.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Joy of Chocolate!

Girls, ministers’ wives can NEVER have enough chocolate in the house!   When stress piles up, I reach for my happy pill jar full of various varieties of M & Ms.  When my heart is palpating over a solo I am singing at church, I unwrap a piece of dark chocolate.  If I am dreaming of a beach get away to escape the issues at church, Almond Joy and Mounds are my drugs of choice.   I think you get the picture.  By the way, this precious little princess diva enjoying her chocolate is Joy Hope Millard, daughter of Angie whose husband is now a pastor here in Arkansas.

 As a chocoholic, I am always in pursuit of the benefits of chocolate.  I think I have shared a few reported benefits of chocolate before but I want to do it again.

*Dark chocolate is good for your heart (of course in moderation).
*Chocolate eaters may have lower BMIs.
*A 2011 Swedish study reported that people who ate 45 grams of chocolate a week had a
    20% lower risk of stroke.  (If this is true then I should NEVER have a stroke!)
*Chocolate eaters may have lower blood pressures, lower bad LDL cholesterol and lower risk
   of heart disease.
*Yale University Prevention Research states that dark chocolate is rich in fiber so it fills you up.
   Also it may reduce cravings for sweet, salty, or fatty foods.  (AWESOME!)
*A 2005 Italian study says chocolate may reduce diabetes.
*Dark chocolate may protect skin from UV damage.  (But still remember to wear sunscreen!)
*Chocolate quiets coughs!  (I think I feel a cough coming on now.)
*Chocolate eaters report less stress.  (Yep!)
Now, I don’t know how true these facts really are but I just thought it would be fun to share them with you.  However, I do want to remind you (and me) that when things get tough, stress gets high, life seems to crash in around us, and we become so weak, weary, and overwhelmed as ministers' wives, Jesus is the one person who can provide for our every need.