Monday, March 31, 2014

"Christian" Movies

Ladies, I don't know about you, but I love a good movie. My favorites are Jane Austin flicks like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility." I also enjoy a good superhero flick with my sweetie.

Lately, it seems that the box office is flooded with Christian themed movies. There are titles like "Son of God," "God's Not Dead," and "Noah". There are previews for another film called "Heaven is For Real".

I don't know if you've seen any of these films, or know much about them. I've seen only "God's Not Dead" but I've heard quite a bit about the others. From what I understand, with the exception of "Noah," these films have been produced from a basically Biblical viewpoint. "Noah," on the other hand, was brought about by a self-described atheist and is only very loosely connected to the hero of the faith that we've studied in Genesis.

No doubt your minister husband has been asked his opinion on Hollywood's take on these themes. Maybe you've been asked what you think - as a minister's wife. Maybe you've seen one or two of them. Maybe you aren't seeing "Noah" based on principle and conviction.

My sweetie and I have had a few casual conversations about them. He has no desire to see the Noah film. I do. He doesn't want to support this atheist film maker. I want to be able to engage in conversation about the film intelligently. I want to chat with lost friends who see the film and then be able to show them the truth of the scriptures.

As for the movie I have seen, "God's Not Dead". I thought it was pretty cheesy. I tried to imagine what a non-believer might think about it. While there are redeeming qualities, it is not something I care to see again. The themes are great discussion starters for student ministries and beyond. The gospel is clearly presented and I am sure God is using it to bring Himself glory.

Regardless of where my man and I agree or how any of us feel about the quality of these films, they are a great tool for us to engage our culture. Whether on Face Book or in Starbucks, the existence of these films gives us an open door to talk about truth, to begin discussions about Jesus, and to be intentional to have a voice in what is being said and produced in Hollywood.

It isn't unusually to have a Biblical themed movie or television program about God this time of year. Our culture is still curious about what happened at the tomb that day. Let's tell them!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


The calendar says it is spring, but where we live….it sure doesn’t look like spring or feel like spring.  I am not seeing many signs of growth or buds or the slightest hint that flowers and trees will be blossoming any time soon.  Who decides when spring is anyway?  I should Google that!!

Even though on the surface there is no visual proof that much is happening….there is much going on under the ground and in the roots and stems and trunks of trees and plants.  Much work is taking place that we cannot see in order to prepare each plant for the fragrance and beauty and fruit that will soon be evident for all to see and to taste and enjoy.

I got to thinking about all of this….and realized that just as God, as the great Gardener (John 15:1), is at work behind the scenes in plants and trees to produce much growth and fruit in due season, He is doing the same things in people’s lives as well!

Perhaps, like me, you look around at your families and wonder….is there any spiritual growth?  Are my children growing in their love and knowledge and desire for God?  At times we wonder if there is any spiritual growth happening in our church or our Bible study group or our Sunday school class….because maybe we just are not seeing any evidence of it.

But….let’s not get discouraged!  His word does not return void.  Conceivably He is at work behind the scenes developing strong root systems that many times we cannot see.  He is preparing us and them for much fruit that John 15 talks about.  In that passage He mentions that He will cut off those branches that do not bear fruit and will prune the branches that bear fruit so that they will bear more fruit and when we remain in Him we will bear much fruit!!  I don’t want to settle for having no fruit or even some fruit or more fruit….I want much fruit and that often times takes God working behind the scenes accomplishing much that we cannot see.

Be encouraged and bear much fruit!  Before we know it….the pruning season will be upon us….and sometimes that hurts!!  But….let’s not forget….it is done so that we will bear much fruit!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Still Winter!?

It is snowing right now!  It is March 25 and it is snowing!!  Not just a few, sparse flakes….but a downpour of white stuff!!  I have heard so many times recently words spoken like, “I am so tired of winter!”  “Will spring ever come?”  “This has been the longest winter ever!”

Call me crazy…..but I rather like winter!  What in the world?  What did I just say?  Did I say, “I like winter”?  Yes, I know!  There is something terribly wrong with me!!

Here is the reason I don’t mind winter…..because I KNOW it is only temporary!!  Spring WILL come.  Summer WILL follow.  Winter will NOT last forever!!  It is a promise!!  Genesis 8:22 “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

There are things I can do in winter that I cannot do in summer!  I can curl up in a cozy blanket after dinner and not feel guilty about not working in the yard weeding or mowing or something that requires work and sweat.  I can wear sweaters that covers up, so to speak, a multitude of sins (if you know what I mean!).  I can drink a hot cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer to warm up…in fact, I can have two!

I am OK with winter because I KNOW it won’t last!  I KNOW the cold and snow and dreariness will one day be replaced with warmth and flowers and sunshine…then I will be able to do things I cannot do during winter.

Here’s the thing….will those who complain during winter….wishing it were over….be the same ones who will complain about how hot it is this summer?

My desire is that I will not only be content in whatever season the earth is in….that I will be content in whatever season my life is in.  Many of us are in the winter season of our lives….and I don’t mean in reference to our ages….I mean we are going through some cold, hard, dark days.  We are hurting from the bitter, cold words or actions of others.  Or maybe we are covered under piles of responsibilities or burdens like a snow covered driveway that needs to be shoveled just to get our car out of the garage....but we don't have the strength or desire to even leave the house.
Be encouraged my friend!!  Winter will NOT last forever!!  Spring and summer will come!  Growth and life and light will be a part of your days....maybe they will come while we are living on this earth...maybe not until we see Him face to face in the eternal heaven.  Look and see the Lord in this winter season of life you are in right now and be encouraged!  Luke 21:30 "When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Sweet LULU Sisters

Anyone who knows me understands that I love being with other sisters in ministry.  When I am with you I am encouraged, renewed, filled up.  I am able to be myself and just laugh because you truly understand what ministry life is like.

While in Tennessee I made some lasting friendships among the ministers' wives across the state.  They are my treasures and I love them dearly.  However, over the past two years of being back in Arkansas, I have made new ministers' wives friendships and they too are my treasures.  All of you share a common bond with me:  we are LULU sisters.

What is a LULU sister?  A LULU sister is someone who provides "Laughter Unending" and who "Loves Unconditionally."  She is not jealous but celebrates victories.  She does not judge but provides wisdom.  She provides encouragement.  Listens as we vent our frustrations.  She holds our hand, wipes away tears, and even cries with us sometimes.  More importantly she brings joy and laughter in to our life.

In a few days I get to fellowship with my new LULU sisters here in our association.  We come from different walks of life and serve in different size churches. We purposely do not have a "planned" bible study, prayer time, or speaker.  (Don't take this wrong but we get enough preaching and church.  Ok, we do pray over our meal)  We simply come together to laugh and have fun. 

If you are in a ministers' wives fellowship, I would really love to hear some of your ideas that your group does.  I would also love to hear our your "LULU" sisters help you personally.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spiritually Spanked

When I was a child, I felt like I was constantly being disciplined by my parents.  I would forget to clean my room, smart mouth my mom, or just plain ignore my parents when they were talking to me.  Oh brother, did I get in trouble!  I think I was spanked or grounded everyday of my childhood.

As a minister's wife I still get disciplined.  I do not get spanked for not cleaning the house or coming in late.  I do not get spanked for over-indulging in chocolate or buying a new outfit when what I have in the closet is just fine.  Since one my parents is very ill and the other resides with Jesus, I do not receive my punishment from them.  Instead, I often get disciplined by The Father in Heaven.  Maybe often is not the correct word.  Let's just say that I receive a good "spiritual spanking" on a daily basis from My Father.

Many times I get rebuked because I avoid someone at church that rubs me the wrong way.  Ok sisters, I know you do the same thing.  Some people at church can just be overbearing, belittling, and critical.  I just do not like being around those people.  When I do turn and go a different direction at church to avoid the person, God scolds me immediately.  Ouch!  He quickly reminds me that person is His child too and deserves to be loved. 

I also get reprimanded when I am rude to a stranger.  Ok, none of us like telemarketing phone calls.  They are annoying and also seem to come when we sit down for a meal.  I try to be kind and tell the person on the line that it is not a good time but they are so persistent.  They keep talking and I usually just hang up on the.  God speaks to me firmly again that the person on the other end of the call is just doing their job.  Ouch!

Even as a minister's wife, I am really slow to learn lessons and God continually has to spiritually spank me on a daily basis.  However, just like I can look back and see that my parent's discipline came because they loved me, I am truly thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to correct His wayward daughter.

"My son, do not take the Lord's discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom He receives."  Hebrews 12:5-6

Friday, March 14, 2014

Busy Time

Whewwww.............not only have I been busy with "grandbabies"...our church has been very busy too Being Bi-Vocational just really means that you are the ONLY husband and wife on staff so EVERYTHING falls on your shoulder.

I also mentioned about the death last week of our oldest member's son. Last night, we had to get someone to fill in or the Bible Study and my pre-school class because another member's mother passed away suddenly Saturday and they asked Roger to preach her funeral. (The funeral was 2 hours from us.)

Also, we are at the completition of a building program at church, where we are expanding my pre-school class and including a bathroom; building a larger nursery and adding Roger an office and a new classroom.

I also have a niece and a cousin in Alabama that are expecting babies a month apart and I am helping give them Baby Showers.

It's just a busy time of year. Lots of things going on. With the exception of the is all good; just busy.

Please pray that I don't get so BUSY doing the "THINGS" that I forget to slow down for my own personal quiet time with God.

I love you and will see you in 4 weeks. Again, I am sorry I missed blogging last week....and thank you Tonya for sharing this week with me.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lonely Life Without Christ

I blogged in December about our oldest church member who at the age of 99 lost her son to cancer; Well, last week, her last son passed away of a massive heart attack; Now, she has buried a husband and all four children. Her 53 year old grandson currently lives with her. Please keep her in your prayers..........her heart is absolutely broken. She is sharp as a tack but her hearing is very limited.

Her son was the community “booger man”. He lived a very rough life, which included clubbing, drinking, rooster righting, etc. He had talked with my husband after his brother died in December…….he said he accepted Christ as his Saviour when he was younger, but had been running since. He promised that he was going to get back in church….etc.

He was a prime example of “living for the world.” At any given time, he was surrounded by tons of friends and buddies. HOWEVER..not one of those friends and buddies showed up for his memorial service.

They were not friends; they were users.

After witnessing that, I am sure there were many times while he was alive that he realized he was alone. Living a life without Christ, (or even running from Christ) is a very lonely life.

Please continue to pray for his mother, Mrs. Mahalia and the rest of the family. The man's youngest son showed up before the service in shackles and with a police escort. He was not allowed to stay for the service and will probably be sent to prison for a few years. He was picked up and taken in the day his dad died. No one had visited him at the jail. He told us that he had not seen anyone because everyone he knew; friends and family, had all been arrested in the past year so they could not visit him. How sad is that?

It was a very sad service. If nothing else, I plan to share this story of the man left “alone” with every unchurched person I know. It may not help, but it couldn’t hurt.


Ladies I am requesting your prayers for something that, once again the Lord has called me to do.

In just a few days I will be going on another mission trip to inland Jamaica; I was blessed to go for the first time last year, and the Lord, by His grace, has opened up another opportunity to go again. When I came home last year, I knew in my heart that I wanted to go back, but I did not think it would be less than a year later that I would be returning. God Is Good!!

If you desire, and the Lord lays this on your heart, please pray:

Our mission team (there are 22 of us) will be given travelling grace and mercy as we fly to and from Jamaica and while we are on the island.

The Lord will do many great and wonderful things through each individual that is going.

The people in Jamaica will be attentive to the gospel message and will be eager to ear God’s Word as it is taught at the various scheduled events.

The Holy Spirit will give us all boldness as some of the ladies teach workshops, as the ministers/pastors preach, and as others share testimonies.

The Savior will be honored and exalted in all that is said and done.

I look forward to sharing what awesome things the Lord did on the trip. Thanks in advance for your prayers!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm Sorry.....

I'm sorry I forgot to blog last week. My life has been CRAZY. Miss Kinley Grace was born on February 10th and life has been wild since.

Kinley Grace has a milk and soy allergy, so mom decided to stop breast feeding. Mom could have gone on an extremely difficult diet, but mom is also diabetic so both diets together would have been almost impossible. It takes at least 4 - 6 weeks to get the original milk out of her Miss Kinley has had very bad colic and stomach problems since she was born. Also, Cameron has decided to cut his eye teeth EARLY and they are giving him fits.

We live about 35 to 40 minutes from the grandkids, but since February 10th....I have spent lots of time there helping with the kids. Week before last, I stayed all week, morning and night. Last week I went over a few nights and stayed all day Thursday. This week, I stayed yesterday.

Please pray for Cameron's teeth to hurry and pop through so he is not so miserable. Also, pray that Kinley gets to feeling better and they get her on the formula that will work best for her. Pray for mom....she is trying to recover from a c-section and is dealing with a one month old and a 15 month old....both not feeling well.

In the middle of all of this.........I FORGOT TO BLOG. I am very sorry.

Tonya...I do not mean to take up your time, but I guess we will give them a double dose this week. Smile.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Lines Are Beautiful

“The lines have fallen to me in beautiful places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Psalm 16:6

As I was having my quiet time with the Lord the other day, a verse that had touched my heart a while ago came to my mind; it is the verse above. It sounds very poetic, and it is most certainly very encouraging.

What lines? What beautiful places? What heritage? It may seem hard to understand what David the psalmist was referring to, but to me, it means to focus on the blessings of God, and not the burdens of life.

What brought this verse to mind the other day was the fact that I am experiencing a very difficult situation with an individual. Heart-broken and discouraged over the demeanor and attitude of this person, I had become negative in my spirit. Then, just at the right time, the Lord steps in and speaks to my heart with this verse. I began to ponder: This is just one unpleasant situation, yet what about all the other wonderful and positive things that the Lord has brought in to my life? God blesses time after time after time in many ways. Also, regarding the situation with this person, the Lord reminded me that He can change a person’s heart. God can deliver anyone from strongholds....God can do anything!

What about you? Doesn’t all the good in your life outweigh the bad? When you reflect on the blessings of Christ, don’t the negative things pale in comparison? The apostle Paul says “….our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

God has been good to all of us. As ministers’ wives we will always encounter difficult people in the churches where we serve, in our families, in our neighborhoods, and various other places. I have to remind myself that no one is perfect....I certainly am not, and will not see perfection this side of heaven! When we see imperfection in ourselves and others, remember the Lord can change hearts, and He gives us so many blessings. And the next time we all want to complain, let us reflect on the wonderful words of David, and realize where the lines have fallen and what type of heritage we have in Jesus!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Not "Feeling" It

So, the other day I wrote the post about not being selfish or self-absorbed or self-centered.

Then yesterday happened.

I woke up grumpy. I was impatient with the girls, snapping at them for little things. I was frustrated with Wally for not washing the bottles, despite the fact he had given me the previous evening off to have dinner out with a girlfriend. The dogs, that we still don't have housebroken after two plus years, had left me "presents" to clean up. All this before the coffee maker finished brewing the six cup pot that starts my day.

All my encouraging words that I had typed haunted my thoughts and I felt like a failure. "Just focus on Him," "Change your perspective," "Count your blessings," - They all just seemed hollow and shallow and impossible. I sure wasn't "feeling" it.

Ever been there? There now?

Thank You Lord for forgiveness. Thank You God for new beginnings. Thank You Savior for not being so fickle like me. Thank You Jesus for understanding me.

My day did get better. But, it took awhile - a l-o-n-g while.

I had to ask my oldest to forgive me. I had to ask God to forgive me too. They both graciously did. I probably should ask Wally to as well . . .

Ladies, what do you do when you're not "feeling" it? How do you press on and assume the right attitude when it is the last thing you think you can do?