Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Daddy's Girl

I honestly don’t know where to start….or when to stop….over the past few weeks I have heard terrible news, had to make difficult choices regarding priorities, received much grace, laughed out loud and cried softly.
I arrived in southern California on April 3rd to spend a couple of weeks with my fun, full of life, cranky dad who does not have a personal relationship with my Jesus.  He picked me up at the San Diego airport and drove me down the very busy and congested I-5 freeway to his one-bedroom apartment in what he affectionately refers to as the “old folk’s home” that I moved him in to last July.  We spent a couple of days doing what we love to do…drive his hot red convertible sports car (which he bought not too long after my mom died seven years ago to ‘pick up chicks’!), walk in the sunshine and eat fish tacos.

Two days after I arrived he began having odd ‘episodes’; began to have much difficulty speaking and lost use of his right arm and hand.  We discovered he has three masses in his brain—one quite large—and another tumor in his lung.  We are in the process of determining diagnosis and prognosis.  We are having precious times laughing and crying.  He is an emotional guy….and ‘tears up’ unexpectedly. 

Over the years I often wondered what it would be like when my healthy, strong, independent dad would need help doing the simplest of tasks.  Honestly, I could not image doing such things as drying him off after a shower, putting on his deodorant, cleaning his false teeth (or, for that matter, seeing him without his teeth!), wiping the drool from his mouth and so on.  After experiencing all of those things (and much more) I can truthfully tell you, it has been a joy, a privilege and an honor! 

My dad says “Jesus”, “God Almighty”, and “Lord” quite often....but not in faith or trust but in vain.  He uses His name in disgust and in frustration…and it hurts my heart.  Each time he does that I am learning to pray for his heart to use those words in faith instead of disgust.

Oh how I love my daddy…..and I hate to see him facing the end of his life without my Jesus.  I think I might have given up hope that he will ever know Jesus….Forgive me Lord!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When I Grow Up I Want to Be . . .

When I was in high school, one career I consider was that of an airline stewardess.  I love to travel and I love meeting new people.  On Career Day at my high school, a fellow student and I walked into the classroom that hosted an airline company.  We sat and listened to the glamorous lifestyle of people in the industry.  When it was time to ask questions, we both wanted to know the requirements for the career field.  Immediately, our bubble burst.  One requirement at that time was to be at least 5’6” tall.  At barely five feet three inches neither of us passed the first requirement. (Thankfully, that requirement is no longer in existence).  However, it was back to the drawing board to focus on another career.
When I began writing this post, I wondered if any of us really planned to be a minister’s wife.  I do not recall thinking along these lines.  Oh, I considered being a missionary and traveling to the wilds of Africa but I am scared to death of snakes.  I thought about being a teacher but I could not handle students who do not do their homework.  But being a minister’s wife really never crossed my mind.  Instead I just fell into the roll when I married my husband.
This career choice is not glamorous.  Oh, we get to meet new people, travel from place to place, and live in some interesting homes.  But being a minister’s wife is more like a builder.  You are working nonstop from sun up to sun down to build the Kingdom of God.  Sometime you may get a nice long bubble bath but much of the time you are rushing to meet the demands of the people.  Many times there is a nice cool breeze blowing while we work but sometimes a heat wave comes and makes the job even harder.  It is then that we must take a break to rest and refocus our energy in order to complete the work God has called us to. Oh and girlfriends, ministry can gets dirty.  Sometimes we have to tackle difficult issues, minister to those who are totally different from us, and mend broken relationships.  No, I would not call this career of being a minister’s wife glamorous.
However, being a minister’s wife is such a blessing.  We meet people, travel the world, and get to live in interesting homes.  We work nonstop for God’s glory and minister to all types of people.  When difficult situations arise, God ALWAYS shows up.  He continually blesses us over and over and never leaves us alone.  Hmm, I think this career choice many be glamorous after all!
Is girlfriends, what did you really want to be when you grew up?  Are you living your dream career?
My second choice of a career was to be a writer.  I guess I am living that dream out by writing for ministers’ wives blogs. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Handling "Mean" People


I laughed as I came up with this title for this blog.  Actually, I stole it from a fellow sister in ministry who asked me how to handle mean people at church.  My off the cuff response was “chocolate.”  However, as I looked at her face and I do know her heart for Christ, I decided to take a few moments to evaluate my own response to church members who are mean-spirited, rude, or demanding of their own way.

As we all know and have probably experienced, there are those individuals who believe their purpose in the church is to keep things under “their” control and not God’s control.  You have seen these people at work.  They stand in the wings and watch.  The first time another person proposes an idea this individual rears their ugly head.  Or how about when the church staff (who have been called and anointed by God for His ministry) feels God is leading the church in a certain direction or to implement a new program.  This same individual rises up again and begins to stir up dissension among fellow members.  These people may say, “I only have the best interest of the church at heart,” however, they actually are destroying the unity of the body.

Over our years in the ministry, every church we have served in has these “well-meaning” people.  To be honest, I do get very upset with them.  I know just how much my husband and his staff pray for God’s guidance in leading the church in God’s direction.  So to answer this fellow sister’s question, I want to share what I try to do in handling difficult people.

I have been known to “vent” my feelings out loud in my kitchen while no one is home.  It is just God and me.  I believe He wants us share our true feelings.

Once I calm down I try to focus on the fact that God loves this individual just like He loves me. 

I pray for my attitude to change.

I pray for the other person.

I seek God’s word for encouragement and guidance.

Sometimes these techniques work.  However, I have to realize that Satan is still there planting “mean” thoughts in my head which makes me no better than the difficult person.   I have to truly focus on God at that point. 

I hope my tips help this hurting sister and maybe some of you are experiencing “mean” people in your ministry.  I would love to hear from you about how you handle these people.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Hope of the Resurrection

Good news, Sisters! We are not without hope, for we worship,adore, and glorify a Risen Savior!

As I ponder the Gospel message, I am reminded of how it is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 which states:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

What a beautiful Gospel, but can you imagine if there was no resurrection? The apostle Paul, also in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, tells us what our hopeless condition would be without the resurrection: our faith is in vain, we would be false witnesses of God, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished, and we are to be greatly pitied.

But Christ Jesus is alive! We have overcome the world by our faith, we are true witnesses of God, those who have fallen asleep in Christ and those of us still alive will one day forever be with the Lord, and our sins have been forgiven!!!

Celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and because the tomb is empty, we have the hope of eternal life!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mission Trip 2014

My sisters, thanks to all of you who lifted up prayers, petitions, supplications, and entreaties to the Lord for me and the mission team that went to Jamaica last month. I had requested your prayers in my last blog in March, and the Father truly answered in a mighty way!!

As I mentioned in my March blog, I was blessed to go for the first time in April of 2013, and God did some wonderful things through our team and in my life last time. Well, our God did it again! Lives were changed, souls were saved (Hallelujah!), and blessings were in abundance!

There were specific things that I had asked for all of you to pray for and here is how the Lord graciously answered:

Prayer request #1: Our mission team will be given travelling grace and mercy as we fly to and from Jamaica and while we are on the island. God’s answer: All of us who went got to our destination safely, and we had no problems during the three hour bus ride to our area of ministry. During our stay, as we were transported to different places among winding, narrow roads, and with fast drivers, the Lord truly guarded our going out and coming back again!

Prayer request #2: The Lord will do many great and wonderful things through each individual that is going. God’s answer: As we shared testimonies with one another each evening after the various ministry activities, it was quite evident that God had done a work in all of our lives, and there was always much rejoicing among our group!

Prayer request # 3: 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. God’s answer: While we were in Jamaica, a youth rally was held at one of the schools, and about sixty-five middle and high school students professed that they wanted to receive Jesus Christ as Savior!!! I had the wonderful privilege of leading a group of ten students in prayer to receive Christ….God is so amazing!!! Also, by the end of our women’s conference that we held, over twenty women had come to faith in Christ!!! The Lord was Faithful to save souls, and we were extremely blessed to share in that experience.

Also, as many of us taught, as some shared testimonies, and as the pastors/ministers preached, we all saw the power of the Holy Spirit move, not only in our lives, but also in the lives of the Jamaican people that we were blessed to minster to. Many were so excited that they begged us to return in the future.

My last prayer request was that Our Savior would be honored and exalted in all that was said and done, and I confidently believe that He was in an awesome way!

Again, thanks for all the prayers!

**If the Lord has touched your live in a special way through a mission trip experience, I would love to hear from you**.

Friday, April 11, 2014


HAPPY EARLY EASTER.....(Sorry.....if you are tired of seeing my grandbabies....
just skip past them and forgive me.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014



There Comes A Time
When You Have To
Stop Crossing
Oceans for People
Who Wouldn't Jump
Puddles For You.
I saw this posted on Facebook and read it to my husband because I felt that it "fit" our situation.
It is a joke around everyone that knows Roger and I.....we are weirdo magnets.  I say that loosely. 
When I happen to be home and actually cook supper, I have to cook LOTS because you never know how many people we will feed.  One night we smoked ribs.....thinking we would have plenty left for left-overs.  We were originally cooking for our son and daughter-in-law; and our daughter, son-in-law & grandson and the two of us.  By the time we were cleaning up......we fixed the neighbor across the street (the one that does not work; does not want to work and feels that the world owes him.....and he is in his mid-forties.) Another couple down the street happened to stop by and were hungry (they do not work either and are always looking for small jobs to pay a fine, etc.)  You get the picture............before we finished, we had fixed 7 extra plates and delivered them.  (So in all that night we fed 14 people supper.)
It was not unusual for me to come home and have some random something on the porch.....that Roger has taken as a "pawn" and loaned someone money until they got paid.
We are called to court.....to the hospital......,etc.......just from folks in the neighborhood.  (These are not even our church folks.............our church is 32 miles away.)
I read the above quote and told Roger.........we need to stop and listen to that.  Don't get me wrong............we HELP People....all the time and I feel like that is something that God wants us to do. 
BUT.....we do not hesitate to tell parents of grown children that many times they need to practice "tough love" and make them accountable for their actions.  We are guilty....of not practicing Tough Love to our "Neighbor Clients".  It is fine to show them Christian Love, etc......but we need to be careful and not enable them to not even try to help themselves.
We are doing much better and have been practicing this for several months.  We still feed them.....when we have left-overs.  (I can't even let stupid folks starve.....)  We still pray for them.  And we still listen to them.........BUT....we do not loan anymore money; we do not pawn items; we do not allow them to consume our every moment that we are home.  We have definitely backed way off.
It is very hard to accept that "You Can Not Help Some Folks"...no matter how hard you try.  You CAN pray for them and live an example that would be pleasing to the Lord.  But, you don't need to try to "Cross the Ocean".....it won't help them....it will only hurt you.
Even as Christians.....we need to sometimes practice "Tough Love".

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Step Out.......of Your Comfort Zone

Step Out.....of Your Comfort Zone.

Yes, you heard me right.  I, of all people like the comfort of STAYING in my Comfort Zone.  I do not like change period.  I work really, really hard to over-come that problem.....but deep down, I like the comfort of "familiar".

I have been asked to do something that is totally out of my comfort zone.  (I am sure you will hear more about it in months to come.)  Anyway.....while fretting and pondering and even worrying about it............a dear email friend of mine sent these words to me:  "Sometimes God has to kick us out of our comfort zone in order to give us a blessing we would have missed otherwise."  

She sent me a reply to an email that I had sent her and that same day, I read an online devotion that pretty much said the same thing.  In the devotion it said that when we continue to STAY in our comfort zone, we get so comfortable that we are able to function......without HIS HELP more so.  The devotion talked about how we need to even pray for opportunities to be able to step out of our comfort zone....so we are forced to FULLY RELY ON HIM.

Anyway.....through Michelle's words and the devotion, God spoke to be and clearly showed me that I NEED to STEP OUT.

Are you guilty of being like me and "staying in your comfort zone" or have you already taken the challenge and "stepped out of that zone?" 

I would love to hear testimonies from you concerning "stepping out".

Please pray for me.......as I take this challenge.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

PW: Prisoner of War or Pastor's Wife???

A couple of weeks ago, our church ordained two young men; one as a deacon and one as a minister.  As we were shaking hands with them and their wives afterwards, I commented to the new minister's wife, "Welcome to the club; the PW club."

She asked me if that was the same thing as the prisoner of war club?  We got a good chuckle out of the joke, etc.  

Afterwards, I got to thinking......as pastors' wives, we many times feel like a prisoner of war.  I mean, once you are labeled a PW....pastor's wife, Satan is going to work overtime to discourage you.....to throw curves to your plans.....to irritate you so you can take it out on your husband.......to cause your children to act up, etc.  He is going to battle to try to use you to get to your husband.  If he can tear down a marriage....or even rock the boat or anything else......to STOP your HUSBAND'S MINISTRY,  he has gained victory. 

As ministers' families....we are always in the line of attack.  Satan uses our church members; our friends; and anyone he can find to distract us and pull us into the "world".  

We do not have to be prisoners of war............we can stay PRAYED UP, MEDITATED UP, STUDIED UP, etc. and send Satan a trotting and not give him a chance with us.  BUT....we MUST load up on Bible Study, Meditation, Prayer......so that we can FIGHT SATAN and not give him a chance.

Then and only then can we truly sit back and enjoy being PW's.......Pastors' Wives.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Bigger Picture

My husband is not the typical minister. He isn't a pastor and he doesn't even work for a church. Actually he works for approximately 46 different churches and ministries. He works for our local Baptist Association.

As a result, we get a really unique perspective on what God is doing throughout Montgomery County and beyond. We know how God is moving and where He is blessing. We hear reports of revival and can rejoice with congregations of various sizes, ethnicity's and histories.

From this perspective we also have a vantage point that allows us to know the troubles and tribulations of the various churches in our area too. We hurt with ministers and their wives we know are facing tough, hurtful situations. We ache to see churches undergoing divisive disagreements and even lawsuits. We shake our heads when he hear of segments within a congregation that stir trouble and handicap the body of Christ.

Ladies, it is easy to get caught up in the bubble that is your individual church. A sense of competitiveness can creep in and it is easy to feel like "our church is better than your church, " when everything is going great. But the reverse can be true too. When everything seems to be crashing down around us in ministry, it can seem like the grass is greener in the church building down the street. Or, that no one can relate, that we are all alone, facing these spiritual attacks by ourselves.

Let me encourage you to do something to see a bigger picture, to change your perspective . . .

Remember, we are all part of the Universal Church and we've all been called to the same ultimate purpose. We ARE all in this together. Let's stop judging and lay aside our self-righteous airs.

The minister's wife in that church down the street may be going through -or has once gone through, something similar to what you are facing. She might NEED you and not even know it or know how to reach out to you.

I know your schedule is busy. I know how hectic it can be to keep up with your family and your church and your job too. But let me also remind you that you are part of a unique sorority of ladies.

Take a step back and look around. See where and how God is moving in the churches around yours. Look for ways to simply reach out and exchange a "I-know-what-it's-like" with a counterpart in another congregation. Check out what your local association may be doing for minster's wives. Rejoice with one another. Pray for each other. Be there.

God is moving on a scale that is bigger than our individual churches and ministries. Take some time and explore where you, your husband and your church fit into the bigger picture.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Where I Am Today . . .

"But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of living in an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find me in the midst of it all." - Sarah Young, Jesus Calling.

This was part of my devotional reading yesterday and I just can't get it out of my mind.

I long for "an uncluttered world" but...
..... the monotony of endless piles of laundry in various states of cleanliness that needs attention,
..... the never-ending  flow of paper that cycles through the house on top of
..... the six runs to Wal Mart in seven days last week alone
make the "fantasy" of such a world all too realistic.

Just when I think that I am getting ahead, I realize that in fact, I am further behind. Can you relate?

Acceptance. "Accept each day just as it comes . . ." This day is a gift. It was written in His book before I ever was. It was prepared for me in advance . . . with all its routines, unexpected interruptions and relationships that leave us shaking our heads.

In my effort to be "content in all circumstances" this call to accept what is, is huge. I gotta stop wishing and longing for something more, else or different. I gotta look for Him instead.

His word promises if I seek Him with a sincere heart, I will find Him. I will find Him in the midst of my  very cluttered world.

Ladies, I don't know what is cluttering your world today. But let me challenge you to relinquish the fantasy, accept each day and find Him "in the midst of it all."

This is where I am today . . .