Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When Enough is Enough!!!

When is enough, enough?

You know what I mean...........Have you ever gone that extra mile (or miles)?  Have you ever given all of your time and energy in hopes of "fixing" someone?

Sometimes I think that I might as well be butting my head again a brick wall.  I always have high hopes..........and just KNOW that THIS time, I can make a "difference."

I get so caught up in "fixing" people that I forget the FACTS..............I CAN NOT FIX ANYONE.............only GOD CAN FIX THEM.

Our job is NOT to FIX.  Our job is to plant the seeds.  BUT....we also need to realize when ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

So ladies, don't be guilty of doing what many times I find myself doing..............putting all my eggs in one basket.  In other words, don't waste your time trying to "fix" someone when they are not willing to "fix" themselves.  Plant the seed; Pray for them; and MOVE ON.  God will place SOMEONE in your path that you CAN make a difference with.

Just take times and realize....sometimes...........ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015



They are everywhere.  My demon may not be your demon and your demon may not be my demon......................but they are out catch us with our guards down.

Satan knows all of our weaknesses..............and yes, we all have them.  THAT is where He will send his Demon.  Because it is our weakness......many times He  Wins.

We need to stay PRAYED UP and we need to allow God COMPLETE CONTROL our lives.

I know you see it everyday, just like I do.  Many, many Christians.....try to hold on to certain sins.  They try to justify them.  
  • Everyone else does it.  
  • It's not soo bad.  
  • Other people are doing much worse than me. 
  • It only hurts me, so how wrong can it be?
I could go on.  You've heard all of the excuses too.  The Bible clearly states to abstain from the appearance of evil.

I once heard someone say...............No, drinking will not send you to Hell, but is might send someone else these.  By this the person could ruin your witness and cause someone else to miss the boat.

Demons are real..................they show up in all kinds of, sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.

We need to:
  • Stay PRAYED UP
  • And we need to WARN others that DEMONS ARE REAL!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A FIRST for Me...

This past weekend was a FIRST for me.

Roger and I power-walked our first 5k......after walking in the one mile Survivor Walk with our son's mother-in-law.

I know that does not seem like very much of an accomplishment for most folks, but, trust me................that is a miracle for me.  We walked all over the place at the event before we walked the mile, then we power walked the 5k..............all over the hills of Tennessee Tech University (and for this amateur, they appeared to be mountains.)

We did it ALL in celebration of this sweet, sweet lady,Debbie Tollett that I asked you back the first of the year to pray for and also for her daughter, our daughter-in-law, Melanie....our DRILL SARGENT.  Smile.

Thank you for all of the prayers and please continue to remember her in your prayers.  Her cancer was a very aggressive type, so she will always have to be monitored even closer than normal.

Also, remember our daughter-in-law, Melanie Britton..........she was tested and just found out that she has the same gene that causes that type of cancer.  It doesn't mean she will get it, but it does mean that they will keep a closer watch on her.

Although my FIRST wore me out...............I felt HONORED to be able to "CELEBRATE" ANSWERED PRAYERS!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Immediate Connection

I was the speaker at the ministry wife retreat….but she is who God used to break down walls with her transparency which led to an incredible weekend of seeing God work and hearing Him speak.

She is much younger and cuter than I am…extremely gifted and loves God.  She and her husband are partners in ministry and….she is who I want to be when I grow up!!

Our time together was short….just that weekend…yet God has knitted our hearts together in a very unique way.  She encourages me and she says I encourage her.  It is a picture of what Romans 1:12 says, “That is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” NASB

One day a ‘sussy’ appeared on my doorstep.  (By the way a 'sussy', for those of you who do not know, is a gift, something sweet and fun and out-of-the-blue).  She read the post I wrote about remodeling our bathroom and sent me this awesome, fun tissue holder!  I had just gotten it when I took this picture...I have since then gotten the square box of Kleenex to put in it!

Wasn't that the nicest thing for her to do?

 When I sit down to write these blogs I worry about the things I write...does it make sense?  Too transparent?  Is it applicable?  Do I sound negative?  Do I always say the same things?  Blah, blah, blah. I doubt and fear and regret each time. the same breath (as if thoughts have breath!!) I think...why am I stressing over what I am one even reads what I write!!  It takes much courage to click "publish" and send these off....I think about what I should have said or wish I hadn't said, etc.
Then (I KNOW I am not suppose to start a sentence with 'then') I will hear from her and she shares how what I wrote made her laugh, or ministered to her or encouraged her.  Like I said, I want to be like her when I grow up!
I want to encourage you to read her blog….Chaos 2 Peace.  She is a gifted writer, super talented and shares great, practical tips and insights.  If I am not careful, I compare myself to her and end up lacking!!  See, I struggle with comparing and wanting to be like other people!!!  Anyone and everyone but me!
She has not asked me to plug her fact, she has no idea that I am writing about her.  Hummm....I suppose she will find out since she says she reads our posts.  (Hi Jennifer!!)

Sometimes God puts people in our lives and there is an immediate connection…and I am grateful He does that!!  Jennifer is one of those people and so are many of you!!  Ask God to connect you to someone today!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

He Will Not Cut Me!

One of the high points of being a Highandette (see previous post) was getting to perform at a Dallas Cowboy’s game.  Surely you have heard of America’s team—the Dallas Cowboys!!  I could not WAIT to stand in the middle of the field with thousands of people watching from the stands and on TV.  Well, actually it was probably more like hundreds since most people who are at the game leave during half time to get to some food or something to drink or to a bathroom and those at home watching on TV do the same thing!  Regardless….it was going to be a thrill!!

There was an obstacle though…during high school I worked at the local drugstore’s soda fountain….yep, I was officially a soda jerk….and I loved it!!  I got all of the Dr. Pepper and fries and cheeseburgers and milkshakes my heart desired and, besides, many of the Cowboys came to get the same things and my dad was impressed I knew many of them by name.  The obstacle was that I worked every Sunday (yep, those were the pre-Christ-following days) and getting off of work was difficult.  The one saving factor that was on my side was my boss was a HUGE Cowboys fan!  He had season tickets and so decided he would give me the day off!!

One little tidbit of information about the Highlandettes….sure, we had the initial tryouts to ‘make it’ on the team….but that was not enough.  Every week there were tryouts to see if we were up to snuff (another one of those weird things I say but not sure if it’s OK to type).  Each week was the same….Monday we would learn a new routine, Tuesday and Wednesday practice and perfect it, then the dreaded Thursday would arrive.  We would be in groups of five and perform the routine for the director, the officers and the rest of the ‘line’.  Grueling.  Nerve wracking.  Not fair.  I had already ‘made it’ for crying out loud!!

After everyone had ‘tried out’ the director and officers would huddle up, talk about each girl (have I EVER mentioned that I LOATHE being talked about??), decide who, if anyone, would be ‘cut’!  CUT!  That’s the word they used!!  We would all be nervously waiting until they arrived and read ‘the list’.  If your name was read….YES!  You ‘made it’!!  If not, you had to still go to the game, wear your uniform, sit with the group, but when it was time to perform you had to walk the walk of shame up the entire steps in the bleachers with the director in lead to the press box to watch the others perform.  Everyone in the stadium knew you didn’t ‘make it’.  Humiliating to say the least.

It is now Thursday…tryouts for this week is not just for Friday night’s game but also for Sunday’s Cowboy game.  It is a difficult routine filled with a zillion high kicks that ends with us all going down in to the splits.  Spectacular.  Crowd pleasing.  Awesome.
A picture of us at a high school game

I am in my group of five and we are kicking and counting and stepping all in sync to the music when all of a sudden I hit the ground!!  My right leg is up over my head and my left leg leaves the floor and my bottom hits where my foot is supposed to be.  As if it was the most normal, supposed to be movement, I popped back up like I had hit a trampoline and was back in step.  It all happened so fast that many who were watching were not even sure what happened.  The girls, whose shoulders I had my arms on, acted as if nothing happened and we finished the routine.

Good for me! I didn’t stop and cry.  I didn’t panic.  I did what all good performers do….continued.  Surely that would count wouldn’t it?  Surely they wouldn’t ‘cut’ me for that would they?  Tryouts continued.  Deliberations began.  Names were read.  Mine was not.

Tears.  Disappointment.  Embarrassment.  Emotions were rampant.  I was too embarrassed to tell my boss…and, after all, there would be no way he’d be able to pick me out of the line of girls who all looked the same….he’d never know.

Binoculars.  I never considered he’d have binoculars.  When I arrived at work the next day he told me the sad, sad story of how he peered in his binoculars and looked up and down the line for me….nowhere to be seen.  As he took in a panoramic view of the field….he spotted me.  There I was hovering shamefully in the dugout with the director (the walk of shame to the press box was at the high school game…which I had to do that Friday night).  Pitiful.  Shameful.  Embarrassed even more.  Sadly, he did not give me much grace….but much ridicule.  Ridicule I was used to….I have three brothers.

Amazing how I can still recall those feelings and emotions…and interestingly, I think about that event quite a bit.  Every time I ‘fall’ I am grateful that the Lord does not ‘cut’ me from the list.  That my life is not to be a life of ‘performance’ where I have to be ‘perfect’ or else I will be ‘cut’.  Every time I fall I long to bounce back up and keep on keeping on.  Not give up.  Not quit.  Continue.

Did they ‘cut’ me because they were worried I’d do it again and ruin the performance?  Did they cut me because I was not ‘perfect’?  Yes and yes.  The enemy tells me the same thing over and over….”you are ‘cut’ Dana from speaking, from teaching, from joy, from friends, from all of the things God has had you do in the past.  After all….you FELL!”

Thankfully, the Lord knows that even though I sadly have done much, much worse than falling during a performance tryout, that He knows my heart.  That it truly is after Him.  And, yes, I will fall again…hard…often.  And yes, He will never ‘cut’ me because the covenant we have is based on His faithfulness….not my performance.  Thank you Jesus!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Don't Be a 'Dette'

I grew up in Texas….Dallas to be exact….and just like the other two states I have lived in….Texas has a culture of its own!!  Also, while Tennessee and Indiana have four distinct seasons….spring, summer, fall and winter, Texas has one—Football season!!  Oh how we love football in Texas!  High school football.  College football.  Professional football.  All.Of.It!!

Actually, I thought everyone everywhere ‘did’ football like Texans do….it was not until we moved to Tennessee that I realized not everyone wore homecoming mums that would literally cover the entire left side of a teenage girl’s body.  In Tennessee…the size of a homecoming mum was the size of the guy’s mum in Texas!  Yep!  You heard it right….guys wore mums too!!  (Hummm…I see that I am using past tense as I refer to theses rites of passages….I guess they are still doing it this way but it’s been a few years since I lived in Texas). 

Honestly, football season is not always about the football game as much as it is about all of the other various and sundry (I would say 'asundry' but apparently, according to my spell check, that is not a word) things that go along with it.  For me….it was the drill team.  Ahhh…the memories I have of the drill team!!  I wanted to be on the drill team for as long as I could remember!  Tryouts were brutal.  The head of the Kilgore Rangerettes, along with several of her officers were our judges.  (For you poor souls who never lived in Texas and have no idea who the Kilgore Rangerettes are....they are akin to the Radio City Rockettes.  Big.Time.  Really.Big.Time). 

The first year I tried out I didn’t make it….and I was crushed.  Heartbroken.  Every one of my friends made it but me.  Devastating.  However, the second year I made it!!  I was elated!  I made a bee line (you know, it's funny actually writing things like 'bee line' .... I say that all of the time, but is it really spelled like that?  Or am I just saying it like that?  Is 'bee line' really a thing?  Do you know what I am talking about when I say 'bee line'?  It means I went right away....I'm going to try to get back on track now...) to the local jewelry store first thing and bought the coveted silver boot that every Highlandette wore on a chain around her neck.  I was in!!  I had arrived!!  I had made it!!  Now I could look like everyone else.  Be like everyone else. 

We were a precision dance and marching team and when we were ‘performing’ we all looked alike…we dressed alike.  We had to have our hair alike.  We moved in absolute precision.  In fact.  That was our goal….for the 50 or more of move as one.  Look like one.  Again….picture the Rockettes.  Legs kicked over our heads at the same time…toes pointed, heads turned, smiles on.  Perfect unison.  No one person sticking out.

Sometimes I wonder if we have become Pastorettes…thinking we have to look alike, dress alike, move like the other ministry wives we know.  Maybe it has even creeped in to the church and we have become Christianettes....where maybe we often think unity is where everyone is supposed to wear ties or jeans or shorts depending on the ‘culture’ of your church.  Where everyone is supposed to love organs and hymns or guitars and screens.  Where everyone has the same passions in ministry.

I really do believe that we know that diversity in church is important and that is the way God intended it.  Where we are all to be who He created us to be and reflect Him uniquely.  But I also think it is easy to fall in to the ‘dette’ trap where we feel like maybe, just maybe I stick out and I'm not suppose to....or I don't want to.  The trap where we don't want to feel different.  That I am not just like everyone else.  That I am the one who can’t kick as high or whose hat is not tilted at just the right angle.  It is OK!!  Be courageous enough to be different.  Be the one who stands out...not so you can be seen but so that Jesus can be seen.  Don't be conformed to this world....but also don't be afraid to not conform to the church culture either if it means loosing who He made you do be.

One day, as Christ followers, we will all wear the same thing (robes of righteousness) and do the same thing (worship), but until then….be uniquely you!  YOU-niquely You!!  I think I might just be really bold and wear white after Labor Day!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A New Thought on Psalms 46:10

Life in the Lee household is never without some noise, excitement, or stress.  As a matter of fact, I do not know if I could live in a quiet, stressful environment.  However, there are times in my life that I yearn for a moment to be still.

Ministry is hard.  There is always a constant “urgency” to meet everyone’s needs.  Our husbands strive to prepare for Sunday and Wednesday services, attend committee meetings, juggle hospital and home-bound visits, put out fires of dissension within the body, and tons of other “minister” duties.  Likewise, as the wives of ministers, we have all the stress of handling home, kids, our jobs, and church responsibilities plus all too often listen to people express their “concerns about such and such” at church.

That is why I just feel led to share a brief post today with you.  I am preparing to speak for a women’s retreat next month and the theme is Psalms 46:10: “Be still and know I am God.”  I have broken the verse down word by word and discovered some very interesting thoughts.

Be-to stay or visit. How perfectly fitting for this verse to begin with an invitation to “visit” with the Lord.

Still-motionless and undisturbed; without sound and calm. In order to hear the Lord clearly, we must tune out the noise and distractions.  We must find a place to be undisturbed for a few moments each day.

And-a conjunction used to indicate an additional thing, situation or fact.  It indicates something follows the first part.  Such a small word gets the honor of delivering a big revelation to a soul who is worried, anxious, stressed, etc.

Know-to have information firmly in mind; to firmly believe in the truth or certainly of something; to have encountered (or be familiar with) somebody or something before.  Wow! When we became children of the King of Kings at the moment of our Salvation, we knew who God was.  In the midst of the daily chaos in our lives, we can still know who He is.  We can firmly proclaim He is our Father who loves us.

I-a personal pronoun used by a speaker or writer to refer to himself or herself.  Girlfriends, this is God, the Creator of the Universe, Savior of the World, our Heavenly Daddy and He is talking to us!  He KNOWS who we are and what we go through every day. 

Am-first person present singular.  God is ALWAYS present.  He was, is and will be part of the believer’s life.  At times, we may leave Him out of our lives but He does not leave us.  He is always present-when the baby is crying, when dinner is burning, when a person at church complains.

God-All powerful, all knowing Creator of the Universe.  Other religions can claim to have a god but their gods are dead and buried.  Our God is alive and there is an empty tomb to prove it.

So girlfriends, I know there are some of you who may be struggling with different issues in your life right now.  I know I am stressed and trying to meet demands too.  However, I pray that each of us can find a moment to be still and know that He is God.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this break down of the verse.  You may have a different insight that would help another sister.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Guilty but Forgiven

I write this post with a big admission.  I am now officially a criminal.  Yesterday, a very nice police officer presented me with a present-a speeding ticket.  What is sad about this situation is that I was on a residential road with heavy school and work traffic.  I had been glancing at my speedometer to make sure I was in the legal limit, however, when I topped and preceded down a hill, my speed went up just as the police was passing by.  I got caught and was found guilty!  My heart was broken.  To make matters worse, I called my husband to tell him the news and he laughed.  My oldest son, who is a state trooper, gave me the “trooper” talk and snickered.  My youngest son, who has the uncanny ability to get out of a ticket, fell on the floor laughing.  However, none of their attempts to make me laugh or feel better changed the fact that I was guilty. 
Have you ever noticed that when you are caught in a sin people try to make you think it isn’t that bad or sometimes they will laugh and mock you for failing?  Within all our churches walls there are individuals who cheat, lie, spread gossip, etc who never admit to their wrong doing or worse try to smooth things over.  However, God does not laugh at our sin.  He is broken hearted. 

Many times people do not realize that their “little sin” can lead to a pile of stinky stuff.  Just like me going down that hill thinking I was within the speed limit, some people slip into sin gradually.  They are shocked when they are caught.  Just read the newspaper or watch the news of the recent fall of many individuals caught in adultery/pornography.  It is heart wrenching.  Lives are destroyed. Families are torn apart.

Thankfully, we have a forgiving God.  Sure, He may have to discipline us to get our attention.  However, if we are truly heartbroken over our sin and cry out to Him, God is always willing to forgive because that is His nature. The best part of His forgiveness, unlike my crazy family who will be sharing this story at my funeral one day, is that He remembers it no more.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Prayer Is Needed!

Oh, how we as nation need prayer!

I know that violence has taken place in society ever since in the book of Genesis, Cain killed his brother Abel, and acts of violence have never gone away. It seems that constantly we hear about high-profile shootings where random, innocent people- going about their daily lives- fall victim to the actions of a gunman who goes on a killing spree, and sadly these shooters suffer with severe mental and emotional issues.

Just this summer…..

Nine people murdered at a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina

Movie theater shootings in Louisiana (two are killed) and Tennessee

A young anchorwoman and her cameraman die in a horrific shooting caught on camera in Virginia

Five members of our military lost their lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee

These incidents received a great deal of media attention, but there have been others….…..when will it end?

My sisters, let us declare war on all this violence by falling on our knees and calling out to a Holy God in prayer. Here are some things I know about prayer:

The importance of prayer---GOD commands it!
The power of prayer---GOD works in it!
The results of prayer—GOD answers it!

Also, I hope all of you get to see the movie War Room that recently was released in theaters. This is such a wonderful film that emphasizes the fact that prayer is warfare, and many battles are won “on our knees” as we lift our petitions, supplications, and requests to an all wise and all knowing God who can conquer and defeat any situation.

Ladies, please join me in praying for our nation; this senseless violence needs to stop!

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Is It Well With Your Soul?

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Do the words above sound familiar? I’m sure that many of you recognize these lyrics to one of the classic hymns of the church entitled, “It Is Well With My Soul”. The songwriter was able to pen these words against a backdrop of immense pain and suffering. For those of you not familiar with his story, following is a brief synopsis:

Horatio Spafford was a successful business man who lived during the 1800’s. He was very interested in Christian activities, deeply spiritual, and devoted to the Scriptures. He also had a close relationship with famed evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

However, in the Chicago Fire of 1871, Spafford lost his vast real estate holdings. Sometime later, seeking a restful journey for his family, he sent his wife and children on a ship bound for Europe. He was not able to come due to last minute plans and would join them in a few days.

Unfortunately, the ship carrying the Spafford family collided with another vessel and sank. His four daughters drowned, yet his wife survived. It is believed that on the way to be reunited with his bereaved wife, he wrote this hymn.

What a story! It’s amazing that this grief-stricken father could say that all was well with his soul, in spite of the tremendous loss that had been suffered. Also, this is a testimony of God’s grace comforting a grieving heart.

Most of us have not experienced the degree of pain and loss that the hymn writer endured, yet we all have trials in life that can nearly sap the life out of us, causing us to feel drained, exhausted, and heartbroken. Suffering can come in many forms, relationship woes with spouses, children, parents, family, friends, or confrontations with church members; even a job loss, a medical diagnosis, or a dreaded move can all send our lives into a spin, and have us wondering, “How can I make it?” or ”What do I do?”

The only way we can make it, the only way we know what to do is to focus on Jesus. As Horatio Spafford contemplated the words to the song, his focus was on the Lord, for Christ alone can comfort our aching hearts when life seems too difficult to bear.

My sisters, I don’t know what you are going through, but Our Savior does. When we belong to Him, we can rest in Him. Then we too can say, “It is well with my soul”.

Tho’ Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should come, Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.