Sunday, November 30, 2008


Wednesday following Election Day while teaching a Bible Study one of the secretaries buzzed Kent's office to inform him I had a phone call. Being a great husband he attempted to help my caller, someone who knows me only through the blog.

The caller identified herself and mentioned (he thinks) she is from Oklahoma. Who knows she maybe from Spain since he didn't recall the name. She proceeded to inform Kent the blog had been a blessing to her. She needed my mailing address for a magazine subscription she was about to order for me. Last week I received a little card from "Southern Lady" stating a gift subscription was ordered for me from Sue Davidson. Sue, I would have preferred thanking you via a thank you note. However, the subscription card didn't include your mailing address. Since I don't know you I can't begin to figure out where you live...Spain, Oklahoma, Alaska, etc.

I did receive my first copy of the magazine Wednesday. Of course Redonia was sick and between her doctor's appointment and caring for her I did some holiday baking. I have not had 5 minutes to browse the magazine. I ADORE the cover and will savor it's pages. Maybe this afternoon I can enjoy it!

Again, Sue, THANK YOU for thinking of me. I am a Southern Girl and will LOVE "Southern Lady"!!!! Certainly, I'll find great ideas to share on Charming Hospitality.

Friday, November 28, 2008

& Moving Right Along.....

Before I move right along.....I would like to say what a blessed day Kent and I enjoyed yesterday. A good Thanksgiving is a day spent enjoying food, family and FRIENDS. I did take my camera to Lufkin but failed to take a picture. But please do check out one of my friend's site. We are glad we had the journalist there! (teasing, Sis. Elms)

Our day started out thankful that Redonia is better. After an hour or less of volunteering @ the Salvation Army she discovered she was much to weak. She called crying that she was unable to drive herself to volunteer or even drive. She slept the entire trip to Lufkin. By the time we arrived she was able to sit up and enjoy her computer...I mean enjoy the day! ha Please do continue to pray for her.

Calah was a wonderful cook. She made twice baked potatoes and a cherry cheesecake that was a big hit! Of course we had lots and lots of good food. I am proud of my daughter in law! I am thankful she wanted to contribute to the feast. Trent and Myron were too subdued. They didn't give the Elms a trul glimpse of a Smith Holiday.

Mamaw and Papaw are always wonderful hosts. We enjoyed our time with them and Myron, Kim, and Jackson. Gavin was at the deer lease with his other Papaw. Sharla called while we were eating. We all MISS Sharla. She lives in Florida and we don't see her and her sweet little family often enough.

As I said a good holiday is one spent with friends. We were blessed to be joined by our friends, Bro. & Sis. Wendell Elms and Dede, Cherish, & Hunter Cooley. Dede is my Thanksgiving sister in law! This was our 2nd year to have them apart of our day. Bro. Cooley is a mighty hunter and he spends Thanksgiving at the lease.

After traveling home we visited my Mom and Popsie. Karen & Jake; Carla; Jared; Scott, Courtney & Kyleigh; Megan; and Tootsie all joined us there. Of course Jake and Kyleigh were the center of attention. Kyleigh loved Bishop and Jake did not. What a show it was!

This morning if I can get Mr. Slowpoke moving I am ready to 'hit' the sales. This year I'm not shopping for my family but rather my outreach babies. I have money donated to me to buy gifts for these sweet children. Many of them are from at risk homes. CUPC is making a HUGE difference in their lives. We are going to have an incredible Christmas the Sunday morning prior to Christmas.

Can you believe it is already Christmas '08? We really are moving right along....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for many things. In fact too many to list. Allow me to summarize a few things:
  • God - I want to keep Him my priority.
  • My husband, my friend of 26.5 years. I LOVE being his wife! He's a great husband, dad, & pastor.
  • My daughter - a gift from God. She's most compassionate & talented. She finds ways to serve others EVERY day. Today its @ Salvation Army - feeding the hungry.
  • My son - a miracle child. An incredible help to us. He's full of leadership, life and laughter.
  • My daughter-in-law. She adores our son and fits our family. She's a homemaker.
  • My parents - all 3 of them.
  • My family - way too many to name,
  • Kent's parents - they gave me my BEST gift.
  • Kent's family - again too many to name.
  • CUPC Family - what a church!
  • All my outreach babies and their families.
  • The health of my family - (Redonia is even better today)
  • My many friends - the coming year I hope to make even more new friends

While there are many other things that I have to be thankful for this list just summarizes most of them. I can't imagine life without any of the people I listed. Well, Dad isn't here today but I do have him with me. He will always be in my heart. For some reason every single holiday my thoughts still go to him.

I hope where ever your holiday plans take you today, you will find joy in the presence of those you love. Kent and I are traveling to Lufkin and will enjoy time with his parents, our family, and Myron and his family. I'm sure there maybe a guest or two, also.

Happy Thanksgiving, may your day be blessed!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Redonia Update

Redonia is still very sick. She has vomited very severly all day. After a shot that should have made her sleep for 8 hours she still continued to wake up vomiting. After another consult I was told to give her Phenegran. If she is sick again during the next four hours we will have to take her to the hospital for admittance. Redonia has battled severe pain and complications for the past 7 years. Today she was found to be dehydrated and anemic. We are going to a specialist in a couple of weeks. She will probably require surgery according to the doctor today. This is something we have resisted for several years. During the appointment today Redonia told the doctor the pain has been almost constant for about 6 months. She said most days it is dull and nagging but at times it is very sharp and long lasting. Kent and I have been concerned knowing Redonia isn't doing well for a few months. Of course when we mention taking her to the doctor she fusses. Today I asked if she was ready and she said, "See if you can take me today!"

Please keep Redonia in your prayers. We know God can perform the work that is needed in her body. Hopefully we will be able to continue with our holiday plans tomorrow. If not we will still have a thankful day. God has always proven to be faithful to our family.

Our Wednesday

What an incredible Thanksgiving Service last night! The presence of the Lord was sweet yet strong. Every song seemed perfect. Then each speaker spoke with passion about things they were grateful for. Each person shared their thankfulness for God, their family, and our incredible church. Several speakers were new this year to CUPC. These newcomers spoke of the warmth and friendliness of the church family. This has truly been something Kent and I have fought to achieve. We felt rewarded with the kind words of the speakers.

This morning Kent and I were priviledged to be apart of honoring the short life of little Kenzie. Please keep Letha and Brandon in your prayers. The graveside was a very special occasion. Mom and Dad planned a most beautiful day for their sweet baby girl.

Today my baby girl is very sick. Kent and I are about to take her to the doctor. It doesn't matter if she is 22; she is our baby! I appreciate your prayers for Redonia. She has had an ongoing health issue. We aren't sure if this is related or not. Ok..she's ready to go....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Busy but Thankful

Ever noticed when you need lots of time you tend to be pushed for it? Oh, well just the life of Kent and Tracie Smith. We are good and seem to function in our crazy world.

Yesterday we knew we had several challenges ahead of us. Did we reach them all? No... This is just a little glimpse of how you know things may get crazy:

We both had appointments for x-rays at River Oaks Imaging. Just before leaving the house an appointment clerk called to inform us that our appointments didn't allow enough time for all the doctor ordered. She rescheduled Kent's for the morning and left mine for the afternoon. She kept insisting that we must be there 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. River Oaks boasts they accept walk-ins so I decided when we arrived with Kent I would see if they could 'work me in'. When I signed Kent in I asked if they could do my imaging, too. Of course they would be happy to reported the receptionist. Well after 50 minutes we still weren't given the 'paper work'. There were only 4 or 5 people waiting in the large waiting room. Finally someone arriving after us was given her chart to fill out. The staff was enjoying visiting a little too much. Finally, Kent went and asked about the 'paper work' that we arrived 30 minutes early to complete. He was told they were really busy! lol After a few more minutes Kent went back to the desk and told the receptionist he was really busy, too and when they had time for us they could call and reschedule. Much to our surprise they still haven't called us! lol

Kent is having some crazy complications which are probably wreck related. He was getting this tingling feeling in his feet now he is getting a shock sensation in his hands. For some reason we were both more sore yesterday than we've been. We hope to get appointements with the chiropractor today.

Today is Conroe Christian School's annual Thanksgiving feast. I was asked to cook the ham. This morning I baked two hams and Kent carved them. No spiral sliced for me. They just aren't as good. I prefer butt portion hams. I bake them slow and on a low temperature. Rather than baking them with brown sugar I poured Dr Pepper over them. They are soooooooo good!!!

Tonight will be our annual Thanksgiving service. Last night Kent and I made a yummy snack that we will distribute to everyone. It's a new fall snack mix recipe that I have recently discovered. It was basically easy. Of course bagging a million (not really!) bags was a little time consuming. This afternoon I will finish by adding fallish ribbons. We love our church family and like to express our love and appreciation to each of them. Tonight we have a great service planned. Trent has found a great moving worship presentation. It is really awesome! Misti Ferguson will sing and we have several testimonials. We endeavor to use people that are not the upfront kind. This year each speaker will do a superb job. This is truly one of my most favorite services of the year. It is so moving to hear others share reasons they are thankful.

Tomorrow we participate in the graveside of 7 day old little Kenzie. We are thankful we had time to love and hold this sweet bundle of joy. Please pray for her Mommy, Daddy and two sisters. I know this will be a most difficult Thanksgiving. Several ladies from our church are going overboard preparing a wonderful meal for this family. We hope to show our thankfulness to them for allowing us to be apart of their lives.

Tomorrow afternoon I will do my traditional baking. Yes, I'm running a little late but that's ok. I know everything will turn out just fine. It always does!

I hope each of you enjoy a blessed thankful week!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Catching Up....

We've been busy. What's new? Aren't you all busy?

Friday we got Bishop Smith. He's such a cute little puppy. He is VERY VERY VERY spoiled. Redonia and Kent have taken turns taking care of him in the night. He crys and crys at bedtime. Around 4:30 am he has to potty. Then he sleeps on the couch with Redonia or in the recliner with Kent. I don't like the doggy in the bed thing! lol He adores Madeline and goes crazy for her to hold him. Once she picks him up he is like a baby and snuggles up to her. Redonia has already taught him to fetch using a little plastic cap from a can of hair mousse. He is the cutest thing chasing the cap and taking it back to Redonia.

Saturday we met Mamaw and and Papaw for lunch. Then we went to Kaylon and Ben's wedding. It was really pretty. Redonia was the photographer. She does such an awesome job. You should see the many engagement and bridal pictures that was on display. Redonia, Dad and I are proud of your talents!

Saturday evening was Rejoice. We enjoyed a very sweet presence of the Lord during this prayer time. I KNEW our services would be incredible today. We had 24 children on our van route today. We only have one 15 passenger van. Of course we have a drive and a helper. So really only 13 children can ride the van. The other children ride in whatever vehicles I can gather up to help. PLEASE help me pray for a school bus. Currently it isn't in the budget to purchase a bus. I KNOW God is a provider and I'm just going to trust Him. He knows the desires of my heart and I believe He is going to provide. I don't have any idea what one will cost. I do know that I am asking God to provide this important need. If I had more space I could take more children to church. Please join me in prayer for God to provide the need for a school bus.

This afternoon little Kenzie passed away. It was such a miracle for her to survive for seven days. The doctors were in total amazement. Kenzie's parents are thankful for the time they had with her. She passed away in her living room with her parents and both grandmothers at her side. Please pray for this sweet family. Kenzie's funeral will be Wednesday. I know my husband will do an awesome job helping this family honor the memory of their beautiful angel. Kenzie will always have a most special place in my heart.

Tonight we had a wonderful service. From the very beginning you could just feel something special about the service. Many people felt a special touch from God. There was much rejoicing and even later a very sweet deep presence of God. I love this type of service. Trent was very sensitive as he lead the service. Bro. Ferguson, I wanted to hear you preach. You can just work on the sermon a little while longer, I guess!

This week will be very busy. My schedule is quite full. I know I have several hours of work in the kitchen. I really need to decorate for Christmas, too. I just don't know when I will get that worked in the schedule. I hope each of you enjoy a blessed and thankful week. I have a few good recipes to share on Charming Hospitality. If I don't post here I have a few things ready to post at my fun site! Remember, if you have guests the next few days.....make them welcome! Nothing can equal quality time spent with those you love.

Blessings to you and yours~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Poor Little Car & the Big Bad Truck

We were minding our business driving down the Tollway about 5 mph when a big old 90 something model Ford pick up plowed into us. I was holding a large Sonic Cherry Limeade. You guessed it.....

Kent saw the guy coming and SCREAAAAAMED, "JESUS!" Kent pulled to the shoulder to avoid the impact as the guy pulled to the shoulder to avoid us and BAAAAMMMM CRRRRRRRRASH he hit us.

Thank the Lord we are ok. Kent and I are very sore with achy backs, necks, and legs. My poor little car will never be the same! The seats, dash, carpet, seat belts, and doors are all covered in my red drink.

My clothes were drenched in red sticky drink. My cell phone is a sticky mess. My new Dooney & Bourke Purse is filled with the drink, too. I've been needing a new wallet....I guess it will be a necessity now.

The truck was so big compared to our car. Thank the Lord for being with us. Apparently our car lifted from the ground because there is an imprint of the car ontop of the truck's hood. That's scarey......

We are grateful that things aren't worse than they are. Pray these 'old' bodies can move about tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reasons to Go to Heaven

Papaw Ingram
Mamaw Ingram
and lots of other friends & family

Last evening I was visiting with my step-dad. He's retired but works at a funeral home part-time. He was mentioning that they are really busy. We talked about this time of the year seems to have lots of deaths.

It just doesn't seem right that in the midst of holidays we experience death, grieving, and loss. I feel for those families who may be grieving this year. I know joy will come again. Sure you will have those moments but some how joy returns.

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my Mother-in-law. We began looking thru pics. I found a beautiful picture of Sharla on her wedding day with Grandma Baldree. Grandma was such a precious lady. Immediately big tears came to my Mother-in-law's eyes as she placed the picture near her heart. Later she laughed that she is like Grandma because with different pics came different moanings and utterances. You know the ooohhhs, ahhhhhh, & awwwww's. She said Grandma struggled when seeing some pics just remembering people and their situations.

I love pics, love memories, and am thankful for such a just gives me MORE reasons to go to Heaven as if Jesus wasn't enough!!!! Yes, HE is but all the other people are worth it, too.

Check out a gorgeous picture of Mamaw Ingram on Charming Hospitality She was a true Christian. She lived to be over 90 years old.....she was a praying lady. She loved the kitchen (whistled as she worked), sewed, quilted, played the piano, loved southern gospel music, loved preachers, was a bookkeeper, and adored her family. I think I was her favorite!!!!! That's not nice is it???? Oh by the way Mom has 2 of her Christmas cactus. They are in full bloom!!!! I LOVE keeping her alive.....

I'm pretty sure nothing will separate me from heaven....I have too many reasons to miss out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Psalm 119:57-64 NIV

57 You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Miracles Happen & More....

We had an awesome Sunday. Sunday morning I was the only 'adult' for the van route. We had 19 wild, hyper, frisky children. I was afraid the cold weather would make frisky little fellows!!!! We used three vehicles to transport them home. The extra help was MUCHO appreciated. I love my babies but some times babies can drive 'mommas' crazy and Sunday was one of those days.

During one of the first songs a usher came to my front row seat. I was needed in the office. One of the little bus boys got his finger caught badly in a folding chair. It was pretty flat, cut, and he couldn't move it. I immediately explained what a miracle is and asked if I could pray for it. Well as soon as I stopped praying I asked how it felt. He wiggled the finger and said, "I felt God get in my finger!" I'm not sure where that came from because I didn't say anything close to that when talking to him. I simply told him Jesus could touch his finger and make it feel better. He went back to Sunday School. When I dropped him off he told me Jesus was still in his finger and was definitely moving it normally. He said that was his first time to be prayed for and his first time to feel Jesus!

Deadra's family was in service Sunday. Yesterday her sister-in-law gave birth to a precious 4lb 4 oz baby born with Edwards Syndrome. Much to the doctor's surprise the baby is still surviving. She is a vey sick baby with many complications but we are still believing for a miracle. The doctors are doing nothing to take credit for the survival. She isn't on oxygen or anything. She is solely surving because of God. Please keep Kenzie in your prayers. I know Letha and Brandon, Kenzie's parents, appreciate the prayers, too. They are such sweet people. I believe God is going to continue to work in their lives, too. I love babies and am thankful I was able to meet Miss Kenzie today. Brandon and Letha are very tender and wept as Kent prayed for their baby after delivery.

My sweet dad lost the battle with brain cancer 27 years ago. In fact it was 27 yrs ago this week he was buried. Every year I want to deal with it stronger. I mean after 27 years I should be able, too. Well today my Mom sends us all a 'reminder'. None of us needed the reminder! How do any of us forget? We all have been dealing with it in our quite way. I honestly can say I don't get depressed but just become introspective. Dad was quite a man. He was a revivalist, a family man, a sharp dresser, witty, a leader, and on and on I could go. I'm thankful for the 18 years I had with Dad. I know much of who I am today is because of Daddy's influence.

Years later - I think 10 years later my Mom remarried. Carl Patrick is a wonderful man. I love him so much! He is a MOST amazing granddaddy to my children. They both love him. I think he maybe a little partial to Redonia now but that's ok. She's always given him lots of hugs and kisses. Of course he used to do more for Trent. I'm not sure how many pairs of boots he bought Trent and how many trips to see his mail jeep. The kids were 3 and 4 when Grammy and Popsie married. Popsie we ALL love you!!!!

This marriage made our family grow. Popsie and his wife (who also fought a losing battle with cancer) had 5 children. My parents had 4 children. Now there are 9 children, 8 in laws, 15 grandchildren, and 2 grands-in-law. We have quite a family! Of course all 9 kids stay in close contact with Grammy and Popsie and even most of the 9 of us talk pretty often to one another.

NOW for the purpose in all the hoopla about my family. One of my steps who I do communicate with almost daily has decided to follow this older sister's lead and start a blog. For the past week I've tried helping her set it up. Ok...I've even caused her grief with it, too! One day I emailed her very cleary step by step details. Well the first thing I said was on the 'left side' of your layout do....Well Karen did ...on the left side of her blog only to put her links in the 'body' of the blog and not on the side bar. Her template is reversed from mine. I felt HORRIBLE....really horrible. She should have read my mind! Well finally it's all corrected and she is ready for visitors!!!!!! Many of you know Karen Kay Patrick Hackfield.....She's an awesome friend, very compassionate, a wonderful singer, mommy, wife, daughter, and most important she's my sister! We love each other and are grateful for our lives shared together. Karen wishes she had her Momma. I wish I had my Daddy but hey life doesn't always give us what we want. We've made lemonade from our bad situations and aren't complaing. Karen loves Grammy for Jake like we love Popsie for our kids. She loves my Mom and I love her Dad. I love Karen,too. She's insanely funny most of the time!!!! Love ya girl and welcome to blogging.....

Ok and for a good day go to Cylinda's" post....the true answer to my entanglement blog is get yourself out of yourself...get up and rejoice!!!! Thanks Mrs. Cylinda! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Tonight I sit quitely praying for someone entangled. Oh they are a church attender, even a UPC attender. You know we always think those of our own precious faith surely have more in road with God!

Flooding my thoughts came the word deception.... truth always comes forth. Normally behind walls of super spiritualism comes the hidden things of a heart...prides, vanity, arrogance, and self glory.

I'm bothered with deception because God will send a strong delusion. Teaching on this subject to our youth class, one of the students began to expound his thoughts. We recently had a group of young adults 'backslide'. Matt began to reveal to the youth class how God helped him to understand II Thess chapter 2:9-11. He discussed deceitful actions and how he felt God sent strong delusion to protect others from being affected. He told how he hurt as a sibling affected by strong delusion yet he knew it was for his protection. Each time I am reminded of this passage my mind goes to my friend Matthew's lesson.

II Thess 2:9....signs and lying wonders....
II Thess 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness....
II Thess 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

How do you help someone trapped with deceptions not to be sent a strong delusion? How do you help someone trapped with believing things that aren't true or living out deceptions or whatever the web is? How do you help people become honest, see honestly, speak with integrity? How can I help? God, I know there is NOTHING I can do. I know that there is EVERYTHING You can do. I pray for Your mercy, Your grace, Your love, and even for Your wisdom.

My hair is to the floor and tangles very easily. I must be ever so careful with it. I can't leave the slightest tangle or soon it becomes a very big tight knot. I regulary wash, condition, brush, and care for my hair. Daily I care for my hair. I sleep with it totally down - no pins, clips, or ponytail holders. I carefully prevent tangles. As a pastor's wife I want to untangle webs in people's lives as I untangle my hair.

Just as I constantly maintain my hair, my glory. We must constantly maintain our lives, the temple of the Holy Ghost. Transparent we stand before God. Amazingly we stand transparent before others,too. Usually the only person deceived is ourselves and our family. I never want to weave a web around myself that could later so easily encompass my husband, my children, and even my church.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forgot to Say..

I forgot to say in my previous post that since it's sooooooooo cold it is time to bake! Check out Charming Hospitality for a few well quite a few recipes!!!! Feel free to leave a dessert recipe in the comments or just take one of mine and enjoy!!!!

I love the weather, sweets, hot drinks, my family, and all of YOU - my friends!!!!

PS...LaMadeline got aborted for Macaroni Grille...oh well that's ok. We are meeting our friends ---the Nate Lawrence Family. We love them!!!!

Cold Weather

We are enjoying a Texas Winter before Thanksgiving! I have jested with several this week that we will enjoy a Texas Summer Thanksgiving since the weather is cooler this week. The high is expected to be 59 degrees in Conroe. Now that is 'freezing cold' weather for us! Tonight the temperature is suppose to dip to 32 degrees. Now that is truly freezing!

Tomorrow's high is 63! Whoa another freezing day! ha My mind today is already turning to my Sunday. I hope my little outreach babies aren't energized by the cold. Maybe I should take some warm chocolate milk to calm them! ha

Tanya, I know, I know...I should visit you in Chicago! I'm going to one of these days...

I have several errands today. The weather is suny, windy, and cold. Maybe just maybe I can drop by LaMadeline for lunch or dinner. I think the fireplace will be rolling and the soup will be simmering. I will probably need a pecan tart and coffee to top the meal. I know I'll ask my handsome husband to join me. I love strolling Market Street on a brisk day. A stop @ Swoozies to pick up some Christmas party invitations is a must for the day so LaMadeline can be easily fit into the schedule.

Wherever you are today I hope your day will be bright. Remember brightness doesn't only come from the sun. It usually comes from the SON. I'm glad I know Him.....

PS Several minister's families have been attacked with sickness this week. I have had a little struggle, too. CUPC is having a mriacle weekend. I'm claiming miracles for the Thompson's son - MK in Guatemala, Bro. Willoughby, Bro. Royer, and Bro. Sponsler. Some of these Kent and I know personally and some we do not but regardless God is a Miracle Worker!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's the Life!

We are busy that just seems to be my life. I've felt some pressures of late from a few places. I've had a little health issue or two nothing too big but annoying. I am 45 years old and have proudly proclaimed I've never received a ticket....well last week ALMOST ruined that record. My cute little sporty Lexus doesn't sport a front license plate. Last Thursday enroute to Lufkin a trooper pulled me over solely due to the lack of front license plate. He was kind, warned me and let me go. Saturday driving home from San Maros looooooooooooooooong story short is I almost got arrested by an irate officer. He was driving in excess of 100 mph. I did look in mirrors, he was way back and I changed lanes. Due to the slow speed of the vehicle in front of me and my driving slow and the officers speed he was on me when I got around the car. He stopped me, literally yelled at me, and gave me 4 tickets. He basically told me he wanted to arrest me. I was shaking like a falling leaf! Yesterday I got the nerve to call the Police Chief of that city. I asked him to pull the video tape. Remember I am only 45 years old. The officer called me old, asked if I was unstable, asked if I was listening to loud music (nothing was on), and a bunch of other mess. The chief reviewed the tape, called me back and confirmed my feelings. In fact he realized I didn't even describe it as badly as the scene really was. There wasn't just cause for the officer to be driving 100 mph either. The officer reported to his supervisor and chief that after leaving the scene he knew he had messed up. He reported he supposedly destroyed the citation. Of course I wasn't notified. What if I would have driven a couple of hrs back to court? hummmm Oh well, at least I'm back to a no ticket status. Praise the Lord!

I launched a new project yesterday, Charming Hospitality. Click on those words and it will take you to the site. Wow! It's something I think I will enjoy. I do want to share my resources and help train others. I love the home!

My kids have been mucho busy of late. They are working on Christmas and a huge rally for tomorrow night. Trent is such a diligent person. He has Nate Lawrence preaching. The TBC Chorale, Lorna Brittany Macey and singers, and our ensemble will be ministering in music. Of course every light, instrument, etc has to be just right. The girls are busy working on music and drama for Christmas, too. We haven't had family time in a couple of weeks.

Last night we had good church! Trent is a good worship leader for Wednesday nights. He doesn't fall into the trap of we are too tired to worship yet he doesn't expect us to jump and shout either. He promotes worship, gets everyone worshipping and does a great job of worshipping himself. Kent preached from the scripture "let there be light and there was light". He basically prepared for Sunday's day of miracles. Whatever God said 'let or allow' happened. We felt great faith.

Of course the world is bad, economy is horrible, all the mess with states voting for gay marriages, etc is alarming but hey what better time for revival. Jesus Christ is our hope. We do not look to the world for our hope. I don't want to become depressed about the world and all its failures and problems. A couple of people in our church have either been laid off or have received word they will be by year end. I know that is horrible. My prayer is God will provide for each family. He is our provider. The Word doesn't say He is the provider in a stable market or economy. In those times of stability we may not have to know Him as provider. I didn't know him as comforter until I lost my Dad. I didn't know him as healer until I have had major health issues or my children have had health issues that God has healed. It wasn't until times when my mind was tormented with fear or bad circumstances that I knew him as my Peace that passed understanding. Today God is our answer it is in Him that I put my trust. He is our hope!!!

Lord, have mercy! I've left blogging and went to preaching! ha Take it friend be blessed be filled with hope and assurance. I'm preaching to myself, too!!!! Love all you sweet friends.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Secret Revealed

I am truly a GRITS interpreted Girl Raised in The South. Though Texas is still considered southern it is much different from my deep southern roots. While I know many things may be bigger in Texas the southern charm and hospitality definitely lacks.

Not every lady has been blessed to have been taught the things I take for granted. It concerns me that some minister’s wives don’t know simple etiquette. I have endeavored to train the youth and ladies of CUPC. However, for a long time I have realized that many need a resource to fall back on. There are many good books on the subject but often schedules are too hectic to research. I have considered publishing a booklet. Since there are many social graces, recipes, decorating tips, and ideas to share the booklet would become a series.

Blogging has been both fulfilling and successful for me. Hence, I have chosen to do what I feel commanded of scripture via another blog. The format of Tracie’s Thoughts will remain the same. Scripturally older ladies are admonished to train the younger. No doubt there are ladies like myself who enjoy learning and gaining fresh ideas. The simple purpose of Charming Hospitality will be informational, fun, inspiring, and enriching.

Charming Hospitality is dedicated to my wonderful girls, Redonia and Calah, and all the ladies of CUPC. I owe my love for southern hospitality to my wonderful Mom, Shirley Patrick, and MaMaw, Effie Ingram. Each of these ladies truly handed me a legacy. Both Mom and MaMaw demonstrated to me how to lead an unselfish life. I do not have all the answers but have learned a simple Biblical truth - it is truly more blessed to give than receive. Southern hospitality is just that!

Thank you, Babe, for taking me to Savannah. My idea was birthed prior to the trip but our time there caused me to put actions to my idea. It was in the Savannah hotel that I chose to launch the site for Christmas and even found the Christmas blogger templates. Mom and Popsie, thank you for treating us to Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons Restaurant. Dad, I have enough of you in me to know that if I publically set out to do something then I’m going to accomplish to the best of my ability. This is why I chose to not reveal my secret. I had to make sure I had enough resources gathered and ideas to make readers want to return.

Charming Hospitality will take on a seasonal appearance. Please excuse the look of Christmas while it is still Thanksgiving. My target launch date was December 1st. I just couldn’t wait! I will consider Charming Hospitality successful if I help one lady become more graceful, make her house a home, and learn the value of family traditions. These things can only truly be enjoyed when shared with others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I love LoVe LOVE Secrets......

I have one......I'm so excited about it. It's something I've been working on for more than a month.....nobody knows.....well nobody knew until tonight. I was like a little girl. I told Kent I had a secret. He played the game with me really well. He ACTED excited and I told him! Now it's our secret.

Redonia came home after a LOOOOOOONG day of work, college, Christmas drama practice, and then Silent Choir Practice. I wanted to tell her so bad but then I really wanted to keep it a secret. She sat and ate her not so nutritious dinner that I picked her up from Subway. I told her I had a secret but I wouldn't disclose. She really wanted to know....I think I will tell her next. She probably won't think it's too grand though :(

Ok, ok, don't start thinking it is anything spectacular but it is MY secret! I may not be able to hold it in any longer and may decide to break the news early and share it with you all tomorrow. Ok set the record straight I am not expecting...I'm not going to be a Grandmother or nothing big like that but it is something I've been working towards for more than a month. I'm really really excited about it. Can't you tell????

Sunday @ CUPC

Thursday join us in a unified day of prayer and fasting!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Help Me Welcome a New Blogger

Please help me welcome a new blogger, Madeline. Be sure and check out her blog. I know she will enjoy positive feedback just as the rest of us bloggers enjoy.

Miss Madeline has been wanting a blog for a long time. Finally today we set aside the time to create her beautiful site. She chose the layout, fonts, and colors. She is quite an artsy little girl. Redonia is busy teaching her photography and graphics. Madeline has created some really cute things. Hopefully she will upload some of her creations to her site.

Madeline has captured some really cute poses of her baby sister, Mallorie. Hopefully she will add a slideshow soon. I know she wants to add a playlist, too. Madeline will probably keep us all busy for a few days working on her site.

For quite some time Madeline has enjoyed going to Vicki and my blogs and reading our friends' blogs, too. Her Uncle Kent gave her his old laptop so she is set and ready to go! Once she has time to start journaling I think you will find her writings simple and pure.

Pride Falls for the Trap of Deception

Pride is the lofty view of one's self or one's own. It's the love of one's own excellence.

Deception is the act of convincing another to believe information that is not true or not the whole truth. In many cases it is difficult to distinguish deception. One of the reasons is a person may be self-deceived.

According to 1 Samuel 15:1 – 31 Saul’s most noticeable flaw was pride. Saul’s pride brought him into deception where he sinned greatly against the Lord. Samuel, God’s prophet and priest, attempted to reason with Saul and help him realize what he had done, but he was unable to break through Saul’s hard heart.

We can so easily be like Saul and be filled with pride that will cause us to be brought under the powers of deception. Family finances, careers, quality of homes, etc create pride issues. Many time parents are filled with pride in regard to their children. They feel if their children do not soar above others then they as parents are failures. Often parents do not tell the truth in regards to their children.

Pride causes us to call things differently than they really are. The scripture clearly warns against such actions in Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We must remember according to Proverbs 17:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Too often as a pastor’s wife endeavoring to help people I have observed pride only to soon see a fall. I like Samuel have tried to break through the hard hearts of pride by reasoning with people. Pride causes people to make foolish decisions. Pride often causes persons to separate themselves from good and drives them to people who are deceived, false ideas, or even to isolationism.

Pride can be Satan’s way of reaching into our homes, hearts and minds to deceive us. We can be deceived into believing little things. By the 'little things', Satan gets hold and soon pushes bigger buttons. Before long, we are trapped into the deception that all is okay. After all, nothing has happened to us we may rationalize. Satan is a deceiver. Paul says that, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Following is a poem from Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds.

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny…because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment…because you “deserve better than this.”
I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to admit when you’re wrong.
I cheat you of vision…because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of a genuine friendship…because nobody’s going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love…because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven…because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.
I cheat you of God’s glory…because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you. Untrue.

I’m looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…If you stick with me You’ll never know.

This morning I awoke troubled in my spirit knowing pride and deception goes hand in hand. I immediately begin to study the two. Lord, help me to guard my spirit against pride. Help me protect my family. We are living in a day when deception is rampant. It amazes me that people can come to church week after week and be caught up in strong deceptions against basic Biblical truths. It further alarms me that Christians feel they can handle these deceptions and prides so carelessly.

While in prayer this morning before my family even awakened I felt Satan wants to keep planted those who are deceived in our churches. We must not be ignorant to Satan's devices. Those filled with pride can easily find need for associations with the deceived. It is Satan's plan. Often the deceived has much to offer those filled with pride. As parents we must protect our children against the deceived. Our children are given to us as a heritage from the Lord. We must protect ourselves and our spouses against the deceived. Again as pastor's wife, I have witnessed as people are discouraged or struggling they are given more opportunities to become entangled with the deceived. Why does this happen? How does this happen? I truly don't think it is planned but rather something that occurs within the spiritual realm.

Who are we to think we can handle deceptions? What I have witnessed in my life of 45 years is that deception usually handles people rather than people handling deceptions. Just as one lie calls for another and one act of pride calls for another so does deception multiply itself. I believe the deceived seeks to entangle others. The deceived does not remain silent long.

This morning I wage spiritual war against every deception against every pride. It is my goal to see victory in the lives of those I love. I believe that if pride will not humble itself in repentance and deception will not break then God will remove it so others are not consumed by its deadly devices.

I chose to blog this devotion this morning feeling that somewhere there is a reader not even from Conroe who may need definition that I gained through my study this morning. I have ran scriptural references, read devotionals, and prayed. I do not claim to have all knowledge on this subject but rather seek to gain wisdom and understanding. Last night my husband preached a powerful meassage on tolerating the inappropriate. I feel often our churches become paralyzed by deception and pride. God, shed Your light on deception in order to protect Your people.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Conroe - Lufkin - Conroe - San Marcos

Thursday I travelled to Lufkin in order to be the date of a most handsome guy that I have loved for 27 years this month. He did not want to go to the alumni banquet alone and I sure didn't want him to go alone. Amazing how that works after all these years! We still LOVE being together.

Prior to the banquet Kent spent the afternoon golfing with his dad and some friends. My Mother-in-law and I enjoyed a relaxing lunch at one of my favorite tea rooms, Mar Teres. I enjoyed sipping almond tea as we visited. Of course lunch was great and the toasted coconut pie was wonderful! After lunch we browsed a few furniture stores.

Later the guys returned home and we went to the college for the banquet. We had an enjoyable time. Our friend, Nate Lawrence is hillarious and was the entertainment for the evening. Bro. Huntley told his story of receiving the call to preach and about his tenure at TBC. I always enjoy seeing the Huntleys. We sat with Kent's parents and Bonnie & Randy Fluitt, Kent's cousins. Randy is the president of the alumni association. Of course we enjoyed laughing with the Elms, Jonathon & Victoria Green and others. We went with the in laws and Greens to Starbucks after the banquet. We just needed a little more fellowship. Actually I've been having Victoria withdrawals! lol I needed to catch up on all my babies.

I met Meredith Vyvial, another dear friend, for lunch before leaving Lufkin today. She and I can talk for hours. I love the Vyvials!!! Keep them in your prayers as they seek God. Kevin, Meridth, Drew, & Garrett will always be very special to me. They were wonderful assistants to Kent and me.

I survived the journey back to Conroe alone. No ghosts or goblins wanted me! lol I missed Kent really bad when I got home. Going to Lufkin I drove through horrible rain. Once I returned my pretty white Lexus looked like it was a mud bucket. So....being the responsible person that I am I took the car to the car wash. See Kent, I am a big girl! lol

I quickly changed baggage and headed to CUPC to meet the ladies for our San Marcos shopping trip. Redonia sat quietly in the back seat as she read and listened to music. Thankfully Calah kept me awake. After checking in the hotel we found a very urban coffee house, The Tantra. It was a little too contemporary for some. Oh well the Mayan Hot Chocolate and Snickerdoodle cookie was really awesome. Several girls played Scrabble.

In the morning the ladies will meet for breakfast then head for the two outlet malls. I'm sure we will find lots of good deals. Amazing how things seem like deals when you want to spend some $$$. what do you think about this scenario: Kent gave the girls, Redonia and Calah, $100 each and gave me $40. Does that seem fair to my blogging friends????? Then at the coffee house Redonia still found me to buy her drink. Well, allow me let you all in on a secret. I have his credit cards, my debit card, and a new pad of checks. I also have at least one mastercard gift card! Let's see what I find......

Shhhhhh don't remind Kent in case he forgets....I'm not much of a shopper! Let him think I'm going to have a 'hay day' all at his expense! Seriously, he knows that after all these years. Just pray I can find some deal or he maybe mad at me. I usually get in trouble for not buying rather than spending.

Ok, my title leaves me in San Marcos. I really don't want to stay here. Pray we make it home safe and sound. I can't wait to get to church Sunday morning. I have some friends planning to meet me there!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Happenings

Tuesday night I got tired of the election news and went to bed very early. My siblings called several times and I chatted with them but I would dose right back to sleep. Consequently I arose early today. I'm always pretty much an early riser but this morning it was before 6:00. Instead of despair I felt hope and excitement.

As I read the Bible and prayed for my day excitement began to grow even stronger. Later I enjoyed a time of Bible Study at Starbucks with a new friend. There is nothing that equals talking about the Word. The sweet lady loves the Word and has in fact led several Bible Study Groups. I hope she and I can rekindle these. How exciting would that be? I believe thru my new most special friend God is going to open several doors. This dear lady is in her 70's but feels God has something special for her to do. She loves what she felt in our Pentecostal Church Sunday. She loves the warmth she felt from the congregation. Can you tell I already love her and am so excited about what God is doing not only in her life but for others through her. She is such a great adventuresome lady. I love her intelligence and radiant countenance. She enjoyed a succesful career and and has been successful rearing very professional children including a doctor.

Our church has received very positive feedback from visitors this week. One visiting family emailed Kent that they loved the friendliness of our church. They appreciated the excitement their child had in regards to our Sunday School. Additionally our nursery gave them a very pleasant experience. They even remembered the nursery worker's name! (you go Dana!!!)

Upon returning from my Bible Study, my dear husband was in need of lunch. We enjoyed sharing our exciting mornings. He enjoyed telling me of someone from Oklahoma called the church for me. One of the secretaries passed the call to him. He 'thinks' the caller was Susie! lol He is NOT a secretary! ha Susie (if that's correct) called because she enjoys my blog. She wanted my address and is sending me subscription to a magazine. He thinks "Southern Lady". Well, dear Sis. Susie or whomever you are thank you for reading my many ramblings. Often there is so much going on I need two blogs! I probably share too much details for one blog!

Tonight we had a great service. I was blessed to be in God's presence. I sure have an awesome pastor!!!!

Tomorrow Kent and I are driving separately to Lufkin. He will be staying a couple of days and I will stay over night. We are attending a TBC Alumni Banquet tomorrow evening. Tomorrow Kent and his Dad have a golf game planned. I'm sure my Mother-in-law and I will find something enjoyable to do. Maybe I will find a quiet spot and take a nap, too!

Friday morning I will be driving home alone. (not too good...I'm a sleepy head in the car) Then Friday afternoon a group of our ladies are going to San Marcos on a outlet shopping excursion. Redonia, Calah and I will share a room. Ok those two are extremists. They are either extremely crazy or extremely solemn. I'm sure we will have fun regardless their mood. If they decide to curl up and read or enjoy their laptops I may find time to blog otherwise you possibly will not hear from me for a few days.

Sorry for so much detail... Nikki Greer taught me something profound though. With internet, emails, and blogs if you don't want to read someone's writing you just don't have to! lol Thank you Nikki...I love you bunches!!!

Post Election Thoughts

Today life will continue. I did not vote for the President-elect Obama. Today my views of Obama are no different than they were when I voted for Senator McCain. However, I will respect him as President-elect until Jan 20th and then President for his tenure in office. While I am certain many voted or did not vote for him because of his race this was not my reason. I happen to not have a problem with any race. This is much proven in my efforts for evangelism. In fact most Sundays I take approximately a dozen black youth and children to church. I love their mommas and their mommas love me.

I have felt Mr. Obama has some integrity issues. This greatly concerns me. I feel as if he has flipped and flopped during his campaign this concerns me. I have the right to my concerns. You can well tell by earlier posts that I am a person who expects integrity and who is a very consistent literal person.

Honestly, I have felt Mr. Obama would win the election. I believe we are fulfilling the Word of God. Why do we Americans think we are any different than the rest of the world to not experience hardships that occur around the globe.

I will endeavor to obey the Word of God just as I do in every situation.

I Timothy 2:1-3 states:
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

As my first sentence stated 'today life will continue'. I must hasten to study for a Bible Study that I have at 10:30 this morning with a sweet elderly lady. This elegant lady visited CUPC for the first time Sunday morning. She stated she had not heard preaching like she heard in that service in many many years. She returned Sunday evening. She came very disturbed about the upcoming election. She feels that the world must surely be coming to an end. She was raised Baptist and as an adult became Methodist. She called yesterday afternoon and has some questions about Pentecost. She asked if she could meet with me this morning. We arranged to meet at Starbucks for a Bible Study.

In an earlier post I asked how can we offer hope during this time. I believe teaching Bible Studies is one way. Please pray for me that I will be able to offer her HOPE and that the Word will be sharp in my mind, and that my lips will be anointed.

May each of you conservative readers today feel HOPE in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

This morning we arose early and prayed for this Election Day. Now it is in God we trust that His will be done. He KNOWS the future and is in control. We have voted for who we belive best supports our Christian convictions. Our children have voted. Now as I family we trust in God. Regardless the outcome of the election we trust in God.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Integrity - A devotion derived from Redonia

I KNOW my TV blog may not have been favored highly. The following post on integrity may not be either! However, too often I find when dealing with people they have integrity issues. It is MOST difficult to even offer advice when you KNOW the person has integrity issues.

Tonight Kent, Redonia and I enjoyed a peaceful outdoor dinner at Macaroni Grill compliments of the Womacks. Redonia began to share a situation with us where she recently observed someone blatantly being dishonest. Redonia was frustrated with this mature individual. Later this evening in a completely separate conversation Redonia told how one of her kindergarten students used profanity. Redonia said when she questioned the student he/she denied the offense. Then Redonia explained lying would cause him/her to be in trouble twice - once for lying and once for talking 'ugly'. She said the youngster hung his/her head and said, "Sis. Redonia, I did say that word." Kent and I laughed and said "Oh, you did learn something growing up." This was our exact approach with our children. Since, I have been pondering on integrity.

Isn't it amazing that people know in most cases when someone lies? What then causes people to struggle so with integrity if everyone knows the truth anyway. I am such a black and white person that I struggle with people's lack of integrity. To me intentional exaggeration is dishonesty. Being deceptive...sneaky...or whatever other words people may endeavor to soften with is still dishonesty...lying and lack of integrity.

David in Psalm 15 can help us set strong standards to define our integrity. First he asks the question: Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? In other words, "What kind of individual has an intimate relationship with God? What standards does God expect of us?"
Those who lead blameless lives… Do we live out what we believe? Do we walk and speak with integrity?
and do what is right… This involves our day to day habits and choices in life.
speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Do we really mean what we say? Do we imply the truth or do we allude to something different from truth?
Those who refuse to slander others… You cannot claim to love your neighbor while speaking ill or listening to ill.
or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends… We should avoid being judgmental and treat people with respect.
Those who despise persistent sinners… It may be good to witness to the wrong crowd, but it's dangerous to run around with them. This can be even those who attend church…if someone isn’t right why do we think we are better than the Word and can handle things that we have been clearly warned against? Who is really influencing whom?
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord… We often become like the people we hang with so we should spend our time wisely with those who can help strengthen our faith.
and keep their promises even when it hurts. We do what we say, even when it is not in our best interest.
Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend… This is not about banks or business but how you help a friend in need: generously and unselfishly.
and who refuse to accept a bribe to testify against the innocent. We have positions of trust. We do not accept favors to corrupt our conduct…ever.
Psalm 15 ends with this promise: "Such people will stand firm forever."

I want to be able to dwell with the Lord. I pray every day I maintain a strong sense of integrity. I am thankful today that I had time to share with my daugther. Redonia, you helped me tonight in studying and reading the Word. (INSIDER: Chica, Madre loves your guts!)

Teen Sex Linked to Television

Fox News confirmed today just another reason that I never had a television growing up nor as an adult have owned one. Since Kent and I don’t own a television we don't view them on vacations, business, trips, etc. Kent and I have NEVER turned one on nor have we allowed one to be turned on by our children. Sadly, I’m sure when my children have stayed with others they probably have viewed television but they clearly KNEW they were breaking the house rules. There is enough peer pressure for teens to become sexually active before marriage without the added influence of television.

I pray every day for my children – all three of them. Just last night I prayed during prayer service for God to guard their minds and spirits. For Him to help them keep the Holiness Doctrines they were taught or even increase their convictions. No two families are reared the same I pray that Calah will understand the teachings Trent received. I also prayed last night that when it is time for God to give Redonia a spouse that it will be someone that will have her teachings or will not influence her to allow things in her home and life that she was not raised to have. I truly believe that without holiness no man can please God. I also KNOW that holiness of the spirit will manifest itself outwardly. My children have not been harmed by not having television and other forms of media apart of their lives.

Following are a few excerpts from Fox News:
The study was released Monday in the November issue of Pediatrics. It involved 2,003 12- to 17-year-old girls and boys nationwide questioned by telephone about their TV viewing habits in 2001. Teens were re-interviewed twice, the last time in 2004, and asked about pregnancy. Among girls, 58 became pregnant during the follow-up, and among boys, 33 said they had gotten a girl pregnant.

Participants were asked how often they watched any of more than 20 TV shows popular among teens at the time or which were found to have lots of sexual content. The programs included "Sex and the City," "That '70s Show" and "Friends."

Pregnancies were twice as common among those who said they watched such shows regularly, compared with teens who said they hardly ever saw them. There were more pregnancies among the oldest teens interviewed, but the rate of pregnancy remained consistent across all age groups among those who watched the racy programs.

Chandra said TV-watching was strongly connected with teen pregnancy even when other factors were considered, including grades, family structure and parents' education level.

"Media helps shape the social script for teenagers. Most parents know that. This is just good research to confirm that," Albert said.

"For a kid who no one's talking to about sex, and then he watches sitcoms on TV where sex is presented as this is what the cool people do," the outcome is obvious, Walsh said.

I am glad that the United Pentecostal Church maintains the stand that its ministers cannot have a television. Last year it did vote to allow for television advertising but maintained its stand against the personal viewing of television. In fact every two years its ministers sign an affirmation statement basically stating that they support the teachings, etc of the UPCI. It doesn’t take signing that form for Kent and me to maintain these Doctrines. They are embedded in our hearts. Thank you Fox News for reporting what we already knew!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CUPC Servant of the Year - 2008

The members of CUPC nominate who they feel goes above and beyond what is expected and displays a true servant's spirit. Last year most all ballots were cast for one person. Then there was a huge gap between 1st and 2nd place and then 3rd place was close maybe only a ballot's difference to 2nd. This year was much different.

We had 8 people with only 2 ballots difference from the winner to the least. First place was given a Stein-Mart Gift Card. 2nd -8th place winners were each given a Starbucks Card. Of course there were other wonderful persons nomiated, too. These 8 just stood out! Following based on the amount of remarks given are the top 3 persons with their nominations:

Third Place: Deadra Backhus
1. True servants heart
2. There for everyone
3. Helps with every area of the church
4. Helps when no one else is willing
5. Selfless
6. Dedicated
7. Smiles
8. Kind
9. Believes in the church
10. Believes in the people of the church
11. Willing to be in the background
12. Very giving to the church and others
13. Pushes people to get involved or ‘reinvolved’
14. Works hard to make things run smoothly
15. Never takes the spotlight jobs
16. Involved with music
17. Involved with technical staff
18. Helps with children’s activities from time to time
19. Helps pastor and wife

2nd Place: Trent Smith
1. Always willing to work
2. Always doing something for the church
3. Gives of himself willingly
4. Encourages people to live for God
5. Encourages others to get involved
6. Spends countless hours
7. When people messes up he lets them know he is praying for them rather than tearing them down
8. Great Sunday School teacher
9. Helps with maintenance
10. Makes hospital visits
11. Checks on people
12. Leads worship aggressively
13. Spends a lot of time to help with our music
14. Works hard @ CCS
15. Spends time with the youth
16. Great influence for our youth
17. A parent feels he has gone beyond what’s necessary to help with their teen child’s issues
18 He has taken on a lot of responsibilities and matured quickly
19. Works hard and balances it with being a newly wed
20. Awesome youth leader
21. Works well beside his Dad in leading the church

Servant of the Year: Ginger Gilchriest
1. Generous
2. Faithful
3. Kind hearted
4. Gives of herself
5. Gives and never expects to receive
6. Sweet spirit
7. Dependable
8. Never whines nor complains
9. Loyal
10. Puts others first
11. Encourages others
12. Prays for others
13. Does everything like she loves it
14. Smiles
15. Serves the church and the school
16. Serves as a hostess
17. Teaches Sunday School
18. Works in the nursery
19. Wants to see all the little ones exceed in life
20. Involved in the music department
21. Willing to babysit the children of the church

The other receipents were Misti Ferguson, Tina Parker, David Weldon Glenda Martin and Troy Blackmon. Each of them were labeled with some great attributes from making guests feel welcome to serves with integrity to makes work seem fun to never shows discouragement to submissive. All 8 of these persons help to make up the framework of the incredible church Kent and I are blessed to lead. What a joy to serve with these awesome servants!

Dedicated to all Who Serve in Ministry

Today I choose to dedicate this blog to all who serve in ministry. Now friends and family please know that serving in ministry is much different than those who do a job related to ministry.

Since blogging I have gained many wonderful ideas from others. Today allow me to share an idea. Each year CUPC honors their Pastor and family for Pastor's Appreciation Month. Kent and I always want to humbly serve Conroe. We have taught our children to be grateful to God for this place of service. In fact now they are older and choose to serve in many capacities of the church. We realize that it is not only our family that serves Conroe and our fine church. In fact if it was we would be limited. CUPC is comprised of many servants in ministry.

Last year we began a new tradition. Just on the heels of Pastor's Appreciation we award a Servant of the Year voted on by the congregation. The only stipulation is that Kent nor I can be nominated. Nomination forms are distributed a few weeks in advance. People state their nominee and then list reasons they feel the person is worthy of Servant of the Year. Tonight we will make the presentation. I must be ever so careful in this post to not reveal ANY details.

I would like to state that it is most evident to our congregation since last years presentation that people really do see the little things. This year I have observed as many people served rather than fulfilled duties. Please do check back so I can be more specific after tonight's service.

If you are a Pastor or wife reading my blog, I pray that God will give you strength today. I pray regardless the circumstances surrounding you that your joy to serve will shine thru today. Your joy will encourage others whom work beside you. To all other Minister's and wives your role is so important. There truly isn't one Ministry position higher than another. You are needed so serve today! To all saints who frequent my thoughts, please serve your church today. Your age nor talents levels really matter. What does matter is whatever you find to do, do it with all your might. Remember anyone can sing a song, teach a class, etc but not everyone does it with a spirit of service to God.

Let me share a simple question that I ask myself, "What kind of church will my church be if everyone serves just like me today?" Now replace the word 'serves' to what kind...if everyone worships....prays....listens...responds to the Word...welcomes the guests.....

I am planning on my church being awesome today...ok...I must run I am priviledged to be in charge of our van routes. I love every Sunday crawling in the middle of the van with children and visiting adults. What a joy to serve!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall, Fabulous, Fun

Today CUPC enjoyed a most fabulous fall social at 7 Acre Wood Park. What an easy and fun time this pastor’s wife had! This year I decided to host the annual event and not expect much from any of our sweet saints. Guess what??? I achieved my goal. The church paid for everything even without an offering! Ha

Months back I began working on this adventure. Looking for a perfect facility for fun for all ages (toddlers - grandparents). What a chore that was! 7 Acre Wood seemed the perfect place. I negotiated the price, secured the location, and gave the rest to Deadra. She advertised the day and helped make lists for me. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and got ready for today. This morning Kent and I made lemonade and tea for the igloos. Gallons of drink I might add. Yes my floor got sticky! Trent and Calah met us at the park to set up. Three ladies joined me in bringing cakes for the adults.
We had a bonfire and roasted wieners and marshmallows. The kids romped and played with animals, playground equipment, all kinds of ball, lil racers, putt-putt, and who knows what else they got into. We had pony rides for the little ones. The adolescents, youth and even adults enjoyed riding the zip line. Kent was hilarious on the zip line. He is such a sport. 7 Acre Wood has a huge hammock. Trent and Calah loved it. At one time my kids and all their cousins who were present were on the hammock. Near the end of the day the men and boys played tackle football. Yesterday like a big dummy I bought Kent an expensive pair of casual pants to wear today. He took a tumble or a tackle and rolled in a pile of ashes. He thought it was so cute! The men will be sore and achy tomorrow. The 45 and older men spent lots of time on the ground. I think they weren’t keeping score except for how many times they could get tackled. After everyone left we finished the clean up and pack up. Regardless how simple a project putting everything up at the end of a fun day is work. Once the dishes were washed, paper goods sorted, igloos washed and stored I still had my sticky floor. Why didn’t a fairy come and clean while I was gone? Before I could rest I had to tackle the broom and the mop. Now, here I sit thinking about our successful day. We had a new convert family join the fun as well as a few other newcomers to CUPC. Integrating new people requires a little work. I’m glad this fun day allowed for all our new people to mix and mingle while having fun with their families.