Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflecting 2009

In many ways 2009 has been one of the most incredible years of my life. I endeavored to give thanks in all things – good and bad.

Kent and I decided we would go beyond the normal temperatures in our lives and would turn up the heat to a boiling point. At boiling point steam intensifies and can move a huge locomotive. Things in our lives, church, and city needed to move and we felt turning up the heat was a venue to accomplish.

I committed to reading the Bible through. While I didn’t reach this goal I did read more of the Bible than in 2008. One of the funny things is I did make it through all of the ‘begats’.

Happily, I mark intensifying personal outreach efforts was accomplished. Today since our busses didn’t operate I drove the church van and picked up two families. I began working with Tonya and Neva two years ago. It wasn’t until this year they have begun coming faithfully to church (Sun & Wed). The other family – a Mom, Dad, and 4 children began coming this year as a result of the bus route. The entire family comes to our services faithfully, too. Sitting with Tonya, Roland, Keisha and their children was Tamia and her children. This is another family as a result of the bus route. Meeting me in the parking lot before 9 am was 4 little neighborhood boys who I have endeavored to love, rub their heads, pat their backs, and give snacks to this year. Though they were a handful in service (we didn’t have Sunday School) I am thankful they were at church. They played with my new iPhone and thought I was the coolest.

I have endeavored to be sensitive to the needs of others and show CARE. I truly believe that those persons who we may consider the ‘least’ as we CARE for them we are doing as unto God. This can be the poor, children, homeless, or even simply those who are miserable and make others feel the same. As I sit here recounting 2009 I truly believe this was a goal I successfully met. CARE isn’t a goal that is ever completed rather it is an act of kindness. These acts will never be complete rather new opportunities continue to present themselves. Although I have been somewhat successful in my attempts I plan for these efforts to grow.

I hoped to buy new furniture for a couple of rooms in our home. I didn’t reach this goal. While I could have financed the furniture I prefer to save and pay cash for it. I did update my guest bedroom furnishings. Yesterday I began an update to one of our bathrooms.

Another goal was to endeavor to make new friends. I decided rather than searching out brand new people to make relationships with people I was acquainted. I can truthfully say this has been a most rewarding part of my year. Last evening Kent came to Moms and handed me a card and a wonderful gift of candy from some new friends, Brian and Jana Allard. Though we have been acquainted with Brian’s parents thru the years via foreign missions it has been fun making friends with Brian and Jana. Resources (Facebook and blogging) were readily available to help with this goal. I have reconnected with Susan Hill. We have become prayer partners. Additionally, the Hursts forsook us Texans several years ago. The internet has allowed us to become reconnected. We enjoyed spending a few hours with them in California. Rhonda Mathis, a Georgia pastor’s wife, is another great friend I have met and have endeavored to get to know. Another wonderful friend is Sue Davidson. Sue is so lovely and she and her husband Terry inspire me. I have endeavored to spend more time in conversation with minister’s wives at various events and functions. I have accomplished with so many (Karen Wehrle, Glenda Stanley, Elaine Whitmire, Karla Holley, Linda Elms, Shara McKee, Veta McLaughlin and on and on this list goes).

Kent and I believe a minister and wife must be given to hospitality. We have worked on being gracious. In 2009 God has placed right in the middle of our lives persons each of our families have been very closely associated with during our childhoods. We are very thankful for them, Ron and Jerry Ann Guidroz. The Guidroz are some of the most gracious kind persons you will ever meet. I think it is important for us to surround ourselves with persons possessing Godly strengths and qualities. Bro. and Sis. Guidroz are masters in the area of kindness and hospitality.

I truly believe 2009 was a monumental year of setting a strong cornerstone in our lives. The areas accomplished will not be allowed to degenerate rather they will be polished, perfected, and mastered even greater in 2010. Since I have made my reflections I now countdown anxiously to 2010.

I wish each of you and your families a blessed new year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Christmas


Enjoy Christmas music

Do something for others

Keep Christ in Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

God is neither a Gadget nor Trinket

The following is derived from Crosswalk, an online devotional source.

“There is nothing little in God” – C. H. Spurgeon

The Israelites spiritual decline wasn't the heathen's problem nor did the worldly people cause it. God's children got themselves into trouble. They disobeyed God by marrying godless people, doing business with the heathen nations in attempt to get rich quick, and they "used" God and His sacred symbols. in I Samuel 4: 1, the Philistines encamped at Aphek. It seems the battle didn't go well for Israel. In fact, the Philistines killed 4,000 Israelite men. The Israelite elders decided to turn their "BIG" God into a "little" gadget. "Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that He (the Lord) may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies," (I Samuel 4: 3).

Basically the elders were saying get the trinket or gadget – the Ark of the Covenant and we'll show them who is holy. According to I Samuel 3 and 4 God did not go on this excursion. He wasn't invited ahead of time because He wasn't in the hearts of His people before the battle began. However, when calamity hit, out came the Ark of the Covenant which contained the tablets of God's precepts totally ignored by His children. Then they wanted to use this sacred, holy object like a magic trick to get them out of trouble. They were cheating, lying, stealing, and living immoral lives, but when things got bad, they hollered at the heathen, "We've got God on our side - see our ark!" We do the same when we take God's holiness lightly and replace it with symbols.
Modern day symbols can be our churches, church affiliation, holiness attire etc. I LOVE CUPC, the UPCI, and holiness without which no man can see God. However using these things for power when we face sickness or problems is the same as the Israelites. When we don't deal with internal problem we are like Eli who chose to ignore the problems in his home. It is futile and hypocritical to go around and call out the "heathen" or to try and force "holy" symbols to demonstrate power or miracles. It is like saying “See, these Ten commandments and this Ark".

I prefer to pattern after after Moses when he came from the mount with God. Moses radiated with God’s holiness when he came down from Sinai. All of Israel knew he had been with God. The glory was reflected in him - from the inside out.

If I allow God apart of my every day life by being with Him I will not need Him in form of little trinkets or gadgets to try to fix problems, encourage others, or benefit those I serve. God is bigger than any of these circumstances and He doens't need to be visiable in form of a trinket or gadget. I want to allow Him to be the BIG God that He is. I want more of Him!

Psalms 63 (The Message)
1 God—you're my God! I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.

2-4 So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

5-8 I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises!
If I'm sleepless at midnight,
I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Honor of My Dad

Sunday, November 15, 1981 I thought the sun would never shine again. As I stood at the bedside of my dad he slipped so easily from my presence to be with the Lord. Dad was a United Pentecostal Minister. In fact Dad was my pastor. I lost my Dad, my pastor, my outreach director, the world’s worst singer, the world’s greatest worshipper, a friend to the minister’s of the Alabama District, an Alabama Board member until sickness raged, the one who all the family (Thomas and Ingram) turned to in times of trouble, and encourager of young evangelist.

Death was cruel to our little young family. I am the oldest of 4 children. Dad left us at the young age of 42. My mom was only 35. I was 18, Vicki 17, Scott would have been around 10, and Kristi 7. Somehow we made it. Well we made it because God was everything our little family needed. We also had wonderful support from family and friends.

Dad was a very passionate person. Whatever he chose to do he did it with all of his might. He was a man committed to reaching others. He could not rest until he knocked every door in the area of our church. He reached out to drug addicts, alcoholics, children, the poor, business people, etc. He lived with one thought: “People need God”. Dad was a conservative Apostolic. He was a sharp dresser and a very nice looking man. He had dark hair, was tall and lean. He wore a size 42 long suit as long as I can remember. He was over 6 foot tall and wore a size 9 shoe. He had dark hair, dark skin and had the cutest little grin. If you put Scott’s grin on Trent you would almost have the perfect image of Dad.

Dad was a family man and loved to play with the four of us kids. I sported a broken arm from wrestling with Dad. Vicki vomited in his face in a wrestling match. He also was determined when we did something it would be right. When we dusted furniture he would spot check us but running his finger in a not so noticeable place if he found a speck of dust we dusted the entire house again! He kept our shoes polished to a shine. Vicki and I had to keep his handkerchiefs ironed to a crisp tight fold.

Although 28 years may seem long ago today it only seems as yesterday. I well remember the 100’s who came in support of our family and the memory of Dad to the visitation and funeral. Many drove from great distances because they loved my Dad. I remember the powerful worship service at his funeral and the sweet spirit we felt during the service. I remember the drive of emptiness in procession for the interment. “Why were we being left alone?” I questioned. Thankfully, I learned at the young age of 18 that God would be my comfort.

Rather than choosing bitterness I chose to be blessed. I have endeavored to gain from my experiences of cancer, seizure, and all that went with this horrid time of life to be a better person. I decided I would not make excuses for my life rather I would help others with the things I faced and conquered with the help of a praying Mom. Today I celebrate the memory of a Dad who was passionate about scripture, souls, the UPCI, church, his family, vehicles, his clothing and lived life knowing he could do everything with the help of God.

Dad I love you and I WILL meet you again in heaven!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Prepared Vessel vs. A Prepared Ministry

Last evening Kent preached a most powerful convicting message. Many times I’ve heard messages on the 10 Virgins. Last night however, Kent took it to a different level. He compared the Prepared Ministry to the 5 Foolish Virgins and the Prepared Vessel to the 5 Wise Virgins.

Our church strives to pay attention to the smallest of details. We never have dead space in a service. Our music is carefully planned out and rehearsed. Our hospitality department stands and greets with the most professional yet warm and friendly smiles, words, and handshakes. A visitor never touches a door from the front door to the sanctuary doors. Our announcements slides are beautiful, informing, and professional. Our secretaries answer the phones during the day with a smile and assist our callers professionally. Our accounting system is audit proof. Our Sunday School department utilizes the depth of men, ladies, and teens in most classes allowing for mentoring as well as excellence in our teaching staff. Our infants are attended by loving and nurturing persons. Our lighting and sound is diligently and carefully approached. Our bus drivers drive with a burden and love and smile at the children. Our bus crews love and interact with the children in a very positive manner. Our Bible Quizzers do a remarkable job. Our Christian school exceeds 80 in enrollment and our high school students are receiving dual credit with college taught on OUR campus. Our youth and college and career teams carefully plan out each event. Our maintenance crews both vehicles and buildings & grounds carefully take care of their responsibilities. The homeless are offered transportation to services and fed lunch each Sunday. All of our printing and graphics is above and beyond most expectations. CUPC realizes MORE is possible through teamwork and we work well as a team supporting one another and different departments or ministries within the church. All of this is our attempt to have a Prepared Ministry.

A Prepared Vessel however goes much deeper than the ministries of the church and reaches into each of us as individuals. Before ever attaching ourselves to a particular ministry we are an individual. Though we can prepare for a particular job or lend our talents to complete a particular job in the church nothing will ever compare to spiritually preparing ourselves. One thing for certain 5 foolish and the 5 wise were all Christian or religious ladies as we would call them today. In fact by virtue they were called virgins some may even call them holy or refer to them as set apart. None the less 5 were not ready for the bridegroom. It isn’t enough that I am prepared to carry out my various responsibilities within the church I must be prepared to meet the Lord. Furthermore if I will make sure the oil (representing anointing) is in my vessel the ministries I am associated will be more anointed. A church can have both anointing and a carefully planned organizational structure. A prepared vessel does not have to be sacrificed for a prepared ministry.

Matt 25:1-13 "Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘What if there isn’t enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Enough Said?

During the course of my day yesterday while sitting quietly at my desk working my husband's phone rang numerous times. People were trying to learn information about an acquaintance of Kent's who recently experienced failure. I listened as Kent gracefully communicated without giving information. He discussed what was public knowledge and then stated he had been apart of making the knowledge not so 'public' to protect dignity of those involved. After leaving the office for lunch I expressed frustration to Kent. It frustrated me that people were calling trying to find information about someone in trouble. Trust me one of the callers would go CRAZY if anyone spoke a negative word about him or anyone remotely close to him.

Later I saw a pic of someone that made me cry. The person has changed to be something she really is not. Oh sure the person 'looks a mess' and even 'acts a mess' but I KNOW this is not the real person and soon she will wake up. Later, someone began to cast off with great emotion about this person and rightfully so. Quickly it occurred to me that with the 'casting off' was really a 'catching' of some one's dirty thoughts, attitudes, and even sin nature. I quickly suggested the person not even discuss the other person. Discussing the issues of the other person with such feeling will just dirty or clutter the mind and spirit,. I would prefer crying and not being able to talk with the person for fear of crying than experincing the filth the person is involved. I prefer loving the sinner yet hating the sin. I'm afraid discussion may cause me lose sight of hope for the grace and mercy of God available to the person.

This morning the first email I received was in regards to the troubling things of yesterday. The email came from a Christian man yet written to his secular colleagues. It shared the following quotes:

Earl Wilson, the first black American Leaguer to throw a no-hitter, once said, "If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it."

"If you think little of a person, you ought to say as little as you think." - Ben Franklin

Lord, help me to be able to write and sign everything I say. When others have real issues that trouble, harm, or work against me help me say as little as I may feel about the person rather than belittle myself. My title is borrowed from Terry Davidson, Superintendent of Public School Comanche, OK. Mr. Davidson posed the question, "Enough Said?" as subject of his email written to challenge those he leads to a higher manner of conversation.

Today I ask of each of us, "Enough said?"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Instant is not the Same

Tonight we will be honoring the Servant of the Year nominated by our church members. Additionally we will honor those persons who receive 2nd and 3rd place. Our entire congregation is asked to nominate one person who goes above and beyond the 'call of duty', job description in our local church. This really has my thoughts turning. If we endeavor to recognize those who go above and beyond, I to want to go above and beyond what is expected of me.

We are living in a world that thrives on 'instant' things. Somethings just should not be 'instant'! I'm thankful for those who realize some things require WORK and EFFORT. The more we put into something the more we get out of it.....

I don't like instant potatoes. I can always tell when they are 'seasoned'. While the 'seasoned' instant potatoes taste better than those made simply by the package direction they still do not taste the same. They are lacking in flavor and the texture (feeling) is not the same.

What do people think when things in my area of responsibility are treated as instant and not real? Sure my areas of responsibility can be carried out and even at times reap successful rewards in an instant but I KNOW the difference when they are prayerfully carried out with love, devotion, and dedication. The rewards are very different when I do not live with an 'instant' mentality.

Instant really is not the same as the real....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frustrated with Facebook

Facebooking as messed up blogging! Blogging requires my brain and time and Facebook doesn't. I can jump on and off of FB and it doesn't require me to slow down and think yet I can give brief one liners about my day. I can also communicate and keep up with others and I LOVE it!!!

So let me race thru what's been going on since my last post...

  • Briefly went to check out the church in a day project! Yay Karen & Kenny Prince
  • Texas District Minister's & Wives Retreat - Hillsboro, Texas
  • Had an MOST incredible Family Revival with our dear friends, Ron & Jerry Ann Guidroz
  • Attended the funeral of a dear Texas Pastor & Presbyter, Rev. Carlton Watkins
  • Purchased a new church bus!!! Yay...2 busses and 1 van now...
  • Went on a special date with my husband. Went to Mary Poppins, dinner @ Artista, and stayed the night at the Inn @ the Ball Park. All provided by Pastor Appreciation gifts and gift cards. Thanks CUPC....we love each of you!!!
  • Went Trick or Treating today with a bunch of church kids. We took both busses and the kids loved it!!!
  • Calah put up her Christmas tree today - - too early for me but went by to see the kids. She did a wonderful job!
  • Kept Mallorie for an hour or so this evening. She's adorable.

Looking forward to WONDERFUL services tomorrow! CUPC is such an amazing church. I'm thankful for the MANY good things that are happening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Night of Fun Memories

This evening my sister in law, Courtney, called and asked if I was busy. Monday nights are normally a bit of a rest night. I had decided we were having hot dogs for dinner because it's easy. I told her our plans for the evening. She asked if I could keep Kyleigh for a couple of hours.

Kyleigh is recovering from H1N1 and I knew she didn't need to run up and down the stairs like she normally enjoys. So I tried to think of something to occupy her. Madeline and I enjoy baking cookies together so I decided Kyleigh may be old enough to give it a try. Much to my surprise she LOVED baking the cookies and did an awesome job decorating them, too.

We made sugar cookies. I purchased a can of white frosting. I divided the frosting into smaller containers. Kyleigh loved adding red and yellow food coloring to one dish and watching it turn orange. The other bowl we opted to add yellow food coloring only.

After the cookies were baked she enjoyed spreading the frosting on the warm cookies. Then she added orange, green, and yellow sugars. She decorated the cookies with candy corn and mellow cream pumpkins.

Kyleigh and I decided we needed to share the cookies. We prepared a platter for Grammy and Popsie, one for her Papa, and one for her to take home. Just as were finishing Grammy brought Mallorie over to see our candle-lit pumpkins and cookies. Kyleigh was so excited that Mallorie enjoyed a cookie.

Courtney and I enjoyed a warm cup of carmel apple cider with cinnamon, sugar and whipped cream with a fresh baked cookie decorated by Kyleigh. I love spending time with my family. Making memories with them is a very valuable part of my life.

I hope you enjoyed the slide show....

Happy Fall!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rev. & Mrs. R. Trent Smith

(Thanks Sis. Elms for taking the pic of them @ the Dist Ofc and sending it to me!)

When Trent was 7 years of age he told me he felt the call to preach and said one day he wants to pastor. I don't recall the discussion that prompted the outburst from Trent but I do well remember the day and location. When Trent was only three years of age he began sitting on the front pew in church alone in Conroe. Redonia and I sat on the second pew behind him. Trent was a worshipper. At age five he went to Texas District Crusaders Camp in Lufkin with our friends David and Gena Caruthers. Trent received the Holy Ghost during one of the night services. He was the first person baptized in our church baptistery.

Trent has been very involved in every part of CUPC since our moving to Conroe in March, 1991. He has been apart of Bible Studies, music, youth, Sunday School, outreach, maintenance, and Conroe Christian School. For the first years of his life he was a volunteer. However, the past 2 years he has been a full-time on the ministry staff. Fifteen months ago Trent married Calah Denise Hicks. She has worked right beside him the past 15 months as a strong supporter of his ministry.

Yesterday Trent and Calah travelled to Lufkin to meet the United Pentecostal Church International, Texas District Board seeking to be credentialed with the organization. Kent and I sat in our church office filled with many emotions. We were grateful for the accomplishments in the kids life. We were nervous knowing he had to pass a test and the scrutiny of the board. We were confident knowing he had studied and was prepared. We were proud knowing he had reached a life long goal. We wept thankful though he wasn't a perfect child he reached this place of ministry. I was sad knowing my Dad nor Calah's was present to share our celebration.

Today ministry continues as both Trent and Calah are working at the church. He's teaching classes today and preparing for his weekly sermon to our youth. Calah's working in the school office and carrying out her duties and plans for the music ministry of the church. Last evening when returning home tickets were in their mailbox for their upcoming missions trip to Africa. They are ministering at the National Youth Conference in Zimbabwe. Tonight after service they will enjoy many pies thrown in their face to raise money for some upcoming youth events at the church. Sunday Trent baptized a new youth convert he is discipling. Ministry is a myriad of events and activities.

I am thankful for the call of God on our children. When you dedicate a child to God you just never know where the dedication will lead. Congratulations, Rev. & Mrs. R. Trent Smith.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October :: Pastor's Appreciation Month

This morning I would like to give honor to my pastor, R. Kent Smith. For over 18 years now he has served as my pastor. I'm certain the road has not always been easy. I know there have been many pressures associated with his calling. I've watched as he has juggled responsibilities of the office and the parsonage. This morning I will not enumerate the many accomplishments of my pastor though they be GREAT nor will I enumerate the battles though they be great. I simply want to state I APPRECIATE my pastor. I love you babe!

CUPC honored us as a ministry couple Sunday night. We received many beautiful cards and some had very heartfelt words personally inscribed. We were given cookies, candies, magazines, cash, checks, and even hundreds of dollars in gift cards. Also included in the basket were envelopes for our children with money from a very thoughtful family. Each kind word and gift means so much.

Today I would like to honor each of my friends who serve in ministry. I know the battle hasn't always been easy but the battle isn't ours to fight. While some may be enjoying harvest others are no doubt in the dead of winter. Regardless the season I APPRECIATE each of you my dear friends.

If you are not a Pastor or Pastor's wife reading today find a way to show your pastor's family your appreciation. In fact heartfelt gratitude through out the year will help your leader be able to serve in a better way. It's amazing what a simple kind word or thank you means. Little things really do mean so much. Bake their favorite dessert, give them a gift card to a restaurant, send a bouquet of flowers, or pay for their meal when in a group. If they have small children buy a little prize for their children. If they have older children give them a gift card to a fast food restaurant. Buy them a book, a magazine or even a candle. You never know when the battle may be tough and your kind deed helps them push to victory.

I'm thankful CUPC is filled with CARING people who don't just show us their love and support in October but through out the year I feel many of their prayers strengthen me. I hope today I can encourage someone else to do the same for your pastor's family.

Pastor's wife, if your church doesn't show CARE just hang on God will send someone your way to teach them. I am truly a believer in we reap what we sow. Show your congregation you care and it will not be long and they will support you when you need it the most!

Happy Pastor's Appreciation Month!!! It is with joy I serve and my honor to be connected to so many wonderful friends in ministry....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Is This True Today?

Jeremiah 7:8-11 The Message Translation:

Get smart! Your leaders are handing you a pack of lies, and you're swallowing them! Use your heads! Do you think you can rob and murder, have sex with the neighborhood wives, tell lies nonstop, worship the local gods, and buy every novel religious commodity on the market—and then march into this Temple, set apart for my worship, and say, "We're safe!" thinking that the place itself gives you a license to go on with all this outrageous sacrilege? A cave full of criminals! Do you think you can turn this Temple, set apart for my worship, into something like that? Well, think again. I've got eyes in my head. I can see what's going on.'" God's Decree!

What a thought provoking decree! We can not allow the accepted ideals of our society into the church. Just because it's tolerated in our generation doesn't mean it's SAFE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Open Letter to Ladies of CUPC


I hope each of you are enjoying a wonderful week. I have been busy catching up from a few days of being in Saint Louis. I am looking forward to Mid.point tonight and hope to see each of you! Sunday night I spoke of some alarming details given at our Minister’s Wives Breakfast. We were warned that children are being targeted by the enemy. They are being targeted by media, books, etc. While I realize each family is busy trying to meet budgets, homework demands, work schedules, etc I feel to warn each of you to not be too busy for God and church. These times demand more of God and the influence of church and not less.

I mentioned Sunday night I would be contacting the Montgomery County Library Central located in Conroe. Thankfully our library does not allow children to take any books from the library without using the standard checkout procedure. Sis. Nunez went to the public school where one of her children attend. She got some frustrating news. The counselor has been fighting some of the books but has not been successful due to the power the librarian possesses. This confirms one of the points given in the meeting I attended. I have not visited Barnes and Noble nor Hastings at this point.

Yesterday, Bro. Smith and I spent a considerable amount of time with a family not members of CUPC. They had just left a counseling center a block away from CUPC. This family is dealing with serious issues with their children. Immediately I remembered points discussed at the breakfast in St. Louis.

Last evening while catching up on the news I visited Click 2 I read a very alarming story about an attempt to abduct a 13 yr old girl This troubled me and I was reminded of my commitment to more prayer for children. This morning my sister, Vicki, sent me a MOST alarming news article from Conroe. Vicki didn’t attend conference and knew nothing of my increased awareness of the need for prayer for children. The article was similar to the one I read about the 13 yr old in Houston but this time it involves a 10 year old girl on Ave J in Conroe. This is in our outreach area. The little girl is a student @ Travis, a school many of our outreach children attend.

I am asking each of you to join me in praying for children both within and out of the church. I am also asking that we become more committed to prayer, Bible reading, and faithfulness to church. Notice the order I listed the previous items (prayer, Bible, faithfulness to church) while I believe their importance is in that order I KNOW that they begin in the reverse order. For the most part people with inconsistent in church attendance do not read their Bibles or pray. Girls, services and things of the church are important to your spiritual lives. I love each of you and desire nothing more than God’s protection and best for each of you and your families.

Much love,
Sis. Smith

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BUT I'm Not the One Called. . .

The calling requires confidence not in one's self but rather confidence in God. Often minister’s wives feel ‘unqualified’ but God will help equip for every challenge. Some minister’s wives proclaim “That’s not my calling that’s my husband’s calling”. The marriage vow to honor, cherish, and obey ‘till death do us part” is a promise to keep the commandments of the Lord.

In marriage a couple becomes “one flesh”. (Matthew 19:4-6) There is no longer a separation of calling. Being one flesh means sharing the same calling, too. The wife is the helpmeet or helper in the marriage according to Genesis 2:18.

Girls, we can do it!!!!! We receive our calling through our husband's call....I'm cheering each of you on to victory. We CAN do it!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

General Conference :: Wow

Kent, Trent, Calah, and I flew out of Houston's IAH Tuesday evening. After clearing security we opted for Pappadeaux's. I enjoyed a delish appetizer of coconut shrimp. While dining we spotted the Grandquists and Chad and Heidi. Of course other Pentecostals joined us on the tiny jet to St Louis.

Wednesday we enjoyed the city. The weather was beautiful and mild. We dined outdoors at the Cheesecake Factory. Many other Pentecostal's were enjoying the food and weather, too. Wednesday night we enjoyed a tremendous drama "One to be Won". After the drama we enjoyed friends and food at Steak N Shake. We laughed and cried with Mark & Diane Green, Brian & Jana Allard, and Rob & Shara McKee. Kent was the taxi driver since we rented a Suburban. I KNEW after such a wonderful first day conference was going to be amazing.

Thursday Calah and I enjoyed spending time in the exhibits and shopping @ PPH. I found good soundtraxs for Redonia to use for the Children's Choir. Calah got incredible resources for teaching the Stand Student Ministry girls. After the men were finished with business we enjoyed lunch with Ken, Kay, and Kameron -Kent's sister and family. Thursday Bro. David Bernard was elected General Superintendent of the UPCI. Kent served on the Texas District Sunday School Committee with Bro. Bernard years ago. I always enjoyed our visits around the dining tables at the old campgrounds. Sis. Bernard is a fun and friendly person. Thursday night General Superintendent Kenneth Haney did an amazing job. He preached about 7 things we must maintain. Wow!!! What a clear and powerful sound! If we lose any one of the 7 we will not be powerful. After service we had dinner with Trent & Calah, the Alba's, and Darren & Amy Shelton.

Friday was the annual Minister's Wives Breakfast. This year I was honored to have Calah join me. We sat with Sis. Russo, the wife of our District Superintendent, Sis. Roffie Ensey, my dear friend - Diane Green, Sis. Lewis, Sis. Davis and her daughter, Lori Coon. While I enjoyed each speaker I especially enjoyed Jaye Rodenbush and Rachel Coltharp. The theme was "Let the Young Church Speak". Sis. Rodenbush prompted us to think what our children are reading. She gave powerful facts and illustrations. Sis. Coltharp encouraged us to realize the future is in our hands. Sis. Haney has done an amazing job as first lady of the UPCI. Under her leadership we have begun powerful ladies day services. Each breakfast has been heartfelt, too. Friday we went to lunch with approx 70 people all connected thru WordShare, a minister's forum. We had the distinct privilege of sitting with Bro. Jack Leaman and his son. I love the wisdom of Bro. Leaman. I was thankful Trent and Calah had this great opportunity. Friday night was the great Foreign Missions service. Ken and Kay were able to meet their PIM budget! After service we went to dinner with Bro. and Sis. Elms. Trent and Calah had plans but aborted their plans to be with the Elms. I'm so thankful for the influence of the Elms in our children's lives. Despite the LOUD music we enjoyed our time together with Bro. and Sis. Wendall Elms, TX Dist Secretary.

Saturday morning was a social time for minister's and wives in the exhibits. It was great seeing many of our friends. Later we made our way to the arena for the annual youth day service. Texas District Youth President, Michael Ensey, was one of the speakers. We are proud he was nominated Promotion's Director of the General Youth Division. Texas will miss his GREAT leadership. We enjoyed lunch at Maggiano's with Gene & Karla Holley and Trent & Calah. The Holleys are great friends. I'm thankful for the love and respect they show our kids. Trent loves the Holley boys, too. Saturday night was the Home Mission's service. Yes, I cried like a baby and even thought I might could do home missions one more time. It was an amazing service. After service we went with one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world from my Alabama childhood, Pam Hamilton Dobbs and her husband, Mike. Pam and Mike pastor a great revival church in Wiggins Mississippi. She is the ladies president for Mississippi. Also, joining was another great friend, Ruth Reider Harvey. This was a perfect finale to General Conference 2009.

After returning to the hotel we visited with many friends in the lobby. We were all very tired but knew conference was coming to a quick end and wanted to be together just a little bit longer. I saw so many friends during the course of conference...I hate to begin naming them for fear I will omit someone. (Bethels, Johnsons, Caruthers, Sanders, Hills, Hursts, Woffards, Roberts, Lawrences, Howells, Rose, Rodenbush, Richardsons, Hughes, Flowers, Lewis, Wheelers, Colegroves, Ramseys, Princes, Stanleys, Eades, Hursts, Guidroz, Whitmires, Strawns, Stones, Wehrles, Boones, Rashalls, Blakes, Perrys, Williams, Myres, McLaughlins, Rhoads, Robinsons and many many many many more!!!) I should have NEVER started naming! lol Oh and one of our missionary wives, Sis. McFarland, introduced herself to me. She reads the blog. I actually met several people who said they knew me from the blog. Girls, I'm sorry I've slacked a little of late but hopefully will get back on track.

I am thankful to be apart of such a GREAT organization. It is a part of my heritage that I will forever cherish, preserve, and hand down to my grandchildren. Now that conference is over it's back to work, planning, and harvest in Conroe.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Biblical Requirement of Leadership: Hospitality

A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. I Timothy 3:2 (The Message)

CUPC is a blessed congregation. We have many ministry families and many others who are incredible church leaders. Each year we endeavor to equip and train leaders. In looking towards 2010 many ideas are pounding my thoughts. In pursuing things that I feel are important to God as well as traits that I feel are important to equip others I have stumbled upon the word hospitable numerous times.

In a very literal and true sense when we think of hospitable we think in terms of showing hospitality in our own homes. While this is a very true meaning of the word I believe hospitality reaches beyond the confines of a particular home. In fact I believe hospitality must be an important part of our church.

While I can entertain in my home I may not necessarily have a spirit or attitude of hospitality. I Peter 4:9 states we should offer hospitality without grumbling. In my casual way of thinking hospitality should be given with a happy heart. As an evangelist wife many years ago I was in many homes where I was shown hospitality with a happy heart. Unfortunately my husband also preached a revival or two where I felt everything but a happy heart from the pastor's wife as she entertained us. How uncomfortable I felt!

Titus 1:8 does not only admonish us to be given to hospitality but rather be a lover of hospitality. How much better would our guest feel if we LOVED entertaning? We are able to minister to others through hospitality according to Romans 12:12-13 and I Peter 4:9. Hebrews 13:2 instructs us to be hospitable to strangers. I believe when visitors come to our churches we are given the opportunity to express hospitality to strangers.

The scripture gives us many examples of hospitality. The Shunammite woman in II Kings 4:8-37 fed and even later added a guest room onto her home for Elisah, the man of God. According to Genesis chapter 18 Abraham entertained angels. Mary and Martha used their home to entertain according to Luke 10.

Hospitality is simply the friendly reception or generous treatment to guests or strangers. It is making welcome others with warmth. I believe hospitality can be likened to 'pampering'. Pampering goes above and beyond what is expected or required. It pays attention to little or minor details. Regularly I go to a particular nail salon for a manicure and pedicure. At this location I receive an adequate service for the dollars and tip I give. However, on rare occasion I go to a very nice day spa. This facility is very warm and inviting from the time I walk in the front door. Immediately I am greeted with a warm smile and soft spoken kind word. After a few seconds of causal conversation the receptionist moves into 'business'. Once the professional providing my particular service for the day retrieves me from the lobby I am offered a cool drink of water. Literally no detail escapes this location. Candles are burning, music is playing softly, lights are dim, & snacks and juices are available at no charge. I'm given a soft warm robe to wear and soft socks for my feet. The dressing area is very lavish, too. Each employee I come in contact with speaks peacefully and friendly to me. No one ever walks near me without a warm smile and friendly word. I leave feeling like a princess.

I pray in 2010 I can impart a true meaning of hospitality into every minister's wife and female leader of CUPC. This message bolted through my thoughts today at our altar. One of the men brought an obvious homeless lady to me. I was standing in front of all the other ladies in our altar area. We had several other visitors praying. I wrapped my arms around this not so clean lady and began to pray with her. I admit at first I walked thru the routine of being a good pastor's wife. A few minutes into prayer compassion gripped me and I began to weep as I prayed. After I prayed this simple lady said, "Thank you for touching me while you prayed." I smiled and was not quite sure how to respond. Then she looked at me square in the eye and said, "I feel so emotional. Why?" I shared with her about the love and mercy of God. She asked if God really loved her and begin to share some ugly details of her life. Much to my dismay none of the other ladies responded to this ladies walk to the altar. I KNOW some where praying with others and many ladies were singing, playing instruments, or teaching classes. Yet, I wonder how many were praying for their own needs or not praying at all? This has convicted me. I want every person who walks thru the doors of CUPC to feel loved and welcome regardless of their social status. Every little detail must be attended. This lady was a stranger. If we can't entertain her at an altar how will we ever entertain others in our homes?

Yes, this was a GREAT exception....our church has baptized more than 200 persons this year. We do MANY things for the poor. I am not addressing me being the only one praying with this lady rather maybe we need to have a hospitality radar set and make sure we don't miss a single person.

I am committed to hospitality. I will teach it, I will embrace it, I will live it. I realize many use these scriptures to refer to a Bishop or a pastor. I, however, realize this is a requirement that will involve every person in leadership. I look forward to will be a teaching year for me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Absolutes and Accountability

God has established a divine pattern of accountability to Him. Many embrace a doctorine of christian or scriptural liberties. Since the creation of man, God has established a divine pattern of accountability to Him.

Genesis 2:15-17 (The Message): God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. God commanded the Man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don't eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you're dead."

Jeremiah chapter 7 reveals God’s accountability plan. Living in a culture that accepts relativism over absolute truth causes us to disagree with the fact that when God speaks there is no room for discussion. God says what He means and means what He says. However, the modern way of thinking is getting far from this concept of absolutes.

Jeremiah was called to speak the Word of the Lord to the people. Jeremiah 7:8-11(The Message): Get smart! Your leaders are handing you a pack of lies, and you're swallowing them! Use your heads! Do you think you can rob and murder, have sex with the neighborhood wives, tell lies nonstop, worship the local gods, and buy every novel religious commodity on the market—and then march into this Temple, set apart for my worship, and say, "We're safe!" thinking that the place itself gives you a license to go on with all this outrageous sacrilege? A cave full of criminals! Do you think you can turn this Temple, set apart for my worship, into something like that? Well, think again. I've got eyes in my head. I can see what's going on. God's Decree!

Years before Jeremiah’s time God reveled to Moses His will for the conduct of His chosen people. This was not optional—it was law. This included the Ten Commandments. God’s message through Jeremiah was quite clear—you have been disobedient and you must be accountable.

It seems many people are confused with the fact that because good things are happening in a church, organization or family the relationship with God is correct. Some justify acts of kindness and church growth as tolerance from God of sin within a church or person. However, God warned that doing some things right did not cover other wrongs. Our destiny is not based solely on love, tolerance, giving to the poor, or other good deeds or actions in life. The Scripture is very clear that one is not saved by works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Jeremiah said God would not excuse their sinfulness, even if they went to the right place to worship. God was holding them accountable. God knows what we are doing. His sees every move (Jeremiah 7:11).

I pray that I will not embrace a relative attitude. I want to accept God’s Word as an absolute for my life. I must be accountable for every action, deed, and word. Just as Adam and Eve were commanded to not eat of the tree I believe there are scriptural commands for my life. I can’t blame the serpent, my spouse, or others for my actions or motives. God will hold me accountable for every action.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recipe for a Happy Marriage

1 cup of consideration
2 cups of praise
1 reasonable budget
2 cups of flattery carefully concealed
2 cups milk of human kindness
1 gallon faith in God and each other
A generous dash of cooperation
3 teaspoons of pure extract of “I am sorry”
Children (more or less, to taste)
1 cup of confidence and encouragement
1 large or several small hobbies
1 cup of blindness to each others faults
1 cup of courtesy
2 bunches of of in-laws
1 cup of contentment

Flavor with frequent portions of recreation and a dash of happy memories. Stir well and remove any specks of jealousy, temper, or criticism. Sweeten well with generous portions of love and keep warm with a steady flame of devotion. Never serve with a cold shoulder or a hot tongue.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ingredients Needed for Friendships

Shortening - Provides texture. Our friendships can add much depth and texture to our lives.

Sugar - Adds sweetness. Friendships adds such a sweet taste to our lives. If we didn't have sugar in our cookies, we'd sure miss it. The same is with our friends. We can't leave it out of our lives.

Eggs - Holds ingredients together. Friends are someone we can lean on. We are held together by them. We are stronger because of them, their prayers, and their love.

Vanilla - Adds flavor. Friends add that flavor we need. They give us that extra sensation. Without friends we become kind of bland.

Flour - Adds substance. We need the substance that a true friend can add. Friends give us many things by way of mentoring us when we don't even know it. Their input greatly impacts our lives.

Baking Soda - Leavens. Leavening agents in baking helps to lighten the dough. Friends lightens our burdens through their encouragement.

Salt - Enhances flavor. We know that friendships add flavor and just when we need it, they help improve the tastefulness and quality of our lives. Friends are the type of people that know just what we are going through and are there when we need them.

Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips - The kind of chocolate chips we normally add to our cookies is semi sweet. Our friends tell us what they really feel. They can be honest and truthful to us.

Nuts - Just a little craziness in a friend is great! Sometimes a little zaniness in our friends can be just the ingredient we need.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How will Storms Benefit Me?

I've made a friend through blogging, Sue Davidson. Though I have not met Sue personally, I feel I've known her a very long time. We have talked on the phone, emailed, etc. Sue is one of the most thought persons. She sends cards and has given me a subscription to a most wonderful magazine "Southern Lady". I must confess I met Sue initially through her husband, Terry. Sue didn't do email or Facebook. She frequented my blogs but didn't leave a comment. Once she wanted to get a message to me so she had her husband email me for her. Since she in an online communicator, too!

Mr. Davidson is the Superintendent of Comanche Public Schools in Oklahoma. When school is in session he sends a weekday inspirational email to his staff. He added me to his email list and I am most thankful. Kent and I have told Mr. Davidson he should have been a preacher. He is very inspiring and motivational. After receiving a couple of Mr. Davidson's writings I emailed him and asked permission to use his writings in blogging, teaching, etc. Today's email spoke volumes to my heart.

Recently, a windstorm came through our town. After the storm, I noticed several dead limbs in the yard. There were also a couple of really weak trees that were damaged. I noticed, however, that the older trees with deep roots were not affected by the storm. In fact, they were stronger because most of the dead limbs were no longer there. Those dead limbs were a detriment to the health of the tree and could have harbored some diseases.

So, while some trees were severely damaged, others actually benefited from the storm. What was the difference? The trees that benefited have a really deep and strong root system. I believe life is like that. If we have a strong root system, if we really know what we believe, if we’ve made it a point to make sure we’re in a constant state of improvement and growth, the storms of life may be a little painful, but we won’t suffer irreparable damage. On the contrary, we’ll actually become stronger.

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.” - Louisa May Alcott

While storms certainly rage we MUST know what we believe. If we are rooted and grounded in the Word of God which is truth according to John 17:17 the storms can serve only to help us. Often dead limbs that Mr. Davidson spoke of occur in our lives, churches, etc. Those limbs are a real detriment. God has away of removing them. If we will stay rooted in truth we may feel the winds blow but we will only be made stronger by the wind.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Davidson for being valuable friends. I am certain Comanche District faculty, staff, and students are better because of your dedication and passion to enriching their lives.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Special Day

Today is a very special day. Today is the anniversary date of a wonderful miracle God performed in our lives. Today marks the arrival of our son, Raymond “Trent” Smith. Having utilized various forms of fertility attempts including surgery and drugs to find none successful giving birth to a bouncing 7 lb 15.5 oz boy was declared a definite medical miracle.

Kent and I have endeavored to delight ourselves in the Lord. He gave us the desires of our heart. We wanted two or three children and at least one boy and one girl. God fearfully and wonderfully made each of them. Redonia came to us by means of adoption and Trent by birth. However, each birthed in love. It is impossible to separate one from the other even when discussing one.

Trent has always been a very strong child. We knew from very early the call of God was upon him. Trent began sitting on the front pew alone at age 3. He worshipped God and listened to the Word.. He received the Holy Ghost at the age of 5 at Texas District Crusader’s Camp. At age 7 he told us he felt the call to preach. We were sitting in the car at the intersection of Hwy 105 and Interstate 45. I WILL never forget this moment. As Trent talked about the call his little voice trembled. He said God called him to be a pastor. Writing about it today brings tears to my eyes.

For fear of misunderstanding let me quickly say he was not a perfect child. We had lots of opportunities for attitude adjustments. Trent was a strong leader and many times this created challenges. Kent and I worked daily to channel his leadership. Trent won the “Leadership Award” voted on by his teachers each year from 7th grade through 12th grade. Of course he won many other awards, too.

Today Trent is a leader in the church we pastor. He is involved in most every aspect of the church. He passionately leads the music department to be more than skilled talent but insists on powerful anointing. He is a dynamic worship leader. He is an awesome drummer and on rare occassion slips into the drum cage during a service. He is our Youth Pastor. Last Wednesday he preached to 35 students during their weekly service. Of course he oversees all Friday night youth activities, too. He teaches Sunday school to an energetic group of 6th - 8th grade predominately outreach students. He teaches a few secondary grade level classes at Conroe Christian School. He loves to dream and plan for the future of CUPC.

Let me simply say Trent is a wonderful person. He enjoys music and sports. He is lots of fun and enjoys spending time with his friends and family. The love of his life is Calah. They have been happily married for 15 months.

Trent if you happen by the blog today, I love you more than you will ever know. Keep your passion for God. He will give you the desires of your heart. I hope today is one of your happiest birthdays. You will always remain my beautiful baby boy!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, MOM!!!

Today is a very special day. It is Mom's 64th birthday. I'm blessed to have a wonderful Mother. However, I think the grandchildren have taken the special places in her heart. She loves being Grammy.

Mother loves to cook and spend time with her family. She also enjoys resale and antique shopping. Well, she likes bargain shopping in general. I think she enjoys traveling to see friends and family most of all. Quickly she will tell you that she has worked all of her life to be able to travel. However, my siblings and I tease she makes poor Popsie work so she can travel back and forth to Alabama and on any trip that she, a cousin, or friend can plan.

Mother is faithful to God and church. Well, she isn't always faithful to church because she travels so much. We laugh because often she comes back from a trip and fusses because someone is missing. We have to remind her that person has been here the last month it's just she's been gone. Mom isn't a preacher but trust me she preaches to some of us often. Scott, Redonia and I catch it. I don't think the others get preached to....she's not brave enough to get them! lol

Mom has always been there for each of us children. My Dad passed away when Mom was only 35. Mom was left with 4 children. She did a fantastic job of finishing what she and dad begun together.

Tonight we are honoring Mom with coffee and cake at my home. Of course she protested the party in the beginning. We all know she will love it...Mom is a sweetaholic (that's where I got it from) .

Mom, I LOVE you very much!!!!! Happy Birthday....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice

During my tenure of blogging as well as reading blogs of friends, family, acquaintances, and even those I don't know I have stumbled upon something. More recently I have become a member of the Facebook society. This social network has even stronger validated my observation. Quite honestly these observations have caused me to create certain tests. After gathering the data from my analysis I set out to understand why these tests yielded such alarming results.

Confused already? Well, I wish I were confused, however, after research I found I did not gather results any differently than researchers have already gathered. I certainly plan to use these findings to help my family, church family, and myself. Am I offended by the results? Absolutely not. Rather these findings have caused much introspective evaluation. Possibly I may have shifted to the far right in trying to improve upon myself.

I have questioned why did this shine so brightly as a lighthouse in the night to me. After studying, praying, and thinking I believe God led me to the answer. In January Kent and I were privileged to attend a conference. During this conference we felt God spoke to us about our selves and the ministry of CUPC. We felt He was leading us to a new dimension of personal growth as well as harvest in our city. One word kept ringing loudly in our ears, "CARE". For several weeks now I have felt God speaking to me through my evaluations. This morning early however I felt God led me to my answer.

Kent has led CUPC in being a great giving church. CARE has caused Kent to encourage our church to not only give of their finances but give of themselves. We have prayed that God would lead and guide us. Only today did I realize that my observations were most probably led by God. In devotional time I read that feeling happy for others is a sign of being a great giver. While CARE has often been associated with helping with newcomers and those in need a new level of CARE has been revealed to me. CARE is also through the avenue of rejoicing in others accomplishments.

Again, my husband is INCREDIBLE in this area. For several years now he regularly announces to our church accomplishments both large and small of church members. He announces job promotions, educational accomplishments, new homes, etc. In retrospect this morning I realize without his association to these announcements to CARE God was helping our church learn to CARE in the area that is the MOST challenging.

Today, if someone posts a wonderful accomplishment or exciting news on Facebook or a blog the comments are less than those posted of a slightly more negative or needy nature. Additionally, some give compliments to those who may be struggling or not enjoying success at the moment. However, the same statement can be made by someone not struggling and positive comments are fewer. However, I pray to always remember the success of others is not at my expense. It does not take away anything from my life rather my rejoicing will add to my life. Rejoicing in other's victory is truly an act of giving.

According to scripture we are admonished to not only share in the mourning of others but REJOICE in the victory of others. Romans 12: 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

I am more determined than ever to CARE to the fullest. We have encouraged CARE to be outreaching and inreaching meaning outside the walls of our church as well as to our church family. Hopefully, the Lord's pulling at my spirit of rejoicing as well as mourning or praying with those in need can help move others around me into a deeper dimension of love and CARE.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Small Beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin."
- Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Often we compare ourselves with others. It's easy to compare homes, families, careers, churches in general, and even specific aspects of a church. Often in comparison we fail to realize all the contributing factors of the dynamics we are comparing.

It seems today couples want to start with an instant home like their parents who have worked a lifetime to create. Ministers aren't comfortable beginning with a simple start. They want to begin with a ready made band and worship team, a fully organized outreach team, and a functional Sunday School staff. Unfortunately we are not comfortable waiting for the normal maturing process to promote healthy growth. On the contrary it is easy to look for a quick fix to promote rapid growth. While CUPC is a very vibrant growing church in all reality it is a very young church. Hence, there are limitations on the church due to its young age. We do not have the cash flow nor resources that many older churches have. We are still acquiring buildings, land, and vehicles. Often these demands create undue pressure.

Young couples don't want to have dinner guests because they feel their home is inadequate. Pastors are embarrassed to share their real results of praying and knocking doors for months and not having a single convert. Rather they prefer giving a record attendance of a special day when they had a guest minister, friends, and family from other churches to support the cause.

Why is it that people feel compelled to despise small beginnings? Yesterday I visited every Sunday School class. Each class was filled with more students than our congregation on the first day we had service in Conroe. The sanctuary was filled and we had many visitors. Our band and praise team comprised more members than our original service. Last night our church was packed. While I marvel at the blessing of God on CUPC I must be honest it has not always been this way.

Thankfully we didn't despise small beginnings and quit in despair. We continued even in difficult times. Our Sunday School began with me teaching with a visitor infant on my hip and teaching Trent (age 3), Redonia (age 4) and even a 7th or 8th grader. A big Sunday was 6 students. Today we had 87 in our classes excluding the adults in the sanctuary.

Our first service we had 12 persons in attendance including our 4. Tonight we had more than 13 on our stage. Friday night Trent took 34 persons to Blitz in Lufkin. Years ago that would have been a Sunday night crowd to rejoice about. My first day to bring children to church I brought 2. Yesterday the bus I was on had over 20 children. In fact yesterday we began a second route with a new bus crew.

Allow me to be an encourager today. Often people read this blog and want to know what we are doing to bring about the revival we are experiencing. Let me simply say we have endeavored to obey the scripture and not despise small beginnings. Be thankful where you are today and do the best you can do! One day you will open your eyes and things will be different...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Funny Man

Seriously I'm married to a very funny guy. In fact his great sense of humour is what attracted me to him besides the fact that Joyce McClain was a HUGE factor of match making. I love him so much. Sometimes he is funny and not in a humorous way. Today was one of those days.

For some reason Kent has been frustrated with me for not updating my blog more often. He said he was even going to post about it in one of my comments. When have I had time???? He just fussed at me and told me I needed to do something about it. He said you need to write about all that you are doing this week. I wanted to scream because the many things I'm doing I haven't had time to slow down to write. However, the submissive wife that I am here I am typing away when I only have a few minutes before I need to leave.

So in honor of the funny guy here it goes.....

Sunday we had 200 visitors! Yeah all you people involved in ministry rejoice with me since that's what I would be doing with you. But before you rejoice too loud and strong you all KNOW with growth comes lots of toil and work. This week I've been busy restructuring Sunday School to be able to accommodate the growth we will have in our classes Sunday. We added two brand new classes. Easy as it may seem it is WORK! I have encouraged every teacher to be MOST flexible Sunday. We don't know how many children will show nor do we know their ages or grades.

Well Sunday the bus route took 1.5 hours and 9 vehicles to pick up all the passengers. This can't happen every week. This week I divided the route. Beginning Sunday we will have 2 routes. My faith isn't strong that all the kids will return. I try to be very honest. Hence, honestly I must say some came for the free school supplies only. However, honestly, I know we will at least double our size. Hence, our add on route will be 2 vans. Of course this means we can't have as many workers as we had Sunday because workers take up space. However, I must double my normal bus route workers. Tonight I will meet with new bus route crews after service.

Ok I hope this blog will suffice my sweet and funny husband. I love him so much. He has provided me the opportunity to work this week and blog!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amazing/Troubling Results

Yesterday marked CUPC's 15th annual kids day. For the past few years we have hosted this event in August and advertised it as a Back 2 School Event. Of course outreach is always an essential part of the success.

My previous post spoke of the great outreach success. I posted we had 50 plus (meaning 52 or 53) new children committed to wanting to ride the bus to the event. Normally, we get about 25 - 30 percent of this crowd. I'm totally amazed. We actually picked up more than those that committed. We had 78 total passengers. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! It took us 1.5 hours to gather all the children. When the bus caravan (bus, church van, and 7 personal vehicles) arrived there were 72 visitor children who were brought by their parents already at the church. We had 39 parents sign the visitor list. Of course more children/parents came later. We even had a family come just prior to our evening service!

Though the results are amazing they have created a huge problem. We don't have room for all these children in our classes as they are structured nor do we have enough buses/vans or workers. This week God is going to give wisdom to solve this problem.

Today I knocked doors inviting young people to our youth service Wednesday night. Trent, Jason, Matt, and Mickey have said for a few months they want to include our outreach youth on Wednesday nights. My thoughts are what is hindering??? I know what is hindering they haven't gone to knock on the doors to invite the kids and they aren't going to pick up the kids. I don't mean this rude these people are all busy. Well, problem solved....I went and knocked the doors today when the kids got home from school. Wednesday night I will go and pick up the kids. I believe it's HARVEST time everywhere....

I had a farming grandfather. When it was harvest it was work and lots of work. There wasn't a shortage of harvest at harvest time. Normally Papaw simply had trouble finding enough harvesters. While I rejoice in HARVEST tonight I sit trying to strategically plan the harvesters (Sunday School teachers, bus captains and workers, class room space, etc).

Today I went to the apartment of one of the first time visitors. I asked Kent to get out with me to meet the family. Kent instantly felt what I felt yesterday...they are winnable. This family wasn't a family that we invited Saturday. We just happened to be beneath their apartment Sunday morning and heard the voices of children. When we went upstairs they were getting dressed to go to a denominal church. Today the Mom told me she has already notified the other church they are changing their membership to ours. She said we were kind and loving and they felt the difference.

A 200 visitor Sunday is MOST exciting but is MOST challenging. We didn't knock doors to get people to church to GIVE supplies. Rather we knocked doors to get people to church to tell them about our church and to GET them back. This is going to require a lot of follow up and a lot of work each Sunday. Harvest is always AMAZING but is work!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best EVER Outreach

Today was the best outreach day that I have seen. It all began around 9:30 this morning. What I thought may be about 5 of us meeting @ Baskins Department Store turned into about 15 or 20. Quickly I realized we had more people than were needed. I suggested that we pile on the newly decorated bus and go down the street to HEB. Leaving a couple of people behind to man the booth @ Baskins the rest of us placed a flier on every vehicle in the HEB shopping center parking lot. Wow that was easy enough so we went back for more fliers!

Thinikng of a place that would be kid friendly we ventured toward Conroe's Incredible Pizza. Enroute we passed and area intermediate school. Cars were lined for a mile on both sides of the street and in the parking areas. Soon we realized people were lined literally down the street. It was a Free Shots Across Texas Event. Quickly we hopped off the bus and passed out a couple hundred fliers to people in line. A bunch of people promised to be @ church tomorrow to receive free school supplies. Later we went to Incredible Pizza, Academy, and HEB again.

After the first phase of outreach several of us grabbed a quick burger from McKenzies. While we were enjoying lunch our mayor, Mr. Web Melder, came to our table to greet Kent. Kent let him know we are praying for him and our city. awesome on such a day to interact with our mayor, Kent's friend. Not only did we touch many needy families but were able to visit with our city's leader.

At 1:30 everyone met at the church. We had double the crowd at the church. We passed out fliers to 9 apartment complexes. We distributed 200 blue snocones as well.

Tonight I am very sunburned, really tired, and sore from head to toe. However, I feel so happy, blessed and content for such and incredible day of outreach. We have in excess of 50 first time kids that we will pick up on the bus and van. Of course we will pick up our normal 30 plus children, too. In addition the people from the parking lots and Shots Across Texas will be driving themselves to the church. Many of these families committed to coming, too.

Tomorrow's theme is "Ready. Set. Go. Power" Everyone is going to be dressed in work-out clothes. Our band and vocals are prepared for very enthusiastic praise and worship. We will be playing games through out the morning. In conclusion we are having a very active Bible lesson. After praying with the children we will distribute school supplies. Each child will receive a notebook, a slider pencil box, pencils, erasers, crayons, and a glue stick.

I am thankful to have been apart of such an incredible day of interacting with our city. Our church is better because we shared with others today.

Today Finally Arrived!

Today has taken forever to arrive. Oh I know it will be long, hot, tiring, etc but when you are excited about something it doesn't matter about the few little obstacles.

Outreach is the goal of the day. We will be distributing water and invitations to our Back 2 School Bash this morning @ Baskins Department Store. Then this afternoon we will fill the bus with people headed out to apartment complexes. We are going to invite people to church and distribute snocones.

Often in counseling with people I'm told it's my Daddy or Mother's fault. Today it is my Daddy's fault that I am so excited. Almost every Saturday my dad woke up excited about the prospect of outreach. I walked many streets with him. I also remember when Dad bought a big school bus and was excited to drive the streets in it. It really is my Daddy's fault. He made me where I'm driven for outreach. He filled me with this desire. He made me where I can't help myself.

Daddy, I'm going to do it just like you taught me today. If a door gets slammed in my face I'm going to say as I walk away, "Well, you just wont know what you are missing behind that ole slammed door" If a dog barks at me I'm going to say "In Jesus Name". If I see a bad situation I'm not going to wait and pray later but I'm going to ask if I can pray with them right then and there. Daddy you are still my hero!!!! Thanks for teaching me so many things.

I'm so happy today has arrived....let me run.....I want to hurry to the streets!

PS Daddy look down from heaven tomorrow and see all the people who will be in church because of your teachings!!!!!! Just think if you would not have died you could have been here helping.....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Excited about Dots

Almost 2 years ago I guess I was seized with a burden for children while doing outreach. While knocking doors I wasn't getting much adult interest. So without planning, etc at one door from somewhere deep within I cried out if your children would like to go to church tomorrow I would love them to ride on our church van with me. It started just like that!!! I begin with two children. From there it has grown to quite a large group of children.

In March we purchased an old yellow school bus. We immediately put it in the shop and had it painted white. Today we took it to have bright colored dots and our logo added. I'm super duper excited with the outcome!!!!

Saturday we will be taking the bus through the streets of Conroe in search of new kids. I'm certain it will require the bus, van, and possibly a car or two to bring all the kids to church. While I've been excited about outreach Saturday picking up the bus this afternoon fueled the excitement. This morning I told Kent that I fully expect in only a few short months to be in need of another bus.

I'm praying for dedicated loving nurturing Sunday School teachers. In order for God to increase our crowd He will need to add to our Sunday School Staff, too. We must reach these children before they are reached by drug dealers and gangs. I believe God is going to send the workers.

Will someone join me in a loud shout of praise for this adorable bus?

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The Word of God is powerful and true. It amazes me people can subscribe to books written on how to rear children, handle finances, build a home, etc and trust every word of the author yet pick and choose what to believe in the Word of God. The Word of God was written many years ago yet so precisely addresses topics pertinent to our lives today. Additionally, it very clearly describes the world in which we live although it is far from the world that existed at the time of its origin.

Through out my life I have used scripture during good and bad times. I endeavor to use it as a road map for my life. Often my husband quotes scripture to me or visa versa. In rearing our children we have quoted scripture to them. Additionally, we had them recite scripture. One of our children went thru a phase of saying "I can't...." It could be he couldn't get a hot wheel maneuvered as he wanted, he couldn't ride his bike, etc. Finally, I had enough. I had him recite Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" a few times. Often I would have our children recite scripture to help guide them in their lives.

We didn't use scripture only to change the nature of a child but to encourage a child. As teens we endeavored to make our children financially responsible. We felt it important for them to get jobs when they were 16. Of course even younger they would babysit, mow yards, etc. If a child doesn't have earning power we felt they shouldn't have the privilege to go out with friends, drive vehicles, etc. Any time a person drives a vehicle he has a risk of either getting a ticket or an accident. Our rule is the child must PAY for these offenses. If a child doesn't work how can he pay? Additionally, if our children went to eat with us we paid. However, by the time they were 16 if they chose to eat with friends they paid. Of course along the way we gave them 'gifts' of money when we chose. Now as adults it amazes me how my children can make their money stretch. It takes more than a year or two to learn this lesson. We've pastored long enough to see those who were taught for longer periods of time by their parents the child become more responsible as adults. Now that I painted our families scenario of money in regards to our children, often we have quoted to our children Philippians 4:19. "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Another popular verse in our household has been I Peter 5:7."Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

This morning I read the blog of Linda Elms. She told of God's protection to her daugther-in-law and grandchildren in a tornado. During the storm Brenda told the girls that just as God took care of Noah he would take care of them. This caused me to think of the comfort the Word of God brings. Thankfully, the girls were already familiar with the Bible and they simply needed a reminder God was their protection.

Parents need to teach the Word to their children. Not only does a child need to be able to recite the word but apply the Word to their daily lives. These are only a few instances of the Word in relation to our family. Surely you have other examples. Feel free to share an example or two in the comments.

Let's never forget the Word!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amazing Day

Today was an amazing day. First, we are privileged to pastor wonderful people. Therefore any day @ CUPC is a good day and today was certainly no exception. We are drawing near the end of summer as far as school is concerned hence people are scurrying to take those last minute weekend getaways with their family. However, our attendance was still very strong.

This morning we went to our first apartment complex on the bus. Almost every door we knocked a neighbor told us "They are gone". Of course I felt disappointed. Then we drove to our second complex. When we pulled into the complex kids started running to the bus. We didn't even have to get off the bus to knock a single door. We had several first time children, too!

We have been feeding homeless in our community. It started as a burden of one person. Of late that person hasn't been involved. We've seen great benefit from this project and the church continued the project. Of late many of these people have manipulated the system and are not coming to church rather coming after service for free food. Unfortunately the ones that are doing this have housing and food. We decided to do different and made the announcement last week. Today Matt took the needy people who were in service out for lunch. It wasn't nearly as much work for our team and we hope to show the ones present the most important food is spiritual nourishment. Of course we know they need food and will gladly help meet this need, too. There are other service organizations in our community where the others can be feed if they meet qualifications of being needy. Initially we were afraid we would reap negative consequences from the change. However, tonight we had several of these persons in service.

Our family had lunch with the McCartys today. We enjoyed a very delicious southern meal. We enjoyed our fellowship with most of the McCarty family being present. We really love these people. Sis. McCarty is an incredible cook and Bro. and Sis. McCarty are both tremendous host.

Tonight was an amazing service. The music was good, Matt did an awesome job kicking off our back to school week events, and the preaching was totally amazing. After being married to Kent for 27 years I have well learned him. After the choir sang and Kent stepped into the pulpit I saw the look in his eye. I knew the anointing of the Lord had already settled upon him. Many people stood through out the message. People responded whom I have not seen respond in a long time. Many stones were rolled away.

Many times after church we go eat with the family, church family, or guests. Tonight we were tired and opted for Sonic. I received an email on my way home that caused me to reflect today. All I can say is AMAZING!!!!!!! We have such amazing people!!!! Tonight you could feel such an indescribable amount of unity and compassion one toward another. I observed as people prayed with one another the heartfelt compassion for one another. Our music is amazing, our children's ministries do incredible things, our outreach is above and beyond, our hospitality is super friendly, our sound and technical people work hard to keep everything professional, our youth are on fire for God, our Christian school is off the chain for Christian schools. This year on our campus many of our high school students will receive both college and high school credit and not even have to go to the college campus to do so. WOW!!! All this is because we serve an awesome God and have awesome people that believe in teamwork and unity!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing amazing amazing.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lesson Learned from a Lion

Lions roar to communicate with other lions and scare other animals away. I Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" The devil is much like a lion seeking to devour. Satan uses the same tactic as a lion in the jungle.

Just as a lion uses the roar to communicate so does Satan utilize loud boisterous intimidating voices. Never do I want to be a voice used of Satan. Remember the intimidating roar is Satan's tactic to wear you down emotionally and spiritually.

II Corinthians 2:11 "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." Knowing scripture says he is seeking as a lion we must be sober and vigilant in order to resist Satan.

Often loud roars come against the Word of God. Satan isn't against us as inidividuals rather against Jesus Christ. However, we must not be ignorant to Satan's devices. He wants to fight against every Scriptural Doctorine by fighting against the saints of God and the church. It is important to know what we believe and be vigilant (keenly aware, watchful, alert) to withstand Satan trying to erode the Word of God in our hearts. Upon hearing the roaring intimidating tactics we should easily be able to mark it as a roar of Satan.

As I young child my Dad was preaching a Biblical truth in a very calm teaching manner. He was using a lot of scripture and very little dialogue of his own. This created such an uproar in the spirit world. The next service Dad preached on the Love of God. During this service some visitors who I don't recall seeing charged thru the back door and began to display demonic activity. I was frightened. Days after all this happened our church broke into a most incredible revival. Since this point in my life I have witnessed on several occassions when Biblical truths are taught people who do not believe or agree becomve very aggressive.

This morning in devotion I sit hear with the scripture that I have previously quoted rolling thru my thoughts. "For we are not ignorant of his devices." Churches use to have testimony services. While I know why most churches strayed from this time of 'sharing' I do believe that hearing testimonies of what God did for someone else added strength to others.

Last evening I had opportunity to talk with someone on the phone. This person began to tell about how great revival broke out during her Dad teaching some Biblical Doctorines. What a strengthening testimony to all of us. The Devil roars and wants to intimidate preachers from teaching the Bible. This week Kent received a phone call from one of his leaders that was a most encouraging phone call. I think our testimonies can be used to encourage others against the roar of Satan appearing as a lion seeking whom he may devour.

I pray for every church to be filled with the power of the Holy Ghost tomorrow. I pray the blood of Jesus will be able to flow offering hope and mercy. I pray the stripes applied to Jesus Christ will do their healing work. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the World. I pray each of us will be separate from the world living a holy Godly life as He is holy. I truly believe as we decrease or allow the things of the world to decrease in us He will increase bringing great victory.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13, 1986

Twenty three years ago this very day, August 13, 1986, all the world stopped to welcome one of God's great creations. To some this may have been an ordinary day but to Kent and me this marked a MIRACLE, a defining moment in our lives, it was a most joyous day. After having exalted means of a premier Houston Infertility Specialist God miraculously placed in our lives the potential to adopt an unborn child. We did not search for this child rather we were notified of the possibility.

Everything that lead to the adoption was a miracle. Kent was an evangelist at the time of Redonia's birth and I travelled with him. I can only say God's favor was upon us. How we passed the social checks of finances, home, etc is still baffling. When God does things they are done right! I prayed for a girl and only had girl things when she was born.

Redonia was a most pleasant baby. She laughed and smiled all the time. She was an adventuresome toddler. In fact adventure began with her at 8 months climbing out of her crib. A little over one year she climbed the ornamental iron work on the front porch and literally swang from the roof. At six years of age she climbed on the roof and jumped onto the trampoline. Redonia began reading books when she was four. She still loves to read. When Redonia was eight she began creating dolls and clothes on the computer. She soon learned to animate them. She began taking pictures when she was nine or ten.

Redonia is a very compassionate person. When she was about three she would beg her dad to pull over and give our car to people walking along the road. She would say "Daddy they don't have a car stop and let's give them ours." We would question, "What will we do?" Redonia would say "We can get another car or we can walk but look they look tired". She would cry if we passed stray animals along the road. This compassion has continued. Today she uses her funds to buy things for her friends and those less fortunate. She forever has to buy gum to make sure she has some to share with her little friends. All the children on the bus route loves her.

Redonia is loved by those young and old. In fact we've actually had trouble at church from time to time because everyone thought they were Redonia's bestfriend. Of course little girls 9 - 12 don't share their besties very well. She just has a little knack of making everyone think she loves them most.

Redonia's talents that began as a young child have grown into a career. She is a professional photographer and graphics designer. Please check out some work samples at One of her recent projects is my favorite. She drew free handed on a 30 foot wall at the church. The wall words fill most of the wall. Amazing that she can draw or computer sketch anything.

Today my daughter turn 23. Where did the time go? It seems only yesterday I was singing "Redonia is coming today today today, Redonia is coming today." Redonia has brought much excitement to our home from birth to roof top experiences to early reading to amazing talents to having 20 something carwrecks to lots of clean your room moments to looking at her in awe of her love for others to watching her gracefully glide by in a crowd to many late night talks to bungee jumping to flipping out when she told us she had a tatoo (really she didn't she just used a sticker in the tanning bed to mark the tan) to watching her be filled with the Holy Ghost to watching her direct the children's choir for the first time to watching her get angry that she was billing her time for $75 an hour as a graphics designer for a small company to deciding to begin her own business to watching her love her brother like a twin to watching her introduce Calah to Trent only to then turn on Calah because she didn't want her brother marrying to watching Calah now be in Redonia's own words a person I can tell everything to even more than me, her Dad, or her brother.

I love to shop for her because she wears her clothes so beautiful. She is easily pleased. She doesn't demand the finest but rather makes everything look fine. She has near perfect posture and that coupled with her radiant beauty is often asked if she attended modeling school. While in NYC she was stopped numerous times because people thought she was movie star. While she isn't a movie star Redonia is a radiant shining star. I love her so much!

Join me in wishing our miracle, Redonia Leigh, a happy 23rd birthday!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Blog:

Please forgive me for being unfaithful and not taking the time to care for you. Soon I hope to slow down long enough to return to inspirational writings. Currently I have 4 Word documents open on my laptop. Some of them have seed thoughts in need of cultivation.

Life has been busy and even complicated of late. Somehow being a pastor's wife isn't what many perceive. I don't go to the spa every week. I don't enjoy afternoon tea every day. I don't sit and catch up with my family most days. I guess if the pastor that I'm wife to was a little different then my job would be so much easier.

For some strange reason my guy still pulls out jeans and does physical work around the church. We still make hospital visits though not the old school way of sitting in a room all day with someone. We still go by the hospital to see newborns. Today we worked late with the day staff then stayed later with a volunteer who came by after his secular job. Dinner, what's that? Tonight we went to Sonic and got a slush. Healthy??? No happy yes!

What's the secret to Pastor's wives not going to the office Monday - Friday? I have not learned the secret. No one would care if I stayed home but for some reason I place this burden on myself. Why do I do it year after year? I KNOW ~ I don't want to be common I want to go above and beyond....

So my dearest blog, you must understand. You aren't first in my life. I miss you and I will get around to you again soon. For now, however, be sweet to those who stop by to see if anything new is journaled. Remind them that soon this writer shall return.

I love you blog and I LOVE all the friends who stop by even more than I love blogging!

The Author

Monday, August 3, 2009

Think with Me. . .

"If you are loved, but never love in return..attach but never combine..trip but never trustworthy but never trust..and dream but never become..then you will exist but never live." ~ author unknown

Obviously, you just read the quote but go back and READ it again! Wow!!!! If you stop and think about it this is a TOTALLY amazing thought. I don't want to merely exist in a relationship.

It is so easy to be truly loved yet just be kind and not express love in return. I think it would not be long until this relationship completely vanished. Then think of oil and water they just never combine. You can stir them really well but as soon as you stop they are immediately separated again. Actually, they never did combine. I don't want to be this way the Lord or with my relationships. I want to be blended. I want to be one with the Lord and my husband.

I believe being trustworthy is something we should strive to become. On the other hand if we don't trust others it produces a negativity and causes others to not trust us. An important step in becoming trustworthy is trusting others. Often our own faults cause us to fear the same in others.

Sadly I know people who have huge dreams but never achieve them. Normally these are people who never begin to embark on the simple things. They dream of things so big they can't accomplish rather than set their eyes on something simple and reaching the mark. I believe by putting action to our dreams we can reach any dream or goal. With Christ all things are possible but I believe even with him it takes faith and WORKS.

Existing is coasting thru life not giving anything in return but living life as it should be lived requires something in return. God, help me this week to not only be a hearer of the Word but a doer. To not only be loved but to love. Let me do my part......

Blessing to each of you for a profitable week.....