Sunday, May 31, 2009
After picking up Diane I was approached rapidly by one of the moms of some of our bus children. She was distraught due to problems another family is experiencing. The other family has 3 children who faithfully attend our church. This family is having a definite problem were some were incarcerated. Today Kent and I will be visiting the jail and juvenile center. I was able to offer hope and the peace of God this morning to the mom and grandmother. This was a first time for me to spend time in the home. I believe it will not be the last and by the grace and mercy of God we will be able to help this family. The entire family with the exception of the Mom who was working attended our block party yesterday. Ironically, one of our men shared a testimony of how he was in jail and how God used that time to change his life. I pray the testimony has rang over and over and over again to each of these involved.
Yesterday after our block party I took the prescriptions of one of our homeless ladies to be filled. This dear lady had surgery Friday to open and cleanse staph wounds. She has a large gaping wound were the staph if oozing from her body. It breaks my heart knowing with this nasty infection she is sleeping in the woods homeless. I made sure she had adequate cleaning supplies and medication to treat the wound. Please help me pray for this dear friend. I KNOW God is a healer. He is able to keep his hand on this person. She was not at church this morning and today I am troubled for her.
The new family I've written about a couple of times who we dedicated their infant to God was in service today. The mom had a mass removed from her thyroid Friday. We still aren't sure if it is malignant or not. The original biopsy was inconclusive. I'm thankful that at the close of our service as many ladies gathered around this sweet new convert felt the sweet presence of God that permeated our sanctuary. I was blessed watching her weep and pray.
I KNOW God's mercy and grace is more than sufficient to meet each need. I'm thankful I am a part of each of these families. God is sufficient for every need! The more involved in other's lives the more thankful I become. I'm blessed. I've spent time in homes that feel hopeless. Many don't know how to take care of their bodies or their homes. So many don't have a permanent home. The travel from tent to bench to library and when the manage to get a day job they spend a night in a motel that I would be afraid to even stay in. We feed so many lunch on Sunday so they can enjoy a hot cooked Sunday lunch. While they eat on Styrofoam plates I never feed my family on paper or Styrofoam. I don't even know how many sets of dishes I own. While most of these are in their circumstances because of bad choices and addictions, the mercy of God is delivering them. I'm thankful our church loves these people and we are seeing many get apartments, their drivers licences again, and secure at least day labor employment. I believe in a few short years the old lifestyles will be far from their lives.
I'm truly a thankful pastor's wife today!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
At CUPC people are finding the need to be baptized for the first time in the NAME of JESUS. MANY who have been baptized other ways are feeling the necessity of being re-baptized in the NAME of Jesus. While I am a mom, a sister, a friend, a blogger, a wife, a daughter, a pastor's wife, a southerner, etc these are all titles but my NAME is Tracie Smith. I'm glad that I KNOW the name of our Lord is Jesus. There is no other name given under heaven where by we must be saved. People are repenting and truly endeavoring to turn from their sinful ways. God is filling them with His Spirit. Service after service we are seeing people began to speak with other tongues. In fact just last Sunday morning 13 persons spoke with tongues for the very first time.
Today we are hosting a picnic at MLK Park. We are believing people will be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit right in the park. Then tomorrow we are hoping to again see many more conversions. Pentecost means 50. How awesome will it be if we have a minimum of 50 persons receive the Holy Ghost this weekend?
If you have experienced Pentecost I suggest tomorrow you find someone to share your glorious experience. I KNOW I have friends and family who read my blog who have not experienced Pentecost. I wish you all lived near me. I would absolutely be honored to spend time with you in service tomorrow and witness your personal Pentecost. However, miles may separate but God is the same EVERYwhere. What He's pouring out in Conroe He will do the same in your location. Find a church who teaches the Word of God and will pray with you to receive this wonderful gift that is promised to each of us.
Read the following account. For space I've not included the entire chapter but please do read. This promise is for you!!!
Acts 2:1 - 13 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Acts 2:14 - 16 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Acts 2:37 - 39 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
I am SUPER EXCITED that I have experienced the most wonderful gift that was promised me. Furthermore, I'm thankful that I will be apart of helping others experience the same gift. Check back for weekend updates.....I KNOW it's going to be wonderful!!!!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Honestly, I feel horrible, absolutely horrible. I can't wake up today. I have a little bit of a sore throat. However, I feel today exactly how I feel after I've had a few seizures in a day. In the past I have had seizures in my sleep but normally Kent wakes up and 'tends' to me. He said if I had a seizure last night he never knew it. Ugghhhh....I HATE this feeling. I forgot my laptop this morning and had to come home to get it. When I returned home I sat in the chair and was a sleep in a minute or two. Normally, it takes the atmosphere perfect for me to go to sleep and then I don't just fall asleep. Later sitting in Kent's office I fell asleep. We left the office early and came home. I just gave in and got in the bed. I slept for about 4 hours. This evening I went on outreach for our block party and Pentecost Sunday events. Thankfully, in the streets witnessing I felt great. I wasn't tired feeling at all. I guess adrenaline kicked in. Sitting here writing my eyes are heavy. I'm not long for this world...sleepy time is coming quickly!
Now for the great READ. We hit an obstacle in outreach today. Thankfully, all was resolved peacefully. During the resolution of the problem Kent's cell phone rang. It was a brand new convert family. In a previous post I mentioned last Sunday dedicating a baby of a new family. Well, the husband calls. His wife has to have emergency surgery tomorrow to remove a mass from her thyroid. He called Kent for prayer. Long story short they met us at the park and we prayed for this precious family. The husband was excited because he has been telling everyone on his job about his new church. He said one of the men is coming Sunday and is ready to be baptized!!! This family is so precious. There is no telling how God is going to bless and use them.
Off to sleepy land....blessing to all of you for a Fantastic Friday!!!!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
As I began to pray I felt a burden for the needs of people, too. I began to pray for needs I KNEW about and also those I didn't know about. Later, I began to pray about a special need posted to Kent's blog. It was obvious some one's marriage was in trouble. We didn't know who and 'who' didn't matter. God knows and that's all that matters. Later this evening Kent received a private email from the 'who'. This is from a friend from long ago. Please join us in praying about this special need. Apparently details can't be fixed but I KNOW a God who is able to help our friend.
Later, I received an email from a friend with a very desperate need for healing of her spouse. The person asked to remain anonymous to others. This is a very desperate need. This need comes from a friend from many years ago.
Last night as I blogged I questioned should I continue. Often I feel I write too much and people don't enjoy reading such lengthy writings. They just seem to grow....Then today both of these persons who contacted us was apart of our lives even before we were married. I'm sure Satan would prefer we just quit blogging but our friends today have encouraged us to keep writing.
I posted on Facebook today the following quote: "When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place." ~ Unknown I felt to post it for encouragement for someone. Tonight I realized God was speaking to me, too! My original intent for blogging was to be an encourager, stay connected with friends, and make new friends. I'm committed to it!
Friends, PLEASE join me in praying for the two URGENT needs brought to us today. You don't have to know the names to touch God. Just listen to God and He'll speak to you. Allow me to share a personal testimony of God speaking. Today Kent felt impressed to give someone $100. He didn't tell me and didn't follow through. Then today I was buying groceries and I felt the Lord whisper to me 'so and so' needed food and we should give them $100. I got busy preparing to cook for the family and didn't mention it to Kent. Later Kent was talking to someone and they told us 'so and so' had a need. Kent immediately told the person on the phone he felt to give the other person some money. I was outside grilling our meat and came in and told Kent what I had previously felt. Wow!!! It was our GREATEST honor tonight to simply be a funnel for God. I shared that personal testimony to say if you will listen God will speak and lead you to help others.
Honestly, the two needs I'm speaking about I didn't call their names today BUT I did pray the prayer that was needed for them today. God knew the 'who'... Help me specifically pray for peace and healing for these persons. Let's also agree that we will be sensitive to pray for whatever or whomever God leads.
Oh to be more sensitive to Him! There's not greater joy than to CARE for other's needs and watch as God does the miraculous.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sean flew in Thursday afternoon. Redonia had to work and was unable to pick him up. Kent and I planned to pick him up but Trent and Calah decided to join the fun. Calah made an orange welcome sign. You know TEXAS LONGHORN orange. She put a few choice words of welcome on the sign. Trent stood front and center of the exit door @ Terminal B of IAH with the sign held over his head. Just trust me boys will be boys....Sean got a big laugh at his welcome.
Friday was a relaxed day of 'nothingness'. It was so relaxed that Kent nor I can remember what we did! We truly did almost nothing. It's been a long time since we've enjoyed a day like that.
Saturday the kids went to Galveston. Kent and I went to a Texas District Junior Bible Quiz Tournament, a graduation party, and went and visited ALL of my little bus kids. Kent passed out suckers to them. They love getting anything no matter how small. I LOVE my babies!!! Saturday night we took our kids to Papadeaux's for seafood. Redonia, Kent, and Trent enjoyed an appetizer of crawfish.
Sunday CUPC had only one service. Visiting minister and friend, Jonathon Green preached. We had an amazing service. Thirteen persons received the Holy Spirit! It was so awesome watching each one pray. Just before service a couple who has just started visiting asked Kent if he would dedicate their baby, Matthew. Kent told them he would be happy to do so within the next couple of weeks. Immediately he could tell they were wanting the baby dedicated that day. Of course, Kent did dedicate the baby. It was one of the sweetest ever! During the altar service both the Mom and Dad were part of the 13 receiving a brand new experience with God.
Sundays are our busiest work day. I NEVER cook lunch. This Sunday I decided to cook. The kids came over and we enjoyed a delicious meal together. Later in the afternoon we went to the lake for a time of boating, jet skiing, & tubing. The water was too rough for the kids to ski. Trent and Redonia loves water sports. Calah, really doesn't enjoy it. Well, Sunday she was brave. She rode the jet ski, tubed, and even loved the boat ride. I'm thinking we have us a new water kid! Sean loved the water sports, too. Late Sunday night Kent and I went to Starbucks on the lake. We enjoyed sitting outside together.
Today we travelled to Nacogdoches for the funeral of a dear lady. Memaw Porter was a special lady not only because she was the Mom of Sis. Joyce McClain but because she was a great saint of God. After the graveside we enjoyed lunch with Bro. & Sis. Vernon Neeley, Kent's parents, Gene & Ouida Gary, and Jerry & Debbie Long. When I grow up I want to be just like Sis. Neeley. She is such a gracious lady! She is so warm and friendly. Every time I see her she acts so happy to see me and treats me like I'm worth a million dollars. I saw another lady today who KNOWS me so well. She didn't even speak. Finally, a friend said to her, "Do you know Sis. Tracie?" Wow....she must have felt really silly...not the person endeavoring to introduce us but the one who stood talking to my friend without even speaking to me! lol Just a reminder of the reason Mom always taught us speak to everyone. (Thanks, Mom!)
Kent and I travelled home in peace and quite...we can ride for hours holding hands and not saying a word. I slept most of the way and he drove. Finally, he woke me up and asked if I would drive so he could sleep. We were so relaxed it was hard to stay awake.
Tonight I took Kent on a date! Woo Hoo...The house was just too quite for me. Redonia was with friends and I couldn't sit here any longer. We went to The Woodlands Waterway. Our first stop was Hubbell & Hudson's. Kent got a cup of coffee and I got gelato. I couldn't decide between coconut or raspberry so I got a small cup with a little of each. We sat at a sidewalk table and enjoyed people watching. After we finished our treats we went to the Waterway Square and enjoyed the dancing waters. We are spoiled to have such wonderful date places right at our own backdoor.
Redonia came in a little bit ago but she was on the phone talking to Sean. Kent and I didn't rate. I actually waited up on her! Maybe tomorrow she'll have time for me....sometimes I feel like I've been traded in. Oh well, Sean's cute and a great guy. I wouldn't have it any other way. Following is a cute picture taken of them this weekend.
I hope each of your weekend was relaxing....now tomorrow is back to work we go!!! Blessings for a GREAT week!
Friday, May 22, 2009
oday begin our holiday weekend. Kent, Sean, and I went to Panera for breakfast while Redonia worked a few hours. After a trip to the church and a few other errands I grilled sausage and prepared some fresh fruit to go with our lunch. We've enjoyed a relaxed day. We've been busy the past few weeks. A 'chill' day was very enjoyable. Tomorrow we have several things to accomplish. Later we hope to 'chill' a little more. Sunday we are going to have only 1 service. I plan to grill porkchops for lunch. After lunch we are 'all' going out on the lake. We will enjoy boating, tubing, skiing, and jetskiing. Well, 'they' will enjoy all of the previous activities. I'll enjoy riding in the boat. Monday we plan to 'chill' a little bit more.
I'm thankful we live in a country where we have the freedom to relax in peace. As each of us go about our fun relaxing weekend I trust we will not forget the reason for this holiday. Let's not forget those who have died in service to our great country. I hope each of you will spend quality time with family and friends. May your weekend be filled with love and blessings!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It's amazing that when I get out of sorts (yeah I'm human, too!) that not only do I feel out of sorts with my sweetheart of 27 years but I feel out of sorts with God. Amazing that when I fix one relationship they all get fixed.
Last night or really wee hours of the morning Kent dreamed someone was cutting off my feet. I woke up about 4 am to him tackling me. So great to feel loved and know he CARES for me. Second time to be tackled by him. First was our first year of marriage. A tornado literally blew his office trailer over. We were in it. He tackled me to 'cover' me from flying debris. Although last night I felt rudely awakened and this morning even have a bit of a back ache I have sat here thinking how loved I really am. There is NEVER a doubt in my mind that Kent will not take good care of me. Earlier this week in a physical sense he came quickly to my protection. Again, this just comforts me further in my relationship with God. How many times does He come to my rescue? Sometimes He may tackle me in process and I may feel a little sore but what a blessing to be protected!
Kent has NEVER demeaned me to anyone. He loves me, cherishes me, provides for me, simply put he takes care of my EVERY need. How much greater does the Lord take care of me? I realize that some may not have a good relationship with their spouse but trust me God is no respecter of persons and just as he takes GOOD care of me, He WILL take GOOD care of YOU!
Today let's work on RELATIONSHIPS....every one of them. I believe our spiritual relationships and physical relationships must agree. They will each be strengthened by the other. Friends, I love you all and want to make it to heaven with you.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I feel if we seek to love and honor God we will not get hung up on the whys or why nots rather we will serve Him willing to abandon all other weights, sins, and strongholds. Again as I mentioned in my previous writing the new concept of Christian liberties doesn't ring true to my ears. How does picking up more weigh less? The scripture clearly states to lay aside weights and sins. Therefore, I think there are some things that my not necessarily be wrong that we should consider laying aside less they become a stumbling block to either ourselves or others. I challenge church leaders to look very closely at this concept.
Following are only a FEW scriptural references. In some instances I quote the scripture. In others I gave an excerpt or a brief description. Please do not take my word rather read the scriptures for yourself.
Hebrews 6:1 …let us go on unto perfection;
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Titus 2:11,12 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
I Cor 1:8 - that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Cor 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
II Cor 5:16,17 - If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. A new creature, a new creation, a new character.
II Cor 6:14-17 - we are to be a separate people: separate from the character of the world.
II Cor 7:1 - Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ephesians 1:4 - According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the earth, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love:
Ephesians 5:26-27 - That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 6:10-18 - We must put on the whole armor of God. We must have the character of Jesus Christ. It is impossible to have the power of God without having the character of God, which is holiness.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Col. 1:21-23 -And you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached unto every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
I Thess 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
I Thess 4:7-8 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit
I Thess 5:22-23 - Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 2:21,22 - Flee also lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
II Timothy 3:1-5 - These scriptures describe the exact opposite of holiness: from such turn away.
Titus 1:16 – They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Hebrews 7:26 - For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Hebrews 8:10 - For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people.
I Peter 1:13-19 - Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy.
I Peter 2:1-25 - The character of a Christian. …a peculiar people...
I John 2:15,16 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world.
Revelation 21:27 - and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh an abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 22:11 - He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy let him be holy still.
Matt. 7:13,14 - Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matt. 23:1-39 - Read whole chapter. - NOTE verse 26. We must be clean INSIDE and OUT
Luke 21:34-36 - And take heed to yourselves, less at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all of them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the son of man.
Again, as I have carefully sought out these scriptures last night and this morning I have done so with much soul searching and prayer. I trust you will do the same. The principal of holiness is to be like Him who lives within us. How can he be in us yet we not be like Him? An old chorus rings in my ears...maybe you will join me in singing...
To be like Jesus
On earth I long to be like Him
All through life's journey
From earth to glory
I only ask to be like Him
All I ask- to be like Him.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Our church is in an intense time of soul winning. However, I have felt such an urgency for those who have known God for a longer period of time to dedicate their lives again to God. In fact last evening during our pre-service prayer this was my prayer.
The Bible declares that we are living temples of God. We need to recognize that our enemy is constantly at work, trying to erect idols and desecrate our temple in various ways so that we cannot be used to glorify God. How long has it been since we cleansed and rededicated our temple to the Lord? We should really be doing it daily!
We want to be holy — pure — righteous so that we can be found a peculiar people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, as the scripture says. Let’s strive to be a people who shine forth the glory of God today. Let’s pull down the strongholds and destroy the idols that pollute us.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Not only is it important that we are peaceful but we must live a holy life in order to see the Lord. The United Pentecostal Church has always been a church to stand for holiness. I think it is imperative that we live with PEACE and HOLINESS. While we pursue after being a peaceful people I pray we do not lose grip on holiness. Holiness is not something that is optional. The Word has strong teachings in regards to holiness. We do not have to lay aside our holiness teachings for church growth. While I agree people may 'move' or 'change' churches due to holiness issues the sinner will be drawn to a church who adheres to a holiness doctrine.
I recently posted the following song. I just 'feel' to post it again.
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness is what
You want from me
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness is what
You want from me
So, take my heart and form it
Take my mind and transform it
Take my will and conform it
To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord
Faithfulness is what I need
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what
You want from me
Brokenness is what I need
Brokenness, brokenness is what
True holiness brings about a faithfulness to God. Holiness leads us to a spirit of brokenness where we can CARE for others and share God's PEACE with them. Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. We do have witnesses in this race therefore we should not be concerned only with sins that beset us but also weights that hinder. It seems more and more people justify the things they have been liberated to pick up. Amazing to me that weights are now called 'Christian liberties'. When did a weight ever become something to liberate....in fact I believe it to be just the opposite. We must truly become aware of Satan's tactics to disillusion.
God, this morning, I want to dedicate again those things which set me apart. I give you my heart. First, my heart must be a pure and holy place for you to dwell. Lord, I give you my 'glory,' my hair. I give you my face, my body, my clothing. Please, take all of me. As I dress today let me reflect Your image. As I talk today let me reflect Your mercy and Your grace. I want to reflect Your perfect image and not an image that is misshaped with things of this world. I realize there are many people at CUPC and many newcomers looking at Your image as it is reflected thru me. Please, Lord, let me exhibit who You truly are. You are a pure and holy God. May my spirit be true and holy. I believe You can not dwell in an unclean vessel let me continually strive for a clean dwelling place for You. In Jesus name I pray!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I slept most of the 3.5 hr trip. I did wake up in Madisonville when we stopped at Buc-ees. If you have never stopped at one of their stores you owe it to yourself. They have lots of yummy goodies. We bought cheese, summer sausage, bottles of water, fudge, and were given 2 sample bags of Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets. The Beaver Nuggets are DELISH!!!
I had some money left from Mother's Day and spent all plus about $50 more. We went to Dressin' Gaudy, Steinmart (of course!), the mall, Ross, and Marshalls. The funny thing is Tyler is small compared to the shopping mecca we live in. We didn't really go to shop just went to 'get away'. After shopping we met our long time friends, Kevin & Jackie Prince at Johnny Carinos for dinner.
Kevin and Jackie have done some remodeling to their church and wanted us to stop by and see the improvements. Wow just a little work made a HUGE difference! We then went to their home for coffee before heading home. It was fun visiting with them and Ashley. Of course spending time with friends is always enjoyable.
We didn't leave Tyler until about 8:45 putting us back in Conroe after midnight. Of course I slept most of the way home, too! We stopped at Buc-ee's for fuel on the way home. Kent went in and bought two bags of the Beaver Nuggets! They taste like Kellogg's Corn Pop cereal but with a maple syrup coating. yummmy!!!
Although we were up late last night, I feel rested today. It's amazing what a little different scenery does to reprogram the brain! lol I hope each of you are enjoying a blessed weekend...
Friday, May 15, 2009
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
The Message Romans12:11-13
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
These verses are some of the most intriguing to me. Loving from the very center of our beings without faking is something that I believe in this world of 'feel good' we all need to develop.
Can you get a mental picture of running for our very lives from evil? Often I find myself observing people who think they can 'handle' things. Unfortunately things wind up 'handling' them. If we would just run for our very lives and not feel we can handle evil things we would not have near the problems in our spiritual lives.
Being a good friend and not having to feel it has to be my way or I have to be in control of situations is such a powerful thought, too. I think friendships would be better if we would be 'second'.
This passage gives a whole new perspective of 'burn out'. It is up to me to keep myself fueled and aflame. I can only do that by putting more fuel of the Spirit into my life. I believe that is accomplished through the Word, prayer, and faithfulness to God's house. When I observe people being weak in either area it isn't long until their flame no longer burns. Just because times become difficult we should not quit rather we should pray harder!!!
The final passage is something we are endeavoring to encourage every member of CUPC to do. Help the needy by getting creative with our hospitality efforts. We must show CARE to those within the church as well as those outside the walls of the church.
I want to keep Romans 12:9-13 alive in my life!!!!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap a harvest if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9 NASB).
While I energetically post of revival in Conroe let this blog suffice that it has not always been this way. There have many days, months or even years without harvest. We just continued to work. Did discouragement ever come? YES! Did heartache come our way? Yes! Did we face difficulty? Yes! Have we ever gone through a drought and lose people? Yes! Have my children been bombarded by the enemy? Yes! Have we felt perplexed? Yes!
Somehow through all the difficulties we simply didn't lose heart for revival. It got dim along the way but I truly never was Job's wife. I didn't encourage Kent to 'curse God and die'. I somehow tried to support him although it may have been a ever so weak support.
When people would backslide or change churches. We wept together. In fact hanging in his office today is a beautiful picture that I purchased on one such day. I didn't have the words to say but I found a writing at a Bible bookstore that said it all. When our kids faced difficulties that we KNEW were situations the devil was trying to use to discourage us we would wrap them close to our hearts and weep. Trent was hit by a car during a dark time. To this day he suffers some side affects that serve only as a reminder to the victory that came. The same child had cancer removed from his tongue. This came during a time when finances were being squeezed. The lack of finances didn't discourage us. We knew the ugly growth that appeared large on Trent's tongue was just another tactic. Our church and family stood with us and we made it through. Trent was only about 9 years of age and preached his first message entitled, "He is still God". He also was used to talk to crusader campers about the same subject. I have a pic of that great time in his life. It was during this time that Trent wept and said I KNOW God has called me to preach and I'm not going to die. Trent's faith encouraged us to keep going on. Redonia has faced many many obstacles and many dark hours. I can't even begin to explain all that has happened. Most of hers has come from literal attacks. Though Satan was trying to divide we would always find out about the divisive nature of the enemy from a good saint of God. They would say while others maybe attacking we are standing united with you and your family. We would always see incredible blessings begin to flow. I just can't explain it! I would love to be encouragement to every pastor's wife and daughter in this area. We have many testimonies to share of how God turns evil to good. This week this very story has come to pass. Suffice it to say God is faithful and we must allow His sovereign work in our lives and church. My children have emptied their wallets and their bank accounts more than one time and have given to the church to pay church utilities or church mortgages. Thankfully this doesn't still have to happen but because of it my children are blessed! A couple of weeks ago my husband sent a urgent request of prayer to a few church leaders. A little later in comes Trent. He didn't know the need and thought it was financial. It was pay day for Trent. He knows Mondays have been 'dark' thru the years. He came in and wanted his Dad to not pay him. Funny thing the need wasn't anything to do with finances in fact the church has been more blessed the last year than in a long time. Of course Trent got his check but my heart was blessed to know he is a true leader of CUPC. He is still willing to give all.
To you pastor's wives that see your children has having to sacrifice so much, don't stop the process it will not hurt your children. In fact it will make them so much better. During tough times financially or otherwise we have always lifted up the church and the people of the church to our children. We continually let them know its because of these good saints that we are here. We NEVER want them to begrudge working for God. When they've been falsely accused or rightly accused for that matter we insist they love the people. Bitterness will only hurt our family so we refuse it! We refuse to let other's misery become our misery. We refuse to wear what Satan whats to clothes us with.
Today if you are not experiencing revival...don't give up it will come in due season if you don't quit. To see revival you must work today as if it will be here tonight. You must plan for revival . You must facilitate revival. You must insist on TEAMWORK in a church. You must train your people to CARE for others. Revival can't come to a church who can't CARE for the babies. You must EXPECT revival. When CUPC had only 12 we treated like it was 500. Today we treat it like it's 500. We will reach that goal soon. Then we will treat the church like it has a membership of 1000.
Be encouraged today.....Revival will come if you faint not! If I can EVER EVER EVER help or pray with any of you pastor's wives I would be MOST honored. I didn't get here alone. In fact if an obstacle comes today I will reach out to a few minister's wives. We NEED one another!!!!
Much love to my friends (even if I don't know you!!!)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I spent some time with our school administrator and Calah finalizing CCS Secondary Students Awards and Honor Banquet. Wow both of those girls are on the ball. They are ahead of schedule - impressive!!! I enjoyed observing students having fun at track and field day. Calah sent me on an errand to pick up 2 birthday cakes for Tina Parker, our administrator. One for the elementary students and one for secondary students. Everyone enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Sis. Tina. This time of the year I spend more time at CCS. I LOVE our school, students, and staff. They are the finest. BTW Tina shared with me the Stanford Standardized scores for this year. CCS students are to be commended! We have very bright students taught by very capable dedicated teachers.
Kent and I enjoyed lunch @ Red Lobster compliments of a sweet lady in our church, Tammy Blackmon. I LOVE their biscuits! yummmmmmm Thanks, Tammy, I know you read my blog although you don't comment.
This afternoon we had a few people baptized. I KNOW it's a daily occurence but it is soooooo exciting!!!!! One of the young men baptized today is 23 years old. He has been in prison the past 6 years. He wept and cried after being baptized. He told Kent and Trent he has never experienced anything like what he felt during the baptism. He said he hasn't cried since he was a young child. He is coming to church tomorrow and wants to be filled with the Spirit. As he left the church he was still wiping tears!
We are so blessed to be apart of such a CARING church!!!! Tonight Kent and I are going to work on a few more ways to CARE for people. Debra, a most CARING lady in our church, sent me an email of a new idea she has for showing people they are VALUED and she CARES!!!!! Wow!!! Talk about encouraging to the recipents...
I can't wait to see what happens next....REVIVAL...CARE.....PRAYER....SHARING.....it's all so rewarding. When we get our minds off ourselves and become TEAMPLAYERS in CARING we are blessed!
Try it...you will LOVE it!!!
Ok I admit I've not be a very good blogger of late. My brain is frozen. I hate writing about the same things over and over again..."my day/week, revival, and caring for others". It's so hard to write about anything different because those are the things that are consuming me.
I'll just write a few random things:
I've had a frog in my throat that migrated to a seal. Yes, I've been barking!
I had a WONDERFUL Mother's Day! I got red roses, a $100 visa giftcard, a beautiful oil burner (looks like an old perfume bottle), oil, a Dillards giftcard, 2 Red Lobster giftcards, a beautiful suit with the matching shoes and purse, and many cards from my family, CUPC family, and received one yesterday all the way from Oklahoma from Sue.
Our new baptism count is approx 140 persons!!! One of the first children I began taking to church on the van was baptized Sunday. Her Mom has begun bringing her.
My Mom is on her way to Savannah and I'm jealous! Not really, I'm glad she and Jane were able to go and have some girl time.
School's almost out!!! CUPC has a church school with somewhere around 80 students.
I need to start going to the YMCA but can't get motivated. Kent goes toooo early! lol
I'm behind on my daily scripture reading...gotta get it caught up!!!! I've done so good all year long. We've been out of town a few times of late and my routine got thrown off.
I can't believe it's all ready mid May. Where has this year gone??? Wow! I have done pretty good however on reaching most of my goals. Some still need a little bit of attention. I need to rekindle them.
Oh! We used our new bus Sunday for the bus route! It's all cleaned up with a new battery and new alternator. We have to have our logo put on and some graphics. Right now it is bright shiny white. Our homeless don't want to ride it. They say it reminds them too much of the prison buses and they've been on them too many times! lol
I wish the fairy godmother would come and clean my baseboards, windowsills, and ceiling fans. Oh and while she's here she could spend a couple of hours in my flowerbeds. I'm thinking I'm the only person that's going to do it....that's a project that will have to wait till this cough stuff is over.
Today I need to spend a little time CARING for others. I hope each of you are enjoying a blessed week. Remember regardless "This is the day the Lord hath made". What are you going to do with it? I'm going to REJOICE!!!!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Birth order is Me, Vicki, Scott, Kristi
Spoiled order is Kristi, Scott or maybe Scott, Kristi then Vicki and finally Me
OCD order would be me, Vicki, Scott Kristi
Most like Mom order would be Vicki, Scott, Kristi, Me
Sweetest kid order would be...ME of course then....hummmm.....
The good thing is Mom sees unique things in each of us that she loves the MOST...I'm pretty sure for one reason or another we are all her favorites.
We spent Saturday evening on the Woodlands Waterway. We surprised Mom in our little matchy clothes thing! She used to dress us up like that when we were young so Mom that was in your honor! :) We enjoyed dinner and just sitting for a long time relaxing and talking. After dinner Kyleigh, Scott's 2 yr old, entertained us in the waterpark. She was a hoot!
We didn't do elaborate gifts this year. Mom has everything under the sun and everything above it too! She's leaving Monday for a trip to Savanah with a friend and a cousin. We could have given her money but hey she would have just bought more Victorian mess I mean pretty things and she has PLENNNNTY - trust me! We could have bought clothes but hummm that's hard. We opted for a time spent together with all of us and a pic to prove we were all there!
Mom, you are the greatest Mom ever!!! I love you so much. Thanks for being you!!! Thanks for loving all of us!!! I know we ALL love you bunches!!!!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Earlier in the week Kent inisted on taking me shopping for a new outfit for Sunday. It's so pretty! I'm glad I'm the Mother of his children. This afternoon he bought me a beautiful pair of shoes for the outfit. The bad part is the suit is at the tailor and I just hope the shoes match....
Today Kent called to plan a time to take his Mom for lunch tomorrow. Just so happened they were shopping in The Woodlands. We met them for dinner at Babins. We stopped by the florist and picked up a beautiful hydrangea. We know she loves beautiful plants. I am so blessed to have a MOST wonderful Mom-in-law. I love and appreciate her so much! I told her as she was leaving "Thanks for being a wonderful Mom and great Mother-in-law" I think she almost cried. I truly meant it with all my heart. Kent is sooooooo much like his Mother. Not only has she given me a wonderful husband but she has been a great Mother-in-law to me. If I had to describe her I would say she is a very strong determined person. She is very faithful and most loyal. She is a very diligent worker. She is a very inteligent person, too! Mamaw, I love you very much! Thanks for being my 'other' Mother!
If all goes as scheduled all of my natural siblings will be taking my Mom to dinner Saturday. Normally we do a Sunday lunch but the family is growing and it gets harder and harder to find a restaurant willing to do such a large reservation. Mom would cook if we would let her. I don't enjoy doing dishes after Sunday lunch. I get up very early to do the bus route on Sundays. I walk a large apartment complex in my heels and up and down many sets of stairs. By the time I arrive at church I'm pretty tired. I think Saturday will be a much more relaxed enjoyable time with the Thomas gang. We have a surprise for Mom, too!!!! Despite her probably being a lil disappointed that we will not all be getting together Sunday I THINK she will love the surprise!
I have an incredible Mother. I could write a book about my Mom. Here's how I would best describe her. She loves having her family right under her like little chicks (I inherited that!). She loves making holidays special, is a wonderful cook, is Victorian to her soul, loves God, is a worry wart, a weather mom (inside joke), & a preacher to each of us!!!! I'm thankful God gave me such a wonderful Mom!!!!! I LOVE you, Mom!
I'm a Mom, too!!! In fact that's one of my favorite titles. Mommyhood is something that almost wasn't for me. God truly gave us both of our children as miracles. Redonia came thru means of adoption. She is not bone of my bone nor flesh of my flesh but born straight from my heart! Trent came from our union but was born from my heart, too. I wanted a girl and a boy. God gave me just that! Now God has given me a third child, Calah. She is definitely apart of my heart, too. I get so frustrated when people refer to people with adopted and natural born children as "That one is theirs and that one is adopted!" Errrrrrr my ANGER stirs! There is ABSOLUTELY NOOOOO difference in my adopted child and my natural born child. Both are my children. I hope both Redonia and Trent know that I don't just want to be their Mother but I want to be their MOM! I hope Calah knows I love her so much, too! I want to be a good Mom-in-law.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful Moms!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16) When a righteous man prays there are more changes than he could ever imagine or comprehend. "And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." (James 5:15) Note the sick person is not only healed but saved.
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit." (James 5:17-18)
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God promises to those who love him. (James 1:12) I think the ability to persevere when trials are upon us greatly is through the power of prayer.
I want to be a person who prays more. I often think if we talk to God more and spend less time worrying (talking to ourselves) and talking to others we will be amazed at the outcome. I have failed this test many times but I want to keep getting up and praying MORE!
Will you join me in more prayer?
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday the music department did a good job of leading us into the presence of God. Both services Bro. Elms did a fabulous job of preaching the Word. Last night was my favorite service. Of late we have had a time of emphasis on outreach. Last night after the choir sang Kent encouraged the church to 'get something for ourselves'. He admonished us that we have all been giving out and we needed a refilling. Wow! The presence of God was so sweet and refreshing. Sis. Elms played the organ during this time of worship so all musicians and singers could respond. During this time of worship a man recently baptized began to respond and was filled with the Spirt. Kent had Bro. and Sis. Elms sing during this time of worship. They sang some old songs that were 'new' songs to our church. Everyone really enjoyed it. I watched as even our young people responded. After this dynamic time of worship Bro. Elms talked and really PREACHED to the church. He talked about loving God enough to worhip him with our lifestyles and actions. He preached my heart. Holiness should not be a 'standard' but our love to God. He began with talking about the unity he felt in our service. He admonished the church to protect the church and the pastor. If said if this is my church then no one will speak negative about it or my pastor to me.
Yesterday we had several baptisms and people filled with the sweet Spirit of God. We had many guests in our services. We had several out of town or out with sickness. I regret everyone could not have enjoyed the day.
Sunday we enjoyed PF Changs for lunch. I was thankful my children were able to spend personal relaxed time with the Elms. I always want them to LOVE their leaders. It means so much to me to have my children know they can have leaders that are real. I KNOW that the three of my children will always LOVE the Elms as a result of our lunch. The Elms shared in the kids lives. Redonia was teased about Sean, Jean, and Willie (all the same guy). Trent was teased about being Rooster Trent (his hair). I never want my kids to feel uncomfortable around great men and ladies of God.
Last night I prepared a lite meal and had the Elms to our home. 11889 Elizabeth Ridge is always better for the many guests who enter. Bishop was in rare form and was so 'happy' to meet new friends. Thanks Bro. and Sis. Elms for blessing our home and be such a blessing this weeked.
Mandy, I'm sorry I didn't get a single picture.....I was too caught up in the moment! I'll do better but I KNOW this was the weekend to do better since it was your family.
This afternoon Kent and I are going to Louisianna to meet with a bunch of ministers and wives. We are going to enjoy dinner at the Hennigan's church. I think the menu is crawfish and BBQ. I'm not sure who all will be attending but I know people are even flying in from out of state. Maybe I'll get a few pics to share
Enjoy a blessed week serving God this week...